Ron Bland was a local Rostrevor lad who grew up barracking for Norwood and watched many matches at Norwood Oval and other league grounds. Some of his favourite players were Big Bill Wedding, Brian Sawley, Phil Stephens and Ron Kneebone to name a few.
Ron attended Campbelltown High School where he played A grade football with Brenton Beeching, another Norwood footballer. In 1966, while still at Campbelltown High School, Ron won a premiership with Hectorville Under 17’s where he was coached by Malcolm Smith, who later became a successful coach of Norwood Under 19’s.
On leaving school he attended Adelaide Teachers College and played A1-reserves amateur league in 1967 and won a premiership that year. In 1968 and 1969 Ron played A-grade amateur league for Adelaide Teachers College playing in two losing grand finals.
In 1969 Ron played for the South Australian State Amateur team which defeated Victoria on Alberton Oval. He was second best for South Australia and on the following Monday Ern Wadham called on him at Adelaide Teachers College and invited him to meet with Robert Oatey to discuss his football future with the Norwood Football Club. Ron saw this as a great honour.
Ron made his debut for Norwood on the 4th April 1970 against arch rivals Port Adelaide at Norwood Oval and experienced that winning feeling in this game.
He was runner up best first year player to Philip Carman and Roger Woodcock in 1970.
Ron was recruited as a follower but played mainly at full-back during 1970 and 1971 before playing as a follower during 1973.
He was a member of the 1972 and 1974 Reserves premiership teams and was awarded a five year player certificate (1970-1974).
Ron Bland retired at the end of the 1974 season and played for Hope Valley from 1975 to 1978 where he was coached by former Norwood stalwart Ross Porritt.
R Cialini, March 2014