Every single time she steps out on the court, Westlakes star Jorja Brown knows she wants to beat her own goalscoring record. It’s not so much about winning or losing for the 14-year-old starlet. Instead, she just wants to improve in every match.
“I love the sport, I aim to push further in every game, and do things that I haven’t done before, and learn more,” she said of her mindset surrounding netball.
“I tried netball when I was around eight years old, and I loved playing it. Now I’ve been playing for a fair few years, through the Westlakes rep teams, and development squads, and this year I was there at State playing in the 14s.”
For Brown, preparation for the 2019 Junior State Titles was the true focus of playing club netball. Her representative squad formed a club-land team, slotted into the top division in Westlakes, and set to work becoming the best outfit they could be.
Their squad finished eighth this year, with a hefty nine wins and one draw to their name across the seventeen-game campaign. It may not have been a patch, but it was certainly a soaring achievement for the ladies in green and yellow.
For Brown, it was also a success. The youngster spent most of her battles in Baulkham Hills running out as shooter or goal attack, and leading the Westlakes offence.
Across the three days and seventeen short-format matches, she’s slotted home 225 goals for a deadly 92 percent. She contributed nearly 70 percent of the team’s overall goals for the entire multi-day tournament as well.
Some of her skills came from repetition and learning. Others, she gained coming up against Giants superstar defender Sam Poolman during her time in the Aspire program in the Hunter.
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Poolman, who this week re-signed a multi-year contract with her Super Netball club, and was named Player’s Player for 2019, brings all her knowledge to the training sessions. Jorja took full advantage of that, testing her shooting against the best.
“Sam gives great advice, and she teaches the defensive and offensive side of things and then you get to test it all out,” Brown explained. “She showed me a lot of tricks about moving around the defence, which is cool.”
Jorja laughed when talking about whether she’s improved against the Giants’ iron-defence under the goal. “It’s still pretty hard,” she chuckled.
Now Brown has set her sights on a new challenging arena: Newcastle’s Saturday netball competitions, returning in April next year. She wants to come up against new defenders, and new trials, and keep improving as best she can.
“It’s exciting, I’ll start training at the end of this year for it all and I’m just looking forward to seeing where I can go from there,” she said.
If you are interested in joining Sam Poolman’s Aspire program, you can register for one of the program’s limited spots at aspirenetball.com/registration.
Read the rest of the Chronicle’s ongoing Aspire features here.