Queen's Park's senior squad has owed much over the last few years to the success of the club's involvement in the Da Vinci initiative - and  two previous Da Vinci participants have already gone on to international honours.

Andy Robertson went from SFL Division 3 to the full Scotland side in less than nine months, while the club's Head of Youth Development, David McCallum, has also been coaching with the Northern Ireland Under-19 side.

Both took time out to talk to the QP website and explain the importance of Da Vinci to their personal development. Andy's thoughts follow, below, while David's interview can be found by clicking HERE

Pictures courtesy of Jeff Holmes

Andy Robertson has become one of the hottest properties in Scottish football since his move from Queen's Park to Dundee United - and then on to the English Premier League with Hull City.

However, he has also known the "downside" of the game, having been released by Celtic at the age of 15 because he was "too small".

Fortunately, QP youth coach Graeme Connell heard about the youngster's availability, and Andy joined the youth ranks at the Spiders.

He progressed through the age groups until going to Turkey with the 2012 Da Vinci party as a first year player with the 19s.That proved a big break in more ways than one. He returned from the trip poised to join the first team squad - only to suffer an ankle injury and end up on crutches before he could make his debut.

He recovered in time to join the pre-season training camp at Largs, where he made such an impression that he was immediately promoted to the senior squad. Barring injury and the occasional suspension, he has been playing first team football ever since.

Despite all the hype about his rise to fame, Andy remains firmly with his feet on the ground.

He says simply: "Things have gone better than I could have hoped, going from Division 3 to a Scottish Under21 cap - and then making my debut for the full Scotland side in Poland.

"I always believed in myself,and that I could do it, but I am obviously surprised and delighted at how quickly it has all happened.

"It's every boy's dream to play for his country, it would be daft to say otherwise, and I'm privileged to have achieved that goal. Yes, it's going great for me at the moment, but you can't look too far ahead as you never know what can happen in football."

The young defender has worked hard for his success to date, but is happy to acknowledge the importance of Queen's Park and the Da Vinci project in his development.

He said: "Da Vinci was massive. It gave me taste of full-time football, training every day. Apart from training, we also had three games while we were over there, so we learned how to prepare properly for matches and eat properly.

"It provided all of us with an introduction to what full-time football would be like. It stood me in very good stead, and I came back a lot fitter and a lot sharper."

Andy is also quick to acknowledge how much the youth organisation at Hampden has helped him move on.

He added: "The Da Vinci project - and the entire youth set-up at Queen's Park - has played a huge part in helping me get to the stage where I am now at. Queen's Park coaches have made me the player that I am, and Da Vinci helped a lot.

"I've got to give a lot of credit to coaches like David McCallum. They were working with us every day in Spain, teaching us new things, helping us learn more about the game - and understand our positions better.

"Being virtually a "full-time" footballer for those two weeks also helped you get to know your fellow players better and you came back a more bonded unit."

While it was far from a holiday, Andy stresses that there was more to just football on the Da Vinci trip, with the chance to absorb some local culture.

He explains: "Apart from learning a huge amount through my Da Vinci trip, it was also very enjoyable. You got to see sights that you might not otherwise have visited."