Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for February, 2010

Swans enter Hanoi Fun Run

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 28, 2010

L to R: Back row, Aiden, MJ, Willy, Ryan, Dan K; Front row, Caitlin, Jordan

This morning the Swannies in Hanoi were hard at it in a 10km fun run.

Dan Kindness, the North’s fitness coach, completed it in 50 minutes. Aidan did it in 46 minutes, Big Ryan in 48 mins, Caitlin in 62 and Jordyn in 68 minutes.

If you’re wondering about MJ’s and Willy’s times, well, you’re not alone. Dan didn’t have that information.

Meanwhile, down south, Gus and Angry Dave are both competing in today’s Madagui Triathlon.

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Stop Press: Buckley and O’Donnell to visit Saigon

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 26, 2010

Nathan Buckley and Gary O'Donnell to visit Saigon

In breaking news, the Australian Consulate in Saigon has just forwarded the following email through to the Vietnam Swans:

Good morning Swannies

I’ve just received news about the upcoming football visit, tour, AFL extravaganza.

This morning’s phone call was to confirm that the trip will be going ahead.

The advice was that the Swannies should get themselves fit and ready for a clinic with Nathan Buckley and Gary O’Donnell on Sunday 14th March.

I believe the venue, kids etc is up to the Swans.

More to follow.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

A Lao update on 2010’s first international

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 24, 2010

The Lao Elephants new home ground in Vientiane, Lao

As you may be aware, the Vietnam Swans will kick off our 2010 campaign with a match against the stomping Lao Elephants in Vientiane on 20 March 2010.

Elephants’ Prez, Langas, has sent through the attached photo to give us an idea – and an appreciation – of the high standard of facilities that they enjoy over there.

Langas says,

Thanks to (last year’s)  SE Asian games, the facilities in Vientiane have improved – well, not so much for Lao Elephants training runs but true for potential games.  There’s a real possibility of not requiring a pre-match ‘emu bob’. Almost unheard of in SE Asia!

Just look at that surface…

Langas, we’ll give you the tip: it’s not ‘unheard of’ for the Swannies to be hearin’ the Elephants. Stomp, stomp, stomp!

PS Lao visas are available on arrival with USD 30 and 1 passport sized photograph.

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2010 The Swannie’s first update

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 23, 2010

Read all about it!

The Vietnam Swans National President, Phil “Fabbo” Johns sends out the season’s first global email. Read on!

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

In the Vietnamese New Year, well may we welcome the Year of the Tiger, because nothing will save them from the Year of the Swannie!

2010 is shaping up to be another big year and we are hoping to make a couple of big announcements very soon. However, during the interim, please see below for an update on the Swannies Calendar:

1. Lao Elephants Vs Vietnam Swans
2. ANZAC Weekend, Vung Tau
3. Footy tipping comp and Supercoach
4. Training in Hanoi and Saigon resumes this week
5. Big Day Out recap
6. Making the news
7. National Sponsors

"Well may we welcome the Year of the Tiger, because nothing will save them from the Year of the Swannie!" Gough Whitlam, February 2010

1. Lao Elephants Vs Vietnam Swans

The Vietnam Swans first match for Season 2010 will be played against the Lao Elephants on 20 March in the land locked country of Vientiane, Lao.

2. ANZAC Weekend, Vung Tau

It is official. We will play a football match in Vung Tau (near Saigon) on ANZAC Weekend. The match will be played between Hanoi and Saigon at the Vung Tau Greyhound Racing Track on Saturday 24 April. The following morning, there will be the opportunity to attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Long Tan. We will return to Vung Tau for breakfast, watch the Dawn Service from Gallipoli on the Australian Network and then watch the Collingwood-Essendon match live from the MCG (before catching the ferry back to Saigon).

The first ever footy match in Vietnam was played by an Australian regiment in 1966 and then again in 1969, 1970 and 1971 (click here for full details from Wikipedia). If anyone knows the contact details of anyone associated with any of these matches, could you please forward to me.

More to follow.

3. Footy tipping comp and Supercoach

The Vietnam Swans AFL footy tipping comp is about to kick off for season 2010. It’s easy to play. Check here for full details.

If picking winners is too easy, you may want to get involved in all the detail and the strategy. If that sounds like you, you need to sign up for Supercoach.

Full details on these two Swannies Comps can be found here.

4. Training in Hanoi and Saigon resumes this week

This week, the Vietnam Swans resume training after the TET Lunar New Year holidays in both Hanoi and Saigon.

Hanoi -     Thursday nights starting at 6pm: Gym session at the Australian Embassy
Saturday afternoons at 1.45pm: Real footy training with Tommy Sherrin at the UN International School

Saigon –     Saturday afternoons: 2.30 – 4pm at RMIT University

5. Big Day Out recap

On 30 January, the Vietnam Swans ran Auskick Sessions at Auscham’s Big Day Out in Saigon. The Saigon Shooters also ran some netball clinics. It was a great success (see photos below).

