The official 15-strong Irish squad for the World Championships departed for Calgary, Canada on Sunday and although the mood in the camp is positive, there's a keen rivalry there, too..
The reason is simple - a number of the elite Irish senior stars will be vying against each other for the Men's and Ladies Open titles. While there's a strong entry from the United States and Canada, recent international form suggests that the Open Singles will be dominated by a handful of top Irish players. One of those is Robbie McCarthy, the Irish team captain. The Mullingar clubman, an O-Mech in the Irish Naval Service based on the LE Eithne in Cork, won this year's Irish Senior Singles title for the second time; significantly, though, four-time world champion Paul Brady was absent from that field.
McCarthy, 28, has yet to record a win over the 35-year-old Cavan man but, he says, their head-to-head record will mean nothing in Calgary, where the pair look to be on a collision course.
"I haven't played Paul since March last year at a pro tournament in New York where the game went to a tie-breaker, but I've learned a lot since then," said McCarthy. "The most important thing is that Paul Brady is only human - he pulls on his gloves to play, just like the rest of us..
"I used to fear playing Paul, I thought he was a machine, but things have clicked for me in the past few months and the Navy has taught me that only I can make things happen and that I control own my destiny."
McCarthy, who passed out from Haulbowline base in Cobh last autumn, believes the rigorous naval training schedule will give him that edge over the peerless Brady.
While the likes of young Cork sensation Killian Carroll, San Francisco's Emmet Peixoto and Seattle man Sean Lenning will, along with McCarthy, also provide stern opposition, Brady remains the man to beat.
Meanwhile, Belfast right-hander Aisling Reilly is the official Irish representative in the Ladies Open Singles, where she hopes to retain the crown she won for the first time three years ago. Her toughest opponent, ironically, will be team-mate Catriona Casey.