Daniel Mortimer: Meet the man behind the name

To view the entire interview with Daniel Mortimer on Bigpond Sports Weekend CLICK HERE.

Daniel Mortimer just wanted to make the Eels’ first-grade squad. He is now one of the form five-eighths in the competition.

Bearing the surname of some of the game’s greats, big things were expected of this 79kg country kid... and, so far, he’s delivered in spades.

Making his debut in Parramatta’s Round 12 loss against the Sharks, Mortimer has been at the heart of the club’s purple patch that has set the NRL alight.

“My goal for this year was to push a top 25 spot for next year,” Mortimer admitted to Bigpond Sports Weekend.

“I looked at the pecking order [at the beginning of the season] and there was Finchy [Brett Finch], Kris Keating and Feleti [Mateo]. There’s a lot of good halves round the club so I’ve been pretty lucky.

“I guess when you get the opportunity you’ve just got to run with it.”

And run with it he has.

The son of former Bulldogs great Peter Mortimer has not only led a resurgent Eels outfit now seemingly destined for the finals, but has also crossed the white line for a few tries himself.

He says it’s his teammates and the parochial crowd that gets him through the fast pace and physical standard that is first grade rugby league, but knows that the real reason is his mum.

“Mum played a big part in my career so far. She gives me a lot of encouragement and a lot of love and that’s all you want from a mother.

“Dad will give me the constructive criticism, if you’re feeling a bit down you’ll go to mum for a bit of encouragement.”

Mortimer acknowledges that; “a lot of fans would have been not that happy that a Mortimer signed with the Eels”, but it’s obvious this kid isn’t burdened by his famous bloodline.

His undeniable ability and relaxed attitude makes it easy to forget that this 20-year-old country kid has played just a handful of games in the top grade.

However, Mortimer admits that life in the city and the spotlight is something he must get used to.

“Everything is pretty daunting, people everywhere, it s a bit different to a vineyard out there.”

The Eels will be aiming to continue their recent run of stellar form this weekend when they face a red-hot Wests Tigers outfit on Friday night. Mortimer will need his teammates, the crowd and even his mum more than ever.

To view the entire interview with Daniel Mortimer on Bigpond Sports Weekend CLICK HERE.