In early April, 1935, Ashley Pilkington was one of a number of Norwood juniors chosen to play in a senior, pre-season trial. He played at half forward and it was reported that Keam and Pilkington were two particularly promising juniors.
The following week Ashley was named in a Norwood B team that played against Payneham. Having played as both a half forward and follower he was one of 13 newcomers chosen in a 31 man Norwood Association (reserves) training list.
He made his association debut at half forward against South Adelaide in round one. It was a memorable 127 point victory and equally memorable was the debut of an 18 year old ex-Xavier College (Victoria) student by the name of Tom Warhurst who kicked 11 goals.
Pilkington continued to display excellent form when in July it was reported that Hearne and Pilkington, both outstanding players in the association had been added to the league team training list for the remainder of the season. His opportunity for league selection came in August against Glenelg when the side was decimated due to the suspension of Page and Sawley and injuries to McCallum, Hancock and O’Brien. He played well as a half forward/follower but with the return of the regulars was back in the seconds.
Pilkington was recalled to the league side for the final minor round game against Glenelg and maintained his place the following week for the first semi-final against Sturt which resulted in a disappointing seven goal loss.
He returned for the pre-season trials in 1936 and was included in the seconds training list. The 1935 semi-final against Sturt was Ashley’s last league appearance.
B Ridge Nov 2021