The connection North Melbourne has with Tasmania is more than just an agreement to play a few games in Hobart every season. The influence of Tasmanian football and its fans seeps through the whole organisation.
Tarryn Thomas, Aaron Hall, Patrick Walker and Matt McGuinness all received their footballing educations in the Apple Isle, with the addition of David Noble further deepening the connection between the club and state.
Hailing from Hobart, Noble’s perspective on travelling to play in front of the Tasmanian fans is unique, and he says he relishes every opportunity to return home.
“I’m really looking forward to the game back home. We have great crowds that turn up. Our Tassie members are able to come to the game for free this week,” Noble said.
“We’re really looking forward to our fans coming out to support us … it’s a unique set of circumstances.
“It’d be great to have some more numbers around, even though the numbers were low [against GWS] the crowd was great … the players really feel the difference when we’ve got our supporters coming to the game.”
Noble will be locking horns in the coaching battle with another Tasmanian native, in Brisbane coach Chris Fagan.
With a friendship and a rivalry that dates back to the TAC Cup, Noble says he’s looking forward to going up against the Launceston native.
“‘Fages’ and I have a long coaching history from TAC Cup, to AFL reserves and now at AFL senior level,” Noble said.
“It’s great acknowledgement of two Tasmanians with north/south rivalry to be able to go home and coach against each other.”
North Melbourne faces Brisbane at Blundstone Arena on Saturday, June 19 at 4:35pm AEST.