Pocket Profile

2021 Norwood Pocket Profile

New Norwood coach Jade Rawlings addresses his players while training at The Parade.

SANFL’s ZAC MILBANK breaks down all you need to know about the Redlegs heading into the 2021 Statewide Super League season.

2020 Snapshot

Finished – 5th

Record – 6 wins, 8 losses

Michael Taylor Medallist – Brad McKenzie/Richard Douglas (tie)

Leading Goal Kicker – Tom Pinyon (26)

Most Disposals – Richard Douglas (361)

The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year – Richard Douglas (forward pocket), Sam Baulderstone (ruck), Brad McKenzie (back pocket)


Dual Michael Taylor Medallist Brad McKenzie again looms as one of Norwood’s most reliable performers in 2021.

Player Movement

Paul Puopolo (returned/Hawthorn), Michael Knoll (Sydney/South Adelaide), Jacob Kennerley (returned/Geelong), Henry Crauford (returned/Essendon), Matt Vardanega (Queanbeyan/Canberra Demons), Mitch Cotter (Frankston VFL), Jai Larkins (Redlands), Harry Boyd (Shepparton), Jackson Callow (North Launceston)


Ryan Bastinac (Queensland), Sam Baulderstone (retired/Payneham), Lewis Johnston (retired), Anthony Wilson (retired/Payneham), Will Abbott (Old Ignations), Tom Pinyon (Mount Compass), Cody Szust (Wodonga), Codey Ellison (work), Jack Saunders (Hawthorn), Luke Surman (Port Adelaide SANFL), Corey Grove, Ben Millman

Former Crow Richard Douglas was Norwood’s leading disposal winner in 2020.

2021 Trial Matches

Saturday March 6
Norwood v Adelaide at Coopers Stadium – 10.30am

Saturday March 13
Central District v Norwood at X Convenience Oval – 2.10pm (Reserves at 11.30am)

Saturday March 20
West Adelaide v Norwood at Hisense Stadium – 1pm (Reserves at 10am)

Star Signing

None other than triple Hawthorn premiership forward Paul Puopolo. In one of the feel-good signings of the summer, the Redlegs regained the nuggety goalsneak after he left The Parade as a dashing back pocket at the end of 2010. The 33-year-old has been quick to embrace a role at Norwood as an on-field mentor, impressing new coach Jade Rawlings. Rawlings has flagged the possibility of ”Poppy” spending spurts through the midfield as well as causing havoc inside 50m.

Fan favourite Paul Puopolo is looking fit heading into his return season with the Redlegs.

On the Rise - Powerade Breakthrough Player Candidate

Prolific midfielder Henry Nelligan got a taste of League action last year with two matches for the Redlegs, playing chiefly as a small forward. If the 18-year-old from Cummins on the Eyre Peninsula can continue his development he could force his way into Norwood’s stacked midfield rotation. Unlucky not to be selected by an AFL club last year, Nelligan represents the Redlegs’ long-term future inside the centre square.

Henry Nelligan applies a tackle on Eagle Rhyan Mansell in his first Statewide Super League game last year. Picture – Hannah Howard

Ones to Watch - Torrens University SANFL State Talent Hub Players

Cooper Murley (177cm and 66kg)  – One of four South Aussies in the AFL Academy, Murley is a smooth-moving midfielder who uses the ball well under pressure.

Matthew Dnistrianski (185cm and 73kg) – Medium-sized defender who is adept at taking intercept marks. Uses the ball well by foot with composure.

Alastair Lord (177cm and 68kg) – Half-back who is effective at finding the ball in traffic before carrying it with speed. Has the ability to play through midfield.

Norwood young gun Cooper Murley (right) celebrates a goal in last year’s U18 Torrens University Cup. Picture – Hannah Howard

Sign up to receive the latest SANFL news straight to your inbox.