When Mua Laloifi stepped out of her comfort zone to take up football, she never imagined what would happen.
Two years later, the Maribyrnong resident finds herself on Carlton’s AFLW list after being taken in the recent AFLW draft.
Growing up, football was never in the equation for Laloifi and her family. It was always rugby and basketball.
Her brother Junior played in the Super Rugby competition with the Queensland Reds.
Laloifi was a more than handy basketballer playing in several championships with the Hume City Broncos.
Despite that success with basketball, Laloifi decided to try her hand at football two years ago.
“It’s quite foreign in my family, we’ve always had rugby and basketball,” she said.
“We’re still getting used to this.
“It was different, but I always like to challenge myself and it was pretty much that. It’s a different kind of ball.
“I got the feel of how it worked and the group of girls you surround yourself with, it’s rewarding.”
Last year, Laloifi played with Collingwood’s VFLW side while also combining playing basketball.
When a knee injury, while playing football, ended her seasons in both sports, she decided that she had to pick one sport. She picked football.
The 26-year-old said it was hard to step away from Hume and a sport that had come so naturally to her.
“I learnt my lesson trying to juggle the two sports,” she said. “The body couldn’t hold it and I had to choose one.
“I chose the right path for me.”
This year Laloifi moved closer to home, playing with the Western Bulldogs VFLW side. She was part of their grand final side.
Laloifi said her season this year was a lot better than her first.
Recruiters took notice of Laloifi’s form and she was invited to the AFLW draft late last month.
Carlton selected her at pick 52.
She said it was a relief once the draft was over.
“There was a possibility, you’re always a chance when you get invited into these things, I’m glad that’s over now.
“It’s really rewarding, I’m rapt to be proud of the Blues family.”
Laloifi is one of three Hume City Broncos players who were taken in the AFLW draft.