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Top junior hopes Power line continues in father's footsteps

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PORT Adelaide will get a closer look at father-son prospect Jackson Mead in the back half of the season, after the NAB AFL Draft hopeful boosted his stocks in recent weeks.   

Mead was this week named an All Australian after a strong carnival NAB AFL Under-18 Championships with South Australia.

He plays for Woodville-West Torrens but under AFL rules for father-son prospects will be able to spend more time at Port Adelaide now that the carnival has finished.

 

The 17-year-old midfielder, who has also shown his abilities as a forward, is the son of Darren Mead, an original Power player who won the club's first best and fairest in 1997. He is hopeful of following his father's path to the club.

"[Dad] would love it [if I went to Port Adelaide], and it would be great for me to play and continue the Mead name at Port Adelaide – or anywhere I go I suppose. I'm keen to play the year out and see how it goes," he told AFL.com.au.

"If Port want me it's their decision. I can't really control that, it's their decision, so I just have to continue to play well."

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Darren Mead played 122 games for the Power between 1997-2002, and Jackson credits his father as a strong influence on his development.

"We have one room at home dedicated to all of Dad's Magpies' flags and all of that stuff, and there's a few medals of his hanging around," Mead said.

"He's been great. Ever since I started growing up and playing footy kicking the footy in the backyard he's been magnificent in helping me get better."

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Rivals see Mead as sitting somewhere late in the first round or in the early stages of the second round of the draft, after he averaged 21 disposals, three clearances and five tackles across the carnival.

Port Adelaide recruiting manager Geoff Parker told this week's Road to the Draft podcast the club has been monitoring his progress.

"This year he's played at a level I thought he was capable of. He's a stronger body so he's able to play in the SANFL reserves and has handled that OK without getting buffeted around too much," Parker said.

"I've got no idea where a bid will come. That's still to play out.

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"Jackson's grown up a Port supporter, and has been able to work, through the AFL rules in terms of access to the club, he's been in a little bit. Once the championships finish the rules state he can come in a little bit more and we'll be able to track his progress and evaluate him, as we do every other player.

"But because we can see him [up close] we can get a better idea on him."

Jackson Mead showed he has plenty to offer through the U-18 Championships. Picture: AFL Photos

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