Mouncey’s early foray a suc­cess

Sunday Territorian - - SPORT - TIM MICHELL

TRANS­GEN­DER foot­baller Han­nah Mouncey de­fied the crit­ics to let her foot­ball do the talk­ing as she made her VFL Women’s de­but for Dare­bin yes­ter­day.

Mouncey, 28, sen­sa­tion­ally had her bid to play AFL Women’s last sea­son de­nied by the league in Oc­to­ber, but was deemed el­i­gi­ble to play for the VFLW premier and de­liv­ered a solid show­ing in yes­ter­day’s 54-point loss to NT Thun­der.

Play­ing pre­dom­i­nantly as a key for­ward, 189cm Mouncey had a dis­tinct height ad­van­tage over di­rect op­po­nents Tayla Thorn and Lau­ren O’Shea and fin­ished the day with a solid 11 dis­pos­als and a goal.

Op­por­tu­ni­ties were limited for Mouncey as the Thun­der dom­i­nated the first half and es­tab­lished a 55-point lead by the main break, with her best chance to hit the score­board com­ing mid­way through the first term when she dropped a chest mark about 30m out from goal.

Mouncey’s pin­point hand­ball sent team­mate Eloise Gard­ner clear dur­ing the third quar­ter and al­lowed her to kick the only goal of the term.

But the debu­tante was re­warded in the last quar­ter when she bus­tled clear of con­ges­tion and snapped her first goal as a Dare­bin player.

“She’s a re­ally great tar­get to kick to and she’s dan­ger­ous in the fact she can take a mark, but also when the ball goes to ground she’s hugely com­pet­i­tive,” coach Jane Lange said.

“It was great to see the girls get around her. She’s copped a bit of flak in the me­dia, but she seems to have set­tled in.”

Her goal was met with some of the loud­est cheers of the af­ter­noon at Pre­ston City Oval and shouts of “Go Han­nah” from the sup­port­ive crowd.

Mouncey wrote ear­lier this week she had been re­luc­tant to play foot­ball again as re­cently as three weeks ago, say­ing she “wanted noth­ing to do with the sport” and had at­tempted to rein in her in­flu­ence amid fears of on­line abuse.

“Every­one at (Dare­bin) – from the play­ers to the coach­ing staff and the board – have been amaz­ingly wel­com­ing,” she wrote for Play­er­sVoice.

Mouncey is un­sure if she will at­tempt to nom­i­nate for the next AFLW draft.

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