McCormick a Matilda again after ‘rollercoaster’ 18 months

Jenna McCormick trains with Australia. image: Football Australia Media

Things are looking up for Jenna McCormick. She has returned to European football, settled into the first team and is back in a Matildas camp for the first time since February.

“A lot can happen in 18 months,” said the defender through Football Australia.

“I feel like I’ve ridden the rollercoaster of football. The highs the lows and everything in between.”

Since her last appearance with the national team, it has been a challenging year and a half for McCormick.

A strong season with Melbourne Victory in the W-League saw her called up to The Matildas in 2019. Her form in the Olympic qualifiers resulted in a European contract with Real Betis.

Her time in Spain was not all it promised to be and with limited playing opportunities and a lack of off-field support, so the decision was made to return to Melbourne, this time with City.

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Unfortunately, her W-League form was not enough to earn a call-up to the Olympic squad. McCormick’s season with South Melbourne in the NPLW started promisingly but was cut short by the pandemic.

In search of top-level football, she returned to Europe. This time with Danish side AGF Fodbold in a move that has rejuvenated the Matilda’s center-back.

“Fast forward to now, it’s a different story,” said McCormick.

“I’m really happy where I am in Denmark. Just back to loving my football which is just a great feeling to love being out at training every day and being around some really amazing people is really healthy and I’m super happy.”

McCormick has been a regular starter at her new home and has quickly settled in at the club. 

“It’s full of great people. The Danish culture is really similar to the Australian culture, it’s quite laid back, really warm, and welcoming,” she said.

“It was really easy for me to settle in and the club has done a really great job at welcoming me and I’m just happy to be back playing and training every day and just back into the full-time football mode.”

Her resurgence could not have been timed better. Following the retirements of Laura Brock and Aivi Luik, The Matildas are in need of options in defense.

The Australian squad selected for this camp reflects that, of the 22 outfield players, 11 are defenders. It is an area that coach Tony Gustavsson is clearly looking to strengthen.

“I’m excited to learn from him,” she said of the new manager.

“But first and foremost, I’m here to make the most of the experience and train with the high-quality players.

“It’s such an honor to come back into camp and put this shirt on, so I’m really excited to be here and got to make to most of the opportunity.”

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