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Aussie Rules: Five contenders for the North Melbourne job

North Melbourne are in the hunt for a new coach after parting ways with David Noble and there are some big names including Alastair Clarkson and Ross Lyon in the frame to take it.

It has been a tough 2022 campaign for the Kangaroos, who are priced at 8/13 to have most AFL losses this season and it came as no real surprise when Noble finally left his position as head coach.

They had picked up just one win from 16 games, while Noble’s overall record did not make pleasant reading either. He picked up just five wins during his 38 games at the helm after taking the job in November 2020.

Noble felt that he was not given enough time, but the powers that be clearly felt he was not the man for the future and have made the call to axe him.

The next appointment is huge for the Kangaroos. They are now looking for their fourth head coach in five seasons and need to get the next one right.

Assistant coach Leigh Adams has been handed the job on an interim basis while the search for Noble’s long-term successor takes place.

So let’s take a look at the main candidates for the job as rumours and speculation start to hot up.

Alastair Clarkson

Clarkson is a four-time premiership coach following his time with Hawthorn and is seen as the leading candidate. He would be a very popular appointment with the club’s members and is currently out of work.

Clarkson has hinted that he would like to return to coaching but it remains to be seen if he would be interested in taking the North Melbourne job as they are years away from being able to contend for a premiership.

He is a former Roos player and the challenge of rebuilding the club could appeal to him. It would be a major surprise if North Melbourne have not already made an approach.


Adam Simpson

Simpson is currently the coach of the West Coast Eagles but has a strong connection with North Melbourne having represented them on 306 occasions as a player.

He has all the credentials after guiding West Coast to the premiership in the 2018 AFL campaign and reports have suggested that the Kangaroos have made early moves to lure him back to the club.

Simpson is under contract with West Coast until the end of the 2024 season and has distanced himself from rumours suggesting he could link up with North Melbourne next season.

Still remains in the frame even though he seems committed to a rebuild in the west. The Eagles have had a season to forget and Simpson is keen to turn things around in 2023.


Ross Lyon

The former St Kilda and Fremantle coach is another with all the credentials and vast experience after guiding both of those clubs to a grand final.

His last coaching job was with the Dockers, who he left in 2019, and he has since been thriving doing media work.

Kangaroos legend Wayne Carey believes that Lyon would be the perfect man for the job, but he may take some persuading to leave his media job.

Lyon gets linked with every job that becomes available and appears to be open to the idea of returning to a head coaching role in the near future. However he has played down reports he is ready to take the Kangaroos job.


Leon Cameron

Cameron has not been out of work that long after stepping down as head coach of Greater Western Sydney earlier in the season.

Although Cameron will be keen to get back on the horse at some point down the line, the North Melbourne job may have come up a touch too soon.

Reports suggest he almost joined the Kangaroos as a senior assistant to Noble before he was axed so he is clearly rated by the powers that be.


Ken Hinkley

Hinkley is the current coach of Port Adelaide and is under contract for the 2023 AFL campaign but his name continues to be linked elsewhere and North Melbourne has been mentioned as a possible destination.

Hinkley has been in the hot seat since 2012 and has enjoyed great success with the Power, without delivering a premiership.

It could be time for a change of scenery following a disappointing season so far but he could be jumping from the frying pan to the fire by taking the North Melbourne job.

He has also been linked with the Greater Western Sydney job at the end of the season.

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