Mortimer takes Eels back to Orange - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mortimer takes Eels back to Orange

By Ben Horne 14/01/2011 06:40:52 PM Comments (0)

Parramatta five-eighth Daniel Mortimer took team-mates back to his home town of Orange, in greater west NSW, as the Eels continue their attempts to bond ahead of the NRL season.

The Eels were last year's major under-achievers and seemed to go from one controversy to the next until coach Daniel Anderson was sacked at season's end.

New coach Steve Kearney took the team on a will-testing boot camp a couple of weeks ago, and now Mortimer has gathered the Eels together for a night in the country as they try to turn fortunes around.

Parramatta were intending to play a trial match in Orange, but refurbishments to the main ground ended that possibility.

They hosted an open training session for the local community on Friday afternoon, and followed up with autograph signings and a touch football match against members and local players.

Come Friday night, Mortimer brought the Eels back to his father Peter's vineyard for a quiet drink.

"I feel very honoured to bring the boys back to show them my home town and also treat the Orange people to something special that most other towns wouldn't get the chance to see. I feel very privileged at the moment," he said.

"We came down for a training session and a game of touch ... so the town was pumped for that. Then back to my old man's winery for a bonfire."

Mortimer had a Christmas break with a difference, doing a touch more training than his NRL colleagues.

With brother Tim playing footy for Alby in southern France, Daniel and family were shown the sights.

Mortimer even attended a training session with the local side and was surprised by the Frenchmen's knowledge of the NRL.

A proud country boy, Mortimer said his heart goes out to those affected by the Queensland floods.

"It's just horrific," he said.

"To see all these country towns that were struggling without rain and now they've been punished with it is devastating."

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