England U19s set for Keepmoat

Leeds United boss Neil Warnock has revealed that Jamaica

international Rudy Austin could be set to return to action sooner

than expected.

Austin suffered a broken ankle early in November and was not due

to return until the New Year.

But with Michael Tonge’s loan from Stoke set to expire on

December 22, Warnock is hopeful Austin can help cover his absence

until the Potters man can be re-signed on January 1.

“He’s coming along really well and there’s an outside chance

that he’ll be back in time for Tonge going back to Stoke,” Warnock

told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“That would be a big bonus and one way or the other he should

definitely be with us for the start of January. We aren’t going to

rush him but at the same time it’ll be great to have him back. He’s

been a big player.

“It’s a bonus to be thinking about him at all because I honestly

thought he’d be looking at about six months out when the injury

first happened.

“That’s how serious we thought it was. But he’s doing fine.”

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The 23-year-old, who was once on trial with Newcastle, moved to

Kingsmeadow from non-league side Bognor Regis Town last


But he made just three appearances for the Dons before suffering

the injury against Crawley in April.

Prior has now resumed light training and hopes to be in

contention for a return to the first team in the new year.

A club spokesman said: “Jason will step up his training over

this month and hopefully will be pushing to return around late


Noel Blake’s side will use the game on February 5 as their first

preparation ahead of the European Elite Qualifying Round matches in

May, when the Young Lions will face Scotland, Georgia and host

nation Belgium.

The match will be the first international fixture to be held at

the venue since the football club took over management from

Doncaster Council in September.

Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin said: “We’re delighted to

have been able to proactively secure an England game for Keepmoat

Stadium and are pleased to be welcoming the FA back to


“We remain committed to ensuring Keepmoat Stadium is a

multi-purpose facility that can be used by all and hope that

football fans from across South Yorkshire and further afield will

come out to support our young England team.”

England’s Under-19 team were last at the Keepmoat Stadium in

2009 when they beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0 in an Elite Round

Qualifier, with Doncaster-born Danny Rose scoring the winner as

Brian Eastick’s squad went on to reach the final of the European

Championships in Ukraine later that year.

The Under-21 side and Women’s team have both played there more

recently, with Stuart Pearce’s side losing to Greece in March 2010

and the Women winning 2-0 against Serbia in November last year.