Top padel players from across Ayrshire have been selected for an international tournament in Switzerland this weekend - and hope a global superstar can attend.

The scene is set in the land of toblerone chocolate and cuckoo clocks for the seniors international padel tournament, with Largs man Andrew Boyle, West Kilbride men David McCulloch and John Byrne, Stephen Alexander of Irvine, and Mark Openshaw from Ayr all heading across from the West of Scotland Club, based in Stevenston, along with three players from the Thistle Club in Edinburgh.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Andy Boyle in action Andy Boyle in action (Image: Newsquest)

Padel is a similar sport to tennis, played with shorter, stubbier racquets, toughened glass walls behind to ensure longer rallies as the ball stays in play longer, and it utilises the same scoring system as tennis.

The addictive mix has been a hit in Ayrshire even though the sport is more familiar in Spain and South American countries, and is building up a strong following, with football heroes such as Henrik Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic known to be keen players.

And another ex-footballer, John Byrne, from West Kilbride believes it an exciting opportunity for the eight man Scottish team to make their mark against top European sides.

He said: "We are flying out from Edinburgh to Basel on Friday,and then we get the train to Zurich and the tournament starts on Saturday.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: International call-up - John Byrne, David McCulloch and Andrew BoyleInternational call-up - John Byrne, David McCulloch and Andrew Boyle (Image: West of Scotland Padel)

"Six teams are competing including England, Ireland, Switzerland, Germany and Estonia.

"You have to be over 45, and you have a combined age on court of 100, so you can have two 50-year-olds, a 45 and a 55-year-old etc.

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Mark Openshaw is featuring in squadMark Openshaw is featuring in squad (Image: Facebook)

"I have a knee injury and don't know if I will be playing and I need to be fit for the European Championships in Valencia in a few weeks' time for the Great Britain seniors over 55s team."

And Swiss tennis star Roger Federer has recently taken up the game of padel after retiring from tennis, and John said: "You never know, maybe he might turn up at the Swiss tournament to watch - he is a local legend out there."

Largs and Millport Weekly News: Roger Federer - could he be waving hello at padel tournament? John Byrne hopes so!Roger Federer - could he be waving hello at padel tournament? John Byrne hopes so! (Image: Newsquest)

The schedule is three games on the Saturday and two games on the Sunday, with the winners being decided by the combined total of games.

John, who was a Largs Thistle striker in the 1990s, said it was quite remarkable and a far cry from his days playing at Barrfields Park travelling to the likes of Kilbirnie and Irvine Meadow that he is now making an impact in his new sport in top European resorts in the exciting sport which is becoming hugely popular around the world. 

The West of Scotland club in Stevenston boasts players from Largs, Fairlie, West Kilbride, Stewarton, Kilwinning, Irvine, and Ayr - alongside members from Denmark, Oman, Spain and Belgium who also regularly play at the club.

For more details about joining the club, go to West of Scotland Padel on Facebook