David Noble coach, contract, North Melbourne, rebuild, playing list, Jason Horne-Francis trade, draft picks

North Melbourne premier David King believes his former club’s on-pitch fortunes could get worse before they get better, calling on the AFL world to recalibrate their expectations of the senior coach David Noble.

The Kangaroos scored just 24 points in the eighth round on their way to a 78-point loss to Fremantle, putting them second-to-bottom on the ladder and just one win to show for the season.

Speaking on AFL 360, King underlined once again that the struggling club will remain so at least for the rest of the year and likely longer and stressed that Noble’s position was not one to has proven to be particularly durable in the long term.

Watch every AFL blockbuster game this weekend live and ad-free on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try free for 14 days >

NEW FOX FOOTY PODCAST – Are the eight locked, the last two woes

Listen below or subscribe to Apple Podcasts or Spotify

“I think your starting point has to be that rebuilt coaches don’t survive. They don’t. I could name you two over the past 20 years – Alastair Clarkson and Ken Hinkley,” King said.

“Those who failed: (Mark) Neeld, (Brendon) Bolton, (Scott) Watters, (Terry) Wallace, (Alan) Richardson, (Guy) McKenna, (Brendon) McCartney, (Justin) Leppitsch – it is designed to fail you.

“You go to a team that’s come off the cliff and come down and they make a change because of that.

“So you have four, five, six, seven years of pain – no one lives through seven years of pain… the markers can’t be wins and losses.”

King used the Melbourne and Brisbane Lions rebuilds as recent examples, with the percentage slowly but surely increasing before wins and losses followed.

In the Dees and Lions scenarios, he noted, the coaches present at the start of the rebuild (Neeld and Leppitsch respectively) were not there when the team reaped the rewards of success on the pitch.

“The Kangaroos aren’t even there yet (at rock bottom). We can abuse David Noble all we want – and I’m happy to criticize the way they play and who’s playing badly – but Brisbane is the same thing,” he explained.

“Leppitsch gets the movie halfway through 2016, he did three years of heavy lifting and in those three years, (Josh) Schache, (Eric) Hipwood, (Hugh) McCluggage, (Jarrod) Berry and then they go get (Cam) Rayner, (Zac) Bailey and (Brandon) Starcevich the draft after Fagan takes over.

“Then you accumulate your talent, then you actually have a chance to win.”

Noble hit the headlines this week after it was revealed he had apologized to the players for the seriousness of a spray he delivered after the third round loss to the Lions by 108 points .

For King, it wasn’t something that would have a lasting impact.

“Going down in my view is a calculated ability to get first-round caps at your club – that’s the only way to fix, via talent at your club,” he said.

The swans lose their ‘resistance’? | 03:30

“The second-year strategy has no impact.

“What the coach says after a game in the third round of 2022 will have no impact on this group in the long term, so postponing it for days is ridiculous.”

While King admitted “you can’t live with losing 60 points every week”, he said club members would be under no illusions about where they stand.

“Those who know sit around and say ‘shoot your balls, throw your darts, that’s fine, because you’re going to throw them for another two years,'” King said.

“David Noble knows he might not survive this, but I don’t think that’s a priority for him. The cutting edge is being able to say like Justin Leppitsch should and like Mark Neeld should: ‘I have is part of the beginning of this reconstruction”.

“It didn’t work for them personally and I think you just have to accept that.”

The non-negotiable key, King said, was retention of draft talent, with first-choice Jason Horne-Francis’ decision to postpone contract talks until the end of the year a concern.

Horne-Francis and other top talent, King said, should be the priority for the club going forward.

“They can’t lose the kid – you’d rather lose the coach than the number one choice,” he said.

“It can’t come to a head, he has to make the place work. Right now, there aren’t enough talents coming forward to keep the wolves away.

Leave a Comment