Hartlepool United’s Neil Austin wants to complete every minute of this season

Neil Austin wants to continue his amazing record this season. Picture by FRANK REID
Neil Austin wants to continue his amazing record this season. Picture by FRANK REID

MARATHON man Neil Austin is yet to miss a minute for Hartlepool United this season – and now he wants to make it through to the last kick of the campaign.

The 28-year-old has started and finished each of Pools’ 29 matches so far this term – already eclipsing his total from last season – and last weekend’s goalless draw at Exeter City was his 100th outing for the club.

Austin admits he spent too much time in the physio room and the commentary box towards the back end of the previous campaign, a torn calf muscle seeing to that.

And, when he missed the bulk of the summer preparations this time around, the defender feared he was set for a frustrating start to the year.

However, he won his fitness race for the opening-day draw at MK Dons, and he hasn’t looked back since.

“I’ve played every minute so far this season but I’m trying not to think about that – I keep touching wood,” he told SportMail ahead of Saturday’s trip to Sheffield Wednesday.

“I’ve had quite a few injuries in my career where I’ve been out for a couple of months, so I’m just trying to stay injury-free as long as possible.

“I’m very happy with that and I’m happy with my fitness as well – I’ve just got to keep going.”

Read more of Neil Austin’s hopes for the season in today’s Sportmail.