19/04/2024

David Noble addresses the media (Photo: North Melbourne)

North Melbourne coach David Noble has denied the club is focused on avoiding the spoon and is just eager for his side to finish the season on a high

The Kangaroos have won just four games for the season, but Noble knocked back suggestions the side will be purely motivated to avoid finishing last in the remaining two games of the season.

“I’ll be really honest, we haven’t discussed that at all [avoiding the wooden spoon],” he told media on Thursday.

“We have just continued to look at how we played in that first quarter [last week] and what we need to address those elements in the second half.

“I mentioned this a few times I think if you came down and were lucky enough to be part of our environment and see what goes on and how we function, you wouldn’t think we are positioned where we are on the ladder.

“Our energy is high, our motivation is strong, our thirst to continue to improve is nearly at an all-time high for the year.”

North Melbourne has made gradual improvements in recent months winning 3 games in the second half of the season including 2 wins in the past five weeks over West Coast and Carlton.

With the Kangaroos gallant in defeat the past two weeks against last year’s grand finalists, Noble says this Saturday night’s game against the Sydney Swans is another welcomed challenge for his side.

“We think we’ve learned a couple of really good lessons in the last two weeks,” he said.

“We’ve got some clear targets that we want to hit in the next couple of weeks and we certainly want to finish the next two weeks full of energy and continue to improve.

“The players are really keen to get out there again and address the second half drop aways.

“So a great opportunity for us to take on another finalist this week and continue to learn.”

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With key forward Charlie Comben set to make his debut this week, Noble addressed the speculation whether youngsters Phoenix Spicer and rookie Patrick Walker will also make their debuts in the final two rounds of the season.

Despite their VFL form before the suspension of the season, Noble says they are no certainty to debut but is pleased with their progression.

“Based on the fact we’re playing more consistently at AFL level, we’ve now got guys in really good form,” he said.

“If their form is good enough and there’s a position that warrants it, then they’ll come into consideration in the next couple of weeks.”

The coach also noted the development of Walker, impressed with how he’s played in the second half of the VFL season.

“We’ve played him through the wing and half back and he’s looked really comfortable as the second half of the year has unfolded,” he said.

“Great user of the ball, love his run and he’s got that real nice finish going inside 50.”

“We’ve got a handful of those young guys, and that’s what we’ve loved, that energy from those guys to continue to put that pressure on has been fantastic.”

North Melbourne play Sydney at Marvel Stadium on Saturday at 7:40pm

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