From Boomer low to Bulldog high: Conti's rollercoaster

IN THE space of 48 hours, Western Bulldogs forward Monique Conti went from the disappointment of having her Women’s National Basketball League championship dreams dashed to helping the AFL Women's reigning premiers kick-start their title defence.

Conti would have been watching the Bulldogs from home had the Melbourne Boomers beaten the Adelaide Lightning in game two of their semi-final series last Thursday night in Adelaide and forced a decider in their best-of-three series.

Instead, a loss ended the Boomers' season and meant Conti was a late inclusion for the Bulldogs' season-opening one-point win over Adelaide at Norwood Oval last Saturday night.

"It was definitely a rollercoaster of emotions – coming off a low from basketball to the high of playing footy," Conti told womens.afl.

"I haven't had a proper football training session for months, so to go out there and be off a leash and just run around was a really good feeling.

"There were a lot of nerves and I wasn't sure how I was going to perform.

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The Crows and Bulldogs clash in Round 1 of the AFLW

"I'm pretty happy with my second half and it's good just to get back into it and get my hands on the footy again."

The 19-year-old, who won the best-on-ground medal in last year's AFLW Grand Final, played as a high forward in the victory.

Conti was a revelation for the Bulldogs in her debut season last year, averaging 13.8 disposals per game through the midfield.

She is likely to be moved back there once she gets a solid block of football training under her belt.

"Training on the basketball court every day keeps my fitness up," she said.

"It's a lot harder (with football) being played on a much bigger ground, plus you're on grass with boots on.

"I'm just focusing on improving on my first game and seeing where that takes me."

Conti has been playing football since she was eight and was the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NAB AFLW Draft.

She has spent her life juggling the two sports and hopes that can continue for as long as possible.

"One day (I will have to choose), but it's not time yet. I haven't really thought that far ahead," she said.

"I want to make the Opals (the national basketball team), but then again, AFLW keeps getting bigger and bigger.

"I'm just going to play both for as long as I can and see where that takes me."

The Bulldogs return to Whitten Oval this round, where they will host Geelong on Saturday night.