It has been a big year for emerging Ultimate star and Melbourne Flames rookie Simar Dhaliwal.

The tall and athletic 22-year-old from Melbourne was part of a winning Ellipsis team that claimed glory at the Australian Ultimate Championships.

She also competed with the Bluebottles – Australian Mixed U24 Ultimate Team at the U24 World Championships and travelled to America to take part in the US Open with Ellipsis.

Now, the young receiver is relishing the opportunity to take part in her first season in the Australian Ultimate League and is loving every second of it.

“My first AUL season has been a truly incredible experience,” Dhaliwal said.

“Getting to play in a league where the depth and pool of talent is massive has taught me so much about the game and how I play.

“There are no easy match ups, each point you have to run at your hardest and grind.

“Playing six vs six has been a new challenge because there is so much more space to run and changes the dynamic of traditional frisbee offensive and defensive structures.”

Playing through the pain

There are no shortcuts in professional sport and sometimes the best road is the hard road.

That is exactly what Dhaliwal has faced in AUL 2019 after hyper-extending her knee in the pre-season.

She bravely battles through the pain with a heavily strapped knee and still routinely makes the highlight reel.

“After spending this year preparing nationals and u24 World Championships, I’ve come into the AUL in peak fitness whilst feeling strong,” Dhaliwal said.

“But you may see a compression bandage around my knee. I unfortunately hyper-extended my knee in the warm up for the first game colliding with my own team-mate Josh de Bell.

Thankfully having our very own physio team-mate, Lefty (Chris Stoddard), meant that he was able to do an assessment and deemed me still fit to play.

“I’ll be rehabbing and recovering as much as possible to prevent further injury. It’s definitely affecting me accelerating and changing direction, so I’m going to do everything I can to be back up to good condition by the end of the season.”

Wary of a dangerous Adelaide

The Melbourne Flames will take on the Adelaide Dragons tonight, a team that has yet to taste victory in the AUL.

While their trophy cabinet may be empty, the Dragons recruitment has been strong and they have been highly competitive in their two losses to date.

Dhaliwal knows any lapse from the Flames will open the door for Adelaide to seize victory.

“We are expecting a lot of dangerous big hucks being thrown by players like Sean Davis and Di Worman with fast receivers like Michaela Dunmall, Sally Yu and Mike Kelly,” she said.

“The throwers on this team can hit any space so we will be looking to shut down the open deep and handler space as much as possible too, forcing them under to take away the long game.”