A RISING star with Dunfermline Water Polo Club hopes representing his country this weekend can help him on his way to a sports scholarship.

Marios Tachtatzis, 16, flew out to Brno, Czech Republic, on Wednesday with the Scotland under-18 side that will take part in an EU Nations tournament this weekend.

Beginning on Friday, and concluding today (Sunday), the high-level competition will feature Scotland, the hosts, South Africa and Switzerland in one group, with England, Lithuania, Austria and Slovakia making up the second section.

Dollar Academy pupil Marios, who took up the sport in 2012, following in the footsteps of his younger brother, will be in a squad that is a year above the age group he qualifies for, and is excited to have the chance to play against high-calibre opposition.

“I tried hard to get in and there was a lot of preparation, so it’s a good achievement for me,” he told Press Sport.

“I think the year group oldest is 17, 18, so I think it’s also going to help me with my future goals as well, because I want to go to Stanford (University) for a scholarship with water polo. It is a bit of dream; if you put the hard work in, it will pay off, probably!

“It’s going to be a massive challenge but it’s going to be a really good opportunity I think because it’s going to be the highest level of junior water polo I’m going to get.

“One of the best things is what I can learn from it and where I can improve as well.”

Dunfermline’s club captain, Alasdair Campbell, will be part of the coaching team and Marios believes the coaches and players at the club will help him as he prepares for international competition.

“It’s one of the best training systems in Scottish water polo, with really good coaches,” he continued.

“They’ve had their fair share of water polo as well; Davie Baxter, Ali Campbell, the twins Darren and Chris as well. They’ve played a lot of international polo so it’s really good to get their perspective on polo as well.

“I’ve had quite a few good games in the under-16 teams, but obviously I haven’t had a really big chance to play in the under-19s due to Covid. I went down to Walsall about three or four years ago, so that was a really good opportunity as well.”

Meanwhile, a tournament in memory of one of Dunfermline Water Polo Club’s stalwarts is set to take place in December.

The BMC Water Polo Cup has been organised to celebrate the legacy of Brian Campbell, a former Scotland international and life member of the club, who passed away in December 2019 aged 61.

Established to continue his passion of developing the next generation of players, the inaugural tournament will take place on Sunday December 5 at Carnegie Leisure Centre.