AFL draft news: Potential No.1 pick Will Ashcroft yet to decide on Brisbane father-son nomination
He’s the son of a former Brisbane Lions’ gun, but will the pull of Melbourne be too strong for this year’s potential No.1 draft pick?
Potential No.1 draft pick Will Ashcroft says a decision on whether to nominate as a father-son to Brisbane at the end of the year will be “weighed up pretty heavily” as he increasingly sets down roots in Melbourne.
The son of three-time Brisbane Lions premiership player Marcus Ashcroft, the 17-year-old is seen by recruiters as one of the standout players in this year’s draft pool but will have the choice to nominate for the club where his father played 318 AFL games.
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Ashcroft grew up in Queensland, where his father was an assistant coach and later football manager of the Gold Coast Suns.
However, the family moved to Melbourne at the start of 2018 and Ashcroft completed his school studies at Brighton Grammar last year.
He has recently commenced a business and sports management course at Deakin University in Burwood.
“I love it in Melbourne. I think I’m a Melburnian now – I’ve been here for long enough,” Ashcroft said on Saturday.
“I’m at uni here, my whole family’s here and I’m playing footy here so at the moment I’m just trying to take it day by day, to be honest.
“I think it (the father-son decision) is in the back of my mind at the moment.
“It’s not at the forefront. I’m just trying to improve my game and looking forward to the year ahead.
“But I think when the time comes it will be weighed up pretty heavily.
“It’s a pretty big decision for myself and my family. So it’s definitely there but it’s nowhere near time to think about that.”
One senior recruiter said Ashcroft was a player who “doesn’t have too many deficiencies” as a midfielder with good endurance who can win the ball on the inside and outside of the contest.
Ashcroft looks up to Carlton onballer Sam Walsh and turned heads when he racked up 33 disposals, kicked two goals and logged 180 ranking points playing for Vic Metro in the Under-17 Championships last year.
The Sandringham Dragons product spent a month with the Lions over summer, including time living with star midfielder Hugh McCluggage.
Some VFL matches with the Lions this year are a possibility, but Ashcroft said he was very much committed to playing with the Dragons in the NAB League and continuing his growth as a player after lining up for only “10 or 12” games across the past two years.
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“We didn’t play many games last year so I’m looking forward to a full season with the Dragons and Vic Metro,” Ashcroft said.
NAB League players took part in a pre-season testing day at Maribyrnong College on Saturday, ahead of the start of the season next month.