BRISBANE has avoided a crosstown tug of war over one of the country's most talented teenagers, with the Lions having access to Will Ashcroft as a father-son recruit next year.
Ashcroft, who starred at last week's under-17s games in Victoria, is the son of three-time premiership gun Marcus Ashcroft, who was also Gold Coast's inaugural football manager.
Having lived in the Gold Coast's Academy region during his father's long stint in the role before his exit in 2017, Will would have qualified to be able to join the Suns as an Academy selection or the Lions as a father-son in his 2022 draft year.
However, the battle for the younger Ashcroft was extinguished when his father departed the Suns to take up a role in the AFL's talent department in 2018, which saw Will relocate to complete his schooling in Victoria at Brighton Grammar.
Under Academy rules, given Ashcroft has moved out of the Suns' zone it means only the Lions will have priority access over him next year if he chooses to nominate as a father-son, with scouts already raving about the midfielder as being a likely early pick in the 2022 crop.
Will, a skillful and powerful midfielder who has already impressed with his professionalism, was named captain of Victoria's under-15s side in 2019. He is a 183cm prospect who will turn 17 in May but will finish year 12 this year.
Marcus Ashcroft retired after Brisbane's 2003 Grand Final win over Collingwood as a three-time flag winner and 318-game player. He was a casualty of the AFL's COVID-19 cuts last year but has landed a new role as the Sandringham Zebras' chief executive in the VFL.
The Marcus Ashcroft Medal is awarded to the player judged best afield in the annual QClash between the Lions and Suns.
The AFL has changed its national carnivals this year from under-16 and under-18 championships to under-17 and under-19s programs, with NAB League clubs playing a series of games last week.
The 2022 group is considered perhaps the most unknown talent pool given it last year missed the under-16s championships to impress and get on the radar two years out from their draft age.
Among the other possible father-sons to take the field last week was Cooper Harvey, the son of North Melbourne champion and all-time games record holder Brent. The 179cm 16-year-old is eligible for next year's draft for the Roos.
Alwyn Davey Jr, the son of former Bomber speedster Alwyn, played for the Oakleigh Chargers, while 2000 Essendon premiership player Steven Alessio's son Luca also ran out for the Calder Cannons. Harry Broderick, the son of former Tiger Paul, played for the Northern Knights.