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Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for November, 2009

Thailand Tigers win Indochina Cup

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 29, 2009

The Thailand Tigers have won the Indochina Cup beating both the Lao Eelephants and the Vietnam Swans.

The Vietnam Swans were runners up beating the Lao Elephants.

More to follow. Read the rest of this entry »

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3rd Indochina Cup – Tomorrow

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 27, 2009

Vietnam Swans National President, Phil Johns, sends out an update 24 hours before the 3rd Indochina Cup kicks off in Bangkok.

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

Stop Press: Indochina Cup Draw announced!!

  • Game 1 – Lao Elephants Vs Vietnam Swans
    Game 2 – Thailand Tigers Vs Lao Elephants
    Game 3 – Thailand Tigers Vs Vietnam Swans

The 3rd Annual Indochina Cup, Bangkok, 28 November 2009

Sam Grigg goes for the mark in the inaugural Indochina Cup in Hanoi, November 2007

Remember the inaugural Indochina Cup back in Hanoi in November 2007 between the Thailand Tigers, the Lao Elephants and the newly formed Vietnam Swans – which Thailand ultimately won?

Former Hanoi Swans President, Daryl Taber wrote in his column, Taber Talk:

It was a weekend of milestones; the international debut of the Lao Elephants (with 5 Irish lads who they picked up at the airport!), the first combined footy/netball Tri Nations Cup in Vietnam,` Rooster’s appearance in his 18th international guernsey Fish’s final appearance as the Thailand Tigers’ Coach and we raised $280 for charity as part of the Mo-Vember campaign.

It was also Daryl’s farewell match for the Swannies.

In 2008, the Tri Nations Cup was rebadged as the Indochina Cup and was played in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, between the Cambodian Kangas, Thailand, Lao (eventual winners) and the Swannies. It was a massive send off for Saigon President of the Swannies, Scotty Stacey. In the post match report, then Captain Gus McEwin wrote the following:

Match Day was a beautiful sunny day of about 40 degrees in the shade… A cracking tour which will go down in history as one of our best.

Tomorrow, we will play in the 3rd Annual Indochina Cup in Bangkok. The Swannies shall front against the Thailand Tigers (who we played in the ANZAC Day Match earlier in the year) and the Lao Elephants (who we played in the Craig Senger Tribute Match earlier in the year). Further, Saigon’s newly formed Saigon Shooters’ Netball Team will take on Thailand’s and Lao’s netball teams.

But the big question is, having lost Club Giants Taber and Stacey in the two previous Indochina Cups, will the Vietnam Swans Farewell Club lose anyone else at this year’s Cup? No! In fact, for one match only, we welcome back Scott Beasley (Saigon, 2007-2008), Rhys Stephens (Saigon, 2008) and Paul Schwerdt (on and off in Hanoi for the past couple of years).

Rabbit Season has already started for the Fine Master, Matt Townsend

Meanwhile, one day out from the official commencement of the weekend, Rabbit Season has already started. “Elmer Fudd”, Fines Master, Matt Townsend is already rumoured to be very interested in reviewing one particular incident. Derrin (Saigon President) and Fleur (Saigon Committee Member and Derrin’s fiancee) were scheduled to fly to Bangkok tonight. Alas, they found out yesterday that Fleur had actually booked the morning flight meaning that both will take an unscheduled day off work. Derrin’s response?

She’s had a shocker.

Indochina Cup 2009 – Bring it on!

LoretoFest 09, Saigon 28 November 2009

If you’re not coming to Bangkok, , the Saigon International Music Festival will be held tomorrow, Saturday 28 November, 2009, at RMIT University, D7 from 2pm – 11pm. Great music and all money raised goes to the Loreto Foundation.

Coming Up

Swannies End of Season Christmas BBQ, 12 December 2009, District 2 Saigon

The Swannies in Saigon will host an End of Season Christmas BBQ for all players, sponsors and supporters. Partners and children are most welcome. To confirm your attendance, email the Vietnam Swans by 5 December 2009.

