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Casey Dumont has reinforced her reputation as the A-Leagues’ penalty shootout queen after inspiring a first Liberty A-League Finals win for Central Coast Mariners. Ahead of this weekend’s Semi-Final first leg against Sydney FC, she speaks to aleagues.com.au.

Practice makes perfect… just ask Casey Dumont.

With a penalty shootout looming last weekend under the lights at the Home of the Matildas, there was a sense of inevitability.

She had been in this position before. This was a three-time Australia international with a reputation as a penalty expert having won all four of her previous shootouts.

That incredible 100% record in the Liberty A-League was preserved. Dumont – unsurprisingly – was the hero for Central Coast Mariners, saving two penalties and converting one of her own to upstage her former team Melbourne Victory in the Elimination Final.

Those heroics not only gave the Mariners their first ever finals win but set up a mouth-watering two-legged Semi-Final showdown against defending champions Sydney FC.

Dumont, though, insists “there’s no secret” when it comes to penalties.


“It’s just practice,” the legendary A-Leagues goalkeeper told aleagues.com.au.

“It really comes down to practice makes perfect.

“If you ask any team I’ve been apart of, I’m always nagging the minute we make finals, we have to practice penalties. Even if you ask my teammates, I make sure that if they’ve missed or it’s been saved, they go again exactly straight after so they get over those nerves and try again and make sure they get it.

“Those that I have saved within my team, then I tell them ‘hey, you’re just a bit predictable in this, can you try this instead? If not, ignore it’. It’s more just kind of mentoring. There’s no secret to it.

“I have that inner confidence to be like, ‘you want me to go first? No worries I’ll go first’. Then once I’ve gone first, then it’s a case of now I need to do my biggest job which is to try and stop shots.

“(I) seem to be really good at them and love them (smiling). (I) always enjoy stepping up to that challenge when it comes because I feel like they’re the moments that really show who is a professional in being able to control those nerves but it also shows who is there to support the team no matter what.

“I’ve been part of penalty shootouts before the A-Leagues that I lost and it was the moments after that I need to get around my teammates.”

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Dumont was not only a menace between the sticks on Sunday evening, the 32-year-old also stepped up to convert a penalty beyond Courtney Newbon.

It’s become common place for the goalkeeper and is something that dates all the way back to her time as a baby-faced 16-year-old with Brisbane Roar, who were coached by current Victory boss Jeff Hopkins at the time.

A “funny story” sparked the teenager’s transformation into the competition’s undisputed shootout Queen.

“So my very first season in the A-Leagues with Brisbane Roar, I remember we went to a penalty shootout against Sydney FC in the Semi-Final,” Dumont recalled.

“No one was nominating themselves to go first. Me being a confident 16-year-old I guess, I went I’ll go. Worst case I miss and then I have to try to save one. Jeff was like ‘are you sure?’. I was like ‘I wouldn’t have said yeah I’ll do it if I wasn’t. I’m nervous but I’ll give it a go’.

“Ever since, I’m just like, you either get it in or you don’t. You get nervous but you might as well take one – you’re constantly trying to keep the ball out, why not put the ball in the net? It’s been then on. I like doing this and I’m going to take one.

“If you ask most people, because we constantly train to keep the ball out, we know the spots that are the hardest to save. We know where the goal is because they aren’t going to move.

“I like doing it. I like setting the tempo for the team and being the leader.

“I use it as my own momentum. Everyone kind of says I’m ice cold but I use it as ‘okay step one done, step two lets save, then step three try and save again. Then step four you’re on the winning team’. It’s my to-do list to stay in that momentum.

“I do the whole smile and just enjoy what you’re doing because it takes away the added pressure which is already there from external factors. I just step up and do it.

“I practice it too, don’t get me wrong. I make the other keeper at training jump in and try to see if they can pick where I’m going and ask them for feedback afterwards.”

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Dumont is back in the Liberty A-League after a “rollercoaster” 12 months.

She joined the Mariners in November after a cross-code switch to the AFLW with Hawthorn.

Having called Melbourne Victory home since 2017, Dumont initially made the switch in the Liberty A-League off-season before eventually departing the club at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

She had never played AFL in her life when the Hawks approached her; former coach Bec Goddard had messaged her on Instagram, having previously worked with A-Leagues legends Ellie Brush and Jenna McCormick.

