NIAMH MOLONEY is hopeful that taking to the pool for her first European competition will pave the way for further international recognition.

But, after her selection for the Great Britain squad that will go to September’s tournament was confirmed, the Dunfermline Water Polo Club player admits that achieving her place had yet to sink in.

The 16-year-old, who is a pupil at Kinross High School, received the news last week confirming that she will travel with GB to the LEN (European Swimming League) Women’s European Junior Water Polo Championships, which will be held in Volos, Greece, from September 1-8.

Moloney, who helped Dunfermline’s senior ladies win the Graz Trophy at April’s Scottish Water Polo Club Championships, is one of 14 players who have made the final cut from an initial 30-40.

Numbers were whittled down following a series of training camps and, after being first reserve for last year’s under-19 squad, the 2018 Scottish Swimming Junior Water Polo Player of the Year is excited to realise what she previously described as a “big ambition”.

“At the last training session, they said they didn’t know when an announcement would be made on the team, but last week it came through in an email,” Niamh explained.

“I’m really happy and can’t wait for it. I was hoping to be included but I was still a bit surprised; my mum read it out and I just stood there! It’s not really sunk in.

“But it’s really good and one goal I can tick off.

“It’ll be good to see whether I can perform at that high a level, but it definitely has given my confidence a boost.

“To be able to represent GB, it is the biggest competition I’ve been to. Hopefully I can do well at this one and then get picked for other teams with GB in the future.”

The junior competition, which is for under-17 age group squads, was last held in 2017 in Novi Sad, Serbia, where the GB team placed sixth.

Niamh and her team-mates will travel to Hungary for a further training camp ahead of the tournament, and she believes they can perform even better than their predecessors.

“The teams are put into groups, so I hope we can be in the top two and then the top six. That would be nice,” she continued.

“We’ve got the Netherlands, Bulgaria and Germany in our group. One of the teams is quite strong, but hopefully we should be able to pick up a couple of wins.

“I know everybody in the team and there’s a good morale. We’ve got one more weekend before Hungary, which will be a lot more focused on the tournament.

“We’ve got a camp before it and then we’re back for a few days before we go out to Greece.

“It means I miss a bit of school too, which is quite nice!”