Coaches' survey: Who is the most underrated player?

ANNE Hatchard had a season out of the box in 2019, but some AFLW coaches believe she's still the most underrated player in the competition.

Following on from womens.afl's player survey, we also spoke to all 14 coaches (on the condition of anonymity) to see who they rate as best in the competition.

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Adelaide midfielder Hatchard improved her disposal average from eight to 19 in her All Australian season, on the back of a new health and fitness regime.

She was incredibly strong around the packs and damaging breaking away from contests.

With question marks over Erin Phillips' fitness coming off a torn ACL, Hatchard will be a vital cog in the Crows' midfield in 2020.

"I would have said Anne Hatchard 12 months ago, but maybe it's still Anne Hatchard," one coach said.

"She’s such an important part to the Crows, she had a terrific year. In that great team, I don’t think she gets all the accolades she should."

A whole range of players received a single vote for "most underrated", with Collingwood's Jaimee Lambert the sole forward nominated.

Some coaches believed established stars Karen Paxman and Maddy Prespakis don't receive enough kudos from the wider football world, while Deni Varnhagan and Chantel Emonson are two who probably aren't recognised by fans for their efforts.

Voting results

3 – Anne Hatchard (Adelaide)
1 – Jenna Bruton (North Melbourne), Steph Cain (Fremantle), Chantel Emonson (Melbourne), Nat Exon (St Kilda), Kirsty Lamb (Western Bulldogs), Jaimee Lambert (Collingwood), Kate Lutkins (Brisbane), Alyce Parker (GWS), Karen Paxman (Melbourne), Maddy Prespakis (Carlton), Deni Varnhagan (Adelaide) 

This is part of a series which saw each AFLW senior coach surveyed anonymously about who they regard as the best in the competition. Check back to womens.afl as more answers are revealed in the coming days.

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