McCormick’s ‘rollercoaster ride’ to 100

Jenna McCormick will play her 100th A-Leagues match on Saturday against Wellington Phoenix.
2022/23 tickets on sale.

Despite a self-defined rollercoaster ride of a career, it is poetic justice that Jenna McCormick will bring up 100 Liberty A-League games while with her hometown club, Adelaide United, on Saturday.

McCormick’s bumpy ride has seen many ups, downs, twists, turns, and even a pivot in codes that has all led to this milestone.

The travel to Wellington will afford the Mt Gambier local much time to reflect on a ride that began almost 10 years to the day.

“First of all, I’m really honoured and excited to be playing my 100th game and it’s been a number of years in the making,” McCormick said.

“It’s extra special and has lined up perfectly that I played my first match with United and now my 100th match with United, and while I wish it could have been at home to make it that little bit better, it’s going to be a special day on Saturday.

“Speaking from my own experiences of playing interstate and overseas, it’s nothing like coming home and playing for your home Club.

“It’s totally different and you’re more invested in the Club.

“You just have that five-per-cent more that you want to win for the Club, for yourself, your team-mates, and the fans.

“We’re a tight-knit group and a lot of us here have known each other for a while now, and it’s a great culture we’re in the middle of establishing.”

McCormick has played all over the world, with Club stints in Iceland, Norway, Denmark, and Spain, in between international camps further scattered across countries.

There have been many experiences, the dips in the ride, that have made McCormick even more thankful for a third United spell that has the makings of a particularly memorable one.

Among them was a brief stay in Spain that McCormick admits was ‘isolating’, yet on the contrary she also found her partner in Denmark while playing for AGF Fodbold. Her time with Real Betis was cut short and she returned to Australia to finish the end of the 2020/21 season with Melbourne City, in between the Danish move.

Jenna McCormick playing for Adelaide United in 2012.

It’s these swings and roundabouts that has moulded the versatile defender into a commanding figure on the pitch.

A prime example was her performance against Western Sydney Wanderers last Sunday.

In a first league start after suffering a quadricep injury in the pre-season, McCormick was formidable on her way to locking in the 0-1 win for the visitors, and a personal RAA Members’ Player of the Match award.

The multi-talented athlete has even won two AFLW Premierships, juggling A-League commitments simultaneously.

“Football (soccer) was definitely my first love, but there was also a lot of AFL happening at my school and with my friends and I used to have a kick with the guys in my class, but no pathway at all.

“And so I put more and more of my time and energy into soccer because I did see the opportunities there and it has taken me around the world and given me a lot in my life.

“I owe a lot to football and I’m so grateful for it all since those days at Blue Lake Soccer Club.”

Upon McCormick’s return to the Club earlier in the year there were two realisations: the increase in professional standards of the outfit, and a real foundation to give her a real chance to reignite her Matildas FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023™️ dream.

“I haven’t been in the national set-up for the last 12 months, but I know full well now more than ever that anything can happen in football,” McCormick admitted.

Jenna McCormick lining up for the Matildas.

“That’s why I wanted to put myself in the best environment possible and even if it is that one-per-cent chance, I want to give myself that one-per-cent chance to play at the highest level again.

“And coming back to Adelaide, bringing my partner here with me, being with my family… it all wraps up to give myself every possible opportunity to improve those odds to have a good and consistent year with the girls which can hopefully lead to some even greater opportunities.”

On a domestic football level, the peak of the rollercoaster remains for McCormick in the form of a Championship, and it is a ticket she has long been saving up for.

“Even though it’s been a solid start to the season for us, we have a lot more to achieve and we haven’t really hit our full potential which is exciting as well.

“It’s really important that we can call on anyone in the team to come and do the job because any successful team has that squad mentality and depth.

“We still have some refinements to make and hopefully we can keep building week-on-week.

“But the signs are certainly there and we are heading in the right direction.”

Let’s hope the thrills continue in abundance for the hard-working servant of South Australian football.

Only at Coopers – Adelaide United memberships on-sale now.