Vietnam Swans Cricket Day, Melbourne

The 2nd Annual Vietnam Swans Cricket Day will be held in Melbourne at the MCG on Day 3 (28 December) of the Boxing Day Test Match. To confirm your attendance, email the Vietnam Swans

Vietnam Swans Golf Day, Melbourne

The 5th Annual Vietnam Swans Golf Day shall be held in Melbourne at the Royal Ivanhoe Golf Links on 29 December (Day 4 of the Boxing Day Test Match). The following people have already confirmed:

  • Michael Growder (Hanoi, 2004 – 2007)
  • Dave Kainey(Hanoi 2003 – 2005)
  • Micky Francis (Hanoi, Since Forever – Current)
  • Ryan Jeffrey (Hanoi, 2003 – 2004)
  • Travis Fennell (Hanoi, Since forever – Current)
  • Greg Armstrong (Saigon, 2007 – 2009)
  • Phil Johns (Hanoi/Saigon 2004 – Current)
  • Micky Johnston (Hanoi 2004 – Current)

To confirm your attendance, email the Vietnam Swans

Honk yer horn if you love the footy!

Posted in Farewell | Leave a Comment »

Loreto’s Sunrise Special School opens

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 24, 2009

David Hadley with Loreto's Program Coordinator, Trish Franklin

This morning, Vietnam Swan, David “Angry” Hadley, attended the official  opening of Sunrise Special School in Saigon. See David’s report below.

It was with great pleasure that I accepted an invitation from Trish Franklin, head of , to attend the opening of the new Binh Minh special school.  I had already learnt of the fantastic accomplishments that Loreto has achieved in supporting and assisting children who are disadvantaged, poor and disabled in Vietnam and was looking forward to being a part of this celebratory day.  I arrived to the sounds of a large brass band and could feel the anticipation and excitement in the air.

These singers are dressed to impress in the traditional ao dai dress

The formalities were broken up with the children dancing to an array of Vietnamese themes, playing music and providing other entertainment.  Non performing students were cheekily watching proceedings from the overhead balconies.  There was much pride and happiness in all of the speeches and you could see waves of emotion flooding Trish as she explained what this school means to the children.

When the formal part of the morning was finished, we all went on a tour of the school.  The facilities and layout of this new school really blew me away.  The library, music room and special rooms for deaf and blind children were just some of the highlights.  Other specialty rooms showcased how the children will go onto learn skills that they can use in the workforce.

The classrooms are well fitted out

I enjoyed having a few moments with Trish after the ceremony to discuss the new school.  The planning started in 2007 and the building started 8 months ago.  Trish would visit the school on a weekly basis throughout the construction, marvelling at how quickly and brilliantly the “palace” was taking shape.

Thank you Trish and Loreto Vietnam for inviting me to the opening.  I was deeply humbled and in awe of what has been achieved.  I will definately be taking up the offer to come back in six months time when the school is well established.

This Saturday, 28 November, (the Saigon International Music Festival) will be playing at RMIT University, District 7, Saigon. It starts at 2pm and doesn’t finish until 11pm. “Along with the awesome musical entertainment for this year’s event, there will also be an extensive array of kid’s activities including games and toys set up by Smart Kids; pony rides; face painting; 6-aside football; a climbing wall and so much more!”

So, get down to Loretofest and help raise much needed funds for Loreto’s next project.  The main focus of this project is to provide everyday schooling for children and to target poor schools in District 9.  Please email for further information about , including sponsorship opportunities.

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Next Weekend’s Indochina Cup

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 24, 2009

Ex Richmond player, the Flea, Dale Weightman will do the draw for next weekend's Indochina Cup as well as conduct an auction.

Next weekend, the Indochina Cup will be played in Bangkok between the Thailand Tigers, Lao Elephants and Vietnam Swans. Below is the update on organisational issues provided by Thailand Tigers President, Teagy.


We have booked a 50 seat bus for the Vietnam Swans and a 20 seat bus for the Laos Elephants. Both buses will pick up the teams @ the Ambassador Hotel at 11.15am and depart @ 11.30am and the drive to the ground will take around 1 hour each way.

Hotel Address:
Ambassador Hotel Bangkok
171, Sukhumvit Soi 11,
Bangkok, 10110, Thailand

Ground Address:
Bangkok Patana School (football ground)
2/38 Soi LaSalle (Sukumvit 105)
Bangna Bangkok

Game Schedule:

Each game will have 2 x 20 minute halves & 10 minutes for half time which totals 50 mins for each game with 20 minutes between each game. We will start the first game at 1.30pm and should be done by 4.30pm for presentations.

