The AFL has cleared Hannah Mouncey to play in all competitions except for AFLW. Picture: Ray Strange
The AFL has cleared Hannah Mouncey to play in all competitions except for AFLW. Picture: Ray Strange

I won’t be thanking the AFL: Mouncey

THE AFL has cleared transgender footballer Hannah Mouncey to play in all of its competitions except its semi-professional AFLW league.

But it will stop short of its commitment to forming a policy about transgender players until the IOC and Australian Sports Commission make more progress on a "trans participation framework".

Mouncey said she welcomed the decision but slammed the AFL over its decision to knock back her AFLW draft application last year.

Mouncey is well under the testosterone threshold that determines whether she is eligible for Olympic sport but was still rejected by the AFL.

"I welcome the AFL's decision and I look forward to hopefully playing this season,'' she said Tuesday night.

"It would be highly inappropriate for me to thank the AFL for allowing me to do something open to every other Australian, which the science and research has supported all along.

Hannah Mouncey. Picture Kym Smith
Hannah Mouncey. Picture Kym Smith

"Had we simply gone by the research at the start we could have avoided the whole saga. I am however grateful that they took the time to look at this situation properly, as it's complex, and took all the relevant advice on board which was provided."

Mouncey has battled severe mental health issues through her transition and said she continued to battle with personal challenges.

But she is determined to continue pushing towards an AFLW berth so she can represent the trans community.

"Yes, the AFL may prefer that I did not exist or had chosen to go and do something else but that is not how it is and we are not people to be ignored in the hope that will happen."

Mouncey would have been drafted by several clubs for this year's AFLW competition, with transgender advocacy groups furious with the league's decision to block her entry.

It believed given the maturity of the competition and her size and "individual circumstances" it was not appropriate for her to play.

Mouncey can now play in the Victorian state league competition or in Canberra after playing for Ainslie in that competition with little controversy last year.

AFL inclusion and social policy general manager Tanya Hosch had her recommendation to allow Mouncey's participation in state league football ticked off.

The Australian national handball representative already has standing offers to train with several state league clubs.

She is yet to decide whether to play for Ainslie again or move to Melbourne as a stepping stone to inclusion for an AFLW side in 2019.



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