A bet on the QPR striker to score for England placed years ago could be about to make some Poole Town fans thousands of pounds, reports BBC Sport.
A group of 16 Town supporters placed a £155 bet when Austin had joined Swindon from Poole in 2010, at odds of 50-1. The £7,905 return looks much more likely after Austin was included in Roy Hodgson’s squad to face the Republic of Ireland and Slovenia, it was announced on Thursday.
Poole's commercial chief Mark Bumford is part of the group that placed the ambitious bet. “The local bookies are aware they might have to cough up. They don’t mind. It’s good publicity,” said Bumford.
The 25-year-old’s incredible goal scoring record in his one season at Poole attracted League One Swindon. His rise did not stop there, Championship side Burnley signed the striker in 2011 and he then moved to Loftus Road in 2013, scoring 19 goals to help QPR gain promotion to the Premier League.
“He was always confident and sure of himself. A little cocky,” Bumford added. “But with 46 goals in 46 games in his first season, then 18 goals in his last 11 matches for us, including five in his last game, he could afford to be.” Austin has impressed in the top flight too, but his 17 goals could not keep QPR in the league.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy and Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton have also been given their first call-ups to the international squad, as Hodgson tests the waters ahead of next year’s European Championship in France.
Austin is a proven goal scorer at all levels of the English game. He can do it on a cold and wet Wednesday night in Stoke, but whether he can do it on the international stage remains to be seen.