• Brings a wealth of experience to the job from his days with Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace
  • Giving back to the club where it all started for him in football
  • Has already restructured the Academy to give more kids the chance to star in the first team at their local club

BACK TO HIS ROOTS...Dean Austin is helping shape a bright future for St Albans

DEAN AUSTIN hit the heady heights of English Premiership stardom at Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace but he has never once forgotten where it all started.

That's why the 51-year-old Sport Careers Agency client is now immersed in his new role as Director of Football at St Albans City in the National League South.

On Tuesday night the man who came within 90 minutes of the 1995 FA Cup Final with Spurs saw his side defeat Metropolitan Police 3-1 in a replay at Clarence Park in front of 545 fans.

That result takes City to within one round of the First Round proper of the famous old tournament and behind the scenes Austin is grafting to make sure the club that made him stands on solid foundations for future seasons.

He revealed: "The chairman Lawrence Levy and I have been talking for the past four or five years really.

"We chatted over some of things that I've done at a local grassroots club and spoken about how St Albans City can build an academy structure and open our doors to the community.

"We want to recruit players who wish to have the opportunity to learn from the knowledge I bring which will ultimately see them playing in our first team.

"What the club's owners want for the community is too exciting a project not to be involved in."

PLAYING DAYS...Dean in marauding form during his Spurs

Austin racked up 124 appearances in six years at Spurs before a switch to Palace and he enjoyed success under the likes of Terry Venables and Gerry Francis as a player.

As a coach he has earned his UEFA Pro Licence and worked at the top level, learning from current Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers as his assistant at Watford.

He brings vast experience to his role at St Albans and has already doubled the size of the Academy at City with the introduction of age groups from the ages of U13 to U15.

St Albans helped a young Austin get back on his feet after he was turned down early in his career before sparkling at Southend United and progressing to White Hart Lane.

And he confessed: "I wouldn't be doing this role at any other non-league club.

"I've been fortunate in my career to play at the level I did but I'm here because it's St Albans, the city I've lived in pretty much the majority of my life.

"It's also the club that gave me my big opportunity when I was rejected from professional football at 18."

Dean Austin is giving something back to the club who took him in when he faced a setback at the start of a glittering career. That's why he is this week's Sport Careers Agency Mover of the Week.

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