hope his works http://parramatta-advertiser.whereilive.com.au/sport/in-footsteps-" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Brothers can be better than Benji
Adrian Proszenko - Sydney Morning Herald
February 12, 2011
HE IS regarded as the best footballer in the world, but Benji Marshall reckons he’s not even the most talented one in his family.
According to the Golden Boot holder, that honour goes to 18-year-old brother Jordan - although another sibling, Jeremy, might have something to say about that.
The similarities between Benji and Jordan are eerie. Both are products of the famed rugby league nursery Keebra Park High School. Both moved south to be signed by the Wests Tigers. There’s the ink. And that Benji jink.
Advertisement: Story continues below
‘‘The boys are maturing and playing some really good football,’’ Benji Marshall told the Herald. ‘‘At the same age, Jordan is a better player than I was. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll get a chance to play together in the NRL. But the main thing at this stage is they just enjoy their footy.’’
Already, Jordan has represented his country. The Westmead resident was part of the Australian under-20s touch team which defeated New Zealand in Canberra a fortnight ago. Marshall is wary of putting undue pressure on his siblings. But if big brother is any kind of judge, higher honours beckon.
Perhaps that’s why the Tigers recently offered Jordan a contract.
‘‘If I get the chance [to play NRL] it would be amazing,’’ Jordan said. ''Watching my brother go through the ranks and killing it now is the best feeling in the world.
‘‘I look up to him a lot and it gives me hope that if I work hard I can be as good as him or maybe even better. He has been such a big part of my life on and off the field, he’s been my idol.’’
The Tigers playmaker isn’t the only Marshall who reckons Jordan was the more talented teen. Mum Lydia reckons the 18-year-old Jordan would take the 18-year-old Benji to school.
‘‘Absolutely. He’s not like Benj, he’s got his own style,’’ Lydia Marshall said. ''People always say to him, ‘Your brother is Benj, you have to do this’. I said to him, ‘You don’t have to do that’.
‘‘He’s got a better step and he’s faster than Benj. He knows now just to be himself.’’
And then there’s Jeremy. The 15-year old can also play, even though he’s chosen union over league. You won’t see a higher quality game of backyard football.
Of course, there is a long way to go to the top. Marshall snr has won a premiership, captained his country and is now the best in the business, as his Golden Boot trophy attests.
But if Jordan ever doubts himself, big brother isn’t the only reminder that anything is possible. On the back of his neck is tattooed the word ‘‘believe’’, while his sleeve and shoulder are adorned with an insignia of his Maori heritage.
It begs the question: will he represent New Zealand or Australia if he makes it to the big time?
‘‘It has always been my dream to represent New Zealand,’’ Jordan said. ''But when I made the Australian touch team we were all asked to give one reason what it meant to us.
''I still remember saying how much of an honour it was to be selected to play in the green and gold, that it meant so much to me."
The family hold out hope of two Marshalls taking the field together at the highest level. ‘‘I’d be ecstatic,’’ Lydia said. ‘‘As would Benj.’’
No matter how good they are, they will be in for a hard ride. Every step will be under the microscope and compared to Benji. Every second rater will be taking cheap shots at them. Anyway lets hope with Benji’s help they keep their heads on their shoulders and do all the hard work that is required to make it to the top
I just hope we sign him. It doesn’t say if he accepted the contract. He may want to keep out of his brothers shadow and join another team besides the Tigers…… hopefully not!
His defense might need work if he has been playing touch all this time, which is why he might have missed out when trialling with the other clubs. But that can be learned.
Imagine a faster Marshall in fullback, playing off Benji at 6! Bring it on!
Since the link doesn’t work on the first one, here it is… they are quite different.
IT’S news that most footballers will not want to read. There is another Marshall rising through the ranks, and he has the same step and flick pass as his brother Benji.
At 18 years of age, Jordan Marshall has already represented his country.
Even more impressive is that he has done it playing in a higher age group.
The agile teen from Westmead was part of the Australian under-20s touch football team’s series win over New Zealand in Canberra last month.
Yet Marshall is used to praise for his skills after being promoted through the representative ranks over the years.
“Some people try to tell me I play like Benji, but everyone has their own style,” he said of comparisons.
“I try to be like him, but I guess I’ve learned to play my own style.
“I guess I still step like him though, and the flick balls - they come out now and then.”
Seven years younger than the Wests Tigers five-eighth, Jordan won’t claim to have developed his game against Benji.
The older Marshall moved from New Zealand to Australia while a youngster, so there wasn’t a lot of time for backyard football.
While Benji lives at Breakfast Point these days, Jordan said the two occasionally face-off at family gatherings.
“I try to step him once or twice,” he said.
“I may have got him a couple of times, but you ask him and he will say no.”
Like his brother, Jordan also sports tattoos.
An insignia of his ‘Tuhoe’ Maori heritage runs down his left arm. ‘Family’ stretches across his right forearm, while ‘Believe’ is scrawled on the back of his neck.
Does the young builder want to follow his sibling into the NRL, too? Of course.
“I’d like to crack the NRL but for now it’s fun,” he said. “If I don’t get there, I don’t get there.”
While Jordan has trialled with Canterbury and Sydney Roosters in recent years, those attempts were unsuccessful.
He is also yet to earn representative selection.
Last year he played rugby union for North Rocks, and preferred the fullback position.
Yet when you carry the Marshall surname though, you’re always a target.
“I try to keep it low profile but most people ask about it,” he said.
“So obviously most people (on the field) will try and smash me.
“But I’m ready to step up to the challenge.
“I’m not going to be scared.”
Jordan is eyeing a return to rugby league with Greystanes this year.
Let the challenge begin.
http://parramatta-advertiser.whereilive.com.au/sport/story/in-footsteps-of-brother-benji/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;