Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

Archive for May 7th, 2007

Two Months and 10 Days before the Asian Champs

Posted by hanoiswans on May 7, 2007

With 2 months and 10 days before the Vietnam Swans’ inaugural appearance at the Asian Championships we need to take stock. We need to draw breath because… there’s a chance this could be the most important weekend in our important lives. 

Background. Approximately 10 teams fromAsia will compete in these Championships. It will be the first time Vietnam has ever joined the Championships. We all have the chance to be a part of history, playing for our country in our first ever Champs on 14 July.

Meanwhile, the Socceroos will be playing in their first ever Asian Soccer Championships since joining the Asian Football Confederation. They will provide the bookends of our Champs with a match against Iraq on Friday 13 July and a match against Thailand on Monday 16 July. Hmmm, that’s big as well so no doubt they will also be excited.

Matchday. The Vietnam Swans may well travel with a fairly impressive Cheer Squad – the Jim Beam Swanettes. Last night, the Vietnam Swans received a verbal “absolutely and will organise” response from Singapore. We’ll have to watch this space to see if it actually eventuates.

Accommodation. We are looking at two options – One of the Novotels for those requiring some of the finer things in life and Soi 7 (eg Maxims) for those on a $20 budget per night. Confirmed accommodation options to be advised very shortly.

Airfares. Phil Johns bought an Air Asia ticket from Hanoi to BKK on Friday 13 July at 21.30 returning Tuesday 17 July at 11.45am for an absolute total of $148 (including all the taxes, departure tax from Hanoi, departure tax from BKK etc). Cheeeeeeeeeeeeeeap.

Who is proud, passionate and paid up for the Champs?

  • Phil Johns
  • Marty Sharples (now in Laos. Also led the AFL tour through northern
    Vietnam last year and gave them a hit out against the Hanoi Swans. Can play.)
  • Scotty Stacey (the Little Guy who loves footy as much as he loves to retire. Also loves to train in both
    Hanoi and HCMC)
  • Matty Wenkel (Gun Saigon recruit. Officially starts his holidays on 14 July and will now delay his previously planned holidays by several days to spend quality time with the boys)
  • Wicked Will (Set Hanoi on fire during his 9 months in town. Returned to
    Sydney to recuperate in January. Now, fully recovered, will fly back to play in BKK.)
  • The G Force (So passionate about his footy in Vietnam, this long haired Irishman shifted to Bangkok back in January to ensure he didn’t miss his flight from

Who isn’t on the Proud list? It reads like a “Who’s Who”. Heaps of people – like Captain Gus, Micky J, Pied Piper Mick Francis, Growds, Fosters Johnny, Kris, Rusty etc etc. But to make the “A” (“above”) list, you must have paid for your air ticket. Book now so we know exactly who is going to the Champs. We will also get the accommodation sorted. Do you have any other friends who want to come and play or spectate? Socerroos Friday; AFL Saturday; Socceroos Monday…Why wouldn’t you want to come?

It’s amazing. Wherever I go, there’s a real buzz. Everyone I meet seems to be talking about the Asian Champs.

And remember, if you love Aussie Rules… Honk yer horn.

Thank You to our sponsors 

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Hanoians Liberate Saigon

Posted by hanoiswans on May 7, 2007

The Hanoi Swans claimed a moral victory on the weekend when we liberated Saigon by helping them throw their preference for rugby out the window. The Saigon Geckos footy department put on a powerhouse performance and beat the Hanoi Swans 99 to 53 (see  for full details).

Attached are some photos taken by RMIT’s Landon Carnie. He did a top job and has a full set of action packed pics at

It was a fabbo day and special thanks are due to:

Saigon Geckos Rugby Club – promoting the event, loaning us a number of their players, their kit, their goal posts and their goal umpire flags (which we didn’t use due to a lack of goal umpires on the day)

Landon, RMIT – organizing the oval, installing the goal posts and being our photographer

FV Hospital – providing an ambulance and doctor who were in attendance during the entire match

Scott Beasley – organizing the water, eskies, ice and beers

BJ, Jaspas – providing the eskies and ice

Scotty Stacey – being a driving force in making it happen and being able to get to footy training, on most occasions, in both Hanoi and Saigon

Rob and Ash – being two sensational field umpires on the day

The Original Hanoi Swans – Captain Gus, Chris, Matt, Micky J (who also does a stunning job with the footy jumpers), AB and Scotty Stacey. This is the second time these guys have traveled to Saigon for a footy match which is a sensational effort. And thanks to all the guys from Saigon – and Thailand Tiger, Chris Thwaiter – who pulled on a Swans guernsey to help out with the numbers

Joe – putting the promo poster up in a bar in Pham Ngu Lau which caught the attention of gun recruit, Nuggety Noam

Now, the Asian Champs on 14 July is looming. Footy training in Saigon will resume at 2.30pm on Saturday 5 May which is the week after the coming long weekend. DT/MJ will advise arrangements re Hanoi. For the Asian Champs, we’ll need every player we can possibly get so get to training in both cities as often as you can. Also, spread the word.

