North Melbourne have named Brisbane Lions football manager David Noble as their new AFL coach.
The 53-year-old is the Kangaroos’ third coach in as many years, replacing Rhyce Shaw, who left the club in October after one season in charge.
North is expected to officially confirm the appointment soon.
Noble edged out Collingwood assistant Robert Harvey and former Western Bulldogs champion Daniel Giansiracusa for the top job at Arden St.
After a brief top-flight playing career with Fitzroy, Noble has embarked on a long and well-rounded journey in AFL circles.
He was an under-18s coach of the NSW-ACT Rams during the 1990s, a senior AFL assistant and reserves coach with the Bulldogs and held a number of integral off-field roles at the Adelaide Crows.
Noble was headhunted to join the Lions in 2017 when Chris Fagan was appointed coach, with the duo spearheading the club’s surge back up the ladder.
Tipped to be Brisbane’s next chief executive when Greg Swann steps away, Noble was urged into exploring becoming an AFL head coach for the first time.
As recently as three weeks ago he was adamant about not being interested in a return to coaching.
“I moved … up here (to Brisbane) to broaden my skill-set from an admin perspective and would like to see my path is still moving to that CEO role,” he told Trade Radio last month.
“That’s the direction I’ve clearly taken. I’m heading down that CEO path if I can.”
Noble will lead North into uncharted waters as the club prepares to rebuild after a brutal list cull following a 3-14 campaign in 2020.
Ben Brown, the Kangaroos’ leading goal-kicker from 2016 to 2019, and star veteran Shaun Higgins also departed during the trade period.