Tom Curren hopes to swap his Sandringham jumper for the Saints tri-colour in round 1.
WITH young St Kilda forward Daniel Markworth recovering from a knee reconstruction, rookie Tom Curren shapes as a potential replacement on the Saints' senior list.
He might not have played a game yet but that doesn't mean Curren hasn't impressed his teammates – he's one of five 'emerging leaders' appointed by the players in a bid to spread leadership across the group.
The uncapped 20-year-old is entering his third year on the Saints' rookie list, fresh from a successful 2012 where he won Sandringham's best and fairest award.
Along with fellow rookies Jackson Ferguson and Cameron Shenton, Curren played in the Saints' NAB Cup double-header against Adelaide and Port Adelaide, and is only too aware of the opportunity for elevation.
"When [Markworth] first went down - it's not something that automatically springs to mind, it's more of a sympathy feeling on my behalf," Curren told AFL.com.au.
"But obviously [elevation] can become a possibility and at the moment I'm more just worrying about playing good football.
"There's still a long way to go and there's potentially another couple of rookies who are able to be elevated as well.
"At the moment I'm just trying to finish off the last few weeks of pre-season and begin the year well with Sandringham, and then hopefully string a few good games together like I did in the latter part of last year.
"And then who knows what the future may hold."
If the immediate future is unclear for Curren, his recent past is vivid.
As a teenager he was a keen cricketer, basketball player and footballer and he recalled the countless hours in either his mother or father's car, travelling from one sporting commitment to another.
He said when he joined the Dandenong Stingrays in the TAC Cup while also playing representative basketball for the Frankston Blues, that he really started to clock up the kilometres with his parents, Ann and Mick.
Living on Melbourne's Mornington Peninsular Curren split his time between mum's house in Frankston South and dad's in Mount Martha.
"I'd go from a Friday night footy training session to basketball and play that night," he said.
"Sometimes the travel was quite intense going from Dandenong to the other side of Melbourne to play basketball teams like Eltham and Melton.
"On the Sunday morning I had basketball training and then I'd have to shoot off to a footy game.
"It was a bit of a challenge early but I'm thankful for the support of my parents, which got me through."
Curren balanced the three sports from about 12 years of age but his time at the Stingrays convinced him he wanted football to be his only focus.
"I was pretty much 100 per cent keen in all sports and didn't really know which one I wanted to pursue, so it was more about finding which one I really had the passion for and which one I had the best chance of making it in," he said.
"As I grew older and my eyes opened up to the opportunities I could have in football compared to cricket and basketball … I'm not even six foot [tall] so I didn't really stand a chance in basketball.
"Footy was probably my best bet."
Tom Curren is a midfielder in NAB AFL Fantasy. Register your team at our AFL Fantasy Hub.
Jennifer Phelan is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow her on Twitter @AFL_JenPhelan.