It’s still to be confirmed, but it seems that Singapore may not be the richest team in this year’s Champs. The rumour is that Dubai will send a team, all expenses paid, in a sponsorship deal worth $40,000. But can money alone bring you happiness?

For those locked into the Asian Champs, the Australian Socceroos will be playing on both sides of the Champs. On Friday the 13th, they play Iraq at 5:20pm. On Monday 16th, at 7:35pm, they play Thailand. For ticketing information, try

I’ll give you the tip: it no longer surprises me that Vietnamese honk their horns because they love footy.


proudly sponsored by:


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Saigon Geckos V Hanoi Swans - RMIT Saigon - 21 Apr 07

Posted by hanoiswans on May 7, 2007

It’s Friday at 10.30am in Saigon – exactly 24 hours before the bounce of the ball tomorrow at Saigon’s RMIT University for the clash of Vietnam’s Titans, the Saigon Geckos and Hanoi Swans.

It’s a keenly anticipated match.

The sensationalist tabloid press is asking:

Will we witness the Fall of Saigon to Hanoi’s Swans? Or will we see the Liberation of Saigon as it frees itself from the shackles of its rugby heritage and starts playing decent footy? Either way, there’s a real buzz around this town today.

Click on the link below for details for the exclusive, official promotional poster for the massive match,

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Swan finds Goose!

Posted by hanoiswans on May 7, 2007

The Hanoi Swans have created a monster – Pago the Photographic Pest.


Seemingly, the East coast of Australia is no longer safe from the Saigon Rugby Club’s President (who, incidentally, lists becoming a social member of the Hanoi Swans as his proudest moment). First he took the Hanoi Swans hat to Telstra Dome in Melbourne; today the Sydney Cricket Ground. Where next? See attached for his latest contributions and for his special comments, see below.


Meanwhile, Josh Magennis was alleged to have taken his hat to the ‘G for the opening round of the season. Kainey is alleged to have taken his hat to Perth’s WACA . Let’s just say that a little photographic proof from these Hanoi Swans wouldn’t hurt their credibility.

Straight talking Saigonsider, Rik the Dutchman, is rumoured to be taking his hat on holidays to Bali with his girlfriend. Expect a big shot from Paradise Island.


Next Saturday

Starting at 10.30 am, the ball will be bounced at RMIT, Saigon, for the match Saigon Vs Hanoi Swans. The match will have 4 x 10min quarters. We’re expecting there to be plenty of Saigon players who can help make up numbers for the Swans. Afterwards, it is off to the Big Day Out.

 And remember, if you come to the footy to play or watch, you’ll have a bigger day out than those who don’t.

 Hanoi Swans, if you need accommodation when in Saigon, speak with Micky J or consult your nearest park bench in the wee hours.

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8 More Sleeps - Hanoi v Saigon

Posted by hanoiswans on May 7, 2007

Saigon Vs Hanoi Swans

Saigon Vs Hanoi is just another week away. It’s on Saturday 21 April, 10.30am at RMIT. It’s on at 10.30am to beat the heat and finish in time for the start of the Big Day Out at 2pm – and to test those who didn’t sleep the night before.

Saigon Saints/Geckos/Wannabes/Whatever

Phil Crouch has promised to polish his footy boots tomorrow and bring along Brendan and Chris (Danny, the ANZ can smell a banking vacuum in the Saigon footy club. You might be well advised to make the big comeback for the sake of CBA). Last week we had 11 self-described adults turn up to training and 4 Korean students. As you can see, the numbers are now starting to grow exponentially.

Disrupting our momentum a little bit is tomorrow’s Saigon Touch Tournament. It will push our footy training back to about 5pm (we will have to play it by ear. Start time will depend entirely on what time the touch tournament finishes). If you can, come out earlier and support the Touch – and encourage them to support us the following week so we can get the numbers to fill a Saigon side and to supplement numbers for the Hanoi Swans.

The high flying Matt Wenkel who flew out to Sydney last night has suggested that Saigon has a high powered meeting to discuss tactics (eg name a coach, a captain, a field umpire, a goal umpire etc etc) and “other stuff” prior to the big clash on 21 April. Stay tuned for details on that one but it will probably be Wednesday night.

