Following the resumption of league football in 1945 after World War 2, all league clubs found it necessary to undertake significant recruitment drives. Former players were now often too old, still overseas or interstate awaiting demobilisation. Norwood would have to rely on local juniors to fill most positions. Mostyn Bannister was one of 56 new recruits. He had played with Norwood colts and was seen as a solid, dependable defender.
Coming through the trials, he was chosen with nine others to make their debuts against North Adelaide in round one. To the Redlegs' credit they overcame a highly fancied opposition to win by 30 points. Mostyn put in a promising performance.
The state of football in 1945 is evident in one statistic. Of all players chosen in round one matches nearly 40% were playing their first game.
Bannister played consistently. Only once in 16 games was he not chosen in a defensive position. He was chosen at half forward in the fourth round against West Adelaide but by three quarter time was back in defence. On one other occasion in a game against Port Adelaide he was given a brief run on the ball which allowed him to kick his one career goal.
Later in the season new recruits like Mostyn came under pressure to hold their positions as ex-players returned from military service.
He played his last game against Sturt immediately before the start of the finals. Norwood won by 12 points but made the decision to hopefully strengthen its side for the semi-final against Port Adelaide. Four players including Bannister had to make way for the return of Dalwood and Ralph who had been playing in Victoria as well as Le Page and Foweraker.
Mostyn Bannister had filled an important role for Norwood during this unique season but like many other players found that football has its cruel side.
B Rydge May 2021