Norwood Football Club  


Norwood Football Club

Metropolitan Development Squad Program 2016

The following document is written to explain the aims of the Norwood Football Club Development Squad Program and to answer the questions that are regularly asked by players and parents.

Aims of the Development Program

  • To allow the best players in the Norwood Zone the opportunity to train (and play) with each other.
  • To develop the players basic football techniques (kicking, marking, handball and collecting the ball).
  • To allow the best players the opportunity to be exposed to the AFL Elite Pathway.
  • To assist the Norwood Football Club in identifying the best 50 players in the Under 15 age group.
  • To introduce players to the Norwood Football Club and expose them to the history and tradition of Norwood with the aim of producing League players for Norwood within 5-7 years.


Football Operations Manager: Mark Ross 0412359577
Talent Manager: 

Under 13

Coach: Mark Swanbury: 0421 619 368
Assistant Coach: Cameron Fleming: 0435 594 760               
Team Manager: Ian Sparnon: 0417 800 395                            


Under 14

Coach Jamie Thomas: 0402 849 798
Assistant Coach: Steve Harris 0405 821 464                                                                   


Under 15 Metro

Coach: Chris O'Connor: 0408 564 294
Assistant Coach: Ben Mesisca: 0439 817 907 
Assistant Coach: Cameron Shenton      
Assistant Coach: Chris Olsson


As of October 2014, the Norwood Football Club gained the Eyre Peninsula as its new country zone. This was previously the northern part of the Adelaide Hills as well as some neighbouring suburbs close to the hills. As a result of this new country zone, previous suburbs that were classed as country for Norwood to balance out numbers (including Banksia Park, Fairview Park, Surrey Downs, Redwood Park, Yatala Vale, Golden Grove, Modbury Heights, or Greenwith) will now be classed as metropolitan zoned players. This means there is now a larger pool of players trialing for the U15 metropolitan team for the SANFL Intrastate Championships which are held in July each season.

In the Norwood metropolitan zone there are approximately 5000 players under 19 years of age.

If a player resides inside these boundaries they are bound to play for Norwood from the year they turn 15 until the year they turn 19. During that time, if another SANFL football club wants a Norwood zoned player to play for them they have 3 choices:

  1. Pay Norwood $5500 at the time of transfer (and more money if the player plays SANFL League or AFL football).

  1. Try and arrange a trade with Norwood of a player of similar ability (this may happen 3 times a year).

  1. The father of the player must have played League football (one match) for that SANFL club.

If your family moves residence, please notify the club as soon as possible via the email address 


Questions regularly asked by players and parents

  1. How did you get my child’s name?
  • During October of each year Norwood asks the local football clubs and SASFA schools to nominate their best players. Your name was obtained through this path.

  1. How many players make the squad?
  • The Under 13 and Under 14 squads will choose the best 42 players and these players will be informed of their selection by their coach in the week leading into the April school holidays. These players will then be expected to attend all training sessions held during term 2. The reason we choose 42 is so that all players get three games of football i.e. we take 21 players to each game, so after every second game all players should have been given a game.
  • Also in the week leading into the April school holidays, the Under 15 Metropolitan team will be reduced to a squad of approximately 50 players. These players will be expected to attend all training sessions and will be eligible to compete in a minimum of 2-3 matches against other SANFL clubs. The Under 15 squad is limited to 25 (plus 5 emergencies) at the end of term 2 and this team will then represent Norwood in the Under 15 Intra State Championships held during the July school holidays. All players selected in the initial 50 player squad will then be invited to attend Norwood Under 16 pre-season training at the end of 2016.

  1. Why don’t you make the squads smaller?
  • Children develop at different rates and we want to give the talented players (big and small) the chance to play AFL football
  • If players are omitted at U13 level it can effect confidence and can be difficult to get them back, so we try and have larger squads and plan for the long term
  • It exposes more ‘local club’ players to the next level and hopefully they will take this back to their club and the overall standard of football will increase

  1. Does this program replace club/school football?
  • Certainly not - the players will have about 12 training sessions and about 2-4 games each. This is not enough alone to move a player through the elite system.
  • This program is only an extra for the best players and they are expected to train at least once (hopefully twice) a week and play for their club/school wherever possible.

  1. Why do we train at different venues?
  • Norwood Oval is heavily used and to ensure that the U13/U14 players are given plenty of oval space to practice their skills we use both Charles Campbell College (before April school holidays) and Harpers Field, plus other nominated venues during the season. The U15 metropolitan team train at Norwood Oval.
  • There are very few players living within 7km of Norwood Oval. Over the last 4-6 years only about 20% of players live close to Norwood oval. The other 80% live in the north-eastern suburbs and by training at Harpers Field, Norwood is taking football to the players. Hopefully this will mean more players accept the invitation to join the squads. Twelve years ago, the acceptance rate was about 70%. This figure has risen considerably and we hope to continue to get the best players in our zone playing for Norwood.

  1. What are you going to do for the players who live close to Norwood Oval?
  • During term 2, training will vary between Harpers Field and one other venue, closer to Norwood. This venue will be confirmed before the break for the April school holidays.
  • The Under 15 Metro team will train at Norwood Oval on Tuesday from 4:30pm until 6pm.

  1. Why did Norwood choose Harpers Field?
  • It is a big oval with lights and it was available without interfering with the pre-existing football programs at the Golden Grove Football Club.
  • It is close for the majority of the players residing in the north-eastern suburbs.
  • It would not adversely affect our local football clubs.

  1. What happens with medical staff?
  • It is supposed to be a development squad mainly based around skill acquisition, therefore a trainer is not scheduled to attend.
  • When matches are played on Friday nights and during the U15 Intra State Championships there will be a qualified trainer in attendance to attend to injuries during the game.
  • Norwood will not be responsible for the cost of any injuries sustained during training or games. All players are encouraged to have top level health insurance. If a player is uninsured, Norwood has insurance but it will cost the player $400 to use the fund and there is a 10% gap on any expenses. If a player is seriously injured during a game this is useful insurance but for all minor injuries it will not be of any benefit.

  1.  What do the players wear?
  • All players selected in the final squads are asked to pay $150.00 and this gives them Norwood jumper (reversible), socks, shorts and team hoodie.
  • Players are asked to wear the team top to games with a pair of track suit pants and clean running shoes.
  • At training, players are required to wear their Norwood playing uniform, football boots and mouthguard.

  1. Once the program is running, who do we deal with?
  • If it is an organisational question, ask the Team Manager
  • If it is a playing question, ask the coach (not during training)
  • If you do not feel satisfied with the answers you can contact development squad coordinator, 

Current AFL players that have been part of our Development Squad Program

Luke Brown (Adelaide)

Tom Jonas (Port Adelaide)

Trent Dumont (North Melbourne)

Heath Grundy (Sydney)

Paul Puopolo, Ryan Schoenmakers (Hawthorn)

Joel Patfull (GWS)

James Aish (Collingwood)

Daniel Gorringe (Carlton)

Orazio Fantasia (Essendon)


Development Squad Training & Match Schedule


All Development Squad matches commence at the following times:

Under 13:            5.30pm – 4 x 13 min (4:45pm report time)

Under 14:            6.45pm – 4 x 15 min (6:00pm report time)

Under 15:            8.15pm – 4 x 17 min (7:00pm report time)

Fairmont Homes Cooper's Australian Outdoor Living Paradise Motors Mazda Grant Burge
Norwood Football Club: 4 Woods St Norwood SA 5067, Phone: (08) 8362 6278
Site by Media 235