The 22-year-old attacking midfielder showed flashes of promise on loan at Dutch outfit PEC Zwolle from Melbourne City back in 2018 before returning home to continue his A-League education.
Three years later Paris-born Genreau’s quality is shimmering brighter than ever with French Ligue 2 leader’s Toulouse, where he has become an almost instant hit with 11 appearances already this season in what’s shaping as a breakout campaign.
The ambitious club were so keen to snare Genreau they concluded a four-year deal via a Zoom call while he was on Olympic duty with Australia’s U-23s in Tokyo, a month after he’d made his Socceroos debut against Taiwan in Kuwait.
Genreau hasn’t looked back since, impressing coach Philippe Montanier with his maturity and poise in a cut-throat division.
“When I first came to Europe I learned a lot but I wasn’t really ready mentally or physically to play regularly,” Genreau told FTBL.
“That Netherlands was a great football experience (he made 10 appearances under John van't Schip) but I was still very young and did struggle a bit under the pressure of promotion and relegation.
“I went back to Australia and grew up a lot physically and mentally (at City and Macarthur).
“That’s prepared me very well to return here to Toulouse and play week in week out.”
Dual nationality Genreau knew just being in Europe wasn't enough - he needed to be featuring consistently to further his 2022 World Cup ambitions.
“I’ve been involved now in the last three camps and going to Qatar is a huge goal,” he added.
“There are so many good midfielders in the Socceroos squad, for me it’s just about being patient.
“I’m still young and if I keep putting in good performances for my club hopefully the opportunities will come.
“Arnie (Graham Arnold) has always told me that game time is the most important thing, and fortunately I’ve been getting that.
“If you’re playing regularly it gives you a much better chance with the national team. I want this to be a long career in Europe."
A native French speaker with close relatives nearby, Genreau has embraced the culture both on and off the field.
"I really feel at home here," he added. "This league has some very technical payers and it’s physically tough.
“It’s hard to compare to the A-League other than to say it’s a very strong level.”