David Noble shares his thoughts on why Chris Fagan is having such a strong impact at Brisbane

There are three reasons why David Noble believes his good friend and fellow Tasmanian Chris Fagan has had such an impact coaching Brisbane.

THE LION KING: Brisbane coach Chris Fagan in Launceston this year as part of Brisbane's pre-season camp. The Lions will return to the city this weekend. Picture: AFL Photos

THE LION KING: Brisbane coach Chris Fagan in Launceston this year as part of Brisbane's pre-season camp. The Lions will return to the city this weekend. Picture: AFL Photos

“I reckon he has got a calmness about him, as he is an experienced campaigner and he just has a calming nature in the way he goes about his business and as a result we go about our business in the same manner,’’ said Noble, the North Hobart premiership player who is Lions’ general manager of football.  

“He is also very consistent. The game plan is consistent the messaging is consistent and that leads towards a good, open honest environment. I think he is a great educator of people, not just the players, but just people around the club in general.”

Noble, who played two games for Fitzroy in 1991 and represented his state twice, has known Queenstown product Fagan for more than 20 years.

He said being able to work to with him “was very exciting and very rewarding so far.”

Brisbane, which will play in Launceston on Saturday against Hawthorn, also has another Tasmanian connection on its coaching staff, with North Launceston premiership coach Zane Littlejohn, who is originally from Latrobe, a development coach. 

“Zane has brought energy and a thirst for learning as a qualified teacher he has brought in a capacity to help educate and teach our players, and I think that is a really important role in that area,’’ Noble said.

“He has the expertise of being able to teach and coach players in the areas that we want to play our game, and also the fact he wants to continue to learn and get better, so that energy and enthusiasm becomes infectious on your playing group and coaching group.”

David Noble. Picture: AFL Photos

David Noble. Picture: AFL Photos

Brisbane will return to UTAS Stadium, a ground it does have some knowledge on having held pre-season camps in the city the past two years, on a two-game winning streak and with the confidence of a 56-point win over the Hawks in round 9.

Fagan also knows a bit about the Hawks as he was once Alastair Clarkson’s right-hand man.


“It’s a little bit cliche, but if you are all playing your role and you are doing it for longer, that gives you a better chance to win,’’ said Noble, who was Adelaide’s head of football before joining Brisbane and a Western Bulldogs assistant coach before that.

“That’s what we did when we played against the Hawks last time, everyone stuck to their task and got the job done, and I think we played really well together as a group, and I think that has been one of the areas that we have improved on this year.

“I’m not sure the confidence is massively different from where it has been in the earlier part of the season, as our form line has been consistent, we just haven’t had the Ws.

“I think the consistency of our performance and the belief that they have in the way we are playing is really strong.”

TAC Cup the right way forward

Noble admits it has been frustrating to see how far his home state of Tasmania had fallen from a football perspective, but encouraged by the moves in place to fix those problems.

“Knowing how strong the footy was when Chris  and I were coming through is probably what has made it so frustrating, but the fact that something is being done is a real breath of fresh air,’’ said Noble, the North Hobart premiership player who is Brisbane’s general manager of football.

Noble believed the Tassie Mariners’ impending return to the TAC Cup was a positive step forward.

Fagan was one of those on the AFL’s steering committee which helped decide that the TAC Cup was the appropriate path to take.

“With the TAC Cup, Chris and I always thought that was really strong game builders, that is the game itself being able to grow and as a result of that it certainly does give you the aspiration as a young player,’’ Noble said.

“Having that pathway is really good, and that is not only for AFL, but for the grass roots. 

“To see those kids go back to being good players (at their clubs) some of those will then become administrators and some of them will become coaches, so to have the growth overall for the game in Tassie, that is something I have looked back and gone, that’s great. I am really pleased that direction for the growth of the game down there is heading in the right direction.”


WHAT: AFL round 17, Hawthorn v Brisbane  

WHERE: UTAS Stadium, Launceston

WHEN: Saturday, 1.45pm

TICKETS: Available from www.ticketmaster.com.au

This story Some Noble praise for Fagan the Lion King first appeared on The Advocate.