The determined full-back was snapped up from local rivals Darlington during the summer of 2009 and became the first Quakers player to make a switch to The Vic since Neil Aspin in 2001.
Any doubts about where his loyalties lay were quickly put to rest as Austin registered a series of committed performances which were rewarded with both the Fans and the Players’ Player of the Year awards in his first season.
Injury prevented him from competing for the top honours in 2010/11 but he returned in fine style during 2011/12 when he became Pools’ first outfield player in over a decade to play every minute of every game throughout the season.
Aggressive in the tackle and composed in possession, Austin has been one of the most consistent performers for Pools during his time at The Vic, operating mainly at right-back but showing his versatility by slotting in at centre-back, left-back and even in midfield on occasion.
Having come through the ranks with hometown club Barnsley, the gritty Yorskhireman made over 150 appearances for The Tykes and played a big role in their promotion to the Championship in 2006.
Darlington made their move for him in 2007 when his strong displays in defence earned him a big reputation in League Two and saw him voted in to the division’s PFA Team of the Year in his final season with the club.
He made 36 starts for Pools last term but his season was ended prematurely when he picked up a troublesome toe injury which kept him out of the final three months of the campaign.