Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

  • Grand Final Parties – 27th September

    Saigon, Hanoi, Hoi AnSeptember 27th, 2014
    Biggest and best Grand Final Parties across Vietnam
  • Asian Champs – 10th October – Clark, Philippines

    The Swans take on Asia's best. Season's key event where the Swans will take on the strongest teams in Asia including the Hong Kong Dragons, the Singapore Wombats, the Jakarta Bintangs, the China Reds, the Bali Geckos, The Cambodian Eagles, the Thai Thaigers, the Malaysian Warriors and the hosts, the Philippine Eagles.

Archive for September, 2009

Bruce McAvaney meets Angry Dave!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 30, 2009

Swans, "Angry Dave" meets Bruce McAvaney and family in Saigon

You can see a lot of unusual things in Vietnam that are, in fact, fairly normal.

Thongs on construction sites are the safety footwear of choice. Cows on the back of motorcycles are not unheard of. Workers doing maintenance work on bridges with their bamboo ladders planted in the middle of jam-packed roads without even as much as a witch’s hat for protection also happens.

Last night, after playing a sensational game against the HMAS DARWIN, Vietnam Swans’ backman, David Hadley, sauntered into the Al’frescos Restaurant still wearing his full footy kit and boots. A family of diners looked up in shock – clearly tourists, thought Dave.

It turned out that their shock was not so much that he was dressed in footy gear, but, that he was wearing his footy gear in Vietnam. It turned out that it was none other than the renowned football enyclopedia himself, Mr Bruce McAvaney, and his family, on holidays.

Apparently, Bruce was unaware of footy being played in Asia and as you could well imagine, he was genuinely excited to learn of its existence.

The Vietnam Swans statisticians are rumoured to be fearing a dreaded Bruce McAvaney audit as there’s a fair chance he will find some holes in our record books.

Apart from the state of our statistics, Bruce was impressed with all the things that were going on with the Vietnam Swans, according to Dave. Naturally, Bruce was sorry that he had missed the big clash against the Navy.

Great to see the McAvaneys here in Saigon and the Swannies wish them a great holiday for the rest of their time here in Vietnam.

And how did the McAvaneys enjoy their meal from Al’fresco’s (which supplied the food at the Navy Match a couple of hours earlier)?

“Delicious”, replied Bruce.

Posted in Navy | Leave a Comment »

Awwwwwwwwesome Breaking News

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 29, 2009


Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

Great crew on the Darwin. Swannies up in a keenly contested match. Players from both teams last seen heading in the direction of No. 5  Bar.

How good is playing footy in Asia?

More to follow.

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Vietnam Swans Vs HMAS DARWIN

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 29, 2009

Today's match: Vietnam Swans Vs HMAS DARWIN

Today, at 5pm out at RMIT University in District 7, HCMC, the Vietnam Swans will play a match against the crew from the Australian warship, HMAS DARWIN.

The Australian Consul General, Graeme Swift, will present the trophy to the winning team.

Food and drink, supplied by Alfresco’s, Jim Beam and Foster’s Lager shall be available for purchase at the ground.

Afterwards, we shall all migrate to the No. 5 Bar in Pasteur Street.

Honk yer horn if you love the footy!

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HMAS DARWIN arrives in Saigon

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 28, 2009

THE HMAS DARWIN berthed this morning in Saigon

Just two days after the Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Parties up and down the country, we’re up to our eyeballs in footy again!

This time it’s a new mission.

While other teams typically fly into Vietnam to play us, not so our next visitors. They take their footy so seriously that they’ve actually arrived in an Australian warship!

HMAS DARWIN berthed this morning in Saigon. We will play against her crew in a match at RMIT University in District 7 from 5pm tomorrow. All are welcome.

On Wednesday, five of the Vietnam Swans hierarchy have scored invitations from the HMAS DARWIN’s Commanding Officer, Cmdr. C.E.Smith CSM RAN to attend a cocktail reception aboard the ship.

The HMAS DARWIN is on a goodwill visit to HCMC

A local newspaper, – citing a statement from the Australian Consulate in HCMC, says that the ship will be here until Friday 2 October.

“The tour is expected to strengthen the goodwill and nation to nation ties between Australia and Vietnam through personal relationships established during the port visits,” according to the statement.

“The ship will arrive in the city with a total of 206 officers and crew aboard. The crew will meet with senior officers and sailors from the Vietnamese People’s Navy. The crew will also participate in a friendly sporting activity and play Australian football against the Vietnam Swans at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Ho Chi Minh City Campus.”

Honk yer horn if you love the footy.

