Dual code Dumont making most of missed Matildas opportunity | Part II

THIS is part 2 of the story of new AFLW Hawk Casey Dumont. If you missed part one click here.

AFTER discussing the reasons for her move to the AFL Women’s and her experiences in Part I, Part II discusses her early beginnings and her goals for the future ahead.

Dumont was one of those kids who always liked being active, and that’s where her love for sport began.

“I’ve always been an allrounder, so I come from a sporting family too, so Mum was always a case of ‘let’s keep you active, keep you busy’ but also have the mentality of a team sport because you do have to chat and become friends with all different types of personalities, and I think just the more I did it, the more I loved it.”

“I think in previous interviews I’ve said I hated soccer in the beginning, which is very true, but I straight away went into netball and loved it. Loved the team camaraderie, loved playing other teams and win/lose situations. As much as I hate losing I also love so much more winning. So that passion just grew the more my mum enrolled me into more sports and it was great too because I kept saying to Mum I wanted to try all different sports, so I did all of them.”

“I did netball, soccer, softball, I did athletics, basketball, you name it I’ve tried it. Swimming, I’m from the Gold Coast so I did Surf Life Saving as well and did all the team carnivals. So just grew from there and then surprisingly I’m not bad and kept getting better with more coaching and the higher I kept getting the more my skill grew, and luckily enough I got the ability to turn professional in sport.”

Although these days she is well known for her exploits as a keeper, that has not been her only soccer position. Originally a centre back, sometimes “for s**** and giggles” she would also venture up and have a go as a striker.

After questioning why she was not enjoying the sport, she realised it was because she preferred to be in goals, which at that stage was not her full time position. She then decided to play in goals more and the love for the sport grew again.

There are so many uncertainties with her Australian rules football journey even at this stage for Dumont. She does not know yet where she will play on the field or whether she will play any VFL Women’s games before the AFLW season, but she is enjoying all the newness of the process.

At this stage she is expecting to be a forward or defender, or perhaps a back up ruck, but at the moment the focus is transitioning her from a soccer player to a football player, getting the basics down pat and then building from there.

However, she is clear in her goals for her first AFL Women’s season.

Although like any true competitive athlete she does want to make the team sheet for at least one round, Dumont has tried to be as realistic with her main objectives for her first AFLW season.

“Just to be a team player,” Dumont said. “I know I’m coming in as a rookie, very new to everything. I just want to help the team as best I can and I think the best part that’s making me happy is obviously with soccer I’m a very big name, starting player, regular starter.

“Whereas I reckon with Hawthorn Hawks I’m going to be a squad member, which you know what it’s nice to have a step back but also have to really be there to drive the team. The girls who are going to play, I want to be there like ‘hey do you need a drink? Do you need something? How can I help you to perform better? You want to reflect on the game? Sure I’ll sit down with you”.

“I have multiple goals, but the biggest one is just to make sure I’m the best team player that I can be. I think that’s the biggest one because to be realistic I’m coming in with no background, so if I set a standard of I’m playing every game, I don’t think it’s realistic.”

She has faced a number of injuries in her soccer career to-date, but has always come back stronger for the experience. Her advice to anyone facing a similar situation is pretty straight forward.

“Just keep going, no matter what type of setback it is,” Dumont said. “I’ve had them all, I’ve had physical, I’ve had mental, I’ve had work related, I’ve had coaches that have no liked my playing style for instance and have not been selected. My advice is to just keep going.

“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and with whatever path you’re choosing there is always an end result. Some of them you may have to cut ties and start fresh and new, but there’s always, always opportunities. What’s that really corny quote? One door closes and another opens, it’s really true and you’ve always got to be out of your comfort zone. As much as it’s nice to have that, more opportunities grow when you have that uncomfortable feeling and trying new things

“With all the injuries I’ve had and the, I’ll call them mental breakdowns because they were, just keep going and not to be afraid to ask for help. I was very stubborn when I was a youngster, that with my first proper two big injuries I thought ‘I’ve got this, I’ll do it on my own”, and I did disappear from the sporting world and thanks to nursing I was able to switch my mind away from that, but I should have asked more people for help or reached out a lot more because there are moments that just suck. “

“You can’t say that it’s nice the whole time, no there are days when you just do not want to get out of bed. You do not want to do that half an hour or rehab where it’s basic switching on a muscle, that it’s boring and you’re watching it in front of the TV and doing it, but those little things matter. That’s why you’ve just got to keep going, you’ve got to keep knuckling down, because even if unfortunately it might be a massive injury and you can’t come back from it, you’ve got to come back to life. You can’t stay in that hidden cave of ‘I’m injured, it’s not working’. Life still goes on and you’ve just got to find that love for something else if unfortunately your sporting career is over.”

And do not worry soccer fans, Dumont is not fully stepping away from soccer. She has every intention of returning to the Victory next A-League Women’s season.

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