Afl News

Ziebell backs under-fire Noble

Ziebell backs under-fire Noble

NORTH Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell has thrown his support behind David Noble after the Kangaroos coach apologised to the AFL club’s players for delivering a withering spray.

Pressure is building on the Kangaroos following a disappointing start to the season, with their only victory coming in unconvincing fashion against a depleted West Coast team in Round 2.

It was the following week when Noble baked players for collapsing against premiership fancies Brisbane by 108 points at the Gabba.

But the second-year coach later felt he went too hard at his players and walked back his assessment of the performance.

“The coach gave us a pretty frank message after the game, and I think in the coming days he might have reflected upon that and thought maybe it was a little bit too much,” Ziebell told SEN.

“My recollection was he didn’t need to do that, his message was fair, it was direct and the performance wasn’t up to standard.

“The following week we got a great response and we probably should have beaten Sydney in Sydney, but unfortunately we did a few things late in that game and we didn’t quite get the job done.

“He did what was fair and reasonable after the game on a disappointing night and it (the apology) was just something he decided to do.

“The environment at our footy club over the last 18 months has been outstanding, he’s created such a supportive, encouraging environment for our group and it’s been fantastic to work in.

“There’s going to be ups and downs, and unfortunately for our members, supporters, players and supporters we’re in a bit of a down patch.

“He’s got the full support of the players, the club, the coaches and everyone involved inside the four walls.

“We’re 100 per cent on the right path.”

Noble took over at North late in 2020 with the club at the rock-bottom after Rhyce Shaw quit as coach and the Kangaroos had delisted 11 players 24 hours following their final-round game.

North last year collected their first wooden spoon since 1972, leading to the club having the No.1 draft pick and selecting young South Australian midfielder Jason Horne-Francis.

The 18-year-old has reportedly put off talks with the club about extending his contract until the end of the season.

“I know Jase pretty well, he’s a super talented kid, but his management made that call and it’s got nothing really to do with us as players,” Ziebell said.

(C) AAP 2022