Trifiro brothers’ dream could have a twist

Brothers Jason and Glen Trifiro were almost inseparable throughout the course of their long and arduous road to professional football but on Saturday night the two will be forced to square off against another.

From playing junior football in Winston Hills to moving interstate in hope of turning pro, the pair were side by side as they strived to achieve their joint goal of reaching the A-League. But less than two months after the younger Glen followed his brother into the top flight competition, the brothers will become rivals if they are selected to go head-to-head when Central Coast Mariners host Western Sydney Wanderers.

The Trifiro brothers were late arrivals on the A-League stage as neither made their professional debuts until the age of 24 when Jason joined the Wanderers in 2012, while Glen was a deadline-day arrival at the Mariners in February. For seven seasons, they toiled in the state leagues but now have a chance of sharing the field in the A-League, something that was once a dream.

“it will be a pretty special moment because it’s taken us a while for us both to get to this professional stage. It’s my brother’s first season and my second season. It took longer than others that we grew up playing with but it will be a very proud moment, and I’m sure my brother feels the same way too,” Jason said.

Since their junior years, the two always tried to play in the same team and alongside each other despite the age gap. Glen, a year younger than Jason, would often play up a grade until separated in their more formative years. The two reunited once eligible for all age competition and even selected clubs on the basis of their willingness to let the two play together in the midfield.

“We grew up playing all our junior football and then went our separate ways in a senior environment because everyone said we’re too similar,” Jason said. “It helps when you have your brother alongside you, the times we played each other were enjoyable but now we might be coming up against each other.”

Given their years of developing alongside one another, it’s no surprise that the two midfielders are almost identical in their style of play. They are industrious while technically strong and possess a good passing range but their determination to play together conflicted with their similar on-field persona in many coaches’ eyes.

“We both moved to Melbourne because we thought that here in NSW we weren’t given the opportunity because nobody wanted to play us together because we were too similar. We went to Victoria and found a coach that wanted to play us together, and we both went really well. Jase won the gold medal in the VPL and I got the gold medal in the Mirabella Cup,” Glen said.

The two run a football academy together in Sydney despite Glen moving up the coast. However, come Saturday, their partnership will be put aside. Both Wanderers coach Tony Popovic and his counterpart at the Mariners, Phil Moss, are yet to name their squads so the Trifiro family will wait in hope until Saturday, but Jason already has an idea of how he can gain an advantage over his younger brother.

“If he misses a pass or something I can get in his ear a little bit, it might tick him off but he’s pretty calm so he might just laugh it off,” Jason said. “We’ll try a few little things but we know each other inside-out.”

If the two are selected to play each other for the first time in the A-League, it will be a just reward for years of labour.

“If we’re both selected and we’re both part of the match, I look forward to it. I haven’t played against my brother in professional football before, and to do it in the A-League in front of my family will be very special, not just for us but everyone involved in us when we were growing up.”

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