Kevin Charnstrom joined Norwood in 1954 from the Riverland where he had played with the Renmark Rovers in the Upper Murray Association under captain-coach, and former Norwood player, Ron Williams from 1951 to 1953. Both had played for Renmark in the 1953 end of season inter- association game won by Solomontown (Port Pirie Football League)
Charnstrom commenced with Renmark as a junior and in 1950 achieved a remarkable record when he kicked 9.3 out of a winning total of 9.4 for Renmark colts against Loxton
Charnstrom was one of a number of players recruited by Norwood to replace experienced players who had retired following the 1952 grand final defeat, but had been part of the premiership successes of the the 1940s and 1950. Fifteen players were selected for their first game during the 1954 season including notable recruits, Brian Wells, Graham Nicholls, Bob Skinner and Brian Sawley.
Charnstrom was a twenty year old, slightly built, speedy wingman although he was tried at half back in the club’s pre-season trials. However he made his league debut on a wing in the third round against South Adelaide at The Parade with Norwood losing by two points.
He was named best player for Norwood when they defeated top placed Port Adelaide at Norwood on 3 July, Vic Johnson in The Mail noting that Charnstrom’s “great speed and well placed kicking formed a constant menace to Port ” (The Mail 3 July 1954 p5)
After his third round debut, Charnstrom retained his place for the remainder of the season, playing 17 games and winning the club’s best junior award. In his summary of the 1954 season The News senior football writer Laurie Jervis identified Charnstrom as a future state player, commenting that he was “one of the fastest wingmen in the game” (The News 21 Sept 1954 p39)
Charnstrom played another 16 games in 1955 and was presented with a services rendered award at the end of the season. He left the club at the end of the 1956 having played a further 12 senior games and again earning a services rendered award.
Charnstrom’s departure at the end of 1956 coincided with the resignation of senior coach Jack Oatey and the appointment of the nineteen year old Haydn Bunton, decisions which reverberated through the club.
W Heading April 2021