If there were any question marks over Jed Anderson’s importance to North Melbourne, his performance on Saturday put a stop to that.
In his first senior match for 2019, after battling hamstring injuries over the past two months, Anderson had a huge impact through the midfield.
“Jed is someone we rate incredibly highly,” Brad Scott told AFL 360.
“I think there are those players that are rated so highly internally, but externally, maybe don’t get the recognition and credit that they do internally.
“I think every coach could name a player like that.
“For a long time, that was Ben Cunnington, but now the external recognition is matching the internal.”
The 25-year-old was a presence at the stoppages against the Crows, collecting 19 disposals, 13 of which were contested.
He also won 7 clearances and laid 6 tackles against a star-studded Adelaide on-ball brigade.
While Scott and his fellow coaches appreciate Anderson’s ability to win the ball, it’s his work away from the contest that sets him apart.
“He does some incredible stuff away from the ball that we really value and he really sets the tone for how we want to play,” the coach said.
The former Hawks’ impact wasn’t lost on those outside of the Roos’ inner-sanctum, with respected journalist Mark Robinson full of praise.
“He’s enormous for your team, isn’t he?” Robinson asked Scott.
“I’m not trying to overstate it here, but he’s such an important player.
“The Kangas, led by Shaun Higgins and Anderson, were aggressive with their running and at the contest.
"Higgins is an elite player and Anderson is a card-carrying member of the UUA (United Underrated Association)."
This Friday, Anderson will line up against Essendon, a side in which he recorded 20 disposals, 12 contested, won 6 clearances and produced 5 tackles the last time the Roos and Bombers met.