FAMILIAR surnames will feature in the NAB AFL Academy again in 2022 after the squad was confirmed on Thursday.
Brisbane father-son prospect Will Ashcroft leads the host of players with family ties in the squad and shapes as a possible No.1 pick, while Oliver Hollands, brother of Gold Coast's Elijah, is set to push into first-round calculations having also been named.
EYE ON THE FUTURE 10 players to watch in 2022
Ashcroft is the son of triple-premiership Lion Marcus, who played a pivotal role in the club's 2001-03 three-peat. The Lions could snare another father-son talent, too, with Jaspa Fletcher, son of Adrian, being recognised with selection.
Zane Duursma, brother of Port Adelaide's Xavier, is not eligible for the draft until 2023 but was picked in the squad alongside eight other bottom-age players in a nod to the future.
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Luke Teal, whose father Robert played a handful of games for Sydney, does not qualify for father-son selection but is another to watch after impressing with his toughness at under-17 state level in 2021.
Highly rated defender Max Michaelanny also earned selection in the squad and could join Adelaide under father-son ruling given his father, Jim, played over 200 SANFL games for Norwood in the 20 years immediately before the Crows' AFL inception.
The squad features a series of recognisable surnames for the second year running, with the likes of Nick Daicos and Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera catching the eye in last season's group.
Anthony Munkara from the NT and Ryley Sanders from Tasmania are the two Indigenous members of the Academy squad.
National academy manager and coach Tarkyn Lockyer said selection would serve as early recognition for 2022's top crop and that the program will seek to develop prospects off the field as well as on it.
"Selection into these squads is great recognition for all the players and continues to highlight the AFL and AFLW as the first-choice sport for our most talented athletes," Lockyer said.
"Members of the NAB AFL and AFLW Academy will be given the opportunity to develop themselves as people and players under the guidance of expert coaching, high performance and wellbeing staff.
"The program is aligned with the National Talent Pathways philosophy of 'Developing Better People, Better Players' by using a holistic development approach to focus on the growth of the individual, on and off the field, and their ability to contribute to a team environment.
"The program content will be delivered through a mixture of face-to-face and online modules. Each of the squads will also get the opportunity to showcase their talents in a high-performance camp and representative game."
The high-performance camp is slated for April before the Academy, which took on Geelong's VFL team last season, plays a match in May.
2022 NAB AFL Academy
Will Ashcroft, Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons
Jackson Broadbent, Western Australia/Peel Thunder
Jedd Busslinger, Western Australia/East Perth
Jhye Clark, Vic Country/Geelong Falcons
Lachlan Cowan, Tasmania/Tasmania Devils
Adam D'Aloia, South Australia/Woodville-West Torrens
Jaspa Fletcher, Queensland/Sherwood Magpies/Brisbane Lions Academy
Sam Gilbey, Western Australia/Claremont
Jason Gillbee, New South Wales/Bendigo Pioneers/GWS Giants
Jed Hagan, Western Australia/East Fremantle
Elijah Hewitt, Western Australia/Swan Districts
Oliver Hollands, Vic Country/Murray Bushrangers
Matthew Jefferson, Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers
Harry Lemmey, South Australia/West Adelaide
Max Michaelanny, South Australia/Norwood
Anthony Munkara, Northern Territory/Wanderers/NT Thunder
Harry Sheezel, Vic Metro/Sandringham Dragons
Mitch Szybkowski, Vic Country/Dandenong Stingrays
Luke Teal, Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers
Elijah Tsatas, Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers
George Wardlaw, Vic Metro/Oakleigh Chargers
Lachlan Cabor, New South Sales/Shellharbour/Sydney Swans Academy
Daniel Curtin, Western Australia/Claremont
Jack Delean, South Australia/South Adelaide
Zane Duursma, Vic Country/Gippsland Power
Will Patton, South Australia/West Adelaide
Harley Reid, Vic Country/Bendigo Pioneers
Ryley Sanders, Tasmania/Tasmania Devils
Jed Walter, Queensland/Palm Beach Currumbin/Gold Coast Suns Academy
Nick Watson, Vic Metro/Eastern Ranges