1. He's a late bloomer
Unlike many of the top selections in this year's NAB AFL Draft, Paul Curtis didn't have a long history of representative football under his belt coming into his draft year. Curtis started playing Aussie Rules aged 11, but it quickly went from an activity with mates to a potential career when he made representative squads in Under-16s. "In past years I didn't make it to any high squads, so I'm coming into all this as a newbie, I guess. I feel like I have to sell myself a little bit more than other people," Curtis told SEN. The 18-year-old let his performances for the Western Jets do the talking, particularly at the back-end of the year, kicking nine goals in the final four matches of the NAB League season and 3.5 for Vic Metro against Vic Country.
2. He's a genuine X-factor
Like some of the best versatile forwards in the game, Curtis can turn a quiet afternoon into a best-on-ground performance in the blink of an eye. That capability was on display earlier this year when Curtis kicked four goals in just 15 minutes in the third quarter for the Jets against the Sandringham Dragons. "You can feel like you don't see him and he's not in the game, and all of a sudden he'll just do something special," Jets coach Robbie Chancellor told the Herald Sun.
3. He has perspective
It hasn't been an easy road to an AFL list for Paul Curtis, who tested positive to COVID-19 last month in the middle of interviews with clubs. While it was just a minor setback in the scheme of things, it gave Curtis a new perspective on his footballing journey. One that ensures he wouldn't be taking an opportunity to join an AFL club for granted. "It'd be a dream come true [getting drafted]," Curtis told AFL.com.au. "Since I was younger and watching the footy on TV I told my dad I wanted to get there. It would be the biggest opportunity and I'd take it with two hands."
4. Goal attack is in the family
Curtis comes from an impressive sporting bloodline, with his mother having previously represented Tonga in netball at the Commonwealth Games. The 18-year-old is one of five children, which no doubt would have resulted in some friendly sibling rivalries growing up.
5. He can push into the midfield
While Curtis has made a name for himself as a dynamic forward over the past 12 months, he has voiced his hunger to add more strings to his bow. "I don't want to be a one-dimensional player just playing in the forward line," he told the Melton Star Weekly. The 18-year-old has put a strong focus on building his endurance base in a bid to spend more time in the midfield since the NAB League season ended, and models his game on Bayley Fritsch and Luke Breust.