Ryan Dow played alongside Scotland stars Gary Mackay-Steven, Stuart Armstrong and Andy Robertson when they broke through at Dundee United.
And he says you could tell back then that they were destined for big things.
Aberdeen winger Mackay-Steven, Granite City-raised Southampton midfielder Armstrong and Liverpool left-back Robertson all starred in an exciting Tangerines team alongside Peterhead midfielder Dow.
in the 2013-14 season they finished fourth in the Premiership and reached the Scottish Cup final under Jackie McNamara.
That summer Robertson, now Scotland captain, left Tannadice for Hull before joining Liverpool three years later.
United started the 2014-15 season brightly as well and reached the League Cup final, before Mackay-Steven and Armstrong joined Celtic in February.
Dow, on loan at the Blue Toon from Ross County, says the talent of Mackay-Steven, Armstrong and Robertson was there to see five years ago and he is delighted to see them in Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad for the Nations League deciders against Albania on Saturday and Israel on Tuesday.
He said: “I think anyone who watched that Dundee United team knew there was a lot of talent in it.
“We were a young team with boys like Gary, Andy and Stuart.
“They were a different class and even then you knew if they fulfilled their potential they would go on to big things such as playing for Scotland.
“You see what they’ve done with Andy at Liverpool, Stuart at Celtic and then Southampton. Gary was at Celtic and is now at Aberdeen and is maybe putting himself in the shop window for another big move.
“It’s great to see them making an impact for Scotland because they are great players and, hopefully, they keep kicking on.”
Ahead of the Nations League crunch this week Dow is optimistic about the national team’s chances.
Winning group C1 would guarantee a play-off place in the quest to qualify for the European Championships in 2020.
Dow believes there is talent in the Scotland squad and says the fixtures provide Mackay-Steven – who has two caps – and Armstrong – who has nine – with a chance to establish themselves in the national team.
He added: “The team gets criticised a lot, but I think there are a lot of players not so much coming through, but trying to establish themselves.
“Stuart is 26 and Gary is 28 and there are other good players like Callum McGregor and others.
“I think we need a bit of luck and to get a couple of results and then you might see us kick on.
“The talent is there in the squad. John McGinn is doing well at Aston Villa. There are other good players playing at big clubs.
“From my point of view, we just need to get a couple of results and things will turn.
“I want to see the team do well and it’s good to see Andy as captain and Stuart and Gary also involved.
“They are doing brilliantly and there are a lot of talented players in the squad.
“Hopefully, in these next two games they can get good results and push on.”
For Dow, the one frustration about his time playing with the likes of Mackay-Steven, Armstrong and Robertson is that they failed to win a trophy.
The 2014 Scottish Cup final loss to St Johnstone still hurts.
Dow said: “When you look back, it was a really good team and you see what some of the players in it have gone on to do.
“But it is annoying that we never went on and won one of the cup finals and that may have left more of a legacy.
“The Scottish Cup final in 2014 is one that when I see guys from that team, I don’t think will leave us.
“I hit the post in that final. St Johnstone had a hoodoo over us that season and it’s one of those games that I don’t think we will ever get over.
“It’s annoying that we never added a trophy to that couple year spell when we were playing some great football under Jackie McNamara.
“It was a good team with really good players, and when you look at Stuart, Gary and Andy it shows the talent that was there.”