Raised at Moorook in the Riverland, Paul Swanbury played for the local club and Loxton junior colts prior to moving to Adelaide in 1983. He played school football at Gilles Plains before Mark Hinton, Norwood's Technical Development Officer invited him out to The Parade.
Swanbury played two games for the Norwood under 17s in 1983 and another seven the following year when Norwood were clearly the dominant side in the junior competition, having gone through the season undefeated. Unfortunately he was relegated to first emergency in the Grand Final against North Adelaide. The match was drawn, but the Redlegs went on to win the rematch the following week.
In 1985, the wingman played 19 games and won the Max Boer Medal as the Redlegs best and fairest player in the under 17s. Hot favourites to win the flag, Norwood were beaten by Central District in the Grand Final.
Swanbury progressed to the under 19s in 1986, making 17 appearances and playing in a premiership, Norwood easily defeating West Torrens in the decider: 15.12 to 7.9. He also had a taste of reserves football during the season.
Swanbury made his senior debut in the 1987 Escort Cup pre-season competition and played 10 games in his first year. He was also runner-up in the reserves best and fairest (12 games).
In 1988, he played 14 games for the reserves, but was hampered by persistent hamstring injuries.
Swanbury left Norwood during the 1989 pre-season and moved to Hectorville, coached by former Redleg and Tassie medallist Graham Molloy.
In 1990/91 he played for Kaniva (Tatiara Football League) reaching the preliminary final both years. He then moved to Payneham for a season, and in 1993 joined Hope Valley where a damaged ACL ended his playing career.
He was team runner at Lobethal for former Norwood senior coach Trevor Hill, in 1994/95.
His uncle Harley Swanbury also played league football at Norwood (31 NFC games, 1958-60)
R Cialini June 2021