In a major coup for both organisations, the SP PNG Hunters are delighted to announce a development partnership with the QLD PNG RL Kokomos.
The SP PNG Hunters are unique to the QRL in that they have relocated to Queensland to compete in the Hostplus Cup competition.
In response to this, the Hunters and Kokomos have formalised a development partnership that will see Kokomo players train with the Hunters playing squad in 2022.
QLD PNG RL Kokomos President Tom Adamson is pleased to see the partnership formalised in 2022:
“The QLDPNGRL sincerely thank the SP PNG Hunters Board and Management for the great opportunity presented to our Kokomos. We hope that our partnership in 2022 will open further doors in the future.”
Since 2009, the Kokomos have supported Queensland-based Papua New Guinean’s to access rugby league pathways in Australia. The Kokomos are also a community support network for Papuans looking to connect with their culture while living away from home.
Hunters assistant coach Paul Aiton says while rugby league development will always be a core value of the Kokomos organisation, most important is their connection with country and culture.
“When I was a young kid living in Queensland, this kind of support was not available to me. The sense of community the Kokomos have developed is outstanding and they allow young Papua New Guineans a chance to connect with their heritage while living away from home.”
Newly appointed Head of Football Operations Tommy Butterfield echoed Aiton’s sentiments.
“As a club the Hunters are committed to developing the best young talent coming out of Papua New Guinea. It is our hope that this partnership will ensure the next Xavier Coates or Cruise Ten growing up in Queensland will find a pathway through the Hunters organisation.”
Six Kokomos will play for the Hunters in this weekend’s Melanesian Bowl trial match against the Fiji Kaiviti Silktails.