Sandy Austin Roads began his league career at West Torrens having been recruited from Yorke Peninsula as a ruckman. After a successful stint with the Eagles, including selection in the successful State team against Victoria, he left for Whyalla and joined his younger brother Patrick to play for South Whyalla Football Club.
In 1941 both he and his brother were recruited by Norwood. After finding form in the Association (Reserves competition) Sandy gained selection in the League side against Port on June 21st. He was chosen as the second ruckman and for the most part maintained his spot for the rest of the season. This culminated with the Grand Final victory over Sturt. Playing as a ruckman resting in a back pocket he was named among the side’s best.
Like so many of his era his career was interrupted by World War 2. He enlisted in the RAAF.
In July 1945 whilst on Service Leave from the air force, Sandy trained at the Parade and made himself available for selection. He played in a winning side against South, was named in the best players but injured a shoulder and missed the next game against Glenelg. Sandy did return for the finals which ended in disappointing losses to Port and Torrens.
In 1946, having left the RAAF, he took up a position as a fireman at Port Pirie and played a season with Ports in the local league.
Sandy was back at the Redlegs in 1947. It was a season that tested his versatility. By season’s end he had played at centre half forward, centre half back, as a ruckman resting either in defence or attack. It culminated in a Grand Final loss to West Adelaide with Sandy playing on a half back flank.
He returned for the 1948 season but was plagued with injuries. A four goal haul against West in June seemed to herald a comeback but he was again injured by game’s end. His final league game was against Glenelg on the 21st of August which Norwood won by 67 points. He resumed playing for South Whyalla in 1948 where he had played in 1940 for a total of 8 games and 9 goals for the club.
B Ridge Jan 2016