Phillip Thomas played in Norwood’s 1909 pre season trials and made an immediate impact. The Evening Journal 17th April 1909 reported after the game, “Two juniors who have made an excellent impression are Campbell (Mt. Gambier) and Thomas (A local lad).”
Although overlooked for the first two games, after good form in the seconds, Thomas was chosen for his first league game against Port Adelaide at Alberton. He was chosen to play at full back or as goalkeeper; to use the contemporary term. Phillip played well enough to retain his position in the coming weeks and gained praise for his efforts. The Observer 3rd July 1909 said he was, “Like a stone wall.” The Advertiser 5th July 1909 reported, “In goal Thomas marked surely and kicked off well.”
This initial good form didn’t last. For the latter half of 1909 and much of 1910, he played in the seconds.
In late July, 1910, a new opportunity presented itself when Perry, Norwood’s ruckman sustained an injury. Thomas had played some games in ruck for the seconds and was promoted. After his first game back the Chronicle 16th July 1910 reported, “Perry was unable to appear and his accustomed place in ruck was taken by Thomas who proved a splendid substitute.”
Phillip’s luck did not last. Just a couple of games later he sustained a bad knee injury which ruled him out for the rest of the season.
He recovered in time for the following season’s trials but chose to play for Marlborough in the Amateur League.
Later in the season, Norwood troubled by injuries approached him to return, which he did and he was selected to play against West Torrens on 2nd September . He played all remaining games of the season.
1912 was to be his last season and he played just two more league games. His final game on the 8th June was against Sturt at Unley and resulted in a thrilling three point win to Norwood
B Ridge Oct 2018