Targeting a non-traditional market, the African Academy is an eight-week development and leadership program run for boys with African backgrounds.

The program identifies players and accelerates their introduction to Australian Football, opening up pathways to elite development programs such as the World Team Program - the AFL's national multicultural program for under-16 boys.

See the 2020 schedule for the African Academy below, with all sessions starting at 5pm and finishing at 6:30pm at The Hangar, home of Essendon FC.

2020 schedule

Week 1: Monday, July 13 at The Hangar

- Welcome and information sessions for parents and players
- Apparel handout
- Talk from Essendon player/coach and/or emerging African leader
- Tour of facility

Week 2: Monday, July 20 at The Hangar

- Football development
- Team values session

Week 3: Monday, July 27 at The Hangar

- Football development
- Cultural awareness session

Week 4: Monday, August 3 at The Hangar

- Football development
- Nutrition and injury prevention sessions

Week 5: Monday, August 10

- Team activity at Bounce, Essendon Fields

Week 6: Monday, August 17 at The Hangar

- Football development
- Umpiring session with David Rodan

Week 7: Monday, August 24 at The Hangar

- Football development
- Goal-setting session with player TBC

Week 8: Monday, August 31 at The Hangar

- African Academy v Indigenous Academy

Without Essendon FC, I would never have been where I am right now. The club has helped me with my fitness, skills and game awareness, but there are more things I've seen a massive improvement in like learning how to act off the field.

- Ayui Making - 2019 African Academy player