It is fair to say that Dean Austin isn’t a household name but the former defender was an important member of Tottenham Hotspur’s defence in the mid-nineties. After leaving Spurs in 1998 due to the emergence of Stephen Carr, Austin spent four seasons at Crystal Palace before finishing his career in 2003 with non-league side Woking.
Upon retiring from playing, Austin went straight into coaching and spent a year with the youngsters at Watford’s academy before joining Farnborough Town as the club’s director of football. He was in the job for a matter of weeks before he was asked to take over the team as manager just two weeks before the start of the season.
Unfortunately during Austin’s time at the club they endured a number of off-the-field problems and he left in February 2005. However, he wasn’t out of work for long and joined his former side Southend United in July 2005 as a coach and the club’s head of recruitment.
He enjoyed three successful years at Roots Hall, helping the side to two successive promotions before leaving to join Brendan Rodgers as his assistant manager at Watford. Austin was on his travels once again in 2009 when Rodgers left Watford to join Reading but this appointment was short-lived and the entire management team left six months later.
He then spent a year back at former side Crystal Palace as first team coach and under 21 manager and then a year at Bolton Wanderers as a regional scout before a very brief spell at Notts County as Chris Kiwomya‘s assistant manager. In January 2015 Austin re-joined Watford as head coach Slavisa Jokanovic’s assistant coach where he played an important role in getting them promoted to the Premier League.
He stayed on at the club when Jokanovic left and spent the 2015-16 season working with Quique Sanchez Flores. He left in May 2016 upon the appointment of Italian manager Walter Mazzarri who brought in his own Italian backroom staff to assist him.
Austin made a return to football in September 2017 when he joined Northampton Town as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink‘s assistant manager and ended up taking over first-team affairs on a caretaker basis when the Dutchman was sacked. Although unable to save The Cobblers from relegation, the Northampton board appointed Austin as permanent manager for the 2018/19 season but his tenure was short-lived and he was sacked at the end of September after winning just one game.
A year later he made a return to Watford for the fourth time when he linked up once again with Quique Sanchez Flores as his assistant manager. Unfortunately his time at Vicarage Road came to and end in December 2019 when Flores and his backroom staff were sacked.
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