A move across the country for a 21-year old is daunting enough as is, but when the end goal is fitting into a championship winning football team, it becomes even more so.

For former Adelaide United Player of the Year Jenna McCormick, that became a reality last year when she moved to the capital for the 2015/16 Westfield W-League season.

Canberra United’s season culminated with an upset Semi Final loss to Sydney FC on Sunday, however the season was an undoubted success for the multi-talented Mount Gambier native.

McCormick’s first big move came when she relocated from Mount Gambier to the big smoke of Adelaide for her final two years of schooling, boarding away from home as she continued her sporting progression. As she moved out of school, still playing football, the youngster also began looking at life outside of football, and began studying Criminology at Flinders University with the aim of joining the police force.

When McCormick moved to Brisbane in early 2015 to pursue football further the degree was deferred, but her career aims are yet to waiver.

“If I apply for the police force this year or next year and get in then I’ll probably just drop the [University] course as a whole, because I will have reached what I want to do.”

Her time at Adelaide United began as a contracted striker, before moving to the backline under the tutelage of Ross Aloisi, where she picked up the Player of the Year award in 2014.

It was pretty big for me, I’ve never really won anything like that before, and that was my first season changing positions as a defender, it was a good achievement and I was very honored to be able to win it.”

It was an award that illustrated the fantastic progress she had made after leaving behind Cricket and to a lesser degree, Aussie Rules, to pursue the round ball game as her primary sport. McCormick cites the greater range of opportunities and competitions as her primary reason for the decision however still loves her Aussie Rules and plays when she can.

“I still love them both equally, I can’t split them and I try and play AFL during the winter when I can, but soccer will always sort of be top priority”, she said last week, with the pathway presented by the W-League a far superior system to the disjointed female Aussie Rules program.

While in Brisbane playing for Eastern Suburbs, McCormick expanded one of her other loves, fashion, and formed a brand of her own with best friend Tegan Riding. FourZeroThreads is now almost a year old, and McCormick is excited with the direction it has taken.

“It’s taken us this long to sort of make mistakes, get rewards and know a bit more about what we are doing, for it to sail a bit smoother than at the very beginning.”

The move to Canberra, despite been daunting, was undeniably helped by the culture of her new club, something the defender expanded on in a press conference earlier in the year.

McCormick credits the players outgoing nature for how quickly she settled into her new environment.

“It’s one huge family here. Everyone is so welcoming, and is always asking questions about yourself, wanting to know about you and getting to know you which is really good.”

“That’s one awesome thing about this club, the culture is really friendly, where we all sort of have each other’s back, on and off the field.”

McCormick’s parents have made the trip east twice to McKellar Park, including for Sunday’s Semi Final, and the defender has high praise for her ever-supportive family.

“It’s hard to leave home, and it was hard for them to say goodbye to their daughter. It was hard for my mum especially because she is such a football fanatic, and hard for her to not have that football through the year. She was always at my games.”

“But she knew I was moving onto bigger and better things, moving onto new experiences and that wasn’t going to hold me back at all.”

Despite the disappointment of Sunday’s Semi Final loss, United and McCormick will plan to come back bigger and stronger after what was still a fantastic season, and keep an eye out for the defender in green next season.

You can find Jenna McCormick on Twitter (@jen_mccormick) and take a look at her clothing brand on Instagram (@fourzerothreads) if you fancy some new kit.

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Former Taswegian now living in the Capital, an intern at The Football Sack. Get in touch at @DavidJordan33 to talk football or anything Sport.