THE last time David Turnbull was at Hampden to watch Celtic in a Scottish Cup Final, he did so from the Motherwell bench. Little did he know that he would one day soon be back at the national stadium in the green and white.

He will be hoping to play a rather more central part in proceedings than he did that afternoon back in May 2018, when he sat helpless on the sidelines as his boyhood club were brushed aside by Brendan Rodgers’ imperious Celtic outfit as they claimed their second successive Treble.

If popular opinion prevails, he will get the chance to do just that, with Turnbull finally putting his stamp on the Celtic side in the last two matches following his summer move from Fir Park.

And he is hoping to secure a medal that he will treasure, rather than the memento from that day two years ago that now sits gathering dust in a drawer.

“I remember being on the bench, sitting there and just hoping to get on,” Turnbull said.

“I had played a couple of games leading up to that final and myself along with a few other young boys managed to get a spot on the bench.

“It was a great experience, I loved every minute of it, I was desperate to get on but unfortunately it wasn’t to be and it didn’t happen.

“The medal is still sitting in a drawer somewhere as I keep all of my medals but it’s not one that I’d have sitting on my mantlepiece, on display or anything like that.

“I keep all the medals, even the losers ones, I’d never throw any of them away.

“It’s been a great week for me having played in both the games against Lille in Europe and then against Kilmarnock last Sunday.

“What makes it even better is knowing I have played well and for me it was a continuation of how I had been playing for spells at Motherwell.

“It’s just a great feeling to finally having managed to reach this stage. The only thing that matters is that I use those games as a platform to kick on and to make sure I continue to perform well.

“It’s two games for me but it’s about performing week in and week out.

“If I manage to get selected then my aim is to continue to do that.”

There is no doubt that the chastening experience of Turnbull’s move to Celtic being delayed by a year by a serious knee problem will make the youngster cherish today’s showpiece occasion all the more.

The 21-year-old spent a year fighting his way back to fitness to finally earn his switch to the champions, and a Scottish Cup win would neatly bookmark the end of a 12-month spell that has been at complete contrast to that which preceded it.

“What’s happened in the past is where I want it to be, in the past,” he said.

“My only aim now is about the future, looking ahead and making sure I move forward.

“When I’m asked about the injury, I’d prefer not to speak about it. I always knew I’d get back to playing at this level, I didn’t doubt I would get myself back to the level I had been playing at.

“It’s been a great year but we know the game against Hearts is going to be tough. Hopefully we can get out there and lift the trophy and things will kick on from there.

“It’s been a bit strange as it’s the cup final which has been brought over from last season and it’s also going to be strange having no fans at Hampden for the game as well.

“We need to go out there as a team and hopefully we can perform well.”

Like the Celtic support, Turnbull has spent a good chunk of this week looking for any hint that he may indeed be handed a jersey to start the game this afternoon, but he is ready and willing to perform whatever role Neil Lennon asks him to.

“It’s been a case of business as usual [this week], everyone has been doing their best in training every day and giving 100 percent,” he said.

“Now the focus is on Sunday, the training is over so we will see what happens.

“In training we have done a bit of shape but the manager hasn’t given anything away.”