Gawain Austin eyes national call after solid JPL season
After starring for Lennon High School during the 2019 daCosta Cup season, Gawain Austin had his doubts about playing at the highest level locally.
However, a great deal of encouragement from his uncle Rodolph Austin and community members pushed him to make the step up to the Jamaica Premier League (JPL), and now every time he goes on the pitch he tries to repay those who had the confidence in him by trying to make them proud.
"Personally, I did not think I was ready to play Premier League but people in my district have always been telling me to go and give it a try and that I should stop doubting myself and believe, because they believe I have the talent.
"So I have to show that they were not wrong about me and I always come out to play my best and make them proud," said the Morgan's Pass resident.
Austin, who represented Clarendon College before moving to Lennon, has been having a great first season with Portmore United. He has firmly established himself as a regular starter in central defence, and playing alongside uncle and former national captain Rodolph Austin has been great for his development and his confidence.
"It has been a great season. I started out at right back, and was giving my all but the coach moved me to the central position in a back three.
"Playing alongside my uncle I have gained some valuable experience and that has helped me to be more composed and to fight more.
"He motivates me on and off the field. If I am slipping up he is the first to shout at me and say, 'hey, you can do better'. He knows my ability and he believes in me, so he has been a great source or motivation and encouragement."
The next step for the promising defender is to get a national call. However, his current focus is to try and help Portmore to the Lynk Cup National KO title, as they were eliminated from the JPL after the preliminary round. Portmore and Harbour View ended 2-2 in the first leg of their Lynk Cup semifinal.
"I am looking to get my first call-up and play for the national team and try to get an overseas contract to go and play in Europe or wherever God takes me.
"We are out of the Premier League so the Lynk Cup is what we are playing for now. In the Premier League we defeated Harbour View two times, and drawing (first leg) gives me confidence that we will win. If we had won tonight (last Friday) maybe we would have gotten a bit complacent but this gives me the belief that we will go out and fight and get to the final," he said.