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The Pies' lucky charm

John Noble in action against the Cats in Friday night's qualifying final - Collingwood Magpies,Geelong Cats
John Noble in action against the Cats in Friday night's qualifying final

In May, John Noble was running around Richmond Oval playing for West Adelaide in the SANFL. 

On Friday night, the 22-year-old took his place on the field in front of 93,436 people at the MCG, representing the biggest club in the land in Collingwood. 

It's been quite the few months for the speedy winger and half-back flanker. 

Noble, the son of Brisbane's head of football David, was selected in the NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft at the end of May. 

He's no stranger to the big occasion, having made his debut in round 17, in a game Collingwood defeated reigning premier West Coast by just one point.

A mis-kick or two aside, he hardly looked overawed against the Cats, finishing with 19 disposals and seven tackles in just his fourth game in the AFL. 

The Magpie fans consider him to be their lucky charm; he is yet to taste defeat at the top level. 

"It's pretty surreal, I'm sure it won't sink in for a few days, just really happy to get this win with the boys, they're a special group," Noble told AFL.com.au after the 10-point qualifying final win against Geelong. 

"It's not just getting drafted, it's amazing being at a club like Collingwood. They have a 'head down, bum up' mentality, if you get a game you get a game.

"I wouldn't have thought I would be playing in a (winning) qualifying final to play in a prelim, so every game is a bonus." 

Noble hasn't exactly played off-Broadway in his short AFL career, also coming up against Adelaide on its home deck and traditional rivals Essendon. 

But Friday night's crowd – complete with several renditions of the haunting "Collingwood" chant enveloping the stadium – was something else. 

"It was ridiculously loud out on the ground, I certainly haven't got used to it yet. But we played the game on our terms for most of the game, we settled a bit and found our rhythm pretty quickly," Noble said.

"I'm loving every minute, it's a dream come true. It's always been something I wanted to pursue in life, so to finally get there and play at a club like Collingwood, I can't believe it."