Charlie Austin: From New Milton to Wembley
On August 8th 2009, Charlie Austin stepped out of Poole Town's changing rooms for the Dolphin's first Wessex Premier League fixture of the season against New Milton Town.
This uninspiring opening day resulted in a 1-0 win for Poole with Austin failing to score.
The reason for the prolific goalscorers bad day at the proverbial office could be because at this moment in time Austin's career was very much up in the air.
AFC Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe was desperate to sign Austin and he was desperate to join them and enter the Football League. However, a transfer embargo placed upon the Cherries resulted in the transfer collapsing for the forseeable future.
The next port of call for Poole Town was a trip to south Wiltshire to take on Laverstock & Ford in Salisbury.
In front of 154 punters at L&F's ground, The Dell, Austin scored his first of the campaign and Poole's only goal in a 1-0 win. The goal ignited Austin's form as Charlie went on to score 10 goals in the next 6 fixtures including a hat-trick at Barnstaple Town in the F.A. Cup.
During this time Austin had attracted the interests of Swindon Town because chairman Andrew Fitton had seen the forward play while they were both at Hungerford Town. Danny Wilson sent out the scouts and they came back with positive results.
Austin joined Swindon on trial in September while still playing for Poole Town.
At one point the Swindon Advertiser quoted Fitton as stating that the deal was dead with both parties unable to agree a fee. However, after negotiations Austin finally signed for Swindon Town on October 2nd for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £5,000 with an extra £15,000 going to Poole Town at the end of 2009 rising to a potential £50,000 plus a sell on clause.
Danny Wilson deliberately held Austin back from making his senior league debut for Town, allowing the youngster to get used to the professional game. Although he did make his debut as a late sub in the JP Trophy fixture at Exeter City days after joining.
His full league debut for Swindon came on November 21st, 2009 at Carlisle United and it took Austin only 3 minutes to score his first Town goal in a 1-0 win in a flooded Cumbria.
The goals simply kept on coming whether it was relegation fodder like Southend United and promotion chasing opposition like Huddersfield Town, Charlton Athletic or Leeds United.
His strike partnership with Billy Paynter has been revolutionary for Swindon especially as goals having been lacking from other departments throughout the season (Danny Ward would find form later on).
Now, less than a year after donning his Poole Town shirt to take on teams like Bournemouth Poppies and Moneyfields in front of the 200+ regulars at Tatnam - Austin will now try and get Swindon Town into the 2nd tier of English football against Millwall in front of potentially 75,000+ supporters at Wembley Stadium.
An incredible journey.
AUSTIN'S APPEARANCE RECORD 2009/10
Wessex Premier League
The F.A. Cup
Coca-Cola League One
Games: 31 (+4)
Football League Trophy
Games: 0 (+2)
AUSTIN'S GOALSCORING RECORD 2009/2010
01. 11/08/09: vs. Laverstock & Ford (WPL)
02. 15/08/09: vs. Welton Rovers (FAC)
03. 18/08/09: vs. Winchester City (WPL)
04. 22/08/09: vs. Hayling United (WPL)
05. 22/08/09: vs. Hayling United (WPL)
06. 29/08/09: vs. Barnstaple Town (FAC)
07. 29/08/09: vs. Barnstaple Town (FAC)
08. 29/08/09: vs. Barnstaple Town (FAC)
09. 31/08/09: vs. Christchurch (WPL)
10. 05/09/09: vs. Alresford Town (WPL)
11. 05/09/09: vs. Alresford Town (WPL)
12. 15/09/09: vs. Bournemouth Poppies (WPL)
13. 15/09/09: vs. Bournemouth Poppies (WPL)
14. 19/09/09: vs. Moneyfields (WPL)
15. 19/09/09: vs. Moneyfields (WPL)
16. 19/09/09: vs. Moneyfields (WPL)
17. 19/09/09: vs. Moneyfields (WPL)
18. 19/09/09: vs. Moneyfields (WPL)
19. 21/11/09: vs. Carlisle United (FL1)
20. 24/11/09: vs. Huddersfield Town (FL1)
21. 05/12/09: vs. Leyton Orient (FL1)
22. 05/12/09: vs. Leyton Orient (FL1)
23. 19/12/09: vs. Brighton & HA (FL1)
24. 26/12/09: vs. Charlton Athletic (FL1)
25. 28/12/09: vs. Yeovil Town (FL1)
26. 16/01/10: vs. Gillingham (FL1)
27. 26/01/10: vs. Leeds United (FL1)
28. 30/01/10: vs. Southend United (FL1)
29. 09/02/10: vs. Oldham Athletic (FL1)
30. 13/02/10: vs. Huddersfield Town (FL1)
31. 20/02/10: vs. Carlisle United (FL1)
32. 13/03/10: vs. Brighton & HA (FL1)
33. 16/03/10: vs. Southampton (FL1)
34. 27/03/10: vs. Hartlepool United (FL1)
35. 03/04/10: vs. Leeds United (FL1)
36. 05/04/10: vs. Tranmere Rovers (FL1)
37. 17/04/10: vs. Walsall (FL1)
38. 14/05/10: vs. Charlton Athletic (FL1)
WPL = Wessex Premier League
FAC = F.A. Cup
FL1 = League One (Inc. Play-Off S-F)
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