THIRTEEN-year-old Port Macquarie football player Luke Townsend never knows who might be watching in Tokyo next week. Townsend will represent the Hastings and the state with the New South Wales under-14 team at the International Youth Tournament. They will fly the flag for Australia and face teams from Beijing, Cairo, Berlin, Jakarta, Paris, Seoul and Buenos Aires throughout the four-day tournament. Football Mid North Coast technical director Larry Budgen said Townsend had been in the Football Mid North Coast system since the under 10s. “He was identified at the national titles in the country squad last year which isn’t an easy thing to do,” Budgen said. “From that it led to additional training with the Emerging Jets and he still plays for Football Mid North Coast in the NPL.” Budgen said Townsend always had ability, but previously had not taken football as seriously as he could have. “His whole attitude changed in the last year or so and now he’s counted as being one of the best under-14 players in New South Wales,” he said. “He’s got pace to burn and a lovely left foot.” Scouts from English academies are also expected to cast their eye over the playing talent throughout the tournament. “It’s what we always tell the kids; you never know who is watching,” Budgen said. “Teams come from all over the world, so it’s a chance for the players to make an impression.” The teenager has previously been on overseas trips to Singapore and Vietnam with his family, but this will be the first one by himself. His mother Leanne is a travel consultant and admitted there was an element of concern about how he would cope with an overseas trip. “I’m a bit concerned how he’ll look after his passport,” she said. The quietly-spoken teenager said his selection in the team was the highlight of his junior career so far. “I’ve been playing for seven years and made a couple of rep teams, but this is the furthest I’ve gone,” he said. “I know this one will be a lot different and I want to get seen by selectors or people with clipboards. My favourite player is Neymar.” Townsend said he would use his pace to his advantage and was hopeful he could find the back of the net once or twice. “I usually run around them because I’m fast, but I do cross the ball in and make opportunities for the strikers but also score a lot of goals as well.” The tournament starts on May 3.