  • Team 1 v Team 2 @ 1.30pm
  • Team 3 v Team 1 @ 2.10pm
  • Team 2 V Team 3 @ 3.20pm

(The Draw will be done by “the Flea” on Wednesday evening, 25 November, 2009.)

4.30pm presentations (No final needed)


We would like 4 volunteers from each team to do the Boundary & Goal umpiring when they are not playing a game.

We also need a Field Umpire to assist Howard Noble for the 3 games so if anyone has good knowledge of the game and is not playing can they let us know ASAP.

Saturday Night @ the Australian Pub (opposite The Ambassador Hotel)

From 7.30pm onwards you can wander across the road to The Australian Pub for a Sausage Roll & Pie night. At 9pm ex Richmond Footballer Dale Weightman (the Flea) will be auctioning AFL Club merchandise and more with all after expense proceeds going to charity.

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Give sport a chance, says Demitriou

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 22, 2009

AFL Chief Executive, Andrew Demitriou

Last week, the much anticipated Crawford Report, or the Independent Sport Report was released in Australia.

wrote, “While the report did not recommend any cuts to elite sports funding, it took issue with the Australian Olympic Committee’s (AOC) quest to reclaim ‘top five’ status on the medal count at the 2012 London Olympics. As an example, it highlighted that archery – an Olympic sport – received more Government funds than cricket, which has more than 100 times the number of participants.”

AFL Chief Executive, Andrew Demitriou, a strong supporter of the Report, wrote an article in today’s “Age” newspaper titled, . Below is an edited extract:

The respect that the report shows for community volunteers and the important role they play should be applauded… It’s often the passion and the energy of volunteers that ensure sport plays an important community role beyond the pool or oval. It brings people together, not just to strive to win – but to share.

For an example of the impact of a community sporting club, look no further than the Kinglake Football and Netball Club which rose out of the ashes this year (after the Black Saturday bushfires).

…Despite the devastation to the town, it was important that the football club play on. That wasn’t necessarily about winning a premiership… but it was about uniting the community. Bringing people together to celebrate the game, to laugh, cry, talk, support each other and to share their grief and their desire to live through it.

People from across the community were able to join together – not just the netballers and footballers but also the supporters, family and friends.

…Footballers and netballers found themselves playing a leadership role in the community. In some ways that reflects the emphasis that Australians place on sport.

That is the power of sport – the power to strive to be the best of the best, the power to inspire but also the power to know that sport in itself is not the be-all and end-all. It is what it can do for the community, whether at a national or local level, that is important.

The Vietnam Swans are also staunch supporters and believers of the role of sport in the community. Recognising that it is usually the sporting clubs that are the lifeblood of local communities, the Vietnam Swans responded accordingly in the wake of the Black Saturday fires:

On 28 March this year, with the generous support of sponsors, more than USD3,000 was raised for the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football and Netball League (which includes Kinglake). The following day, a Tribute Match was played between the Vietnam Swans and the Bali Geckos as a gesture of support from “Asian Footy” for the fire-devastated communities.

The Vietnam Swans in Saigon are also actively supporting the establishment of the Saigon Shooters Netball Club. We have loaned the Shooters money to purchase their playing uniforms and they will also travel with the Swans to Bangkok next weekend to play in a netball tournament.

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Ex AFL-er visits the Swans in Saigon

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 20, 2009

Dave Hadley, talks about what it's like to be a Swannie and what it was like when an ex AFLer took training in Saigon a fortnight ago

Vietnam Swan, David Hadley, talks about what it was like to have the Ex Essendon Bomber, Tim O’Shannassy visit the Swans in Saigon and take training for a session a fortnight ago:

There is always something you are assured of when playing for the Vietnam Swans.  There is always something very special around the corner.

When I reflect on my first season with the Swans after the IndoChina Cup at the end of November 2009, my memories will be awash with such plentiful memories.

There was the blockbuster moments such as playing on Anzac Day in Thailand in front of Aussie Diggers after a moving Dawn Service.  Then there were the games that raised money for charities and disasters both in Australia and Asia.

