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Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for July 13th, 2007

A word from the President

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 13, 2007

(See postings below from Bobby Skilton and Clark Crackers Keating) 

To all of our friends

Thank you for supporting the Vietnam Swans as we are about to make our inaugural appearance at the Asian Championships.

We have 44 people joining us from Hanoi, Saigon, Laos, Cambodia, Tianjin (China), Singapore, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. We have received messages of support from some of the biggest names in football: Tony Morwood, Bobby Skilton and Clark Crackers Keating (see postings below). The Saigon Rugby Club has also sent us their best wishes.

We have enjoyed magnificent support from Jim Beam, M Gard, The Office and Jaspas – and all those people who supported our raffles.

Tomorrow is the culmination of a lot of hard work from a lot of people. We’re relishing the challenge and opportunity.

Updates on the blog (which has nearly had 4,000 hits) will occur – but sporadically. We’re hoping to have score updates during the actual day so that those who can’t be in Bangkok, will still feel part of it.

Thanks again.

Phil Johns

President Vietnam Swans 

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“It’s today! It’s now!” – Crackers tells Swans

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 13, 2007

Triple Premiership Player with the Brisbane Lions in 2001, 2002 and 2003, Clark Crackers Keating has written to the Vietnam Swans, not just to wish us luck – but to tell us what we need to be thinking and doing in the Champs.

Keating and a number of other AFL footballers visited Hanoi in October last year with CARE Australia to promote HIV/AIDS awareness. Together with tour leader, Marty Sharples from Laos, the CARE AFL All Stars dared to challenge the Hanoi Swans to a match. Afterwards, we all went to the Australian Embassy where Crackers gave us a speech about the Hanoi Swans in the 2007 Grand Final.

Fast forward 8 months: Yesterday, we received an email from Crackers about the Vietnam Swans in the 2007 Asian Champs… Click on the thumbnail below to read his email. The hairs will stand up on the back of your neck.





It was in October 2007 that the dozen AFL boys came to town with CARE Australia. If you would like to read more about what happened, take the link to that appeared on the CARE Australia website.

If you would like to find out what happened on 26 October at Dead Cat Stadium, read the attached email that was sent out the day after from Phil Johns. Read further and you’ll find an email from the President of Box Hill North who was, at that stage, setting up the Melbourne Park Dragons (footy club in Melbourne comprising predominantly Vietnamese players). And a bit after that, is an email from the Shellbourne Swans juniors who have good links with the Sydney Swans. Read the attached . It’s all good!


The Hanoi Swans Vs the CARE AFL All Stars (including Marty Sharples)

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Bobby Skilton says to Vietnam, “Give it your best shot!”

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 13, 2007

In the words of former Hanoi Swans President, Dary Taber, Bobby Skilton is arguably the greatest South/Sydney player ever – and he has now emailed the Vietnam Swans to wish us well (see below) at the Asian Championships this weekend.

“The Chimp” was a “fairly tidy” player playing 237 games for South Melbourne (now Sydney Swans) mostly in the 60s. During those games, he collected a lazy 3 Brownlow Medals (one of only 4 players to have won football’s most prestigious individual award 3 times), 8 Club Champions, Club’s Leading Goal Kicker 3 times, 25 hats as a State Representative and officially inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame. Oh yeah, he was also Club Captain from 1961 – 1971 and State Captain on two occasions.    


 Click on the thumbnail above to hear from the “Chimp” to the Swans re the Champs.

The Hanoi Swans are lucky enough to be on Bobby’s radar. When the photograph above was taken of Skilts on the MCG immediately after the Sydney Swans had won the 2005 Premiership, we decided to send Bobby the photograph, mounted. We weren’t sure what to expect – and then our President, Daryl Taber, received the following email:

Hi Daryl

I will do my best to say a very genuine thank you for both your email and the mounted photos. My wife thought that much of the shot of you guys with myself on the screen that it now sits neatly on the shelf behind the bar very close to what is now my pride and joy – a mini Premiership Cup that the Club recently sent to me. It is a replica of the real thing with the team on it; just sensational.

I think it is great to have a Bobby Skilton Bar and you may be sure that if either I or my boys manage to get to Hanoi at any time, you will certainly know and have us in the bar. 

All the best to all involved. Thank you once again.


Bobby Skilton

Mick Francis in the Bobby Skilton Room, HanoiBack in 2001, a guy called Rick Trewavas who was a mad keen Bloods supporter, seized the day when the Hanoi Swans were born and named the Club Rooms after his idol, Bobby Skilton. Mick Francis, in the side photo, will be touring to Bangkok this weekend with the Vietnam Swans.

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Two of the Biggest names in AFL Footy…

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 13, 2007

Who are the two Mega AFL names who are seein’ us?

We are just 20 minutes from finding out…

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