A PROMISING Garnock Valley badminton ace is set to jet off to Australia to earn her first Scotland cap.

Recently-crowned Yonex Scottish National women's doubles champion Eleanor O'Donnell has been named in Scotland’s squad to compete in the Sudirman Cup in Australia’s Gold Coast from May 21 until May 28.

Eleanor (18) from Beith is also the youngest of the eight players but for five of them it will be a new experience as only Kieran Merrilees, Martin Campbell and Kirsty Gilmour have played in the world mixed team championships before.

This year’s squad, who will be led by new head coach Tat Meng Wong, also includes two players who made their senior Scotland debuts only last year in Mauchline’s Adam Hall and Edinburgh’s Julie MacPherson.

MacPherson was named in the squad three days after ending her Yonex Scottish National championships duck. She was runner-up in three finals last year and runner-up in the women’s singles final on Sunday before she and O’Donnell won the women’s doubles in a 62-minute battle with Caitlin Pringle and Rebekka Findlay.

Anne Smillie, BADMINTONscotland’s Chief Executive, said: “This is a young squad but Kieran and Kirsty can offer plenty of experience at international level. For the younger members like Eleanor and Julie it is a great opportunity to take their progress in the senior ranks to a new level.”

It is the first time Australia have staged the Sudirman Cup after winning the bid ahead of Scotland in Lima at the BWF Council meeting in November 2014.

But the BWF were so impressed with Scotland’s bid that they gave them the crown jewel of the sport in the shape of the TOTAL BWF World Championships 2017 to be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena in Glasgow from August 21 to 27.