From non-league to Arsenal in 48 hours: How Bramall convinced Wenger to sign him
The highly rated youngster admits he is still “speechless” after joining the Gunners from non-league side Hednesford Town
Cohen Bramall has revealed what Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said to him after impressing during a two-day trial with the Gunners – and has set his sights on breaking through into the first team by the start of next season.
Bramall has joined Arsenal from Hednesford Town, a team who play in the seventh tier of English football, following a recommendation from former player turned scout Brian McDermott.
The 20-year-old told Sky Sports News how his “eyes lit up” when he arrived at London Colney training ground for a trial and says he is grateful to McDermott for giving him the opportunity to fulfil his footballing dreams.
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“I drove in there and then I saw Arsenal Football Club, I was absolutely gobsmacked,” he said. “It was like a dream. It was so weird.
“I was with the first team on the Thursday and the Friday. My eyes just lit up straight away. I had to do my job. I just played to the best of my ability. Used my speed a lot overlapping from left-back and tried to get my body out there in front of Wenger. He came up to me after the session and it was literally a ‘hi, nice to meet you’. And he said ‘I like how you play’. Just them words, you don’t get that a lot do you. It’s amazing.
“I’m speechless. I’ve just been on the phone to my sister and she can’t believe what’s happened. Brian McDermott… he’s done class. He’s given me the opportunity. I’m so grateful for it. I’ve already moved out [of his mum’s house]! It’s going to be a big task but I think I can do it. Over the next six months I’m going to work physically and mentally and be ready for pre-season and hopefully break into the first team.”
Bramall’s agent has also revealed how the move transpired thanks to a phone call from McDermott, who managed to get the versatile left-back down to London Colney on the same day.
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Bramall’s representative, Dan Chapman, said: “Brian [McDermott] said to me ‘can we get him after Christmas’? Thinking like an agent I said how about we get him down this afternoon. And Brian said ‘give me two minutes and I’ll come back to you’ and he said ‘if you can get him down this afternoon, I’ve spoken to Arsene Wenger and he’ll look at him over the next two days’. All respect to Arsene Wenger. He was magnificent. He showed how humble he is.
“He didn’t stick him on another pitch with the under-23s. He brought him straight in with the first team. That’s the sort of respect he must have for Brian’s judgement.”