Hannah Mouncey’s local coach, Chris Rourke, admits he is shocked at the AFL’s decision to reject her bid to enter today’s AFLW draft.
The AFL cited the “available data on transgender strength, stamina, physique along with the specific nature of the AFLW competition” as the reasons behind their call on Mouncey’s eligibility.
However, Rourke, who has had a first hand look at Mouncey’s football abilities at Canberra club Ainslie Tricolours, wonders if anyone on the AFL’s subcommittee that decided on her bid took the time out to observe her play.
“One of the things I’m surprised about is I don’t know how many of these people have seen her play,” he told SEN Breakfast.
“She certainly didn’t tear the competition apart. I watched her a couple of times, yes she is very big and strong, but she didn’t bash anybody up or crash into anybody. When I first saw her run out, I thought jeez, she’s big, but the opposition wasn’t frightened of her.
“She went about her business and nobody seemed too afraid of her. She’s not Daisy Pearce by any stretch of the imagination. She is big and strong, sometimes she can read the ball well and can catch it. She is an ok kick, so she has a bit of talent for sure.
“If she is allowed to play women’s footy up here, I don’t see her not being allowed to play in a better competition.”
The current cohort of AFLW players were taken into consideration throughout the decision making process, but Rourke says none of the opponents Mouncey faced in Canberra made an issue of it.
“After some games, a couple of people have mentioned it, but not the women,” he said.
“It’s more the blokes watching the game and spectators who take one look at think, jeez, she would kill somebody because of her size. No one officially complained to the club.”
Mouncey can nominate for the AFLW draft again next year.
At 190 centimeters and 100 kilograms, she has spent the past season playing in the ruck for Ainslie, having been given approval to play in the women’s league.
The 27-year-old was part of the national handball side that competed to qualify for the Rio Olympics as a man, before undergoing hormone treatment to transition to become a woman.