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Courtenay Dempsey

Courtenay Dempsey

Essendon FC

Born: 28 August 1987
Height: 186cm
Weight: 86kg
Junior Club: Manunda Hawks (Cairns)
Senior Club: Morningside
Schools:  Parramatta State School (Cairns), Woree State High (Cairns), Brisbane Boys College
Regional Selection: Country Kookaburras
Queensland Selection: U16 (2003), U18 (2005)
Draft Details: Selection #19 (1st round) 2005 National Draft
AFL Debut: Essendon v Carlton, MCG, Round 14, 2006, (14 May)
Jumper Number: 15

AT A GLANCE: Was the first Queenslander taken in the 2005 National Draft, snapped up by Essendon with the final pick in the first round at No.19 overall ahead of fellow Queenslanders Wayde Mills (25), Sam Gilbert (33), Rhan Hooper (40), Michael West (57) and Austin Lucy (66). And after an horrific injury run in his early years he looks set to repay the Bombers’ faith with a long and illustrious career. An Aboriginal born in Mt.Isa, he was raised in Cairns and took up football aged 12 with the Manunda Hawks. He represented Queensland at U16 level in 2003 via the Country Kookaburras, and moved to Brisbane in 2004 to attend Brisbane Boys College and further his football career.

A star schoolboy athlete, he broke the triple jump record at BBC and was a member of the 4 x 400m relay team that won the GPS title. A recipient of a Mike Fitzpatrick Scholarship, he was a standout for Queensland at U18 level in 2005 and was member of Morningside’s losing grand final side the same year before being claimed by the Bombers. A slightly built half forward/wingman, he was always seen as a project player but injury prolonged the Bombers wait for him to deliver on his long-held potential. He debuted in Round 7 2006 against Carlton at the MCG, but played only 10 games in three years.

After five games in a solid 2006 debut season, where he didn’t look out of place with his blistering pace and smooth skills, he managed just one game in ’07 due to repeat hamstring problems and four in a ’08 season that ended with a broken leg. Season 2009 was his breakout year. He played 20 of a possible 23 games, including his finals debut, and was a wonderful attacking weapon running off half back. Happy to extend his contract at Windy Hill despite possible overtures from the Gold Coast, he shapes as an important long-term figure for the Bombers.


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