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Matildas' new pay deal will influence which sport young Australian women want to play - McCormick

Matildas captain and star striker Sam Kerr sits down with ESPN to share her journey from Aussie rules to soccer and what coming home to Perth truly means.
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Code-hopper Jenna McCormick believes the Matildas' new pay deal will have a major influence on which sport young Australian women will aspire to play.

Football Federation Australia on Tuesday confirmed a new four-year collective bargaining agreement that closes the gap between the Socceroos and Matildas.

The CBA comes in the same week two-time AFLW premiership winner McCormick could make her international debut in a friendly against Chile at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday.

McCormick said the landmark agreement would force other sporting codes to step up their game in pursuit of the next generation of female athletes.

It was only a month ago that the AFLW and its players union agreed to a new CBA that includes incremental growth on season length, as well as a pay increase.

"The AFL is obviously growing as well," McCormick told AAP. "It's good to see that both the sports are stepping up and growing, and almost seeing each other doing it and saying, we need to do it as well.

"It's not a bad thing. But yeah, it's obviously step by step. And hopefully before the end of my career, I can experience it at full-strength."

McCormick made her W-League debut in 2012 but spent four years juggling her time with the AFLW following its inception in 2016.

However the 25-year-old quit on the AFLW last month to focus on her pursuing her dream of representing the Matildas at the next World Cup.

Asked whether the pay deal would have a bearing on young women deciding which sport to aspire towards, McCormick said: "Definitely.

"I never picked AFL because there was nothing there when I was growing up. Soccer was established, so that's the path I took.

"When the AFL came in, I always loved the sport, so I wanted to have a go at it.

Jenna McCormick
Jenna McCormick, who has won two AFLW premierships with the Adelaide Crows, is now focusing on a career with the Matildas.

"Now that they're both set up and ready to go, it's is a good way for the young girls to be able to pick and choose where to go.

"Pay won't be a factor anymore. Every year hopefully we can take those steps forward to being fully professional."

In another indication of the growth of women's soccer in Australia, stadium officials are expected a record domestic crowd of over 17,000 in Parramatta.

The current mark of 16,829 was set during their 5-0 romp over Chile at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle this time last year.

"There's definitely going to be more than that," McCormick said. "What a fantastic stadium to be able to bring the game to here on Saturday. I'm really looking forward to seeing packed."

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