The much-anticipated 22nd edition of the James Hird Academy Newsletter has arrived.

Following a year where it wasn't able to run due to the impacts of COVID-19, the JHA has rebounded in 2021 under the guidance of new head coach Harmit Singh, with an Acceleration Group featuring 2021 draft hopefuls Josh Misiti and Tex Wanganeen and a raft of fellow talented father-son prospects.

In this edition of the newsletter, we catch up with Misiti to see how he's tracking in his draft year and what he gained from a week of AFL pre-season training with the Bombers.

Singh outlines his objectives as head coach, while recent JHA graduates Josh Eyre and Cody Brand talk about their first year in the AFL with Essendon.

Rookie-listed Bomber Tom Hird also shares his experiences in the JHA, detailing the reasons for his switch from soccer to footy.


Established in 2010, the JHA is a junior development program that aims to identify, attract and nurture young players from non-traditional AFL regions, international zones and potential father-son draft avenues. 

The academy plays a vital role in tracking and aiding each member’s development through to drafting age, with the ultimate goal of securing a place on Essendon’s senior list.

One of the JHA’s founding principles is to continue to uphold and bolster the strong father-son tradition that has played such an important part throughout the history of the Bombers.