Bramall on the 7 days that changed his life

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Cohen Bramall has revealed that in the space of seven days he played games for Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace, was made unemployed by Bentley Motors and undertook the trial at Arsenal that secured him a move to the Emirates from the seventh tier of English football.

The Gunners today confirmed that the 20-year-old will take up a role with Steve Gatting’s under-23s as he looks to make the step up from life as a part-time player at Hednesford Town in the Evo-Stick Nothern Premier League Premier Division.

Speaking to Arsenal Player in his first official interview for the club, Bramall reflected on a whirlwind journey.

“Well I played for Hednesford Town and I had been there for about five months. The manager, Liam McDonald, really took me on. I wanted to go into Hednesford as a left winger, and he said in front of my mum and dad that he wanted me to be a left back.

“I was like ‘OK, I’m new to this’. I played left back for them and Liam gave me a lot of confidence to be a proper left back. He gave me all the confidence that I needed and teams were getting interested.

“My confidence was getting bigger and bigger, and then I signed with an agency called Full Contact, with Lee Payne and Dan Chapman. It’s a great agency with a lot of non-league talent there, so credit to them on that.

“Crystal Palace came in for me and I went on trial with them for the week, and I played in a behind-closed-doors game against Brentford. It went OK, and then I went on trial at Sheffield [Wednesday]. I played a game at Birmingham City on a Monday.

“Then on the Tuesday, I was made redundant from Bentley Motors and on the Wednesday, Arsenal came in. I was gobsmacked and took the chance with both hands. I drove down on the Wednesday and trained with the first team on Thursday and Friday. Then they offered me a deal.”

When an offer was made to the youngster, it was an understandably moving moment.

“My mouth dropped, I looked at my agent,” he added. “It was a pretty emotional response really. I just couldn’t believe it… couldn’t believe it. I just thought ‘yes!’.”

Obviously, it’s now up to Bramall to prove he can cut the mustard at the top level. Arsene Wenger certainly thinks he has something in his locker and has hinted that he’ll continue to scour the lower leagues for more rough diamonds.


You can watch Bramall’s full interview on Arsenal Player – it’s well worth a watch. And yes, that picture is an obscure reference to Craig David’s number one hit single from 2000.

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34 Comments on "Bramall on the 7 days that changed his life"

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spinner

This will give hope to all non league youngsters.
Good luck!

PeteyB

Comes across well, wish him all the best. Out of interest, does he have very pink lips or is he wearing lip stick? Arsenal make up artist having an off day?

Jungu Beans

I wonder how much a deal with the U23s pays. Better than the Bentley factory, I’m sure, but I have no idea how much these kids make at that level. Anyone?

Pedant

No idea, but if he gets a grand a week (nothing in comparison to all the players in the first team squad) he’ll be doing better than most people in the UK.

Wenger has a large Coq
Wenger has a large Coq

doubt he earns that much, not like there was loads of competition arsenal had to overcome to sign him

Andre

It will be around that figure I would assume, they basically give enough to youngsters that they don’t have to worry about money for rent, bills etc and can live close to training.

Gone are the days they give 90 pound a week and expect them to still share a bunk bend at home with their younger brother.

Tim

Between 1-3k per week for u21s/23s/reserve youth

David Hillier's luggage
David Hillier's luggage

Young pro’s first contracts are around 1k-2k a week from what I can gather. I suspect he’ll be on similar money, perhaps a touch more if he’s due to be in the first team squad next season.

Pedant

If 2k a week then obscene in many ways, given he is earning more than 98% of people in the UK, which is a rich country. Free market I know but still crazy.

Arsepedant

Best of luck to the kid, I really hope he makes it. Stories like this are part of the magic of Arsenal.

Paul

Start him against Swansea, I like him!
I also like Gibbs as does Cohen! Come on!! 🙂

Paul

Tough crowd on here tonight! 🙁

Goon

I hope we’re looking at lower leagues in other countries. I’m thinking Koscielny, Kante.

Bendtner's Ego

How do Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday pass on a player we take? I have trouble seeing their U-23 player pool being more stocked than ours.

Mesut O'neill

Maybe he isn’t particularly good.

Paul

I doubt they passed, maybe we just got the business done, thus avoiding “Arsenal missed out on Cohen” headlines in a few years time??
Glass full over here…;-)

Viswaram

“Why do you want to sign Zidane when we have Tim Sherwood?” – Jack Walker of Blackburn Rovers back in 1995. Sometimes people just don’t look hard enough I guess.

Coq au Vin

That’s fucking brilliant. Did he really say that?!

Hi-brid

Love it!

AFL

Great!!! Even if he is not good enough for Arsenal, which I hope will not be the case, he’ll find his way and will certainly get chance somewhere else. It’ll be great motivation for all the other talented kids that have not been graced with privilege of attending some of the league football academies.
Hope he’ll make the grades and we’ll be watching him in a couple of years playing for Arsenal first team!

Lone Star Gunner

Perhaps it was a case of us “swooping” rather than them passing?

Paul

Off topic sorry, but does anyone else think Mustafi has been a bit bang average from the beginning?

Spooner

Not with you there, but seems to take a game or two to settle (on joining & after injury) fully

Paul

I hope you are right but…

Pedant

The undefeated Mustafi?

Paul

Yes

Andre

Even at 3-0 down…

Paul

Yes, does anyone else think Alexis is a bit over rated too?

Xxxrob

I like this guy, I dunno just seems genuinely in awe of his surroundings and the situation. I hope he can kick on from here, if not for the Arsenal then somewhere to forge a career for himself. Top lad

Andre

Agreed it’s because we can all relate to him, everyones reaction would be the same. Best of luck to him.

Adams Jnr

Such a great interview with him on Arsenal Player! You can see how much it means to him. I think Wenger is absolutely spot on looking to the lower-leagues for talent – they come in, like Cohen has, so fired up and eager to take the opportunity with both hands. Wish him the best of luck, and hope he makes it.

Alex

Not good enough Blogs. Now we need the music video to go with this!

Mikey

He is very well spoken and emotionally intelligent. I really like how he studied famous left backs after getting played there. Smart kid!

rmpauden

Sounds to me like he got sacked for taking too much time off to go on trials..he doesn.t seem too gutted about it

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