Had it not been for a sliding doors moment, Dale Finucane might already be a premiership hero with Melbourne.
The rugged Storm back-rower will head into Sunday’s NRL grand final as hungry as anyone to finally lay his hands on the Provan-Summons Trophy.
Having already tasted grand final defeat twice during his three years at Canterbury, the lure of a premiership win drives the 25-year-old Bega product.
He revealed he came close to signing with the Storm five years ago after coming through the Bulldogs junior ranks, which would have put him on the opposite side of the ledger during the 2012 grand final.
“I was actually close to signing with Melbourne my last year in the under-20s,” Finucane said.
“I was still at Canterbury, I was close to signing with Melbourne as a 21-year-old and beyond. I was actually very close to coming down here but I ended up staying at the Bulldogs for another couple of years.
“It’s funny how it really worked out.”
Storm coach Craig Bellamy did eventually get his man, arriving in the Victorian capital following the Bulldogs 2014 grand final loss to South Sydney.
Finucane’s career has kicked on since then and he has been a tireless unsung hero of the Storm side which took out the minor premiership and will head into Sunday’s grand final as favourites to claim a third title.
Finucane admits he came to Melbourne with a premiership at the forefront of his thoughts and didn’t want to let the opportunity slip through his fingers.
“I think you’d be silly if that’s not your ambition – to want to play in a premiership,” Finucane said.
“I think the fact that the team had had a lot of success before, with the calibre of players we have and the coach that we have, that was my ambition to come here and win a premiership.”