PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 25: Jeremy McGovern of the Eagles marks the ball during the round one AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Sydney Swans at Optus Stadium on March 25, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Hawthorn great Dermott Brereton has declared that West Coast star Jeremy McGovern is the “the most important player in the competition.”

Brereton believes McGovern’s influence on games has gone up two fold with the style of footy played this season.

“The style of football that’s being played at the moment, the only real time you get to catch the other team out is when you intercept mark the ball, and their caught out of position,” Brereton told SEN’s KB and The Doc.

“The person who is the best in the competition at intercepting in a marking sense is Jeremy McGovern – by far.

“When he’s marking the ball like that, he gives the West Coast Eagles the best chance of winning the game. He’s the only aerialist backman I’ve seen that opposition tag, to stop him from marking the ball.

“Those teams with meaningful existence at the very sharp end of the ladder – he is the most important player and that makes him the most vital player in the competition.”

McGovern, 27, is a three-time All Australian and a premiership player.