THE next month or so is, Jack Carlin admits, the most significant of his career to date. He will represent GB at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships which begin today in the Netherlands while at the start of April, subject to selection, he will make his Commonwealth Games debut.

The 20 year-old from Paisley may be in the fledgling stages of his senior career but already, he has collected a number of honours, including a European Championship silver medal in the team sprint in 2016. And earlier this month, he picked up his first-ever individual British title in any age group when he took victory in the sprint at the British Track Cycling Championships in Manchester.

The sprinter has been a member of the lauded British Cycling squad for two years now and his progress has been remarkable since relocating to the sport’s headquarters in Manchester, which is also known as the medal factory due to its ability to produce world and Olympic medallists.

Carlin has every chance of becoming GB’s newest global medallist over the next few days and he admits that being part of the British team at this week’s World Championships brings with it a certain sense of confidence and belief that few other teams can engender. “Everyone on the British programme has earned their spot and there’s no one who doesn’t think they can compete at a top-end level because if you get onto the GB programme, you’re always going to be good and you’re always going to be right up there,” he said.

“You’re not going to win all the time but you know that you’re not going to races just to make up the numbers.

“It’s a confidence thing too – the more races you do, the more experience you gain and so every race, whether you win or lose, you have to look at the positives and see what you can learn from it.”

Following a few days rest after the World Championships, Carlin will, subject to his selection being confirmed, begin his Commonwealth Games preparations in earnest. He will relocate from Manchester back to Glasgow and with the Scottish sprint squad shaping up to be the best it has been since the days of Olympic medallists Sir Chris Hoy and Craig MacLean, silverware is certainly a realistic target.

With the Scottish sprint team for Gold Coast 2018 including no less than Olympic champion Callum Skinner, Carlin is optimistic about their prospects. “I’m really looking forward to the Commonwealth Games because that’ll be a new experience for me, going to a multi-sport games,” he said.

I was in the stands watching at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 so I’m really looking forward to this one if I hopefully get selected.

“Coming off the back of the World Cup season and then the British Championships, I’ve got more confidence in myself so I’m feeling good.

“Things are shaping up well for not only the Scottish sprint squad at the Commies but the whole cycling squad. Everyone is headed in the right direction so hopefully that will bring success at the Commies.”

Joining Carlin in the 22-strong British team at the World Championships will be his compatriots Katie Archibald, Callum Skinner and Mark Stewart. Archibald will be defending her omnium title and will also be contending the Madison, as well as the team pursuit, in which she is the reigning Olympic champion while Skinner is attempting to win his first world title.

Also in GB team in the Netherlands is Laura Kenny, the four-time Olympic champion who is making her return to competition following the birth of her son last year.