Bramall on the 7 days that changed his life


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.


    • 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?

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  1. 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?

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    • 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.

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        • 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.

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    • 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.

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      • 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.

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  2. 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.

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  3. 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!

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  4. 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

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  5. 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.

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

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