BENDIGO'S Lewis Dunne is headed to the United Kingdom next month to represent Australia in Futsal.
The 14-year-old will don the Aussie green and gold in a series of tournaments in England, Scotland and Wales.
His national team call-up caps an unlikely rise to prominence for the Weeroona College student, who first had to convince his teacher Shawn McCormick to enter a team in a regional schools competition.
While using the internet at home, Lewis noticed an advertisement for a school-teams tournament at Bendigo Stadium.
He later approached McCormick, well known for his role as Golden Square's football operations manager, about entering a team.
Lewis emerged as one of the stars of the tournament and earned selection in the Victoria Country team to contest the national championships in Brisbane.
The Vics performed strongly, with Lewis one of the keys in their top three finish.
From there he was selected in the touring team which will leave for the UK on April 7 to play in tournaments in Leeds (England), Scotland and Wrexham (Wales).
The tour will last 16 days.
Lewis, who plays the target position - which he says is the equivalent of a striker in soccer - said it would be an amazing opportunity.
He is the latest in a line of Bendigo players to be selected in national Futsal teams overseas.
The softly-spoken teenager was unsure why Bendigo had such success when it came to national teams, but said the sport was becoming a popular alternative to soccer, particularly during the summer months.
Lewis said there were basic differences between Futsal and soccer, including a smaller field (mainly indoor) and goals, fewer players and kick-ins rather than throw-ins.
He plays both, representing the Epsom Scorpions and the Bendigo Amateur Soccer Association representative squad.
“I love both, but I feel I have accomplished more in Futsal than outdoor soccer,” said Lewis, a proud Liverpool supporter.
"I'm very proud to play for Australia and my family's proud also.
"I hadn't switched on my computer that day and seen the ad, it wouldn't have happened."
A highlight of the trip for Lewis will be the chance to see three Premier League games and a chance to spend time at Old Trafford, the home of English powerhouse Manchester United.