Cook shoots for the top

Jane Cook is one of Australia’s rising shooting stars. Picture Damjan Janevski

At an imposing 200 centimetres tall, Jane Cook is one of Australia’s hottest netball shooting prospects.

She’s represented Australia at under-19 level and is in the under-20 squad that will play New Zealand and England in August.

That’s all despite only turning her full focus to netball this year when she moved to Melbourne.

The 18-year-old made the move from Wodonga earlier this year to go to university and to help her take the next step in her netball career.

“It’s very different coming from a tighter community and coming to such a big city,” she said. “I’m enjoying it and slowly getting used to it.”

The move to Melbourne seems to be paying off – she has starred in both the Australian and Victorian netball leagues.

Her ANL team, Victorian Fury, won its seventh title last week.

Cook was the dominant shooter in the grand final against the NSW Waratahs, shooting 46 of her side’s 53 goals.

“In 2014, I was with the [Victorian] Flames – I had to travel down from Wodonga for training every week,” Cook said. “This year is the first year that I’ve been able to do the full training and the whole season. Nothing is ever what you expect … it was a little bit harder than I thought it would be.

“I was happy with the grand final performance. I had been building on my performances through the season.”

At VNL level, her side City West Falcons sits atop the ladder.

It’s her second year at the club, after playing in its division 1 premiership side last year.

“I could not have asked for a better club,” she said. “I didn’t have the opportunity to train a lot with the team last year, but they still provided me opportunity to get on the court and play.

“This year, I haven’t been able to train as much as I would have liked. They are good at understanding you have other commitments.”

While focused on her VNL and Australian under-20 commitments, Cook is hoping that there may be bigger things on the horizon in a revamped ANZ Championship that will be an all Australian competition with three new Australian teams.

“ANZ is definitely on the list of goals,” she said. “There’s still a lot of work to do between now and then. You have to keep an eye open for any chances that might come up.”