His older sister Eve is Scotland’s best known curler, while their big brother Glen will also be defending a title, but Thomas Muirhead is looking to emerge from their shadows to cause a shock at the Scottish Curling Championships which get underway tomorrow.

The 21-year-old baby of the curling dynasty has worked ever more closely with Glen since they left the family home in Blair Atholl last year to set up their own business rearing sheep and cattle on a lovely stretch of land to the east of Crieff, which has the added benefit of being pretty much equi-distant from Perth and Stirling where they do most of their training as part of the British Curling elite squad.

Their schedules remain challenging, a little help from friends and, in particular, family with dad Gordon, a world champion curler in his own right, frequently on call, required while they work closely together to make it work. However as Thomas noted, a very different dynamic is at play on the ice when the brothers turn cold shoulders toward one another and while they are in the midst of lambing season right now their minds are also on getting a very different type of delivery right.

“There’s always tough times being brothers working together and competing against one another at such a high level, but we’ve just learned to get on with it,” he said.

“When we’re working together on the farm it’s completely different to when we’re on ice where, during competition, we don’t really interact with each other at all.

“We’ve both got our own goals and ambitions and we respect each other for that, so we just leave each other to get on with it. We might wind one another up before or after a competition, but when it comes to the crunch we don’t say anything.

“There’s a wee bit of pressure leading up to the Scottish. We’re both wanting to win it, so we respect each other in that way and don’t say too much.”

Least said, soonest mended it seems, then, in terms of ensuring their overall relationship is unaffected.

“When we’re at home we don’t talk too much about the curling,” Thomas continued.

“There’s always lots to be done and decisions to be made, so there’s always plenty to chat about away from the ice.”

Sister Eve’s successes have, of course, helped make the family name one of the most famous in the global game and as they draw inspiration from what the former world and European champion, two time Olympian and six time Scottish champion skip has achieved, his tone is admiring rather than envious.

“Glen and I have grown up with Eve and we’ve watched her compete at the last two Olympics, so it’s more given us motivation to be there ourselves,” he said.

“We’ve both been at home watching it on the telly or out in the pouring rain feeding sheep while she’s playing, so it’s just given us a bit of a drive. The dream would be to be at the Olympics competing alongside Eve if she manages to qualify as well. It’s been that way since we were wee tots.”

He will be similarly supportive should Glen make the trip to Pyeongchang in Korea next year too.

“If Glen goes I’ll be 100 per cent behind him,” said Thomas.

“We’re family at the end of the day so whoever goes we’re going to support 100 per cent and we’ve got a business at home that has to keep going so we’re reliant on each other. Someone will be at home if one of us manages to get the spot at the Olympics.”

There is as yet, however, no guarantee that any Scots will be make that trip with Olympic qualifying points still to be earned at this season’s World Championships by those who win the national championships over the next week.

Eve and team-mates Anna Sloan, Vicki Adams and Lauren Gray, currently ranked number five in the world, go into those as odds-on favourites, but are expecting a serious challenge from Team Fleming - comprising Hannah Fleming, Jen Dodds, Vicky Wright and Alice Spence - who have reached a couple of international tournament finals this seasons.

The men’s event is meanwhile expected to be fiercely contested with the Muirhead boys lining up at third in their respective rinks, Glen with Team Brewster and Thomas with Team Smith.

Cases can be made for the form of both, Tom Brewster’s defending champions having won at the end of last year in Japan and at the venue at which the nationals are taking place when winning the Mercure Perth Masters last month, whereas Kyle Smith’s men have made a major impact in the curling hotbed of Canada this season, winning a title and becoming the first Scots to contest a final at one of the prestigious Grand Slam events.

“It’s been good to get over to Canada and compete in these Grand Slams where it’s the top 15 teams in the world, so we’re playing against the best teams all the time and we’ve beaten some of them,” said Thomas.

“You kind of have to prove yourselves out there and they’ll start to respect you once you start winning, so to get to the final of a Grand Slam was massive for us in terms of experience. Playing against opposition that don’t miss a lot focuses your mind.”

The field for the national championships also contains 2014 Olympic silver medallists Team Murdoch and current World Junior champions Team Mouat, however and he consequently acknowledged that it is extremely hard to pick a winner, adding: “I would say it’s very close. Everybody’s achieved different things in the last two years, so it’s a big competition for us all and everybody’s been putting in everything they can in the lead up.”

The 10 team men’s event gets underway tomorrow, while the seven team women’s competition starts on Monday.