Established by Essendon FC in 2010, the James Hird Academy 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.