Dumont has previously opened up on her Victory exit and how it hurt.

As Dumont put it, “one door closed and two others opened”. Asked about the circumstances surrounding her Victory departure, the goalkeeper preferred to focus on the present – life as a dual-athlete, her time with the Mariners and the excitement around being contracted to Hawthorn for next season.

“I was a complete rookie. For s***s and giggles, I kicked a ball around but I’d never played in my life. I was a true rookie through and through for the first week of pre-season,” said Dumont, who is yet to make her competitive debut for the Hawks.

“I got approached and thought, I’ve been part of the Matildas before, I’ve done a World Cup, I was part of the Rio Olympics, I’ve done many Asian Cups, I’ve won Championships – almost done everything I can in soccer. The only thing I haven’t (done) is playing overseas.

“But it was a case of what more can I do? Now I get to class myself as a dual-athlete.

“Hawthorn were amazing in going ‘that’s okay, we will teach you the fundamentals’. They were so open and understanding that it was completely new. Boy am I glad I did. It’s a whole different world. It’s apples to oranges in comparison to soccer.

“I’m so glad I gave it a go. I might be s*** and you know what? I was s***.

“Having that high-level professionalism – I was like bottom of the barrel to now mid-table. I progressed very quickly because I was able to be that professional athlete you want to be. I could live and breathe it without having to worry about anything else.

“Now while I’ve been at the Mariners, they’re constantly reaching out and checking how I’m going. So many of them were there to support me on the weekend or watched online. It’s a really good environment to step into. I never thought I would. It was really stepping out of my comfort zone. It was challenging – mentally, physically and everything – but it has grown me so much as a person.

“Hawthorn have been amazing and have signed me on for another season. It’s been a rollercoaster the last 12 months. Going from season to season. I wouldn’t change it because I can happily say I’m a dual-athlete.

“I might not have debuted yet for them but it’s coming. It’s one of my goals to get there. I’ll keep working my backside off to make sure I can do everything to challenge my teammates and make sure I’m not the weakest link in the team.”

While Hawthorn remain in contact, Dumont has more pressing matters to deal with such as this weekend’s Semi-Final first leg against Sydney FC in Gosford.

It has been a fairytale season for the Mariners, who returned to the competition for the first time in 15 years.

Dumont and Central Coast have enjoyed proving their doubters wrong, and are taking inspiration from Western United, who reached the 2022-23 Grand Final in their inaugural season.


“It’s always good to beat Victory or one of the bigger clubs, especially when you’ve been classed the whole season as the underdogs or a club that won’t get far because it’s the first season,” she said.

“That’s the biggest moment for us. It was like we’ve proven we can match any team and that game showed it. That’s the biggest sweet moment.

“A new club can come in, exactly like the season before Western United did it and we got to do it this time around.”

Dumont added: “We want to go far. The want is so big it outdoes everything else.

“All that outside noise, all those comments that they’re the underdogs or they’ve been a bit inconsistent, all that crap hasn’t affected us. We know when we step up and dig deep, we can perform.

“The biggest thing – there’s been a few games where we’ve dropped points and it just on us. We could fix that. There’s probably only a handful of games where we were actually outplayed, so we know we can do better.

“Taking responsibility is huge among the players. Any new job, you want to perform and show, ‘hey, we might be the newbies but we sure as hell can set that standard high’. We’ve loved proving people wrong.

“The community has been phenomenal. The stadium is bloody beautiful. It’s just amazing.

“Whether we have a few hundred or a few thousands, you hear them and you’d think there’s heaps. It’s just crazy. After the games, they all stay back. They really are the 12th man.

“The club really does that too. It’s almost the community runs the club. They really take on board what the community wants.”


The 2023-24 Finals Series is shaping up as another memorable campaign for a Liberty A-League icon, who admits, “I don’t think I’ll be around much longer”.

“I just want to be playing and having a smile on my face. Anything that comes with that is an added bonus,” said Dumont, who has overcome some serious injuries in her career.

“I’m very thankful for every single moment I’ve had. I can’t believe some of the moments I’ve had. I still pinch myself at times.

“It’s also a case that I don’t feel done yet. Just keep pushing until I’m ready to have that moment of final satisfaction.”