Davis Atkin wants to forge a path to the Kookaburras, as does his Western Districts teammate Jay Macdonald.
The pair are on the right track after being named in Australia's under-21s squad, but the driving factor for both is where they differ.
Atkin wants to forge a path for other gay Australian hockey players to look up to.
He has been playing since he was about 14, and he has not looked back, with selection in the under-18s squad twice prior to his Burras call up.
The midfielder said gay male athletes had become more commonplace, but he still wanted to pave a path to the national team for the next generation.
"There's no one in the national team in the men's that I'm aware of that is openly gay," the 21-year-old said.
"And there's nothing wrong with that but that's one of the main reasons for me at the moment. I want to be a trailblazer, I guess you could say.
"I want to be someone that people can look up to. Because I find it really hard to look at people and look at groups if there's not someone like me and it's really hard for me to materialise how I can get there. So moving forward I really want to be an inspiration."
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Atkin and Macdonald survived the cull down from 40 players to 27 following the Domestic Series on the Gold Coast last month to be selected in the Burras' squad.
They will, however, have to survive one more cull, following the Australian Under-21 Championships in late July, in order to make the final squad for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia.
Macdonald said it had been great to see Atkin becoming a role model in Canberra and the sport.
"It's awesome at the moment that there's more and more role models, [it] gives lots of people who identify that way more confidence in themselves, whether it's in everyday or in a sporting environment," he said.
"[Atkin's] probably seen as a very big role model in that community, and just the hockey community in general as he's a pretty awesome hockey player."
The driving factor for Macdonald to make it into the squad was seeing how far he could go in the sport. And with a taste of the green and gold in the juniors, he wants to go all the way to the seniors.
The national team dream was not sown for the 20-year-old when he first picked up a hockey stick around eight and followed his family onto the field at 10. It started in his mid-teens and was cemented when he earned his call-up into under-18s.
"My family's probably more cricket-oriented than hockey-oriented, but I was a better hockey player than I was at cricket," the defender laughed.
"I've always wanted to see how far I can go in a sport and hockey just happened to be the one that I pursued."
The ACT also has three players named in the men's national development squad, with 20 chosen from across Australia as they aspire to break into the Kookaburras squad.
Canberra's Anand Gupte and brothers Ben and Jake Staines were identified after the March series. All three will continue to train and develop their game at the national training centre in Perth, vying for a call up to the Kookaburras.
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