AFL David Noble resigns as North Melbourne manager, news conference video

After just 38 games in his tumultuous tenure, David Noble fell victim to a “brutal” deal but said saying the hardest part was telling his “broken” players.

North Melbourne have parted ways with senior manager David Noble after a tumultuous season and a half at the helm.

It comes just days after the club’s 14th consecutive defeat this year – albeit their best performance of the season against Collingwood – and amid a wide-ranging scrutiny of the club’s football activities by former club chief Geoff Walsh.

Noble reportedly told friends and colleagues about the decision late Monday.

His departure as manager comes just weeks after Walsh’s scrutiny of the club, which included interviews with veteran players, football department staff and club officials.

The Herald Sun understands some of those interviews were not favorable to the outgoing manager.

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Noble is set to leave the club immediately, with Leigh Adams, the club’s development/VFL manager, stepping in as caretaker manager for the remainder of the season while the Roos search nationwide for a long-term replacement.

When asked if 38 games was a reasonable time to judge a manager, Noble said: “Probably not. Not in my experience.”

Noble said he intends to end the season as coach, but said he had a “really mature conversation” with President Sonja Hood on Monday night, agreeing that continuing as coach was unsustainable.

“It wasn’t a surprise,” he said. “At the end of the day, the buck stops with me.

“I put my heart and soul into the job and I think I’m leaving the place in a strong position to be successful in the not too distant future.

“We are both certain that this is the right call for the club, my family and myself.

“I would have liked to bring more success to the club… but it wasn’t to be.

“I’m confident that I gave my all for the players and staff at the football club, but ultimately the scoreboard isn’t particularly readable.”

Noble said breaking the news to the Kangaroos players Tuesday morning was “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”

“I see the hard work you put in and it will change.”

“(The players) were shaken. There were many tears, there were many emotions.”

Hood said the club went into this season with optimism after a strong finish into 2021 and recruiting during the off-season.

“The mood ahead of the season was overwhelmingly positive internally.

“To put it simply, we didn’t live up to those expectations and that’s why we agreed to end David’s tenure as coach.”

When asked about the motivation behind the decision to continue Noble, she said, “It just doesn’t work.”

Hood stated she is not interested in sweeping changes and said general manager Ben Amarfio will be at the club next year.

She said the club instead needed time to turn their fortunes around.

“We have really good people at this club,” she said.

“I’m not interested in sweeping changes.

“We need time, the only thing you can’t rush is time.”

The timing of the decision gives the Kangaroos a chance to break into the coaching market, which already includes Greater Western Sydney, who sacked Leon Cameron in May.

Former Hawthorn manager and North Melbourne player Alastair Clarkson is available and will top the Kangaroos’ wish list, but it’s unclear if the four-time Premiership mentor is interested in coaching his former club.

Current West Coast manager Adam Simpson has also been linked with North Melbourne but he has denied reports he could return to Victoria.

Former Magpie coach Nathan Buckley has ruled out an immediate return to coaching, while the Swans’ highly rated assistant coach Don Pyke was unwilling to go through the process at Collingwood last year as he was reportedly keen on moving to Sydney stay.

The Kangaroos are expected to be chasing a veteran senior coach following their recent experience, but impressive assistant contenders like Ashley Hansen, Adem Yze and Adam Kingsley could also be brought in.

Noble took over from Rhyce Shaw in November 2020 after Shaw left for personal reasons.

He has won just five of his 38 games at the helm, including just one this season, with his coaching style, game plan and relationship with players and staff all coming under scrutiny.

Noble said after the club’s seven-point loss to Collingwood last Saturday that he still believes he is the right man to lead the Kangaroos into the future. But he is said to have surrendered to his fate a few weeks ago.

Chief Executive Ben Amarfio has also come under fire in recent months, with pressure coming from a variety of sources including wealthy businessman and Shinboner Club member Adrian Kinderis, who urged Amarfio and President Sonja Hood to resign.

The Herald Sun understand the coaching change will not quell some of the unrest that exists as several high-profile club identities are still being sought for potential board roles.

The Kangaroos have seen a massive change in personnel over the past 12 to 18 months with more than 60 employees.

Originally released as North Melbourne, trainer David Noble has parted ways amid the horror season AFL David Noble resigns as North Melbourne manager, news conference video

Nate Jones

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