Kyle Smith and younger brother Cammy have swapped one family business for another in heading for Denmark to take part in the European Curling Championships but their achievement in earning the right to represent Scotland is raising some challenging domestic issues.

Skip of a callow quartet the 23-year-old has pulled off something of a coup in qualifying for the right to be in Esbjerg.

Team Smith was by far the least experienced of the four rinks contesting Scotland’s Euro-Playdowns last month since, in spite of their disappointing 2014/15 season the clear favourites had been Team Murdoch while Tom Brewster, the fifth member of that group which came back from the Winter Olympics with silver medals, was skipping his new team.

The fourth team, though operating outside the funded British Curling programme, meanwhile involved a new collaboration of Euan MacDonald, a three time Olympian and Dave Edwards who separately upset the applecart last season, Edwards skipping his rink to victory in the Euro-Playdowns while MacDonald subsequently won the Scottish Championships and so the right to go to the World Championships. A whole season consequently elapsed without Scotland being represented on the international stage by a men’s rink that was involved in the official system.

Smith and his team are part of that programme on a part-time basis, however, all involved in farming, but also of high class curling stock.

The Smiths' father David was the 1991 world champion skip, while Tom Muirhead and brother Glenn - who has travelled as their alternate - are sons of one world champion Gordon and brothers of another, Eve, who is, as is now perennially the case, skipping the women’s team at this competition, while the other member of Team Smith is Kyle Waddell, grandson of Jimmy, a past European Championship winner.

The previous generation of Smiths and Muirheads played together in a team that reached a European Championship final in 1998 and regularly competed against one another so their children have pretty much grown up together, combining engagement in pressurised family businesses with competing in an ever more professional sport.

That clearly raises potential problems at home but their backgrounds should also mean they can expect considerable understanding of the need to spend more time on ice rather than tractors if they are to match the achievements of their forebears and as he prepared for this latest new challenge the young skip pointed towards how much things have changed.

“Dad’s kind of supportive, but the season’s now longer than it was before,” Smith noted.

“We’ve got potatoes at home so in the past dad would never really start curling until late October or November time, but now we were away in Canada in September so it kind of leaves him short-handed quite a lot.”

It is probably as well, then, that David’s continued exposure to the scene, as a commentator for Eurosport, ensures an ongoing awareness of developments and means he is not among those of previous generations who lack understanding of the increasing commitment required to be competitive.

“Things are quite good at home and we just try to work things out as best we can, looking at getting someone in to cover,” said Smith.

“It’s all quite scary because having a family business you need to be there. I’ve definitely got some juggling to do. Dad does really well but he’s not getting any younger. There’s a lot of stress, a lot going on with a hundred cows we milk, 250 acres of tatties and a 100-odd acres of grain as well.”

It was, too, David who instilled in his sons a drive to excel on the rink, Smith immediately citing him as his greatest inspiration and the person who instilled an awareness of what is required.

“We played quite a lot with him in Super League and stuff in Perth, but it’s probably more watching him over the years we’ve seen how successful you can be if you put in the time and effort and just seeing that if you put in that effort you can achieve what you want to,” he said.

Curling having only become a regular on the Olympic schedule since 1998 the sport has changed hugely in the intervening years, however and while not yet wholly full-time, Team Smith, who have been on the podium at three World Juniors Championships and won the title at Sochi in 2013, know they are heading into a highly professional environment.

“There’s maybe only a few teams making money out of curling with sponsorship and the likes, but a lot of teams are now committing all their time to playing and training. They’re getting better all the time and fields are becoming thicker with better teams. We’d love to go to an Olympics and win the Olympics. That’s our ultimate goal, but it’s a long way off,” said Smith.

Maybe so, but they are significantly closer than they were a few weeks ago.

“I would say this is our first step,” he continued.

“If we can do well at the Europeans, then maybe win the Scottish Championship… whoever wins that in February will be the number one contender, so this is all gearing towards that and is really great experience for us to keep building towards that goal.”

Those Scottish Championship winners will go to this season’s World Championship as long as Team Smith finishes in the top eight in Esbjerg.

“It’s definitely a responsibility,” Smith acknowledged.

“Scotland belongs at the World Championships so that’s something we have to do, no question.”

The European Championships run from November 20 to 28.