GREATER Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron says debutants Jack Steele and Caleb Marchbank are the type of competitors he wants at the Giants and the duo have earned their chance to face North Melbourne this week.
The pair were drafted by GWS last year, with Marchbank the number six pick overall – the selection the Giants received in the Ryan Griffen/Tom Boyd deal – and Steele an academy selection at pick 24.
GWS has been rocked by significant injuries to key players following last week's 42-point loss to Collingwood, with ruckman Shane Mumford (ankle) gone for the year, and key defenders Joel Patfull (lung/ribs) and Phil Davis (ankle) out for up to two months.
Marchbank will play as a tall defender against the Kangaroos, with Steele replacing midfielder Stephen Coniglio (shoulder), who was also hurt against the Pies.
Cameron says Steele and Marchbank have been playing quality, consistent footy in the NEAFL and deserve their chance at the highest level.
"They like that contest, they like to be involved in one-on-ones, they like to tackle, they like to have second and third efforts, so it's particularly pleasing that they've got that in their game," Cameron said on Wednesday.
"That's the reason why we chose them in the draft, they've got a real competitive edge about them.
"It's great to bring in two young kids that I know will put their head over the footy, I know will tackle, I know will give everything I've got."
Cameron says losing four of the club's most important players in one disastrous weekend is part of coaching caper.
"It's an up and down, emotional rollercoaster, but that’s the thing you love about it, you actually see young kids that develop and they get an opportunity to play," Cameron said.
"That’s the greatest thing about being a coach, you help someone get to play the game they love."
Steele has been a dominant midfielder for the Giants in the NEAFL in 2015, being regularly amongst their best players, but given the depth and form of the onballers in the senior side he's had to bash down the selection door.
The Canberra boy admitted it had been difficult being overlooked week after week, despite his excellent form. The tackling machine is in good touch, coming off a 27-possession, 10-tackle effort last week.
"It was hard at times, because obviously when you play a good game you expect to be rewarded for it, and when you don't it's hard to get yourself up for the next week," Steele said.
"I had to speak to a few people about it for a bit of motivation, but they helped me through it, and I got there.
"I've been playing some good footy in the NEAFL and I was patient, and eventually got my chance."
Marchbank won't get any time to adjust to the big time against the Roos at Spotless Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with the youngest player on the GWS list likely to take on one of the visitors' three big forwards, Drew Petrie, Ben Brown or Jarrad Waite.
The task in front of the 18-year-old might be intimidating, but Marchbank is confident he can make an impression against the team he supported growing up.
"The boys have been really good. They've been encouraging me and saying 'You're here for a reason, just be confident in yourself', so that’s given me good belief," he said.
"I know what I can do and I've just got to produce that on the field I suppose."