Hannah Munyard - History in the Making
Updated: Jun 20, 2020
'I would tell them to make the most of every opportunity. I recently learnt that life is made up of moments and it is about what you take and learn from those moments - and how they mould you as a player and as a person.'
It was February 2nd, 2018. South Adelaide kicked off their inaugural senior women’s season with a round one clash against Glenelg.
With both sides goalless after six minutes of play; the number six for the Panthers gained possession and kicked truly while on the run to give South their first goal of the game.
Looking back, that goal meant way more than just giving South Adelaide an early lead. In fact, that goal was the first senior women’s goal kicked in South Adelaide’s 140-year history.
As for the girl who kicked it; well it was an indication of what was to come for the humble number six.
Originally, when that ball crossed the line; she was a young and promising player from Mount Barker.
However just one year later, the name ‘Hannah Munyard’ is a name that is on most people’s radar, and it should be.
As in just twelve months she went from a local player with some potential; to a two-time SANFLW Premiership player and one of the most exciting football prospects in the state.
But originally for Hannah and so many others like her; she was forced to push her football dreams aside due to a lack of opportunities.
This meant that besides a small stint spent playing football with the boys at McLaren Vale when she was eight; Hannah’s early sporting career was spent playing netball;
“I was alright at it! Made some achievements, was never quite good enough; as soon as I heard the AFLW was starting, I jumped right in when I knew there was now a pathway; as I wanted to play since I was a little kid but didn’t have much interest playing with the boys.”
And this love of the game did in fact start when she was a “little kid”;
“My dad was a coach and my brother has played since I can remember. I used to go with my dad to my brother’s footy trainings after school, since I was about 6 till 10 and then I got into netball.”
With this in mind; it is not a surprise that Hannah jumped at the opportunity of finally getting to play the game she had dreamt of for years.
Beginning with the Mount Barker Football Club in 2017; her passion and dedication for the game saw her grow into an exciting prospect with great skills to match.
Her first season of footy was remarkable to say the least; as she won U16 Best and Fairest for her zone.
A determined and committed player, it was only fitting that her second season would be just as, if not better than her inaugural, and she didn’t disappoint.
As Hannah Munyard’s career hit a new level in 2018, as her talent was recognised and rewarded with a spot on the South Adelaide Football Club’s inaugural SANFLW team.
As mentioned earlier, she made history by becoming the first goal kicker for the new side.
However, if that wasn’t good enough; she went on to receive the Breakthrough Player Award for round one, becoming the first female South Adelaide player to receive the honour.
And by the end of her second year of football; she had added a SANFLW Premiership medallion and a state selection to her growing list of accolades.
“It was an amazing experience. The first year at South women’s under Krissie was the biggest learning curve for me and to come through with a premiership was an incredible end to my season.”
Hannah hit the ground running in terms of her football career, but the most impressive part is the fact that she continues to develop and improve each season.
With that in mind; Hannah’s third season of football has been the strongest indication of the young talents potential, as fans have been given a glimpse into the things that she is capable of doing.
2019 has seen her add another SANFLW premiership medallion to her name which is even more impressive when considering that she only turned 18 very recently.
“Favourite memory would have to be winning back to back premierships with South!”
But she didn’t just play in the Grand Final; Hannah played brilliant football consistently over the course of the season; cementing her position as an integral part of South Adelaide; not just with her skills but also by displaying great leadership skills.
“This year was also amazing to back it up with Rick and having a lot of new players in the team, not knowing how the team was going to come together. We really backed it up and we really clicked together as a team. Was another amazing experience.”
In total, Hannah finished the season having collected 195 disposals, 32 tackles and 30 marks form just 12 games.
This performance saw her finish second for South Adelaide’s Best and Fairest by just one vote. In addition to this; she earned a spot in the South Australian state team, the Central Allies and the SANFLW Team of the Year.
“Going to the Gold Coast with the Central Allies the last two years! Super blessed to have been a part in both of those opportunities.”
About the only thing that can compare to her accolades and skill; is her overall love and passion for the game;
“I love the competitiveness of footy and the opportunity it gives to make new friendships and meet new people. As well as learning about the game. I believe it’s the best sport in the world.”
And these friendships help to put into perspective the kind of player that Hannah is. With that player being an upbeat and compassionate person who has easily become a fan favourite;
“I loved being able to play with Teah finally this year. It was amazing to see her come back from her injury and not being able to play, to playing every game and killing it! She’s a legend off and on the field and I can’t wait to see what she can accomplish in the years to come.”
“I also loved playing in the Allies team with girls that I played against in the SANFL; like the great Maddi Newman, Emma Smith, Teagan Usher and many more friendships that will last a lifetime.”
And being a part of the Allies team is a cherished moment for Hannah;
“This year we connected as a team and all got along very well. We jelled which is why we had team success this year. There was a lot of individual talent and everyone used their strengths as well as coming together as a united team.”
“It was amazing wearing the guernsey designed my Andrew McLeod and knowing what it represented. It was an honour to wear the guernsey and an honour to represent two states.”
As mentioned before was Hannah’s leadership skills; which she has displayed countless times throughout her career so far. This, along with her experiences, makes any advice given by her a very valuable.
With that in mind, here is some advice she would like to give to fellow players that also climbing the ranks;
“I would tell them to make the most of every opportunity. I recently learnt that life is made up of moments and it’s about what you take and learn from those moments and how they mould you as a player and as a person.”
This is advice that she will undoubtedly follow as she continues along this very bright path that she has worked so hard to get.
With so much already experienced in such a short time, the next step for Hannah is;
"Well my goal for the year is to get drafted. Obviously, it’s not the be all end all for me this year because I have so much more I can improve on and I know I have a lot more to give. But I would love to get on an AFLW list and to be able to train and learn in the next elite environment. Excited to see where I can take my footy and excited to try to be the best person, I can be through it all.”
Which is very respectful; especially given how much success she has achieved at a young age but has managed to remain very composed, compassionate and humble.
And as a compassionate player; Hannah would obviously like to thank some of the people that have helped her along this extremely promising journey;
“My dad taught me most things I know about footy ever since I was a kid.”
“Then there was Krissie last year at South. She pushed me to think better about myself as a footballer. To know my strengths and to play my strengths. She pushed me to get better and to push myself. She also taught me structures and last year had to be my biggest year of growth under Krissie. I am so thankful to her.”
“My brother is also someone who always pushes me to be better. He knows how I can play my best football and whenever I see him watching me play in the crowd, I always want to play even better.”
At the end of the day; Hannah Munyard has come such a long way in only three years;
“I started playing because there was a girls’ team and I was so excited. My dad actually coached the team at Mt Barker that I was playing in. I never thought I would be playing senior SANFL footy the following year. Sometimes it feels like a dream but I’m just so thankful for the opportunities I have.”
And that dream is only just beginning for Hannah; with her being apart of just four South Australian female players who have been invited to trial at the 2019 AFLW Draft Combine.
Having already achieved a remarkable amount; Hannah’s tendency to push to be the best she can will see her continue down an extremely bright path.
At such a young age; it is only a matter of time before we see this exciting and humble South Australian playing at the top tier of women’s football; which is exactly where Hannah Munyard belongs.
Feel free to Share, and don't forget to Like and Subscribe for more on Women's Footy!
Article #28 (Updated)
Minutes with Moose would like to thank all of our ambassadors
None of these photographs are owned by MWM, all images supplied by the player.