A spur of the moment decision to come to Australia has reaped dividends for Joel McCormick after playing a pivotal role in Shepparton United winning the Regional Premier League grand final.By Damen Francis
A snap decision to pack his bags for Australia proved a masterstroke for Joel McCormick.
The Englishman, 23, answered an SOS call from Shepparton United in May, following the departure of homesick English striker Aaron Bowen.
McCormick scored the goal on Friday night that put the Blues 2-1 up in extra time of the Regional Premier League grand final against Shepparton.
They went on to lift the premiership cup with a 3-1 win.
His goal was a simple enough finish, but having seen an effort saved and his follow-up shot hit the post just seconds before the full-time whistle, he made sure the extra-time chance did not go to waste.
‘‘I had the last chance in regular time and could have won it,’’ McCormick said.
‘‘I knew if I got another chance, I’d take it.’’
McCormick was lured to Australia by Blues winger and former teammate Ben Clarke, whose faith he repaid, with 13 goals in 14 games.
‘‘Ben was the main reason I came here. I knew him from back home and then out of the blue he contacted me and said ‘How about coming to Australia?’,’’ he said.
‘‘It played on my mind when I first came that I would be up front by myself and relied on to score goals, but I’ve always played up front and it was good to get scoring pretty quickly.
‘‘I’ve loved (playing in Australia) and I definitely intend on coming back. The club has been great. They’ve done a bit behind the scenes to help get my girls out here and have really looked after us.’’
McCormick runs Connect Soccer USA, a company dedicated to arranging soccer scholarships in the United States for overseas players, and hopes players in regional Victoria consider the opportunity.
‘‘There is a lot of talent in the league here and players could easily compete in the US,’’ he said.
‘‘I went to the US myself on a soccer scholarship and it was a great experience.’’
The Shepparton-based Ambulance Employees Union representative has slammed the latest wage offer from the Victorian Government as 'misleading and insufficient'.
After a tennis career spanning 62 years, of which the last 35 years have been as a coach, Yarrawonga's Jon Coleman is set to retire at the end of 2013.
The recent Kyabram Master Pairs, played over six days with crack sides from near and far, attracted some talented bowlers eager to win the prestige event.
Dempsie Maconachie has been accepted into Jason Coleman’s Ministry of Dance in Melbourne.
Rochester resident Ken Hocking has chosen to use his Christmas lights display to draw attention to a support group for brain tumour patients.
Kyabram Lawn Tennis Club’s annual junior singles tournament again attracted good numbers from across the district.
But have opponents given up the fight?
Tocumwal Pre-School students are proudly flying their KITE at the Tocumwal Lions Community Hostel.
Tooborac Fire Brigade visited Tooborac Primary School last Tuesday to help the school complete its bushfire emergency management plan.
Residents urged to renew fruit fly baits to support local orchards.
Tim Hillier became the first Deniliquin Rhino to notch up a century in the Murray Valley Cricket Association with a sterling 104 against Cobram on Saturday.
Sheep producers backcrossing away from the Dohne breed to Poll Merinos with the perception of improving wool quality have been urged to consider their gross margins.
The hunt is on for a buyer for Benalla and Mansfield Toyota after the business went into receivership last fortnight.
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