Coach Townsend came to the US in 2001 after 20 years coaching in England.
Having played soccer as a youth player continued playing adult amateur soccer up to county level before moving on to becoming a Grade 1 referee at Regional level.
Townsend began coaching in 1980 with a U14 boys team for Stansfield Rovers. At U16 the team went on to play Pro Club youth teams that included Leeds United, Everton and Barnsley.
In 1982 the Stansfield Rovers squad were asked to represent Leeds United juniors in a five nation youth tournament in Denmark along with the Leeds United first team under Alan Clark and Martin Wilkinson. The junior squad went on to win their final with five players going on to secure professional contracts.
The Denmark trip provided the foundation for Townsend's future coaching philosophy.
This was further underpinned by a 5 year study of European youth development.
Few coaches get the opportunity to develop a squad of players from a very young age through to high school graduation but in 2004 Townsend opened the first development academy on Hilton Head SC. All the players were from the local recreation program and after one year of training and continuing play in the recreational soccer program the squad was ready to undertake their first tournaments and league play. The squad went on to be State Champions in 2006, State finalists in 2008 and were instrumental in Hilton Head High Schools four consecutive 3A state titles 2011-2014.
Seven players went on to play Division one college soccer all with six figure scholarships three players went on to play Division 2.
In 2015 many of the college players came back to merge with the remaining academy players to play as Excel Ladies in the USL W-20 national league. After winning the South Atlantic Conference they went on to become national champions winning their final four playoff games 2-0.