North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell confirms David Noble apology over spray

North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell has launched an impassioned defense of David Noble amid reports of unrest following a massive spray from the coach.

The spotlight has been burned bright on North Melbourne this week after journalist Jon Ralph revealed on Fox Footy’s On The Couch that Noble felt the need to apologise to his players after a fiery address in Round 3.

Ralph reported that the spray became “personal enough in nature”, while some players were even “shell-shocked” and left “a bit emotional”.

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Players also reportedly raised concerns over Noble’s style of feedback, saying it wasn’t constructive on a consistent basis.

Ziebell addressed the reports on SEN’s Whateley on Tuesday, confirming that Noble both dressed his players down following a 108-point loss to Brisbane, and later apologised.

But Ziebell said the spray was warranted, and that he’s shocked by how it made front page news this week.

Asked to confirm if players had concerns over Noble’s feedback style, Ziebell said: “Absolutely not.”

“He gave us a pretty direct message after the game,” he said. “I think in the coming days he might’ve reflected upon that and thought that maybe it was a little bit too much.

“But my recollection, to be honest, is he didn’t need to do that (apologise). His message was fair, it was direct — the performance wasn’t up to standard.

“The following week we got a great response… I’m a little bit bemused to think that this has made such big news to be honest.”

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Among the more concerning details of Ralph’s report was that players were left shell-shocked by the strength of Noble’s speech.

Ziebell conceded that some players might’ve found it “confronting” but didn’t feel like a line had been crossed.

“(Some players) might’ve been (confronted) potentially, probably because they haven’t been exposed to that as much as we used to be back in the day,” he said. “In saying that, I’m sure that if you get beaten by 100 points at any other footy club around Australia, it’s probably going to be a similar response from your coach. And if it’s not, that means that your coach probably doesn’t care too much, to be honest.”

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Ziebell denied that aspects of Noble’s game plan has been confusing for players, saying that it has not changed in 18 months.

He added: “His character is something we all love about him. I personally didn’t think he needed to apologise. I think he did what was fair and reasonable after the game and a disappointing night.

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