Marvelous Mundy on a quest to make her own story

THIS YEAR is shaping up to be a year of change for Melbourne Vixens’ midcourter Hannah Mundy.

As someone who has always been better know by and connected to who came before her, 2024 is the chance for Mundy to really make a name for herself. As the daughter of a netball great in Shelley O’Donnell, it was perhaps only a matter of time before young Mundy would end up in the netball world.

Mundy started playing the sport at a very young age, and then progressed through to her local club and then ultimately the pathway system. However, she did not make her first state team until her top age year in Under 17s.

It was at the National Championships, where Victoria finished second, that was an awakening for Mundy that netball was the path for her career wise.

Then came another defining year in 2021. Mundy initially earned a training partner position with the Melbourne Vixens, but after their captain Liz Watson went down, Mundy was elevated to temporary replacement player for the rest of that season. She has since gone on to earn a more permanent spot in the Vixens’ team.

Although her mother is well known in netballing circles, Mundy said that did not add too much extra pressure to her.

“I think there’s perceived pressure, but for me growing up I didn’t have the same last name as mum, so there wasn’t really that correlation there from the beginning so I kind of could just be myself,” Mundy said. “When I got to the more elite pathways and people started knowing, I didn’t let it affect me and I think because we have such a different game I think, some people say we play similar but I think we’re very different, and I think creating my own journey was something I always wanted to do and not have mum there kind of being that safety blanket.”

When she came into the Vixens as replacement player for Watson, Munday said that “it was super daunting.”

“I idolised Liz growing up, being a centre/wing attack,” she said. “When she told us she was going to be out for 12 months, the thought of replacing her wasn’t even in brain. I just didn’t even think it would be an option, so I was devastated for her.

“When I got the call up the week of my debut, I was in so much shock and yeah replacing someone of her calibre is something probably no one could do, so it probably took a while for me to get my rhythm on court, create those nerves and excitement took a couple of games. I think it was important for me to remember I’m not Liz and I don’t play like Liz, and creating my own kind of gameplay was important to remember.”

After the highs of her first season, the subsequent seasons have seen Mundy not get too much game time, but it was not all doom and gloom for the young star.

“I think my first year was pretty different to what anyone’s first year would be in the way I got most game time, so then in the second year and third year I actually quite enjoyed taking a step back and actually just be an impact player and watch on, actually analysing the game and seeing where I could impact,” Mundy said. “Obviously the dream is to play full games, but I have that element under my belt now though that I’ve sat on the bench does add to resilience, and it really outlines how valuable court time is.”

This year is a new beginning for the Vixens, and Mundy is excited about what might be ahead for her and her side.

“For Vixens there’s a pretty fresh roster, fresh game plan and it’s really exciting,” Mundy said. “I think being able to create a different energy at the club is really exciting and the possibility of more game time is exciting, but there’s a different role to play.

“I think an impact player is in a way some people would say is easier, so I think having a starting seven spot potentially is more pressure, but everyone is just super excited to get out there and play combinations because I think we have such a versatile team that people can come on and off the bench which I think will be a real strength of ours.”

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