This time last year Dan Mortimer left the door ajar for a homecoming and now he's back to lead Orange CYMS' bid to return to Group 10's zenith after inking a two-year deal to captain-coach his junior club.
CYMS released a statement via social media late on Thursday night to confirm Mortimer will return to don green and gold for the first time in more than a decade, his signing coming a tick under 12 months since retiring from the professional game.
He'll replace outgoing captain-coach Dom Maley who mentored CYMS through a difficult, injury-plagued season this year, they missed the finals for just the second time since 2010.
Mortimer's signing brings a mountain of star power back to the club and adds to Group 10's list of former NRL players, alongside the likes of boom Blayney recruit Siosaia Vave and Mudgee captain-coach Jack Littlejohn as former NRL players.
"I'm really excited to announce I'll be joining the club again for two years as captain-coach," Mortimer, who also made 19 appearances with English Championship club Leigh, said.
"CYMS always played a huge role in my development as a player and I'm really looking forward to getting back.
"To the players, supporters and sponsors of the club, I really look forward to pulling on that jersey I haven't worn for about 14 years.
"It's great to be green, again."
The 30-year-old's NRL career spanned 128 games across four clubs and included a magical premiership win with the Roosters in 2013, making another grand final appearance four years prior with Parramatta.
The latter was his debut season in 2009, he made his first appearance when the Eels were sitting 14th and helped the side - inspired by Jarryd Hayne's out-of-body form that year - sneak into the finals and make a memorable run to the decider.
He officially announced his retirement late last year and with a teaching qualification under his belt he and wife Tasley settled on the Gold Coast.
He signed with Currumbin for 2019, helping the Eagles to the Rugby League Gold Coast top tier's preliminary final, where they were bested 16-12 by Southport.
He signed with the Eagles after speculation he'd land in the Northern Rivers competition, and also after a fielded an offer from the Mudgee Dragons too.
Mortimer said he agonised over the Dragons' offer before declining it, with the Mudgee ultimately signing former Wests Tigers and Manly half Jack Littlejohn.
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