SURF and turf, you might call them. Six months this week until the Commonwealth Games get under way in Australia, 31 competitors from the worlds of swimming and lawn bowls yesterday comprised the first tranche of confirmed selections for Team Scotland. What better place to go and chase a gold medal than on the Gold Coast?

Come April, these two disciplines may have more than you might think in common. Not only are they sports where Scotland fared superbly in Glasgow and expect to do well again, they are ones where they will also face a fearsome home challenge from an Australian team determined to improve on their 2014 showing.

This will be a slimmed down Scottish challenge compared to Glasgow – the nation was given a fixed cap of 123 athletes for the 12 individual sports, with a final team size anticipated to be in the region of 220-230 athletes, some 90 less than three years ago – but it will still be Scotland's biggest team for a games away from these shores.

There were no shortage of those vying for headline billing when the selection was unveiled at the Stirling Court Hotel yesterday. A 21-strong swimming group includes Ross Murdoch, catapulted to fame back in 2014 when he took down supposed poster boy Michael Jamieson, and Hannah Miley, who would become the first athlete in the entire history of Team Scotland to record three back-to-back titles in one event if she can prevail again in the 400m individual medley. Teenager Scott McLay, who became Scotland's most successful ever Commonwealth Youth Games participant with five medals in the Bahamas this year, makes the cut. And then there is Duncan Scott, just 17 when he won silver as part of the 4x200m freestyle Scottish relay team, but now a double Olympic silver medalist and a fifth-place finisher in the 100m individual freestyle at the Rio Olympics. The only problem is that two of the men he finished behind, Australia's Kyle Chalmers and Canada's Santo Condorelli, also belong to Commonwealth nations.

"Yeah, sadly the Commonwealth Games is incredibly competitive in the 100 freestyle!" laughed McLay. "Australia have such a great pedigree in that event, there's four or five of them who could swim that and win it. Thankfully only three can enter. Then you have the Canadians and South Africans. But it gets the juices flowing, the idea of competing against the Aussies on their home ground. We’re not in Glasgow any more, we’re on the other side of the world – and I’ve never swum in a major meet in an outdoor pool. But I think we’ll be fine."

The last time the Commonwealth Games came to Australia, in Melbourne in 2006, some early Scottish success in the pool – we led the medal table after the first day – put Scotland on track for a hugely successful games. All of nine years old back then, McLay remembers it well, and hopes something similar is possible this time around. "I do remember watching it – it was one of Scotland’s greatest swimming achievements and it's something that we’ll try to replicate. But it will be very hard, because they set such high standards."

As for bowls, look no further than Alex 'Tattie' Marshall and Paul Foster, two men who won gold together for Scotland in both the pairs and the fours in Glasgow, not to mention reigning Commonwealth singles champion Darren Burnett. Foster comes into the event as the reigning World Indoor Champion in the Open Singles but back in 2014 it was 'Tattie' who became the cultural icon, his "get it up ye" celebration passing into Scottish folklore where it was recently taken up by Hibs manager Neil Lennon at Ibrox. This will be his sixth Commonwealth Games.

"After the Commonwealth Games I was going along in the open deck bus and people were shouting out and asking if I was the guy who did the ‘Tattie Marshall’," he said. "To be in the same boat as Usain Bolt and Mo Farah . . . there was a picture of three people doing their actions and I was with the two of them. It was doing the rounds on social media and to be tagged with those two guys was amazing for me.

"A comment came from the crowd but it wasn’t targeted at anyone, it was a build-up of emotion and you've got to release the pressure at some point. To play two bowls as I did within a few inches to win the match and put us into a gold medal play off, why shouldn’t I celebrate?"

While the moment changed Tattie's life for a few weeks, it didn't lead to much in the way of tangible offers or rewards. "Bowls got a lot of publicity and it was good for our sport that local clubs were able to attract new members on the back of it," he said. "But nothing really came of it, which was quite disappointing."