SOCCER young gun Thomas Kay wants to play for Australia one day.
The 13-year-old has had an impressive start to his career, having already been selected in the Football Victoria state development program.
Next week, the Bendigo player will take on the best under-13 players from across Australia at the National Youth Championships for boys.
Kay has been selected in the Victorian Boys Metro side after being named in the Skillaroos squad earlier this year.
The talented midfield player and his family have been travelling to Melbourne for training, up to four times a week since January, to prepare for the event.
Mother Kylie admitted it had been tough to travel to and from Melbourne each week, but said she was proud of what her son had been able to achieve.
She said Thomas had fallen in love with the sport in grade one and hadn't stopped playing since.
"This year he has played in the National Premier League for the Skillaroos which involves the best under-13 kids in Victoria," Kylie said.
"There was about 450 boys who tried out for the team, but then they kept cutting the squad before it got down to 26 boys.
"Those kids have then had to train and play for the past eight months before the squad had again been cut to 16."
Kylie said Skills Acquisition trainer Nick Mammone has played in a big role in Thomas' soccer pathway.
Thomas said he was looking forward to playing against the best players in the country.
"I am really excited," he said.
"We should go well, but the teams from New South Wales and Queensland will also be very good."
Thomas is just one of three regional players to be selcted in the Metro team.
He will be joined by Newstead's Oscar Capp and Cobram's Gianluca Iannucci.
Central Victorian footballers Frank Gibbs, Jesse Matthews, Flynn Perez, Isaac Marshall, Brenton Urbaniak and Mitchell Graham have also been selected in the under-13 Vic Country team.
Connor Hicks and Lachlan Capp will also don the Big V in the under-14 country team.
The championships will be held in Coffs Harbour between September 29 and October 3.