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.