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The Monday after Round 17 saw North Melbourne and coach David Noble part company.  He had coached the team for less than two seasons and comes away with just five wins from 38 games and accepted the blame for the team's poor performance. Noble said he was not surprised at his termination, saying it was the right call for all, “I am comfortable that I gave my all … but ultimately the scoreboard doesn’t make for great reading,” He believes he has laid a foundation for future success but warned, “There’s a little bit of pain to go before the team really kicks into gear. Until you get that next group of 20-gamers into the 50s and the 70s into the hundreds, there is still a little bit to go. But it’s a great club, it has got a great future …".  Ahead of Round 18, the team had just one win and endured a 14-game losing streak. Assistant coach Leigh Adams will be North’s interim coach for the rest of the season. 

The pressure on Noble intensified in May with the club appointing former administrator Geoff Walsh to review the football department. The club was also in a tailspin in May when national recruiting manager Mark Finnigan and list manager Glenn Luff walked out.

When North president Sonja Hood was asked about Noble's dismissal, she replied that it was not working and told reporters at the press conference, “While we appreciate we are at the beginning of a rebuild, it doesn’t give us a free pass in terms of expecting competitive performances. We entered this season optimistic … we set a simple benchmark: improve on last year … we have failed ... ".

There has been no shortage of speculation on candidates for the job. West Coast coach Adam Simpson was one, as he played for the Kangaroos. Others are interim GWS Coach Mark McVeigh, Sydney assistant Don Pyke and former Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson. McVeigh, whom Noble coached as a junior, is open the prospect but remains focused on coaching the Giants and is also a candidate to be appointed next year, Pyke is happy at the Swans. Clarkson is also a former North player but Hood would not comment. Clarkson, who has taken a time off from coaching and spent some time in the USA, has spoken with GWS. 

Source: aap.com.au, afl.com.au, foxsports.com.au

Article last changed on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 - 4:05 AM EDT


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