Essendon is proud to launch Ngaalang Miya, the club’s exciting new Indigenous academy and registrations for eligible players are now open.

The academy will run for eight weeks and aims to accelerate the development of talented youngsters from the club’s north-west metropolitan NGA zone both on and off the field.

Club academies manager Harmit Singh said the creation of Ngaalang Miya, which will feature players aged 11 to 15, is a momentous occasion for the Bombers. 

“This represents a significant step in the club’s history, with it being the club’s first ever Indigenous academy for boys and girls in the north west,” Singh said.

“The program will span over eight weeks and have an holistic approach.”

Ngaalang Miya program manager and Essendon VFLW captain Courtney Ugle said she is thrilled to help drive the new academy.

“We have identified that 30 per cent of the Indigenous population in Victoria reside in the North West so to be able to provide a great opportunity for this cohort to grow on & off the field is extremely exciting,” Ugle said.

“To play a role in such a significant program engaging with Indigenous youth is something that I’m really passionate about.”

Former Bomber Courtenay Dempsey will coach the boys’ academy squad and general manager of The Long Walk and Indigenous affairs Leanne Brooke said it is important to have such strong leaders heading the development of the young players.

“The Indigenous academy led by Courtenay Dempsey and Courtney Ugle will not only develop the football skills and knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people, it will also empower and develop them as leaders,” Brooke said.

“What an amazing opportunity for our young people and communities.”

The first trial day is set for Wednesday, April 8. To register your interest, please email Singh on

All participants must reside within Essendon’s north-west NGA zone.