THE days of two-month summer breaks and boozy trips to Magaluf have long been a thing of the past for elite level footballers, but we are at the time of the season where you might hear the odd moan and groan from one or two of them about the fact they often have a fortnight off between the end of one campaign and the start of the next.

You won’t hear any grumbling from David Turnbull though, who is eager to make up for lost time after a hamstring injury claimed a significant chunk of his season, and is delighted to have timed his return to action to coincide with a massive period for both club and country.

The attacking midfielder was a key component of Ange Postecolgou’s Celtic side in the first half of this term, scoring nine goals and taking on his share of the creative burden for a team that was still light on numbers during that period.

The amount of football he was asked to play was in fact cited by manager Postecoglou as a possible contributory factor in the injury he picked up in the League Cup Final win over Hibernian, and he has been slowly bled back into the first-team picture since his recovery as Celtic looked to play it safe with the 22-year-old.

He insists though that he is now fully fit and raring to get stuck into the final few games of the league season for Celtic – a period which should include the chance to pick up a league winner’s medal – and a hectic June schedule for Scotland that includes the World Cup play-offs.

In fact, Turnbull thinks the rest may have done him some good at a time when many of his domestic and international teammates may be feeling a little jaded due to the rigours of a long season.

“It’s a good time to come back, I wish it was a wee bit sooner,” Turnbull said.

“There’s a lot of big games coming up, so hopefully I’ll be involved with them, and then in the summer I’ll hopefully be involved in that as well.

“It’s one of the biggest games [against Ukraine] the country has had for a good amount of years now, so just to be involved in that would be really good and exciting for me.

“I’ve loved it [this season], up until the injury. That was a bit of a strange one and a hard one to take.

“But the first half of the season I really enjoyed. I felt the fittest I have ever been I would say and I was just enjoying my football trying to help the team out. I just hope there is more of that to come.

“You don’t get much holidays these days, especially with internationals. There are plenty of games in the summer for boys to be there and I am hoping for that chance to go there feeling as fit as I could.

“As I say, I’m feeling good and it [absence] could have helped me in the long run.

“Maybe not at the time, but I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Turnbull may have been out of sight in the early months of the year, but in a sign of Postecoglou’s aptitude for man-management, he was rarely absent from the discussion when speaking to the Celtic manager, who made sure his contribution was noted.

“It’s always good to hear the manager speaking about you highly,” said Turnbull.

“He’s been great with me and he’s been great with everybody.

“He’s been a breath of fresh air since he came in and you’re always happy to hear him saying good stuff about you and having your name put out there.”

The road to first-team opportunities at Celtic is a little more congested for Turnbull than it was prior to his injury lay-off, with Matt O’Riley, Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda coming in during January to add competition for places in the attacking areas of the pitch.

Turnbull sees the wide-ranging backgrounds of his Celtic teammates though as an opportunity for him to soak up information as he looks to continually improve his game, in much the same way as he feeds off the likes of Scotland captain Andy Robertson when he is on international duty.

“You’re learning every day off of whoever it is,” he said. “I’m still young and I know I’ve got plenty to work on.

“Having new guys come in from all across the world, and even in the Scotland squads, I’m always learning off boys who have won the Champions League, are playing in it, or are playing in the Premier League every week. It’s great to learn off boys like that.

“When you are younger you do [ask for advice], and when you grow up and when you are more in about it, you do look at the more experienced players.

“You think ‘what do they do? What can I take from their game or what they do off the pitch to bring into my own?’ It’s always good to do that.”

Turnbull cites Robertson and Celtic captain Callum McGregor as the main role models he is feeding off at the moment.

“Both of them are brilliant and they lead by example in everything they do,” he said.

“Just spending time with them, asking them questions and training with them every day, it’s a pleasure.

“It’s great to learn off two guys like that, who are playing at the highest level.

“Just the way they carry themselves in everything, probably more so off the pitch with the way they act and do things. It’s all top level, it’s all professional and focused towards the game or training the next day.

“Just seeing them and what they do, it’s brilliant really.”

*David Turnbull was speaking after making his debut at a McDonald’s Fun Football session. Turnbull surprised attendees at their session in Glasgow helping attendee start their football journey.

McDonald’s is giving thousands of children aged 5-11 the chance to start their football journey and make their Fun Football debuts across Scotland. The free fun sessions, led by Scottish FA accredited coaches, are tailored to all abilities, and designed to help make football more accessible to all.

Supporting and encouraging participation is the foundation of McDonald’s 20-year commitment to grassroots football in Scotland who, working alongside the Scottish FA, will continue to run free Fun Football sessions throughout the year for children to enjoy.