In 1909 under newly appointed coach, J J Woods, Norwood went in search of country recruits to help guide them to the ultimate prize. Samuel Juniper was such a recruit. Initially referred to in the press as, “The boy from the peninsula”, Juniper was recruited from Wallaroo.
On arriving at Norwood he was described in The Advertiser as, “young, of medium build and plays back or follows.” Juniper was chosen to play for Norwood in a trial at Gawler against their Association (seconds) side. Playing in defence he impressed sufficiently to be chosen in the seconds for the early games of the season.
Juniper earned his chance due to the league side’s dismal start to the season. They won only one of their first five games and new blood needed to be tried.
He was chosen in a back pocket/follower role against West Adelaide in June. Though another loss resulted it was reported that Juniper, ”Did some attractive work on the ball.”
Juniper retained his spot for the next two games that resulted in wins against South and West Torrens before losing his spot the following week for the game against North Adelaide. He returned a week later as Norwood’s winning run continued against Sturt.
Criticism mounted against Juniper because of his apparent lack of pace and consequently he was unable to win back his position in the league side.
B Ridge Dec 2020