Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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    Saigon, Hanoi, Hoi AnSeptember 27th, 2014
    Biggest and best Grand Final Parties across Vietnam
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Archive for July, 2009

The Craig Senger Indonesia Memorial Fund

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 31, 2009

The email sent out by AusCham

AusCham has just sent the email below to its members and the Australian community re the Craig Senger Indonesia Memorial Fund and next weekend’s tribute match between the Vietnam Swans and Lao Elephants.

To Members and the Australian Community,

It is with great sadness that Austrade lost one of their colleagues and friends, Trade Commissioner, Mr Craig Senger in the recent bombings in Jakarta. For those who knew Craig, he was the ultimate professional, dedicated and passionate about his job but also an extremely generous and warm guy who touched many he worked with.

To recognise the positive impact Craig had in his life on others, his wife Kate has set up the Craig Senger Indonesia Memorial Fund with the assistance of Westpac Bank. The Fund has been established to receive donations from the public in commemoration of Craig’s life. I understand that the Fund will support one or more charities in Indonesia, depending on the amount of contributions received. It also provides a means by which grieving friends, colleagues and members of the public can make donations, in lieu of flowers, at the funeral and the memorial service.

Craig was close to the Austrade team here having recently visited Vietnam for a mining mission in May and he was also involved in Australian Rules Footy playing for the Jakarta Bintangs. To help celebrate Craig’s life, the Vietnam Swans will play a memorial match against the Lao Elephants on Saturday 8th August in Hanoi honouring Craig and other victims of the Jakarta Bombings.

Austrade would like to support the Craig Senger Indonesia Memorial Fund by holding a raffle in conjunction with the Vietnam Swans vs. Lao Elephant’s memorial match in Hanoi on Saturday;

Prizes so far include;

  • 2 x Return Domestic Jetstar Flights anywhere within Vietnam.
  • A CBA VND bank account at CBA’s HCMC branch amounting to VND equivalent of USD200
  • 2 x Cases of Australian Wine
  • 1 x 4.5 L bottle of Jim Beam
  • Books signed by Authors close to Craig; LA 911 by Senior Trade Commissioner Tony Burchill and The Airport Economist, by Austrade’s Chief Economist, Tim Harcourt
  • 1 x Dozen Frozen Pies from Culi Café in Hanoi

Tickets are 100,000VND each and will be drawn at the Vietnam Swan’s After Match Party at Jafa’s in Hanoi at 6pm on Saturday 8th August with all proceeds going to the Craig Senger Indonesia Memorial Fund. Winners who cannot attend will be notified the following week by details provided on ticket.  Please contact if you have other prizes you wish to donate or if you would like to buy some tickets in support of the fund.

In HCMC, tickets can be bought at Austrade, 5th Floor, 5B Ton Duc Thang St, D1 and will also be sold at AusCham’s coming Tim Harcourt luncheon on Thursday 6th August.

In Hanoi tickets can be purchased through , both at the Embassy and at the upcoming Tim Harcourt luncheon through AusCham on Friday 7th August, or through the Vietnam Swan’s at Jaspa’s Hanoi on Friday night or at the Aussie Rules Game on Saturday August 8th.

For details and registration for AusCham’s Tim Harcourt events in Hanoi and HCMC please contact Khanh Phuong at .

For further details on the Vietnam Swans v Lao Elephants memorial match contact

Kind regards

The AusCham Team

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National President’s Update

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 30, 2009

Read all about it!

Last Monday, the Vietnam Swans National President sent out the email below:

Dear Swannies and supporters:

Vietnam Swans V Lao Elephants Tribute Match, 8 August, Hanoi

On 17 July, two bombs ripped through two hotels in Jakarta killing nine and injuring scores more. One of those killed was Craig Senger, the Austrade Commissioner. Craig was also heavily involved with the Jakarta Bintangs Aussie Rules Club. The Vietnam Swans enjoy a very close relationship with the Jakarta Bintangs (it was only on 28 May that we played Jakarta for the “Kainey Cup” in Hanoi).

During the week, the Vietnam Swans and Lao Elephants, after consulting with the Jakarta Bintangs, announced that our next match, scheduled for 8 August in Hanoi, will be dedicated to Craig, the other victims of the Jakarta bombings and their families.

All players and spectators shall observe a minute’s silence prior to the match. Players shall wear black armbands.

The Jakarta Bintangs have expressed “Many thanks to Vietnam and Laos for thinking of Craig.”

