The Melbourne Victory goalkeeper spoke to the media today about the weekend’s loss at Western United and this weekend’s Grand Final re-match at Sydney FC. Ben Gilby reports for Impetus (22/11/22).
Above: Melbourne Victory goalkeeper Casey Dumont. Photo: 7 Sport.
It’s been a tough fixture schedule for Melbourne Victory to open their latest defence of the A-League Women title. A trip to a fired-up Western United for a derby clash in that side’s inaugural match in the competition, and now a trip to Sydney to face the team who Jeff Hopkins’ side has defeated in the last two Grand Finals.
However, goalkeeper Casey Dumont told the media today that the team go into this weekend’s game clear about what they need to do in order to get their bid to win a third straight title on track – and they are determined to perform even better to do so.
Reflecting on Saturday’s defeat to Western United, Dumont said: “We have reviewed the game. A lot of it was our own individual mistakes. We have high standards, but we didn’t bring it for the whole 90 minutes. There were good patches from us, but when we switched off, we really switched off.
“We need to learn from that and grow. Credit to Western United. We had a lot of chances, but we did the pretty soccer, but didn’t win the game.”
Whilst the personnel in the Victory defence is changed from last season, with a number of new arrivals, the 30-year-old shot-stopper does not see the need for any gelling with the players in front of her. Indeed, they are all faces she knows well, which bodes well for the club to build a solid backline in double-quick time.
“I’ve worked with all the players who are there (in defence) before – like Jess Nash – I was with her in New South Wales for the Future Matildas program.
“Kayla (Morrison) – before she did her knee, I had one game with her, but also all of that pre-season when we played some matches. Nat (Tatham) and I are both Queenslanders but we have always missed opportunities with each other, and KK (Elise Kellond-Knight) – I played with her back in Brisbane Roar days. We have connections that are already there. It’s just about building as a group.”
With Jeff Hopkins having outlined to his squad what is needed to right the wrongs of Saturday, Dumont is fully focused on getting a statement-making win at Sydney FC this weekend – and she knows that in order to achieve that, her team will have to win battles all over the pitch at Cromer Park.
“Playing Sydney will always be tough and comes down to who wants it more. We both have something to prove, Sydney lost (in Round One) as well.”
“Sydney v Victory is always one of those big games – mentally, physically. It’s about bragging rights. It’s always a close game, always down to those one percenters. Two seasons ago it was down to the last minute. It’s always like ‘Oh! Did you watch the Sydney against Victory game?!’ “
Whilst Victory has tasted success against Sydney FC in the last two Grand Finals, the goalkeeper, who was brought up on the Gold Coast, has lost none of the hunger for more silverware. Indeed, Dumont wants to win more than ever this season, and knows exactly what her side needs to do in order to also wrestle the Premier’s Plate away from the Harbour City side.
“There are a few things that we’ve pointed out that we want. Consistency is the main one. If you look at last season, the schedule threw us, but we want consistent wins. We need to be pinching those three points when we can, and react from a loss.
“Back-to-back-to-back (winning three straight Grand Finals) is the main thing. Having the (Premier’s) Plate as well is a big thing as Sydney seem to get it every time. Everyone will come to us saying ‘We want to beat the champions.’ Well, we want to be the champions.”
As we head into World Cup year, the Melbourne Victory goalkeeper revealed that she’s not immediately looking to add to her three senior caps for the Matildas. Instead, she has learned to live life in the now and appreciate what she already has at present.
“I’ve learned to live in the moment. What will be will be. Your path can change very quickly. I’m very thankful for the opportunities I’ve had. Whoever gets the opportunities (to play in the World Cup) I hope they grab it with both hands. It can get taken away from you. I’m positive about what the World Cup can bring, but I need to focus on the now.”
The now is Saturday’s trip to Cromer Park to face Sydney FC. It’s going to be quite some battle.