FIRST-ROUND prospect Jordan Croft has nominated as a father-son selection for the Western Bulldogs.
The 18-year-old is eligible to join the club after his father Matthew played 186 games in red, white and blue between 1991 and 2004.
DRAFT HUB Click here for the latest draft news
Croft has been weighing up the decision in recent months but notified the club on Wednesday that he will formally nominate ahead of the AFL Draft, following a strong season for the Calder Cannons and Vic Metro.
The Western Bulldogs have been anticipating this decision across the back end of the season and executed a deal with Gold Coast on Monday that saw the club hand over picks No.10 and 17 plus a future first-round pick in return for No.4, 46, 51 and a future third-round selection.
That deal appears a high price to pay on the surface but it has allowed the Bulldogs to secure a top-five pick by getting ahead of the bid for Croft, which is expected to come between 10 and 15 in next month's AFL Draft.
The Maribyrnong product is considered one of the best key-position prospects in this year's draft pool and was named in the Coates Talent League Team of the Year.
Croft enhanced his chances at last weekend's Draft Combine by finishing fourth in the 2km time trial at the AIA Centre, despite standing at 200cm.
He ran a time of 6:05 to finish behind only Sandringham Dragons wingman Tarkyn O'Leary, Murray Bushrangers midfielder Darcy Wilson and Gold Coast Suns Academy ruckman Ethan Read.
Like the Bulldogs, Gold Coast also had good reason to trade away pick No.4 with the Suns needing to match bids for four Academy graduates in November.
Father-son picks have featured at the pointy end of the past two drafts with Brisbane securing Will Ashcroft at pick No.2 last year after Sam Darcy landed at the Whitten Oval at the same pick 12 months earlier, while Nick Daicos landed at Collingwood at pick No.4 in 2021.
The Dogs have reaped the rewards of ancestry more than any other club with three father-son recruits currently on the list – Tom Liberatore, Rhylee West and Darcy – following the recent departures of premiership pair Zaine Cordy and Lachie Hunter and favourite son Mitch Wallis.
Croft was born the year after his dad played his final game but has grown up an avid Western Bulldogs supporter, witnessing the 2016 Grand Final and the famous preliminary final victory over Greater Western Sydney at Giants Stadium when Matthew was the football director on the board.