Alf Arnold was a useful forward with Norwood for three seasons before he transferred to South Adelaide in 1899 under the new football boundaries system. After Norwood's stunning premiership success in 1894, the club was rocked by the exodus of players to Western Australia. It cast around for new blood to replace the likes of Os Bertram, Jim Mullaney, 'Tack' Metherell, Jim Polglase, Charlie Atkins, Tom Coombe and Ted Hantke.
Alf was recruited from St Paul's, a junior club, and joined Norwood in 1896 with future stalwarts Bill Plunkett and Horace Cowan. He had a gentle introduction to senior football against two of the lesser lights. He kicked a goal in his first match, as Norwood beat North Adelaide 11.7 to 4.4 on 2 May, and two goals a week later in Norwood's 6.12 to 0.1 annihilation of the Natives. In general it was a lean period for Norwood but Alf did his bit, kicking eight goals in 1897 and 11 in 1897, when he finished just one goal behind the champion sharpshooter 'Bos' Daly.
Under the electorate boundaries system, a player was bound to a club if he resided in its allotted territory. Alf Angel, 'Bos' Daly and James Way were among established Norwood men who had to switch to South in the big shake-up of 1899.
South believed it was very much the loser under the new system, pointing out in 1901 that Norwood was captained by Charlie Barnes, North by Jack Reedman, West Torrens by Ted MacKenzie and Sturt by Percy Keckwick - all former South men. South's captain was Hermann Kruss, an old Norwood player who had changed clubs before the new system came into place.
Alf was gone by then, having played two seasons with South. He also was a talented allrounder with the St Paul's Cricket Club.
Alf's kind, genial disposition made him a popular traveller with Harris Scarfe & Co, where he was employed for 18 years. He was only 33 when he died at Parkside on 2 November 1908, leaving a grieving widow, Nellie.
P Robins April 2018