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Blackhawks lock in 2022 coaching staff

The Townsville Blackhawks have confirmed their five statewide competitions coaches for season 2022.

Earlier this year, it was announced Aaron Payne would be remaining in his role of head coach of the Intrust Super Cup team.

'The special part is the bond you make with the players' - Payne

With the departure of Dave Elliott to the Mackay Cutters, experienced coach Steve Sheppard will take over the Hastings Deering Colts in 2022, after taking the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup side to the grand final this year. Sheppard also  performed as Payne’s assistant coach.

Townsville Brothers premiership-winning coach Royston Baira will take over charge of the Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup side. 

Baira was the Blackhawks Under 20s assistant coach in 2018, before stepping away from the club to develop further as a coach, and returns as a premiership winner.

Harvey Norman Under 19 Girls assistant coach Rob Hall will be coach after the departure of Pete Edmonds.

Nathan Norford will stay on as coach of the Cyril Connell Challenge boys.

Blackhawks football operations manager Adrian Thomson said he was pleased with the appointments.

“As a club, we are very happy to assemble a staff of quality coaches,” Thomson said.

“Rob Hall has spent this year with the girls already and will look to develop them further.

“Nathan will look to follow up and continue on what he set out with this year.

“Roy also comes back to us as a much better coach, after having his own team for two years, including winning an undefeated premiership.

“Pupp (Steve Sheppard) is an experience Intrust Super Cup coach, so to have him coach our 21s, shows our program is in really good hands.

“We pride ourselves on providing pathways for players, but this shows we also do the same for coaches.”

The Blackhawks will be holding trials for the 2022 season in January for the Cyril Connell Challenge and Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup sides. 

2022 coaches

Intrust Super Cup

Aaron Payne

Hastings Deering Colts 

Steve Sheppard

Harvey Norman Under 19 Girls

Rob Hall

Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup

Royston Baira

Cyril Connell Challenge 

Nathan Norford