15/04/2024

Melbourne Victory Casey Dumont in action (Picture: A-League Women's, Design by Madeline Irwin)

After two consecutive seasons as one of the A-League Women’s best players, Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Casey Dumont attributes her golden form to her better work-life balance and her overall mental health.

During the A-League Women’s season, Casey Dumont has quite a busy life, but one that she says has helped her reach the form of her career for Melbourne Victory. Alongside her role as a goalkeeper during the season, she also juggles her nursing career and now will head into her first AFLW season with Hawthorn.

She spoke exclusively with The Inner Sanctum about how she’s reached the peak of her powers and how she has maintained her mental health through her busy lifestyle.

“[The reason I’m playing well is because] I’m enjoying life and I think it’s the best thing, on and off-the pitch it really shows so I have to give credit to [Melbourne] Victory they allowed me to nurse as well and I think that’s helped me in refreshing my mind,” Dumont told The Inner Sanctum.

“For example if we have a bad training session, I was able to go to work and just be distracted and start fresh again and vice versa.

“Everyone knows some shifts as a nurse can be terrible and some shifts can be just normal so that’s another good distraction is that I can finish a shift and just go to training and refresh and get those nice exercise endorphins to help freshen up my mind too.

“But [overall] I’m just happy, that’s the biggest thing like mentally, I’m proud of myself.”

She then opened up on the toll that injuries took on her mental health, she explained that as she started to change her perspective on negative thoughts, it started to pay off on the pitch.

“I think a couple of years ago I struggled with my mental health, especially when I had injuries like everyone knows I’d disappear and then would come back and get myself sorted again,” she said.

“From my achilles [injury in 2020] I really knuckled down and got control of my mind and I always tried to change those negative thoughts to positive thoughts and that’s been a big help with getting on with my day when there is a hiccup.

“[I] also too I think I’m not putting so much pressure on myself, I’m happy with being proud of who I am now [and] I’m not constantly reflecting or being super negative [about] my performance, I can just walk off the pitch and go right I did my job today.

Dumont says it is this philosophy that she’s taking with her to her new venture, playing Aussie Rules Football with Hawthorn for Season Eight. As a very young and developing team with loads of talent, she’s looking forward to taking a mentoring role as an elite athlete with experience to share.

“I think that helps as well that I’m then able to help the other girls go through that and then be like well that’s alright let’s go and reflect, so I think all those things are the reasons why I’ve had two good seasons now with Victory,” Dumont said.

“But then also my health is a lot better, my body is holding up, which then I don’t have to focus on my body, I can focus on the mentality side of it all.”

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Taking out the A-League Women’s Championship with Victory last season, Dumont topped off her stellar season with a Goalkeeper of the Year award. She discussed this honour and how it was just reaffirming her form and mindset was right.

“Surprisingly I was in Croatia when I won that award and I had no idea I was getting it, I was on holiday,” she said.

“I think that sums up [what] my mind was, like I finished last season and was so glad that I was able to help the team and get what we wanted, the result that we wanted in winning the league, so getting that trophy was just an added bonus.

“I didn’t have my eyes set on it, and I just did my job so to get that, it was great to have the accolade and it put a big smile on my face to show that what I thought was [a great season] was represented externally.

“It just helps prove the thinking on the inside but also it shows that what you are doing is the right thing and being gifted the reward at the end.”

At 31-years-old, Dumont has notched up over 100 A-League Women’s games, had an international spell with Australia’s Under 17’s and Under 20’s side as well as her three caps as a Matilda. However it is her upcoming AFLW career, being true to herself and getting her mental health back on track that tops her list of achievements.

“Wow, I’ve got [quite] a few achievements, so obviously [one] is when I represented [the] Matilda’s years ago, that was amazing to obviously get in the Australian team, nothing beats that, [I] went on in some of the major tournaments,” Dumont explained.

“It’s a major achievement that I’m starting out as a dual sports person, I’ve always been into multiple sports so the chance to have that and to say I’ll be a dual sports athlete is another accolade that I’ll be enjoying and I’ll be very proud of.

“I think the biggest achievement is that I’ve kept true to myself, I remember when I was a teenager, I wrote down a list of what I wanted to achieve and all of them were I wanted to go to a world cup, I want to the Olympics, I want to represent Australia at the highest level, those sort of things.

“But my biggest one, was one I wrote in capital letters and underlined, it was I want to be happy and have no regrets, and the more and more I get older, the more I absolutely smile at that comment because it’s happening.

“I’m achieving it and even with the negative moments like injuries and that it has [helped] me to grow as an individual and that makes me happy cause I know that I’ve got the sporting ability but to be a good human being as well, that’s what makes me the [most] proud.”

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