2024 AFL Draft | Race to #1: Levi Ashcroft

FATHER-SON prospects are often compared to their fathers ad nauseam, but Levi Ashcroft will endure the quirk of having his name placed next to another member of his family – big brother Will. Levi is living up to the family name, too, having already collected a bunch of individual and team accolades.

The Ashcrofts are perennial winners. Marcus was a three-time premiership player at Brisbane, while Will and Levi won a Talent League flag together with Sandringham Dragons in 2022. Levi took out the APS title with Brighton Grammar in the same year and has gone on to win another flag with the Dragons.

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Cutting a similar figure to Will and proving just as prolific on the stats sheet, Levi has almost inevitably earned his way into the same representative sides. He’s an Under 16 and 18 All Australian, and could have been Vic Metro’s MVP last year had it not been for premeditated team rotation.

In 2024, he’ll turn out for Australia as part of the National Academy while hunting an unprecedented third-consecutive Talent League cup either side of Vic Metro duties. VFL opportunities with Brisbane also await Ashcroft, who may well match his brother’s record of the earliest father-son bid (pick two).

For the final edition in our Race to #1 series during preseason, we highlight Ashcroft’s strengths and identify where he sits amongst a handful of fellow midfielders vying for top prospect status. He’ll soon feature in our maiden Power Rankings instalment, once the football gets underway.

>> Race to #1: Sid Draper | Jagga Smith | Josh Smillie | Finn O’Sullivan

Levi Ashcroft

Height: 179cm

Weight: -

DOB: 18-12-2006


2023 Coates Talent League (11 games)
26.9 disposals, 3.4 marks, 3.3 tackles, 3.9 inside 50s, 1.2 goals (13 total)

2023 AFL U18 National Championships (3 games)
26.7 disposals, 21.0 uncontested possessions, 5.0 marks, 2.3 tackles, 4.0 inside 50s

>> Ones to watch: 24 AFL Draft prospects in 2024


+ Footy IQ
+ Work rate
+ Tackling
+ Accumulation
+ Consistency
+ Scoreboard impact

Like his brother Will and Nick Daicos before him, Levi Ashcroft boasts elite footy IQ. He has a unique understanding of where to find the ball and often thinks about his next possession when disposing of the ball. He’s the type of midfielder who gets involved several times in single passages of play.

Matching Ashcroft’s smarts is his work rate. Unlike the many ball-first midfielders who stand out at the pointy end of draft discussions, he needs no encouragement to apply himself defensively and get his hands dirty in the tackling department. He impacts both ways and goes hard at the coalface.

Ashcroft’s numbers, and the sheer consistency of them are outstanding. Even as a bottom-ager, he hardly wavered in output between the Talent League and National Championships, while also stepping up as a genuine big game player. He has no trouble finding the ball both on the inside and outside.

On top of his defensive effort, perhaps the thing which separates Levi from Will the most is the former’s versatility. He has spent plenty of time up forward over the last two seasons – admittedly through necessity – and can rotate there regularly, also hitting the scoreboard when it counts.

While admirably well-rounded, Ashcroft can still look to enhance parts of his game. He scans the play well and makes good decisions, but can be more a high-volume player than high-impact at times. While efficient, his kick technique and penetration are improving, along with his turn of speed.


“The bottom-aged star was typically polished and prolific but made his biggest mark on the scoreboard with three terrific goals. He took on the big moments and won them with class, rising to the occasion when his side needed him and only further stamping his credentials as one of next year’s top prospects.” – Michael Alvaro, 2023 Coates Talent League Preliminary Final.

“There was no beating Ashcroft as he set the tone for Sandringham’s win with a dominant stoppage display in the first half. The star bottom-ager was tidy when the game was at its hottest and contributed incredibly neat work by hand… Two of his 11 kicks were terrific finishes on goal too, guiding the ball home with both sides of his boot.” – Michael Alvaro, 2023 Coates Talent League Wildcard Round.

“With the game being played at such high pressure, Ashcroft was in his element… he also worked hard on the outside to create overlap run and keep his side moving forward with speed, as he was involved in much of their most promising attacking plays early on.” – Declan Reeve, 2023 Coates Talent League Round 16.

“Much like his elder brother, Ashcroft is developing into a hard working and smart accumulator who can consistently post big numbers… Often times, Metro’s transitions through the corridor passed through Ashcroft’s hands as he dictated play with efficiency and good decision making.” – Michael Alvaro, 2023 AFL U18 National Championships.

“Though he has the same high impact as his older brother, the younger Ashcroft has the added mongrel to his game, and is not afraid to ruffle some feathers in the process… He earned a couple of high free kicks to the frustration of his Eastern opponents, with Ashcroft loving the argy bargy.” – Peter Williams, 2023 Coates Talent League Round 1.

“Ashcroft displayed genuine big game ability… he attacked the ball hard and did just as much defensively with a couple of desperate rundown tackles. He almost kicked a crucial goal in term four and affected a big spoil on Elijah Tsatas in the same period, as he rose to the finals-like occasion.” – Michael Alvaro, 2022 Coates Talent League Round 16.

“Ashcroft won plenty of clearances while also being the major defensive player in the midfield with some strong tackles and pressure at stoppages… He did well to butter up his efforts and often get involved in forward chains.” – Ed Pascoe, 2022 AFL U16 National Championships.

“It was a game of two halves for Ashcroft, who started up forward before shifting into Metro’s midfield… Once moved on-ball, he came to life and generated serious drive for his side with an accumulation of possessions which saw his impact go through the roof.” – Michael Alvaro, 2022 AFL U16 National Championships.


While Will was a clear frontrunner in his draft year, Levi faces very stiff opposition in hopes of being held in the same regard. He will be right up there amongst a group of unique midfielders, but arguably boasts the highest footy IQ of the lot.

Ashcroft also sets himself apart with his two-way effort and work rate. Both factors allow him to stay involved in the contest through multiple avenues, most often with ball in hand. He also has observed elite examples of professional standards and has a high level of experience which will hold him in good stead.

Being tied to an AFL club will only further his readiness for the top level. While others may also play senior state league footy, Ashcroft will also have relatively consistent access to AFL facilities and strong links to the club he is like to end up at – Brisbane.

It’s set to be a tight race to be crowned number one in 2024, but should Ashcroft produce more of the same output as he did as a bottom-ager – no less, improve on it – he may well be impossible to deny. Either way, Lions fans can rejoice.


– 2024 AFL Academy
– 2023 U18 All Australian
– 2023 Vic Metro U18 representative
– 2023 Talent League Team of the Year
– 2023 Coates Talent League premiership
– 2022 U16 All Australian
– 2022 Coates Talent League premiership
– 2022 APS premiership

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