Matildas defender Jenna McCormick has returned to the A-League with Melbourne City after a life-changing six months abroad with Real Betis.

McCormick, 26, was one of several Matildas to depart the W-League for Europe this year but returns after making the one appearance for Betis – with her and the club mutually terminating the two-year contract.

Despite her time in Spain not going to plan, McCormick believes she leaves Betis ‘’a better human’’ and has learned to place a greater significance on things outside football.

‘’The last six months have really changed the type of person I am for the absolute better,’’ she said.

‘’It’s given a new perspective on what it’s like to be a human first and a footballer second. I know that through a difficult period and challenges that I’m a better human and teammate for it.

‘’Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you planned and I certainly faced a number of challenges in Spain. The biggest one being the language barrier, I’ve never been one to shy away from challenges but sometimes the shoe just doesn’t fit.’’

Jenna McCormick returns to the W-League after six months in Spain. Image – Real Betis

The W-League’s professionalism was also a factor in enticing McCormick to return.

While the 26-year-old understands there is still plenty of work to be done in improving the competition and its ability to attract big games – she believes there is no underselling the professional operation of the clubs.

‘’The W-League is a lot more advanced than people think in terms of the conditions and standards and the way players are treated,’’ she said.

‘’Spain is still semi-professional with the exception of some great teams like Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, at the end of the day it’s still semi-professional. It’s actually opened my eyes to what we do have here in the W-League and how far advanced it is.

‘’I’ve been really lacking that supportive environment for the last few months which is why I’ve come back and signed with City because I know I’ll get that there.’’

McCormick will re-unite with long-time friend and Matildas teammate Emma Checker in the heart of the City defence this season.

The club has been forced to bring in several new recruits – including  former Junior Matildas captain Tori Tumeth and US defender Samantha Johnson – after a mass exodus of players heading overseas at the end of last season.

Melbourne City kicks off its W-League campaign against Sydney FC in a rematch of last season’s Grand Final at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday 30 December.

First year Journalism student at RMIT University. Looking to get the truth out while having a bit of fun.