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Brotherly shove: Aussie siblings Tyrese, Marlee battling for Olympic call-ups

Marlee Francois, Tyrese Francois Source: Supplied

England-based brothers Marlee and Tyrese Francois are aiming to join an elite sect: Australian siblings who have represented their country together.

Few have accomplished the feat, whilst others are still trying, with the siblings from Campbelltown in Sydney’s west emerging as the latest to toss their hats in the ring.

Fulham’s Tyrese, 20, has been to a single Australia U-23s camp, whilst younger brother Marlee, 18, is knocking on the door, having just signed a two-and-half year professional deal at Championship club Bristol City.

Both have their gaze trained on Tokyo in July, vying to be a part of Graham Arnold’s Olyroos chosen ones.

Only Tony and Aurelio Vidmar, John and Ross Aloisi, Joel and Adam Griffiths and Adam and Ryan Griffiths have pulled on the green and gold together, all at senior level.

But attacking midfield talent Tyrese, who has made a League Cup appearance for the Cottagers this season and is a regular member of Scott Parker’s first team squad, will be picked for an Olyroos camp in Saudi Arabia this month.

Baby bro Marlee only missed out on a Robins first team call-up for the 2-1 loss to Bournemouth a week ago because a groin niggle.

With Nigel Pearson now at the helm, the crafty and evasive winger - a regular starter with City’s U-23s - is pushing to get another senior squad opportunity before season’s end.

Though both eligible for England through their mother, and Mauritius through their father, the duo only have eyes for Australia.

Tyrese’s prospects of being on the plane to Japan look feasible, whilst Marlee might have to do something special.
But the dream is alive and kicking for both.

“It would be incredible for both me and Tyrese to play together for Australia one day,” Marlee told The World Game.

“It’s always been one of my goals and targets to go to the Olympics, and to perhaps be there in the same squad as Tyrese would be something you’d never forget.

“I think if I can get a couple of first team appearances in before the end of the season then maybe I’ll have a decent chance (of being picked).

“I haven’t been involved yet with Australia (at any level) but I’ve got to keep knocking on the door, I guess.

“There were a few England scouts who came and watched me and are still keeping an eye out, but my big hope is to play for Australia.”

Marlee, who was on Fulham’s books until two years ago, signed his pro contract on the same day he was forced to bypass the call to join Pearson’s senior ranks.

“That was mixed feelings,” he said. “It was a little bit frustrating being injured but if I keep working hard hopefully I’ll get another call up and show them what I’ve got.

“I’ve trained with the first team before and I think making the transition is very doable.

“The feedback I had before was good - there is a gap between the under-23s and the first team but it’s not a huge one.

“The new contract gives me a good amount of time to set my pathway up with Bristol City, and I’m looking forward to the future here ... it’s a very good club.”

With the mid-table Robins 12 points away from the playoff spots, Francois sees Pearson as the perfect figure to lift the club’s fortunes.

“He is an experienced coach who’s worked with world class players and everyone has the belief that he can take the club forward,” he said.

“He did well at Watford (in his last role) but sometimes things are out of your control.

“Hopefully we’ll finish up in the top 10 this year and set ourselves up for next season.”

Source SBS The World Game