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.  Having begun work with NRL side the North Queensland 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.


Kristian Woolf – Head Coach

Kristian began his coaching career as an assistant at Townsville Brothers Senior Rugby Club from 2002-2005, during this time he was also teaching and coaching rugby league at Ignatius Park College. He led the Ignatius Park team to the Queensland State Schoolboys Championship in the year 2004.

Two years later he started working with the North Queensland Cowboys as Development Manager and his career breakthrough came in 2009 when he was offered the Head Coaching role of the Cowboys National Youth Competition side. In 2010 he took the Cowboys under-20s through to the NYC semi-finals and in 2011 all the way to the Grand Final only to narrowly miss out on the title by a single point to the New Zealand Warriors. Current Cowboys players and local products Michael Morgan, Kyle Feldt and Jason Taumalolo were all part of Woolf’s grand final side in 2011.

After a stellar year in 2011 Kristian departed Townsville to become assistant coach at the Brisbane Broncos under Head Coach Anthony Griffin in 2012. He thoroughly enjoyed his three seasons with the Broncos and now has the experience of NRL finals to add to his long list of achievements.

Kristian is the current head coach for the Tonga International Rugby League team which competed in the World Cup in 2017, and took them to the finals for the first time in Tongan history.


Dave Elliott – Assistant Coach

Dave has extensive experience working with our Head Coach as he formerly worked under Assistant Coach Kristian at NQ Cowboys. A teacher at Ignatius Park College, he recently led Townsville Brothers A Grade side to the 2014 Premiership after coaching the team for 2 seasons.


Ben Jeffries – Assistant Coach

Ben is currently Townsville’s NRL Lead Game Development Officer.  In 2017 Ben held multiple coaching roles including the U20’s NYC North QLD Cowboys Assistant, QLD Women’s Assistant & U15’s QAS Girls Head Coach. In 2018 Ben will also be the Women’s Indigenous Gems & U18’s Women’s Head Coach in addition to his role as Assistant Coach at the Mendi Blackhawks.  We welcome Ben to the Mendi Blackhawks in 2018.


James Moran –  Strength & Conditioning Coach

James is the first full time strength and conditioning coach at the Mendi Blackhawks. James writes and implements all the strength and conditioning programs and wrestle sessions for the Intrust Super Cup team and Under 20’s, bringing a diverse range of skills and experience to this role.  Having played Rugby League at Queensland Cup level, James knows the level of intensity required to be successful in the QRL and NRL. James collects and analyses GPS data to better inform our training processes.  He also oversees the Mendi Blackhawks Under 18’s strength and conditioning.

James has a background in wrestling/jiu jitsu, and has worked professionally in similar roles with the Queensland Reds, Norths Devils (Intrust Super Cup team) and with Mixed Martial Arts fight gym, Gamebred Academy. After finishing playing, James started training and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, eventually being awarded a Black Belt in that martial art.

In the 2017 World Cup, James was the Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Tongan International Rugby League Team, which made the finals for the first time.


David Tangata-Toa – Under 20’s Head Coach

As previous coach of the Penrith Panthers Under 20’s, we welcome David Tangata-Toa to the Mendi Blackhawks in 2018 as head coach of the Hastings Deering Colts Under 20’s.  Dave has played Rugby League both here and in England and was an Assistant Coach to Kristian Woolf for Tonga during the 2017 World Cup.


Cameron Miller – Under 18’s Head Coach

We welcome Cameron “Spilla” Miller back to the Mendi Blackhawks in 2018 as the new head coach of the Mal Meninga Cup Under 18’s.  Cameron has a long coaching history in North Queensland which saw him head coach of Burdekin and Townsville in 2017.  Cameron’s previous experience in developing young players has made him the ideal candidate for this position.


Christian Quabba – Strength & Conditioning Coach

Christian is teacher at Ignatious Park College where he also coaches the first rugby league team.  Christian’s role is to assist in the implementation of the strength and conditioning programs including return to play, rehabilitation, strength and player data collection and monitoring.

Jason Tassell – Strength Coach

Jason came to the Mendi Blackhawks this year from the PNG Hunters, where was the inaugural Head Strength and Conditioning Coach and has over 15 years experience in S & C.  Prior to this, he played NRL for the Sydney Rooster, 1989-1994, and Souths Sydney Rabbitohs, 1995-1997.  Jason is tasked with overseeing the Mendi Blackhawks Strength program for the Intrust Super Cup, U/20’s and U/18’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.



John Alloway – Conditioning Trainer

John is the Head of Sport at Ignatious Park College and has long been involved with NQ Cowboys as a trainer. John is in charge of the Mendi Blackhawks rehabilitation program to assist getting players back on the field after injury.