One wanted it so much he would throw up at the end of training sessions while the other knew from the age of four she was going to be an international.
Within a few days of each other, the dreams of Manly-Warringah football products Callum Elder and Remy Siemsen were realised when they were selected for the Socceroos and Matildas respectively.
Elder played for Mosman in the Manly-Warringah Football Association (MWFA) competition before entering the representative scene with Manly United in the NSW Premier League. He moved to English club Leicester City as a 16-year-old to take up a scholarship, fighting for years to establish himself as he was loaned out to a series of clubs over five years before landing at Championship side Hull City on a three-year deal.
It was at Hull where the 26-year-old defender caught the eye of Socceroos coach - northern beaches-based Graham Arnold - and handed his international debut in the recent World Cup qualifier against China in Doha, won 3-0 by Australia.
Elder's former Manly United Youth coach, Louis Dimitropoulos, told the club's website: "Callum never shirked the hard work and he was professional in his attitude to all things with his football.
"I remember one time Callum ended up vomiting in the water because of how hard he pushed himself (at training). That kind of discipline that he has shown throughout his career started early on in Manly."
Twenty-one-year-old Siemsen didn't quite take the same circuitous route to the national team but told her parents 17 years ago she would be on the international stage.
The former Manly United forward, who lives at Frenchs Forest, will be good to her word after being drafted into the Matildas squad for the friendly against Ireland on September 22.
"I am ecstatic, over the moon. This truly is the realisation of a lifetime goal and dream. It comes down to constantly working hard and not ever giving up on that dream," she said.
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