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Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for May, 2007

Swans ask, “Red or White?”

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 31, 2007

While the Asian heavy weights argue about light weight issues such as “seeding or random draws?” and “14 or 16 players?”, the Swans are beginning to focus more intently on the things that matter most:

At the Champs, should we be wearing red or white shorts in the team photo – after the Grand Final? 

Posted in AFL, Asian Champs, Aussie Rules | Leave a Comment »

Potsy Player signs up as No. 31

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 31, 2007

Today (yesterday, truth be known), Potsy officially became the 31st person to sign up for the Vietnam Swans touring party. Apparently he was able to secure a ticket of leave from Hanoi’s world famous, “Relax Bar”.

Rumours were strong beforehand that this veteran Swan would make the tour and so his player profile had already been recycled from the famous double-header back in 2003 against the Thailand Tigers and the Hong Kong Dragons (yep, we lost those two matches as well). His profile is below:

Paul Beasy (Potsy) (183cm, 89kg)

Fancies himself as a big game player. Only guy to wear footy boots to training on a concrete like surface. Usually quick off the mark but will not break stride to take a possession; the ball must be laces up!  Summing up, may not get much of the ball with that sort of criteria. Enjoys a beer – and will smile if it means winning a lady.

Meanwhile, there’s an equally strong rumour that we may have recruited our first ever player from Cambodia. The Swans have already received a “confirming” email – but until some photographic player profile proof comes through, you just can’t be too sure… Better watch this space.

Posted in Asian Champs, Aussie Rules | Leave a Comment »

The Draw of Champs – Seeding Sux, Random Rocks?

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 30, 2007

Hot on the heels of the previous day’s frenzy of emails being fired between Asia’s Footy Houses, things went unusually quiet. By lunchtime, still with nothing to distract the Swans from their day job, an email was urgently sent to Pizza Dan the Man (Bali Geckos) requesting one of those free opinions he was offering us in abundance the previous day. As it happens, he had just fired off an Asian Footy email stirring things up again!

 The are big supporters of the seeding system believing that each year as the Champs grow, it makes “less and less sense” to stay with the random. He makes the point that with a random draw, if the 5 weakest teams happened to end up in the same group, then it’s impossible for the best two teams to play off in the final. The Geckos want to start an informal league which would mean that games start to carry some weight.

The Philippines Eagles, who won’t field a team this year, make the point that the Asian Champs is the only true regional AFL competition happening in the world. There’s no EEC Champs, a North v South America Champs or a Middle East Champs. The Eagles support a seeding system – in part to get greater recognition back in Australia to get support for helping develop footy locally.

The China Reds and Tokyo Goannas also supported a seeding system.

The think a seeding system might be getting a bit too serious. The Asian Champs is really about having good fun, playing footy and meeting others from the region with a similar interest.  But do you “want to run a seeded draw based on previous results, relative population numbers and GDP per capita? (If you do) I can probably find an economist to develop the logarithms and run the appropriate regressions”! (Dropping logarithms must be as much fun as dropping blogs.)

Back to the Geckos: “There is an underlying feeling that Asian footy is finding it’s feet and is not just a bunch of beer-gutted blokes on a piss up, and that’s not a bad thing. It’s not about finding the correct regressions, but the best progressions.”

So, it would seem that while we are headed for the random draw for our inaugural appearance, 2008 may very well be the year of the inaugural appearance of the seeded draw.

Should the draw for the Asian Champs be seeded or random? Post a comment and let’s start a bit of Blog Biffo!

Posted in AFL, Asian Champs, Aussie Rules | 1 Comment »

Presidents Pulverise Proposed Match Schedule

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 28, 2007

Ring-a-ding ding! The 2007 Asian Champs are already underway. Make no mistake about that. Yesterday’s blog was headlined “Proposed Match Schedule” for the Asian Champs. Today, that proposal was turned into pulverised pulp by some of the region’s biggest hitters.

The Malaysian Warriors “vote a firm NO for the seeding system!!”. They preferred the random draw of names out of a hat.

The Jakarta Bintangs roared back in support calling for the “random draw” to be reinstated.

