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Kangaroos left with “little choice but to act” following staff and player feedback


David Noble was sacked as North Melbourne coach after club powerbrokers received staff and player feedback so concerning they felt compelled to act.

As revealed exclusively by this morning, Noble has coached his last match, ending a tumultuous 38-game tenure that generated only five wins but widespread unrest.

VFL coach Leigh Adams will serve as interim coach for the rest of the season.

The external review led by veteran AFL administrator Geoff Walsh is ongoing and while Walsh didn’t recommend the removal of Noble, his updates have unsettled the Roos’ hierarchy.

The feedback from a large section of staff was so strong it left the club with little choice but to act.

Some players also made it clear that unless Noble was sacked they would seriously consider their playing futures beyond this season.

Indeed, this decision – made before last weekend’s admirable defeat to Collingwood – is not based solely on results despite the horrific run of big losses.

Since Noble was convinced to turn his back on the chief executive path and take the North Melbourne position for the 2021 season, the Kangaroos have undergone massive change.

The high performance, strength and conditioning, sports science, physio and medical departments have all been gutted in the last 18 months.

The club’s recruiting team walked out in May – a three-man departure that caused concern at the AFL.

Noble apologised to his players for the way he spoke to them after a loss to the Brisbane Lions in Round 3 and as reported in May, the club’s first No.1 draft pick Jason Horne-Francis had earlier decided to halt and put off contract talks.

But Walsh’s review is also not expected to paint chief executive Ben Amarfio in a positive light, while the rest of the football department is under serious scrutiny.

Noble called colleagues and confidants on Monday night to tell them he was being sacked.

He was appointed after the departure of Rhyce Shaw, who was in the job for just one season following Brad Scott’s decade-long tenure.

North Melbourne has called a press conference for 11am AEST today.


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