IT'S BEEN a rapid rise through the ranks for North Melbourne's four-goal hero Courteney Munn, who made a stunning AFL Women'’s competition debut in round three against the Western Bulldogs.
She had a minor setback last week, missing round four with a low-grade calf strain, but will be back on the park for North Melbourne's blockbuster clash against Adelaide on Sunday.
The 20-year-old was earmarked as a developing key forward when she was selected by the Kangaroos with pick 36 in the 2018 NAB AFLW Draft.
But Munn's rapid improvement over the pre-season saw her play her first game well ahead of schedule.
Her first year of football was in 2017, when she played 10 games for then-VFLW side Seaford, her local side.
The Southern Saints obtained Seaford's licence for the 2018 VFLW season, with Munn playing 14 games and kicking 10 goals for them.
Her strong marking skills and goal sense were enough to convince the Roos to draft the third-year biomedicine student, despite how raw she was.
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"I played half a season of Auskick when I was really little, but mum said there was no future in playing football (at the time), so I switched to basketball," Munn told womens.afl.
"One of my basketball teammates, Ali Brown, got drafted by Carlton after six games of footy (for former VFLW side St Kilda Sharks), so I thought I'd give it a crack."
After two weeks as a travelling emergency, going to Hobart and Drummoyne Oval in Sydney, Munn got her chance in round three with injuries to fellow forward Sophie Abbatangelo and mid/forward Ash Riddell.
"I was pretty stoked when I got the phone call (from coach Scott Gowans) to say I was playing instead of sitting on the sidelines," Munn said.
Her debut at UTAS Stadium in Launceston was witnessed by her parents, grandmother and a few friends, who all travelled from Melbourne for the match.
It was a first game to remember, with Munn booting four, including a stunning one with a dribble kick from the pocket in the final term that was resoundingly celebrated by teammates.
"The environment in football is so much more supportive than in other sports … there's a real focus around having fun," Munn said.
"The match was more than what I had dreamed of. I dreamed of kicking one [rather than four].
"I whipped [the dribble kick] out of nowhere. Nah, I'd actually been planning it for years," Munn said with a laugh.