Extending the AFL Dream
TOM Curran has lived every part of the AFL lifestyle except the element he wants most - that of a player.
The 18-year-old Glen Waverley resident hopes to follow in his father Peter's footsteps by entering the AFL ranks during the AFL draft this Thursday night.
Curran senior played 109 games with Hawthorn and has worked for both Adelaide and Melbourne as an assistant coach.
The Currans have followed him throughout his football career from playing in Bendigo, where Tom was born, to Tasmania, subsequently to Adelaide and in recent years to Melbourne.
Throughout that journey Tom Curran's life has been intertwined with football at the top level learning from then teenager Mark Jamar, who lived with the Currans while he did year 12 in Adelaide, to training with the Hawks last December as the club considered whether to exercise its father-son draft choice on him.
Unfortunately for Curran the Hawks wanted to use their draft picks during trade week so the highly regarded Oakleigh Chargers star was given a polite but firm rejection from the club.
"Their recruiting manager Graham Wright came to our house and explained why they wouldn't be taking me," he said.
"He told me 'one door closes and 17 other doors open'.
"There was a five-minute gap where I sat with mum and dad and was disappointed but I'd rather do it this way. Now it's about me being good enough rather than being picked on sentiment."
As articulate as Curran is, he made it clear he knows the Hawks chose trading for former Adelaide draft pick Jack Gunston ahead of signing him.
"They thought he was a better prospect than me - that's their decision," he said.
By his own admission Curran has come from a fair way back in terms of making the AFL.
Curran only began in the TAC Cup system last year after focusing on cricket, but during this time he has developed his body and his aerobic capacity to the point where he ran 14.1 in the beep test during recent testing.
Click HERE to view the full story on Tom Curran from The Weekly's Roy Ward.