Scotland have today named a nine-strong squad to compete in the European Mixed Team Championship qualifiers in Slovenia next month.
Kieran Merrilees is the most experienced player in the team heading for Medvode with 36 Scotland caps.
In contrast, Julie MacPherson and Holly Newall are set for their international debuts while Commonwealth Games and European silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour recovers from a minor knee problem following the Olympic Games.
Edinburgh prospect MacPherson, who reached three finals at this year’s Yonex Scottish National Championships, will win her first cap a week before her 19th birthday and she and Newall, who was Nationals runner-up to Gilmour in 2014 and 2015, are able to play singles, doubles or mixed to give the team options.
All five men in the team have won National titles but Rebekka Findlay is the only National champion among the four women players as the squad prepares to take on Latvia, hosts Slovenia and Switzerland.
Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of BADMINTONscotland, said today: “This is a young squad but Kieran’s top-level experience along with Patrick MacHugh and Martin Campbell's good performances on the European tournament circuit will be crucial in helping the younger players adjust to the pressures of team badminton.
“It will be a great opportunity for Julie MacPherson and Holly Newall to show how they can perform at this level and we wish them well on their debuts. They have bright futures with Scotland.
“Obviously our aim is to top the group and qualify for the finals as we look to maintain Scotland’s high profile in the sport, especially with the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 coming to Glasgow next August. Of course, there will be a chance to see all these players in action in Glasgow just over a week after the European qualifiers when they compete in the Scottish Open Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena from November 23-27."
Martin Campbell (Edinburgh, 20 caps, age 26)
Matthew Carder (Glasgow, 6 caps, age 23)
Adam Hall (Mauchline, 3 caps, age 20)
Patrick MacHugh (Glasgow, 9 caps, age 24)
Kieran Merrilees (Glasgow, 36 caps, age 27)
Rebekka Findlay (Erskine, 6 caps, age 22)
Julie MacPherson (Edinburgh, 0 caps, age 18)
Holly Newall (Mauchline, 0 caps, age 18)
Caitlin Pringle (Glasgow, 7 caps, age 22)
Scotland start their Group 4 campaign against Latvia (2pm, Nov 11) before facing Slovenia (5pm, Nov 12) and finishing against Switzerland (11am, Nov 13)
Scotland will be aiming to top their group and join the big guns like Denmark, England, Germany and Spain in the finals in the Polish city of Lubin from February 15-19.
In total there are five groups of four taking part over the qualifying weekend in Medvode, Karvina (Cze), Sofia, Dublin and Uppsala.
Press release by Badminton Scotland