Leslie Parnell was recruited from the Solomontown Football Club in South Australia's mid-north. He was the club captain and had gained a reputation in the Spencer Gulf League as an outstanding key forward.
He played the early part of the 1912 season with Norwood Seconds (Reserves) and was getting good reviews for his clever forward play and goal scoring. A best on ground performance against West Adelaide Seconds saw him in line for promotion but Leslie badly tore an arm muscle so things were put on hold.
He eventually gained promotion in August in an elimination final against North Adelaide. Norwood were soundly beaten. However, he did leave an impression when it was reported that, “Parnell drop-kicked a beautiful six pointer.”
The new season dawned with Leslie being selected for the round one match against South Adelaide. Despite being on the losing side Parnell had a fine game, kicking four goals.
He was part of a struggling Norwood team that went on to lose their first five games in 1913. Parnell appeared to be doing a sound job up forward. In an era of low scores he was averaging two goals a game but this didn’t save him from demotion. To add mystery to this decision an article in The Express the week before he was dropped stated that Parnell was, “A valuable acquisition. Marks well and kicks more strongly than any member of the team.”
If this was misfortune, worse was to follow. Early in the Seconds match against West Torrens Leslie had to be carried from the field with what was described as a serious ankle injury. This unfortunately was Parnell’s last appearance for Norwood.
B Ridge March 2020