The Vietnam Swans are pleased to host the 7th Annual ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau on Saturday 23 April, 2016.

This important fixture for the club continues to grow in stature each year to now be one of the most highly prized trophies in Asian footy. This year we welcome back to Vung Tau the Jakarta Bintangs, with the Commonwealth Bank Cup legends and mixed curtain raisers to once again be held at the Lord Mayor’s Oval (Greyhound Track).

Of course the Anzac Friendship Match is much more than just a football game. Over the past five years it has become an event for Veterans, Swannies supporters, ex and current players, families and friends to come together, rekindle old friendships and pay our respects to those that made the ultimate sacrifice. Being the 50th Anniversary year of the Battle of Long Tan, this year’s Anzac Friendship Match will hold extra significance with the Swans to unveil a special 50th Anniversary heritage jumper.

McMillan Dinner

After a year’s hiatus, the Swans are excited to announce the return of the McMillan Dinner on Saturday 23 April from 6.30pm, to be held at the new Pullman Hotel, Vung Tau.

This night of nights for Swannies footy will once again aim to raise awareness and funds for our Charity partners Swim Vietnam and The Centre for Social Protection of Children. It will also feature the Middleton Address, the launch of an exciting new Swans local player development initiative and allow us to pay tribute to the legends of the Swannies footy through inducting new members into the Swans Hall of Fame.

We are very pleased to hold this event at the brand new Pullman Hotel with a fabulous all-inclusive dinner with seafood and carving stations prepared by their Australian Executive Chef, with 4 hours free flow beer and soft drinks. More details including special guests for this exciting event to follow shortly.

Tickets:

  • Non-members: 2,000,000 VND (USD$90 + $3 processing fee online)
  • 2016 Swans Members: 1,500,000 VND (USD$65) Click here for information about our membership program
  • Children 6-12: 700,000 VND (USD$30 + $3 processing fee online)
  • U6 – free

Visit the Vietnam Swans online shop to purchase non-members and childrens tickets to the 2016 McMillan Dinner. Contact nationalpres@vietnamswans.com if you would like to purchase tickets at the members price.

Tours and Packages

Through Club Sponsor Wide Eyed Tours, the Club will also be making available accommodation packages and tours of the Long Tan battlefield on the Sunday and Dawn Service at the Long Tan Cross on Anzac Day, Monday morning. Please click this link: Anzac Day accomm & tours to view the list of hotels and tours which Wide Eyed Tours can assist book for you.

Auskick and Coaches Clinic

Thanks to the support of the AFL and AFL Asia, we are pleased to welcome Mr Wally Gallio, High Performance Manager AFLNT to Vung Tau on Sunday 24 April to conduct a Level 1 AFL Coaches Course from 10am to 3pm in Vung Tau. This is the first time the AFL have ever sent a coach to Vietnam to conduct an accredited coaching course and we are very happy to make this opportunity available for no charge to all levels of players, coaches and Auskick parents from Vietnam and around the region.  Registrations open now by contacting nationalpres@vietnamswans.com

To complement this course, the Swans in conjunction with Saigon Colts and Hanoi Swans Auskick will be hosting a free Auskick Clinic from 11.30am-12.30am Saturday at the ground, with a feature game for advanced Children at half time of the Swans v Bintangs game – all kids aged 6 years and over welcome!

2016 Program (as of 14 April)

Friday 22nd April
Friday night footy (4.50pm Hawks vs Crows) and informal welcome dinner at Tommy’s 3 Bar (order from menu)

Saturday 23rd April
Lam Son Stadium (Lord Mayor’s Oval, Greyhound Track)
11.00am Auskick clinic (all kids welcome)
12.00am Lagler Legends vs Al Fresco’s All-stars Game (4 x 15min Quarters)
1.30pm Presentation of Commbank Cup
1.45pm Pre match formalities inc national anthems and Ode
2.15pm 7th Annual ANZAC Friendship Match: Vietnam Swans Vs Jakarta Bintangs (4 x 20min Quarters)
4.00pm Presentation of the Friendship trophy at the ground

McMillan Dinner, Pullman Hotel Vung Tau
6.30pm  Doors open, McMillan Dinner, Pullman Hotel Vung Tau
6.50pm – Welcome, acknowledgements and housekeeping (MC)
– Remarks by HE Mr Hugh Borrowman, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam
– Vietnam Veterans Day – Mr Glenn Nolan
– Swim Vietnam and Vung Tau Orphanage
7.30pm   – Dinner
8.00pm – Swans Coach/Captain
– Jakarta Bintangs President Paul Halliday
– Swans President Grant Keys (Induct new Hall of Fame/Life Members)
– Middleton Address – TBC
– Launch of Swans Local Development Strategy – Tim Burdeu
– “On the Couch” Q&A with special guest Brad Seymour (Former Sydney Swans player, current Club Director)
– Fundraising Auctions and raffle draw for Swim Vietnam and Vung Tau Orphanage’
9.30pm – Formalities end, free flow continues until 10.30.