Posted in Navy | Leave a Comment »

Grand Final Parties a big success

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 27, 2009

Swannie, Shannon, cheers for a St Kilda goal!

Yesterday, Geelong was triumphant over a gallant St Kilda in a classic Grand Final contest at Melbourne’s MCG.

In Saigon, more than 200 attended the Official Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Party in what was a fantastic day. People came from everywhere dressed in their St Kilda and Geelong colours. The Swannies turned up in our own footy jumpers and shirts from the Asian Champs.

The day started at 9am at the Cage – with a scare. The power went out for half the building! No music to greet people as they arrived. Then the coupons for the players for the Norm Smith Medallist competition just disappeared. Aaaaargh!!!

After a 5 minute panic, the power came on and the coupons were found. All good again.

People kept filing in through the door and began hooking into breakfast and washing it down with a Foster’s frosty.

"Oh my Gawd!"

Derrin Limbrick, Saigon President, was the occasion’s MC and did an outstanding job interviewing tourists, tossing miniature footies into the crowd, getting people to go outside to play the Jim Beam handball competition. National President Phil Johns gave a quick review of the Swannies previous 12 months which then led into a pictorial review on the big screen set to the music of “Excalibur” which had been prepared by Bill Crang. Outstanding.

Then it was the telecast of the big match. Plenty of action on the field. Plenty of action at the Cage.

There were plenty of pies, supplied by Crumbs Bakery, that made you realise that this was a real footy event.

After the match the auctions were held. A signed Hawthorn jumper fetched $350. The Sydney Swans-signed footy picked up $520 and a further $500 was picked up for the Sydney Swans jumper. A Vietnam Housewares bundle of goods secured $150. And a packet of Tim Tams?? $80 – and that’s USD we’re talking! Meanwhile, a hat signed by Vietnam Swans player, Nick Shiell and worn by auctioneer, Matty Townsend sold for just over $100!! Staggering.

Then the Monster Raffle was drawn. And what a raffle. Details of winners coming soon.

Also, details of what happened in Hanoi, Hoi An and Hue coming soon.


Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Monster Raffles at Grand Final parties

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 25, 2009

Flight Travel offers two return economy air tickets from HCMC to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur or Singapore

Flight Travel is offering two return economy air tickets from HCMC to Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur or Singapore at the HCMC event

It’s on from 9am tomorrow morning!! The Official Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An and HCMC!

In Hanoi and HCMC, the gates open at 9am. Given the telecast starts at 10.30am, the Swannies will bounce the ball right on 9am. Could be worth queuing up in the car park from 5am to ensure you get a good seat when the doors open…

Hanoi:  Tickets are being sold at JASPAS, Level 4 Hanoi Towers for just $30. Tomorrow, at the door, the price will be $35.

In HCMC / Saigon, California Wow Gymnasium will give away 7 gym visits for each of the first 150 entrants. And, there's 3 one-month memberships to be won!

HCMC: Tickets can be bought today for 600,000VND at Australia’s leading bank, the Commonwealth Bank, at 65 Nguyen Du Street. Ask for Pauline. Tomorrow it all happens at the Cage, 3A Ton Duc Thang Street, D1.

Hoi An and Hue: Entry is free.

For full details of all events, click here.

Special thanks to our very generous sponsors.

Tomorrow, across the country, it will be a cracker.

Will St Kilda Builda Dynasty??? Come along tomorrow and find out from 9am!

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2009 AFL Grand Final venues

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 25, 2009

Left: Jaspas in Hanoi. Right: The Cage in Saigon

Left: JASPAS - tried n trusted. Right: The Cage - the BIG debut.

Tomorrow, it’s on… The Official Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi and Saigon.

On the left, we have the tried and trusted venue of JASPAS in Hanoi on Level 4, Hanoi Towers, 49 Hai Ba Trung Street.

On the right in Saigon / HCMC, we have the CAGE which will make it’s debut as a Grand Final Venue. It’s located at 3A Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1.

In Hanoi, tickets can be bought at JASPAS.

In Saigon, tickets can be bought at the at 65 Nguyen Du Street, District 1 (ask for Pauline).

For all other details re the Grand Final Parties, click here.

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It’s Grand Final time…

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 22, 2009

The Herald Sun in the lead up to the 2005 Grand Final reports on the then Hanoi Swans and Micky Francis

On 23 September 2005, Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper ran a story about the then Hanoi Swans in the lead up to the cracking Sydney Swans Vs West Coast Grand Final. The article records a great piece of history for the Hanoi Swans.

You may not think Bobby Skilton and Vietnam’s Hanoi Hilton prison have much in common.

