Grant Tanner joined Norwood from Jervois, about 100 kilometres South-East of Adelaide. Lightly framed, he played three games for the Norwood under 17s in 1986, and another 15 in 1987 when he also represented South Australia in the Teal Cup in Hobart. He played in the 1988 Under 19 Grand Final victory over Glenelg, as well as a handful of games for the reserves in the same year.
Tanner made his league debut near the end of the 1989 season and went on to play the final five games of the year, including the finals series.
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