This time seven years ago, Charlie Austin was working as a bricklayer and playing part-time football for Poole Town in the Wessex League Premier Division. Fast forward to January 2016, and he’s just signed for Southampton for a fee of £4m, scoring the winner in his debut at Old Trafford.
We sat down with Charlie to discuss his journey to the Prem.
RealSport: When you made your first move to Swindon, did you ever imagine that you would be playing for in the Premier League within a few years?
Charlie Austin: No I never imagined it, but then I never imagined I would make it professional, let alone play in the Premier League.
RS: Do you think your Wembley setback with Swindon Town helped or hindered your career progress?
CA: Life always has setbacks; it didn’t hinder my career as I moved to Burnley six months later.
RS: Would you have stayed with Swindon had they progressed to the Championship?
CA: I don’t know, I can’t really answer that question. I had two years left on my contract so I would have stayed a while I guess, but everyone wants to progress and move on.
A new home
RS: What was behind your decision to move in this transfer window, rather than waiting until summer?
CA: The right club came in for me, so it seemed a no-brainer to move.
RS: Are you hopeful of making it into the England squad this summer?
CA: No, I don’t think so this year, it’s at the back of my mind at the moment to be honest. For now I’m just focusing on doing well at Southampton.
RS: You are a goalscorer, so do you set yourself a goal scoring target at the start of each season? If so, does that target now have to be adapted due to a January transfer?
CA: I don’t set myself targets, I just try and score as many goals as I can when I cross that white line.
RS: Can you describe what it felt to score the winner against Manchester United on your Southampton debut?
CA: Scoring a goal always feels great, but it’s a bit different scoring away at Old Trafford in front of 70,000 people on your debut than it is, say, in front of 100! It’s an unexplainable buzz.
RS: What do you feel the future holds for yourself and your new club? You have come a long way in a short amount of time, so what’s the plan now?
CA: Honestly I couldn’t even predict what will happen, the last 4-5 years has been a whirlwind of surprises so who knows. I just hope I can score as many goals as I can for Southampton.
Want to share your opinion? Why not write for us?