Worth the wait for Mortimer

THE wait is finally over.

Orange Hawks last week signed Tim Mortimer to return as the premier league side’s captain-coach in 2014.

The 27-year-old led Hawks to this year’s Group 10 minor premiership and a grand final appearance in his first season in a captain-coach role.

Mortimer, who this year filled a relief position at James Sheahan Catholic High School, had been waiting to see if he would be offered a permanent job for 2014.

Last week he found out he’d be returning to the school next year and shortly after  he  heard that news, he was speaking to Hawks president Dave Ryan.

“It feels so good. The whole of next year was a blank screen because I didn’t know what I was doing with work,” Mortimer explained.

“Now I’m here (James Sheahan) and I’ll be set in Orange for a fair while to come.”

Mortimer had received offers for 2014 from clubs outside Orange.

But the former Wentworthville fullback had unfinished business with Hawks and waited for the news on his work before he made any decisions.

Hawks won this year’s Group 10 minor premiership, beating CYMS 12-11 in the major semi-final before losing  the grand final 22-14 to CYMS.

“I want to continue to achieve with Hawks and try to progress one step further next year,” Mortimer said.

“The boys are keen. Almost all of them are coming back. A lot of the 18s grand final team are moving up to the seniors. Then the 16s (Bloomfield), which won their grand final, they’ve got players coming up to the under 18s. 

“It’s strengthening Hawks as a club. There’s lots to work with.”

Mortimer said he enjoyed his first coaching role in a memorable season for the club.

He said he’d learnt from his first season in the role and he has already been planning how he’ll approach the 2014 season.

“I’ve written down things I want to change but I’ll keep some stuff the same too because it worked well,” he said.

He admits there are some key positions which need to be looked at, especially after barnstorming prop Terawhiti Cooper took on the captain-coach role at Blayney for 2014.

Mortimer is also unsure if halfback Scott Rosser will be back for the 2014 season.

The captain-coach’s first priority is to enjoy the festive season and then he’ll bring the Hawks squad together in January.

It is then they will start preparations for the club’s ultimate goal.

“There’s still that hunger there to get that big trophy next year,” Mortimer smiled.

michelle.cook@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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