On display, we had a certificate of appreciation from the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football League thanking the Vietnam Swans and broader community for the money raised last year in support of the victims of the Black Saturday Bushfires. Also, for the first time, we had the Phoenix Perpetual Cup on display. It was donated to the Vietnam Swans by the Captain of the Australian Naval Ship, HMAS DARWIN. This trophy is played for each time an Australian ship visits Vietnam.

6. Making the news

Would you believe that last year, the Swannies appeared in publications such as the Bangkok Post, the Melbourne “Age”, Vietnam News, the Jakarta Globe, the Sydney Swans AFL Website, the Australian Embassy’s website, the Saigon Times and WA Today  – as well as appearing on a Saigon television station’s program? To see the full list and to read their stories, click here.

7. National Sponsors

Thanks very much again to the Vietnam Swans National Sponsors:

  • – Jumper Sponsor. Transport logistics.
  • – Jumper Sponsor. Keep your premises clear of pests.
  • – Jumper Sponsor. JB, just the best bourbon.
  • – Jumper Sponsor. Fly me there cheaply!
  • – Travel Bag Sponsor. Now in Vietnam.
  • – Shorts Sponsor. All your accounting needs answered.
  • – Training singlets. We can shift you anywhere.
  • - Medical provider. Giving the community peace of mind.
  • – Graphic Design. Vietnam’s on line real estate portal.
  • – Stubby holder sponsor. Performance trimarans and catamarans

Can’t get enough of a Swannies’ footy fix? Not surprised. Log onto for more.

Beginning, middle and end of the day, we’re all honkin’ our horns for one reason: we love the footy.

All good!

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Vietnam Swans in the Press in 2009

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 22, 2010

The Bangkok Post preview's last year's ANZAC Day match between the Thailand Tigers and Vietnam Swans

The Swannies Blog has just compiled a list of articles (and one TV show) that the Vietnam Swans appeared in during 2009. The links to these articles are listed below.

To see articles from earlier years, click either here, or the “Press” tab at the top of the page.

14. December, , HTV7 Saigon TV. Vietnam Swans player, Dave Hadley, appears on the Saigon TV program, Smiling Vietnam.

13. 1 November, , Jakarta Globe. A review of the match between the Jakarta Bintangs and Vietnam Swans.

12. 29 September, , Saigon Times. An article about the visiting Australian naval ship, HMAS Darwin and a preview of the match against the Vietnam Swans.

11. 25 September, The Age. Tim Harcourt, Austrade’s Airport Economist, describes the diverse role Aussie Rules plays around the world. Reference is also made to the Vietnam Swans.

10. 22 September, , Australian Embassy’s website. An article about the visiting Australian naval ship, HMAS Darwin and a preview of the match against the Vietnam Swans.

9. 28 August, , WA Today (Fairfax). The Vietnam Swans and Lao Elephants played a tribute match to Jakarta Bintang player, Craig Senger and others, who died in the Jakarta bombings.

8. 4 August, , World Footy News.

7. 22 June, , Official AFL Website of the Sydney Swans. Looks at the ANZAC Day match against Thailand.

6. 2 May, , Bangkok Post. The newspaper reports on our ANZAC Day clash.

5. 23 April, , Bangkok Post. A preview of the Anzac Day clash.

4. 9 April, , Yarra Valley Football League Website. The Yarra Valley Football League thank those who organised and supported our Black Saturday fundraiser.

3. 31 March, , Vietnam News.

2. 27 March,  (Saigon Businessman’s Weekly) magazine. The article interviews the Vietnam Swans Committee Member, Greg Armstrong (Vietnamese article)

1. 27 March, , Thanh Nhien Daily. Vietnam Swans National President, Phil Johns, explains why it was important to support those affected by Black Saturday.

Posted in Fundraiser | 1 Comment »

Vietnam’s TET Lunar New Year

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 20, 2010

It's the Year of the Tiger. Saigon's Nguyen Hue St, closed to vehicular traffic during TET

Last week, Vietnam shut down to welcome in the TET Lunar New Year and the Year of the Tiger.

As you can see from the photo above, Saigon’s main street through the CBD, Nguyen Hue (see ) was shut down to vehicular traffic and returned to the people.

Throngs of Vietnamese, each evening, would come to Nguyen Hue to see the decorations which even included a rice field over the top of the bitumen.

But, the week of fresh air and blue sky is coming to an end. It’s back to business as usual on Monday. All the factories and offices will reopen.

And so too for the Swannies. In Hanoi we will be back to the gym on Thursday night at the Australian Embassy and UNIS on Saturday afternoon to kick the pill. In Saigon, the boys can expect a few tight hammies after next Saturday’s first training session since the Indochina Cup on 29 November last year! Talk about a slack attack!

