Charlie Austin: Climb the football ladder

From builder to top-flight sharpshooter – Southampton’s striker tells you how to follow in his footsteps

“I’ve gone from Sunday league to semi-pro and I’m determined to make the next step. What advice would you give me, Charlie?”
Marc Roots, via Twitter

More after the break

Charlie Austin says: 

“In non-league you train on a Tuesday and Thursday night, and play a game on a Saturday. That’s not enough.

“I went from Poole Town to training at Bournemouth. For six weeks, five days a week, I trained through pre-season. If I hadn’t done that, I wouldn’t have been able to sign for Swindon a few weeks later. It got me to the fitness level of a professional. When I went back to playing non-league, I was four or five steps ahead of everyone else. It was a massive help. 

“I did a lot of manual labour as a builder and kept fit, but when you go into clubs they have sports scientists and a fitness programme for you. You need to be prepared.

“I was always learning at Swindon. I went there and everything just happened so fast – I started scoring goals and it took the pressure off. I was in the gym every day, trying to improve.

“Every time you go onto the pitch, always give 100 per cent, because you never know who’s watching. The one day you can’t be bothered could be the day a scout is on the sidelines assessing you.”

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