PORT ADELAIDE recruit Trent Dumont says he probably has to thank some links to one of the club’s biggest rivals for helping him land at Alberton.
Dumont was picked up in last week’s rookie draft after being delisted by North Melbourne at the end of last season.
The 26-year-old played 113 games for the Kangaroos after originally being drafted from SANFL club Norwood back in 2013.
He was part of the Redlegs’ 2013 premiership team, where he was coached by now Port Adelaide assistant coach Nathan Bassett and played alongside Port Adelaide forward Orazio Fantasia.
Dumont’s time at the Parade also overlapped with Port skipper Tom Jonas’ time there, and the midfielder says those Norwood connections might have had a role to play in getting him to Alberton.
“Kenny was saying that the Norwood mafia kept pestering him to get me across so I might have to thank them,” Dumont said on Melbourne radio on Tuesday following his first day at the club.
“It is good to see them. I played in a flag with Orazio and Bass as coach and I’ve always loved them.
“They’re really good operators and it definitely makes things easier having some people who already know you at the club.
“At the same time, I’m excited by the change and meeting heaps of new people. All of the young boys have been awesome, so welcoming. Everyone has got across to me on a text message but actually training with them yesterday for the first time, it felt like a nice new home.”
Dumont was forced to wait until Friday’s rookie draft to confirm his future in the AFL, having departed the Kangaroos more than a month ago.
The versatile ball winner admitted there were times he doubted he would get a second chance in the system.
“Within yourself you have that belief but sometimes you question whether it’s going to happen or it’s going to come to fruition but all I was searching for was just an opportunity somewhere and then putting all my ducks in a row to make it work from now on,” he explained.
“Landing at Port, a club that’s going really well, and guys that I can learn off. I’m training with the young boys at the moment and there’s plenty to learn off there, and Boaky and Robbie Gray were getting around as well.
“There are some elite players, some elite trainers and I think it’s going to help me to get the best out of my footy as well.”
Dumont says he sees his best football being played in the midfield, despite being a “Mr Fixit” at North, where he found himself playing across all three lines at various stages of the last couple of years.
And while he was disappointed to leave Arden Street, he explained a fresh start was exactly what he needed.
“There’s a full rebuild (at North) and I’ll put my hand up, I had probably my worst year out of my last four just with the injury at the start and coming back,” Dumont said.
“We had a lot of coaching changes and a lot of staff changes and trying to learn the way we wanted to play on the fly because I only started playing with the team in Round 7 and missed all of pre-season, it was tough at times and I didn’t play the footy I wanted to play.
“I went into the off-season having fixed up my ankle and I wanted to get to where I was in previous years but in that time, they decided to go down that path of a proper rebuild and (coach David Noble) Nobes has every right to have the club in the way he wants to.
“It was sort of an amicable decision. I felt like my best footy was elsewhere because the role change was something I didn’t necessarily agree with but I wish them all the best.
“I feel like I could play a solid role inside for Port and outside I can play as well. If you look at Karl Amon, he does a bit of both and they role a few players through there, they’ve got a fair bit of depth so I’m going to have to work my arse off to get in but that’s where I see my best footy.”
Dumont met most of his new teammates and coaches on Monday when the 1-4 year players returned for pre-season and others will join next week.
While he is determined to give his full focus to football, he needs to rent out his house in Melbourne and find somewhere permanent to live in Adelaide in the coming weeks.
Having come from a club that is rebuilding to a club that has been challenging for a premiership in recent years has Dumont excited for what is to come, and he hopes by working hard, he will be able to break into the side and make a difference on the park.
“I haven’t really thought about that but it is a huge opportunity to come to a club that has been playing finals and close to the club that’s won the most games in the last few years but haven’t been able to get the last two wins,” he said.
“Hopefully I can be part of that and that is exciting. Going to a club like Port, which is right in the premiership window. It’d be great to be involved but I understand how much work is about to go down and I’m looking forward to that part of it.”