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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Tuesday, April 10th 2018

WellRed meets: Josh Brownhill

Josh Brownhill reveals why he feared he may never make it as a professional footballer, why he believes the 2017/18 season has been his best and his thoughts on the overall campaign.

You’ve cemented yourself as a regular in the Bristol City first team. You’ve come a long way from learning the game at Carrington Training Ground!

It’s been a long journey. I remember the day I was released from Manchester United and I thought that was it, to be honest; I thought my chance of becoming a footballer was over.

I was with my parents in a room and was told I wouldn’t be getting a scholarship, so to try and find another club was horrible. I had a few trials elsewhere and didn’t get on.

I remember sitting in the car with my dad asking ‘what is going to happen? I’ve come from Manchester United but nobody wants to take me’ but I ended up going to Preston North End and they signed me at 16 years old.

I ended up making my debut just before my 18th birthday and it all went from there. It was about giving myself a chance and taking it when the opportunity came.

It seems to be a topic which is not often discussed in the world of football.

My dad always said to me ‘everything is going to be alright’ but for me I was thinking ‘what if it’s not?’ My dream of being a footballer was being crushed and there are so many lads out there who do get released.

Some stay on and think they are going to make it. They might go on to reserve level but then they don’t end up cutting it.

But sometimes you have to drop down a bit and my time to make it came a little later. It’s about luck as well but you create your own luck.

Josh Brownhill's looping header rescued a point on the road at Barnsley last month

What were your plans if football didn’t work out for you?

In school it was the dream to be a footballer and I would always have done everything I could to make that happen but I would have gone down the fitness route if not.

Maybe I would have tried to join the Army or the Royal Air Force, as a personal trainer or something along those lines.

How would you sum up your 2017/18 season?

There have been a few ups and downs but I think there have been more ups, when you look back on the season. We are eighth in the table and that’s certainly a high point compared to last season.

Personally it has been the best season for myself. I’m playing every game, I’ve scored quite a few goals for someone who doesn’t get many, I’ve got a few assists too so on a personal level yes, it’s been very good!

It’s a tough period at the moment but we are still in a great position so it’s far from over.

Some will say City should be guaranteed a play-off spot after the first half of the season, but is that fair?

No, at the end of last year if someone had offered me - with a handful of games to go - that we'll be in the hunt for the play-offs then I’d take it 100 per cent. Going from near relegation to the top eight shows how far we have come in 12 months.

It’s been an amazing season and everyone needs to realise its been a good campaign either way. It’s a tough fight because all the teams are very good. We expect to be up there with the squad we have but if not, we have to build on our confidence and take it into next season.

Brownhill is tonight's WellRed front cover star

This is a preview of the full interview, which can be read inside tonight's Bristol City v Birmingham City WellRed matchday programme.

Inside Josh discusses how he's been working on his creativity, his Manchester roots and THAT Carabao Cup run, his poem to Wayne Rooney and his bromance with Callum O'Dowda!

Wellred is sold around Ashton Gate for just £3.