Things are suddenly looking brighter in Springfield just days after Brisbane's 71-point preliminary final thrashing at the hands of Geelong, with an off-season of brimming optimism officially underway.

Falling one win short of a grand final berth, Chris Fagan will be buoyed by his side's September showing after entering the post-season unfavoured to step past Richmond in the opening week.

A pair of wins over the Tigers and Demons defied the beliefs of many, including some Brisbane fans, with the Queensland club breaking the shackles of their finals - and MCG - hoodoo.

The Lions' list sits in the sweet spot of ninth oldest in the competition at an average age of 24.5 years per player for 2022, with just three players entering the year above 30 years of age.

Stalwarts Dayne Zorko and Daniel Rich continue to hold fundamental roles for Fagan, while Mitch Robinson's tenure in Brisbane has come to an end. Jarryd Lyons and Ryan Lester are the only other players who will break the 30-year barrier come Round 1 next season, with the latter's future still up in the air given his expiring contract.

It sees the Lions' list well-placed for the years to come, hoping to add to four successive top third finishes and soon claw themselves back to the summit of the competition.

It seems their list will only be stronger in 2023 too, with an extra year of service under the belts of Zac Bailey, Cameron Rayner, Brandon Starcevich, Keidean Coleman and Jack Payne.

Now within a month of the 2022 trade and free agency windows, the Lions will be looking at how they can take the next step, or two, for next season. And it seems as though the ink in some ticked boxes is already dry.

Father-son prodigy and worthy Pick 1 prospect Will Ashcroft has already pledged his allegiance to the Lions, while fellow father-son draft hopeful Jaspa Fletcher is also in line to join Brisbane as a top 25 selection at this year's National Draft.

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Add in wantaway Bulldog Josh Dunkley's request to join the Den on a long-term deal, and suddenly the lights are shining brighter in the Sunshine State.

But while the trio of seemingly imminent arrivals combine to formulate a mouth-watering list of additions to Brisbane's already talent-rich list, the avenue to land Dunkley, Ashcroft and Fletcher isn't an easy one.

The Lions currently hold Picks 15, 33, 44, 69 and 87 - tallying 2086 draft points for the 2022 National Draft.

Now, under the assumption Ashcroft warrants a Pick 1 bid from the Kangaroos, the Lions will be needing to fork up 2400 points (3000 points reduced by 20 per cent with F/S discount) alone for the Sandringham Dragons skipper.

We're one name into this checklist and already in the red. So here's how it might play out...

The Lions will be looking to move on their first-round selection (Pick 15) for the best pick split that comes their way. While top picks are valued with more draft points, multiple later picks will accumulate a greater sum.

For example: Pick 8 is worth 1551 points, whereas Picks 23 and 24 tally 1600 points.

Trading Pick 15 could see the Lions acquire a package of second and third-round selections, with a potential offering from next-door neighbours Gold Coast seeing Picks 25, 31 and 34, and therefore 1904 draft points, land with Brisbane for example.

The Lions may also look to split Pick 33 (563 points) or some of their 2023 draft selections for multiple later picks in the third round, with Collingwood a potential suitor as they hold Picks 42, 47 and 48 (1013), while Geelong also carry Picks 46, 51 and 54 (810) in the third round.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26: Will Ashcroft of Vic Metro celebrates a goal during the U17 Championships match between Vic Country and Vic Metro at GMHBA Stadium on June 26, 2021 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Morgan Hancock/AFL Photos)

A series of picks shuffles should free up draft points for Ashcroft and then some, with Fletcher then the next man on their list.

Looming as a late first-round to early second-round selection, Fletcher could warrant as much as 1200 draft points, while the Lions will be hoping any rival bid comes later into the night.

A bid at Pick 24 would see the Lions needing to hand over 628 points after the father-son discount, a sum easier to please than Ashcroft. A pair of third-round selections should be enough to get this done.

Then we look at the Dunkley situation and what value the bullish onballer might be worth. Two years ago, in Dunkley's attempt to become a Bomber, the Dogs demanded a pair of first-round picks from Essendon, with the substantial asking price the reason why the deal fell through.

Now with Dunkley's contract at an end, the Dogs hold less bargaining power and may be open to attaining just the sole first-round selection, with that pick looking to be the Lions' future first-round.

Perhaps not enough to see the Dogs hand over the 25-year-old swiftly, but a trade is likely to circle around that 2023 pick.

Should Brisbane be able to attain enough picks to land Ashcroft and Fletcher without moving their future first-round pick, then any compensation for the departure of free agent Dan McStay might come into the mix for the Dunkley trade.

BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Caleb Daniel (left) and Josh Dunkley of the Bulldogs celebrates during the 2017 AFL round 22 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Port Adelaide Power at Mars Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

While also a handy additional selection to have should the Lions be needing more draft points, the compensation could please the Bulldogs in adding the selection to negotiations for Dunkley.

The pick itself is likely to fall in the second round of this year's draft, but a large enough deal from Collingwood for McStay could see the compensation slide to the back-end of the first round.

Given reports of a five-year, $3 million deal, the Lions are likely to land a pick in the second round and gain a selection that can be split for more points or help sweeten the Dunkley trade.

The recruitment of Ashcroft, Fletcher and Dunkley is sure to leave the Lions scarce for selections for the draft, both this year and next, but they'll be well within the premiership race and strapped with a young enough side to have their attention focused elsewhere on the here and now.