Trent Dumont is the first to admit that there’s no secret formula behind his success.
The hard-working inside midfielder has been a mainstay in North’s engine room this season, highlighted by his impressive percentage of game-time in recent weeks.
As the 23-year-old reveals, it all comes down to hard work and consistency on the track.
“It’s no magic formula for me. If I train well, I usually play well,” Dumont told North Media.
“I think my preparation is the key and then I can go out and just play footy on the weekend.”
North’s number 14 has played over 90 per cent game time in each of the past two games, and it’s the hard work on the track that’s allowed him to thrive.
“When I first got to the club, I had enjoyed myself a bit too much,” he admitted.
“It’s been a learning curve since then to try and build strength, but get fit at the same time.
“This year once again with my preparation, I started in the off-season. I did a lot of work then and carried that through. I’m glad that it’s paying some dividends now. It gives me a little bit of a blueprint for the future as well.”
Dumont cites the harsh realities of AFL football, including briefly losing his spot in the senior side last year, as one of his primary motivations at the start of 2018.
“Last year was a good learning curve,” he explained.
“My body was feeling pretty poor, I got dropped and rested a couple of times. That was probably the best thing for me to understand what I needed to do going forward and how I was going to keep my spot.
“It gave me a little grasp on what I need to do. If I keep improving every year, I think I’ll be going alright.”
A continued focus on playing to his strengths has allowed Dumont to develop plenty of admirers.
Although his ability to run out games has been on display over the past fortnight, he concedes that playing for extended periods of time can still be difficult.
“There was a stage in that last quarter on the weekend where I wasn’t feeling great,” he added.
“The hallmark of my game is my defensive work, I just make sure I cover all that first, slowly just learn about the wing and try to figure out new things each week.
“The last half of this year, [I’ve] tried to put a few things in place that have worked for me. The game is hard, so that’s fair enough.”
Stoppage coach Jarred Moore is the latest to praise the hard-working nature of Dumont’s game.
“Froggy’ is always one that trains really well and does a lot of the basics right,” he told North Media.
“He just ticks a lot of boxes and gets the most out of himself. We didn’t expect him to be playing as much as he has been on the wing, but set himself up for a good year with a really good pre-season.
“An opportunity came up [on the wing] and he just took it. He’s been playing a real good brand of footy. He’s been hard, tough and clean.”
When probed on the specifics that make Dumont stand-out, Moore offered a different perspective than most.
“Right now, his best asset is his reaction time,” he said.
“Most wingers have got a really good work-rate and he’s no different. If he’s the first one to react to something offensively or defensively, it’ll give him a clear advantage on his opponent.
“He’s been reacting really well to everything in front of him.”