Brett James has made an outstanding contribution to the Norwood Football Club. Recruited from Kersbrook, he was Norwood Under 17 premiership captain in 1989, playing most of his junior career as a centre-man, and also represented South Australia in the Teal Cup.
Brett made a meteoric rise from Under 17 to league football at the start of the 1990 season, playing his early games as a rover. After spending a short time in the Reserves, he was moved to a back pocket in the league side and named in that position for the 1993 Grand Final. He had been elected vice captain at the start of 1993 and also played for South Australia during the season.
A ball-getter, renown for his hand-balling, he was selected by Collingwood at number 31 in the 1993 pre-season AFL draft, and went on to play 42 games for that club between 1994 and 1996. In 1997 he was involved in a trade (ironically involving another Norwood player, Jonathan Ross), that saw him transfer to the Adelaide Crows, which proved to be a wise move for the back-pocket/centre-man, as premiership success followed immediately.
The 1997 season was particularly fruitful for Brett as he had the distinction of playing in an Adelaide Football Club winning Grand Final, then a Norwood premiership a week later, and sharing the Norwood victory with his brother Roger made it all the more enjoyable. In 1998, James went on to play in back-to-back premierships with the Adelaide Crows. At the end of 2000, after a total of 76 games for the Crows, he returned to The Parade for good, and it was here where Brett took his SANFL performances to another level. Over the following six seasons he won three Best and Fairest awards and was runner-up in 2001, 2004 and 2006, as held the distinction of being club captain from 2002 to 2006.
Amongst his other career achievements, James played State of Origin football in 1998 and 1999, and captained the SANFL representative team in 2001 and 2002.
In 2015 Brett James became Norwood’s 58th Hall of Fame inductee.
Debut: v South Adelaide (Norwood) 3rd March 1990
Finale: v Sturt (Adelaide) 1st September 2006
Norwood Captain: 2002 to 2006
Best & Fairest: 2002, 2003, 2005
Advertiser Team of the Year: 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005
South Australia: 5 games
State Captain: 2001, 2002
VFL/AFL Clubs: Collingwood, Adelaide Crows
NFC Life Member