Jok joins Redbacks in massive signing

Shimona Jok. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Oliver Lees

Romsey has landed a blockbuster signing for the Riddell District Netball League season, with Victorian Netball League and former Super Netball player Shimona Jok joining the club.

Jok (nee Nelson), has built a career as a prolific goal shooter since moving from Jamaica to Australia.

Jok played a key role in Collingwood’s dramatic final season in the Super Netball competition, but wasn’t offered a contract after the team was scrapped.

She has since signed with the City West Falcons in the VNL and as a training partner with the Melbourne Mavericks where she might return to Super Netball if selected.

Redbacks coach Lena Way said it was massive for the club and the league to land a player of Jok’s calibre.

“It’s huge to have someone of her calibre play with us,” she said.

“Just for her to share her experience with our young players and to give them an opportunity to play alongside her, we are very fortunate she’s come to us.

“We must have the right vibe around the netball club, I think it’s a really positive place for girls and women.”

Way said she will lean on Jok’s experience, particularly in offence, but won’t let her status diminish the input of the entire playing group.

“One of my sayings is, ‘the wisdom is in the group’,” she said. “Nobody owns the wisdom, it’s not held by one person.

“I ask all of my players to give their thoughts and share their ideas.”

This season the Redbacks A-grade leadership will be comprised of Lauren Anglin (captain) and Emma Grech (vice-captain).

Anglin has returned to the Redbacks after some time away from the club.

She played a key role in the club’s 2017 A-grade and 2018 B-grade premierships.

“I’ve personally played with her for years, she is a great leader on the court and really positive and encouraging of our younger players,” Way said.

“It was a clear choice for me.

“And my vice captain is Emma Grech who is one of the younger players, it’s great to see her stepping up in the role.”

Former coach Danielle Davidson has also returned to the Redback for the 2024 season, while VNL stars Maggie Lind and Lucia Fauonuku are also back.

The Redbacks season kick off on Saturday with the traditional home opener against Wallan.

Last season, the teams couldn’t be split on total points, with Romsey just having the edge of an extra seven percentage points.

They met three times in 2023, with an average margin of five points differential across the year.

Most significantly the Redbacks were able to edge the Magpies in the elimination final, winning 45-42 after extra time.

Way said playing and winning close games has given her team confidence.

“I think it’ll be close again,” she said.

“It’ll be physical and close and a really good contest, a great way to start the year.

“There’s a lot we need to achieve before we start thinking about the finals series… but of course our aim is the grand final.”