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Daniel Mortimer could be excused for thinking Monday night’s clash with the Raiders at Parramatta Stadium is a junior country Rugby League reunion.<br><br>Mortimer played alongside five of the current Raiders players in Country representative teams– Shaun Fensom, Josh Dugan, Jarod Croker, Daniel Vidot and Joel Thompson.<br><br>In a great sign for Rugby League development in the country, six players are set to showcase their talent in the top grade after starting as juniors in the bush.<br><br>“I played with a lot of their boys in country teams and they have big futures ahead,” Mortimer said.<br><br>“Joel Thompson and Shaun Fensom in country under 18s and Western Academy sides, Daniel Vidot in the AIS squad, Croker in the schoolboys.<br><br>“Josh Dugan as well, he’s always been a great talent.<br><br>“They have some really good years ahead of them with that young squad.<br><br>“It shows that there is a lot of talent out in the country and it needs to be found.”<br><br>Mortimer is hoping to recapture the form that saw him burst onto the scene in 2009.<br><br>By his own admission, the Eels youngster believes he has underperformed and acknowledged that his second season has already proved a lot more difficult.<br><br>“Yeah definitely (found it harder this year),” he said.<br><br>“When you do make a bit of an impact people try to shut it down and obviously there are a few players in our team that teams try to shut down.<br><br>“But I think there has been a lot of focus on our side and teams are really doing their homework and lifting for our games.<br><br>“Last year we played in the Grand Final which is the most pressure a player can be under, especially at my age.&nbsp; The hardest thing about Rugby League is staying at the top for a long period of time.<br><br>“I’ve been training my butt of and have confidence in my ability so I’m sure it will take care of itself.”
Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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