Every game ends up being special for its own reason.  Just last month, playing in Jakarta, it was revealed that the Swans were the first team to travel to the disaster-hit capital city for a game this since the bombings.  It humbled me immensely to hear and see what a “silly” game of football meant to the president and players of the Jakarta Bintangs.

Last Saturday at football training, the Vietnam Swans were privy to another special moment, when Tim O’Shannassy came down to train the team.  Tim is an ex-AFL football player for the Essendon Bombers and was very excited that a Vietnam team is currently playing against other asian teams.  To have a coach of Tim’s experience meant a lot to the players who trained that day.

Tim took us back to basics.  How to position your weight over the ball when kicking, how to handball properly and how to use your body in one on one situations.  Football basics are something the Vietnam Swans always need.

Whilst there are a vast majority of Australian expats in the team, there are three regular players that come from other countries.  Then there are a myriad of other nationalities that come down to training from time to time.  I spoke to Max Robinson from California after training and he was as equally impressed.  Max noted that he now understood the fundamentals better and could use that training as the foundation to learn the game better.

Tim also could see the different levels of skills the team had.  He would point out the advanced players very early on and make them try more advanced skills, like spinning the ball correctly in a handball.  He picked certain players out during the drills to point out what they could do better.  Tim saw skills in players that no one else had seen and tried to bring them to the surface.  Looking around at the faces of the players, I could tell we all knew we were experiencing something very unique.

On behalf of the Vietnam Swans, thanks for providing us with another special moment Tim, in a year that has already had so many.  Next time you are in town, we would love for you to coach us at training again.

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Swannies appear in Flight Travel’s newsletter

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 17, 2009

Flight Travel awards a free ticket to a lucky winner at the Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Party in Saigon

has recently sent out its monthly newsletter with a photo of the Vietnam Swans 2009 AFL Grand Final Party in Saigon.

Flight Travel, of course, was a sponsor of our event giving away two return air tickets to either Singapore, Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok.

If you’re looking for a travel agency in Saigon, try at 2 Huynh Thuc Khanh Street, District 1, behind Sunwah Tower.

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Willy’s Miss-fortune

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 15, 2009

The Vietnam Swans' Miss Australia Universe (Laura Dundovic), ex AFL footballer Marty Pask and Leslie Jones

Laura Dundovic, the 2008 Miss Universe Australia who is perhaps , has been seen dating former AFL footballer, (formerly engaged to swimmer, Leslie Jones).

The on 4 November quoted former Essendon player, Rick Olarenshaw who said:

“Pask met a lady on Derby Day and she used to have a Miss in front of her name. Ever since they met, they’ve hardly been a minute apart.”

Clearly, the Swannies have had a big impact on Laura. When she Swanned into our camp in June of last year, she feigned disinterest in footy. She claimed that she was into the soccer. Not only did she go on and do teh photo shoot with us, she’s now hooked up with an AFL-er, no doubt, talking non-stop about the time she met the Swannies.

Willy, coach of the north and a big fan of Miss Australia, will probably be devastated that she has found Marty – his Miss-fortune in some respects. But, if Laura is passionate about footballers, that can only be good for football, the Swannies and ultimately, Willy.

Honk yer horn if you love the footy.

Honk! Honk!

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Photos of the Kainey Cup

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 14, 2009

The Vietnam Swans have just received the first grainy photos from the Kainey Cup in which we farewelled Drew Franklin and Patrick Stringer (Patrick was a last minute scratching and was not able to make the tour). The match was played against the Jakarta Bintangs on 31 October 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Click on the photos to enlarge, or go to the to see all the photos.

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Big Day Out & the Vietnam Swans in HCMC

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 12, 2009

The Vietnam Swans shall run the Auskick program as part of Auscham's Big Day Out celebrations on 30 January 2010

The Vietnam Swans will run Auskick sessions as part of Auscham’s Big Day Out celebrations in HCMC on 30 January 2010 – and tickets are on sale now!

The Auskick sessions will follow on nicely from the good work being done by the Swannies in Hanoi as part of Australia Education International’s Fun Australia 2009 campaign.

