Born: 08 January 1999 (Hemel Hempstead, England)
All-action young goalkeeper Brandon Austin produced some impressive performances for our Development Squad throughout 2018/19.
The regular number one for Wayne Burnett's side, he made 21 appearances in all competitions at that level, while also serving as one of the older members of our Under-19 UEFA Youth League team. He was ever-present in that competition as we made it through the group stage and beat PAOK in the play-off round, before losing to Porto in the last 16, captaining the side in six of our eight games.
After travelling with the first team squad on a handful of matchdays, he appeared on the bench for the first time in a competitive game when he was named as the substitute goalkeeper for a 1-1 home draw with Watford in the Premier League in October, 2019. In December, 2019, after making a handful of further appearances on the first team bench and having earned his first call-ups to the England Under-21 national squad in October and November, he signed a new contract with us until 2022.
Born and raised in Hemel Hempstead, attending the Cavendish School, Brandon was previously with Chelsea before joining our youth set-up. He was part of his school basketball team who were district champions and his father was a professional basketball player.
He was a member of our young squad which won the South Korea Cup in pre-season of 2014. He made his debut for our Under-18s against Reading in September, 2015, and played five games at that level during 2015/16, also appearing on the bench on several occasions.
He made real progress in his second year as an Under-18s player in 2016/17, which included lifting the IMG Cup in Florida with our Under-18s in December, 2016. One of four goalkeepers at that level, he started more Under-18 Premier League games than any of his peers - 13 - and started four games in our run to the FA Youth Cup semi-finals, winning plaudits for a magnificent string of saves in the first leg of the semi-final with Chelsea at White Hart Lane. He also played once in the Under-19 UEFA Youth League and stepped up to make two appearances for the Under-23s in the Premier League 2.
Possessing dual US/English nationality, his performances were recognised by US Soccer chiefs and he was called up for international duty with the USA Under-18s for their Slovakia Cup campaign in April, 2017. Towards the end of the 2017/18 campaign, he was drafted in by England Under-19s for a couple of international training camps.
After travelling with our first team on their summer 2017 tour of the United States, he occasionally trained with our senior stoppers over the course of 2017/18 while putting in some impressive shot-stopping displays in the Premier League 2 and UEFA Youth League. He played 12 times in all competitions for the Under-23s and started seven of our eight games in the Under-19 UEFA Youth League, where he was the hero of our penalty shootout victory over Monaco in the round of 16. He also dropped down to play twice in the Under-18 Premier League, lending some of his experience to the younger group.