EXCITEMENT is building for a Dunfermline Water Polo Club star as she prepares to compete on the global stage.

Niamh Moloney is due to jet out with the Great Britain senior squad today (Thursday) to Doha, Qatar, for the World Aquatics Championships.

The 21-year-old is part of a 13-strong squad that will play in the women's water polo tournament at the competition, beginning on Sunday, following their exploits at last month's European Championships.

Having helped them qualify for the event - the first time GB's senior women had done so for a decade - Niamh and her team-mates went on to finish seventh overall.

That finish, courtesy of a thrilling win over Croatia in the seventh and eighth place classification fixture, ensured that they were one of the top three finishers outside of those that had already qualified for the World Championships, securing their own ticket to Doha in the process.

The squad that were in Eindhoven, Netherlands, for the European Championships will compete for GB and Niamh, named as the 2023 Senior Water Polo Player of the Year at Scottish Swimming's annual awards, is looking forward to the challenge.

Niamh, who is in her final year at Queen Margaret University, near Edinburgh, said: "It's been a very quick turnaround.

"Having to sort out uni has been stressful, but they've been helpful as well. I've got the support from everyone so I'm just excited to go and see what happens now.

"The uni said to go for it - it's potentially a once in a lifetime thing, so they've been really supportive, and said that I could catch up on things when I'm back, so not to worry about it.

"A lot of the teams that were at the Europeans, we'll see at the worlds as well. I'm just excited. I don't know how to put it into words, really!

"To be able to have the backing from British Swimming as well, regarding funding for that one, has been amazing. As we were self-funding for the Europeans, to be able to get the funding for Doha, so we don't have to pay for it, is just amazing.

"Again, we're going into it without any major pressure on us, so we can just go, enjoy it, see what happens, and hopefully do well.

"Our aim from the start was to build the name for the sport more and bring in the funding a lot more. Hopefully we've done that for the future generations so they don't have to go through as much self-funding as we've had to.

"Hopefully it just gets bigger and bigger, we'll see."

In Doha, GB will open their campaign against Italy - bronze medallists at last year's World Championships - in Group D on Sunday, before facing worlds ever-presents Canada on Tuesday (February 6), and South Africa, who have already qualified for the Olympic Games in Paris later this year, on Thursday February 8.

GB's senior women last competed at the World Championships 11 years ago, in Barcelona, where they finished 13th.

A top three finish in their group will guarantee that they will better that this time around, and Niamh is hopeful that their experience at the European Championships, where they lost in the quarter-finals to eventual winners, the Netherlands.

"They're just on another level but it was great to play against them and play against good players," Niamh continued.

"You can just tell the pace of their play is a lot quicker and smoother. We'll probably take some pointers from their play going into the worlds, hopefully.

"t was great for us really (their finish at the Europeans). I don't think any of us expected it to be honest, but we're really happy to have achieved it, and it's a big thing as well for water polo in Great Britain now because it's put us on the map a bit more, which is good."