The last day of footy of the 2016 season has finally come around, with the annual Indochina Cup being held in Myanmar for the first time ever. Due to field availability and Myanmar’s wild rainy season, the ICC was arranged to be held after the Asian Champs, which has traditionally been the finale of the AFL Asia calendar.
The Swans are hungry for success after leaving Champs with a single drawn match as their sole achievement, but will be bringing a stellar lineup into Yangon to bring the ICC trophy back after two years of being in Thailand.
Laos Withdrawal Shortens the Odds
The Elephants have unfortunately had to pull out from the tournament this year, meaning that the Swans will play three slightly longer preliminary matches against the Cambodian Eagles, Thailand Tigers and the Myanmar Fighting Cocks. Once again, the day will include an “Indigenous All-Stars vs Expat Kangaroos” exhibition match to close out the tournament, which will show off the fruits of local development in the region. Vietnam will be bringing a record seven Vietnamese players to Myanmar, several of which will be making their onfield debut in the red, black and white.
Myanmar Looking Strong
Despite only forming in 2013, Myanmar will go into this tournament looking extremely strong after a Div 2 grand final appearance at the 2016 Champs and will be wanting to make a strong performance at their first international tournament at home. At Champs the Fighting Cocks dealt with the division 2 Swans team without too many dramas and easily took care of Cambodia in the semi finals, before falling to Bali in the grand final.
Swans Dads Bring Their Better Halves
The 2016 Swans President and Vice-President will both be bringing their
families along to the south east Asian capital of betel nut chewing, and the playing group is welcoming the prospect having extra water runners with open arms. In a surprise move, recent father Bart Schneemann will take a break from snapping cute baby and family photos to join the Swannies on tour, in the hopes that he’ll be snapping goals from the half forward line this Saturday instead.
The Old and the New: A Mixed Squad of Swannies
As has been the norm throughout tours in 2016, the Swans coaching staff will have a huge range of players to choose from on the day, with several Swans jumping on for their first ever tour. Ollie has been impressing the Saigon boys over the last few weeks and Barney who has been at Swans trainings since September will be keen to use his height to his advantage this weekend.
The exhibition match which will put local Indochina talent on the same team will also be keenly watched by Swans coaches, with four Vietnamese players making their debut. The lightning-fast duo of Kiet and Tai have been impressive in Saigon scratch matches at RMIT lately, so expect them to fire up if they take on key positions in the indigenous team.
It all shapes up for a huge weekend of football in Myanmar this Saturday! Keep an eye on the Swans Facebook and Twitter accounts for updates throughout the day (if the Internet is reliable enough)!