June 02, 2015 11:32:11 UK
Midfielder Mitch Austin is returning to Australia to continue his career, after signing a two-year contract with Central Coast Mariners.
The 24-year-old, though born in England, started his youth career in Australia with Manly United in Sydney but has never played at a senior level in the country.
He was spotted by scouts of Rotherham United while on a UK tour with Manly in 2009 and later signed for non-League Stalybridge Celtic.
Austin has since played in the English pyramid for Cambridge United, Lincoln City, Brackley Town and Southport. He made one League Two appearance for Cambridge last season but was one of 15 players released by the club at the end of the campaign by United.
The left-footed midfielder said he had become a lot quicker on the ball during his time in the non-league system.
“I think here you get probably a bit more time and they let you play a bit, whereas over there it’s take a touch and you’re virtually getting smashed,” said Austin.
“Obviously I’ve gained a lot from that, I’m quicker and you’ve got to be smarter. I’ve gained quite a lot from it.”
Austin becomes the second player signed by Mariners coach Tony Walmsley in the space of a week, following the recruitment of former Sunderland striker Roy O’Donovan.
Central Coast are 19.00 to win the 2015-16 Grand Final.
Meanwhile, Sydney FC defender Matt Jurman has inked a new two-year deal with last season’s beaten Grand Finalists.
Jurman is in his second spell with the Sky Blues and formed a centre-back pairing with Senegal international Jacques Faty in the second half of last season.
The former Australia U-23 international won the A-League double with Sydney during his first stint at the club, in 2009-10.
Don’t forget, all of the fantastic markets we have to offer, including In-Play betting, can be accessed on mobile or tablet with bet365 On The Move. T & Cs apply.
View all Soccer betting