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10th Jan 2017

Cohen Bramall’s career move from non-league to Arsenal couldn’t have come at a better time

Cinderella man.

Ben Kiely

What a whirlwind few days it’s been for Cohen Bramall.

At the beginning of the week, he was still attached to non-league outfit Hednesford Town, who play in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League. By Tuesday, the 20-year-old was unveiled as Arsenal’s latest signing as he was brought into their u-23 side for a reported fee of between £40,000 and £80,000.

By putting pen to paper on his Arsenal deal, he made an almighty leap from the seventh tier of the English league system to the top. That alone would have been enough to make this a fairytale, but there’s a bit more to this transfer story.

During his first interview with the Arsenal website, the full-back talked through how the deal went down. After spending five months with Hednesford Town, he signed for a talent agency and suddenly opportunities began to pop up.

“I signed with an agency called Full Contact… 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 okay, and then I went on trial at Sheffield Wednesday.”

After getting all these chances to prove himself to these big clubs, he received some bad news when he was made redundant from his job. Remarkably, Arsenal called him the next day to offer him a far better gig.

“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.”

Uplifting stuff.