AFL Draft night is finally here as the stars of tomorrow finally find out where they will ply their trade to star their senior footy careers.
The GWS Giants steered clear of any trickery, selecting Aaron Cadman with the No. 1 pick, before Will Ashcroft was taken by the Lions, after his bid was matched under the father-son rule. He is the son of triple premiership winner Marcus Ashcroft.
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Four players saw their bids matched but there were few shocks in the first day of the Draft.
There were 21 players who found their new AFL club on the first night while the remainder of the Draft will playout on Tuesday night.
|1||Aaron Cadman||GWS Giants|
|2||Will Ashcroft||Brisbane (Father-Son)|
|3||Harry Sheezel||North Melbourne|
|4||George Wardlaw||North Melbourne|
|6||Bailey Humphrey||Gold Coast|
|9||Reuben Ginbey||West Coast|
|10||Mattaes Phillipou||St Kilda|
|12||Jaspa Fletcher||Brisbane (Father-Son)|
|13||Jed Busslinger||Western Bulldogs|
|14||Elijah Hewett||West Coast|
|16||Harry Rowston||GWS Giants (Match)|
|17||Max Michalanney||Adelaide (Father-Son)|
|20||Jacob Konstanty||Sydney Swans|
|21||Darcy Jones||GWS Giants|
Giants make bold call over No. 1 AFL Draft pick
Aaron Cadman is the No. 1 pick in the 2022 AFL National Draft after the club decided to go straight for the the youngster, rather than spark an unneccessary rivalry with the Brisbane Lions.
The Giants could have thrown a spanner in the works and still get their man if they select the son of three-time Lions premiership winner Marcus Ashcroft, Will Ashcroft.
The Giants will be active in the Draft, holding picks 1, 15, 18, 19, 31 and 57 after letting Tim Taranto, Jacob Hopper and Tanner Bruhn leave during the Trade period.
“It’s so special, never in a million years would I have thought I’d be in this position,” Cadman said on stage.
“To share it with my family and friends and all these people in the room it’s super special.”
The Lions — who had picks 34, 35, 36, 38 and 55 — are expected to match whoever selected Ashcroft, even if it wipes out the Lions draft stock and leave the club in points deficit, meaning the club’s first pick in the 2023 Draft would also be effected.
It would mean the club were basically going all in for Ashcroft.
If Ashcroft went via the second pick as expected — which would be the Kangaroos’ pick — the Lions could use picks 34, 35, 36 and 38 for Ashcroft, dropping to 41, 82, 84 and 86.
The Kangaroos would then be able to pick at spot 3.
Ashcroft is widely considered the best player in the 2022 draft class.
The Lions also matched for young Jaspa Fletcher as well, the son of Adrian Fletcher. The commentators said “Christmas has come early for Chris Fagan”.
Lions coach Chris Fagan revealed the club would match Ashcroft before the selections began, and the young gun appeared relaxed on the coverage.
Ashcroft was widely considered the best of the Draft class and was the best player at the National Championships.
Fox Footy reported a recruiter had said mid-year Ashcroft “could play AFL this week” and was on a “different level” to the rest of the draft.
Cadman even said he would take Ashcroft pick one.
“You can‘t go past Will Ashcroft,” he told Fox Footy.
“Just how switched on he is, his competitiveness and just how professional he is when it comes to footy – that’s pretty rare.”