Football Staff Profiles

Adrian Thomson – Football Operations Manager

Adrian brings extensive experience to the position of Football Operations Manager having been involved in the game of rugby league for three decades, not only has he won three QRL State Championships with the Northern Marlins but he has also coached Townsville Brothers to five premierships in the Townsville and Districts Rugby League competition.

“Happy” began working with the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys as the recruitment manager, he was promoted to a coaching role as one of three coaching assistants to Head Coach Paul Green for the 2014 season.

At the Cowboys, Thomson was tasked with working closely with NRL squad members who were playing in the Intrust Super Cup and this experience will serve him well as the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks begin recruitment for the inaugural squad. Further bolstering Thomson’s knowledge of player selections and talent in the Queensland region he has served as a Selector for the Queensland Rangers, Queensland Country & Queensland Resident teams; as well as Queensland State of Origin Under 20s and the Australian Junior Kangaroos.

Terry Campese – Head Coach

Terry Campese is Head Coach of the Mendi Blackhawks. Terry spent 12 years playing for the Canberra Raiders including 5 years as Captain. During these years he also represented NSW and Australia. After the Raiders Terry spent 2 years in England playing for Hull Kingston Rovers also as Captain.

Since retiring from professional Rugby League in 2017 he has coached the Queanbeyan Blues, Monaro Colts and Senior Men’s Country NSW teams.

Terry is passionate about helping young people achieve their dreams and is looking forward to a big season in 2024 for the Mendi Blackhawks.

Steve Sheppard – Mendi Blackhawks U21s Coach

Steve “Pupp” Steppard played most of his senior footy with the Burdekin Roosters. He also played QLD Cup for NQ Young Guns and Northern Pride and won numerous Foley Shields for the Townsville Stingers as well as Innisfail/Eacham and represented NQ Marlins.

His coaching career started in Ayr at the Roosters and has continued throughout North Queensland, before going on to coach of the Townsville Stingers MMC U18’s to State championships in 2012 and 2014 as well as being crowned National Champions in 2014.

Steve was apart of NQ Cowboys NYC Program in 2015 and 2016 as an assistant coach before being Head Coach of the Mackay Cutters for 3 seasons.

In 2021, Steve was Aaron Paynes Assistant Coach, as well as coach our Mendi Blackhawks U18s, taking them all the way to the grand final.

Steve said he is happy to be home and look forward to developing footballers in our region.

Matthew Ham – Strength & Conditioning Coach

In Season 2023, we welcome back to the Matt Ham to the Mendi Blackhawks for his second year as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach.

Matt has worked in the fitness industry for over fifteen years and competed in professional football (soccer) for four years with Hyundai A-league teams including Gold Coast United, Brisbane Roar and the North Queensland Fury. He has held strength & conditioning positions with the Brisbane Roar (2016-2017), the Queensland Rugby League Referees, The Guam National Football Team and various young professional and semi-professional athletes.

Matt’s professional experience with sporting teams, coupled with his academic achievements in sports and exercise science and years of service in the fitness industry has subjected him to an expansive array of top-level strength and conditioning, resistance training, rehabilitation, group fitness and various cardiovascular training methods which has given him a well-rounded and superior approach to fitness training.

Christian Quabba – Strength & Conditioning Coach

Christian is a teacher at Ignatius Park College where he previously coached the school’s First XIII Rugby League team.

An Ingham junior, Christian started his coaching career with the Herbert River Crushers before joining the Townsville Mendi Blackhawks coaching staff for our inaugural season in 2015. Since then, Christian has remained on the coaching staff in both a Football and Strength & Conditioning capacity.

Christian is currently the Assistant Coach to Aaron Payne, while also assisting Matt Ham with the implementation of the Strength and Conditioning program.


Allan Petersen – Assistant Coach

We welcome Allan back to the Mendi Blackhawks as Assistant Coach to Aaron Payne.

Allan is a Townsville local, completing his schooling at Ignatius Park.  His senior football career began with 4 years playing at the Ipswich Jets in the Queensland Cup, and Brisbane A-grade competition.

Allan already has an extensive coaching career including, Coach Townsville Mendi Blackhawks U16’s to 2 Qld titles, Coach Townsville Mendi Blackhawks U20’s in their inaugural year, Coach Townsville A-Grade in the Foley Shield in 2017, Assistant Coach QLD U’16 for the past previous two years and has previously worked with Aaron Payne as Assist Coach with the North Queensland Cowboys under 20’s.


Daniel Strickland – Strength & Conditioning Coach

Daniel was our inaugural strength and conditioning coach but now is involved on a part time basis due to his business commitments.  Daniel brings on-field and off-field knowledge with him to his role as Strength and Conditioning Coach. He played 67 first grade games for the NQ Cowboys between 2000-2006 and started FIT Solutions in 2004 while still playing professional rugby league. Daniel also spent a season as Trainer for the NQ Cowboys NYC squad in 2008. He is now Owner operator of FIT Solutions/CrossFit Townsville.

James Tamou – Community Engagement

As a former professional Rugby Leagues player James hopes to bring a wealth of experience, showcasing leadership and motivational abilities to the Mendi Blackhawks in 2024. With a career that spanned over 15 years in the NRL, James has achieved some highly notable milestones that he will continue to use to embody the values of discipline, teamwork and adaptability he learned over the years with the current players.

Off the field, James’ passion is helping in community based work with the youth, leveraging the skills he has obtained from the world of sports. A goal in this field for James is also to continue pushing boundaries and helping others to reach their full potentials on and off the field.

Tim Nugent – Development

Tim joined the Mendi Blackhawks in 2019 as a full-time development officer.  His main focus will be providing support to all local clubs in and around the Townsville district. Tim is locally born and bred in Townsville and has been working in Rugby League development for the past 15 years.

Heading up our Development team, Tim is a regular visitor to schools and Rugby League clubs within our footprint and is responsible for delivering our “Sky’s the Limit” program.

Brendan Logan – Welfare

Brendan was born and raised as one of seven children in St George Queensland before the family moved to Toowoomba. On completion of school at St Mary’s CBC he attended Kelvin Grove Teachers College where he spent four years doing a three-year Diploma in Physical Education.

Brendan began teaching in 1988 at Collinsville High School and this is where his love of North Queensland began. A transfer in 1989 brought him to Townsville. Apart from a three-year stint in Perth, where he met his wife Sally, Townsville has been home. They have two daughters, Isabelle and Holly.

Brendan has taught at Heatley High School, Ignatius Park College and Townsville Flexible Learning Centre. Along the way he has played football for Collinsville, Mosman Cottesloe (Perth) and Brothers (Townsvillle) (League and Union).

Brendan has been the Wellbeing Manager at The Townsville Mendi Blackhawks since 2018. Wellbeing is not just physical. It is also psychological, family, relationships, cultural, spiritual, career, financial, environmental and community. To be their best on the field our young men need to have things in order off the field. Brendan’s role is to offer support in all aspects of wellbeing and if required, engage our young men with people and services who can help them be the best they can be.

We want our young men to be ambassadors for our club and for the game. We want them to enjoy playing the great game of Rugby League and we want them to flourish in the great game of life.