Mouncey’s early foray a success
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.