Off the field, the Swannies have been busy in terms of preparation for some mega events in 2010. More to follow.

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Footy in Vietnam during the War

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 18, 2010

Footy. Good times bringing people together

With the recent decision by the Vietnam Swans to play a footy match in Vung Tau on ANZAC Weekend, 24 April 2010, it is a fitting time to remind ourselves of the footy’s earliest years in Vietnam. The unedited passages below, have been taken from .

Australian rules football was first played in Vietnam during the .

A match was played in May 1966 between members of the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment.

A social game was organised in 1969 by Captain Bill McMahon of , a former and footballer, “Diggers” vs “The Rest” which was played with Vietnamese soldiers in August at the headquarters of the Free World Military Assistance Organisation.

In 1971, Australian Force Vietnam (AFV) and 110 Signal Squadron played a match in organised by Private Conboy of a previous member of Under 19s squad.

There was at least one contest between 110 Signal Squadron and 104 Signal Squadron in 1970, one being played at a police or army academy at the sea-side village of Vung Tau and a little later another between the based units of 104 Signal Squadron and 106 Field Workshops on a pretty rough ground at the Reinforcement Wing at the Dat.

Lance Corporal Ian Granland of 104 Signal Squadron organised a game of Australian Football at Nui Dat in 1970. There weren’t too many grounds of a suitable size on which the game could be played, but luckily it was learned that there was one within the Task Force Area in the area of 1 Australian Reinforcement Unit.

Lance corporal Geoff Morris and Granland did a recce and located the ground. It was big enough for Australian Football and it even had posts erected but the grass literally ranged from 20 cm to 1m in height. That meant that it would have to be cut!

In the meantime Granland organised a game against 106 Field Workshops.

Next job was to locate a slasher. Word of mouth informed the two that 105 Field Battery had an old Massey Ferguson Tractor with which they used to tow their guns around, plus a slasher.

Permission to use it for mowing the ground was given. Morris became the driver and the machine was driven over to the field and he began driving it round and round. He got the grass down reasonably short but certainly not bowling green stuff however good enough. The mowing had to be done the day before the game because any earlier and the grass would have grown significantly enough to require another cut.

This was pre centre square and 50m arcs so a hand mower was used for the goal squares, centre circle and boundary.

Lance Corporal Granland umpired the game.

The players turned up in their Land Rovers and trucks. What jumpers they wore is till a mystery but it certainly wasn’t ‘skins v shirts’. There were players of all ages, size and shape and some bloody good footballers amongst them too. A photograph of this game would be a gem today.

104 Signal Squardron won the game. The umpire copped a bit of abuse from the opposition but that was par for the course. It was in the days of the one central umpire.

The out of bounds on the full rule had only just been introduced and of course it was applied. Some of the older heads were not too happy but recognized that it had become a law of the game. Many of the blokes who had probably been pretty fair footballers in their youth but now in their late thirties or so they were no match for youth and speed. Some of these tried to slow the youngsters down by wacking them but the umpire was on top of that.

There was no function after the match or anything, just back to the units. But, it was a good relief because obviously everyone who played etc. just loved the game.

If anybody knows of the whereabouts of any of these footballers from the Vietnam / American War era, please email now.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

2010 ANZAC Weekend match in Vung Tau

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 17, 2010

Hanoi Coach Willy and National Prez, Fabbo, lay a Vietnam Swans wreath at the 2009 ANZAC Day Service in Kanchanaburi, Thailand

A commemorative football match will be played in Vung Tau (1.5 hrs ferry ride from Saigon) on ANZAC Weekend 2010.

The match will be played on Saturday 24 April at the Greyhound Dog Racing track in Vung Tau (see ). Very kindly and generously, the management of the venue have given us access to the facilities on the day free of charge.

In the evening, we shall return to the race track for a night at the dogs! There’s even a small chance that a game of two-up may be played.

In the early hours of Sunday 25 April, we shall attend the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at Long Tan (see ). Then, back to Vung Tau for a hearty breakfast while the Gallipoli Dawn Service is shown live on the Australia Network. After that will be the telecast of the blockbuster ANZAC Day clash between Collingwood and Essendon.

Currently, we are still to confirm whether the Vietnam Swans will play an internal match between the North (Hanoi) and the South (Saigon), or, whether we invite an international side.

The Vietnam Swans appreciate that there are significant sensitivities involved with this initiative. Our intention in Year 1 is to lay a foundation from which we can build and develop an event and a tradition that brings people together in the coming years.

Did you know…

Do you know who played the first footy match in Vietnam? The Vietnam/ Hanoi Swans? The Saigon Saints? The Hanoi Hawks?

Well it was actually a match between members of the 5th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment back in May 1966.

More to follow.

