Kaiviti Silktails Staff Appointments For 2024

To coincide with the Kaiviti Silktails acceptance into the NSW Jersey Flegg Cup Competition, the club has appointed a new General Manager in Damon Spooner and also finalised its staff for the 2024 season.

Damon Spooner joins the Silktails after 10 years at the Sydney Roosters as Head of Athletic Wellbeing and Education, transitioning into the new position with stints in Fiji pre- and post-Christmas, that will now see him take control of the day to day running of the Silktails with the clubs Executive Director Stephen Driscoll.

Driscoll will be taking a more strategic role with the club on the Board, as well as focusing on his business and Strength and Conditioning commitments. On Spooners appointment, Driscoll was glowing of the man that will take the club into its inaugural NSW Jersey Flegg season in 2024.

“Damon is a highly respected figure within the game here in Australia and in his native New Zealand where he has worked with the NZ Rugby League and Maori All Star male and female set ups. With us moving into a Major Competition next season there is a level of compliance that must be met, and Damon knows that better than most.” said Driscoll.

“On top of that, Damon knows our club well working closely with our players and staff, in particular our late Football Manager Jacquie Shannon and current Head Coach Wes Naiqama during our time based in Australia. Damon will be a wonderful asset for not only us but for the game of Rugby League in Fiji. “

Upon his appointment as the clubs new General Manager, Spooner spoke of how the Silktails core values and purpose were part of what drew him to the club.

“When approached if I would come to the Kaiviti Silktails it was not a hard decision. The club’s values and vision align with my own, strongly led by Petero Civoniceva, Stephen Driscoll, and the Board of Directors,” said Spooner.

“It gives me the opportunity to help build a strong professional club culture, partnered with established corporate organisations to build an elite pathway for Fijian players and staff in the rugby league industry.”

Spooner will spearhead a new team off the field that includes newcomers in Kemueli Salu (Team Welfare), Vilimaina Tuivaga (Assistant Physiotherapist), Vanavasa Niuqila (Lead Strength & Conditioning Coach), Timoci Duve (Assistant Coach), Merioni Tuinanuya (Football Administration) and Joe Kobanalagi (Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach).

The clubs Welfare Manager Kemueli Salu comes from a long career in the Police Force as well as being the club’s spiritual leader (aka Talatala) which he also does for his Church Group in Nadi.

Vilimaina Tuivaga will work with the club alongside our Head Physio Sio Dickson, and she has impressed everyone already with her diligence and professionalism.

Club lead S&C Coach Vanavasa Niuqila comes from the Fijian Drua and Flying Fijians and has former Cuvu College student Joe Kobanalgi as his assistant. Coming from that environment has brought new standards to our Performance Program.

Merioni Tuinanuya joins the clubs Football Administration team and brings a standard of professionalism needed at this level and will work closely with Damon. That, along with her experience from her time working in the women’s space across both codes.

Former Ba Provincial and Fiji Secondary Schools Coach Timoci Duve is the most recent addition as Wes Naiqama’s Assistant Coach, bringing a wealth of knowledge around the Secondary Schools Game from a coaching and recruitment perspective. Better known as Master Duve, he will bring a passion for Rugby League that saw him turn Ba Pro into a Rugby League powerhouse in the Secondary Schools competition.

The newly appointed General Manager will lead members of his staff to Australia later this week where they will complete their Sports Trainer Accreditation at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence in Homebush. As part of the clubs Professional Development Policy, staff will also spend time training with our NRL Partner Club the Sydney Roosters.

Pictured: Kaiviti Silktails General Manager Damon Spooner, alongside Fiji Bati player Joesph Ratu being named in the NYC 2016 Academic Team of the Year