How a heart-to-heart with Ivan Cleary sparked Mavrik Geyer’s push for first grade spot

Mav Geyer this week. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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Everything that led to Mav Geyer’s emotional NRL debut last week began midway through last year when he was upgraded from a development player to the club’s top 30 roster.

From that moment on, it was Geyer’s mission to play in the NRL in 2024 and, in order to do that, he had to sacrifice and become the fittest and best trainer over the summer.

“When I was upgraded to the top 30, everything became more real – this was my chance to take this opportunity with both hands,” Geyer told Extra Time in an interview to be published in print this week.

A heart to heart chat with Panthers coach Ivan Cleary during the pre-season allowed Geyer to see a path where his dream of playing first grade footy could become a reality in the not too distant future.

“Ivan had a chat to me about Hosko (Zac Hosking) leaving and said there’s an opportunity here and I’d like to see you grab it with both hands and have a real crack at it,” Geyer recalled.

Mav Geyer chats with journalist Nathan Taylor. Photo: Melinda Jane.

“Even Jaeman Salmon leaving, he played that bench utility position, so there was a couple of spots opening up for me and it was up to me whether I really wanted it or not.”

The 23-year-old said playing in the NRL, like his famous father Mark, was always the ultimate dream, but he knew he would have to put in the extra work to make that happen.

“I always wanted it, but it was finding that extra bit of confidence within myself,” Geyer said.

“I think that all starts with fitness. I was really big on doing extra training in the off-season, making sure I was fit coming in.

“I’ve had a couple of injuries in the past and missing out on a couple of weeks can set you back in the fitness department. Fitness is where it all started for me in the off-season and gaining more confidence for myself.”


Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor is the Weekender's Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.

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