SMJ youngsters' work ethic impresses coach Kerry Jones

NETBALL

SMJ coach Kerry Jones has credited competition rivals Brindles for helping her team become one of the surprise packets of Illawarra netball's top grade this season.

Jones's squad sit second on the ladder at the halfway point of the season, setting a genuine platform to make the finals.

"We train against Brindles every week. Their experience has helped us," Jones said.

"Their players are like mentors and have been helping coaching these girls with me for years.

"Credit goes to them for helping our juniors."

Many of the players in the SMJ squad joined the senior ranks in 2014 after coming through Corrimal juniors.

Brindles have assisted with their smooth transition to the top grade but Jones also praises the determination of her youthful SMJ squad.

"These girls are the best team all over the court work ethic-wise that I have ever had," Jones said.

"I have never had a team that trains as hard as they do.

"Whatever you ask them to do they try it and that comes down to all the people at the Corrimal club over the years who have helped them and the girls at Brindles as well."

SMJ had to forfeit their last match with Vipers before the two-week mid-season break due to a lack of numbers.

The young outfit lost impressive goalkeeper Kirra Jones to the NSW Blues in the Australian Netball League but hope to have her back for a potential finals campaign.

They continue their charge towards the finals against Wests Titans in round 8.

SMJ defeated Titans 44-34 in the first round of the season and will be hoping to repeat the result.

"They are older than us so we just have to play smarter and stick to the game plan really," Jones said.

ROUND 8

Saturday, Berkeley Stadium

Vipers Netball Club v Woonona McDonald’s, 1.30pm 

Brindles v Dapto Storm, 1.30pm

Woonona WBRSL v Corrimal RSL Cadets, 3pm

SMJ v Wests Titans, 3pm

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