In a reverse of the Socceroos’ recent recruitment successes, Australian-born striker Lyndon Dykes will be given the chance to commit himself to Scotland after being handed a call-up by Steve Clarke.
Having secured Scottish-born players including Stoke City defender Harry Souttar and Hibernian striker Martin Boyle in country tug-of-war contests in recent years, Australia will no doubt be hoping to secure him if he doesn’t play in the matches.
Dykes, whose elder sister Hollie was a gold medal-winning gymnast for Australia at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, played for the Australian schoolboys team on a UK tour.
The Queens Park Rangers forward is also eligible to represent Australia, having been born on the Gold Coast, but Hampden Park chiefs have been assured the 24-year-old sees his future with the country of his parents’ birth.
They both hail from Dumfries.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) August 25, 2020
On Dykes’ selection, Clarke said: “I spoke to Lyndon a long time ago, before the potential fixtures in March of this year. We discussed a lot of things.
“Lyndon was very honest. He obviously had the chance to play for Australia as well.
“We had a good, honest chat. He gave me his thoughts, I gave him mine on what would be best for him – and thankfully he’s named in the squad.
“I would imagine he would be getting the same conversation from (Australia head coach) Graham Arnold as he was from me.
“I didn’t put any pressure on him, I wasn’t pushing. It was very important for Lyndon to make the decision that he wanted to make.
“Obviously we can give him little ideas about what it will be like if he comes into the Scotland camp, but I’m just glad he’s come down on our side.”
Dykes could be pulling on a dark blue jersey as early as next month, having been named in Clarke’s squad for the Nations League double header against Israel and the Czech Republic.
Dykes, who recently completed a £2 million ($3.66 million) switch from Livingston to Loftus Road, has been included alongside Livi goalkeeper Robby McCrorie, who is on loan from Rangers and has also received a maiden call-up.
It’s gonna take me a bit to get over the Lyndon Dykes news.
A kid born and raised on the Gold Coast in Australia and left when he was 19, is not going to play for our country…
— Nicholas Rupolo (@NickRupolo) August 25, 2020
Ryan Fraser is the most noticeable absentee.
The former Bournemouth winger has not played since before lockdown, having rejected the chance to extend his Cherries contract to allow him complete their Premier League campaign.
But striker Lawrence Shankland is involved, despite having missed Dundee United’s last four games with a leg muscle issue.