Netball: Central Pulse's Kelly Jury targets Silver Ferns starting spot after bouncing back from 2021 axing

Central Pulse defender Kelly Jury has revealed how she's used one of the toughest times in her career - failing the fitness standards at last year's Silver Ferns camp - as motivation to become one of the form players of this year's ANZ Premiership.

The 25-year-old is dominating, leading the competition in deflections, and second in intercepts and rebounds. 

Kelly Jury competes with Grace Nweke.
Kelly Jury competes with Grace Nweke. Photo credit: Image - Photosport

"It's really just down to my strength conditioning base," Jury told Newshub. "I think that's improved a lot and I think that's really starting to show out on the court."

Her standout season follows one of the lowest points in her career, when Jury was sent home, after failing to meet the national team's strict fitness standards.

"It was horrible," Jury added. "I just never really want to be in that situation again.

"Being sent home - and the worst part is everyone else hearing about it and talking to you about it - and just feeling like you've let yourself and everyone else around you down."

That moment forced Jury to work even harder in 2022. 

"That little blip in the road last year really helped me and showed that I don't want to be in that situation again, so I've worked really hard to maintain my fitness. I've hit some PBs this year that I've been really proud of."

Silver Ferns coach Dame Noeline Taurua recognises Jury's hard work.

"I think she's doing very well," Dame Noeline told Newshub. "She's been very consistent."

Jury is now focused on putting on the black dress at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

"That is a huge goal of mine - to make that team, but not only make that team, but make the starting seven."

That starting spot is in reach for the defender. 

"When you see what she's been able to do fitness-wise and what she's been able to do on court, for me, it's a no-brainer," adds Dame Noeline.

The verdict on Jury seems to be a resounding 'yes' from Dame Noeline.