New forward Dempsey wants AFL return

Courtenay Dempsey is eyeing a return to AFL action in a new role for Essendon, having kicked seven goals in his past two VFL matches.

The backman’s switch to the forward line could pay off for the goal-shy Bombers, who were held to just five majors in a 87-point drubbing by the Western Bulldogs on Sunday.

The 27-year-old Dempsey – who has only played nine senior games this year – said he was still learning the new role but was enjoying the extra freedom on offer in attack.

He admitted he was still learning the role but was hopeful he was part of an array of Bombers pushing for senior selection this week.

Dempsey, Shaun Edwards, Elliott Kavanagh, Tayte Pears and former Geelong star Paul Chapman are all in line for a senior recall for the round 19 trip to Sydney to tackle the GWS Giants.

“(They) have played good, consistent footy over three or four weeks so there are a few other players who would push for a spot before I would,” said Dempsey.

Dempsey was one of few Bombers at the club on Monday after the senior team was told to organise individual recovery sessions and reflect on the weekend’s thrashing.

Dempsey led a footy clinic for Indigenous pre-schoolers as the ambassador for National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day.

He said, given the Adam Goodes booing saga and the upcoming multicultural round, it was important to teach children to embrace different cultures including their own.

“The main message today is about keeping strong culture with the young kids… and to help kids identify themselves,” he said.

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