FORMER Ireland international Ciara McCormack had the round-three W-League match between Adelaide and Newcastle at Burton Park tomorrow pencilled in many months ago as part of her comeback to elite football.
The plan then, however, was to be part of Adelaide's defence. But after a couple more twists in her already decorated and jet-setting career, the 34-year-old Canadian-born defender has ended up in Jets colours.
McCormack signed on this week after overcoming an Achilles problem and will debut against the Reds tomorrow in a much-needed boost for the young Jets, who have conceded nine goals in their opening two games.
It caps a hectic few months for McCormack, who was to join former Fortuna Hjørring teammate and Matildas great Melissa Barbieri at Adelaide.
That deal fell through a month before the season, but McCormack still came to Australia hoping to sign with Sydney FC.
"I trained with them first and was going to sign with them, but my friend Jodie Taylor at Sydney is friends with Hannah [Beard] at the Jets and it sounded like they needed a defender," McCormack said.
"It just seemed like a better fit in terms of what I was looking to get out of it here in Australia, and in terms of game time. I came up here, trained with the team and really liked it."
After stints in elite leagues in Canada, Denmark, Norway and America, McCormack is on the road back after torn foot ligaments sustained 18 months ago dented her hopes of representing Ireland at the 2015 World Cup.
She was last in the team in 2011 and hopes to be part of their qualifying campaign, which resumes in April.
Coach Peter McGuinness said McCormack would be a valuable addition to the Jets.
"She's a confident person, a confident player and she likes to play out from the back, but, for me, the best part is she is a leader through the way she talks through the game," McGuinness said.
"It will help the younger girls."