Oh, the physics!
Colchester United has a 1-0 lead after the first leg of its League Two playoff tie with Exeter City on Cohen Bramall’s aesthetically-pleasing free kick at Colchester Community Stadium on Thursday.
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The artist of the goal was Cohen Bramall, the 24-year-old who left Arsenal for the U’s last summer. The left back now has two goals and five assists on the season.
The beauty of the free kick is Bramall shaping like he’s going to spin a right-footed cross into the mixer, instead smashing a left-footed shot that zips inside the near post.
The second leg is Monday at Exeter’s St. James Park. The winner of the tie between fifth-place Exeter and sixth-place Colchester meets the winner of Northampton Town and Cheltenham Town for the right to join League One.
He went from a car factory and non-league side to the books at Arsenal.
That’s worth a standalone line.
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But consider that new Arsenal left back Cohen Bramall, 20, was laid off from the Bentley factory before Christmas, and the story goes next level in a hurry.
Bramall didn’t come out of nowhere, having also had trials at Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday before landing at the Emirates in late December.
From the BBC:
“I got made redundant by Bentley on the Tuesday [20 December], which was crazy because I didn’t know what I was going to do,” he said.
“My agent Lee Payne rings me on the Wednesday saying you’ve got a trial at Arsenal. I was like ‘what?’ – I was gobsmacked.”
Bramall was playing for Hednesford Town, whose biggest recent player was Ashley Williams. The Welsh defender the club for Stockport County at age 19, and that turned out pretty well.
Arsene Wenger likes Bramall quite a bit, and laid out the defender’s skill set on Arsenal.com:
“[Bramall] is a young, promising left back who has a lack of experience at the top level but who has fantastic ingredients. He has tremendous pace, a good left foot, a great desire to do well. Overall, he’s a very exciting prospect.”
Bramall will hit the U-23s first, but here’s hoping he makes a rise through the ranks to complete his Cinderella story.
Soon, he might be able to buy a Bentley.
Arsene Wenger has made a living finding young players in relatively unknown areas. He’s apparently done that again.
According to a report by BeIN Sports host Carrie Brown, Wenger confirmed that the club has signed 20-year-old Cohen Bramall from non-league club Hednesford Town. The youngster is a left-back and has joined on a $50,000 deal, according to the BBC.
Apparently, Bramall (pictured, right) has been on trial with Arsenal since December, and has impressed the scouts and executives enough to sign him on. Brown reports that Wenger told her the deal is complete and that Bramall is “an exceptional physical specimen. Wenger also reportedly said that Bramall is not ready to play in the Premier League just yet, meaning he will likely either join their U-23 side or end up out on loan.
The BBC report states that both Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday also had scouts watching Bramall before Arsenal invited him to a trial.
Bramall spent time at another non-league club Nantwich Town before moving to Hednesford. Nantwich director of football Jon Gold spoke to the BBC, saying, “He was obviously a great talent when he first came to us but the manager at the time was going with older players. That happens. Jamie Vardy was turned down by many clubs, don’t forget, including even Crewe.”
Bramall’s story is receiving plenty of parallels to Vardy’s meteoric rise from non-league play, but the two have plenty of differences as well. Bramall is still just 20 years old, while Vardy was 25 when he moved from Fleetwood Town to Leicester City.
“Obviously he has a huge amount of development and work to do,” Bramall’s agent Dan Chapman said. “Any player moving from part-time to professional football takes a while to adapt but in this case the jump in levels is so high. Realistically we can expect Cohen to cut his teeth in U23 football but we are confident he will break through at senior level in good time.”
With the signing, a video of a rabona assist he had while with Hednesford has picked up steam. You can see the video in the story here.