But when the ball is first bounced in tomorrow’s Grand Final, cheers will go up in the Bobby Skilton Room at the former North Vietnam war prison as members of the Hanoi Swans Football Club urge on their beloved Bloods.

The Triple Brownlow medalist’s name is above the door at a five star bar (JASPAS, still the home of the Vietnam Swans Grand Final Party in Hanoi) on the site of the old jail.

In 2003, a group of expats in Vietnam revived the defunct Hanoi Hawks Aussie Rules team. They renamed them the Swans and adopted the red and white jumper.

Michael Francis, brother of former Richmond and Collingwood player, Matthew, is the heart and soul of the Hanoi Swans.

The Hanoi Swans celebrate with the Sydney Swans after the latter got up against West Coast in a classic, doggedly hanging on to win 58 to 54

Even though he’s a Carlton tragic, he introduced the Bobby Skilton Trophy for the 2003 tri nations series in Hanoi between the Swans, Hong Kong Dragons and eventual winners, Thailand Tigers, that re established Australian footy in communist Vietnam.

With a tournament motto of “Hanoi footy: took Marx, got hammered and sickled”, the Swans raised the Aussie Rules flag on bamboo goal posts after a last minute search for a ground. “With 48 hours to go until the rebirth of Aussie Rules in Hanoi (and Vietnam), we didn’t have an oval”, Francis said.

“We ended up going to a Japanese industrial park outside Hanoi and asking a young Vietnamese bloke in the management office if we could use the soccer ground.

“Bugger me, the first thing this young bloke said was, “Are you sure it’s big enough for Australian football? It’s nothing like the MCG”.

“Turns out he’d studied in Melbourne and had been to a few games. So we were saved and since then, we haven’t looked back.

“The blokes are busy selling tickets for the Bobby Skilton Room on Saturday to raise money for the revenge trip to Bangkok to take on those fluky Tigers.”

Bobby Skilton and the Hanoi Swans

History went on to record that on that last Saturday in September in 2005, it was the Sydney Swans who were to triumph. They beat the West Coast Eagles by just 4 points.

The great photo to the left with Bobby Skilton going onto the MCG after the match was forwarded to the great man.

Mr Skilton, himself, then wrote to the then Hanoi Swans Pres, Daryl Taber and said:

Hi Daryl

Phil Johns has probably told you that I am not too good at this e-mail caper. Even so I will do my best to say a very genuine thank you for both your e-mail 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 and my name 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

It’s Grand Final time and rest assured, you’re not the only one getting goose bumps. For details on the Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Parties being held in Saigon, Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An, click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Grand Final Day Banner unveiled

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 22, 2009

The Vietnam Swans Grand Final Day Banner in Saigon

Today, the artwork for the Official Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Party in Saigon was unveiled. And she’s a cracker!

And we have some great sponsors kicking in some great prizes in Saigon. Unless you’re Gary Ablett, winning an AFL Brownlow usually requires an ounce of luck. However, with our monster raffles and other competitions on Grand Final Day in Saigon, it’s debatable just how much luck will be required. Just have a look at the sensational prizes below:

Saigon Prizes and “In Kind” Sponsors

  • –  2 x 2 nights’ weekend accommodation, inc breakfast; 2 x Dinner for 2 @ Parkview Restaurant
  • – 2 x 1 nights’ weekend accommodation in deluxe room, inc breakfast; 2 x 2 Dim Sum all-you-can-eat @ Kabin Restaurant
  • – Cabin for 2 passengers including all meals
  • 2 x 4 day passes to Australia’s best touring car race
  • 1 nights’ accommodation for 2, inc breakfast
  • 2 rounds of golf, including golf carts
  • 2 x Return Airtickets (choice of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok)
  • 1 x Dinner for 2 @ Signature Restaurant
  • 1 x Buffet Lunch for 2
  • Kangaroo Indochine Wines        Wine and one aged bottle of Buller’s Port
  • Family First Aid Kit
  • Vietnam Housewares                   3 baskets of homewares

Saigon Cash & In Kind Sponsors

  • Foster’s Beer
  • Crumbs Pies, Saigon
  • LED Suitcase

Saigon Auctions

  • x 1 footy jumper signed by team
  • x 1 footy jumper signed by team

The Vietnam Swans National Sponsors

For further information on the Grand Final Parties including ticketing information for Saigon, Hanoi, Hue and Hoi An, click here. More information on Hanoi’s Grand Final Cyclo Parade for Thursday night coming.

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Drew says farewell for the first time

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 20, 2009

Last Friday in Saigon, Drew held a farewell party for himself.

