Belfast Telegraph

Austin hopes to inspire others

Charlie Austin hopes his rise from the non-league circuit to the England squad inside six years will inspire other players that they can make the same journey.

Austin was plying his trade for Poole Town in 2009 before getting his break in the professional game and, after working his way up the leagues with Swindon, Burnley and QPR, he won himself a place in the latest England squad.

It is a similar tale for fellow Three Lions new boy Jamie Vardy, who was playing Conference football for Fleetwood just three years ago before joining Leicester, and 25-year-old Austin believes their story can act as motivation for other up-and-coming hopefuls.

He told a press conference on Thursday: "I'd like to think so, my dreams are coming true.

"It's hard work. People in the lower leagues and coming from non-league still dream that they can make the step up to professional and then to play for the national team.

"To be called up to the squad I believe that people below us are looking at me and Jamie and see that it can be done."

Austin earned his maiden England call during a season which saw him notch 18 league goals for QPR and he is thrilled that his performances were noticed - and rewarded - by Roy Hodgson.

He said of earning an England berth for the double-header against the Republic of Ireland and Slovenia: "Delighted to be honest. When I found out that I was called into the squad I couldn't believe my hard work through the season has come with the reward of being called up to the England squad."

With QPR having been relegated from the Premier League, Austin's future has been the subject of speculation and whether he will still be at Loftus Road next season.

The striker was giving little away about that on Thursday though, saying: "I just want to enjoy the next two week and what will be will be."


From Belfast Telegraph