[Updated September, 2013.]
The Vietnam Swans become a founding member of AFL Asia at the Presidents’ meeting in Bangkok on 27 July, 2013.
The Vietnam Swans’ National President, Phil Johns, becomes AFL Asia’s inaugural President.
The Vietnam Swans’ event manager, Mark Stennett becomes AFL Asia’s inaugural secretary.
Click here for media release: AFL Asia formed by Asian footy.
*** To get a better understanding of what makes the Swannies tick, click onto the short presentation, Connecting Communities in 2012.
The Vietnam Swans are now based in Hanoi, Hoi An / Danang, Saigon, Binh Duong and Vung Tau.
The original Hanoi Swans played our first international match in Hanoi in November, 2003.
Four years later, August 2007, the Hanoi Swans went national as the Vietnam Swans and debuted at the Asian Championships in Bangkok.
Highlights of our year include the ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau, the Asian Championships, the Indochina Cup, the Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day (raised money used to reduce the number of child drownings in Vietnam), friendly matches, AFL Grand Final Parties, Christmas Parties etc, etc.
Click here for contact details of the Vietnam Swans.
Objectives of the Vietnam Swans
- To play regular competitive, international matches to:
- Create the reason for the Club to exist
- Appeal to players who like competition, travel and being part of a Club
- Improve the general level of fitness of members
- To develop and maintain a Club culture that is social, family friendly and welcomes a far broader group than just hard-core footballers
- To give back to the local community; eg supporting swimming initiatives that reduce the number of drownings in Vietnam
- To create special and significant functions / events that provide attendees with a richer experience than otherwise would be possible
- To use Aussie Rules – Australia’s Signature Sport – as a vehicle to promote Australian causes/interests where appropriate
- To use our Club as a vehicle to promote our sponsors to ensure they receive fair value for their sponsorship
Aussie Rules is marginal and fringe in Vietnam. By doing the above – as well as it being good to do - it increases our relevance to a wider community. In turn, that supports our need to continually recruit new players to play footy – our raison d’etre.
Key achievements of 2011
(To see a review of the year in pictures and a window into 2012, click onto Connecting Communities in 2012.)
- Key role in raising $45,000 for victims of Queensland floods
- Support role in assisting Kiwis raise $100,000 for victims of Christchurch earthquakes
- Key role in establishing Annual Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day which, in its first year raised $25,000 to reduce the number of drownings in Vietnam.
- Raised additional $5,000 for other local charitable causes
- Played abroad in Malaysia, Bangkok and Lao
- Played matches at home in Hanoi, Saigon and Vung Tau
- Won the 3rd Annual ANZAC Friendship Match
- Had our most successful campaign yet at the Asian Champs, reaching the Semi Finals
- Won the Indochina Cup for the second consecutive year.
- Remain undefeated for each of the three Phoenix Cups we have played against the Royal Australian Navy
- Further developed relationships with Vietnam Veterans
Forged closer relationships with Australian Consulate, Austrade and Australian Chamber of Commerce (eg viewing of ANZAC Friendship Match video at Consul General’s residence with Consul General, Austrade Commissioner, Board of Auscham and Swans’ Committee in attendance.
- Recorded 85,000 hits on our website – up 32 per cent on 2010
- Received increased media coverage which included Channel 9 News and two separate articles in the Australian Football League’s (AFL’s) weekly Footy Record.
- Welcomed the Australia Network as the Official Media Sponsor for our AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi and Saigon
- Added our 600th name to our database
- Welcomed our 16th National Sponsor
- Unveiled our new club logo
- 7 minute video of the Swannies after winning our first tournament – the 2010 Indochina Cup in Saigon (Nov, 2010). Click here.
- 1 min 48sec promo video of the former Hanoi Swans (now Vietnam Swans). Click here to watch it on You Tube.
Hanoi / Vietnam Swans – A Brief History
The (former) Hanoi Swans Football Club were renowned for their passionate supporter base which split into two camps – the Bloody Army and the famous Swanettes.
“The Bloods” were formed in 1998 under the confusing name of the Hanoi Hawks. In their inaugural game they came out swinging against the Hong Kong Dragons to such an extent that old timers were quoted as saying, “I haven’t seen a battle like that since 1973!”
The next game was a trip down south to Saigon where disaster struck. Not only did we lose the game but we lost all the jumpers which virtually wiped the club from the pages of history. With a 0 – 2 record, support waning and a membership of 3, the new club was in trouble – all in its first year!
The Hanoi Hawks were put on ice, to one day be proud again.
2001 – Pepperonis Pizza Parlour / ABC Asia Pacific TV
The year was 2001, the footy was back on the TV, the beer was cold, we had a home on the roof top, the Pepperonis Pizza oven was on the ground floor – and the people came.
