John Noble has played 83 consecutive games for Collingwood and his omission from the team that faced Melbourne on Thursday shocked panelists on Nine’s Footy Classified.
Matthew Lloyd said that he didn’t see the axing of the Magpies star coming, especially as the 26-year-old hasn’t missed a game since he made his debut in 2019. Instead, he expected that one of Will Hoskin-Elliott or Oleg Markov would have made way and been left out.
Collingwood are a force to be reckoned with
Lloyd did concede that Noble’s omission proved Collingwood’s strength as the team was going into the Melbourne game with Nathan Murphy, Beau McCreery and skipper Darcy Moore who made his return from a hamstring injury.
Lloyd was also worried about John Noble’s place in the side and wondered if he would be able to come back to the team after Collingwood superstar Nick Daicos returns from injury. Daicos was reportedly going to make a surprise return against Melbourne, but coach Craig McRae ruled that out, saying the 20-year-old was still “not quite right.”
It was either Noble or Markov
Jimmy Bartel was more positive about Noble’s prospects and said that there would always be a role to play in a team such as Collingwood. The Geelong legend praised the Magpies squad for huddling around Noble before the game, adding that the player would most likely be needed in the coming weeks so keeping team morale high was important.
Bartel agreed with Lloyd about Collingwood’s squad depth and said they had to include Moore and Murphy in the team to face Melbourne, while McCreery was also a compulsory addition as he played “a certain role.”
He tried to imagine how the “tough call” was made and said that it probably came down to either Noble or Markov. One of those players ran more with the ball, while the other was a kicking half back flanker.
Collingwood and Melbourne played at the MCG on Thursday night, with the Magpies winning 60-53.