NEW North Melbourne coach David Noble believes the Roos have "no ceiling" as the club's board sets an expectation of being a top-four side inside three years. 

Speaking for the first time on Monday after he was formally appointed on Friday, Noble declared the Roos must carry ambition to turn around a horror three-win 2020 campaign. 

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The 53-year-old has signed on a rolling contract rather than a fixed deal to replace outgoing coach Rhyce Shaw – someone who he's already reached out to for a "private conversation".

Roos chairman Ben Buckley revealed on SEN on Monday morning that Noble "has got two to three years to get us into a position where we're competing regularly in the top four and ultimately looking to win a premiership" - something the new coach fully supported. 

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"That's in line with what we spoke about at the board meeting," Noble said.

"We've got to have ambition, there's no problem with that. 

"The chair (Buckley) made it really clear that we've got to get ourselves organised, we've got to build a plan, it's got to be long-term but there's no ceiling on our group.

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"That's absolutely in alignment with what we've talked about.

"There'll be some frustration, there's no doubt about that, but I've always believed one of the great values of a member is for you to watch players grow. 

David Noble: "We'll fall over, we'll pick ourselves up and take these opportunities to grow and continue to get better." Picture: AFL Photos

"I'm not going to talk to you about wins, I'm not going to talk to you about losses, we're just going to continue to learn. 

"We'll fall over, we'll pick ourselves up and take these opportunities to grow and continue to get better. That's what I can guarantee."

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Noble, who has spent the past four years as Brisbane's head of football and right-hand man to coach Chris Fagan, presented twice to the Roos over the past fortnight. 

After admitting on Trade Radio in October he was set on becoming a CEO and that a coaching career was "unlikely", Noble conceded that changed when he was approached by former Fitzroy teammate Paul Roos, a member of the club's coaching sub-committee.

Chris Fagan and David Noble worked closely together at the Lions for four years. Picture: AFL Photos

"When I did go on radio, I hadn't been contacted," Noble said. 

"Not long after that, Roosy rang and had a really in-depth conversation with me over a couple of days about the skillset I had and what that offered.

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"The dynamic of the role of the coach has changed in the last five years and I've seen that first-hand. My skillset is a broader approach, the capacity to have broader knowledge and develop the capacity to have relationships with players. 

"I've always harboured ambitions to coach, let's make no bones about it, but I thought my opportunity had passed."


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Plucked from Tasmania for two games for Fitzroy in 1991, Noble went on to captain-coach back-to-back flags for Upwey-Tecoma in the Yarra Valley Football League in 1993-1994. 

As assistant coach with the Oakleigh Chargers in 1995, he took the reins of the NSW/ACT Rams in the TAC Cup in 1996-1997 before joining the Western Bulldogs as an assistant for five years from 1998 which included a reserves premiership in his first season. 

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

Two years as coach of Glenelg in the SANFL followed, before an 11-year stint at Adelaide that included roles as assistant coach, list manager and head of football. 

Noble admitted on Monday he might need to brush up on some on-field "decision-making" in his return to the hot seat after a recent skew to administration but will also instill authority in his assistants led by John Blakey. 


The make-up of the Roos' list… 

"I think it's in good shape, I really do. We've got some good talent, we've got a good blend of youth, some good experience that's still there with the skipper (Jack Ziebell), Goldy (Todd Goldstein) and Robbie Tarrant, (Ben Cunnington) and we'll help our young guys graft off those guys. They've (list management) done a terrific job in the Trade Period bringing in some speed, I think it was one of the areas I was a little concerned about in my initial deliberation."

His role… 

"I don't want to have any involvement in the footy area from (head of football) Brady's (Rawlings) perspective. I want to make sure the assistant coaches feel really confident they've been delegated authority. I won't be taking main training sessions, I'll have an input and there'll be certain aspects I want to get right in there, but we hope to bring some experience in from our assistant coaches. 

How he informed Lions coach Chris Fagan of his move to Arden Street… 

"I went around, gave him a ring, knocked on the door and we had a cup of tea and he said, 'What's going on?' And I said, 'This is going on'. He just had the biggest grin, like a Cheshire cat and said you absolutely have to have a go at it. We've coached against each other at TAC Cup … at AFL reserves and now we're coaching against each other at AFL senior level. 

How he wants the Roos to play…

"I'd like to kick goals, I want to score and want a hard edge on defence to us as well. We need to build a platform of capacity to play finals long-term, that's the avenue we need to go down."

Paul Roos' role ongoing at the club in 2021…

"I think we can absolutely utilise his knowledge and experience, he's coached two clubs. For me he'll be a great sounding board, I'm sure he'll be a counsel for me a number of times. He'll be great for our assistant coaches. He worked with Johnny Blakey, he can help out there. He'll be a great mentor for some of our players. He can help us out internally, Brady will be able to use him, I'm sure (chairman) Ben (Buckley) will be able to use his acumen with the board."

The search for the remaining assistant coaches…

"We've got two left. We're just coming up with a list at the moment to see what's available, the type of coach we need. We want some great characters who are going to come in and build that relationship, that foundation of honesty, trust. We've got a forward and midfield line that are available. We're in a hurry but we don't want to rush the decision. Whether or not we can get people we ideally would like, we're not sure yet but we'll try our best to get the right people in."

Whether the Roos will use pick two or trade it for multiple selections… 

"We'll still have that discussion. Pick two's great, we haven't had that high of a pick for a while but the option's there. We had a quick brief this morning on list management, the guys are well down the path with some of their strategy which I'm absolutely on board with. If it happened to be that we're able to split it out and it gives us an advantage where we can take some extra picks, then well and good. If not, we'll take the talent that's there."

Coaching against his son John at Collingwood…

"I watched him this year, I found myself a couple of times in the box just tracking him a little bit. He's an attacking half-back, we might need to play a defensive forward on him."