The big big sound is getting louder, with rising star Lachie Ash making the “easy decision” to re-commit to the GIANTS for two more years.

Ash, the number four pick in the 2019 AFL Draft, has elevated his game to another level under new coach Adam Kingsley this season to emerge as one of the AFL’s most lethal running defenders.

Ash said the direction of the club under Kingsley was key in choosing to ink the new two-year deal and remain with the GIANTS until the end of the 2025 season.


“Since they’ve [new coaching staff] come in it has been really exciting, but especially the last six or seven weeks,” Ash said.

“We’ve been playing really good, consistent footy and the club is heading in the direction that we all want it to go and where personally I want it to be and so it was an easy decision in the end to get it done.”

The 22-year-old, a former Vic Country co-captain, had previously been trialled in several roles throughout his first three seasons but has since blossomed under Kingsley and his staff in a more permanent role in defence.

The move has catapulted Ash into the conversation as one of the AFL’s most improved players, upping last year’s season average of 16.1 touches per game to 23.6 per game in 2023 - ranking him elite among his position across the competition.

The dashing half-back flanker also ranks ‘above average’ across the AFL in kicks (15.4 per game), handballs (8.2 per game), meters gained (407.5m per game), and marks (5.4 per game).

One of a number of GIANTS in the midst of the best season of their careers, Ash said the club was creating an environment that allowed its talented young list to thrive.

“There are a lot of guys are who playing career-best footy, and I feel that’s a reflection of where we are going as a club which is really exciting and made the decision to stay really easy.

“We’ve got some really good older guys that are steering us in the right direction that are playing some great footy and leading the way, but a lot of younger guys are starting to take the next steps in their careers as well. Tom [Green] and Finn [Callaghan] both re-signed earlier in the year and have been fabulous this year, Connor Idun has taken his game to a new level and Xavier O’Halloran the same.

“I love the boys and I feel we’ve got a really good group coming through,"

Ash said he was hoping to build on what has been a breakout season to date.

“I feel I’m really starting to get some continuity week to week whereas early on in my career it was a few good games in a row and then a poor one and things like that,” he said.

“I feel I’m starting to become a lot more consistent and doing what’s expected of me week-in and week-out, which is something that I’ve been trying to chip away at for a long time.

“Having a consistent role across half back and working with guys that play in the backline has been really nice to build some continuity with them and learning off them more so than anything.  Guys like ‘Whit’ [Lachie Whitfield] and Harry [Himmelberg] and [Nick] Haynes and guys like that is something I’ve really enjoyed this year and been good fun and hopefully that can continue, and we can win games of footy on the way.”

After starting the season at 2-4, the GIANTS have since found their mojo under Kingsley to enter Sunday’s clash with Gold Coast aiming to equal their club-record sixth straight win. A victory over the Suns in Canberra would also see the GIANTS crack into the top eight for the first time since the beginning of the season.

Ash said he was putting no ceiling on what the GIANTS could achieve this season.

“We’ve got real belief,” he said.

“No matter how we start the game we know we are going to finish the game strong and no matter what situation we are in we always believe we can come away with a really positive result for the footy club.

“You look at what Collingwood did last year. They didn’t start the year very well, but they came home really well. With six wins in seven weeks, we are really starting to build on something here … we have a lot of belief we can finish the second half of the year really strong and push into finals.”

Ash and the GIANTS will take on the Suns at Manuka Oval in Canberra on Sunday at 1:10pm.