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Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by DVS Matt, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. DVS Matt

    DVS Matt Well-Known Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +29 /0

    ON the eve of his 200th NRL match, Manly captain Matt Orford has revealed the day he almost walked away, fearing his career would never get off the ground.

    The tenacious 30-year-old will crack the double-ton in Monday night’s round 25 clash with the Gold Coast Titans at Brookvale Oval.

    The highlight of the evening will be the unveiling of the Fulton-Menzies Stand, named in honour of Sea Eagles greats, Steve Menzies and Bob Fulton.

    But the somewhat forgotten honour of Orford’s milestone also deserves attention, with the plucky Manly captain overcoming a five-year period of reserve grade football in the late 1990s before establishing himself in the game today.

    “It was a hard time,” he said yesterday of playing reserves at the Bears before his top grade debut for the Northern Eagles in 2000.

    “I was working full-time as a posty and playing reserve grade.

    “Five years behind JT (Jason Taylor) at North Sydney was tough.

    “He was a great player and never got injured.”

    Times were so tough, the Gosford junior approached then North Sydney boss Bob Saunders to get out.

    “I sat down with Bob Saunders and I said look; ‘I don’t see myself getting a start at this club ... I might have to go look elsewhere’,” Orford said.

    “He told me; ‘you’ve worked so hard, keep working hard and you just never know.

    “He told me (ex-Eagles coach) Peter Sharp had a big opinion of me and I was on the verge of getting a start.

    “That kept me on track.

    “It’s a hard slog to be a reserve grader for that long.”

    Orford eventually did leave the Eagles at the end of 2000, but not before making his debut against the Tigers at Leichhardt Oval in May that year.

    “I was like a chook without a head, we got beat and everything went really fast,” he said of his debut.

    “I worked night shifts then, so I was finished later in the afternoon and went to work that night. I did that for a half a season, that’s all I could deal with then.”

    Kick off on Monday night is 7.15pm.
  2. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2017 Tipping Competitor

    +8,573 /80
    “I was like a chook without a head, we got beat and everything went really fast,”

    Some might argue little has changed in 200 games
  3. willstyles

    willstyles Active Member

    +4 /0
    I was waiting for that one.....

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