Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for October, 2008

Sam’s Say – Swans soak Warriors in the wet

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 28, 2008

Sam Grigg, in his first ever match as Coach of the Vietnam Swans, reports on last weekend’s victory to the Vietnam Swans over the Malysian Warriors at RMIT University, Saigon.

Arguably, Asian Footy's hairiest player, Vogels, the morning after...

When word floated across the South China Sea that the hairiest man in Asian football, Malaysian Warrior Nicolas Vogels, wouldn’t be making the trip to face the Swannies in Saigon, my confidence in outclassing Scotty Stacey as the Vietnam Swans coach took a hammering akin to the Aussie dollar last week. The Malaysian boys weren’t going to be nearly as hung-over facing us match day as what they would’ve had Vogels been leading the charge the previous night!

The recent relaying of the RMIT turf provided less than favorable ground conditions for the Linfox-Loscam Cup. A good few inches of monsoon water lay on the surface – more than enough for Captain Gus to stay at home for fear of getting dirty.

And while it may have been a hindrance to some, it wasn’t to the former Whitefriars school captain Mr. Phil Fabbo Johns who showed that age is merely a number, that grey hair is cool on the football field, and that if you’re told by the coach to mark the football, then you bloody well mark the football. Ya hearin’ me?

Arguably, Asian Footy's greyest player ever, Fabbo, catches a celebratory Jim Beam after "bloody well" taking marks for the coach

Be it a hang-over resulting from his hospitable (as opposed to hospital) efforts in drinking up a storm with the Malaysian boys on Friday night, or a sign of bigger and better things to come when most thought his best footy was behind him, the national president turned Saturday’s game on its head. It was awwwwwwwesome. 

Individuals aside, it was a fantastic team effort that saw the Swans come out on top by 7 goals, or possibly 6, as the Malaysian fullback would have you forcefully believe. From the coach’s standpoint, who was he to argue with a goal umpire far better looking than himself?   

Nathan was in sensational form racking up possessions at will and was clearly best on ground. From the boundary line you could see the determination in his eyes and the mud on his face, though the mud turned out to be nothing more than a dirty beard he’d been growing since Singapore.

Greg was good. Muzza was better but only because he was wearing the coach’s boots. Louie had a purple patch and for 5 minutes tore the game apart. Monky was strong out of the middle. Danny showed the young fellas how to play in wet. Derrin stood tall in defense. Larry got his first touch in what was his 6th game for the Bloods.  Big Joe got a kick but didn’t manage to kick it over the man on the mark. Shannon was more preoccupied with his girlfriend on the boundary line. Nick ‘tapped’ bottoms as only a true Xavier boy could. Jarrod didn’t win any friends. Rich preferred talking to the goal umpire (the other goal umpire that is). Paul, age will not weary them. Dave looked good in Malaysian colours. Damo was strong. Isaac went well for a Seppo. Johnny turned 27. Drew’s best moment was presenting the Linfox-Loscam Cup to himself as Captain. Scotty got dragged. Gus was a no-show but I think I’ve already mentioned that?

Special mention to Griz who not only put in a super effort on the field and was one of the Swans best, but also for his pains in travelling south of the DMZ as the sole representative of the Hanoi chapter.

Overall a sensational win by the Bloods to claim the Linfox-Loscam Cup. Many thanks to the Malaysian boys for coming across to play the Swannies in what was a hugely successful day both on and off the field. As to be expected, a great effort by the Swans hierarchy in organising the day’s proceedings.

Special mentions to Vietnam Swans’ stalwarts, Paul Koch and Dave Morton who offered to pull on jumpers for the Malaysian Warriors for the day. Also to Scott Stacey for umpiring in the first half. A particularly big thanks to the new sensation, Chris McNamara who played the pivotal role of Senior Field Umpire all day.

Shame we lost the boat race, but they owed us that much…

Coach Grigg (Wins 1, Losses 0)

Anyone with actual photos of the match is asked to email them to

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Swans take Linfox – Loscam Cup

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 26, 2008

The Vietnam Swans - in front against the Malaysian Warriors

Yesterday, on a water-logged RMIT University oval in Saigon, the Vietnam Swans recorded our first ever victory (in 4 matches) against the Malaysian Warriors to take the Linfox – Loscam Cup.

We’re still trying to find the Offcial Scorer, but the score was approximately 10 goals to the home side and 3 goals to the vistors.

