On the eve of the first Westfield W-League Melbourne Derby of the season, Jenna McCormick believes the squad is as close as ever following a busy early season schedule.
Starting with two games on the road against Sydney FC and Brisbane Roar, followed by a trip to Korea for the inaugural AFC Women’s Club Championship, before returning home to face the Western Sydney Wanderers in Morwell in regional Victoria, the Victory girls have covered plenty of distance already.
However, despite a variety of results that sees Victory sitting sixth on the W-League table after Round 4, McCormick says it’s the extra time spent together that will help in the backend of the season.
“We only really had a month of training before our busy early season schedule, and it was tough to prepare for it all and be as fit and firing as we’d hope to be,” said McCormick.
“Despite the disappointing results, Korea was still a good experience overall.
“We took other aspects out of the trip as a group like team building, and I also personally found areas that I can improve in so to have those three games perhaps fast-tracked what we’re trying to do here in the W-League.
“We’re lucky to be able to have those extra games to continue working as a team and to fine tune everything we’re working on to hopefully help us in the long run.”
Victory was the first side to take points against Western Sydney Wanderers on the weekend following a 1-1 draw in Morwell.
American midfielder Haley Hanson opened up her W-League account in the eighth minute before the Wanderers levelled through Lynn Williams in the second half.
“[To get a point against Western Sydney] was a big positive to take out of the game,” said McCormick.
“I thought we played really well especially given our experience in Korea. We seemed to bounce back and even though it was a draw, it was a really positive experience.
“Haley has been tremendous for us in the midfield and does a lot of hard work so for her to score the goal on the weekend was a great reward for her.
“She started the build-up to the goal and finished it off, so she certainly earned it and deserved it.”
A crunch-match against cross town rival Melbourne City awaits tomorrow night – McCormick’s first Melbourne Derby since joining Victory.
“The Melbourne Derby is obviously going to be huge,” said McCormick.
“We’ll go into it focused as we do for every other game, but this is the one you really want to win.
“It will be a good battle – it will be exciting, physical and both teams will want it just as badly so I’m looking forward to it.”
Melbourne Victory plays Melbourne City in Round 5 of the Westfield W-League on Thursday, December 12 from 7:30pm at ABD Stadium.