‘My dreams are coming true’ – England striker on journey from non-league to international duty

first_img Jamie Vardy and Charlie Austin QPR striker Charlie Austin hopes his rise from the non-league circuit to the England squad inside six years will inspire other players that a similar journey is within the realms of reality.Austin was plying his trade for Poole Town in 2009 before getting his break in the professional game and, after working his way up the leagues with Swindon, Burnley and QPR, he won himself a place in the latest England squad.A similar fairytale has occurred for fellow Three Lions new boy Jamie Vardy, who was playing Conference football for Fleetwood just three years ago before joining Leicester, and 25-year-old Austin believes their story can act as motivation for other up-and-coming hopefuls.“I’d like to think so, my dreams are coming true,” Austin told a press conference.“It’s hard work. People in the lower leagues and coming from non-league still dream that they can make the step up to professional and then to play for the national team.“To be called up to the squad I believe that people below us are looking at me and Jamie and see that it can be done.”Austin earned his maiden England call during a season which saw him notch 18 league goals for relegated QPR and he is thrilled that his performances were noticed – and rewarded – by Roy Hodgson.On earning an England berth for the double-header against the Republic of Ireland and Slovenia, he said: “Delighted to be honest. When I found out that I was called into the squad I couldn’t believe my hard work through the season has come with the reward of being called up to the England squad.”With the Hoops losing their Premier League status, Austin’s future has been the subject of speculation regarding whether he will still be at Loftus Road next season.The striker was giving little away about that on Thursday though, saying: “I just want to enjoy the next two week and what will be, will be.” 1last_img read more

Champions League may use video assistant referees this season: UEFA president

first_imgUEFA president Aleksander Ceferin on Wednesday said that the European governing body will consider fast-tracking the implementation of video assistant referees (VAR) for the Champions League knockout stages this season.The organisation opted against using VAR this season, despite the technology being used by major European leagues in Spain, Italy and Germany, and the World Cup in Russia earlier this year.Speaking at a news conference in Brussels on Tuesday, Ceferin said a referee report next week could allow UEFA’s Executive Committee to revise their stance at a December 2-3 meeting in Dublin.”(UEFA referees chief) Roberto Rosetti and his team are very good. There are important points of view – the referees and all the technical aspects,” Ceferin said.”I expect the report in a week or so and then we will see when we can implement it. At the latest next season.”European Club Association chairman Andrea Agnelli, who was sat beside Ceferin, added: “At the latest next season also means there is space for earlier implementation.”Without VAR this season, Cristiano Ronaldo was sent off for Juventus after a disputed decision and Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling won a penalty for tripping on the turf.Juventus president Andrea Agnelli says “we are delighted as clubs” for the current review.(With inputs from Reuters and AP)last_img read more