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“Do what I say, not what I did”.

That was among the advice former Panthers great Mark Geyer passed on to son Mavrik before he fulfilled a dream to become the fourth family member to represent the club in Thursday night’s 22-16 defeat of Sydney Roosters.

Geyer, 23, was supported by more than 100 friends and family members as he followed in the footsteps of his famous father - who played 135 matches for Penrith, as well as representing NSW and Australia – and uncles Ben and Greg Alexander.

The trio were members of Penrith’s first premiership winning team in 1991 and despite Ben being a non-playing reserve in the grand final, Mavrik made special mention of Ben - the uncle he never met due to his death in a car crash the following year.

Mavrik Geyer made his long awaited NRL debut for Penrith against Sydney Roosters
Mavrik Geyer made his long awaited NRL debut for Penrith against Sydney Roosters ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Unlike his father and uncles, who all debuted in their teens, Geyer has had to bide his time but despite offers from other clubs, including the Storm, where another uncle, Matt Geyer, won a premiership in 1999, he never wanted to play anywhere else.

“I think there were a couple of clubs, but I chose because Penrith because it means a lot to me,” Geyer said.

“I've lived two minutes away my whole life, and I'm very glad to debut for this club.

“Two of my uncles, Greg and Ben, and my dad as well, they won the first grand final here, and these boys have won three in a row now, so it's a good place to be at and I love it, man.”

Inside Mavrik Geyer's jersey presentation

While his team-mates are aiming to become the first team to win four consecutive premierships since St George’s record run of 11-in-a row from 1956 to 1966, Geyer is just as familiar with the 1991 grand final triumph.

“It's on at my house three times a day, and my dad makes me watch it every time,” he joked.

Grand Finals Moments: 1991 Royce Simmons Try

“I’ve watched it a few times and it's special; off that drop out when dad hits Royce [Simmons], and he scores his second try. That's very special.”

However, the game has changed since then and despite also being a second-rower, Geyer said he was a different player to his firebrand father, who famously challenged Wally Lewis at halftime in an Origin match and was the centre of some of the biggest judiciary cases of the modern era.

Origin Rivalries: Wally Lewis v Mark Geyer

“I think if he played now, he'd be in the Super League … or kicked out,” Geyer said.

“He was a bit of a rebel back then but the game's changed, it’s a bit more faster and you’ve got to be better at different stuff.

“Back then they were probably tougher, but he definitely tells me to ‘do what I say and not what I do’.

“For me, it's all about making a name for myself, but I’m so glad that I have the last name ‘Geyer’ and live on the legacy that my father and my uncles paved, and to do it at this club is very special.”

The 1991 Panthers premiership winning team, which included Mark Geyer and Greg and Ben Alexander
The 1991 Panthers premiership winning team, which included Mark Geyer and Greg and Ben Alexander ©NRL Photos

With the hype surrounding his debut, which included his father and uncle Greg, who both work in the media, speaking publicly of their pride, Mavrik said he turned off social media during the lead up to the clash with the Roosters.

However, it was an emotional occasion for Geyer when his father presented him with his jersey for the match in front of the Panthers squad, while accompanied by his mother Meagan and Alexander, who is her brother.

Mavrik Geyer celebrates his NRL debut with family and friends
Mavrik Geyer celebrates his NRL debut with family and friends ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

“I think dad sort of set the tone, he sort of made it a bit more pumped up and he said a joke about the way I look at him,” Mavrik said.

“I think if he cried, I would have been gonski. I would have definitely cried a lot more, but I think everyone was just pumped.

“It's been a long road and big grind, but I'm just so glad it's happened and that my family were here.

“It's just a credit to my father and my uncles that I've got as much hype as I did, because I'm just a player who has made his debut and if they’re not who they are, and if they didn’t have the legacy that they did, I’d just be a regular player.

“I always believed that I'd eventually play, but everyone's got a different journey and you've just got to keep grinding.

“I learn off these boys and watching their journey, winning three comps in a row. You have just got to put your head down and train hard, bro.

“The fact that we won was the best part, to be honest.”

Acknowledgement of Country

Penrith Panthers players and staff 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.