Curtis joins the Kangaroos

Paul Curtis is headed to North Melbourne. (Supplied/Mandy Borg)

Tara Murray

Melton South’s Paul Curtis is expected to bring an X-factor to North Melbourne’s forward line next year.

Curtis was selected by the Kangaroos with pick 35 on Thursday night in the AFL draft.

North Melbourne list manager Glenn Luff told North Melbourne media following the draft that Curtis was a player the club rated very highly.

“We brought in five boys, we went into the draft knowing it was a draft that had some versatility,“ he said.

“We’ve addressed the midfield over the last four to five years with some real elite talent and we bring in another elite midfielder in Jason Horne-Francis, and then from there we really addressed some needs that we had to fill long term.

“And then to bring in Paul Curtis as a small forward with some X-factor, he should really complement what we’ve already got down there in the forward line.

“We’re really excited with what we’ve brought in in the draft.

“We feel like we have a really even mix of players coming through the club in this offseason and we’re excited to see them on the track.”

It’s been a steady rise for the Western Jets forward, who kicked five goals across his first three NAB League matches in 2021, before slotting nine goals in the last four outings.

He earned selection for Vic Metro in the trial match against Vic Country, where he caused major headaches, kicking 3.5 from 18 disposals.

Being drafted tops off an up and down few months for Curtis who was diagnosed with COVID-19 a couple of months ago.

Speaking before the draft, Curtis told Star Weekly that he was very keen and excited to play football professionally, but it was also nerve-wracking at the same time.

Curtis found his love for the game at 11-years-old when he started playing for Melton South.

“At that age I was just playing for fun … just playing with my mates from school,” he said.

But when he reached the under-16 team, he realised how serious he was about the sport after making a few squads and having his name out there.

“I started taking it a bit more seriously, as well as still having fun,” he said.

Melton South coach Heath Pritchard said the club was rapt that Paul had been drafted. He joins a handful of players from the club to make it onto an AFL list.

“To have a young man who started with the junior section of the club in the under-10s and have him represent us in three senior games this year and also come and watch us, even being a water boy, every Saturday when he wasn’t playing at the Jets, shows the club’s connection to Paul and his career going forward.”

Curtis was the only Jets player who was taken in the draft.

But it was good news for a former Jet, Josh Honey, who was upgraded to Carlton’s senior list.

Honey was taken in the 2019 rookie draft and has been on the rookie list since.

He made his debut in 2020. It was in late 2021 when he found his feet at senior level.