THERE was a collective disappointed sigh across the AFLW world when Adelaide announced co-captain Chelsea Randall had torn her ACL on the first night of pre-season.
And womens.afl's player survey demonstrates why, with the high-flying Randall voted the best defender in the competition, "even with one leg", as one respondent said.
The 28-year-old is a highly entertaining player to watch, an elite athlete with top-tier footy smarts.
Often camped behind the ball, Randall – who will sit out this season recuperating – is the general of the Crows' two-time premiership-winning defence.
Randall is more than capable of a lockdown role, but her biggest strength is flying across packs as an intercept defender.
She is a strong overhead mark and has a clean kick to boot, crucial in her rebounding role.
The Crow dominated the voting – which saw one player from each club surveyed anonymously – picking up eight nominations.
"She's a jet. It's going to be tough to see her not play but she's definitely hands down the best defender," a second player said.
Another Randall, the ferocious Giant Pepa Randall (unrelated), picked up two votes, as did All Australian Cat Meg McDonald.
Brisbane duo Kate Lutkins and the unheralded Shannon Campbell also received nominations.
8 – Chelsea Randall (Adelaide)
2 – Meg McDonald (Geelong), Pepa Randall (GWS)
1 – Shannon Campbell, Kate Lutkins (both Brisbane)
This is part of a series which saw 14 players – one from every club – surveyed anonymously about who they regard as the best in the competition. Check back to womens.afl as more answers are revealed over the coming days.