A piece on Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper and Academy graduate Brandon Austin:

It’s been a while since I last wrote a piece on Brandon Austin. The Spurs Academy graduate and goalkeeper, who has gone onto become Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper during this season (2021/22). The Hemel Hempstead born professional footballer who was previously with Chelsea before joining Spurs, signed scholarship forms with the club in the summer of 2015, but would have to wait quite a while until he got regular starts for the Spurs Under 18 side. Austin did make a lot more appearances for the Spurs Under 18 side during the following 2016/17 season, when he was an important member of the Spurs Under 18 side that reached the semi-finals of the FA Youth Cup, during that season. Having made his competitive debut for the Spurs Development side during the 2015/16, Austin would later start a really good number of games for the Spurs Under 23 side as a first year professional with the club, in 2017/18. However, during the following 2018/19 season Brandon Austin started almost every game for the Spurs Under 23 side, and as well as impressing in the UEFA Youth League for the Spurs Under 19 side, he was consistently excellent for Spurs at Academy level during that season.

In the 2019/20 season Brandon did start quite a lot of games for the Spurs Under 23 side, but he was also a substitute goalkeeper for the Spurs first team on a good number of occasions, when Hugo Lloris was out injured. He did well during the second half of the 2019/20 season in the second tier of Danish football, when on his first ever loan, with Viborg FF, who he made 14 competitive appearances for. Austin returned to Spurs for the start of the 2020/21 season, but would join MLS Orlando City SC on loan in the January of 2021. Although he was the second choice goalkeeper for Orlando, the whole experience of being in a different first team set-up in a really good Orlando side, must have been a very enjoyable experience for Brandon, who also did make five appearances for Orlando during his time at the club. Since returning to Spurs from Orlando, Brandon has obviously been training with the Spurs first team on a regular basis, has become Spurs’ third choice goalkeeper during this season (2021/22), made the bench for the first team on occasions, and also very recently he signed a new contract with the club until 2024.

For those who have read my match reports over the years, you’ll have known that I’ve always thought a lot of Brandon as a goalkeeper. He is undoubtedly one of the very best goalkeepers that I have ever seen in Academy football. Such is his excellent ability to not only make the most remarkable of reflex saves, saves which have often left me wondering how he managed to stop the ball from going into the goal, but also how commanding he is inside his penalty area. From crosses and set-pieces I really can’t recall him making an error, especially since stepping up to Under 23’s football. An expert at saving penalty kicks, Austin as a goalkeeper is a real character, and one who is very vocal on the pitch, and not afraid to tell the defenders where they should be, and what they should be doing, if they aren’t doing their jobs properly. I have often seen a lot of leadership qualities in Brandon as a goalkeeper, especially at Academy level. I think that his distribution has also improved since he started playing first team football.

The goalkeeper who excelled at Under 23 level and who was absolutely outstanding during that 2018/19 season, is just a very reliable goalkeeper, and someone who is always alert and on his toes in matches. He is good at rushing out of his goal, and he also uses his body well to close down the angles to make saves. Austin will have become an even better goalkeeper for his experiences out on loan in Denmark and America, but also for his experience with the Spurs first team. Training with the first team and being in the match day squad as a third choice or in some cases second choice goalkeeper, must be great for a goalkeeper of 23. When he was eligible, Brandon was also called-up to the England Under 21 squad, and that in itself shows just how highly rated a goalkeeper Brandon is. Obviously a lot depends on the first team goalkeeping situation next season, and what happens in the summer transfer window. However, hopefully Brandon will get to make his debut for the Spurs first team at some point during next pre-season. Whether he goes out loan again next season or stays with the Spurs first team as the third choice goalkeeper will be interesting to see, but the fact that Brandon recently signed a new contract until 2024, is really encouraging news.

I still strongly believe that Brandon is capable of becoming the first Spurs Academy graduate since Ian Walker to go on and become the first choice goalkeeper for Spurs at some point in the future. However, in the meantime I wish him all the very best of luck for next season, and of course the remainder of this season.

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