More to follow.

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Historic Linfox – Loscam Cup tomorrow

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 24, 2008

Of our 25 players at the Malaysia match in Hanoi 2006, 6 still live in Vietnam and possibly two will play tomorrow!

Tomorrow at 2.15pm at RMIT University, Saigon, the ball will be bounced to kick off the 2nd - Cup between the Vietnam Swans and .

In August, we heard that the match between Vietnam and the HMAS ANZAC was “momentous” because it was an Australian warship playing a game of AFL in Vietnam.

Tomorrow will be historic because:

  • It will be the first ever - Cup to be played in Vietnam
  • Thanks to sponsorship, we will unveil for the very first time at RMIT some proper AFL goal posts (Scotty Stacey with the RMIT ground staff have lengthened the oval (!) to a respectable 120m (and 70m wide))
  • It will be Sam Grigg’s last match for the Swannies as a resident of Vietnam – albeit as our coach due to a broken foot.

The Linfox - Loscam match day banner

The Malaysians last toured Vietnam (Hanoi) back in 2006 and won in a good contest. In March of this year, we travelled to Malaysia and came back home licking our wounds. But tomorrow is a new day and there’s some quiet confidence in the Swans camp!

Special thanks to , Vietnam’s leading real estate search company, for designing the match day banner. Also, thanks to , 65 per cent owned by Nestle Water, for supplying the players with water on the day.

The Schedule

  • 7.30pm tonight at Cafe Latin – Welcome drinks with the Malaysian Warriors
  • 2.15pm tomorrow at RMIT Saigon – Ball is bounced to start the match
  • 7.30pm tomorrow at Bar No. 5 – Dinner and drinks with both teams

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The Caulfield Cup in Saigon

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 23, 2008

Serial Pest, Jeremy King, makes a reappearance – this time at the Sport of Kings

Last Saturday, we all went to the Saigon Races in celebration of the Caulfield Cup.

The National President of the Vietnam Swans, Phil Johns and ruckman, Johnny Gowing both made the Men’s Final for “Best Dressed” (see photo on far left). The President, wearing his Vietnam Swans hat, went on to actually win the event! It didn’t take long before he was surrounded by some mighty fine fillys.

Also in attendance on the day was Jeremy King (circled above). He is a Serial Pest. The Vietnam Swans haven’t seen him since he crashed our glamour shoot with Miss Australia.

It wasn’t long before the Serial Pest was causing trouble again. This time he claimed that the President was an unworthy winner. “One can view the photographic evidence and speculate as to the drunkenness, credibility and corruptibility of the judges! Murkysome!”, he said.

Tell yer story walkin’, Pal!

In other news, Phil Johns lost his hat on the same day. Coincidentally, one of the judges was seen leaving the racetrack at the end of the day proudly wearing a Vietnam Swans hat…

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Grand Final Welcome Speech

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 22, 2008

National President, Phil Johns, makes a rare speech

At the Vietnam Swans 2008 AFL Grand Final Party on 27 September in Saigon, the Swans National President delivered a short welcome speech. Below is an edited extract: 

In the 1989 Geelong Vs Hawthorn Grand Final, Yates cannoned into Brereton; Gary Ablett Snr crunched Dippers’ rib cage – and a 17 year old Nathan Buckley was part of the half time entertainment.

Fast forward 19 years to today. Gary Ablett’s son, Junior, is now a superstar in the Geelong team. Nathan Buckley has already played his entire football career. A whole football generation has come and gone between the Hawthorn-Geelong Grand Finals of 1989 and 2008. “Ah, luxury”, say the Vietnam Swans!

Due to an extremely transient player list, we get to experience generational change seemingly every 12 months! That’s why forming a National Club was so important as it allows us to draw players and support from two cities.

And it’s working. Earlier in the month, we travelled to Singapore to play in our 2nd Asian Championships. In July, we were effectively able to play an impromptu match in Lao because, with players from both cities, we were able to scrape together a team for those wanting to make the trip. While there, Dan Kindness from the Embassy in Hanoi floated the idea of the Vietnam Swans playing a match in Saigon against a visiting Australian naval ship, the HMAS ANZAC. Last month, that idea became reality. Thanks to Hanoi, the match and event in Saigon happened and was a significant success. The crew from HMAS ANZAC described it as a “momentous occasion”.

