Mortimer shakes 'second year syndrome' tag - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mortimer shakes 'second year syndrome' tag

Joe Barton 06/01/2011 05:47:41 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta five-eighth Daniel Mortimer is desperate to shake off a disappointing 2010 NRL season and is pleased to have said goodbye to the dreaded "second-year syndrome".

Mortimer, who burst onto the scene during the Eels' memorable run to the 2009 grand final, admits he struggled to live up to expectations in his second year when Parramatta faded to miss the finals.

But short of an unprecedented "third-year syndrome", Mortimer is confident Eels fans will see his best football again this season.

"I've not heard of third-year syndrome yet, ... I might start it!" the 21-year-old joked on Thursday.

"Last year was definitely was more difficult than what I expected, but in saying that I learned a lot more last year than I have before in my rugby league career.

"I think I can take everything I learned last year into this year and really take this year head on and hopefully get some good results."

The 21-year-old believes a mature approach to his game will hold him in good stead in a Parramatta side keen to atone for last year's poor showing.

Mortimer was rested by coach Daniel Anderson late in the year as fatigue set in from a physically draining season, but the youngster says he learned more in the past 12 months than he did in his previous 20 years.

"That's what they say, you learn much more from the difficult times, and I've had a lot of that last year and I can't wait to put it all into this year," he told AAP.

"I think it will come with experience ... even last year it might not have been the most pleasant year but I definitely took a lot out of it.

"(The team) did have a lot of expectation and being a young half it was difficult.

"But this is my third year now so I'm really excited just to hopefully get in there and hold my spot and really set a good standard for the rest of my career.

"There's a lot less pressure and I think even the boys this year look different (in attitude)."

Mortimer also revealed that new coach, former Melbourne assistant Stephen Kearney, had compared the 174cm dynamo to the Storm's star half Cooper Cronk.

"Steve's told me we're very similar, we probably don't have all the talent in the world but we both work hard with what we have and if I was to end up to be a player like Cooper I'd be very happy," Mortimer added.

"Cooper is a great player and if (Kearney) had the same influence on me that he's had with Cooper Cronk that would be great because he's helped Cooper get to the level where he's representing Australia."

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