Ben Jarman has not been selected in the 2016 AFL Draft in Sydney on Friday, despite clearly being a Jarman.
On a night when 77 players were selected by the 18 clubs in what was described as one of the most talent-rich draft pools in recent memory, and the most Jarman-rich draft pool since the 80's, Ben Jarman was left without a club. While some found Jarman's non-selection surprising, it's made even more unbelievable by the fact that of the 77 players selected, not one of them was a Jarman.
Ben Jarman, son of Darren Jarman, nephew of Andrew Jarman and great-nephew of Australian cricketer Barry Jarman, was one of 80 players invited to participate in the 2016 Draft Combine, where players are tested and ranked against one another in a variety of football-related categories. Of these tests, Jarman was the only player to rank in the top 10 for each of the handpass, kicking and goalkicking tests, coming top in the handpassing. He was also the only player to score at all in the 'Being a Jarman' test.
Ben Jarman's non-selection may have been influenced by his lower rankings in athletic tests such as vertical leap height and 20m sprints. When asked whether this was a contributing factor, a spokesperson for an AFL club said it was certainly taken into account.
"It's a big risk at the draft to pick the objectively most all-round skilled player. Football is not, and never has been, a game of skill. It's about running short distances as quick as possible, jumping from both feet and then running another 3km non-stop.
"Very seldom do you find a player who's not exceptionally athletic that can match it with the rest of them on skill and smarts alone. I mean, they're as rare as hen's teeth. Players like Sam Mitchell (who was overlooked in the 2000 draft), or Greg Williams, or even Darren Jarman. Shit, he's not related to Darren Jarman is he?"
Darren Jarman, while built taller than son Ben, was not renowned for tremendous athletic ability, rather for his accurate disposal and football awareness, and was once described by Jason Dunstall as the best kick he ever played with. Uncle Andrew also had a similar reputation with many remarking on his quick and reliable hands at collecting and distributing the ball in packs.
Between them, Andrew and Darren Jarman won 3 AFL premierships, 3 SANFL premierships, 2 Magarey medals, 5 All-Australian selections, 4 SANFL club best and fairests, 1 AFL club best and fairest, were both included in the Adelaide Crows Team of the Decade and North Adelaide's Team of the Century, have both been inducted into the SANFL Hall of Fame and Darren has also been inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame.
When Australian Sports Weakly reminded the spokesperson of the Jarman family record, he was slightly regretful.
"Why the f%$& didn't you tell me he was a Jarman?! Like, a Jarman Jarman? I mean, I knew his name was Jarman but I didn't know he was an ACTUAL Jarman. Sweet Jesus on a jetski!"
Ben Jarman is expected to be put on the Adelaide Crows rookie list for the 2017 season.