Adam El-Abd must have been the only Albion player hoping for an away tie against Team Bath in the first round of the FA Cup.

Once former Albion defender Martin Keown picked the non-league club’s ball out of the glass bowl, El-Abd was longing for the Seagulls to be next instead of landing a home tie with Hartlepool. The reason? His younger brother Sami is rebuilding his career with the Blue Square south side following spells with Albion and Crawley.

Adam, 24, was on the phone to 20-year-old Sami at the weekend and older brother Joe, 28, to reflect on their differing sporting fortunes. Sami, a left-sided centre-half, helped Team Bath, the side made up of university students, to a 1-0 victory against Salisbury in the fourth qualifying round to secure another home tie in the first round against Forest Green Rovers.

The night before, big Joe led Bristol Rugby Club, currently bottom of the Guinness Premiership, to a 27-0 defeat at Llanelli in the EDF Energy Cup. A mixed weekend for the El-Abd clan was completed by Adam’s 1-0 defeat with Albion at Hartlepool.

“I speak to both of my brothers every day,” he said. “We are a close family.

“I spoke to Sami after their game and he said the boys are on cloud nine. Their confidence is so high that they go into every game thinking they can win.

“Hopefully they will go through and we will meet them in the second round. That would be brilliant.

“He had a bad time when he was here through injury and he was unlucky really to miss out on a scholarship, which he was devastated about.

“I think it took him about a year to pick his chin up off the floor after that. It was a heavy blow because all he ever wanted to be was a footballer.

“He fell back in love with the game when he went to university at Bath (studying sports performance) and got playing for them at a fairly decent level. He has come on leaps and bounds in the last year and all credit to him. He is doing it the hard way around.”

The season is not going so well so far in the back row of the Bristol scrum for flanker Joe.

Adam said: “They are not doing too well in the league but they were aware it was going to be tough for them because they lost a few players in the summer and weren’t able to replace them.

“It’s still early days and they will roll their sleeves up and give it a go. I give Joe some stick over the phone but not face to face! He is a big boy, six-one and about 17 stone.”

It has not been going too well for Albion either, although the versatile El-Abd, proud father of a three-month-old daughter, Sophia, is just glad to be back in the team after injury problems since the end of last season. He still has ambitions to play one day for Egypt – he holds dual nationality through his Egyptian father and English mother – and has no regrets that close family ties once prevented him from emulating Joe by joining a Premier League club.

“When I was 16 the Academy director at Everton approached my dad about going up there but my family decided it was not the right thing to do, moving away,” he said.

“I’ve got no regrets about that whatsoever. I’m very happy here.

“Growing up, we all loved sport, like most teenagers. We are just lucky enough to be doing the thing we love.

“It sounds a cliche but it is every boy’s dream to play professional football. Joe chose rugby and it has worked out well for him too.”