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Season in review: Austin continuing to grow

This or That? Mark Austin What do you prefer, this or that? This week Lukas Markovic jumps into the hosts chair of BulldogsTV's series 'This or That' as he gets Mark Austins' preferences on everything from Justin Bieber or One Direction, weights or running, rock or country music and more in the lead-up to the round eight clash with Gold Coast.
Mark Austin in action during a Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval, on November 27, 2013. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)
Mark Austin in action during a Western Bulldogs training session at Whitten Oval, on November 27, 2013. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)

Mark Austin
Guernsey number: 47
2013 games: 7
Career games: 33
2013 goals: 1
Career goals: 2
 

  Disposals Disposal efficiency Marks One percenters Tackles
Season averages 9.9 78.3% 2.7 3.9 1.4


Season in short:

The tall defender added seven AFL games to his career tally in his second year with the Bulldogs. Austin’s performances for Williamstown as a dour defender earned him a senior call-up between rounds five and seven, and again between rounds 20 and 23. 18 disposals, six marks and four inside 50s against former side Carlton in round 20 indicated that the backman has an attacking edge to his game and can also find the ball. The following week, lockdown efforts on Adelaide’s Tom Lynch and Lewis Johnstone demonstrated Austin’s versatility.

Stat that mattered:

Austin’s 18 disposals at 83.3% efficiency was the first of a string of career bests for the 24-year-old against Carlton in round 20. The defender bettered his previous record in inside 50s (four), rebound 50s (four), contested marks (three) and one percenters (five). Named among the best in six of his 15 performances at VFL level is also a credit to the athletic tall.

What they said:

“He is now starting to have that inner belief that he belongs at the level and can compete with the best. It is a credit to him to have the mental strength, the mental toughness, to come in and say ‘OK I am playing AFL footy but it is no different to VFL, I am going to play my role for the team’ and really buy into that.”

- Development Coach Ashley Hansen

Pre-season focus:

Honing his craft as a tall defender, Austin will be putting pressure on fellow backmen Michael Talia and Tom Young for spots early next season. While still on the rookie list, the 24-year-old has played senior football in both seasons on the Bulldogs list.