Given his farewell footy tour to Jakarta will not be held until the very end of next month, the Swans Blog suspects that Big Drew may be making a big tilt at the record for the highest number of farewells ever for a Vietnam Swan.

It will be a big challenge for Drew. Dave Kainey had 32 official farewells – and still hasn’t really left. DT Daryl Taber had 26, Scotty Stacey 19. Gus McEwin is a slightly different animal. While we prepared a farewell banner for him back in April for the ANZAC Day match, he’s still well and truly stuck in HCMC!

So, if anyone is concerned that Big Drew Holywood doesn’t appear in the photo above, don’t. There will be plenty more opportunities to grab the big fella at a future farewell.

Posted in Farewell | Leave a Comment »

A Message from the Saigon Prez

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 18, 2009

Saigon President, Derrin Limbrick addresses the troops:

Gents, what a big couple of weeks we have coming up.  A great time to be involved in footy and even greater if your team is still running around in the AFL finals series.


First cab of the rank is training this weekend.  Like I always say, please do what you can to get to training.  The more guys we get down the better for everyone.  Plus with last week and next week off due to the Grand Final, this will be the last chance to get in a run before the upcoming match against the visiting HMAS Darwin.  More about that later.  Training is at the usual time of 2 30 at the RMIT.  See you there.

Training Singlets

Just when you thought that it was never going to happen, the training singlets have arrived.  So if you get down at training tomorrow you will be the proud owner of a Vietnam Swans 2009 Training Singlet*.  We are all going to be looking the goods from now on boys and I read somewhere that can make us all better footy players……

*note to Fabbo, I think that there is a photo opportunity here mate.


Guys, for those that don’t know or who don’t listen.  We are soon to be saying our farewells to one of the Vietnam Swans favorite sons, Drew Franklin (aka Hollywood #2).  Drew has been a dedicated coach for the Swans for the last 2 years and we are all certainly all very grateful for your efforts.   Your skills as a coach and a player will be sorely missed.  As will your boots.   Drew has arrange for some farewell drinks tonight at Cantina Central after 7 pm.  See you all there.

The Official Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Party, Saigon

Gents, now is the time to get on board.  Ticket, Tickets get your Tickets now!  The streets of Saigon are buzzing about the hottest event on the 2009 Calendar.  The Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Party.  Tickets can be picked up from me a training tomorrow or from me, Fabbo, Jo Armstrong, Shagger, the Cage or Phatties.  Get on board guys, make sure you pick some tickets up and sell them this week.   Lets make this Huge!

HMAS Darwin

As if the weekend beforehand is not big enough.  We are lucky enough to have arranged a match against the visiting Australian Naval Ship, HMAS Darwin.  The match will be on the Tuesday 29th kicking off at 5 pm.  It will be a fantastic event.  There are going to be around 200 crew attending the event along with dignitaries from the Australian Consulate and Embassy.  Not to be missed.  Make sure your at training this weekend to stake your place in the team!

We will have a BBQ, plus refreshments from Fosters and Jim Beam on the night.  Plus I might have even been able to secure us a cheerleading squad for the match.  Can’t do better than that boys.   Tell your partners, tell your mates to get on down to RMIT for the game.  After match venue still to come.

For the AFL tonight, Phatties is showing the game on the big screen with the sound up.  If anyone is going there tonight to watch it can you please make it know to any guys watching the game that tickets are available through Johnny.

See you all tonight for a beer a Drew’s farewell?

Caarn the Saints!

Ya hearin me!

Derrin Limbrick, Saigon President
Vietnam Swans, 0907944879

Footnote: For further information on the Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Parties in Saigon and Hanoi, as well as associated events in Hoi An and Hue, click here.

Posted in Farewell | Leave a Comment »

Poster unveiled for Vietnam Swans Grand Final Party in Hanoi

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 18, 2009

The poster for the Vietnam Swans Hanoi Grand Final Party

The poster for the Vietnam Swans Hanoi Grand Final Party

To the left is the promotional poster for the Official Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Party in Hanoi.

Tickets are now on sale at JASPAS, level 4, Hanoi Towers, 49 Hai Ba Trung Street, Hanoi for $30. If you buy your ticket at the door on Grand Final Day, the price will be $35 – so, the moral of the story is to go and buy your ticket now. Then you will be locked in for breakfast, lunch, Tiger Beer, Jasparitas, prizes, raffles, competitions etc.

Some of the great prizes on offer include a stay at the Life Resort in Hoi An, sumptuous meals at the Green Mango Restaurant, vouchers from Jaspas etc.

Click here to see all the details of all the Grand final events across Vietnam. They will be held in Hanoi, Hue, Hoi An and Saigon.

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