Young Western Bulldogs star Jamarra Ugle-Hagan believes he "wouldn't be playing AFL" had it not been for the club's Next Generation Academy.

Ugle-Hagan officially joined the Bulldogs as the first overall pick in the 2020 National Draft as a graduate of the club's junior pathways program, with his ties to the Dogs allowing them priority access to the top-rated teenager.

Next Generation Academy system targets multicultural and Indigenous communities with limited opportunities and exposure to football programs and pathways.

Of Noongar-Gunditjmara-Djab Wurrun descent, Ugle-Hagan grew up in Victoria's southwest and would board at Melbourne's Scotch College for four years after earning a scholarship with the prestigious school.

Able to remain close to the Western Bulldogs' NGA system and staff helped the young star's development during his junior years, with a prolific draft campaign seeing him become the most desired prospect of his class.

With the number of Indigenous players in the AFL on a downward trajectory, pathways like Next Generation Academies are integral to nurturing the most promising First Nations players in the country.

For Ugle-Hagan, the program kept him "out of trouble" during his teenage years and helped him recognise his AFL dream.

"I wouldn't be playing AFL I reckon if I didn't have a pathway like that," Ugle-Hagan said on Monday.

"I felt like the NGA made me stay out of trouble, stay busy outside of school and definitely made me play football and want to make it in the AFL.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 06: Jamarra Ugle-Hagan of Oakleigh Chargers in action during the 2020 NAB League Testing Day on March 06, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Martin Keep/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"We're only going to get more and more (Indigenous players in the AFL), hopefully. As long as we're representing Indigenous players. As long as there's one player, that means a lot to us anyway."

Fresh off signing a new two-year deal with the Western Bulldogs, Ugle-Hagan played a role in the Dogs' Round 9 thrashing of Richmond over the weekend.

The young key position talent combined with fellow forward pairing Aaron Naughton and Sam Darcy to help shape one of the best attacking team efforts for the Dogs this year, with the other two combining for eight goals while Ugle-Hagan had six score involvements.

The trio look set to steer the Dogs' premiership hopes for the long haul. And while Ugle-Hagan could've doubled the length of his new deal, the young Pup is just happy to have the pressure of making the contract call off his shoulders.

"I was pretty close (to signing a four-year deal), but we'll see what happens after this year," the 22-year-old said.

"It was a massive decision but I'm glad I got it done. I feel a lot lighter. I feel like I can just go out and have fun now and play some football instead of having that stress."

The Bulldogs will head to Sydney this weekend to face GWS at Engie Stadium on Saturday at 4:35pm (AEST).