Talented, versatile and ready to play rugby league, Bradford told him that he was not ready for first-grade. It made Curtis Naughton re-think and his future and so he opted for a move away and signed a deal with NRL side, the Sydney Roosters.
So now, with a contract done and dusted, Naughton looks forward to his time at the Roosters, labelling it as a dream come true for him.
“This is what Iâ€™ve always dreamt about,” Naughton said.
“Itâ€™s just come about a bit sooner than I expected.”
Still only 18 years of age, his mother Lynne is already in Australia and whilst the family bond of it all played a part in his move to Australia, it was a chance for him to make a name for himself and forge a career on his own.
“Playing in Australia has always been my goal,” Naughton said.
“So while Iâ€™d signed with the Bulls for three years, when all the stuff started happening I thought to myself ‘OK, letâ€™s go now’.”
Admitting that he had a bit of a falling out with Bradford coach Francis Cummins, Naughton was baffled as to why the club would sign him but then not play him in first-grade.
“They (the coaching staff) had signed me to be part of the full-time squad. But why? They werenâ€™t playing me.
“I didnâ€™t know why last year and I still donâ€™t know because no one ever told me. Plus, being stuck in the Academy team, which is like an under 19s competition, it just didnâ€™t feel like my game was improving.
“So I left. Iâ€™ll be playing in the Holden Cup next year which Iâ€™m really looking forward to because it will be a real step up.
“And from there, I just want to keep improving. Iâ€™ve played a game in the English Super League and my goal is definitely the NRL.”
Naughton, from Dewsbury, is familiar with a few Britsh players now playing in the NRL, having lived just 10 minutes away from the Burgess brothers back in England.
“I actually grew up about 10 minutes away from the Burgess brothers,” said Naughton.
“Theyâ€™re a fair bit older than me so by the time I joined the Bradford Academy, Sam had moved on, But the twins were still at the club.”
With their success over the last few years in the NRL, the young talent says it did play a part in his decision to come to the NRL.
“Oh, definitely,” Naughton said.
“What theyâ€™ve done here with Souths, itâ€™s been massive news back home.
“Iâ€™ve been watching all their games on TV and itâ€™s been great to see. Itâ€™s all people talk about where Iâ€™m from. Watching their success, it helped convince me to make the move myself.”