The Vietnam Swans have successfully held Grand Final Parties in Hanoi for many years. This year, today, we will hold our first in Saigon.

It’s an important development for us. We need to be actively associated with the premier sporting event of the football code that we play around Asia. The Grand Final also provides the Vietnam Swans with an opportunity to increase the exposure of our sponsors. It provides us with a platform to raise funds which subsidises the costs of playing footy – whether that’s paying the $1,000 registration fee to play in the Asian Championships, buying medical insurance for the players or buying goal posts. When visiting teams come to Vietnam, we provide buses for the visiting teams, pay for the hire of the ground, pay for promotional materials and often, for the medical personnel to attend.

Creating memories for Cam

Playing in regional competitions and international friendlies whether at home or abroad is vital. They are key building blocks designed to strengthen and develop the Vietnam Swans into a vibrant and dynamic Club. As a Club, we are creating:

  • Opportunities to play footy more regularly
  • Fitness opportunities
  • Socialising opportunities

If we’re doing these things properly, we’re effectively creating Bruce McAvaney-like “special memories” for those who are part of the unfolding story.

Rather than detracting from the story, the fact that we experience generational change every 12 months actually adds to it. We have ex Swans in far flung corners of the globe who continue to stay in contact with the Club. The Swans Blog is a key vehicle for communicating with current, former and future players and supporters. With 6,000 hits for the month of September, there is genuine interest in the Vietnam Swans.

Ladies and Gentlemen, for those of us in Hanoi and for those of us in Saigon, have a cracking Vietnam Swans 2008 AFL Grand Final Party!

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Malaysian Worriers turn Swans to Water

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 20, 2008

La Vie Water sponsors next match

Next Saturday, 25 October 2008, we will play the Malaysian Warriors for the  - Cup in Saigon.

The weather is hot in Saigon at the moment. Conditions will be tough for the players.

Enter !

Thanks to a multi-litre deal that was finalised this afternoon between the Vietnam Swans and , all players and officials will be properly hydrated during the Linfox – Loscam Cup. La Vie will be our Official Supplier of Water products.

La Vie is one of the strongest brands in Vietnam. Established in 1992, La Vie is 65 per cent owned by the world’s leading company in bottled water, Nestle Water.

The Vietnam Swans are very proud to have the sponsorship support of for Saturday’s match. The players from both Vietnam – and our visitors, the Malaysian Warriors – are extremely appreciative for La Vie’s support.

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The Linfox-Loscam Cup & two departures

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 19, 2008

Uncle Sam says - I need you to perform on Saturday!

With less than a week before the Linfox – Loscam Cup between Vietnam and Malaysia on 25 October 2008, the changes are coming thick and fast.

Our traditional umpire, Richard Beecher has declared himself unavailable to umpire citing a desire to play. Traditional Super Savvy Coach, Scotty Stacey has declared himeself unavailable to coach citing a desire to play.

Sam Grigg, whilst having a desire to play, cannot due to a broken foot. He didn’t break his foot after taking the screamer in the photo above, rather, a wayward motorcyclist found him on the footpath! Uncle Sam will be our coach and he needs all of us to perform at our best. If the Malaysian Worriers have done their homework, they will be worried. Sam’s already in winning form, having picked up the 4.5 Megalitre bottle of Jim Beam at the Vietnam Swans 2008 AFL Grand Final Party.

This will be Sam’s last match for Vietnam as a Vietnam-resident. He has received a well-earned promotion and will leave for Bangalore, India, in two weeks.

Unfortunately, Rhys the Mohawk, won’t receive his send-off at next week’s match. He had to return to Australia yesterday. Good luck with it all back in Oz, Rhys and keep flying the flag for the Swannies!

As always, the churn factor remains strong at the Vietnam Swans. But also as always, Go  you Swannies!

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

The Indochina Cup

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 19, 2008

Thailand Tigers' President Rhino still making big statements

The Indochina Cup, between Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand is scheduled for 22 November in Phnom Penh.

Earlier in the week, a rumour circulated that our booking for the oval at Phnom Penh’s International School would be bumped for another event. Although our booking is 95 per cent safe, Eggo is currently seeking absolute confirmation because, as he says, “there is no alternative to this ground as nothing is big enough – that hasn’t been cleared of landmines at least”.