The footy panel began, footy tipping comps mushroomed and we wanted to play.
Andy Wall brought in some jumpers, which happened to be those of the Sydney Swans (SFC is still hunting him). Rick Trewavas, a mad Bloods supporter, seized the day and named the clubrooms after his idol, “Bobby Skilton” (Skilts is still hunting him). The panel was rockin’ and the supporter base was growing. We were away.
New name, new team, new desire, and our only goal was to play in the Asian Champs.
For the next 2 years we practised eating pizza, drinking cold beer and watching footy on the tele.
2003 – Big Bucks, Big Difference
In a coup, the Hanoi Swans Board recruited the Bogor “Kainey” Flyer, a Lifetime Member of the Jakarta Bintangs, to share his secrets about loyalty to one’s team and “the cause”. He instilled in us a discipline for regular training before some of our drinking sessions.
In Q4 2003, we threw caution to the wind and jumped in at the deep end. We launched the Hanoi Swans as a going concern with a double-header against the Thailand Tigers and Hong Kong Dragons.
History recorded the Swans debut as a brave but plucked performance.
2003-2006 Hanoi Swans on the rise – and fall?
Between 2003 and 2006, Hanoi was hosting internationals and travelling to neigbouring countries to get our footy fix. We even managed a few victories. It was all good – but there were worrying signs. With our small pool of players, it was becoming increasingly difficult to get the required number of players to travel. And if we wanted to continue hosting a regular stream of home games, we needed to be returning tours.
2007 – The Swans go National and become the Vietnam Swans
In 2007, the switch was on and Hanoi went to the fat side of the country to court Miss Saigon. And soon thereafter, a new National Club, with a National Committee, was formed which provided us with a bigger player pool and bigger possibilities. Bring it on!
And they did.
It was the 2007 Asian Championships which provided the stage for the debut of the new National Club, the Vietnam Swans. It was a major milestone for the Club. Finally, we were at the Asian Championships. All the big pizzas, bold plotting and pleasant beers at Pepperonis hadn’t been in vain. The Pepperonis’ Panel of Pumper, Bubbles and Potsy were proud that they had inspired us to greatness.
2008 – Current
The move to the National structure has been extremely successful. It has greatly increased the size of our player pool which has enabled us to become a genuinely active member of the Asian footy community.
Now, we can book tours with certainty that we will get the numbers to travel. By touring the region, we also get the teams returning to Vietnam which makes footy a regular feature rather than a rare occurrence.
As the Club has grown, so too has our confidence. Together with the Bali Geckos, for example, in 2009 we played a Black Saturday Bushfire Match and Fundraiser in Saigon. All proceeds were donated to the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League which is where most of the devastation happened. In 2010, we launched the Inaugural ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau (near Saigon) under the banner of “Two black armbands; one bright future”. Vung Tau is where the Australian Logistics Base was located during the Vietnam/American War.
At the ANZAC Friendship Match, the Vietnam Swans played a Heritage Round match between Hanoi and Saigon at the Dog Racing Track. The Dog Racing track was formerly known as the Lord Mayor’s Oval – and that’s where the Australians played during the War back in 1967-68. We are actively developing our relationship with the Vietnam Veterans and in July 2010, the Sydney Swans invited a number of Vietnam Swans and Vietnam Veterans to a pre match function at the MCG. On 23 April, 2011, the Vietnam Swans will play the Hong Kong Dragons in Vung Tau for the Inaugural ANZAC International Friendship Match. A big crowd is expected including many Vietnam Veterans some of whom will have played there during the War.
In Hanoi, the Swannies have run Auskick for three years. In Saigon, we now have players who have children at the age where they are keen to do Auskick, so, at the beginning of 2010, Auskick started in Saigon. It’s also spread to teh KOTO Kids.
In Vietnam, more children die from drowning than road accidents so, the Vietnam Swans are actively supporting local swimming programs. We believe it’s a good fit with our Club. In Australia, swimming is a sport, a recreational/leisure activity and a fitness activity. Just like Aussie Rules in Vietnam.
The Vietnam Swans and Aussie Rules are well and truly taking root in Vietnam. After all, if Vietnamese road users didn’t love the footy, why else would they honk their horns?
For more information on the Vietnam Swans, try www.vietnamswans.com or email email@example.com
See the attached Swans and Player Profiles for more detail. It was prepared for the Asian Champs.
Contact details of the Vietnam Swans in 2012:
- National President, Phil Johns – click here.
- Saigon President, Sam Conroy – click here.
- Hanoi President, Dan Hopkins, click here.
Sponsors of the Vietnam Swans