Best to come from Tigers' AFLW ace Conti

Monique Conti was the standout performer for Richmond in their maiden AFLW campaign.
Monique Conti was the standout performer for Richmond in their maiden AFLW campaign.

Monique Conti's dazzling individual displays were undoubtedly the highlight for Richmond in their winless maiden AFLW season.

The cross-code star averaged almost 20 disposals across six games despite having limited preparation for the football season after switching her focus from basketball.

The Tigers are already salivating at the prospect of seeing the 20-year-old in full flight when AFLW returns on the other side of the coronavirus pandemic-enforced end to the season.

"Mon is an unbelievably gifted sportswoman," Richmond head of women's football Kate Sheahan said.

"She didn't really do a pre-season... so we sort of knew the first couple of rounds were going to be an opportunity for Mon to find her feet.

"But holy moly, can that girl play.

"Imagine not having a pre-season, not doing any contested work with your teammates and then stepping in and being someone who can rack up 20 possessions in a losing team every week."

Conti averaged 15.7 disposals in 15 games during two seasons with Western Bulldogs while juggling basketball commitments, and was named best afield in the 2018 AFLW grand final.

Conti claimed the Bulldogs' best-and-fairest award in 2019 and was named in the All-Australian team before joining Dogs teammate Katie Brennan as a high-profile defector to the Tigers, who were one of four expansion teams this year.

Basketball's loss was Richmond's gain in January when Conti opted out of the finals-bound Melbourne Boomers' WNBL campaign to commit to football.

"She's on a two-year deal, so she's a Tiger and we have no intention of losing her any time soon," Sheahan said.

Conti was Richmond's leading possessions winner in half of their matches and finished in the top three in each of the others.

Her most prolific effort featured 28 disposals and five tackles in a high-scoring encounter with Geelong in round four.

She had a game-high 22 possessions when the Tigers were held goalless by St Kilda in round six.

But Sheahan believes Conti's best is yet to come.

"I'm really excited by how the girls are coming together and getting to know each other's games. That's only going to help her going forward," Sheahan said.

"There's not a trick in the book that Mon doesn't have.

"We're pretty excited by what she can bring in the next couple of years."

Australian Associated Press