A former Ovens and Murray netball star has joined the sporting exodus north.
Vashti Muller debuted for Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes in Saturday's thumping 68-33 win over Leeton Whitton in the AFL Riverina Championship.
Muller posted a top five finish in the Toni Wilson Medal last year for Wodonga Raiders, but joined Victorian Netball League outfit City West Falcons for 2020.
Coronavirus fears also wiped out that competition, so the 19-year-old returned home to Henty.
"I have a younger brother (Ethan) who has connections at 'Mango' and he decided to have a look at 'Mango' and I was lucky enough for them to contact me at the last minute," Muller said.
"I loved it, going to Melbourne, it's very much netball there where (at Mangoplah) it's more community-based and I loved going back to the footy and netball."
The 183cm Muller made her name in the powerful O and M as a defender, but has played some attack in practice games.
"I was lucky enough not to play attack on the weekend," she laughed.
"As a defender, I know exactly what shooters don't like, as a defender I know what I don't like, so I just tried to do that on court (laughs)."
Mangoplah won last year's RFL title and while this year's competition is different, given not all the teams are playing due to COVID concerns, the club is still favourites.
"You could just see from the outset, Vashti was a class act, a real hunting, instinctive defender who takes a lot of risks to find the ball, which is fantastic because you have a much greater chance to get turnovers and give yourself more scoring opportunities," premiership coach Marie Hope said.
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"Vashti's just a powerhouse on court, she's fast, agile and as well with her height, reach and leap, I'm sure she will go far."
Mangoplah lost three grand final players, including Sam Creasy, but picked up three as well.
"Whenever you add a player late, particularly in a strong team, you're always aware of how other team members might feel about that, particularly if they're competing for positions, but I just think Vashti's such a lovely natured girl and has such a team mentality, supporting girls that she'd barely know, she will be a fantastic addiction to our culture," Hope said.