The Torquay Football Club has become a second home to the Curnow family in recent years.
All three Curnow boys spent various amounts of time at the club, with Ed and Charlie now strutting their stuff at the Carlton Football Club.
Steve Grossman, Charlie’s first junior coach at the Tigers, saw the most recent Blues’ Rising Star nominee grow into the player he is today.
“His first game is very vivid to me because I remember us getting the ball to him and he kicked a goal,” Grossman told Aflplayers.com.au.
“He was three or four years younger than the other kids but you could see he was going to be a good player and knowing what his brothers were like you knew he was on the right path.
“I remember I used to coach his middle brother George, and Charlie used to come along to the games, and when we were short in the under 10’s he would fill in and play in the forward pocket.”
After giving Curnow his first game of football more than a decade ago, Grossman had always been a keen admirer of the key forward as he continued to develop.
“I watched him develop until he was about 16 because George would always be ahead of him and he would be playing behind us all the time,” he explained.
“As I watched him grow, I noticed that he always had well-rounded skills. Even when he was little he was a great contested mark and very competitive.”
The whole Curnow family often visited Grossman’s parents’ farm, where the boys and girls would roam all around the country side. Their endurance always seemed superior to the local kids.
But while he progressed through the grades of the Geelong region, Charlie never forgot where he first learned the basics of the game.
“What set him apart from others was when he played at Geelong College he would make sure to come back and play half-a-dozen games to be part of the community at Torquay,” Grossman explained.
“Most kids that go to college don’t come back to their local clubs, but Charlie knows where his roots lie. He always made an effort to come back to the club when he didn’t have too, that shows great character.”
In recent weeks, the younger Curnow has given Carlton fans a glimpse to the future with strong performances leading many to believe he could be an Anthony Koutoufides 2.0.
Over the course of the last month, the he’s averaged 18 disposals, 8.3 marks and 6.5 score involvements per game and Grossman couldn’t be happier.
“For me being a Carlton supporter, I couldn’t be prouder of him going to Carlton. If he was as good as Koutoufides, I think everyone would be more than pleased.
“He is similar, very similar, he has got a bit of x-factor about him, that’s something he’s always had. Charlie has got a presence about him, there’s no doubt about that.”
And that presence is something the tall forward often brought to junior games much to the liking of his teammates.
“The juniors always played better when Charlie was picked in the team, they always asked ‘is Charlie playing’? If you have presence you go a long way in football,” he said.
“As a Torquay person to watch a highly talented sportsperson come back to the club, it was always a pleasure to watch him play and it would make the team lift that extra 10 per cent.
“The kids would try harder because Charlie was there, and he would lead the way, he was actually quite a good leader as a kid.”
Now the Blues’ fifth Rising Star nominee in 2017, Curnow joins Sam Petrevski-Seton, Caleb Marchbank, David Cuningham and Jack Silvagni as the club’s next generation of future stars.
But without trying to place too much pressure on Curnow, Grossman says he holds high hopes for his future.
“I think he can be one of Carlton’s great forwards in years to come, but I hope he remembers who his first coach was when he becomes a star.”