Ryan Edwards watched his Australian heroes like Everton legend Tim Cahill strut their stuff on the biggest stage of them all as a starry-eyed kid, and dreamed one day of representing his country at the World Cup.

And now he is pinching himself that his dream may well become reality after the Socceroos qualified for next summer’s tournament in Russia with a 3-1 win over Honduras yesterday.

Edwards celebrated wildly in the Partick Thistle changing room yesterday after Ange Postecoglou’s side booked their place at the finals, and immediately set his sights on earning a seat on the plane.

It’s not that the midfielder doesn’t give his all every week for his club in any case, but he admits that the prospect of pulling on the yellow and gold jersey may just give his game an added edge.

“I watched both legs,” said Edwards. “I got up early this morning and watched the first half, then quickly got off to training and found a stream on my phone to watch it in the changing room.

“I made sure all of the boys knew about it, I was running about the place.

“It’s massive for the country and I’m so happy. Four World Cups in a row is a great achievement, and it’s good for the whole country, not just on the football side of things.

“The young kid inside of me is absolutely buzzing first and foremost as a fan of our country. It’s always a great feeling.

“Now that they’ve qualified, it gives me that extra bit of motivation, if I needed any, to try and get in the team in the next seven months.

“If I can, it would be a dream come true, but if not, then I will probably go to Russia as a fan to support the boys and hopefully they can do well in the World Cup.”

Edwards can still vividly recall his early Australian World Cup memories, perhaps because he relives them to this day on YouTube.

“I remember the first time we qualified in 32 years, going through the play-off against Uruguay when Mark Schwarzer saved two penalties in a shootout,” he said.

“I remember getting up early in the morning to watch that in Perth, and it was incredible. The whole family were jumping up and down.

“The biggest moment was when Tim Cahill came off the bench in the first group game in 2006 against Japan and scored a double in the last 10 minutes. We eventually won 3-1.

“I still watch that video today, and the commentary and the fact that it was the first World Cup goal from an Australian player and a first Australian win at the World Cup, I just get chills watching that.”

Edwards is desperate meanwhile for Thistle’s scheduled game against Hearts on Sunday to go ahead, with doubts over the granting of a safety certificate for the new Tynecastle main stand in time for kick-off.

“What an occasion it will be if the game goes ahead,” he said. “It will be a big crowd, a great atmosphere and a lovely pitch to go and play on, so we’re all hoping it’s on.

“Personally, I relish these occasions. Despite the Rangers score, we’re going in with a positive mindset.”