Asian Champs, 5 September 2009, Kuala Lumpur

12 countries, including the Vietnam Swans, competing for Asian Footy’s Holy Grail…


Venues for the Official Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi and Saigon, 26 September

The Vietnam Swans have confirmed the following venues for our AFL Grand Final Parties on 26 September:

  • Hanoi – JASPAS, Hanoi Towers. Tried. Trusted. Treasured.
  • Saigon – The Cage, Ton Duc Thang Street, D1. Direct from the MCG and into the Cage for you!

More details coming soon…

There are a lot of exciting things happening in Footy around Asia at the moment – but that excitement is tempered by the Jakarta Bintang’s recent loss. The excitement is also tempered by the fact that, for some directly associated with our Club, they have lost a colleague, a boss and a mate.

It is a great privilege for the Vietnam Swans and the Lao Elephants to be able to offer our footy match as a vehicle to remember those who fell on 17 July.

While a footy match is incomparable with the scale of the loss, “a little is something”.

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It’s nice to be important

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 29, 2009

They say that it’s nice to be important but it’s important to be nice.

The Swannies try to focus on the bigger picture, but sometimes it’s just chookin’ funny to see some good ol’ Aussie humour basically, just takin’ the pi*s. Classic VB advertisement.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Lao Elephants eye the “Commie Cup”

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 28, 2009

There's no "I" in team - and no left eye for this poor Lao Elephant

Preparations for a match day banner for the match between the Vietnam Swans and the Lao Elephants are currently underway. We asked the Elephants for a high resolution logo – and they forwarded us the logo on the left.

Acting Lao President, Mr Adam wrote in his email today:

Attached is the logo. Unfortunately, it only has one eye. We’ve been unable to locate the two-eyed version for some time…

Ah well. At least the one-eyed elephant should be able to easily see the Swannies army of one-eyed supporters.

However, before we laugh to loudly at the Elephants (it’s a schoolboy error to ridicule a one-eyed cornered animal), they did see Willy last week (see previous story). Adam continued,

(When) Willy (was here), he filled us full of confidence about coming away with the Commie Cup, so we were more than happy to have him down. Let’s hope the rest of your team lacks hamstrings.

Game on!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Eavesdropping on Elephants

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 27, 2009

This photo of the Lao Elephants was captured just last week

Last week, Swans veteran, Mr Willy dropped into Lao – and a training session with the Lao Elephants! Read below to find out all the intelligence. Critical reading for any self respecting coach given the Swannies will play the Elephants on 8 August in Hanoi.

“i have just returned from laos tonight and managed to sneak into an elephants train’n session. yes, once again under cover as a dodgey, slow hammie riddled swannie. actually, i guess there is noth’n under cover bout that as it pretty much sums up me footy nowadays..

“mov’n right along: the laos elephants are train’n twice a week, look pretty damn fit and like their competitive work. three of the blokes even after an internal then rode their bikes (pushies that is) some considerable distance to a watering hole. i have attached a photo for you. so the word needs to go out onto the streets, that this laos game is gonna be a ripper. at least fourteen of the boys are making the effort to travel to hanoi from the phants so it is an absolute must that all swannies, both from north and south, make their best efforts to get involved with this game!!

“as always, go you swannies!!”

Also, as always, Willy writes in his own inimitable style! The Blog just keeps lovin’ Willy’s work.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

The Hoi An match report

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 25, 2009

The Emu Parade - or is that Brown's cows? - looking for foreign objects prior to the start of play

Last weekend, the Vietnam Swans from Hanoi and Saigon met up in Hoi An (central Vietnam) for a match. Below is the match report prepared by Damo (who ended up playing for the Rest of the World).

Hoi An Highlights:

The town of Hoi An was buzzing with excitement in eager expectation for the Vietnam Swans North-South Clash on the 18th July and the chance to get a glimpse of the “super supreme, with extra cheese” bodies of their favorite AFL athletes.

Departure in Saigon got off in its usual organized style. Gus was definitely the most eager player having booked his ticket to fly 24 hours before he arrived at the airport… Woops! Rob defied the law of Saigon traffic and made it from the Airport to Binh Thanh and back on a passport run in less than 1 hour during a thunderstorm on a Honda Cub 50. He made it back with minutes to spare, albeit a little wetter for the experience.

Players arriving at the team accommodation were a little blown away by the serenity of the 4-Star Life Resort – although none to my knowledge opted for the early morning yoga and meditation courses or were seen walking around in loose fitting linen. The high thread count sheets, open spaces in the tastefully decorated villas did seem out of place compared with the plastic sheets, dark alleys etc of the usual Swannies’ tour accommodation options. Nonetheless they (combined with the notable absence of some unnamed Hanoian Hooligans) ensured plentiful rest on the eve for the monumental clash the following day.

