Cross-code star Jenna McCormick declared she was ‘really emotional’ and struggling to hold back tears after making her Matildas debut in front of a record crowd at Bankwest Stadium. The two-time AFLW winner with the Adelaide Crows opted to return to the W-League with Melbourne Victory before the new season starts next week. It was a decision inspired by her dream of representing Australia in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – with the Matildas close to qualifying for the tournament – and her bold choice was rewarded with a national team debut against Chile on Saturday. The 25-year-old was elated to make her maiden Matildas appearance, playing 86 minutes as captain Sam Kerr scored a brace in the 2-1 victory. “Look guys, it was pretty incredible,” she said. “I’m still wanting to be out there actually, I’m having to take in deep breaths and try to enjoy the moment. “I was really emotional, I fought really hard to keep a lid on it and not shed a tear. I’m going to go over to my parents and bawl my eyes out.” Her overjoyed family in the stands were decked out in green and gold, but their jerseys didn’t feature McCormick’s name and number on the back – the personalised jerseys they had purchased didn’t arrived in time for the match. But the South Australian-raised phenomenon can look forward to playing in front of her home crowd when the Matildas complete their two-match series against Chile in Adelaide on Tuesday. Based on her settled performance in the heart of defence, a second appearance in less than a week would hardly come as a surprise – and hopefully her family will be wearing her jersey too. The multi-sport talent has a long history in the W-League, having already played with Adelaide United, Canberra United and Brisbane Roar. A former Roar teammate Clare Polkinghorne partnered her in central defence against Chile, but McCormick said she was happy with her budding combinations with other teammates too. “It did really help having Polks here but the calibre in this team is exceptional,” she said. “I’ve never played with Steph Catley before but I’m completely confident when I play her the ball that she’s going to be able to set up and move forward.” Melbourne Victory open their W-League campaign against reigning champions Sydney FC in a ‘Big Blue’ rivalry match on Sunday November 17. This article originally appeared at:
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