It’s Australia first for Livingston hotshot Lyndon

Dual nationality striker Lyndon Dykes is plotting a breakout season in the Scottish Premier League to force himself onto the international stage for Australia.

At 23, the one-time rugby league junior whose sister Hollie won four Commonwealth Games gymnastic medals in Melbourne in 2006, is looking to etch his own name into the family’s sporting folklore which also includes an uncle who played for South Africa’s Orlando Pirates.

Gold Coast-born Dykes, whose parents are from Dumfries in Scotland, has been flying largely under the radar since joining Scottish Premiership side Queen of the South in 2016.

But his arrival at Livingston at the turn of the year has elevated his expectations.

Dykes, who is also eligible for Scotland, has begun the season as he means to go on - scoring twice in the league and another in the League Cup, with the Lions unbeaten in six games in all competitions.

They sit third - four points off leaders Celtic - with Dykes reveling so far in a conversion from sometime winger and number 10 to designated central striker.

At the end of the rainbow lies the Socceroos, with Dykes - who played his formative football on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane - telling The World Game: “If the choice was there between Scotland and Australia I’d choose Australia 100 percent.

“I grew up there and would love to play for them one day. With the World Cup coming up (in 2022) I would love to be a part of that.

“I have to keep doing what I’m doing and try and make a name for myself in club football.

"I’m in a good league, there’s Celtic and Rangers, Aberdeen and Hearts ... they’re big clubs.

“I’m just happy I’ve started the season well but I’ve got a lot to learn and a lot to improve on to be where I want to be.

“Hopefully, in the future, the Australia thing will fall into place.”

Dykes’ first love was the oval ball and he played rugby league growing up in Canberra before his mother relocated back to the Gold Coast and uncle Stuart Johnston, a former pro, sparked his football conversion at clubs like Mudgeeraba, Merriman, Surfers Paradise Apollo and Brisbane NPL side Redlands.

“I didn’t really start playing football until we arrived on the Gold Coast and my uncle got me into it,” he said.

“A lot of people back then told me I should be stepping up and playing at a better level. It took a while for that to sink in.

“But I decided to come to Scotland and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I sometimes think that coming overseas younger would have been even better for me.

“But I’ve still got a lot of years ahead of me and just need put my head down and keep working.”

Dykes scored 22 goals in 136 outings for the Doonhamers before being bought by Livingston, and then loaned back until the end of last season.

“At Queens I played as a left winger in my first season and as a number 10 for the next two years, and this is my first as an out-and-out striker,” he added.

“They want me to lead the line and I’m enjoying it. There’s responsibility there - everyone expects you to score goals - but I don’t think about it like that.

“I just go out and play and do my best for the boys. I’m happy if I score - if not and we win - I’m still happy for the team.”

Next up for Dykes is at a date at Ibrox against second placed Rangers after the international break.

“I think the club have recruited well and with the start we’ve had I don’t see why we can be pushing for the top six,” said Dykes, whose contract expires in 2021.