In 1919 the Norwood Football Club committee undertook a major recruitment drive as its playing stocks had been severely diminished by the ravages of World War 1.
A vital component of this was a review of its junior players residing in the district. Of the 30 or so young men reviewed a rover from the East Adelaide Football Club who had gained a reputation for his determined style of play came into focus. His name was Oswald Jacka.
He was included in two trial matches. In the first of these Jacka was chosen in a Norwood B team to play against the Norwood A team. Such was his performance, the following week he was chosen to play for the A team.
In round one Oswald was chosen to play for the seconds against West Adelaide. He had a good game in which he kicked two goals and his side won. As such he was selected for the league side for their next game against Sturt.
It was a disastrous game for the Redlegs; they lost by 10 goals and only kicked two goals for the game. Nonetheless Jacka made the best players and retained his position for the next game against North Adelaide.
The subsequent loss to North meant changes were made. Despite reports after the game that Jacka had, “played a good game ” and another that Jacka, “Is smart, determined and clever ” he was one of the players dropped.
Jacka spent the remainder of the season playing some games for the seconds but also some games for his old club East Adelaide in the Adelaide Football Association.
The following year he played in the trials and then played regularly and consistently well for the seconds but never regained a league berth.
B Ridge April 2020