Interviewing Norwood Senior Coach Jarrod Cotton


Jarrod Cotton Playing Career-
Central District 1994-1998: 77 Games 110 Goals
Port Adelaide (Power) 1997-98 AFL: 4 Games 4 Goals
Norwood 1999-2002: 75 Games 78 Goals
South Adelaide 2003: 9 Games 9 Goals
State Football: 1 game v WA 1999 3 Goals


Coaching Career-
MT Gravatt (Qld) 2006
Midfield Juniors Coach Norwood 2007
Line coach (forwards) Norwood 2008
Line coach (forwards) Caretaker Coach Norwood 2009
Assistant Coach to Nathan Bassett Norwood 2010-2011
Reserves Coach Norwood 2012
2013 (year off footy)
2014 Adelaide FC Midfield Coach SANFL
2015 Adelaide FC Development Coach SANFL and assistant to Darren Milburn
(defence coach AFL) full time
2016 Director of Coaching Norwood (involved assisting throughout the whole club,
Seniors and Juniors)
2017 Senior coach of the Norwood FC


Jarrod played Teal Cup for SA in 1993 alongside Tyson Edwards, Brendon Lade and Luke McCabe, being coached by Port Adelaide legend Russell Ebert with SA finishing runners up to Vic Metro. Jarrod made his League debut in 1994 for Centrals against West Adelaide, and played in the losing Grand Finals in 1995 and 1996. Jarrod was then chosen to be a member of Port Power’s inaugural squad , making his AFL debut in 1997 against Carlton at Football Park, joining the illustrious group of players to kick a goal with their first kick in AFL footy.


Unfortunately Jarrod was unable to command a regular spot at Port and was delisted by the Power at the end of the 1998 season. In his footy career, Jarrod was a left footed half foward opportunist. Jarrod arrived at the Parade in 1999 after being unable to negotiate more midfield time under Peter Jonas’ coaching at Centrals, which he felt was needed to add more strings to his bow and help his chances of getting a second AFL opportunity. Jarrod’s career at Norwood well and truly had it’s highlights, being the most recent Norwood player to kick 10 goals in a game against Port in 2002 and being lead goalkicker with 42 goals also in 2002. Jarrod admits being dropped towards the end of the 2002 season was deeply disappointing and then seriously injuring his back, and with not only no guarantee re League position or his back standing up to the rigours of League footy, he was going to retire but South Adelaide were very persuasive, on reflection Jarrod wishes he had stayed at the Parade. Jarrod lists his career highlights as his League debut at both SANFL and AFL level and playing State footy in 99 having a very good individual game kicking 3 goals and playing in a winning side against WA. The build up and week and then playing in 3 Grand Finals, albeit losing ones, were a highlight and lowlight, feeling the 1996 loss as being the flag that got away.


In 1995 Centrals had just been rapt to have made the GF and partied away.
In 1999 The Redlegs had come from the elimination final and injuries and crucial errors in the last quarter caught up with us (grrrrrr so close yet so far). Jarrod lists the highly respected Alan Stewart (his first League coach) as a significant influence and mentor.


Jarrod has been extremely honest in his coaching career, admitting after being persuaded to take up the role as caretaker coach of Norwood in 2009 that he wasn’t ready to put his hat in the ring and didn’t desire to take on the role in 2010, needing more experience first. He assisted Nathan Bassett in 2010 and 2011 and then coached the reserves in 2012,
alas losing the GF. He arrived at the Adelaide Crows after taking a year off in 2013, assisting Heath Younie in the Crows SANFL team in 2014 and then working closely with Darren Milburn re defensive side of the game in 2014 (Jarrod enjoyed working and learning from both Heath and Darren and along with Nathan Bassett are strong influences on his coaching philosophies).


Jarrod acknowledges the late Phil Walsh, being in awe of his charisma and unique ability to make each individual desire to learn and improve not only as a coach but as a person. Every single time they were in the company of the great man, Jarrod described that you would virtually sit up at attention and listen just so intently to Phil. Jarrod describes being interviewed by Phil as an incredible footy experience, being both intimidating and exhilarating at the same time. As the footy world acknowledges, the impact Phil had on so many people can never ever be underestimated (in interviewing Jarrod the chance to talk about Phil is something I cherished greatly).



