When Ciaran Bramwell describes the past 12 months as a “whirlwind” it’s not hard to understand why.
From spending long, lonely hours in the gym battling his way back from injury, to making his senior Glory debut and scoring a memorable maiden A-League goal in front of his family and friends at HBF Park, it has been a pivotal and dramatic period in his fledgling career.
And one the likeable 19-year-old is determined to build upon in the coming months.
“It’s all been a bit of a whirlwind,” he said.
“I wasn’t expecting to be in the position I’m in now having had the injuries and stuff before.
“It’s been a very enjoyable year with a lot of learning from the experienced players that I’ve played with and hopefully the next year can be something similar.
“My target is to be involved with the A-League side a bit more, whether that’s starting or off the bench and scoring more than one goal would be good.
“I just want to help contribute to the team getting three points every week.”
Mention of his goal against Newcastle Jets in Round 14 of last season, meanwhile, immediately prompts a smile.
“Bruno [Fornaroli] laid it across and as soon as Ossie [Malik] stepped over it, I just tried to hit it on target,” he recalled.
“I got a good connection and I knew it was going to go in as soon as I hit it.
“After that it was quite a blur; just pure excitement.
“I knew my parents were sitting in that corner of the ground, so I wanted to celebrate with them as they’ve obviously sacrificed a lot for me.
“I could see my mum and dad, sister and brother, uncle, auntie and little cousin and to share it with them was pretty special.
“I don’t think I went to bed that night.
“I was just filled with excitement and happiness and it was definitely one of the best moments of my career so far.”
While admitting that playing as a central striker is his preferred role, Bramwell is happy to be deployed anywhere across the front three, much like his childhood idol, Wayne Rooney.
“Growing up, I played left or right midfield or striker, so I can adapt to different positions,” he said.
“He [Rooney] was obviously a phenomenal goalscorer for [Manchester] United which was the team I supported growing up.
“He could hold the ball up, he was very strong, he could run in behind.
“He was a big idol and I still look at his highlights now to try and base my game in a similar way to him.”
While undertaking a full pre-season program as part of the A-League squad, the Mindarie local has also been a key figure in the PGFC Academy First Team’s ongoing NPL WA campaign and is enjoying contributing to their charge for a top-four finish.
“The past three or four weeks, I’ve been starting to hit my stride,” he said, “and as a team, I think we’re getting bigger, better and stronger each week.
“We focus very much on one game at a time and it doesn’t matter if it’s Rockingham, Floreat, ECU or whoever, every game is a huge one for us in our quest to play Finals football.
“[Head Coach] Ruben [Zadkovich] gives us solutions in terms of how to play each game and he has been really good in getting the best out of me.”
Bramwell has found the net three times in the NPL WA this term and it was his towering header in the home draw with Armadale which gave him the most pleasure.
“That was a big one as I always get a lot of stick from my dad about being six foot tall and not being able to head the ball!” he said.
“He’s been very helpful with my development and that’s who I was pointing to during my celebration.
“He was pretty happy with it and saying it was about time!”
(article pictures courtesy of Tom McCarthy, headline picture courtesy of EstyBS Photo)