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Mortimer feeling the love at the Roosters

A year after wallowing in reserve grade, Daniel Mortimer says he's forever indebted to Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson for resurrecting his career and giving him another surprise shot at NRL premiership glory.
Mortimer feeling the love at the Roosters
by AAP

By Darren Walton

SYDNEY, Aug 20 AAP - A year after wallowing in reserve grade, Daniel Mortimer says he's forever indebted to Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson for resurrecting his career and giving him another surprise shot at NRL premiership glory.

Unwanted and on the outer with former Roosters coach Brian Smith, Mortimer was packed and ready for a move to the Gold Coast at the start of the year before being denied a release from the Bondi club.

Seven months on and Mortimer has emerged as a key player in the Roosters' drive to NRL title favouritism.

"If it wasn't for Robbo, I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't have played all the games I have," Mortimer said the day after bagging a tryscoring double off the bench in the Roosters' 56-14 romp over the Tigers.

"I was nearly gone. I had the contracts drawn up and I was meeting Robbo requesting a release actually.

"It was before I'd met him, so the first sit-down with Robbo was pretty interesting. He said while I'm on contract here this year, I'll remain here and I'm his type of player.

"From that moment, I felt wanted. Until then I hadn't really felt wanted from a coach for a couple of years."

Dubbed the next Peter Sterling when he burst onto the scene and co-piloted Parramatta to the 2009 grand final, Mortimer, like so many others, found the expectations at the Eels impossible to live up to and linked with the Roosters in 2012.

But after falling out of favour with Smith, he figured it was time to move on - until Robinson stopped the 24-year-old in his tracks.

"He's been a massive for me and you can just see all the boys really react to him," Mortimer said.

"He's got most of the boys playing career-best form. It shows the kind of coach he is and the respect that the club has for him.

"That was the biggest thing for me and he's put a lot of faith in me this year and, as a result, I've played every game."

Mortimer only played eight games last year under Smith and ended the season guiding Newtown to a NSW Cup grand final win.

Now he's eyeing a much bigger prize with the table-topping Roosters.

"I loved my time back there with Newtown last year and we got a win so if we can be thereabouts again this year, I'll be very happy," Mortimer said.

"I'm just enjoying my role and obviously the ultimate goal is to win a premiership.

"We're in decent stead to do that at the moment. It'd be nice to be back there (in a grand final) again."




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