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The apparent ease in which Kurt Mann has taken to first grade makes it seem possible for any of us to give it a shot.

He does not look a day over the 22nd birthday he celebrated earlier this week, which makes the mark he has made in Melbourne all the more impressive.

Mann played eight consecutive games last season after debuting in Round 9, scoring six tries along the way to show the purple faithful a glimpse of the future.

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Now he has earned a starting spot at centre for the club's season opener against St George Illawarra on Monday night, an occasion that cannot come quick enough for the well-mannered youngster.

"I couldn't wait to get back in, I really enjoyed playing first grade and I was having the time of my life when I was playing (last year)," Mann said.

"I am just really excited to get back in this week."

Mann hails from Longreach, a small country town in central west Queensland with a population of around 3,000 people, and the same home town as Cowboys and Maroons prop Matt Scott.

Before arriving in Melbourne he spent time with the Newcastle Knights, who signed Mann onto a scholarship at the age of 15.

After he helped steer Newcastle to an under-18 premiership the Storm pounced at the chance to sign the promising fullback-come-centre back in 2012. 

Now three years on the club is expecting the signing to pay off.

Despite his potential, Mann admits there is one facet of the game the coaching staff continues to demand improvement in.

"They've been into me about my weight a fair bit actually," he said.

"Initially when I came back I was heavy but it wasn't good weight, a bit of Christmas weight.

"But after training I am still four kilos heavier than what I was last year so that is a good position to be starting in – but I haven't grown any taller."

Standing at 183cm and 86kg, there is likely to be plenty of growth left in both mind and body for the promising outside back.

Mann is a part of a new generation at the Storm along with Young Tonumaipea, Jordan McLean and Tohu Harris. All four players are 23 years or younger and each as been named in the starting side for Round 1.

With every day at AAMI Park the chance to learn and develop as a footballer, he revealed the teammate he learns to more than most for his football guidance.

"I look up to (Will) Chambers a fair bit because that is a position I'm playing," Mann said.

"I've learnt a lot off him, just being around him and what he's does because that's his position and he's played there his whole life.

"Just watching what he does, talking to him… and he grabs me every now and then and says 'you need to do this or that', so he has been a big help for me.

"Cameron Smith and that are just really good blokes to be around as well. Not just about footy but life in general."

Melbourne begins its 2015 season on a Monday night at Jubilee Oval against the Dragons on March 9.

This article first appeared on

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.