McCormick admits pay would force her to choose AFL over W-League

Despite the strides made in the past year, the W-League faces a fierce battle to retain and attract future players in the newly competitive women's sports market with AFL emerging as the latest threat.

Jenna McCormick

Canberra United's Jenna McCormick Source: Getty Images

Canberra United defender Jenna McCormick was drafted by AFL side the Adelaide Crows last month.

She admits if she ever had to choose between the two codes it would come down to pay and the AFL would be her pick.

"It would probably go down the track of finances [if forced to choose]," the 22-year-old said.

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"The salaries are clearly a little bit stronger in the AFL with the AFLPA working really hard for the girls, just like the PFA are doing for us in soccer."

Earlier this year a Professional Footballers' Australia report found that 9 out of 10 players stated they would consider leaving football to pursue more beneficial opportunities and increasingly other sports are providing those opportunities. 

McCormick is part of an increasing trend of dual sportswomen with the defender signed with both a W-League club and an AFL team.



"Yeah, there probably will be a day where I do choose.  I have an equal love for both and I wouldn't be able to pick a sport based on which one I liked the most," she said.

"It would probably be a financial decision rather than a love for the game."

Financially the W-League is starting to put it's house in order with this season seeing the implementation of a minimum allowance of $60 and $150 a week. 

However, that news was followed by the AFL announcing their re-negotiated salary package for the women's competition which included a minimum $8500 for the first two seasons, as well as costs paid for football boots and runners, an interstate travel allowance, income protection insurance, out-of-pocket medical expenses and carers' allowance.

The financial discrepancy between the two current deals makes W-League players more vulnerable to approaches from rival codes. 



In fact the AFL have already taken some scalps with former Matildas goalkeeper Brianna Davey switching while players like McCormick and her Canberra United captain Ellie Brush, who signed with AFL side the GWS Giants, will be juggling the two sports in the near future. 

For the moment McCormick is focusing on helping Canberra United claim a historic third W-League championship.

With McCormick one of their key players, Canberra has started the season in strong form and central defender believes that capital side has the squad to go all the way. 

"I think we are fielding a very competitive and strong line up and I know we can do the job when it's presented in front of us," she said.

"I am sure we will reap the rewards this year and go that one step further."


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3 min read
Published 28 November 2016 at 6:03pm
By Ann Odong