As is common with Asian footy, match time was set for the hottest possible hour on the hardest possible ground. Unfortunately the grounds-men were on holidays so after some debate as to whether or not the ground condition would add to the experience, an emu walk was arranged to clear the field of broken ceramic shards and other souvenirs which now hold pride of place on Niko’s bookshelf. Poor Niko is trying to fill the empty shelf space he had reserved for the BOG trophies which Monkey has gone on to win! The cows on location were given some encouragement but failed to mow the grass on the flanks below knee level. But the game had to go on before it got too cool and the arthritic joints started to freeze up.

The north were well… dismally represented only by quantity not by quality. Although the unstoppable Mickey J, “The Banker” Tony and “The General” Trav were oozing with confidence, the sides were set according to bloodlines and birthrights with the Vics V the Rest of the World and only 1 man on the bench. This proved to be a great idea with very even matchups of, say, “Big man” Drew against Jerry “The Quiet American” who nimbly weaved past the far reaching clutches on at least one occasion. The World side was loaded with first-time Swannies like Andrew “Mr Rugby” who, thrown in the deep, did a mighty job including dive tackles against his poor teammate Matt whilst Phil the “Silver Fox”, up to his old tricks, just danced between them (well after the 7th minute of play). In addition to the usual crowd there were a few guest appearances by Three Mast Sam (Sam is currently crewing on a three mast yacht) who made One Mast Paul’s  ego quiver when comparing boat sizes (Paul’s company Corsair Marine builds one-mast yachts).

Control of the game ended up securely in the Vic’s hands led by local talent Lucas. His solid debut performance driving and clearing out of the centre (make sure you make the Asian Champs) fed by Danny and Drew in the ruck who took turns against Damo who did his best to weather the storm. Trav definitely made an impact when he switched sides (!) at half time but even he couldn’t save the World and was surprised to have someone “out arse” him on at least one contested mark. Evan “The Enigma” actually does remember how to play after threatening to train for the last 6 months. He showed some nice one-two father-son combinations. The lack of training meant he couldn’t hack the blinding pace of Nick!

As far as I know the injury list was short, Just me! Special note to Chris. I am on the record as being sorry for sending your face to the FV-ER (French Vietnam Hospital’s Emergency Response Unit) last week. I honestly didn’t realize I was the offender until beers that evening. But you didn’t have to pay Big Drew off to break my ribs. You would have beat me in the Triathalon anyway…

On Sunday afternoon, a number of the guys attended the recovery session at the magnificent Montgomerie Links driving range

As the game drew to a close, all minds were on the beach for a bit of chilling before the evening’s festivities. And what happened that evening… well, all I can say is that what goes on tour stays on tour.

As always Football was the winner and I feel sorry for the blokes that didn’t make the trip.

Special thanks to Gus for coming up with the idea of the Hoi An match and delegating the organization to Trav and Micky J who did all the work. Also thanks to Kylie for being a magnificent field umpire and to Sam, Peter and Paul who were passing through Hoi An and were then conscripted to join us for the match as players.

Special thanks to for giving us a great recovery session at their new driving range on the Sunday.

Photos of the actual match coming soon!

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Swans and Elephants announce tribute match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 23, 2009

From this to this in the blink of an eye.

In light of the recent tragedy in Jakarta, the Vietnam Swans and Lao Elephants have announced that the match on 8 August in Hanoi will double as a tribute to Jakarta Bintang, Craig Senger, and the other victims of the Jakarta bombings.

Prior to the match, all players and spectators shall observe a minute’s silence and all players shall wear black armbands.

The Australian Ambassador to Vietnam and a number of Austrade staff shall be in attendance at the match.

It was only in May of this year that the Jakarta Bintangs were in Hanoi playing the Vietnam Swans for the Kainey Cup – named after Bintang Legend and Swans President, Dave Kainey.

Just a few short months later, on the same ground, the Vietnam Swans and Lao Elephants shall pay tribute to a fallen Bintang, 8 other innocents and 50 injured.

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The Vietnam Swans send the Indonesian Consul General a message of support

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 22, 2009

The Indonesian Consul General to HCMC receives a club shirt from the Vietnam Swans President after the Black Saturday Bushfire Match in March

On Friday of last week, two bombs exploded at two hotels in Jakarta.

On 7 February of this year, Australia suffered its worst ever natural disaster – Black Saturday. The Indonesian Government provided forensic support to help identify burnt victims. They also provided funding to rebuild schools.

The Indonesian Consul General, Bapak Sunarmin, presented the trophy to the winning team in the Black Saturday Bushfire Match in March of this year. Below, Swans President Phil Johns writes to the Consul General following last week’s deadly attack in Jakarta.

Dear Bapak Sunarmin

It is with great sadness that the Vietnam Swans read about Friday’s deadly bombings in Jakarta.

