While Scotty Stacey contemplates his return to Australia, a nurse performs cosmetic surgery
The National President of the Vietnam Swans, Phil Johns, says a few words following Scotty Stacey’s departure from Vietnam last week. Scott was the coach of the Vietnam Swans as well as the Saigon President.
He was pacey. He was savvy. He was Scotty Stacey.
Scott and his family left Vietnam to return to Australia last week on Thursday 15 January. Barely, 24 hours later, a distressed Captain Gus could take no more and declared,
Scotty mate, we miss you already. HCMC feels empty. You have left a huge pair of thongs to fill and I am sure we won’t realise just how big until football season fails to start.
In 2003, when footy was reborn in Vietnam, Scotty was there playing for the Swans against Thailand and Hong Kong. Back then, the diminutive fella’s war cry to his team mates was, Just give it to the Little Guy. By the time of the Indochina Cup in November of last year, the number of his original team mates had dwindled to “just Gus” (others still in Vietnam from 2003 who weren’t able to play at the Indochina Cup are Willy, Potsy, Micky Francis and Travis Fennell).
Between the bookends of these two matches, the Little Guy has always had a big presence. When he wasn’t kicking goals on the field, he was making them. That’s right. Scotty made the Club’s AFL goal posts in both Hanoi and Saigon (the latter being sponsored by Pest Free).
The Little Guy played a major role in getting footy up again in Saigon – and stitching together a Vietnam Swans team that has proven to be a genuinely national team in both name and feel. With Scott travelling regularly between Hanoi and Saigon with work, he was able to facilitate communication and trust between the players in both cities so that when we met on match days, it already felt like we were part of the same national team.
Scotty at the Indochina Cup, Phnom Penh, Nov. 2008
Following the establishment of the national team, we debuted at our first ever Asian Champs in 2007 – a very significant milestone. The following year, we returned to the Asian Champs, played three other tournaments abroad (including the Indochina Cup), played three at home as well as a local derby. And we also organised our first ever AFL Grand Final Party in Saigon.
The Little Guy has a big knack for getting things done on multiple fronts – and refusing to be dictated to. By way of example, one night after a footy meeting at Cafe Latin, we climb into his car parked out on the street. As usual, Scott’s on the phone, he’s changing gears while vigorously turning the steering wheel trying to get his car out. A parking attendant comes over and taps on the window. Scott winds down the window to tell him to “Bugger off”. As he winds the window back up, resumes his work with the steering wheel and starts to drive off, he exclaims indignantly to me, “How can he charge me for a parking fee? I wasn’t legally parked!” – before returning to his phone call.
So, in terms of footy, he naturally became our “go-to” man for organising things. As well as being our Super Savvy Coach, he also organised t shirts, caps, footy committees, roles and responsibilities on tour etc – with ridiculous deadlines.
Some people make it happen, some people watch it happen and others ask, “What happened?”. As Gus says, the Little Guy has left a huge pair of thongs for the Vietnam Swans to fill.
The Vietnam Swans, past and present, thank Scott for all that he has done for the Club and wish him well back in Australia with his family.
To read Scott’s own farewell post on this Blog, click on Scott Stacey says farewell. It’s a great reminder of how important footy can be in Asia and more specifically, how important the Vietnam Swans Club is for many of us who are living in Vietnam.
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