Storm teen's dramatic rise
Melbourne Storm teenager Curtis Scott is in the mix to make his first grade debut in the Storm's opening round match against St. George Illawarra on March 7.
The Storm fought off several clubs for the 18-year-old's signature, and Scott's decision to move down south was influenced by some of the game's biggest names.
"[I chose Melbourne] mostly for the opportunity, and the people around me. I've now got Craig Bellamy as coach, and Cam Smith, Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater here too. I've probably learnt the most off those three as well," Scott said.
Scott, an Australian Schoolboys representative in 2015, didn’t have a problem adapting to his new home, but said initially it was a bit of a struggle on the training park.
"I settled in really well, I was a bit nervous when I first came down and coming into a first grade system I didn’t really know what to expect, but all the boys worked with me and made me feel welcome."
"It [training] was a really big step up. I found it a bit tough for the first two-three weeks, so it was a bit tough for me. I just kept turning up and training as hard as I could to hopefully get noticed," added Scott.
Scott was all the rage at the Storm's open media session on Tuesday, as Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater both gave the young talent a huge rap.
Add Craig Bellamy's comments that Scott had come from nowhere a couple of months ago to now being in the frame for an opening round berth, and it's clear he's made a big impact in a short amount of time.
With all the discussion surrounding Scott's rise to a possible Round 1 debut, he admits that he's aware of the talk, but it's not something he'd like to listen to.
"I'm hearing it a little bit, but I'm just trying to keep a level head and just keep working hard. If the opportunity arises then I'm happy to take it with two hands," said Scott.
When asked about the possibility of facing the Dragons in two weeks' time however, Scott couldn't hide his excitement.
"It would be amazing. Being a long shot at the start of pre-season, and now having a crack at Round 1, it would be really exciting stuff for me," Scott said.
Billy Slater has been a big part of Scott's pre-season training, and he credits the fullback with helping him feel relaxed throughout the past few months.
"I started the pre-season a little bit earlier then the rest of the squad, and I did a heap of work with Billy, he came back a bit earlier from injury and really helped me out for the first two weeks of the pre-season which made me feel comfortable when the rest of the squad came back."
Although Scott has now settled in, it doesn’t mean that he wasn’t initially a little star struck by his new teammate.
"When I first came down, just to be in his presence was an honour. It was a big thing, it was like 'wow, Billy Slater is standing next to me'. I was watching him on TV last year, and now I'm alongside him, so it's really good," Scott said.
Scott isn't getting swept up in all of the hype surrounding the season ahead from a personal view, and has set a pretty clear goal for himself for 2016.
"Certainly just work really hard, and hopefully get an opportunity to play first grade," said Scott.