Credit | Adam Butler
Growing up in the rural town of Mount Gambier, near the border of South Australia and Victoria, Jenna McCormick started playing football and other sports from an early age.
Even at a young age it was evident that she had a passion for all sport.
The 19 year old made her debut with Adelaide United last season as a midfielder but was asked to tryout this season for the backline and she has not looked back.
With her speed and agility she has been an integral part of the back line with the guidance of ex-Australian Goal keeper Melissa Barbieri guiding her along the way.
We caught up with McCormick to learn a little more about the talented up and comer,
What sports did you play growing up in Mount Gambier and what made you choose to play football over them?
Growing up in Mount Gambier I had a an equal passion for cricket, football (AFL ) and soccer. I played national cricket since 2005, state football since 2011 and state soccer since 2008.
I lost interest in cricket around 2010 so that made it easy for me to switch to just focusing on soccer and football and to this day I still can’t split the two ‘football’ sports which is why I am still playing both.
Growing up in Mount Gambier, was it hard to make the decision to move to Adelaide to play football?
Having to make the decision to move to Adelaide and go to boarding school and leave my family in 2011 was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but I knew it was the best decision for me to keep pursuing my sport at the high level.
"Travelling 1000km round trip each week since 2005 was a hard ask for not only me but my parents."
I loved my sport so I didn’t have a choice but to make the move and to this day it has turned out to be the greatest decision I’ve ever made.
What is your biggest football highlight so far?
My biggest highlight would be getting selected to participate in the Australian school girl’s tour to Brazil and Argentina at the beginning of 2013.
It gave me the chance to experience football culture in other parts of the world and to also wear the beloved green and gold strip.
It was an honour to wear and to be named player of the tournament, was a wonderful way to end such an amazing experience.
What has the transition from midfield player to back line player meant to you and how has it changed your game?
This was something I wasn’t expecting but when I found out I was going to be tried out as a centre back I wasn’t going to pass up an opportunity to try something new and learn new aspects about the sport in a very different role.
I’ve had to completely flip my football brain on its head and not only think about my game but also guiding the players in front of me.
My attacking minded brain has benefitted me whilst playing in defence as it gives me a head start in reading the play and reading the forwards as the runs my opponents make would be the ones I would make.
Who has been your strongest opponent so far?
Every team has their strengths that make them a force to be reckoned with but I do think Sydney are impeccable in stringing passes together and creating good passages of play.
I also thought Canberra were well structured and also obviously very experienced. I have enjoyed the challenge of playing on some of Australia’s best footballers.
What do you think has been the biggest change this year in the Lady Reds?
I think the most obvious reason for the Lady Reds success this year would be the coaching staff. Ross Aloisi with the help of Paul Pezos and Joel Porter have completely turned the culture of our club on its head.
They put an unbelievable amount of effort into this team each and every day and it has become their life despite having their own families, jobs and other soccer commitments.
"They push us to give 100% every day and anything less than that will not be tolerated."
They have bought their knowledge of being professional footballers to our team and shared their wisdom to develop each and every one of us.
In saying this however, the heart and soul that every squad member (including train ons) has put into this team day in day out is phenomenal.
I have never been part of (nor do I know of a team) with the same bond that us girls share.
What are your future goals in football and in your personal life?
The ultimate football goal is to represent Australia at the senior level but I also would love to travel with my soccer and play a season over in Europe somewhere or America!
In terms of a personal life goal, I am in the process of pursuing a career in the police force which has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember!
What do you do in your spare time, how do you relax?
I work part time and will be going to Uni this year to study Justice and Society (Criminology), so if I’m lucky enough to have some spare time I love to wind down and play the guitar.
It’s just the great way to relax. If I’m not playing my guitar I’m out with mates enjoying a good laugh and a bit of banter!