Euro 2020 play-off final hero Lyndon Dykes believes choosing Scotland over Australia was the best decision of his life.
Queens Park Rangers striker Dykes was born Down Under, but both of his parents are from Dumfries.
Last year the 25-year-old had to decide which nation to represent and thankfully he chose Scotland, making his debut in a 1-1 draw with Israel last September.
In six appearances, Dykes has yet to lose a game with Scotland and is now going to the Euro finals next summer.
He said: “It has been the best decision of my life playing for Scotland. I cherish and love playing for Scotland.
“I have enjoyed every moment and the players and gaffer have been great.
“I have not lost yet in a Scotland top and hopefully that will keep going.”
Dykes was born and raised on Australia’s Gold Coast and his gymnast sister Hollie represented their country of birth at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
Last year, Australian manager Graham Arnold’s assistant, Rene Meulensteen, visited Dykes in Scotland to watch him play.
They met to discuss Dykes potentially starring for the Socceroos. Football Federation Australa were confident that their record of qualifying for major tournaments could sway Dykes to pledge his allegiance to his country of birth.
The Socceroos have qualified for the last four World Cup finals, while Scotland had not qualified for a tournament since the 1998 World Cup in France.
But that long wait for qualification is over and Dykes played a pivotal role with a superb performance leading the attack against Serbia.
He said: “Qualifying for the Euros is an amazing feeling.
“It is what I dreamt about doing when I came to Scotland to try to achieve and now we have done it. Just to be a part of it is a special moment and the best in my career.
“I am always going to remember this. I can’t get rid of my smile.”
Dykes is set to start for Scotland in tomorrow’s Nations League clash in Slovakia.
The tabletopping Scots, who face Israel away on Sunday, could also add Nations League success to a historic month.
Dykes admits he was wracked by nerves as he watched helpless from the sidelines for the penalty shootout in Serbia having been substituted.
All five Scots converted their spot-kicks before keeper David Marshall saved Aleksandar Mitrovic’s penalty.
Dykes said: “It was very nervous. I can see why managers lose all their hair quickly.
“We made it hard for ourselves at the end, but we dug deep and got through the penalties.
“I was off at the time and just hoping that we could get through.
“Marsh pulled off a great save and the boys all had great penalties the same as last time.”
Their reward is a place in Group D at next summer’s finals, when Scotland will face Croatia and the Czech Republic at Hampden.
They will also play England at Wembley.
Dykes aims to use the finals to prove to the world the strength of Scottish football and the nation.
He said: “The Euros is where Scotland should be.
“Now the players who will perform in those games need to show how good Scotland are.
“That we should be in those tournaments every time they come.
“At the Euros we can focus on proving to the world that Scotland is a great nation and it is exactly where we should be.
“Since I have come into the Scotland squad the players have all been outstanding.
“They should be in that competition to show how good they are.
“Now that we are there we can show that to the rest of the world.
“Now we are back to where we haven’t been for a long time.
“When I first came into the squad I wanted to win games and get Scotland back to where it was.
“Now we have done it now we are going on to the Euros where we have to do well.”