Moana Hope has found her home at North Melbourne.
The former Collingwood marquee forward detailed to AFL.com.au the difficulties she faced in the first two NAB AFL Women’s seasons, including a knee injury that hampered her first year, and more debilitating, dealing with anxiety and depression.
Hope said the move to North Melbourne – where the culture is “pretty amazing” – allowed her to have a “fresh start”.
“I put my hand up to say my first two seasons haven’t been great, but I also think a lot of people don’t know I’ve been injured at stages and mentally not strong,” Hope said.
“Everyone I’ve met here (at North Melbourne) has done nothing but put their arms around me and put my physical, mental and personal life before anything else.”
The 30-year-old came into the AFLW system as one of its highest-profile players. She kicked 106 goals for the St Kilda Sharks in the VWFL in 2016 and signed with the Magpies, one of the biggest clubs in the land.
Hope sustained the knee injury (diagnosed as a strained PCL in her right knee) in December, 2016 in the lead-up to season one. Although she played every game, she was under duress and fans didn’t see the best of her.
A lack of opportunities inside 50 was also an issue, although Hope ranks fourth for most goals over the two AFLW seasons (15), behind Carlton’s Darcy Vescio (19), Brisbane’s Jess Wuetschner (18) and Adelaide’s Erin Phillips (17).
Story – afl.com.au