Key Battle: McCormick v Polkinghorne


Melbourne City FC will begin its premiership and championship defence on Tuesday afternoon when it kicks off its Westfield W-League season against Brisbane Roar.

Rado Vidosic’s squad has seen a number of changes over the off-season and not many moves have been bigger than the signing of Matildas defender Jenna McCormick.

She will be one part of a quality City defence which also includes fellow Matilda Teigen Allen, American centre back Sam Johnson, and future Matildas number one keeper Teagan Micah.

At the other end of the pitch, leading the Roar back four will be veteran and club captain Clare Polkinghorne who will be playing in her 13th W-League season.

McCormick – a Melbourne Victory player last season, played all but one game in 2019/20 while Polkinghorne played all 12 of the Roar’s games.

Brisbane’s captain had 69 clearances and 17 blocks compared to McCormick’s 34 clearances and 12 blocks.

McCormick’s success rate in terms of tackling (71.4%) was the higher of the two but she did attempt less than half the tackles of Polkinghorne over the course of the season.

Both players passing statistics were eerily similar as McCormick averaged .5 more passes per game with an success rate .1% less than her Brisbane rival.

In terms of long passes McCormick was the standout with a success rate of 60% from 105 long passes, compared to Polkinghorne who completed 48.7 from 76 attempts.

McCormick also was credited with three assists from eight key passes while Polkinghorne made five key passes without an assist for the season.

Polkinghorne was able to get her name on the scoresheet once last season with a header from a set piece, something that McCormick couldn’t manage from her four attempts on goal.


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