Jarrod Bowen’s England call-up: From Hereford heroics as a teenager to Premier League star and England squad

Jarrod Bowen made his Hull debut at 19 however he was no academy boy. His rise to the Premier League, and now an England call-up, started in non-League with Hereford United prior to their expulsion from the outdated Football Conference.

As Hereford’s captain Luke Graham remembers, this was a dramatic story, a season that had all the things as the Bulls prevented relegation by profitable their final two video games even with the membership in disaster. Little did they know they’d a future England participant of their midst.

“It was a massive experience for Jarrod,” Graham tells Sky Sports. “Watching a group of men fighting for their lives, coming together despite not being paid, he has seen all that. He has seen aspects of football that other young lads have not been exposed to.”

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Jarrod Bowen in motion for Hereford throughout a pre-season pleasant at Edgar Street in July 2013

Bowen was a boyhood fan. His father lower the grass at Edgar Street. But this was, as Graham factors out, “a dark time” as two relegations in 4 seasons had seen Hereford drop out of the Football League. The ensuing monetary disaster would in the end see the membership collapse.

But earlier than all that, there was the enjoyment of Bowen making his debut, his aim towards Alfreton that helped save the membership from the drop, and a celebratory evening out to keep in mind. “Jarrod will have many memories now but I guarantee he won’t ever forget that.”

It was a determined time. Players had been going unpaid and whereas Bowen was solely 17, others had households to take care of and mortgages to pay. As captain, a lot of the duty fell on Graham to guarantee lives weren’t being ruined. “It was very tough mentally,” he says.

“I would go in on a Monday to get the gate receipts, making sure everyone had what they needed to survive. The challenge was to make sure we kept training. I was player-coach and captain. My job was to make people feel 10 feet tall when they felt one foot tall.”

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There was a bucket assortment earlier than the Alfreton recreation. “Fans put money in because our wages were still not being paid.” But the membership’s predicament had offered a chance for the younger gamers – and Hereford had some actual expertise amongst that group.

Their run within the FA Youth Cup had seen Bowen and the remaining beat an MK Dons crew that included Dele Alli earlier than drawing the would possibly of Manchester City. Peter Beadle was their coach and when supervisor Martin Foyle departed, he took over the senior facet.

“He had full confidence in the young players.” And Bowen quickly impressed in coaching. “I remember one session early on where he got in between me and the full-back to squeeze in a header. He isn’t the biggest. I thought, ‘Cor, that’s impressive.’ He was not scared.”

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This was a younger participant decided to seize his likelihood. “His attitude was so good, that stood out. He was a humble local lad, no arrogance. He was almost naïve, a young lad who was happy to be there. He seamlessly stepped up in those first few training sessions.

“But the largest factor about that complete group was how humble they had been. Jarrod was keen to do something. If you stated we had been going up a 50 foot hill to do sprints, he was the form of lad who would do it with out questioning it. He would simply get on with it.

“I remember his debut against Barnet. He fitted straight in and had no worries about playing the forward pass because he had no fear. On the ball, he had some bright touches. Off the ball, he worked hard with his movement. You just knew straight away with him.

“You do see younger gamers are available in on the high stage however it is rather laborious to herald younger lads in non-League due to the physicality. Not many golf equipment at that stage hand out debuts to 17-year-old boys. That is down to the tough and tumble however he might deal with that.”

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Bowen’s first goal turned out to be the winner as Alfreton were beaten 3-2 in the final home game of the season but the odds were still stacked against Hereford. They needed to win away at Aldershot and hope that Chester would slip up against Salisbury.

“I keep in mind saying to the boys earlier than the sport, ‘Look, no one goes to have a good time if we go down however simply convey your gear as a result of I feel we’re going to do that.’ I made out like I had all of it deliberate out however, in fact, I didn’t know the way it will go.”

With five minutes left, it looked bleak. Chester were beating Salisbury, while Hereford were being held at Aldershot. But Salisbury found an equaliser and – in the 88th minute – Michael Rankine scored Hereford’s winner, keeping them up on goal difference.

Cue dramatic scenes.

“It was nearly like we had received the league,” says Graham. “It was simply the sheer emotion that we had accomplished the unthinkable. When you do not know when the following pay cheque is coming, it’s not straightforward when it comes to the mindset. That was a nice achievement.”

Knowing that “the drinks had been going to be on the Hereford followers” once they made it back home, the night out that Graham had envisaged was all set. But despite the rousing talk beforehand, not everyone in the team had shared his pre-match optimism.

“A few the boys had not introduced their gear. So a group of us, myself included, went to Tesco and purchased the outfits there. They had been stripping within the aisles, tracksuits off. People thought we had been nicking stuff however we paid for all of it. We went out in Tesco gear.”

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Jarrod Bowen's journey started at Hereford's Edgar Street within the outdated Football Conference

Bowen, nonetheless under-age, in fact, was “looked after” on the evening out however very a lot a part of it. “He played his role that season and had a positive impact on the group. It was a cracking night out too and for him, as a local lad, that last day will stay with him forever.”

The gamers stay pleased with what they achieved, shallowness intact. But Hereford couldn’t be saved. The membership was wound-up within the excessive courtroom that December. Bowen had already begun his journey with Hull, carrying the goodwill of his outdated team-mates with him.

“There are a lot of haters in football, people out there who are a bit bitter. Everyone wants to make it so they take the goodness out of people doing well. But I don’t think you will find anyone who would begrudge how well Jarrod is doing. He deserves every success.

“Stories like his are few and far between. Jarrod has had experiences different gamers would by no means have had. He is a nice inspiration to lads within the decrease leagues. It was a darkish interval for the membership however a huge growing-up interval for him and it put that fireplace in his stomach.

“The talent was there right from the start, of course. He always had the touch and the movement but he could have had a bad injury, a manager who did not want to push him. But when you have the work ethic and the attitude, you always have half a chance.

“Look at him now. He was an out-and-out winger on the time, reducing inside and drifting in, however he can play anyplace lately. He can play off the shoulder, he can come inside, he can hyperlink up, go previous a participant. He might be a false 9. He can just about do all of it.

“Everyone just wants him to get that England cap now.”

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