Fulham's Aussie Francois knocking on Premier League door

Tyrese Francois in action for Fulham in the Carabao Cup Source: Getty Images

In an era when Australians have all but disappeared from the Premier League, Fulham youngster Tyrese Francois is hellbent on reversing the trend.

The 20-year-old midfielder - who grew up in Sydney’s far west idolising Tim Cahill - is a regular member of the Cottagers’ senior squad.

And he made an impressive 25-minute cameo off the bench in a 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Massimo Luongo’s Sheffield Wednesday in September.

With Brighton’s Socceroos goalkeeper Mat Ryan crying out for company as the solitary Aussie left on a landscape once teaming with Antipodeans, Francois believes he’ll embrace the chance to swell the ranks - if it comes.

Described by Fulham boss Scott Parker as “having a very bright future”, the budding Olyroo is edging ever closer.

He’s been part of a number of Premier League squads this season, though yet to be called into action off the bench.

“I’ve been in and around the first team quite a bit and have travelled to a few games with them,” Francois said.

“I made that cup appearance (having scored a senior debut in the same competition last season against Southampton) and the gaffer Scott Parker has been very good with me.

“This is my seventh season here but it’s really only the last couple of years I’ve been pushing on towards the first team.

“You’re training with quality players every day and always learning - if I’m called upon, I definitely feel I’m ready to do my thing and show people what I’m capable of.

“Hopefully the next six months or so will be big for me.”

The newly-promoted west Londoners’ tempestuous return to the top flight makes it difficult for Parker to be too adventurous in his selections, with the Cottagers just a point clear of the relegation zone after eight games.

Former Fulham coach Rene Meulensteen, now assistant to Graham Arnold with Australia, has been tracking Francois, who is on the radar for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

He would have received a Socceroos call-up had proposed friendlies against USA and England this month not been scratched.

“He’s still very young and has a lot of promise,” Meulensteen said.

“But with the situation where Fulham are in the Premier League, you can’t expect him to get too much game time at this point.”

A January loan is possible for the Campbelltown-raised youngster who is also eligible for England through his mother.

“If I’m not playing as much as I’d hope perhaps in the new year everything might be reassessed and maybe a loan would be a good option just to get some men’s football in me,” he said.

“I need to be playing week-in, week-out if possible but right now it’s all about trying to work my way into that first team, and see what happens from there.

“Scott Parker was a very good player in his own right... he’s so passionate and really knows his football.

“For a young midfielder like me it’s great to be able to work under him and learn from him.

“At this point I think I’m always in contention and being here is a great opportunity for me.

“With Fulham being in the Premier League it’s opened up a lot more doors.

“The challenge is getting those minutes because the side is so strong and has so much depth.”

Francois can operate as either a number eight or 10 and was part of an Olyroos camp in Qatar late last year, missing out on the Olympic qualifiers through injury.

He is adamant Parker will keep the club in the top flight.

“Everybody knows how difficult it is to get promoted to this level and every team we play against is a huge battle,” he added.

“But I’m quite confident we will stay up.”

Fulham take on Everton in Premier League action on Sunday night (AEDT)