Chad Wingard is a wanted man this pre-season. 

Fresh off a third-place finish in the Peter Crimmins Medal count, Wingard is a topic of debate amongst coaches as they look to assign a position for the 27-year-old this pre-season.

Wingard thrived in 2020 as he split his time between the midfield and forwardline, with the club's Head of Development Sam Mitchell suggesting it may be a similar story in the upcoming campaign.

"At the moment he is spending a bit of time in both areas - when he is in the midfield, (forwards coach) Craig McRae is saying 'hey, can we have Chad back please!', and when he is in the forwardline, Brendon Bolton is saying 'I think we should have Chad come up to the stoppage'," Mitchell said. 

"So, he is definitely the guy I think they're both trying to get hold of."

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Mitchell said the supremely-talented Wingard had been a stand-out throughout the summer - not just for his array of scintillating moments, but the consistency of his work too.

"The thing with Chad is, when he turns it on, there is no one as special as him at the moment.

"He can just go straight through people with his evasion!

"He is doing some really good things on the track, he has been able to produce some consistency which is a hard thing to get at this time of the year."

Mitchell also shed light on a trait of Wingard's that is perhaps underrated by the public perception.

"I think the thing that is misplaced about Chad and people don't appreciate about him is how competitive he is - he hates to lose.

"So, every time we're doing something that's not up to the standard that he thinks is where we need to be, he is happy to drive the standard and make sure he is always pushing for us to get better and better and better.

"The more players we have doing that for, not just themselves but every player around them as a collective, that really helps us.

"I think, with Chad, he feels comfortable around the place having been at the club for a couple of years now and I feel like he has really found his place and found his niche as a well-respected member of the group, not just for his football ability but for his care, compassion and competitiveness."