WHEN team sheets were issued for Cherries’ FA Cup fourth round showdown with Arsenal, teenage full-back Brooklyn Genesini was shown how life might be if he made it in the big time.

Donning squad number 60 for Eddie Howe’s men, the promising full-back found himself warming up alongside the likes of World Cup winner Mesut Ozil and France international Alexandre Lacazette at Vitality Stadium.

But that chance may not have come for the Yeovil-born full-back – who has vowed to work hard for every opportunity.

A decade ago, Genesini’s life could have changed forever.

A steel goal frame fell on his head in an accident – forcing it onto a concrete floor and putting the youngster in hospital.

“I remember it perfectly now,” he told the Daily Echo.

“When I was younger, I wasn’t the most confident person. I used to play indoor football since I was around eight years old.

“I was grabbing a ball out of the goal and I heard a coach shout ‘Brooklyn, get out the way’ because a metal goal banged on the back of my head and smashed my head to the floor.

“The size of my head on my right side – it was literally about two golf balls, that was described by my mum.

“I went straight to A&E and it really could have went badly from there. Luckily, I recovered from it.

“It was a very scary moment for me and my parents because, obviously, they want this (a chance at Cherries) to happen - what’s happening now.

“Maybe if that was a little bit worse, then it could have been the end of me.”

Like many youngsters looking to make it in the game, Genesini is thankful to his parents for the support they have given him since he was a child.

Mum Caroline and dad David were ecstatic when they heard the news the academy prospect would be named in the first-team squad – the latter even being distracted from his work as a bricklayer.

Recalling the events of that clash with the Gunners, the 18-year-old, who has been in club academy football since the age of 15, said: “It was funny really because earlier that morning I didn’t even know I was with the first-team.

“I was on the way to under-18 training, got the call off Alan Connell and I was like ‘oh’.

“We were on the way and I had to walk back to my digs because I was in another player’s car. I had to get in my car and drive to (first-team) training.

“The gaffer (Eddie Howe) came up to me and said ‘right Brooklyn, I want you on the bench tonight’. I didn’t know what to say, I was lost for words really.

“I told my parents. They were over the moon. My dad was driving in his van and totally went the wrong way! It was very funny actually.

“My dad was at work. He is just a normal bricklayer. He totally missed his job!

“They have put me through a lot with travelling. I lived in Yeovil and used to travel every single night to training.

“I’d leave from school, get home at 11 o’clock at night, go to bed, wake up and go to school, leave again. Every single night.

“I can’t thank my parents enough. They have really done a lot for me. Living in a hard background, not having all the money you want, it is really hard.

“That gives me more of a drive to prove to everyone what I have got and hopefully give to the club what they want.”

So, what was it like to sit on the bench with multi-million pound players around him?

“I was in the dugout and then I got told to go and warm up. Ozil and Lacazette were just standing there,” added the former Bucklers Mead Academy ace.

“I was running past and they were just staring at me. I was like ‘oh my God’ I didn’t know how to react really as I was just casually jogging past!

“It gives you so much more confidence as a player when you get those achievements. You understand what the first-team have got.

“Being in the Premier League and the FA Cup, it just really shows you how good your life can be if you get to where you want to be.

“I just need to work, no matter where I am – under-18s, under-21s or first team – I will just push and push no matter what.

“When I see that I am getting trusted to be with them on the bench and in training in stuff, I think to myself ‘why can’t I be on FIFA?’ ‘Why can’t I push and achieve these great things?’”

Like many talented youngsters, it was not just football Genesini excelled at.

Rather than being on the bench against Arsenal, he could have found himself centre stage at the Empress Ballroom in Blackpool – had he chosen to take those carefully-crafted steps.

“I used to dance in a place called Nice n Easy in Boscombe. First of all, it was just like a little side thing to help my football,” said the teenager, who specialised in Ballroom and Latin.

“I ended up getting second in the country and things like that, I was a bit gobsmacked.

“That was very intense as well. It helped me in my football technically because it gets you on your toes and stuff.

“Also, it’s very constant. They get at you, get a few shouts at you and it got me ready to be with Bournemouth.

“Going to the under-16s when I first joined, I felt I was ready for it. I knew I could develop at this club.

“I did enjoy it (dancing) for a bit but it just got a bit much really – it was too much with the football.

“I’ve been told by a few people my posture is upright, maybe that’s from the dancing! It’s quite funny really.”

Asked what his team-mates made of his dancing exploits, Genesini replied: “They found out! They were coming up to me like ‘what, did you dance and stuff?’

“I told them where I got and what I achieved and in dancing. No-one believed me in school when I was younger, then they saw a few photos and stuff.”

Whatever his technique, defender Genesini is definitely making the right moves to forge a promising Cherries career.