Scouting Stories: Matt Geyer

He was very nearly the Storm legend that never was.

Matt Geyer had a rocky start to his career in Melbourne, to the point where he had one foot out the door.

Prior to joining the newly formed Storm side in 1998, Geyer had spent the previous year with the Western Reds in the breakaway Super League.

The Reds folded at the end of 1997 leaving the 22-year-old in search of a new home. He found one in Victoria but was not exactly jumping out of his skin with excitement.

"When I came to Melbourne, I didn't really want to come," Geyer said.

"I'd been to Perth and that was an AFL town and I thought well if it didn't work there, it wasn't going to work here.

"I came in as a kid just trying to make my name somehow and probably work my way out of here to be honest."

Geyer broke into the side in Round 2, coming off the bench in a 26-16 win over Western Suburbs.

He played the next three games and believed he was tracking well before being served a dose of humble pie.

"I thought I'd made it, I was a bit of a hero in my own backyard," Geyer said.

"I was getting on the drink after every game and celebrating like I'd won a Grand Final. Chris Anderson snapped me out of that real quick and put me back in reserve grade for four months.

"It was in that time I thought, 'I am out of here, I am never going to have a career as a footballer'.

"I actually asked for a release, which isn't common knowledge and I was granted that release in 1998.

"Through different circumstances I got another chance in first grade and things went well. There was a game where Robbie Ross was out and I got to start at fullback, played okay in that game and at that point the Club said I wasn't released anymore.

"I spoke to my wife, she saw the writing on the wall that we were probably going to be successful so we signed here for another couple of years.

"There was no looking back from there, '99 was the best year of my life."

This time Geyer would not let his opportunity slip.

He lined up on the wing in Round 1, 1999 and went on to be an integral part of the Club's inaugural Premiership - scoring a team high 20 tries and 242 points during that season.

No points were sweeter than 'that' conversion late in the 1999 Grand Final that sealed the famous victory over the Dragons.

Geyer would go on to play a further nine years in the purple jersey before eventually hanging up his boots at the end of 2008 after 11 seasons and 262 career games for Melbourne.

This year he was named on the bench in Melbourne Storm's Team of the 20 Years - cementing his place as not only one of this Club's greatest ever players but one of its greatest people.