IT'S a dream for most young Scots footballers to appear at Hampden Park ...
but these players were delighted to be leaving the National Stadium behind.
They are part of a group from Queen's Park FC who have just swapped the Scottish winter for a two-week training camp in the Turkish sun.
Their departure marked a hat-trick for the Third Division club, which has again succeeded in winning a place on the Da Vinci Initiative.
Funded by the European Community, and administered in Scotland by the SFA, the initiative offers young footballers the chance of a career in the game.
It also aims to broaden their education by allowing them to sample other cultures.
Places are usually restricted to full-time professional clubs, but the strength of the Queen's Park youth set-up has seen the club win a spot three years in a row.
Thanks to the Da Vinci support – and efforts by the club that have raised more than £10,000 – a party of more than 20 youth players and coaches headed to Antalya to sample the facilities offered by the Adora Hotel resort, which is in the south-west of the country.
David McCallum, head of youth development at Queen's Park, said: "It's a wonderful opportunity for the youngsters and the coaches to sample full-time training in superb facilities, broaden their cultural horizons, and enjoy winter sunshine."
Gardner Speirs, the club's first team coach, added: "Anybody who wants to fully appreciate the significance of Queen's Park gaining a place on this programme needs only take a look at our senior squad and the number of youngsters who have come through previous Da Vinci trips.
"It's a great platform for the kids to build on."
The players were based at the same complex last year, where the youths were surrounded by famous teams from all over Europe.
The group travelled on the same plane as Rangers and Celtic, and when they were in Turkey the Hampden youth players were admitted to a training session held by Spartak Moscow's first team. Its players included former Celtic and QP youth Aiden McGeady.
The benefits of the 2011 Turkish camp – and the one held in Portugal the previous year – can be seen in the current first team squad at Queen's Park.
Da Vinci "graduates" Paul Gallacher, Ian Watt, Gavin Lachlan, Michael O'Hara and Alan Urquhart are established in the squad, while others such as Kieran Kennedy are now pushing for a place.