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Hunt an AFLW Rising Star

FORMER Montmorency junior Bailey Hunt was selected as one of two Round 1 nominees for the inaugural AFL Women's Rising Star award.

Hunt, who played three seasons with Montmorency, collected nine disposals, laid three tackles and had two clearances in the Western Bulldogs’32-point victory over Fremantle on Saturday night.

Speaking at a press conference following her Rising Star nomination, Hunt said she was amazed by the public’s support during the opening weekend of the AFLW competition.

“It’s pretty surreal,” she said.

“The amount of people that were here on Saturday night, I’m still pinching myself. It was a good crowd, good atmosphere.”

Hunt began her football career with Montmorency in 2013. The following season she was named captain of the Magpies’ under-18 girls and won the side’s best and fairest award.

The following year she played senior football with the Magpies, before moving to Melbourne Uni in 2016 to play in the VFL Women’s competition.

Following a strong debut season in the VFLW she was selected at pick No.60 in the 2016 NAB AFL Women's Draft.

Still relatively new to the game, Hunt said she had never previously considered becoming a professional footballer.

“I always loved footy as a kid but there were no pathways. I never thought of playing football for a women’s team,” she said.

“When I was at high school a few of my friends were playing and it caught my interest because I knew how to kick a footy well. I took myself along to Montmorency Junior Football Club and have loved it ever since.”

Drafted by the Western Bulldogs just days after the club claimed the AFL premiership, Hunt said felt at home at the Whitten Oval.

“The (Western Bulldogs) have been excellent. The support staff we have, the coaches, everyone has welcomed us with open arms.

“All the people behind closed doors that you don’t see, they put in so much effort to make sure we’re happy and healthy. It’s a really good place to be.

“It’s definitely a step up. The long hours and we train at night time because we have full-time jobs. It’s difficult but we’re all pumped, we want to be here so it doesn’t bother us.”

The Northern Football League congratulates Bailey on her AFLW Rising Star nomination and wishes her continued success for the remainder of the season.