The 2022 NAB AFL Draft kicked off on Monday, 28 November, streamed live from Marvel Stadium.
Here’s how it unfolded:
The second name called out for the evening was Will Ashcroft.Will Ashcroft came through the Queensland ranks as a junior with Broadbeach and Southport and moved to Melbourne at 15 following a short stint with the Gold Coast SUNS Academy. The Victorian-based father-son candidate was this year’s leading AFL Draft prospect and has committed to the Brisbane Lions on a two-year deal on top of his initial contract of the same length. Ashcroft captained the Sandringham Dragons to the NAB League premiership where he was named best on ground. He was also named the best player in the U18 National Championships and awarded the Larke Medal. He joins fellow 2019 Larke Medal winner Deven Robertson at the Brisbane Lions this season alongside fellow father-son candidate Jaspa Fletcher after the pair spent over a month training with Brisbane during preseason.
Jaspa Fletcher will follow in his father Adrian’s footsteps at the Brisbane Lions next year after being picked at no. 12 in a father-son selection. The Coorparoo Junior and former Sherwood QAFL player is an in and out rover who can play in the middle of the ground and on the wing. He weaves through traffic with class and averages 23 disposals and three tackles a game. He won the Hunter Harrison Medal as the Best and Fairest player in the Academy series as part of selection for the Allies and was named in the 2022 NAB AFL National Championships U18 Boys All-Australian Team.
The Fremantle Dockers picked up 25-year-old Corey Wagner at #57. The former Aspley Hornet was initially drafted by North Melbourne in the 2015 national draft and went on to play 19 games for the Kangaroos and Demons in four seasons before starring for Port Melbourne in the VFL this year after moving to half-back. The running machine averaged 22 disposals for Borough in the VFL in 15 games and 28 in the final five matches to be named in the 40-player VFL Team of the Year Squad. He’ll have a third crack at the AFL as a rookie in 2023.
Shadeau Brain from the Noosa Tigers and Brisbane Lions Academy has been pre-signed to the Brisbane Lions ahead of the NAB AFL Rookie Draft. Brain is a medium forward with the ability to win the ball in the air and on the ground level. He relocated to Queensland two years ago from the New South Wales town of Finley and didn’t qualify for the Lions as an Academy player and was therefore up for pre-selection. An Indigenous talent, he showed a touch of class in three matches for the Allies, averaging 13 disposals and kicking three goals. He was among the best players in the game against Victoria Metro but did not test at the Draft Combine as he was recovering from a shoulder injury.
Darryl McDowell-White Jnr
Darryl McDowell-White Jnr is the third father-son selection to be drafted to the Brisbane Lions in this year’s NAB AFL Draft. He is the son of three-time premiership player Darryl White and joins the Lions as a category B Rookie. The 25-year-old played his juniors for Mt Gravatt and Coorparoo before pursuing a basketball career overseas. He has since returned home to his grassroots and starred for Brisbane’s VFL team in the second half of this year. The former basketballer is described as an athlete with a natural talent for AFL. He caps a father-son trifecta at the Lions’s den alongside No.2 draft pick Will Ashcroft (son of Marcus) and fellow draftee Jaspa Fletcher (son of Adrian).
The Western Bulldogs have signed Osker Baker from the Aspley Hornets, Wilston Grange Gorillas and Brisbane Lions Academy as a rookie for the upcoming 2023 season. The 24-year-old made it official on the opening day of the pre-season selection period. The fast winger was drafted to Melbourne at Pick No.48 in the 2017 National Draft where he spent the past five years and played 15 games. This year he helped the Casey Demons VFL team to a flag.