DAVID Noble has won the three-way battle to become North Melbourne's new senior coach. 

The Brisbane head of football and right-hand man to Lions coach Chris Fagan, Noble, as expected, beat out Collingwood assistant Robert Harvey and new Essendon assistant Daniel Giansiracusa.

LEFT-FIELD TARGET Noble on North's shortlist

Former Lions coach and champion Michael Voss refused to put himself through the Roos' process, instead opting to continue his role as Port Adelaide senior assistant.

Assistant Port Adelaide coach Michael Voss speaks to media during a Power training session at Alberton Oval on October 14. Picture: Getty Images

Noble, 53, will replace Rhyce Shaw at the helm after Shaw reached a settlement on the final two years of his contract last month after just one season.

Several Lions players were aware of the decision on Friday afternoon. 

Noble's appointment caps a long journey in football and comes less than three weeks after admitting he was headed down the path of becoming a CEO.

David Noble as an assistant coach of the Western Bulldogs back in 2000. Picture: AFL Photos

He was also in the running to become the Roos' chief last season before they appointed Ben Amarfio. 

After playing two games at Fitzroy in 1991, Noble's coaching path started at underage level before arriving at the Western Bulldogs as assistant coach under Terry Wallace. 

He later moved to coach Glenelg in the SANFL before holding roles as assistant coach, list manager and head of football at Adelaide.

His move to Brisbane saw him form part of the committee that appointed fellow Tasmanian Fagan as Lions coach at the end of 2016.

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North Melbourne chairman Ben Buckley said Noble's rounded skill-set and his vast experience made him the ideal candidate.

"We were very clear on what we wanted in our next coach and we have found that in David. We are delighted to appoint him the 38th coach [including interim coaches] of our football club," Buckley said. 

"David has a profound knowledge of all areas of the football department and knows what it takes to win and set up club's for success, having been part of no less than 13 AFL finals series throughout his impressive career so far. 

"He is a great fit for our club and will complement our strategic direction. We are very confident he will lead our young side back up the ladder in the coming years."