Hanoi Swans Footy Tipping Comp

It seems like the Hanoi Swans footy tipping comp is rigged. I logged on yesterday to and I’m allegedly coming last out of 29 tipsters in the Swans comp. To put that in perspective, the website claims that of all the competitions registered, I’m coming in at a competitive 187,053 out of 197,052 tipsters. Unheard of.

Gaelic Football in Singapore

Patty’s brother, Brian O’Reilly from Saigon RMIT is wanting to put a Vietnam Gaelic football side together for a tournament in Singapore from 22 – 24 June. If you’d like to be part of that, whether you’re from Saigon or Hanoi, I’ve attached the details. For further info, contact Brian directly () or myself.

And finally, today’s Saigon Report

Weather: Hot. Damned hot.

Traffic conditions: Still. Damned still.

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Goose Snapped in Swans Hat!

Posted by hanoiswans on May 7, 2007

Well, the Photographic Study of Migratory Hanoi Swans has officially kicked off with one goose submitting two photos of himself at Telstra Dome, Melbourne, on the weekend - wearing the Swans hat, of course.

The Goose is none other than one, Pago, President of the Saigon Rugby Club.

Congratulations Pago on being the first person to be snapped in public wearing a Swans hat (that we can confirm).

Awesome work.

Hanoi Swans Hats are available at or for info!


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Hanoi v Saigon - Mar 2007

Posted by hanoiswans on May 7, 2007

Saturday March 21st, 2007

“Where are you?”

“In a taxi with half the team.”

“Which half - the good, the bad or the ugly?”

“The ugly, and we’re pumped! Where are you?”

“In another taxi with the jumpers and shorts. How many players do we have?”

“8 plus whatever they give us.”

Thus ended Hanoi Swans pre-match tactical discussions.

Thanks to the infusion of talent from HCMC, both sides ran on to the ground with 12-a-side plus 2 interchange. The occasional scudding cloud helped keep the sun off our nude scones but 10.30 in HCMC is still bloody hot for northerners (note to self: remember to sunscreen head – red GT sunburn stripes through the helmet are not a good look).

Derby 2 started at a furious pace. Saigon Geckos kicked the first goal within seconds of the bounce. Swans replied with Scottie’s first for the day at the end of a well-timed lead, and it was on. It may have been sunny, but it was raining goals. Movement of the ball from one end of the RMIT pitch to the other was amazingly precise with both teams playing a style of football that belied the lack of match practice.

In the first half, Captain Gus and Euan were getting first touch of the pill in the ruck for the Swans, but the Saigon lads were clearing it from the bounces. This put pressure on our defence, but a hastily thrown together back line lead by Matt G at Centre Half Back and Eddie in the goal square did a great job. If the Geckos long bombs didn’t go through for a goal, these lads and their cohorts on the wings, “Thailand Tiger” Chris and Gaelic Bernard, propelled it into the forward line.

Fabbo was leading well from full forward and wrapping his strong plates of meat around the leather. A nice little toe poke from Scottie near the end of the second quarter saw MJ kms clear to dob an easy sausage roll and give us some hope going into the long break.

Half time scores were Gekkos 53 - Swans 37

The premiership quarter was highlighted by the emergence of our Rastafarian import. Naom was impassable on the Back Flank and won a number of free kicks by being first to the ball. The Damo twins were also putting their bodies on the line to clear the ball. This enabled Chris B and Matt W to find a bit of space in the forward line for some uncontested chest marks.

Unfortunately, our captain was unable to take the field for the second half due to a crippling shoulder injury and we missed his height in the ruck. We also failed to take advantage of the slight breeze blowing to the river end and fiddled around with the ball a bit too much. Unselfish play does not always create goals!

Phil Crouch at Centre Half Forward for the Geckos took a strong mark against the play, and against 3 opponents, and slotted one through on the siren as a steadier.

At three-quarter time, scores were Geckos 66 – Swans 51.

The final quarter was all Gekkos as their rugby training came to the fore. Their tackling and hard approach to the ball meant they kept things moving their way. Long kicks with the wind were rewarded with a few big goals for the Geckos, especially Jamie’s pick-up and goal from the centre bounce.

A positive aspect of the Swans last quarter was the introduction of our Vina member, Vu, who promptly found himself in the right place a few times. Where were you at the start of the game, mate?

Full time: Gekkos 99 – Swans 57.

Thanks heaps to the umps, Ashley from Ha Noi and Rob from HCMC, as well as to Landon for doing a great job preparing the RMIT “oval”.


Keen to get dirty in Hanoi? Come and have a run with the Hanoi Swans. for details

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