The red mohawk, with matching rat’s tail, is conspicuous by its absence. Everything about David Turnbull screams quiet self-confidence rather than the ‘gallusness’ of a self-styled ‘cheeky boy’. But in every other way this 19-year-old kid from Carluke is eerily reminiscent of the last winner of the Scottish Football Writers young player of the year award to do so whilst clad in claret and amber, beneath whose photos and memorabilia he sits.

Back in 2002, James McFadden was the first-ever winner of this award so it is fitting indeed that Turnbull should reference him as he prepares to get his hand on the prize a week tonight at a glitzy ceremony at the Doubletree by Hilton hotel. He may be gently being ribbed by his clubmates about the prospect of compiling a speech for the occasion, but the 19-year-old midfielder hasn’t fluffed too many of his lines during his break-out season in Scottish football. In 25 league starts, he has scored 13 goals – most of them spectacular – and added six assists, to become the Fir Park club’s hottest property since McFadden.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Turnbull. “Alan Burrows [the chief executive] told me he [McFadden] was the last Motherwell player to win it. He’s obviously a huge name and great to be associated with him and winning the same award as he did.

“He was brilliant with me in here,” Turnbull added. “He trained with the 20s when I was playing with them and he always helped and gave us tips. Then he became the assistant and still played a wee bit and he was always helping the boys out in training and me especially. He’d give me one-to-ones and pointers and tips on how to get better. I’ve not seen him about the club much recently but he pops in every now and again.

“I can’t remember him when he was at Motherwell but I do remember him playing for Scotland his goal against France. I was five or six or maybe a bit older then. It was a great goal and how well he’s done in his career has been brilliant. I didn’t actually have any strips with names on the back. It was just always my name really.

“I was a bit too young to know him when he was at Motherwell. But I think I met him once when I was a wee boy outside the stadium. I was Under-12s and ballboy at a game and met him. I didn’t get an autograph. I think I was a bit starstruck.”

Now it is Turnbull who brings star quality, even of the unassuming kind, to this Fir Park outfit. It was only a year ago that he made his full debut, getting an assist in a 1-0 win against Partick Thistle, but now the finds himself turning heads when he walks into the gym or down the street. “Sometimes I’ll go down the gym or down the shops and there are usually one or two wanting to say hello which is a bit weird but a great thing to experience as well,” says Turnbull. “It doesn’t bother me.”

While his mates from school and boys’ club football have taken pride in his emergence, Turmbull accepts things are changing. While “they are probably planning a mad one,” he has yet to get a holiday booked for this close season. This may yet be convenient for the new Scotland manager, whoever he is. With a double header against Cyprus and Belgium to come in mid June at a time which may not be unanimously popular with Scotland’s more established internationals.

If it came to it, Turnbull feels he would have no issue cutting it with the likes of Callum McGregor, John McGinn, Scott McTominay and Stuart Armstrong in a Scotland training session.

“A few boys have said that within the club, but I am not sure,” said Turnbull. “I am just looking forward to next season – if anything happens it would be a real bonus.

“But I think I could go in there and hold my own, I don’t see why not,” he added. “I’ve played against all of those boys this season and I feel like I have done a pretty good job. That wouldn’t faze me at all really, going in and training with them. I would just go in there and try to do my best.

“The dream is to get a full cap, just a call-up, it would be great to be involved. It is what everyone dreams of as a young boy and it would be unreal for me and my family. I was always nagging at my mum and dad to take me but I don’t think I ever got to one until I was 15 or 16. My dad would never take me because he always said he was too busy.”

Turnbull recently signed a new contract at Motherwell but don’t expect that to end the intrigue over his services this summer. Goals from midfield are such a treasured commodity in the modern game that bigger clubs, quite simply, would be remiss if they weren’t testing the water about the availability of this guy this summer.

“I’m not sure if it is really up to me,” said Turnbull. “I would just like to come back next next season and see what happens. If clubs come in and put a bid in for me that is obviously a sign that I am doing well … but maybe if someone came in and bid a lot of money the club might want to take it and maybe look at a loan back or something. But at the moment I am just focusing on Motherwell. More games will help me. Playing every week, week in week out is brilliant, a great experience. There is not much more you can ask for really.”

**David Tunbull was speaking as he collected the SFWA Scottish Young Player of the Year award sponsored by DoubleTree By Hilton Glasgow Central