North Melbourne coach David Noble is “very unlikely to survive” the club review that started on Monday, according to Fox Footy’s Jon Ralph.
Led by long-time AFL administrator Geoff Walsh, Ralph warned Noble could end up like axed Blues mentor David Teague after Carlton’s review in 2021.
The Kangaroos are anchored at the bottom of the ladder once again, for the second consecutive season – while only Adelaide finished lower than the Roos in 2020.
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North Melbourne have just one win on the board in 2022 – against a severely depleted West Coast outfit that had to pull players from the WAFL to field a fit side.
Under Noble, the Roos have managed just five wins from 36 games.
“It’s been described as a top-to-bottom review of the footy department,” Ralph said On the Couch.
“The expectation is clearly that David Noble is very unlikely to survive.
“There is so many issues there, but they are basically hiding in plain sight – game plan, morale, development.
“Carlton will tell you they bought in Geoff Walsh last year for their review … anyone who knows anything about it knows that decision was made a long time before to remove David Teague. Probably something similar here.”
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Ralph said Walsh’s review could be the “evidence” North needed to “move your coach on” – despite a recent Zoom presentation with fans that saw club leaders pushing Noble as the man to lead.
North Melbourne president Sonja Hood explained the purpose of the review in a letter to members on Monday night.
“By Round 15, with no discernible improvement, patience among our supporters and members is, understandably, wearing thin,” she wrote.
“We always knew this year would be hard, but the extent of our losses is deeply concerning.
“This morning I met with Geoff Walsh, who joins us in an advisory role and will be embedded in the football department over the next month. There has been a huge amount of change in the football department over the past few years, both personnel and structure.
“Geoff has been tasked with helping us to understand where that change is working, and where it is not.”
She later said: “The strength of this club is in its people – in all of us. And we will sort this out. As we always do. Together.”
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Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon said clearly change needed to be made at North Melbourne given their struggles.
“(Noble’s future in the review) doesn’t all go well you would suggest,” he said.
“They seem to be in a mess. They’ve gotta make some changes.
“They need someone to take control of the ship.”
Nick Riewoldt questioned why the club opted for Walsh to undertake the review – given he is a former CEO at the club.
But Ralph was confident the “highly regarded” Walsh could get the results the club needed.
“He’s going to get to the heart of the issues because he’s a pretty hard old bastard, and maybe that’s what you need,” he said.
Just last week Eddie McGuire warned Walsh doesn’t “come in to sing Kumbaya” when he arrives at a football club.
It’s been a tough season both on and off the field for the Kangaroos in 2022, with three key recruiters departing last month and rumours of unrest from prized draft pick Jason Horne-Francis.