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Canberra draft hopefuls to grace MCG on grand final day in biggest week of their lives

They have been praised by the AFL's fullback of the century and will grace the MCG on grand final day, but Canberra draft hopefuls Jack Steele and Logan Austin are not getting ahead of themselves as they prepare for the most important week of their career. 

The pair will play for the Allies, featuring players from non-traditional football states, against the under-17 Australian team in a curtain-raiser to the AFL decider on Saturday. 

While that is a childhood dream come true, they have bigger fish to fry when they look to impress recruiters at the AFL Draft Combine in Melbourne next week. 

Carlton legend and GWS Giants list manager Stephen Silvagni said midfielder Steele would "definitely be drafted this year, and hopefully with the Giants" at the club's grand final function in Canberra this week. 

He also said fellow Belconnen product Austin, a key defender, was rated highly. 

It is a big rap from an AFL great but both players are hell-bent on keeping their feet on the ground and taking their chance. 


Austin and Steele are in the Giants Academy, meaning their place on an AFL list could be sealed when academy selections are made on October 6. 

If not, they will need to wait until the draft in late November to learn their fate. 

"It was pretty exciting coming from Silvagni," said Steele, who was named in the under-18 All Australian team in July. 

"But I try not to think about the recruiters too much and put that behind me. When you start thinking too far ahead, that's when things go wrong. 

"With the academy [picks] it would be nice knowing where I'm going earlier, but as long as I get on a list, I'll be happy. 

"This morning [Friday] I woke up and realised I'm playing on the 'G' tomorrow. It'll give me a taste of it and, hopefully, I'm there in front of 100,000 people in a few years."

Austin said Silvagni's comments were reassuring but knows it will count for little unless he does everything right next week. 

"He's the fullback of the century and it's nice, but he keeps his cards pretty close to his chest," Austin said. 

"He's told me stories about people who could have, and should have, been drafted. 

"It's pretty exciting playing on the 'G'. I'm not looking that far ahead but that's where I want to play and it will give me a glimpse of what it's like to play on that stage. 

"When we watch the big game [between Sydney and Hawthorn] it will give me more motivation to one day be out there."