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Silver Fern Kelly Jury leaves netball horrors behind - 'You learn a lot through hardship'

The last time Kelly Jury played for the Silver Ferns, it was during one of the team's lowest points.

Kelly Jury looks on. Source: Photosport

The defender was part of the New Zealand netball team that failed to fire at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The Silver Ferns missed out on the medals at the Gold Coast event after losing to smaller nations they were expected to beat.

Despite leaving the court dejected two years ago, Jury still treasured that time in the black dress.

The 23-year-old knew there was no guarantee she would get back into the Silver Ferns.

Injury had prevented Jury from getting involved in the post-Commonwealth Games era of New Zealand netball, but she is now doing everything she can to add to her international appearances.

The Central Pulse player is faced with claiming a spot in a very different Silver Ferns side to that she last played for.

Jury has just completed her first training camp under coach Dame Noeline Taurua - who she has never played for before.

"Comparing it to when I was last in the mix, it's definitely a huge step up which is so awesome to see and it just shows how much Noeline has brought to the table with Debs [assistant coach Debbie Fuller], they are just awesome to work with," Jury said.

The world champion New Zealand team has emphatically moved on from their low points - and so has Jury.

"We're definitely not the underdogs any more, which is actually an awesome feeling and I think we should relish that," Jury said.

"We've talked a lot about showing dominance in this camp and taking that forward and putting Netball New Zealand back on the top of world netball."

Jury feels like her last game for the Silver Ferns was "a lifetime ago" but she has learnt a lot while on the sidelines.

"I look back then and I'm definitely a better netballer than I was then, I think I have been through so much in the last two years that my mentality towards the game has changed. I feel like there is a strength in me and something that wasn't there previously," she said.

"I'd say it was maturity and I have had to work really hard to get back to where I am.

"With injury, I think you learn a lot through hardship and after being out of the game for so long I'm just loving being back on court."

Taurua is strict about players proving they are fit enough to play competitive netball, and Jury said she was apprehensive about the infamous testing at last week's new-look national camp that included players from the Silver Ferns, development players and under-21 players.

"I've passed my test, I can sleep at night now - girls do put a lot of pressure on ourselves coming into these fitness tests because we do know there is a lot of weight on them.

"They've talked about it being the ticket to the party, once you've passed it you get into the party and then you can go have fun out on court."

Jury is ready for some fun.

She felt comfortable being back around the country's top players as they prepared for the this week's Cadbury Series and then the Taini Jamison series against the England Roses.

Jury was confident her performances in the ANZ Premiership showed what she is capable of.

"One of the things I would like to work on is my consistency but I think that comes with the continuous game time

"There is a bit of rivalry I guess everyone in the camp has a couple of people that they are having to come up against but there a few goalkeepers in the mix so I'll have to just keep gunning for it.

"Everyone wants to get one of those starting bibs but you know whatever you put out on court, that's what they are going to see, you shouldn't worry about what other people are doing."

rnz.co.nz