The Bali Geckos preferred the new seeding system and couldn’t help but add, “one does also slightly feel that the (Malaysian) Warriors and (Jakarta) Bintangs complaints come from getting a draw not dissimilar to the Geckos draw last year. C’mon boys, toughen up! You know we’ll all be cheering you on to beat the (Singapore) Wombats!”

The Singapore Wombats chimed in with a “resounding NO” to the proposed draw. He added a message for Mr Pizza from the Geckos that, “we cheer (the Geckos) when you play against the Bintangs! Not fair mate. How about sharing the love bro”.

A bit miffed that they had been brought into the debate, the Jakarta Bintangs responded with “We cheer all the teams all the time, even when they are playing against us.”

The Hong Kong Dragons President who, incidentally, was nursing a hangover from 4 days on the beers in Melbourne said that his Committee “vote(s) NO and prefer the standard rabbit out of the hat approach”.

Sniffing a change in sentiment, the Vietnam Swans who just yesterday voted in favour of the proposed schedule, quickly convened a crisis meeting between the Pres and the Little Guy, Scotty Stacey. Following the meeting, our position had changed and we sent out the clarifying email -

Given the Vietnam Swans (as opposed to the Hanoi Swans) weren’t even an entity 2 and a half weeks ago, we’re a bit reluctant to tell the veterans of Asian Footy how a regional tournament should be run. So, we’re happy to go with the majority.

Fair to say that in our inaugural appearance at the Champs, we don’t mind who we beat.

All ClassAs Vietnam’s Mr Football, Scotty Stacey said, “It’s all academic. Once they see the Swans in action, they’ll have to have a Sheedy Think Tank to work out how to beat us next year!”

Mr Pizza from Bali Geckos slammed back with, “if you’d like an opinion, I’m sure we can provide you with one… (there’s certainly plenty available)”.

At this stage, Thailand’s Organising Committee stepped in to declare that “the random draw will go ahead then” – but Rhino still thinks the seeding draw has merit for future years. He added, “It’s absolutely fantastic to hear the banter, bitterness of previous years and promises made for this tournament in the responses on the draw.”

Re the random draw, “Rowdy will forward details of the drawing of the teams, which will be done under the guidance of a representative of the Australian Embassy in Thailand with the ability for members of the teams involved being able to phone in to listen.”


Let there be no mistake, we’re playing for sheep stations in these Asian Champs!

Posted in AFL, Asian Champs, Aussie Rules | Leave a Comment »

More Gifts to the Warmhouse Orphanage

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 28, 2007

Swans Super Star, Mr Ed & his lovely wife, Kate, recently took Kate’s folks to meet the staff and students from the 19-5 Warmhouse Orphanage.  They presented a big bag of educational and recreational materials donated by Gekko Trails NZ, which were gratefully received.  Students at the orphanage are always looking for new books and writing equipment, so if anyone has spares please pass them on. 

Thanks Roger & Jenny Wilson for providing the gifts donated by Gekko Trails’ customers, and Sue and Wally Talbot for taking time out to have a bit of fun with the students.

Footnote: When asked by the media about how successful the day had been for the children, Gekko Trails NZ and themselves, Mr Ed simply said, “Gowwwwld”.

Posted in photography, Swans in the Community, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »

Beer at King Cong’s House

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 28, 2007

 After suffering Australian (& Borat) accents at bia hoi after training for a few weeks in a row, our newest Vietnamese recruit, Mr Ngo Cong, recently invited players back to his house for some local culcha. Beer was cold, wife was pregnant, conversation was extremely jolly, and Cong arranged for his 2 sisters, Thao and Ha, to stand guard over our motorcycles while we enjoyed their hospitality.

Thanks everyone, and congratulations to Ms Hoai for delivering a boy only 5 days later. Rumour has it that the new lad will be christened Ngo Swan.

Posted in Aussie Rules, Swans in the Community, Training, Vietnam | 1 Comment »

Are the Lao Elephants coming soon?