The lure of the Parade and the chance to return was something Jarrod found impossible to resist, he really enjoyed the role of Director of Coaching, being involved heavily across the whole club, juniors and seniors, and it was only a change of circumstances at the Norwood FC and after consulting with his mentors after being offered the job he finally decided he was ready to coach the Norwood. It was interesting talking with Jarrod re society changes to a large extent in near on the last decade where in his stint as caretaker coach in 2009 you could be demanding and nearly my way or the highway, whereas now days it’s more explaining why where going to go in that direction and working together. There were significant improvements in 2017, particularly in our ability to score but injuries and lack of depth were crucial factors in us falling away in the last month, in particular losing the elimination final convincingly.



Jarrod’s style is that defensive structures are important with the club recognising our lack of height and key forwards were crucial, the recruiting of Daniel Johnston and Luke Surman addressing that need. Jarrod agrees there were times we over possessed the footy and also continuing to work on improving our decision making and when to pull the trigger and go long. With the recruiting of Declan Hamilton, Mitch Wilkins, Luke Wilson, Caleb Edmead,
Michael Talia and Will Abbott along with the youth of Isaac Vivian Alexander Hewson,
Lachlan Charlton, Brodie Carroll, Col Gerloff and some others means we will, barring multiple injuries, have 30 plus players pushing for spots which helps drive elite standards. There could well be experienced players being trialled in new positions.


After talking with Jarrod I am pumped for season 2018.
PLEASE contact me, or click on to either become a member or renew your membership for season 2018, Go The Legs!!


(thanks Jarrod for the chance to chat footy and learn more about your life today including the meanings of your tattoos)



  1. Great article and awesome to learn some of the insight into his life

  2. Great artical ,as always ,

  3. Manny Koufalakis says

    Just need to find a brick wall to run through!

  4. Brett Zorzi says

    Cottsy, great Norwood man. Another person who the club recruited not only for his footy talent, but also for his personal qualities. In 2009 he helped start the Norwood resurgence when a take over coach. New team rules, new expectations and accountability to each player. Looking forward to a big 2018 from the boys and have total faith he will get the job done.
    Personally, I would like to thank Cottys for having faith in my ability by playing me in the midfield in 2009. Great coaching move??.

  5. Martin Rumsby says

    Jarrod has an interesting football background which should be a good preparation for a successful coaching career. The club appears to have recruited well over summer and should be able to build on the work done last year. Best wishes, Jarrod – we look forward to seeing the boys in action and to experience the highs and (not too many) lows of the 2018 season.

  6. Looking forward to seeing how 2018 pans out for the red legs under his guidance! Thanks for an intriguing look into the man Rulebook.

  7. Mark Clarke says

    Time for another flag!
    Go Legs!

  8. Bill Drodge says

    Another in depth article Malcolm. Well done.

    Looks like a lot of hard work has been done in preparing for 2018. It’d be great to win the Flag in this year being the Clubs 140th Year and 40th anniversary of the ’78 Flag. Maybe rolling Sturt by a point in the GF (again!).

  9. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Campbell,Steve and Manny thank you.Zorza v well put I really enjoyed the privledge of interviewing,Cotts and yep personal qualities a vital quality and yep moving you in to the midfield was crucial to our success.Thanks Martin and yep hopefully plenty of highs,thanks Ben,Mark definitely go the legs
    Thank you

  10. Thanks Book.
    Nice to have a little bit of an insight into our coach.
    If you’re pumped for 2018 then so am I!!!

  11. Awesome article Malcom as usual

  12. Michael Rehn says

    A good read Malcolm …I’m very much hoping, and I believe very realistically, that in October this year another chapter can be added. Jarrod Cotton 2018 Norwood Premiership Coach !!!

