"I saw the game and I thought they were terrific," said Stuart McCall, the Motherwell manager, ahead of his side's trip to Tannadice tomorrow afternoon. "The front four were hugely impressive. If you're a Dundee United fan, and looking at the ages of some of these kids, then you're confident for years to come."
McCall, of course, has a vested interest in the next generation of Scottish footballers. While it would no doubt be galling to watch his defence dragged this way and that, as a Scotland coach some small part of him would surely be excited at the prospect of the national team containing such zippy, scampering flair in a couple of years time.
"[Ryan] Gauld, [Stuart] Armstrong and [Gary] Mackay-Steven are three really talented lads," McCall said. "They'll get a lot of game-time at United this season and from what we've seen ability-wise, all three of them have a really good chance of going on to become full Scotland internationalists."
Strangely for two prominent figures in Scottish football, McCall cannot remember crossing paths too often with McNamara. "We sat next to each other to watch the Hibs-Malmo game," he said. "People see his boyish looks but he has this steely determination. He has captained Celtic, so he obviously has good leadership qualities. United have been on a rampant run and we're happy with our performances, so it should be a good game."
With so much attacking talent on display, few would disagree. John Rankin, the Dundee United midfielder singled out Gauld for special praise. "The wee man is brilliant," he said. "He's so small and looks like he could be flung about, but he is strong for a boy of his stature and his wee legs go like the clappers. In training we all just stop and laugh; he's sticking the ball through lads' legs and all you can do is chuckle. He's such a nice lad . . . anyone else and you would smash them."
Another who shone at Dingwall was new striker Nadir Ciftci and the Turkish youth internationalist has already won over Rankin with his work rate. "He is the first foreigner I have seen pressing defenders and working hard to get the ball back, and credit to him," Rankin said. "Having been in Britain before and he has picked up the style and work-rate."
Motherwell have a pacy winger of their own - well, a converted left-back - looking to impress. Zaine Francis-Angol once rubbed shoulders with the likes of Gareth Bale and Luka Modric while part of Tottenham's youth team. "Everything was integrated at Spurs," he said. "You see first teamers all the time and train with them; it was amazing."
Playing for Antigua and Barbuda - he has four caps - was also quite the experience, though living in Lanarkshire was probably the perfect preparation. "It was tough going away to Guatemala," he revealed. "The rainstorm we played in . . ."