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National Committee confirmed

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 13, 2010

Venue for the National Committee's meetings

During the week, the Vietnam Swans confirmed our National Committee for Season 2010.

The names and positions are detailed below:

          • National President – Phil Johns (Saigon)
          • National Treasurer – Danny Armstrong (Saigon)
          • Secretary – Dan Kindness (Hanoi)
          • Hanoi President – Mark Williams (Hanoi)
          • Saigon President – Derrin Limbrick (Saigon President)

We wish the National Committee well and may the Vietnam Swans have another very successful year.

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Supercoach and Footy Tips for Season 2010

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 11, 2010

The Vietnam Swans’ sends out an email about 2010’s Super Coach and Footy Tipping Competitions for the 2010 AFL Season. Read on!

Hey Guys,

The AFL season is getting closer and closer now with the practice games about to commence. What better a time to get the news about who is going to run hot in 2010 and then putting them in your Supercoach fantasy team??

I have created a Supercoach league for the Vietnam Swans and it looks like there has been some interest already. If you’re keen, then you can join via the link below and enter the Vietnam Swans league number: 126895

Click here:

The entry fee is going to be 300,000 VND to play and we will be collecting the money from people at trainings up until the start of the AFL season. You need to pay to win! We will negotiate to split the prize money for 1st and 2nd after we have all the members.

If you haven’t played before, don’t worry. It’s easy to do! You just select your team with your given salary cap and make trades throughout the year. That’s how we take each other on for the coveted Vietnam Swans Premiership.

Remember, there are only 16 teams who can participate so make sure you join quickly!

Wait… there’s more! AFL Footy Tipping is back in 2010 and we have a Vietnam Swans league for that as well.

This year the tips will be done with and you can visit our competition via:

The password is: Vietnam Swans

If you have any issues, e-mail me directly and I will send you the invitation to join the competition.

All are welcome – with or without money. For those wanting to play for cash, the entry fee will be 200,000 VND. If you don’t pay, you will just play for glory without any financial winnings.

The “financial winner” will be take 75% and the runner up 25% of the prize money. The total amount depends on the number of participants.

For people who haven’t done footy tipping before… you will most likely win. There are 8 games a round and you have to pick who will win each game. gives you the betting odds for each game so don’t worry if you don’t know much about AFL. It’s easy and a lot of fun!

Hope to see you in both competitions & good luck for 2010!

For further information, contact

Posted in supercoach | 2 Comments »

Do not adjust your sets: it’s Netball News!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 9, 2010

The Saigon Shooters at the Big Day Out

Former Secretary of the Swannies in Saigon and fiance of Saigon Prez, Derrin, of the Saigon Shooters Netball Club – sent out the email below to the clan.

Hi Ladies,

This week we have our last training before a week long break for TET. Beginning at 7:00pm we will warm up and run some ‘set play’ training to hone our skills when taking throw ins, penalties and centre passes.

In news this week…


We were very lucky to have a modest turn out for the AGM last week and EXTREMELY fortunate to have a group of go-getting women who are keen to be an active part of the running of the club. The following roles have been allocated for the Season of 2010.

  • Club Coordinator – Fleur Gamble
  • Club Spokesperson – Carrie Farley – Roche
  • Treasurer – Paula Ellis
  • Secretary – Alison Jones
  • Tours and Social – Andrea Watson and Lizzie Pollard
  • Communications and Web – Helen Bartlett
  • Kit andEquipement Manager – Cathy :-)

Coaching Committee: Fleur Gamble, Emma  Tyler, Keryn Dowling, Sarah Dunstan

Thanks again ladies for coming to the meeting. With all these helping hands, it should be a great season for us all.

Next time, the Saigon Shooters will take on the Hanoi Oi's in a blockbuster to be played in Saigon


Ladies, we have confirmed our first competition for this year! The Hanoi Oi’s will be visiting us (in Saigon) on Saturday, 20 March for some games of netty and swimming and a bit of a party. We would love to have as many girls as we can turn up on the day to play or spectate. if you are interested in playing – and remember it’s all about having a good time on court with the girls from the club, so don’t feel like you have to be the best to have a go. It would be ace to make 2 teams so that the Oi’s and us can have a good lot of netball to play on the day!


We will NOT train on Wednesday, 17 February because of the TET Break. Training will resume on Wednesday, 24 February.

See you all tomorrow night for one more run before the break!

For further information about the Saigon Shooters Netball Club, please contact Club Coordinator, .

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Black Saturday’s anniversary in Vietnam

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 8, 2010

Black Saturday, one year on, is remembered yesterday at the Saigon Sixes in Saigon

Some of the Swannies, together with many in the crowd, wore yellow ribbons at yesterday’s Saigon Sixes Cricket tournament to remember the victims of Black Saturday on the first anniversary. Micky J in Hoi An also came out with a yellow ribbon and Tommy Sherrin.

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