Father and son forge their own piece of Maroon history
RUGBY LEAGUE: History is repeating itself in the Marsh household in Rockhampton.
Braelan Marsh has just been selected in the Queensland under-12 schoolboys rugby league team to compete at the nationals in Adelaide next month.
It is the same side in which his dad PJ Marsh was selected in 1991 before he want on to forge a celebrated career in which he played 158 NRL games and four State of Origins for Queensland.
Braelan hopes to emulate his dad's achievements, and said it was exciting to be taking the same first step on the representative journey as he did nearly 30 years ago.
The influential young hooker played every minute of Capricornia's seven games at the state titles in Brisbane.
The team won four of its games to finish sixth.
Braelan was pleased with his form and was quietly confident of earning a Queensland berth but said it was incredible to hear the selectors call his name at the end of the carnival.
"Dad was really happy and he started crying,” Braelan said.
"The whole team came over and gave me a hug and that was really nice.”
Braelan is looking forward to representing Queensland at the nationals.
"I just hope I can play my best and know I've done everything I can on the field,” he said.
"I've been playing footy since I was six and I have played at No.9 since under-9.
"My dream is to play in the NRL. I'm hoping I can get to that level and do what dad did when he was younger.
"I just need to keep a good attitude and to play as hard as I can and hopefully that will get me there.
"I can't wait to get my Queensland jersey and take a photo and put it next to dad's.”
Braelan said his dad helped him a lot, and was always teaching him skills to help develop his game.
"Since I was little, the one piece of advice he always gave me was to tackle them around the legs.”
PJ endorses that with a smile: "I do sit on the sidelines and yell out 'legs' all the time. It's something the boys will no doubt look back at and laugh about when they're older”.
PJ said he loved football and cherished every game he saw sons Braelan and Jay play.
He said he never put any pressure on them, and he had not discussed Queensland selection with Braelan before the state championships.
"It was great to see him represent Capricornia and play so well,” he said.
"Some of those Brisbane kids were very big, but he never took a backward step.
"He did what he had to do and it worked out really well.
"It was very emotional for me when he got selected. I'm an emotional person at the best of times, but to be there for that was something special.
"I rang my wife and struggled to even get the words out that he'd been selected.”
PJ said he had always instilled in his children the importance of attitude.
"Attitude will take you a long way towards success, not just in football but in life. I wasn't the most talented footballer, it was hard work and a good attitude that helped me achieve what I did.”