Church to head Hunters

Former Falcons assistant coach succeeds Marum

FORMER Sunshine Coast Falcons assistant coach Matt Church has been announced as the new head coach of the SP Hunters for the next two Queensland Intrust Super Cup seasons.
Church replaces Michael Marum who has won one minor premiership and major title during his six-year reign.
Papua New Guinea Rugby Football League (PNGRFL) chairman Sandis Tsaka said yesterday that Digicel Cup premiership-winning coach Stanley Tepend, former Hunters development officer Shane Morris and Church had been shortlisted from 14 applications.
“The PNGRFL board has endorsed the appointment of Matthew Church to be the SP Hunters head coach for the next two years effective immediately,” Tsaka said.
“An independent three-man recruitment committee, including a human resource specialist, was set up to screen these applications and submit their recommendations to the board for approval. Church has met all the necessary requirements and qualifications to be head coach for the next two seasons.”
Tsaka urged those involved in the game and around the country to support Matthew and his staff.
Former Melbourne Storm development and talent squad head coach Church said he was delighted to coach one of the premier teams of the competition.
“My desire is to coach players at this elite level so they are able to achieve their goals,” the 42-year-old said. “I am committed to developing players for a team environment and facilitating personal development. And there is plenty of skill and talent in the SP Hunters players which I can nurture and develop.”
Church said 35 players would assemble in camp on Monday to begin pre-season training.
“I have a list of players to assemble in Port Moresby to go through their medicals and begin pre-season preparations,” Church said.
He said the list would be published over the next few days after they had been contacted.
Church thanked PNGRFL, South Pacific Brewery managing director Ed Weggemans and his management for their confidence in him.
“It is a huge responsibility especially when taking over from Michael Marum,” he said. “He was a successful coach and I hope to continue this success and standards.”
Meanwhile, Marum did not attend the announcement at the Oil Search National Football Stadium.
When asked about the 46-year-old’s absence, Tsaka said: “We appointed Marum for another two years from 2020-2021 but he resigned so we had to advertise the position for PNG and overseas applicants.”


  • We welcome Church to take over from Michael Marum as Coach of SP PNG Hunters
    Wish him and the Hunters in 2020

  • This is a great opportunity to develop our national rugby league players to the next level with the different coach, best approach.

  • Congratulations Church on your appointment. PNGRFL is serious in taking the game to the next level and for someone with wide experience and skills in the field of coaching and development of players will certainly help.

    We know you’ve done your homework on the game in PNG and we wish you all the best of luck.

  • Congrats Church. We the fans of the greatest game of all in PNG welcome you to take up this very challenging role. Michael Marum has a very high discipline record for all the players whether they are senior or junior. Please make sure you provide the same trend. Do not fear the players. you are here for a job and make sure you prove this to the fans and sponsor of this team. Good Luck.

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