Rio Prieto has been selected in the NNSWF squad to compete in the 2020 Tokyo U14 International Youth Football Tournament.
Rio Prieto has been selected in the NNSWF squad to compete in the 2020 Tokyo U14 International Youth Football Tournament. Teresa Prieto Villazan

Help a young football star realise his dream

A STAR is in the making here on the Coffs Coast.

Rio Prieto's talent at soccer has led to the opportunity of a lifetime.

Young Rio is heading to Tokyo after being selected in the Northern NSW Football squad to compete in the 2020 Tokyo U14 International Youth Football Tournament.

But to get there, he needs your help.

"Rio's passion is football, he is a natural footballer," Rio's mum Teresa Prieto Villazan said.

"He is a thinker, he likes to solve problems and look at different strategies … maybe that's why he loves football so much."

Playing since he could walk, Rio has played for Bellingen and Urunga clubs and at nine years old joined the junior development program.

"He enjoys the physicality, the team play, the complexity of situations and strategies and the opportunity to be creative," his mother said.

The invitation to play in Tokyo is a huge opportunity for Rio and one his parents are determined to make happen.

"This is an amazing opportunity for Rio. His dad, Mick, and myself are committed to do everything we can to support him."

The tournament begins on May 1 and with such short notice, the Prietos realise they need assistance from the community.

Teresa has created a GoFundMe page in the hope of reaching $2500 to make Rio's dreams come true.

The NNSWF squad consists of young talented players from throughout the region who are selected based on their performance and development throughout 2019 and during a NNSWF Talent ID camp.

The cost of representing Northern NSW in the tournament is $2500, which covers airfares, accommodation, meals, transfers, insurance and apparel.

The tournament brings together squads from around the world, including Russia, the US, Egypt, England, Germany, Italy and Argentina.

To help the family's quest to get Rio to Tokyo, donate here.