Charley McGavisk was 25 when he played his first game for Norwood. He came from West Torrens with a great reputation as a solid, reliable ruck/rover, good enough to represent the state, with seven interstate games to his credit. He maintained these lofty standards whilst at the Redlegs, playing 67 games from 1908 until 1912.
His best years 1908 to 1910 were characterized by cool thinking, speed, clean palming of the ball to advantage and willingness to assist teammates. He played alongside some of the finest Norwood players of the era in Robin, Lewis, Lionel Hill, R J B Townsend and Perry. Despite all this, Norwood lost the grand finals of 1908 and 1909 to West Adelaide.
In 1911 with McGavisk as captain, Lionel Hill had a disagreement with the club and was absent from league football for a time. Perhaps due to this dissension, Norwood lost its way and in the first half of the season struggled to find consistency, structure and stability. By mid-season however, things started to turn around and Charley began to find his feet as captain and his form as a player The Redlegs defeated West Adelaide in the last minor round match, but frustratingly failed to make the finals. West Adelaide went on to defeat Port in the grand final.
It was generally agreed that a ruck/rover in the role of captain is a tough job and possibly the cause of Charley McGavisk’s poor form in the previous year. In 1912 he was voted in as vice-captain. In his last season, McGavisk was never able to recapture the sparkling form of previous years and he retired at the end of a disappointing season for Norwood and for him.
McGavisk had contributed as a very fine player, and his great legacy to the Redlegs was his instrumental role in forming the Players’ Club. The Norwood Committee formally agreed to the formation of the Players’ Club in March 1912.
R Crompton Feb 2016