Magpies reap rewards of mid-season gambles

·2-min read

John Noble knew exactly what advice to give fellow mid-season draftee Ash Johnson about his late shot at the AFL: take it and run with it.

After all, that's exactly what the former shelf stacker did back in 2019.

Snapped up out of the SANFL, Noble played five games in his first season and has since added another 62, becoming a key part of the Magpies' defence.

Johnson, pick No.3 in last year's mid-season draft, has kicked 15 goals in seven games since debuting in round 18, showcasing his skill and goal kicking prowess.

Noble isn't surprised to see his teammate thrive.

Bar Richmond's premiership-sealing 2019 selection of Marlion Pickett, Collingwood have arguably made the best fist of mid-season selections.

Noble, 25, and Johnson, 24, are success stories while Aiden Begg (2021) and Josh Carmichael (2022) have also broken through for AFL debuts.

"It's a credit to Dekka (Derek Hine) in our recruiting team and Wrighty (football boss Graham Wright) for being able to find talent that might be overlooked," Noble told AAP ahead of Saturday's semi-final against Fremantle.

"I know there's plenty out there and obviously I'm a big advocate for that sort of thing.

"Even Beggy (Aiden Begg) has been going to another level this year with his footy, and Joshy Carmichael. We've had a little bit of success in that.

"We've got a lot of support around our players and staff in this club.

"As soon as you come in, your foot's in the door and you're wrapped around with the support, and you just take it from there."

Noble wouldn't change his different pathway, either.

"You dive in the deep end, coming mid-season. I liked it, personally," he said.

"The advice is always just take it with both hands.

"Sometimes being overlooked is hard to take but when the opportunity presents itself, you've just got to take it and run with it."

Noble understands the importance of relishing his opportunity.

His father, David Noble, saw the other side of footy when he was sacked as North Melbourne coach this year.

"That is the brutality of footy, that it's not always gonna go your way," he said.

"Dad's certainly aware of that - he's been in the system for a very long time and he's got a lot of respect for what he's done and what he's contributed.

"So he's going well with that, at this stage. They (my family) are just supporting me because I'm the only one making finals at the moment."