Just a few months ago East Fife’s Nathan Austin was plying his trade on Council parks in the Kingdom’s amateur leagues.
Fast forward a bit and the striker was amongst the Fife side selected to test Glasgow Rangers in front of almost 45,000 fans at one of the finest grounds in the country.
Austin was added to the ranks of Willie Aitchison’s side at the start of the competitive campaign and was credited with playing a huge part in the stunning League Cup comeback against Morton.
Ton boss Allan Moore was quick to praise the youngster’s impact in the after match press conference.
It’s been quite a turnaround for the former Leven United man who spoke to the Mail after facing his old side at King George V Park over the weekend.
He said: “It was weird playing against them, but it was good to be back.
“I played a lot of good football here for two years and it was good to be back and see some old faces.
“I enjoyed the game.”
Austin has followed in the footsteps of current club captain Craig Johnstone in joining East Fife from the amateur ranks.
Johnstone was brought to the club by former East Fife boss Stevie Crawford from Kennoway and has gone on to cement his place at the club.
Austin told the Mail that the step up in class has been difficult - but he’s gradually getting used to it.
“It was hard adjusting at first but I’m getting used to it now; the boys have accepted me and I’m just enjoying it,” he said.
“I just want to concentrate on getting better now.”
Austin was given a good run out during the recent trip to Ibrox which the men from the west won 5-0.
The striker looked busy up front and tried to get as involved as he could during what was a pretty controlling performance for the Gers.
Despite looking calm on the park, Austin admitted that there were a few nerves when Aitchison told him to get stripped.
“It was pretty crazy when I got the nod to go on from the manager,” he said.
“I wasn’t expecting it; to get a chance on a park like that, and it took me a few minutes to get used to it if I’m being honest.
“But it was a brilliant experience.”
Bayview boss Aitchison has arrived at the club with his past experience in coaching youngsters being held up as a particular positive given the young age of the majority of the East Fife squad.
Austin added that the boss has already set about working on his own game to prepare him for a future career in the senior game.
He said: “I’ve always played up front; I like the ball coming from behind and running on to it - that’s what I do best.
“In the senior game I won’t get the chance to do that as much so I’m working with the manager to take it into my feet, laying it off to people and then turning.”
He admits that the demands on fitness in the senior game has come as a shock.
“I thought I was fit before I came down but it’s at a completely different level,” he said.
“But I’m adjusting to it quite comfortably.
“I’ve cut down on my job so I can get in full-time and it’s been working out perfectly.”