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 28, 2007

Marty Sharples’ life in Laos is on fire with his mates as they train for the Champs. We’ve just received this piece of enthusiastic news from Marty and the boys:

Geez it’s exciting. The Vientiane chapter had a kick around last night, and decided to form a club here following the Champs.The Lao Elephants – fat, slow, and almost extinct.

Posted in Asian Champs, Aussie Rules, sport | 1 Comment »

The 2007 Big Day Out, Hanoi

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 27, 2007

In terms of giving the people what they want – footy – the 2007 Big Day Out in Hanoi was a great success. It started at 2pm and didn’t stop until after dark. That’s a lot of Vietnamese and foreigner handballs.

With the ANZ Bank Handball Board, a continuous stream of children and adults queued up to try their form. Many were super skilled and, who knows, one day may end up playing for the – surely a dream of every self-respecting child in Vietnam.

 Inevitably, however, there were others who were less gifted and were therefore challenged by the unusual bounce and strange handball action. Fortunately, there are other codes out there that use nice, round balls with a predictable bounce!

But they all loved the footy and were doggedly determined to achieve success. Each time one of the punters handballed a goal through the hole in the board, the crowd cheered its support. Sometimes the adults unleashed handballs that would have travelled for 35m if it wasn’t for the board interrupting the flight.

Premiership proof that the Vietnam Swans are a red/white hot chance of success in the Asian ChampsThe Swans were able to give away the distinctive “goal-striped” Vietnam Swans hats as well as posters from the . Sydney had sent us posters of their 2005 Premiership team and 2006 Team that were originally intended for last week’s Australian Schools Open Day – but unfortunately they didn’t arrive until 4 days after the Open Day. Sometimes 4 weeks just isn’t enough to get something from Australia to Vietnam! Never mind, the Open Day’s loss was the Big Day Out’s gain judging by the size of the grins. Surprisingly, some of the ladies commented that the Sydney players were even more “dep trai” (“han-some”) than the Vietnam Swans players. Really unheard of!

At 6pm, we packed up and let the kids kick the 4 footies around on the volley ball court. They absolutely loved it – especially the three who went home with a footy each under their jumpers (we can only hope that they use their ill-gotten footies for goodness & niceness and recruit more people to the cause!).

Meanwhile, the Big Day Out continued long into the night with Bands, food and drinks. Clearly, the highlight of the evening was when the MC unexpectedly gave the Vietnam Swans a plug to the crowd and wished us well in the Champs. Awwwwwwwesome.

Photos by



Posted in AFL, sport, Swans in the Community, Vietnam | 1 Comment »

Proposed Match Schedule – Asian Champs

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 27, 2007

The Organising Commitee for the 2007 Asian Champs has just released the proposed match schedule.

The Vietnam Swans are in Group B and are scheduled to play China, Thailand, Bali and Japan – before we play off in the Grand Final. 

The Hanoi Swans have played Thailand twice but were unlucky on both occasions.

We have not played the other teams. Given Bali’s team name is the “Geckos”, we’re hoping our Saigon friends who play rugby with the don’t get too confused.

For full details of the schedule, click on the following link:

Posted in AFL, Asian Champs, sport | 1 Comment »

Regional Results

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 27, 2007

Saturday, 26 May 2007 – SIN Vs MALAYSIA.

Under the watchful eyes of former Pres, Dave “Flyer” Kainey and former Captain Coach, JD, the Singapore Wombats beat the Malaysian Warriors at home by 4 goals. 

Posted in Asian Champs, sport | Leave a Comment »

Swans Blog hits 300

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 27, 2007

Launched just a few weeks ago, the Hanoi Swans blog site has punched through the 300 hits barrier. On Friday we scored 87 hits.

Posted in Aussie Rules, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »

Stunners Stalk Swannies

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 24, 2007

It’s not unusual for stunners to stalk stars of the . After all, we’re elite athletes and they’re only human. Last weekend, Austrade’s Australian Schools Open Day in HCMC was no exception. Seizing a photo opportunity, the Vietnam Swans presented each of these “Swanettes” with a Vietnam Swans hat in memory of the occasion. When asked if they would like their special hats personally autographed, they told us, “Don’t worry about it”!

Posted in AFL, Aussie Rules, photography, sport, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »


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