After 26 seasons in the AFL, the Adelaide Football Club finally has its first father-son recruit.
Ending months of uncertainty – and years of anticipation because of the first-class family ties – Adelaide activated its father-son nomination for Ben Jarman three days after the North Adelaide midfielder was overlooked at the AFL National Draft.
With every AFL club opting not to take any picks at the AFL pre-season draft, the son of two-time Crows premiership star Darren, automatically became a Crow in Monday’s Rookie Draft.
Ben Jarman was nearly five-months-old when Darren kicked five goals in the Crows’ 1998 Grand Final win over North Melbourne, one year after booting six goals against St Kilda in the Club’s first AFL premiership.
The small forward and midfielder played for SANFL club North Adelaide this year at league, reserves and Under 18 levels.
He also represented South Australia in the National Under 18 Championships and played in the Under-18 All Star match the day before the AFL Grand Final.
Adelaide’s decision to list the 18-year-old as a rookie ends a nervous wait for the Jarman family.
Although the Crows nominated Jarman as a potential father-son selection at the end of October, he was available to every club in the National Draft last Friday night.
Adelaide has previously had some close calls with the AFL’s father-son draft rules.
If inaugural Crows coach Graham Cornes had spent one more year in the role, sons Chad and Kane would have been eligible for selection.
Bryce Gibbs (son of Ross) and more recently Brayden Maynard (son of Peter) both fell only a few SANFL games short of qualifying for father-son selection.
Ben Jarman has long been on the radar as the first son of a former Crows player to be eligible under the current rules.
His cousin Jackson Edwards – the eldest son of Crows 300-gamer Tyson – will be eligible next year.
Darren Jarman was 29 when he joined the Crows before the 1996 season but the younger brother of inaugural Crow Andrew had an enormous impact on the Adelaide Football Club.
He left SANFL club North Adelaide to join Hawthorn for the 1991 season and he played 109 games for the Hawks, including the 1991 premiership.
But after winning Hawthorn’s best and fairest in 1995, a complicated trade deal brought the midfielder/forward back to Adelaide to reunite with Andrew.
The Australian Football Hall of Famer was an All-Australian in his first year with the Crows and then twice a grand final matchwinner for Adelaide.
Darren booted five goals in the last quarter of the 1997 grand final (for a total of six) after being moved to full forward and then kicked five goals in the 1998 win.
After 121 games in six seasons with the Crows, he retired and became an assistant coach at the Club under senior coach Gary Ayres.
Ben’s uncle, two-time Magarey Medallist Andrew, played 110 AFL games for the Crows.
The pre-season draft was cancelled on Monday afternoon after all clubs decided against taking part. Adelaide’s first official selection in the Rookie Draft was retired defender Sam Shaw in an administrative decision in relation to the pending CBA and Sam’s access to welfare assistance.
Club: North Adelaide/PHOS Camden
This article first appeared at www.afc.com.au