PORT ADELAIDE midfielder Travis Boak has extended his tenure with the club into a 17th season after agreeing to terms on a one-year contract extension – one of three players to recommit to the club this week.
As well as Boak, promising midfielder Jackson Mead and experienced defender Darcy Byrne-Jones have agreed to respective two and three-year contract extensions.
Boak is the club’s AFL games record holder and has twice won the John Cahill Medal as best and fairest.
A three-time All-Australian, the 34-year-old missed just one game this season and only six in the past ten years, taking his career tally to 327.
“17 (seasons) sounds like a lot but I’m excited for it,” he said. “This group is really special to be a part of. I feel like I’ve got plenty more to give and plenty to improve on to be part of this group for another year and hopefully another few after that.
“It’s the best job in the world when you get to come in here and play footy and spend time with your best friends so I’m looking forward to year 17 for sure.”
Port Adelaide List Manager Jason Cripps says the experienced former captain remains an important leader around the group.
“Travis shows no signs of slowing down and that is a credit to the work he puts in physically and mentally to prepare for and recover after matches,” Cripps said.
“He is also a fantastic person to have around the group as a mentor and role model for our younger players.
“Trav has had another strong season and we look forward to him attacking 2023 with the same enthusiasm and dedication that we’ve seen from him since 2006.”
Mead had an impressive pre-season and made his AFL debut in Round 1 against Brisbane, going on to play eleven games at the highest level.
The 20-year-old also averaged 24.3 disposals, six tackles and four clearances across eight SANFL games in 2022.
After having a taste of AFL football this season, Mead is eager for more.
“It’s awesome to finally get it done,” Mead said of his contract extension. “I’ve spent three years here and to have another two is exciting.
“I’ve come a long way over the journey and been a bit up and down, but I’ve enjoyed the experience and I think I’ve learned a lot over the course of this year.
“I think I’ve adapted well (to playing in the AFL) and … you can only get better as time goes on and as you adjust so I’m looking forward to next year and years to come.”
The 25th pick in the 2019 AFL National Draft, Mead is the son of inaugural Port Adelaide AFL best and fairest winner and three-time Magpies premiership player Darren Mead.
Byrne-Jones’ new contract will see him extend his time at Alberton until at least the end of 2026.
Taken at pick 52 in the 2013 AFL National Draft, Byrne-Jones was named an All-Australian and won the John Cahill Medal in 2020, before being elevated to the club’s leadership group ahead of last season.
The 26-year-old – who played his 150th game in the Round 23 Showdown win - was already contracted until the end of 2023, when he would qualify as an unrestricted free agent, but has elected to recommit to the club early.
“I was just happy to come in and play one AFL game and reflecting on where I am now, it’s been a bit of a journey and hopefully we can enjoy sustained team success in the coming years,” Byrne-Jones said.
“I’m really confident about the people we have at the club and where we’re heading and hopefully in the next few years, we can find some success and I can help some of the younger players along the way.”
Cripps said Mead had proven he had AFL attributes and was an exciting part of the club’s midfield mix, while Byrne Jones was a highly respected club man and teammate.
“Jackson put in a fantastic pre-season after an injury-interrupted 2021 and deserved the AFL opportunities he had this year,” he said.
“We know he has plenty of development to come and we expect him to grow his game and challenge for a more regular spot in the AFL line-up.
“Darcy is disciplined and reliable and always carries out his role for the team with little fuss.
“His elevation into the leadership group last year indicates how highly he is respected by his peers and we look forward to his ongoing contribution to our club over the coming years.”