For those buying tickets now, you will enjoy significant savings. Adult tickets bought now are priced at 550,000VND (630,000VND at the door) and for children, it will be 220,000VND (270,000VND at the door).

The Big Day Out promises to be a fantastic event with the Auskick, other sports and activities; great food and beverage outlets and then, it will all culminate with live entertainment – band & DJ – late into the night! Bring it on!

For full details, please contact .

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Auskick in Hanoi again

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 9, 2009

Stanno takes the Auskick boys for a kick as part of Fun Australia 2009

Willy, the Coach from the North, has written in with an update from Saturday’s Auskick session which is being run as part of Australia Education International’s Fun Australia 2009 campaign.

Here are a few photos of the all the action from the Fun Aussie Day.

MJ, Dan, Liam (Paddy’s little fella), and Stanno all came along to help out. Once again, the Vietnamese students were enthusiastic, keen to learn all about some different aspects of AFL and, above all else, get involved in having some fun.

Every Vietnam Swan that has ventured out has been super impressed with the student’s efforts. As Stanno commented whilst playing in the internal scratch match; “I backed off a little to give the young fella some room and then bang, he hit the after-burners and was gone!!”

AWESOME stuff…

To see some updated photos of Auskick at Fun Australia 2009, check out the .

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Jakarta Vs Vietnam match report

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 7, 2009

Grand Final "pin up boy" and Swannies Captain, Monkey, writes the match report.

Swans Captain, Danny Monk, writes the match report for last weekend’s clash in Jakarta for the Kainey Cup against the Jakarta Bintangs. The “Monkey” fails to refer to himself in the match report – that says more about the selfless Captain’s modesty than his on field performance on the day.

Big stakes were on offer against Jakarta last weekend. If the Kainey Cup wasn’t enough to get the blood flowing, Big Drew’s Final send off (as a resident) had the select group of travelling Swannies pumped for the b-i-g occasion:

“You can’t trade in Experience”, was Drew’s message – and we had plenty of it: Rooster, Fabbo and Flyer had a fat book of tricks up forward and were only too willing to give the large crowd of Indonesian Auskickers a free footballing lesson.

Angry Dave and the Mr President of Saigon, Derrin, took young first gamer ‘Max’ and the rest of the backline under their collective wing and got angry together.

The midfielders often hidden in the Shadow of the Big Man, Drew, were keen to feed off his scraps for one last time. Heath’s first tour and first time away from the wife in about 5 years resembled a Pit Bull terrier just let off the chain and he wanted to eat some footy or anyone that stood in his way.

There were some terrific efforts in the first half. Class oozed from Smooth Louis and Boomer Van der Meer and Fabbo’s sticky fingers produced a quality contested grab which he professionally banged through the big sticks.

Rooster was in everything and as usual often left a trail of destruction in his wake. Flyer capitalized on this and swooped on a loose ball to give the big sticks a small fright while our (Lao) Elephant Import, Langas, had himself and his nose in absolutely everything that went near him.

Gus, the Spiritual Leader of the Club, was once again busting his well groomed 6 pack and constantly floated the idea of getting himself forward. Persistence will get the Birdman where he belongs soon, Gus.

Gerry, free from his American ‘Seponess’ was getting his hands on the ball at will on the wing and it was impossible to wipe the smile from Max’s face after being buried in the turf from a gang of Bintangs but then getting his own back. Angry Dave just simmered across half back eyeing that centre square.

Big Drew, the little bloke in the photo, moments before he left Saigon's No. 5 Bar last Thursday, bound for the airport and Australia.

The 2nd half saw the rain come and the game slip away from the Swans. Heath when not wiping blood from his open wounds continued his fine form and was not ‘arguably’ the BOG, he simply was! Louis chipped in with a couple of awesome goals and Boomers Barrel in the wet had the Indonesian Auskickers reaching for their autograph books.

The effort by everyone involved could not be questioned and we all walk away from the game with that little bit more experience that cannot be traded in!

Thanks Drew for leading the way for so long and you’ve left some massive lime green boots to fill!

(Special thanks to Chris Batchelor (former Hanoian, now living in Jakarta) for lending a sneaker after an unfortunate blow out and our Indonesian Auskick graduates who added some much needed speed to our experienced team!)

Posted in BOG | 4 Comments »


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