K rock Football

Noble on deadline to turnaround Roos

New North Melbourne coach David Noble with players (from left) Tarryn Thomas, captain Jack Ziebell, Jy Simpkin and Luke McDonald. (AFL Photos Image/Michael Willson)

NORTH Melbourne’s hierarchy is adamant a three-year deadline placed on David Noble to lift the AFL club back into premiership contention is realistic.

The Kangaroos are coming off a horror 2020 season that yielded just three wins and ended with Rhyce Shaw stepping down as coach for personal reasons.

But they are seeking a swift turnaround under former Brisbane Lions football manager Noble, who was formally appointed as Shaw’s successor last week.

On Monday, chairman Ben Buckley revealed North’s high expectations of Noble, which include turning the struggling team into a flag contender within “two to three years”.

“If a club is not ambitious then it’s really not serving its members properly,” Buckley said.

“Every club in the competition ultimately wants to win a premiership and the best way to do that is to be a consistent performer in the top four.

“Time frames are always difficult things to nail down but I think it’s realistic that within that time period we should be competing at that level.”

Noble, 53, said the optimistic target was in line with what the North board had outlined to him before his appointment to his first senior AFL coaching position.

“We’ve got to have ambition, there’s no problem with that,” Noble said.

“The chairman made it really clear that we’ve got to get ourselves organised, we’ve got to build a plan and it’s got to be long-term, but there’s no ceiling on our group.

“Therefore that’s absolutely in alignment with what we’ve already talked about.”

Noble has been signed on a rolling contract that North chief executive Ben Amarfio said was an economic decision based around reducing the amount of fixed costs at the club.

In effect, it means it will likely cost less for the Kangaroos to sack Noble if the relationship turns sour than if he was on a fixed-term contract.

Amarfio pointed out North had wiped off $250,000 of debt and posted a profit of more than $200,000 despite economic pressure surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

“The reason we’ve been able to do those things is we run a very tight ship,” Amarfio said.

“We try and reduce our fixed costs and try and reduce our exposure – and other than our players, no one in this building has a fixed contract, me included.”

(C) AAP 2020