Steering clear of the landmines sounds like a good idea.

The Thailand Tigers’ President, Rhino, has offered Bangkok as an alternative venue if required.

But he adds, “Ideally, we would love to go to Phnom Penh and assist getting footy buzzing in Cambodia. Look what we (Vietnam and Thailand) did for Laos. Got so much buzz that they beat both of us in Singapore (at the 2008 Asian Champs)”.

Saigon President of the Vietnam Swans, Scott Stacey replied that “Vietnam’s Party-endorsed official stance is that there was no Singapore”.

The Indochina Cup is going to be b-i-g.

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The race that stopped a training session

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 17, 2008

A day out at the Saigon races

We all know of the Melbourne Cup. It’s the Race that stops a nation.

Tomorrow is the Caulfield Cup. Less well known is the fact that it is the race that stops a Vietnam Swans training session in Saigon.

That’s right. There will be no training in Saigon tomorrow because we will celebrate the Caulfield Cup at the Saigon Races.

Click on the attached poster for all the details.

Given that the week after the Caulfield Cup, Vietnam will be playing Malaysia for the Linfox Loscam Cup, tomorrow’s training session has been rescheduled to Sunday 19 October. It will be held at Parkland Apartments in District 2 from 2.30pm.

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Shrinking World Surprises Swans

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 15, 2008

Peter Bossink at '07 Champs, Paris and le Jumper

Last Friday, ex Swan, Nico the Frencho, recorded a comment on the Blog…

Hello, i’m Nico, the French guy playing with Swans from April to July. I hope you remember me.

Thanks to have made me discover football, I’m now playing football in Paris, and I had a few trainings with Peter (Ed’s note: Peter Bossink played with the Vietnam Swans in last year’s Asian Champs) (2 Swans playing in Paris. How strange!!!).

Tomorrow (11 October), I’ll play footy European Championship, and of course I’ll think about you (Ed’s note, England won the competition and France came 6th out of 12 teams. See ).

Thank you for all and see you when i come back in Hanoi…

Great to hear from you, Nico and great stuff that you have kicked on with the footy and Peter Pierre.

Meanwhile, yesterday, the Blog received an email from Benjamin Hamon, the President of the Australian Football Team of the Montpellier Fire Sharks in the south of France!

He wrote: I really love the jumper of your National Team, so I just want to know if it’s possible to buy one (or two).

No worries at all, Benjamin – but how did you find out about the Vietnam Swans and our jumper?

I know that a French guy have play with you. He was with me at the EU Cup last week, and he show me your jumper. That’s why I want one now. (So) I’m waiting your answer about the shipping cost to confirm if I would like to proceed.

Thanks for your emails Benjamin and we will advise on the cost of postage.

For anyone else interested in purchasing a Vietnam Swans jumper, they are USD65 plus postage. Contact for more information.

Aussie Rules, the Vietnam Swans and the French Connection… As Peter Pierre told the Swans Blog back on 5 July 2008, Eat a baguette if you love footy.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Ed’s back on the air waves

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 14, 2008

Ed Smith pictured at the AFL CARE All Stars Match, Hanoi, 2006

Renowned surfer, Ed Smith, is back on the air waves. He used to live in Hanoi back in 2006 with Kate and was a key player in our match against the AFL CARE Australia All Stars.

Ed wrote to the Swans Blog on the weekend to say that he hopes to “catch up with the ol’ Vietnam Swans again some day.”

That doesn’t sound so encouraging for us.

But then Ed goes on: “Just got a job with AusAID which I start next Feb so you never know – we might get a posting to Vietnam and this time I have a new recruit – Little Meg”.

Ed, Katie and Little Meg – we hope you do make it back to Vietnam. It’d be gowwwwwwwwld!

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Jerry wins ticket; Swans suffer loss

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 12, 2008

Flight Center awards a free ticket to Hongkers

Jerry McMullen was smiling from ear to ear when the Managing Director of  (2 Huynh Thuc Khang, D1, HCMC), Ms Stella Pham, presented him with an air ticket to Hong Kong at the Swans Grand Final Party in Saigon.

Amazingly, Jerry has decided to use his ticket on the same weekend that Vietnam hosts an international against Malaysia on 25 October.

Surely, this is testimony to the unprecedented value of some of our raffle prizes.

Thank you . Enjoy your holiday, Jerry!

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