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 returned to South Australia ahead of the 2019 season.
While forced to work his way into a strong Port Adelaide outfit, Mayes made his long awaited debut for the Power in Round 7, exciting supporters with his composure and pressure.