Under-18 Scottish water polo players Stevan Spanovic and Matthew Seward hope victory at the Swim England Inter-Regional Water Polo Championships will bring further exposure to the sport in Aberdeen.
The boys, both 15, formed part of the Scottish Saltires side who overcame five English teams as well as the Welsh side to claim victory, a win that is very satisfying for Spanovic.
“Winning was really good,” he said.
“The whole team were really happy. I was one of the younger members in the team along with Matthew.
“I was really happy to be selected in the first place because we have a few older players who are really good, like Harry Gray, who was voted MVP.
“There weren’t really any favourites going into the competition.
“I think most of the teams involved were fairly new to this sort of thing.
“All we could do was try to play our hearts out to try to get a result.”
The Saltires stumbled en route to the final of the competition when they narrowly lost to South West 7-6.
However, an 11-8 victory in the final ensured the Scottish outfit had the last laugh as they saw off the same team to claim the championship.
Seward believes the team’s trips to Hungary and Lithuania have helped his side cope when it comes to taking on teams from the UK.
He said: “As a Scotland team we don’t normally win too often as we’re used to playing sides from Lithuania and Hungary where the sport is already really big.
“So we’re not used to winning.
“Playing in Scotland against other teams who aren’t training as often as those teams and then beating them shows that going away to these other places really helps us.”
However, the boys also hope their commitment to train in Dunfermline and Stirling as well as their success brings more exposure to the sport in Aberdeen.
“I think us winning a couple of weeks ago should have an impact in Aberdeen,” said Spanovic.
“At the moment, when we’re not down south, we train in Aberdeen with the uni teams so there has been progress for sure.”
Seward believes that, while the commitment is big, it is also worth it.
He said: “It’s really worth it. We obviously need to travel from Aberdeen which is about a five-hour trip.
“Then we have three hours of training on top of that so it’s a really big commitment.
“We have another competition coming up as well in Bolton for the Under-17s Caledonia team.
“This one has a lot more teams involved and we’ll have to qualify for the finals.
“So we need to keep it up.
“But overall it’s worth it and I hope we can continue winning.”