Recap the full interview with North Melbourne coach David Noble on Sportsday. 

David Noble joins us live on Sportsday as the coach of North Melbourne. This time of the year as a coach I’m sure you’d be thinking about injury prevention, what you’re going to play like next season, having a fit and healthy list, getting new players in, old players out. What part of your mind is concentrated on things you never thought you’d be thinking about, like vaccines?
DN: I’m double-vaxxed and I think we’ve got a hight percentage of our club that’s vaxxed as well. The thing I finished off last year missing, and your commentary just then about getting 100,000 people to the ‘G in the first round next year really excites our fans collectively. For us to get our fans back to come and cheer for us is something we extremely missed. To have that picture and that goal and aspiration for us as an industry to have 100,000 people at Round 1 would be bloody fantastic.

We’ll get to all the coaching lingo and speech, but you spent a lot of time in administration. I’m going to use one of the great terms from sporting administrators. Are you any clearer on the protocols ahead if everyone’s double-vaxxed? Have you got any indications from the AFL or the Players’ Association about what would happen if even a double-vaxxed player tested positive.
Not at this stage. The only thing I would think is the way it shifted this year especially, we didn’t necessarily have to go into small group like we did the year before. We’d like to think with some of that rapid testing and double-vax, still around the world people are contracting the virus but obviously not at the same level of intensity. I guess we’ll just have to play that out as we go. I think the governments are trying to get on top of it in being able to get people out of lockdown, especially in Victoria where it’s been a long period of time, is something I’m sure everybody is wanting to get out in a couple of days time.

Let's talk about more exciting things in the world of footy. The professor of football, Glenn Luff, had his phone ringing off the hook to get that number one draft pick, especially from the Crows. There’s a young kid right under their nose just dominating SANFL footy, Horne-Francis, was there ever a consideration to move the number one pick on?
In my old role maybe, in my new role no. From a business perspective you’ve got to listen. If it’s in the interest of the club to consider something and someone’s prepared to put something compelling in front of you, it probably wasn’t from either of the two clubs. There wasn’t anything compelling enough for us to go ‘that’s something we need to take to the board and consider’. From a coach, he’s a fantastic player. We’re looking forward to if we don’t do any dealing in that period of time between now and the draft we’d love to consider him at the top end of the draft.

What about the other side of footy, they’re the new players coming in, but the old players going out? Shaun Atley, Trent Dumont, Tom Campbell, Charlie Ham have all been told they wouldn’t be offered new deals. Can I ask you about Shaun? 234 games for the club, and relative to that you’re an outsider coming in. How difficult is that conversation? All delistings I’m sure are really tough, but a guy that’s played that many games and has been a part of the fabric of the footy club for as long as he has been, are you able to take us inside that conversation?
They’re extremely tough. You’re taking away people’s aspirations and dreams in a lot of cases, and Shaun’s been an enormous stalwart of our football club and a vey well loved player, particularly internally from a players’ perspective. Highly valued, highly rated. Without going into the intimate details it’s those conversations you need to have ongoing through the year. You can’t afford as a person or an individual to get to a point where it becomes a shock or you blindside someone from that side of things. There were some ongoing discussions with myself and Shaun in regards to where things were laying. We have to make some changes, we need to continue to grow the list, there’s a level on unluckiness in some of those players and there’s a number of them across the competition at every club, where they cycle out of contract at the wrong time. There’s a little bit of that and then there’s some tough decisions we need to make in the assessment of where we’re going. Our list continues to need to build and how we’re going to maintain opportunities for guys to come through. There’s a number of different elements in the overall decision, but Shaun and Trent have been fantastic players for our football club.

You’re using a bit of American terminology with your ‘depth chart’, obviously nobody is guaranteed a position and they still have to put in the work, but (Nick) Larkey looks to be the key forward there. You look at your rucks/key forwards. You’ve got Charlie Comben, (Todd) Goldstein was fantastic and we know likes to play ruck, (Jacob) Edwards in the mid-season draft and then (Callum) Coleman-Jones comes across. One of these guys is going to have to serve a longer apprenticeship forward than in the ruck?
That’s probably true. I think the aspect we liked is whenever ‘Goldy’ went forward he kicked goals. His time forward for the number of shots on goal is probably behind 'Larks' but in front of Cam (Zurhaar), he was probably our most effective forward. He’s awkward to match up on, there aren’t too many teams that have two defenders who are a couple of hundred centimetres, so it throws another element to the opposition. He’s quite mobile, he’s good below his knees, his defence isn’t too bad. Maybe the transition for us, and we know CJ (Coleman-Jones) and Tristan (Xerri) can both play forward. We’re building an arsenal down there, with 'Larks' and Cam, of guys who can add some aerial power to our offence.

I forgot about Xerri too with all the wheeling and dealing going on with the Saints. Even your experienced players, we know Ziebell settled in down back and hopefully we see a fully fit Ben Cunnington, it’s a good sign that Simpkin wins the best and fairest, of that young group coming through as well, that he was able to put together a great season along with Davies-Uniacke?
In the top ten we had five or six of that next crew coming through, it’s really exciting. Jy had a great year. He learnt a heap, we challenged him hard internally as a leader and he took responsibility at stoppages at times. Ben wasn’t there early with that concussion, he wasn’t there late, and he stepped into the breach when Ben (Cunnington) wasn’t with us last year as well. He’s continued to evolve in that space, I think he learnt the balance of that inside/outside role really well, he took some key opposition midfielders for us from time to time as well. He had a fantastic year. I don’t think it’s a changing of the guard so to speak, but it’s in that realm. It’s that new, fresh, vibrant youth we’ve got coming through that showed some extreme excitement and genuine speed for us.

What have you learnt about yourself as a coach 12 months in?
I think I’ve been able to not worry too much about the small things, we can sort of move on. Having support within your coaching group has been really important, the guys who keep you well rounded in the sense of who needs to have a conversation; "are we on track?", "are we not on track?", "are we going too hard in our meetings?". The group of coaches we’ve assembled is fantastic. We’ve got some great experience, we’ve got some youth, we’ve got some versatility with guys who’ve come from different club, so that’s been important. I’ve just got to be patient. As coaches we’re all in a hurry to gain success but we’ve got to do it methodically, we’ve got to do it the right way, and success will come.