Poole Town to Premier League: The rise of Charlie Austin
When John Terry lifted the FA Cup for Chelsea at the end of the 2008—09 season QPR striker Charlie Austin was laying bricks during the week and playing for non-league Poole Town at the weekend.
However, the pair will share the same stage next season after the 24-year-old’s meteoric rise up the Football League ladder reached the dizzy heights of the Premier League with the R’s dramatic play-off win over Derby County at Wembley.
The 6ft2in striker has never struggled for goals and it was his 48 in 42 Wessex League appearances for Poole Town that convinced Swindon to give him his break in the professional ranks.
A tally of 31 goals in 54 league games for the Robins saw Austin move up the ranks to Burnley where another 41 strikes in 82 matches saw the Premier League come calling.
Newly promoted Hull were keen on the striker and only a failed medical scuppered the move. The Tigers’ loss was QPR’s gain though and R’s manager Harry Redknapp will feel vindicated after 17 goals in 31 league outings helped secure the Hoops’ return to the big time.
Austin’s rise to the top is a proper ‘Roy of the Rovers’ type tale but while it may have come as a shock to many there are plenty who have always believed in his talent.
Former Poole Town team-mate Pete Smith, who enjoyed a successful spell in the Conference South himself, claims there is no limit to how much Austin can achieve.
“It’s crazy to think that Charlie will be playing in the Premier League next season but he will score goals at any level given the chance,” said Smith.
“Huge credit to him. He has proven himself at every level now and you wouldn’t rule out an England call up in the future.”
As for his ability to cut it in the Premier League, Ladbrokes is of the opinion that the goals will continue to flow, setting the line at 8.5 in the under/over market with odds of 5/6 either way.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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