The PNG Hunters are pleased to announce that existing assistant coach Paul Aiton has been elevated to the role of head coach for the 2024 Hostplus Cup season.
The club has also named an official 40-man training squad in preparation for the upcoming season.
The selection of Aiton as head coach is the latest evidence of the Hunters' upward trajectory as a football club.
Over the last few years, the Hunters have made considerable strides both on and off the field towards a highly professional and successful outfit, and the club believe Aiton’s acquisition fits this mould.
Having most recently worked alongside Justin Holbrook in the PNG Kumuls' dominant Pacific Bowl Championship series, Aiton brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Hunters' head coach role.
A former Kumul captain himself and a veteran of 250 first-grade games between the NRL and UK Super League, Aiton is perfectly positioned to guide an exciting group of young Hunters players into the future.
Hunters chairman Stan Joyce said he is “excited to see one of PNG’s finest rugby league products take the helm at the Hunters and help more of our young Papua New Guinean young men to develop and realise their dreams to play overseas.”
Preparations for the 2024 Hostplus Cup season have already begun and Aiton will oversee an extended squad of 40 players in the opening stages of the pre-season.
The final Hunters playing squad will be chosen from this group.
PNG Hunters extended squad
Morea Morea, Solo Wane, Brandon Nima, Siki Konden, Joshua Lau, Jamie Mavoko, Judah Rimbu, Epel Kapinias, Benji Kot, Sherwin Tanabi, Sanny Wabo, Seal Kalo, Tommy Moide, Trevor Solu, Sakias Komati, Whallan Tau-Loi, Junior Igila, Joshua Mire, Junior Rop, Ila Alu
Train and trial contracts
Douzen Hoyato, Douglas Pirika, Elijah Roltinga, Clent Lama, Kevin Yako, achariah Selu, Garry James, Finlay Glare, Limbi Henry, Junior Talin, Atua Joshua, Alex Max, Jordan Pat, Anthony Worot, Norman Akunai, Chris Urakusie, Wendle Kipsy, Ishmael Waine, Robert Mathias
Reynolds Tai, Gregan Format, Gabriel Kaupa, Bruce Bawase, Gairo Voro, Felix Beki
Jerry Joe, Brendan Turi, Manash Kai, Weiayh Koi