Conti keen to maintain WNBL, AFLW juggle

Anna Harrington
·2-min read

Monique Conti knows she might not be able to juggle two sports forever but, for now at least, the talented athlete has found her balance.

Conti quit the Melbourne Boomers in January, allowing her to play in Richmond's entire inaugural AFLW season and went on to win the Tigers' best and fairest.

But the condensed WNBL season in the North Queensland hub opened the door for Conti to play for the Southside Flyers - who begin their campaign on Thursday night - before the AFLW season ramps up.

While the 20-year-old concedes she'll likely have to hit pause on footy if her basketball career progresses as she hopes, it's not an immediate concern.

"As long as I'm with a couple of clubs that completely support me being a dual athlete then I will probably do it for a little while longer," Conti told AAP.

"But it will obviously get to a point where I have to put one away for a little bit and focus on the other.

"I obviously have aspirations and dreams to be an Opal one day.

"So whenever that time comes, I'm gonna have to focus solely on that.

"I'm still young and I still have have a lot of time so if I enjoy both ... I don't see why I should put one away for the minute.

"So I'm just gonna keep doing what I'm doing and then when the time comes I'll decide."

The Opals have next year's Olympics and then the 2022 World Cup on home soil in their calendar but Conti isn't looking beyond her "medium-term goal" of earning a maiden international call-up.

While basketball is the priority in the hub, Conti plans to catch up with new Richmond draftee and Bendigo Spirit point guard Tessa Lavey for a kick.

"We're going to try and get our hands on the footy as much as we can," Conti said.

"At Townsville there's a footy oval just next to where we're staying, so very convenient for us."

Having seen the rise of AFLW, Conti hopes this WNBL season will see more fans "flick on the telly" to watch a plethora of Australians - including her star teammate Liz Cambage.

"I love Liz, she's just an amazing character and she brings a lot of personality as we know," Conti said.

"With Liz playing it brings a lot of attention to the league which is probably something that we've been lacking, so that will be a huge bonus.

"She just is a great competitor (and has a) bit of white line fever, which we love."