PNGRFL has appointed Mathew Church, as the new coach for the SP PNG Hunters.
This comes after former Coach, Michael Marum, announced his resignation, 3 months after his contract for the year was renewed.
Church is a carpenter by profession and has coached different teams over the years.
“Originally started coaching at East Tigers with their U18s and their 20s side, moved on from there to work with the Melbourne Storm U20s for 2 years, was then head coach of their development squad for a year” said Church.
He was Assistant Coach at the Sunshine Coast Falcons this season, before taking up the role as head coach of the SP PNG Hunters.
PNGRFL Chairman, Sandis Tsaka, said the team needed something dynamic to invigorate and resuscitate the club.
“When the shortlist was done and the recommendations came in we saw through Matt’s CV, that he brings not only a wealth of footballing experience but also his networking,” said Tsaka.
A total of 14 applications were received; 3 being Papua New Guinean while 11 came from applicants overseas.
An independent committee was set up to screen all applicants and submissions were left to the board for approval.
Taking over from Coach, Michael Marum, will be a huge task for Church, and he is looking forward to the challenges ahead.
With his wealth of experience, Church aims to help develop and educate coaches and players about the game during his time with the SP PNG Hunters.
“I’m looking to work with the Digicel Cup coaches when I assume the role, about education and development, not only for the players but for the staff as well with the SP PNG Hunters but also Digicel Cup level so able to assist in any capacity I can.”
Church, will start the SP Hunters pre-season training camp next week Monday, with 35 players to assemble in Port Moresby.
“We’ll do a 4 week block till Christmas; we’ll finish around the 21st just before Christmas and send them all on a break”
“Give them a bit of home work to do, and hopefully everyone comes back willing to start fresh on Monday the 6th.”
Church added that the Hunters will head into the season with 2 trial games; the first trial match will be played here in Port Moresby before the NRL, against the Central Queensland Capras, and the second trial game is set to take place in Cairns, against the Northern Pride.
By Elijah Lavett – EMTV Sports, Port Moresby