Matt Thomas joined Norwood in 2006 when, as a new draftee with Port Power, he was selected as part of the SANFL internal draft. Prior to joining Port Adelaide he had played for the Sandringham Dragons in Victoria.
He made his debut with Norwood in round 3 against Woodville-West Torrens and went on to make his AFL debut against Richmond in round 14.
In 2007 he missed a number of games due to complications following an appendix operation. Thomas played intermittently for Norwood over the following years when not selected for AFL duties, but his form with the Redlegs usually found him back in the Port side.
In 2013, Norwood was fortunate to gain his services for 17 games and he became an integral part of the team as an inside on-baller; a hard tackling, uncompromising player with great handball skills, although his kicking was sometimes wayward. His outstanding performances during the year not only contributed to the premiership, but also led him to become Norwood’s fourteenth Magarey Medallist.
Thomas was delisted by Port at the end of the 2013 season after playing 87 games but was selected by Richmond in the 2013 rookie draft and elevated to its senior list early in 2014. He indicated that, had he not been selected by an AFL side, he would have continued his career with Norwood.
He went on the play 15 games for the Richmond Tigers from 2014 to 2015.
Matt Thomas will always be remembered as a player who gave his best for Norwood and although AFL selection would have been his first choice, he never allowed it to compromise his efforts for the Redlegs.
W Heading Mar 2016