There’s also the prospect of an international tug of war for his services between the Socceroos, who are tracking his progress, and Scotland, the country his parents are from and which gave him his first professional opportunity.
Dykes has made his name with five goals in 14 games across all competitions this season – including one against Celtic, who slumped to their only loss of the season to date at Livingston’s home ground, the Toni Macaroni Arena (or, as fans have creatively nicknamed it, the ‘Spaghettihad’).
“Still even now, it’s kind of crazy to realise how big that was,” Dykes told the Herald. “When it hits the back of the net … it just goes blank. You don’t know what to do. You’re buzzing. It’s something I’ll always remember.”
It’s easily his best moment in football so far, but Dykes could well have ended up in another sport. As a child in Canberra, his other sporting obsession was rugby league, and at one stage he was being tracked by the Raiders as he tore up the local competition as a rampaging fullback in the mould of his idol, Matt Bowen.
But Dykes soon moved back to the Gold Coast with his mother, and it was his uncle who convinced him to focus on football. He got his first taste of senior action at 15 years old, which he believes shaped him into the strong, powerful player he is today.
Dykes soon had a fearsome reputation on the Gold Coast but by his own admission he wasn’t taking football as seriously as he should – which is probably why an opportunity in the A-League system never materialised.
Still, he was good enough to tour England with the Australian schoolboys, and a visit to see relatives in Dumfries yielded an opportunity with Queen of the South.
He banged in 22 goals in 14 games for the Doonhamers’ under-20s team but chose to return to Australia, and ended up working for BLK while rifling through stints at Redlands United, Gold Coast City and Surfers Paradise Apollo.
One day, it all clicked in his head.
“I was thinking, I don’t want to be working here, sitting in this factory, without being able to say to myself, ‘At least I tried to make it’. A lot of people told me I needed to put my head down and try and make a career out of it,” he said.
So he took up an offer to return to Queen of the South – this time for their senior team – and he hasn’t looked back. Livingston came for him in January this year. Now there could be even greener pastures ahead, and, all going well, a future headache for Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.
“If the timing’s right, then it will happen,” Dykes said. “Obviously I can play for Scotland as well … but if both of them were on the table, I’d love to play for Australia. I think I could do a job for them. Hopefully I’m scoring a couple of goals so people know my name.”
Vince is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.