  13. Geoff Wilson says

    Another great read, what a man and coach Phil Walsh must have been. Jarrod your time is now, Go The Mighty Redlegs in 2018, Goodluck Jarrod, well done again Malcolm.

  14. Danny Goddard says

    Great read about a very good left footer ….

  15. Another great read, Rulebook.

  16. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Bill apart from the heart that would be superb thanks Chris and glad I ran in to you in the change of innings in big bash final ( signed 5 Norwood members up ) thanks James.Michael I desp home I am doing a Premiership write up.Geoff the influence Phil Walsh had on so many people is remarkable thanks,Danny,thanks Litza ( bloody face book police supposedly saying the article was spam hasn’t helped it got reinstated the following day not happy Jan ) thanks folks

  17. Another good read, Rulebook.
    Keep ’em coming, please.

    That is certainly an impressive combined playing and coaching career in football.

  18. An experienced and competitive player who should keep Norwood in finals calculations again this season.

  19. Rick Neagle says

    Great article Book. Probably the most informative article written by yourself thus far.
    Cotts has an underlying calm nature that will serve our club well moving forwards.

  20. Great read looking forward to a big season

  21. Enlightening and insightful. Great done Mal

  22. Luke Reynolds says

    Fantastic read Malcolm, J.Cotton seems a very impressive character. Hope Norwood do well for him (and you and Dave Brown) in 2018.

    Isaac Vivian Alexander Hewson? Is that his real full name? Big initials to live up to.

  23. Damian Obst says

    Great write Mal Jarrod was another great reccuit Norwood was able get a hold off and make an impact as a not only a great player but now a great coach.He Norwood has a always recruited great people who fit straight in and have a impact and he is one ..Your a awesome person and awesome footballer Cotts it was a pleasure to play along side and nearly get a premiership with u in 99..Oba

  24. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Smokie thank you and indeed it is.Paul hope so.Neags appreciated totally agree re,Cotts calm nature and measured outlook is indeed a strength.Raj v much so.Thanks Shane.Luke no complulsory re every youngster who is named,Isaac becomes Isaac Vivian Alexander normally gets a smirk from each older parent who is in to cricket umpiring junior footy on a Saturday morning thanks folks

  25. Andrew Killey says

    Malcolm I really enjoy your approach. Direct, honest, informative and interesting. You have the rare ability to let the personality of the person being interviewed being totally understood. Well done mate. Jarrod is a great story well told.

  26. Nice job again Malcolm. Wondering about the season ahead and the surprises ahead. Who’ll overachieve and who’ll underachieve? Good luck to your Redlegs!

  27. Another cracker, Rulebook. Interesting the reflection on coaching players 10 years ago compared to now. That need to build consensus within the team as opposed to just demanding it requires much greater emotional intelligence from coaches. The depth issue last year was frustrating, and getting outbodied later on in the season. Fingers crossed for a good run with injuries this year.

  28. Cameron Glenn says

    A good write up of Jarrod Cotton who has had a great career and doing well coaching Norwood.

  29. Great read!

  30. Wren Thomas says

    Insert Thumbs up emoji

  31. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks AK greatly appreciated.Mickey I reckon all the other SANFl clubs are hoping that Port gets some injuries.Dave yes it was fascinating talking with Jarrod re the changes of communication both in footy and society wise depth wise we are better off but injuries as we know are the killer totally agree re the outbodied aspect late in 2017.Thanks Cameron,KJ and Wren

  32. Great article Rule book, very well written! Quite a good insight into his football career and reading about Phil Walsh was interesting. Keep them coming, go the tigers ?

  33. Positive write up Rulebook. If you’re getting pumped for 2018 season I reckon we’ll see a report of you venturing out to Playford Oval this year.

  34. Jeff Milton says

    Bring on 2018 season.
    Sounds like more badly need depth has been added. Time for another name to be added to the long list of Norwood Premiership Coaches.

  35. Fantastic very informative thank you

  36. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Bushy,Raf,Milts and Bozo greatly appreciated ( Jarrod was a pleasure to interview)

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