Lyndon Dykes says debt to Scotland swayed international decision

Scotland kick off Nations League campaign against Israel on September 4, before travelling to Czech Republic on September 7

Dykes recently moved from Livingston to QPR in a £2m deal 0:41
Lyndon Dykes says he 'knew deep down' he wanted to play for Scotland instead of Australia after the QPR striker received his first international call-up to Steve Clarke's squad

Lyndon Dykes insists he owed it to Scotland to opt for the dark blue instead of Australia, following his first international call-up to Steve Clarke's squad.

The striker has joined up with Clarke's side for the first time ahead of Friday's Nations League opener against Israel at Hampden Park and the trip to face Czech Republic three days later.

The 24-year-old was born on the Gold Coast to parents from Dumfries and began his professional career with Queen of the South before moving to Livingston and then, this month, QPR. Dykes had the option of representing his native country but elected for Scotland.

"Scotland gave me my chance for my career," he said.

"I have only played professional four or five years but, without Scotland, God knows where I would have been.

Scotland head coach Steve Clarke says Billy Gilmour's game-time will dictate if he is called up or not 5:06
Scotland head coach Steve Clarke discusses striker Lyndon Dykes' first call-up and Kieran Tierney's position for next month's Nations League games against Israel and Czech Republic

"Obviously I wanted to give something back to Scotland. When I am here, I feel like I am at home.

"My parents are Scottish, my family is Scottish, my little boy was born in Scotland. Without Scotland, I wouldn't be playing football."

Also See:

John Carver appointed on Clarke's backroom team

Former Newcastle coach John Carver has joined Steve Clarke's Scotland coaching team.

Carver comes in following the departure of Alex Dyer, who has stepped down to focus on his club duties after being appointed Kilmarnock manager.

The Newcastle-born coach had several spells in caretaker charge of the Magpies and was assistant to both Sir Bobby Robson and Alan Pardew.

His longest spell in charge was for the second half of the 2014/15 season when he oversaw a run of eight consecutive defeats, but he guided United to Premier League safety on the final day of the campaign.

The 55-year-old also had stints in charge of Toronto and Omonia Nicosia, as well as coaching duties with Leeds, Luton, Plymouth and Sheffield United.

Former Newcastle coach John Carver has joined Steve Clarke's backroom team
Image: Former Newcastle coach John Carver has joined Steve Clarke's backroom team

Another of Clarke's assistant coaches, Steven Reid, said: "John has come in. His relationship with the manager goes back a long time.

"I have met him on a few occasions when I was coaching alongside Steve at Reading. They have a great relationship.

"It is a shame to lose Alex, I've got a really good relationship with him but I understand the reasons for it, his priorities now are with Kilmarnock.

"It is great to have John in. He has got a great coaching CV. He has worked at all levels of the game and is another experienced coach I can learn from.

"He has a good personality that will challenge things as well. If he sees something he is not one to sit back and let it slide, he will be getting involved in that and it is great to have him on board."

McBurnie, Shankland absent for Israel & Czech Republic

Reid has confirmed Oli McBurnie is sidelined through injury, following the news that the forward had pulled out of the squad.

Steve Clarke's No 2 revealed that he dropped out of the side due to "an issue with his foot" and there were no plans "at the moment" to bring anyone else in.

The centre forward was not involved in a 22-man Sheffield United squad for a training-ground friendly against Hearts on Friday.

Oli McBurnie has been banned from driving for 12 months
Image: Oli McBurnie has a foot problem, adding to Steve Clarke's selection issues up front

Dundee United's Lawrence Shankland (ankle) has also been forced to withdraw from Scotland's side for their upcoming Nations League games, with Cardiff City's Callum Paterson having received a call-up in their place.

It comes with Clarke experiencing some selection issues up front - Sporting Kansas City's Johnny Russell is unavailable due to coronavirus travel restrictions in the US, while Leigh Griffiths is still recovering from a calf injury, and Steven Naismith was omitted from the squad after Hearts' pre-season was interrupted.

Former Bournemouth wideman Ryan Fraser is also a notable absentee.

The Scottish FA revealed last month that Scotland's home clash against Israel is to be a test event for the return of supporters, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sky Sports Fantasy Football is back!

Sky Sports Fantasy Football is back!

Another year, another £50,000 jackpot on the line. Sky Sports Fantasy Football makes its return for the 2020/21 season.

Around Sky