Sport

Austin aims to return Leeds to Premiership

BY PAUL BURROWES Observer writer

Friday, August 10, 2012    

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JAMAICAN international, 27-year-old midfielder Rodolph Austin says he will apply himself in order to return English Championship club Leeds United to topflight football.

The six-foot tall Austin, a former Portmore United player, spent five seasons with premier Norwegian Club SK Brann before joining Leeds last month.

Austin made his debut for Leeds on Tuesday night in a preseason match against League Two outfit Burton Albion. Leeds won 1-0.

“It feels very good to be here and I’m looking forward to it,” Austin said on the club’s official website.

Leeds have been hunting the Jamaican “for a while” and Brann facilitated the transition when he picked up a fifth yellow card and was suspended for the final game of the season in the Tippeligaen.

“I heard about it (the interest) and knew it would be good move,” he added.

“It’s a big club with fans all over, and the club is trying to get back in the Premier League, so the possibilities are very nice. The club is going forward and I want to be a part of it,” he added.

Nicknamed, coincidentally, “The Beast” in Scandinavia, Austin has become “something of a cult figure”, noted the website after fans saw footage of him in action in Norway.

He arrives at Elland Road with the reputation of being a no-nonsense midfielder.

“I can’t speak for the fans, but I’m a person who likes to win and I always try to do my best. It’s for them to judge me. Fans like players who play with passion and I think it’s up to them to be honest, but I’ll keep doing what I’m doing,” Austin pointed out.

Despite signing with Leeds for £300,000, the Clarendon-born player is worth far more as manager Neil Warnock, when he was at Queens Park Rangers from March 2010 to January this year, wanted Austin for some £3 million.

Relegated from the Premier League in 2004, Leeds will open their season with a League Cup match against Shrewsbury Town tomorrow at Elland Road in West Yorkshire at 9:00 am Jamaican time.

Austin, with 48 caps and three goals for the Reggae Boyz, made 98 appearances for SK Brann and scored 15 goals.

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