Sunday 24 April
9.30am – 2:30pm Coaches course with Wally Gallio, High Performance Manager, AFLNT
– Players recovery, Tommy’s Bar (3 AFL games shown live on big screen)
– Optional Battlefield Tours, Long Tan

Monday 25 April
4.00am Buses Depart Tommy’s Bar
5.15am ANZAC Day Dawn Service, Long Tan Cross
5.45am Busses Depart Long Tan for Tommy’s Bar
6.45am Gunfire Breakfast at Tommy’s Bar
10.30am Essendon vs Collingwood on the big screen

Getting There: HCMC – Vung Tau

Buses

The Vietnam Swans will be organising buses departing from the Commonwealth Bank 65 Nguyen Du, District 1, HCMC at 10am and 6pm sharp on Friday 22nd. Return buses will depart Vung Tau at 2pm Sunday from Tommy’s Bar. Cost is 200,000 VND per person ($10) each way payable on the day.

More information on how to book seats on the bus to follow shortly.

Additional transport is available from Hoa Mai buses (www.hoamaivungtau.com.vn) on Nguyen Thai Binh Street in District 1, HCMC for 100K VND each way or 165K VND for the VIP bus, highly recommended over the cheaper bus.

Ferry

A HCMC-Vung Tau Ferry also operates. Visit www.vinaexpress.com.vn for ticketing and schedule information.

Anzac Dawn Service – Long Tan Cross

The Long Tan Cross (LTC), located in Ba Ria-Vung Tau (BRVT) Province approximately 110 km east of Ho Chi Minh City, marks the site of the Battle of Long Tan. This Battle, which took place on 18 August 1966, was Australia’s single most costly engagement of the Vietnam War, with the loss of 18 Australian soldiers.

A cross was first erected on the site in 1969 when the 6th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, which fought in the Battle, was on its second tour of duty. The original cross was later removed by the Vietnamese. A replica now stands on the same site.

In recognition of sensitivities associated with the LTC, visitors should conduct themselves with appropriate decorum and observe the following protocols in order not to jeopardise continued access to this important site:

  • No medals or military uniforms to be worn
  • No flags to be raised or displayed
  • No music to be played
  • Any speeches made at the site to be low key and short

Buses to Dawn Service

Buses will depart from Tommy’s Bar to Long Tan Cross for the Dawn Service at Monday 25th April at 4am, returning at around 6.30am where a gunfire breakfast will be held.

A bus for players and officials is being organised – contact your Team Manger. All other supporters please contact Glenn at Tommy’s Bar to book your Dawn Service Bus.

A Brief History

Vung Tau served as the Australians logistics base during the Vietnam/American War and, more specifically, the match will be played at the Greyhound Racing Track. The Greyhound track, or Lam Son Stadium, was formerly known as the Lord Mayor’s Oval – and the venue for footy tournaments back in 1966-71.

Against this backdrop of sensitivities, the Vietnam Swans feel extremely privileged to be able to host our ANZAC Friendship Match. We wear two black armbands to respect all who have fallen and to share the vision of one bright future.

The Friendship Match, first played in 2010 as an internal game between Hanoi and Saigon, went international with the China Reds attending in 2011 and 2012, Jakarta Bintangs in 2013 and 2016, Malaysian Warriors in 2014 and Singapore Wombats in 2015. Jakarta is the only team to have beaten the Swans in Vung Tau, in 2013.

Our Friendship Match brings together two worlds from two different eras: Vietnam 1970 and Vietnam 2016. For all of us who have chosen to live and work here, Vietnam is such an exciting, vibrant, generous and welcoming country.

We also use the occasion to raise money for local orphanages and Swim Vietnam’s swimming education initiatives that will save young lives. In Vietnam, more children currently die from drowning than road accidents.

We warmly invite people to attend the ANZAC Friendship Match in the spirit of friendship and respect – and to have an amazing day at the footy.

For more on the history of the ANZAC Friendship Match click here.