NEW Port Adelaide midfielder Trent Dumont has described his second chance at Alberton as a “big kick up the bum”.
Dumont was let go by North Melbourne after 113 games in eight seasons at the end of the 2021 campaign.
The 26-year-old was forced to wait until last month’s rookie draft before confirming he would continue his AFL career back in his home state, but he says so far it has been worth it.
“Naturally the process gives you a bit of a jolt,” Dumont explained during a press conference on Monday. “It’s aligned to what you want to do with your footy career and how much I value my football.
“I still think I’ve got a lot to give to the game but at the same time I saw it coming. I was told about a month before the actual decision that it was going to happen and it was sort of amicable.
“I told them I thought my best footy was elsewhere and in my heart of hearts I said I’d like to be back at Port Adelaide so they were happy with that and how it finished, and so was I.
“It was definitely a big kick up the bum. I suspect that’s how it happens for most people when they get a second chance and even though you don’t necessarily want that to be the case and you think I’ve got to be at my best all the time, that’s just the rollercoaster of professional spot.
“I’ve now just got to try be the best teammate I can be and try and get the best out of myself and help the club and each individual at the club.”
Fighting fit after off-season ankle surgery to fix a lingering leg issue, Dumont is eager to become a leader among his new teammates and take his game to “another level”.
He thinks being around family at home in Adelaide and surrounded by some of the quality players on Port Adelaide’s list will help him do that.
“First and foremost, I wanted to come to a club that was really settled and has been really competitive for the last couple of years,” Dumont explained of his desire to land at Port.
“Port has won a lot of football and played about one bad game of football this year and it happened to be in the prelim so that was huge.
“Just being home is important for me. I’ve got a big family that I love and a couple of health issues with my dad and my sister that made it more pressing with wanting to be back here.
“But I didn’t want to just come back and seem like I was relaxing. I wanted to come back and get the best out of myself and make this club get to the last game of the year and get a win there.”
Dumont played the final 14 games of the 2021 season, a campaign that was interrupted by injury and a feeling of being unsettle because of his desire to be back in Adelaide.
He sees himself playing on the wing or in the midfield for Port Adelaide, but says his goal is simply to break into the side and help it improve.
“Firstly, just getting in for every game and playing your role, which sounds like a bit of a cliché but with the top teams in the comp, everyone is firing on all cylinders and if you’re not you’re probably playing in the twos,” he said.
“The best of me is probably playing every game and playing a role each week on the wing or in the guts.
“I think I can add my relentless work rate, being a great team player and a bit of leadership for the younger guys.
“I’m in that age bracket where we’ve got the older players and the young stars and I can be just the join in between with the Wines, Byrne-Jones, Orazio – there’s not a whole heap in that age bracket so I just want to help out where I can.”
Dumont has now met almost all of his new teammates; just Jake Pasini and Mitch Georgiades remain with that pair training in Western Australia until after Christmas.
Port Adelaide’s first to fourth year players began pre-season training last week with the rest of the group joining in on Monday.