The rise and rise of Ali McCann over the course of a season-and-a-half has been nothing short of remarkable.
Not even his St Johnstone team-mates would have predicted a young midfielder farmed out to League One by Tommy Wright would have established himself in the Northern Ireland side by the age of 20.
What those same St Johnstone team-mates are sure about, though, is that the McCann career curve is nowhere near peaking yet.
Murray Davidson had to settle for one appearance for his country. But there is no prospect of Ian Baraclough parking his fellow Saint on two.
“If somebody had told me 18 months ago when Ali was on loan at Stranraer he’d come back here and do as well as he has, I’d have had my doubts,” said Davidson.
“You could always see he had potential but it was when he returned from that loan that you could see a difference in him.
“He was bigger, stronger and more comfortable on the ball.
“Since he’s come into our first team he’s continued to get even better.
“The boys were speaking on the group chat the other night when he was playing and we’re all delighted for him.
“He should be really proud of himself because it’s a massive achievement.”
He believes in his ability. That’s the main thing.
The former Livingston man added: “He’s played really well against two top teams (Austria and Romania in the Nations League).
“Ali’s quite quiet and chilled out. Nothing fazes him. At the same time there’s a confidence running through him. He doesn’t get intimidated.
“He believes in his ability, that’s the main thing.
“It speaks volumes for his maturity and self-belief that he can make an impact like that at a young age. We see him every day so it didn’t come as a surprise to all of us who have worked with him.”
Midfielders, particularly central midfielders, get pigeon-holed into ever more specific roles in modern-day football.
According to Davidson, McCann’s adaptability and versatility have been key to his smooth transition from club to country and back again.
“A lot of international games are about keeping your shape and keeping possession,” he explained.
“It’s well known that in Scotland everything can be 100mph. The great thing about Ali is he can do a bit of everything and adapt to both types of game.
“He’s got legs and can get about the pitch really well but he’s very comfortable on the ball as well, which you need for international football.
“He was playing against a really good side in Austria last weekend and more than held his own. It was the same in midweek.
“Ali knows he’s got things to learn but the great thing is he wants to. He wants to get better and will ask things of myself, Liam Craig and Craig Bryson.
“Being capped for Northern Ireland will give Ali loads of confidence going forward. It can only be a good thing for him and for St Johnstone.”
I only got one cap but I look back on that and it is one of the proudest moments of my life.
Back in November 2012 Davidson was introduced as a late Scotland substitute in Luxembourg and it is a memory he will forever cherish.
“I only got one cap but I look back on that and it is one of the proudest nights of my life, with my family and friends there to share it,” he said.
“No one can take that away from me.
“I am extremely proud to have played for my country. It is the pinnacle.
“When you are young and playing in the park with your friends you dream of playing for Scotland one day.
“I was in a few squads under Craig Levein. But when he was sacked Billy Stark came in as caretaker and he gave me my cap against Luxembourg.
“A few us of, including Leigh Griffiths, had worked with Billy in the under-21s and got a call-up.”
It will now be up to Saints manager Callum Davidson to work out who starts in the middle of the pitch against Motherwell this afternoon. No easy task.
Murray Davidson has never known it any other way, however.
“There has always been competition for midfield places here,” he said.
“It is an important area of the team and it’s demanding so you need four or five options in there. It is better like that. It helps me personally and everyone else.
“We want to go eight unbeaten.
“It was extremely important to get through in the Betfred Cup to keep the confidence high and the momentum going.
“We have a big week coming up. We want to push higher up the league because it is still extremely tight.”