Footballer Hannah Mouncey has announced her return to football after a tumultuous year that saw her future uncertain.
Writing on Players Voice, Mouncey this week said she has moved to Melbourne and will be playing for the Darebin Falcons in the Victorian Football League.
“Until early March I didn’t know where I’d be living, let alone whether I would be playing football,” she wrote.
Mouncey said that joining the Falcons has been “serendipitous”.
“I have to say I couldn’t have landed at a better club,” she wrote.
“Everyone at the club—from the players to the coaching staff and the board—have been amazingly welcoming.
“They’ve maintained the community feel that I loved so much about playing in Canberra.”
Mouncey said she is still in disbelief at finding a welcoming club after feeling alienated from football.
“If you had told me three weeks ago I was going to play footy this year, I probably would have said you were nuts,” she wrote.
“I really wanted nothing to do with the sport. I was hating it.
“It wasn’t the fault of the club but, after the last six months, I really just couldn’t be bothered dealing with all the shit that came with it.”
Last year saw a public outcry when Mouncey was banned from the draft, after being set to become the AFLW’s first trans player.
She was inundated with transphobic abuse on social media after making headlines.
“I honestly don’t understand why people would be so interested in me for a start,” she wrote.
“I’m really not any different to anyone else.
“I also couldn’t comprehend the amount of hatred that came my way and the abuse online.”
Mouncey wrote that she felt constrained as a trans player.
“I feel that, in some ways, I just can’t win,” she wrote.
“If I have a bad game that’s clearly not good.
“But if I kick five or six goals that’s almost worse for me, because all of a sudden you’ll cop it for the next few days because so many people are convinced you can only do it because you’re trans.”
Mouncey said she is determined to continue playing the game she loves, despite her detractors.
“Not playing would mean I’d be letting all the online trolls win,” she wrote.
“I wasn’t about to let that happen.”