A South Australian product, Sam Mayes was drafted by the Brisbane Lions with pick 8 in the 2012 National Draft. At 187cm, Mayes was recruited as a leading half-forward. However it wasn’t long before he was given a chance in the midfield, and developed into a key on-baller during his time at the Lions. In his first year at the club, Mayes earned an AFL Rising Star Nomination and was Rookie of the Year, as he went on to play 18 senior games in 2013.
Mayes continued his impressive start to play consistent senior football from 2014-2017, but was hampered by injury throughout 2018. After 6 years and 101 games, Mayes has returned to South Australia and joined the Port Adelaide Football Club, where he has been tried as a utility in a range of positions.