The Vietnam Swans would like to convey our condolences to the families of the victims.

Our thoughts are with the Indonesians and other nationalities who have been affected by this terrible tragedy.


Phil Johns

National President,Vietnam Swans

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Jakarta bombings and Jakarta Bintangs

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 20, 2009

The sun sets on a tragic day in Jakarta for the Bintangs and many others

. Nine people were killed and another 50 were injured. One of the victims was the Austrade Commissioner, Craig Senger, who also played for the Jakarta Bintangs.

Below is a copy of two emails that the Vietnam Swans President, Phil Johns, sent to the President of the Jakarta Bintangs and fellow Swannies.

Dear Swannies

We have just finished a sensational weekend in Hoi An where the Vics beat the Rest of the World. We had players from Hanoi and Saigon as well as a number of tourists. A number of us commented how good Asian footy is at bringing people together.

On Friday, the Jakarta Bintangs tragically lost Craig Senger in the hotel bombings. Craig was also the Austrade Commissioner in Jakarta.

I have emailed the Bintang’s President to pass on the Vietnam Swans condolences. I have also emailed the Indonesian Consul General who presented the trophy at our Black Saturday Bushfire match in March when we played Bali.

Let’s keep playing footy.

From: Vietnam Swans [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Sunday, July 19, 2009 8:58 PM
To: President Jakarta Bintangs
Subject: Condolences re Craig Senger

Dear Tim

Dave Kainey forwarded your email to me regarding Friday’s shocking news about Craig Senger.

On behalf of the Vietnam Swans, I would like to pass on our condolences to the Jakarta Bintangs and Craig’s family.

Across Asia, footy brings people together. In Indonesia, the Jakarta Bintangs have taken it to a new level using Auskick and your junior development programs to bring the Indonesian and Australian communities closer together. The manner of Craig’s death is therefore particularly tragic.

Of course, if there is anything that the Vietnam Swans can do, please let us know.


Phil Johns
National President, Vietnam Swans

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Gus gets the eye but Willy gets the pen

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 16, 2009

While Miss Australia gave Gus the eye last year, it is Willy (pictured middle and right) who she penned a comment for on the Swans Blog yesterday

You may recall that Willy is arguably the Vietnam Swans most prolific producer of erudite commentary on this website. Last week, in response to the news that Miss Australia had written to the Vietnam Swans, Willy said:

ahhhhhh, laura it has been waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long since we mere mortals heard from you.. when i come to think of it, i reckon the blog should have a different article on laura, ala ms vietnam swans of the decade, every day. picture compulsory

now that surely is one of me better ideas..

Yesterday, Miss Australia, Laura Dundovic, was so moved by Willy’s comments that she also posted a comment on our Blog:

Thank you for the comment Willy! Good luck with the season guys! Lovely catching up with you again! xx.

Separately, Miss Australia advised that she wears our footy jumper to the local gym (perhaps a timely reminder to a few flabby Swans players that the way to stay No. 1 is to train like you’re No. 2). Inevitably, the Swans have therefore requested photographic proof – to which Laura replied:

I’ll take a pic when I get the chance and send it through. Love to see it on the site!

She then added:

It’s good to see you guys (at the Vietnam Swans) are promoting our amazing country. If you need any help let me know.

The mighty Miss Laura continues to be an awesome friend for the Swannies. Willy is right to sing her praises.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Domestic Derby promoted in Hue

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 15, 2009

Hendo and Fabbo promote this weekend's Domestic Derby outside Micky Francis' just-opened Backpacker's Hostel in Hue

This weekend’s footy match between the North and the South in Hoi An is being promoted all around the country.

Last night, Club President, Fabbo dropped in to Hue to check out efforts at the just opened Hue Backpackers Hostel.

The Hostel carries no less than 6 promotional posters on the ground floor. Unprecedented publicity you may think.

But, it’s not really surprising. The Hostel is owned by Hanoi’s very own Mr Football, Mr Mick Francis (and Max). The Hue Backpackers’ Hostel is managed by Hendo who made his debut for the Swannies against Thailand in this year’s ANZAC Day clash.

If you’re looking for backpacker accommodation in either Hanoi or now, Hue, get on board. Check out their for full details.

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Swannies spread the word in Mui Ne

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 12, 2009

Nick and Shag in Mui Ne

Last week, Shannon and Nick missed footy training in Saigon. The Swans Blog has received the following message from Shannon:

Just so you know, when me and Nick aren’t at training, we’re still pushing the Swannies’ message – here’s us spreading the gospel with a kick-to-kick in Mui Ne – followed by me getting my arse kicked with their kind of footy.

All good.

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