Dave "Angry" Hadley looks over his three years at the Swannies. Photo: Adam Martin.
Dave “Angry” Hadley, a Swannie, left Vietnam five months ago. From Oslo, Norway, he has reflected and written upon “My time with the Swannies”. Pt I was published two days ago. Today, we publish Pt II.
Linking up with the Swannies off the field
The Vietnam Swans were as successful off the field as they were on. I learnt what a special and close group the Swans were very early on. I remember my first few training sessions which seemed to be just about catching up and having some laughs. Fifteen minutes into training, Captain/Coach Drew Franklin would tell everyone that enough is enough. Time for ‘mothers club’ to finish!
It was always a highlight after training to get together for food, drinks and a good laugh. Watching football together on Friday and Saturday nights was a great way to feel some ‘normality’ after a hard week. Being so close, the Swannies would link up to play other sports together such as basketball and tennis. I received a lot of help from everyone whom made my first 6 months in Vietnam a lot easier.
Swannies, Dave (RMIT) and Dez (Crown Relocations), teamed up to give away some computers to needy children.
A highlight of off the field was joining up with Club Sponsor, Crown Relocations and Derrin Limbrick to give 250 computers away to charity. RMIT and Crown Relocations joined forces to give computers away to many charities in Vietnam, something that became a lot easier with Derrin and I already being friends through the Vietnam Swans. (See Computers given to needy children.)
I visited many of these charities with one kindergarten near HCMC being particularly memorable. The computers were donated to one of the Swans great friends, Loreto. I arrived at the kindergarten to see how these computers were being used and the children loved them. They were playing educational games and having a lot of fun.
Raising Money and Charities
I do not even know where to start with the great work the Vietnam Swans do with raising money for disasters and charities. It always made me so proud with the flurry of activity that occurred in these areas.
There was money raised for Australia and other countries, including the Black Saturday bushfires, bombings in Jakarta, Queensland floods and the New Zealand earthquake. With the Vietnam Swans strong link with another Club Sponsor, the Commonwealth Bank, the transferring of funds back home was made a lot easier.
There was also a lot of work with local charities and orphanages.
It is great to see that the Swans are now heavily supporting Swim Vietnam, with MJ’s strong help. Drowning is the highest cause of death in Vietnam for children and this program will help to prevent so many dying.
The Koto Kids at RMIT, Saigon.
I have enjoyed helping out where I can, especially football with the KOTO trainees. The KOTO trainees have never seen Australian football before, but they all go in courageously and have a lot of fun learning. (See Aussie Rules training for KOTO Sports Program.)
I also enjoyed organising a trip to an orphanage for the 2010 ANZAC Friendship Match. After the visit, I asked one of the Swannies where his girlfriend was. It turned out that some of the touring party had stayed almost the whole day playing with the children in the orphanage.
And the rest…
Angry meets Bruce McAvaney in D1, Saigon!
I have only touched the surface on my time with the Vietnam Swans. There were so many other highlights that I have not mentioned yet. These include matches against the Navy, the Indochina Cups, the Asian Champs, fine sessions with resident funny man Matt Townsend, my top 10 Fabbo speeches as well as that fateful day when I ran into Bruce McAvaney and family in my full Swans outfit during a dinner after a match against the Navy. (See Bruce McAvaney meets Angry Dave.)
I have played in monsoons and days that are so hot that you wonder if you will die of dehydration during the match.
What a great bunch of blokes the Swannies are. Fabbo, the work you do for the Vietnam Swans is nothing short of outstanding.
I will always remember my time with the Swannies fondly, will attend events when I can and will read the website with pride.
Footnote: Dave has been a fantastic asset to the Swannies during his time here in Vietnam. He played a lead role in so many of our off field activities. His work on the field was awesome – whether that be rucking all day, booting goals or whatever. Angry’s done it all.
As we say at the Swannies, Angry, while we were prepared to let you leave the country, we won’t let you leave the Club!
If you would like to read more about any of the topics raised by Angry, use keywords in the search function on this website.