Jenna McCormick focuses on football with eyes on Tokyo

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Melbourne City new recruit Jenna McCormick plans to use this season of the W-League as a springboard to chase her national ambitions, starting with the Tokyo Olympics in July this year.

The year may have started slowly for the reigning W-League champions, but McCormick’s rise for her new club has been much quicker. She was selected in the W-League team of the week for round one and scored a sensational header to equalise in City’s recent match against Canberra United.

McCormick has represented the Matildas on four occasions to date, something she is immensely proud of. However the 24-year-old narrowly missed selection of the Matildas’ World Cup squad last year.

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But McCormick’s rise to represent her country has only just begun. For three years McCormick pursued two dreams at the national level, featuring in both the W-league and AFL-W from 2016-2018, one of only two athletes to do so.

“I’m extremely proud of those achievements, it’s a good chapter of my life,” McCormick said.

McCormick was drafted with pick 23 to Adelaide FC in 2016, spending her time playing AFL in the summer and football in the winter.

“When the AFL-W came around it was just another sport that I loved, and I just wanted to be involved, but I obviously knew there were no pathways beyond what I wanted to achieve.”

And what McCormick wanted to achieve was a career with the Australian emblem on her shirt, forcing her to make a decision.

“When I had fresh realisations about going further in football, that’s when I had to reconsider what I wanted to do and make decisions about what I do with the two sports”.

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While it may have been an agonising decision for some, McCormick knew where her heart lay.

“(Soccer’s) always been the priority sport for me, just for those three years of my life it just worked out that I could do both. When I had to come to the cross-roads to make the decision, I just had to do it.”

After pulling the trigger to focus solely on football, McCormick has reaped the rewards. She debuted in November 2019 for the Matildas in a friendly against Chile and has also represented her country in Olympic qualifying matches.

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It’s all part of a journey that will hopefully take McCormick to new sporting peaks and provide her with one of the most diverse CV’s in women’s sport. Melbourne City will be McCormick’s sixth W-league team, while she has also represented multiple European clubs.

However she’s not getting ahead of herself just yet.

“I’ve just got to control what I can control, put in consistent performances each week and hope that does me good for selection (in the Olympic team).”

Credit: Melbourne City – Jack Kovacic

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Seb Mottram
Sports nut studying Media comms and Marketing at Monash.