THE REMARKABLE transformation of Adelaide's Anne Hatchard from a defender who would occasionally go forward, to a no-nonsense, hard-working midfielder is one of the stories of the 2019 NAB AFL Women’s season.
And the 20-year-old's secret? Ditching fast food.
"I have cut down on fast foods and it has shown how much it can make a difference," Hatchard told womens.afl.
"I worked really hard before pre-season to get my body ready pre-season training and changed my diet completely. I just feel a lot better with my body after having worked so hard.
"Our dietician gave me some different plans to follow, which has helped a lot."
RACE FOR FINALS Where is your team placed?
Hatchard's go-to dinner now is "chicken, rice and a bit of vegies" and she also enjoys other easy-to cook meals.
The results are plain to see.
Hatchard is averaging 22.75 disposals per game – up from 7.5 last year – and she is tied for ninth in the AFLCA AFLW Champion Player of the Year award.
The change in diet went hand-in-hand with her following an off-season program laid out by the Crows that featured a mix of interval and middle-distance running.
"I knocked at least 30 seconds off my 2km time trial and my Yo-Yo (endurance test) improved quite a lot, at least one level," she said.
"I have definitely improved my aerobic capacity compared to last year.
"When I came back and they saw me doing a bit better in the running, they're like, 'We might be able to put you through the midfield'."
FULL FIXTURE Check out when and where your club plays
Hatchard has worked closely with experienced duo Erin Phillips and Renee Forth on her midfield craft.
She's also played a pivotal role in the Crows' moving the ball more by hand, averaging 14.5 handballs per game, winning ground-ball contests and feeding the ball to the team's speedsters on the outside.
"We've brought handballing into our game a lot more compared to previous seasons," she said.
"We're really big on our ground balls."
The in-form Crows – who have won their past three games – face another tough test when they take on unbeaten North Melbourne in Werribee, south-west of Melbourne, on Sunday afternoon, a showdown between the top two sides in Conference A.