Richmond’s reigning AFLW and VFLW best and fairest winner Monique Conti has signed with Women’s National Basketball League team, Southside Flyers for the upcoming season.
The 20-year-old will join the Flyers in the WNBL bubble in Northern Queensland for the compressed WNBL season set to take place in November and December.
It means Conti will miss the initial phase of the AFLW Tigers’ pre-season, but the star midfielder will be available for Round 1 and the entire AFLW season.
Conti, a dual code athlete, has played in the WNBL since 2016 when she signed at the Melbourne Boomers as a 16-year-old and has successfully balanced the juggling act of two elite sports since being drafted to the AFLW in 2017.
In that time the decorated youngster has won two AFLW best and fairests at Richmond and Western Bulldogs, a premiership in which she was best on ground in and been named as an All Australian.
The exciting youngster made the difficult decision to request immediate release from her Boomers contract to ensure she was able to play in Richmond’s historical AFLW season opener last year but had always intended to return to the WNBL.
“I am really grateful for the support I have received from the Flyers and Richmond to be able to take this opportunity and compete at both WNBL and AFLW once again,” Conti said.
“I’m super excited.”
Richmond Head of Women’s Football, Kate Sheahan said the Club was excited for Conti.
“We have always said to Mon that we want to play our part in helping her to become the best athlete she can possibly be, so it is fantastic she will get the chance to play in the WNBL this year,” she said.
“Basketball makes her happy, so we are thrilled for her. Mon has done some really amazing work over the winter months and we look forward to continuing to work with her when she gets back.”
Fellow AFLW Tiger Tessa Lavey will join Conti in the WNBL bubble, where she is a star player for Bendigo Spirit, with both players set to connect and get some football training in together while in Queensland.
They will rejoin their Richmond teammates in Melbourne for the post-Christmas block of pre-season training.