Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 22, 2010
Swans ruckman, Dave “Angry” Hadley, who starred in the match against the Lao Elephants on the weekend, writes the match report.
The Vietnam Swans had a very successful tour of Laos, both on and off the field. It was great to have an equal amount of players traveling from Hanoi and HCMC. Add MJ from Hoi An, 2 of (Captain) Monkey’s friends who were passing through Asia, Jerry from America and Ryan from New Zealand and its apparent that a very diverse, international side was heading Laos’ way.
From the airport, the Swannies were amazed to pick up the local Vientiane Times newspaper to read the headline on the back page, “Phants gear up to boot Swans out of the Park”. The article was beautifully written and discussed the upcoming physical encounter between the fierce rivals. Great marketing for the event which led to the 100 odd spectators who turned up.
The match commenced with the Swannies under the Captaincy of Willy. But
we took a while to get going. The Hanoi and Saigon chapters of the Vietnam Swans do not get to play or train together often, so it took some time for us to gel.
After about 5 minutes it all started happening for the Swannies. The centreline worked together beautifully, with Gus, Willy, Monkey’s Josh and Stanno rotating and providing the engine room to power the Swannies. The backline of the Glove, Ryan, Crazy Dan and Sam kept the opposition from scoring many goals.
The Swans won every quarter and the final score was 14.9.93 to 5.4.34.
It was very hard to find the best players as everybody played magnificently.
Special mention has to go to Danny Armstrong who has rediscovered himself as a full forward; kicked 6 goals and was voted best on ground by the Laos team. Ever since starring in the position in last year’s Indo-China Cup… Danny is going to be impossible to move anywhere else whilst he keeps his dazzling form going.
Another mention has to go to the forward line. MJ worked out the average age was a remarkable 41, which proves you are never too old if the fitness and commitment is there.
The off field performance was just as impressive as the final scoreline. An international tour is more than just a game of football. It is catching up with like-minded expats who really appreciate the effort of teams coming to tour. Vietnam was the first team to tour Laos since 2008 and the Lao Elephants really made us feel special and welcome.
An international tour is about experiencing the culture and tastes of another country. It is also about sharing experiences and knowledge to both the local and expat communities. There is a very special bond between the Lao and the Vietnam teams. The matches are highly anticipated and there is a real camaraderie between the clubs. One reason is the fact that both teams field a fair share of NGO’s (Non Government Organisations) and charity members. Therefore there was a lot to discuss at the off-field functions which the Laos team organised for us.
After the game we met Ingrid Suter from . As we had no first aid kits, Ingrid pulled out an elephant medical kit and started attending to our injuries. Yes, an elephant medical kit! Ingrid also took photos for the club as well as helping us with water.
Whilst fixing up one of our biggest elephants, Danny Armstrong, Ingrid informed us of the work ElefantAsia performs in Laos. There are only 1,000 wild elephants and 500 domesticated elephants left in Laos due to poaching and degradation of their natural habitat. Most of the Swannies touring party were touched by the plight of the elephants and purchased a shirt for the cause. Each shirt purchased meant an elephant owner would receive an elephant medical kit. It was such a proud moment watching your team mates combining to contribute to such a worthwhile cause. (Ed’s note: No doubt it was an equally proud moment for Danny Armstrong’s team mates when the nurse, after evaluating him, asked the question: “Is that a trunk?” But before Danny had time to reply, she had already called for the elephant first aid kit.)
For more information about ElefantAsia, visit the website at
Thanks again to the Laos Elephants football club who were most gracious hosts. Both nights they put on food, drinks and entertainment.
Well done Swannies for a very successful and memorable trip to Laos. We won the game, but also continue to win a lot of hearts.
For photos of the match, click on the .
Tourers for the Swannies: (Hanoi) Willy, Stanno, Ryan, Crazy Dan; (Hoi An) MJ; (Saigon) Gus, Danny Armstrong, Fabbo, Angry, the Glove, Jerry, Sam; (Mate’s Mates) Monkey’s Josh, Monkey’s Chris; (Apologies for missing trip due to passport/visa issues) Josh Little