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North Melbourne Coach David Noble Defends His Side's 2022 Start

Ryan Rosendale


North Melbourne Coach David Noble Defends His Side's 2022 Start

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

North Melbourne coach David Noble has come out in defence of his club following calls the Kangaroos rebuild has stalled.

Noble has urged those with question marks to delve "deeper" before throwing shade at the AFL's worst side.

"Our scoring profile's shifted to a front-half game and I think, in comparison to where we were this time last year, there are some metrics, certainly internally, that we think we've actually moved ourselves forward," Noble said.

"We played the grand finalist (Bulldogs) last weekend, and we played a red-hot team in Brisbane.

The Roos were smashed by 108 points by Brisbane in round three and 68 points two weeks later by the Western Bulldogs, but they did show promising signs against Sydney in between those two games - only going down by 11 points after leading for major parts of the game.

They currently sit second last on the ladder but hold the AFL's worst percentage.

North Melbourne's Aaron Hall & Tarryn Thomas. Credit: Getty Images.
North Melbourne's Aaron Hall & Tarryn Thomas. Credit: Getty Images.

And while Noble concedes he's not "pleased" with the Roos' rate of improvement, he insists they are heading in the right direction despite missing key personnel at times.

"If you look at the other three games; we were in a position to win all three of those. So, I understand the discussion, but I think have a little bit deeper look at the overall, broader view of those five games.

"I wouldn't say I'm pleased, but I think we've made some progression. It's too easy to say that we haven't progressed further than what we were last year. Progression and improvement are not linear."

Experienced on-ballers Ben Cunnington (testicular cancer) and Jed Anderson (vaccine-related) haven't played at senior level this year, while Tarryn Thomas (internal bruising) and Cam Zurhaar (concussion) have been out as well.

Both Zurhaar and Thomas, who hails from Tasmania, are set to return against Geelong in Hobart on Sunday but Anderson will build fitness in the VFL before he is considered for AFL selection.

"If you look at the profile of the midfielders; we've been pretty young through there ... but it's great experience for those guys to play against the calibre of players that we're playing against.

"I think 'Buckets' (Ben McKay) is going really well; Nick Larkey, in where he sits in the competition as far as goalkicking goes (is impressive) ... we've got Curtis Taylor and Flynny Perez back in and Jy Simpkin's playing well.

"I still think there's a bunch of really positive stuff out there for our members to understand what we're trying to do."

Topics: afl, Australia

Ryan Rosendale
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