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Archive for June, 2010

Vietnam Swans reunion, MCG, 25 July 2010

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 29, 2010

Sydney Swans Forward Flanker of the Century, Tony Morwood, wears a Vietnam Swans hat in January 2008

National Prez, Phil Johns, confirms that the Swannies will hold a reunion at the MCG on 25 July for the Melbourne Vs Sydney match.

Dear Swannies

We’re already doing the golf and the cricket in Melbourne each year – and now, we’re going to do an AFL match at the MCG.

Sunday, 25 July, in the MCC Members, at the MCG, is when the Swannies’ big reunion shall happen (will confirm the cost of a ticket). The Melbourne Demons shall take on the Sydney Swans.

So far, the list of confirmed attendees includes:

  • Phil “Fabbo” Johns
  • Mark “Willy” Williams
  • Drew Franklin
  • Greg “Gregson” Armstrong
  • Will Martin
  • Chris “Snags” Canty
  • Scotty Beasley
  • Peter Grave
  • Phil Murphy (tbc)
  • Daryl “DT” Taber
  • Chris Batchelor
  • Damo Judd

Then, we also have a heap of footy nuts who are now back home including Barfly, Banova, Ryan – and who knows who else is in Melbourne… We are anticipating several Vietnam Veterans – who played footy in Vietnam during the War – to also be in attendance.

But wait, there’s more!

Yesterday, Half Forward Flanker of the Century for Sydney and current General Manager, Tony Morwood, wrote to the Vietnam Swans to advise that Sydney will be hosting a past players and officials function prior to the match. It looks like some of us Vietnam Swannies will be invited – but we don’t know how many or exactly what is being offered. Tony says he will be able to confirm details in the next couple of weeks. Watch this space.

But regardless, the Swannies can guarantee that we will be in the members of the ‘G on Sunday 25 July. Please confirm your attendance by emailing “Fabbo” Phil Johns at .

Should be awwwwwwesome!

Related Story:

Tony Morwood wears Swans’ hat, 21 January 2008.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Loreto’s mid 2010 newsletter

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 23, 2010

Sister Trish Franklin, Program Coordinator for Loreto Vietnam with a child from Loreto

The has just released its . Below is an excerpt from the Program’s Coordinator, Trish Franklin.

We are delighted to be sending you our Mid-Year Review for 2010. You will read with interest of the many resourceful, consolidating, flourishing, successful and creative directions we have given and guided for the children in the care of the Loreto Program.

‘Poverty of Opportunity’ is something that I have been reflecting on over these past months. This reality means there are serious limitations for the ‘learners’ of Vietnam and this situation exposes so many denied prospects towards leading productive and satisfying lives. So often we know that without a dynamic chance to have a vibrant and lively education, many children in Vietnam can remain locked into a cycle of under-achievement and low levels of educational attainment.

The vision of LVAP treasures deeply and makes every effort to enable disadvantaged and disabled children to develop beyond this ‘Poverty of Opportunity’ because we realize that poor communities actually do have strengths and this is a huge part of the prescription for remedying problems and directing changes. Poverty can be reduced by facilitating and widening choices and options.

“Education for All” by 2015 – the United Nations Millennium Goal set in 2000 – is LVAP’s grasped vision as well.

With loving appreciation to so many, we are able to undertake our projects and to reinforce them with optimism and hope. I extend my gratitude to donors, supporters, Staff, and volunteers for your interest, concern and thoughtfulness towards our works.

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Demetriou to meet Asian Presidents at Champs

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 21, 2010

The CEO of the AFL, Andrew Demetriou, shall meet with the Presidents of the Asian footy clubs at the 2010 Champs

The organisers of the 2010 Asian Championships, which will be held in Shanghai on 16 October 2010, have confirmed that the CEO of the AFL, Andrew Demetriou, shall attend.

Further, a meeting between Demetriou and representatives of each of the Asian Clubs shall be held at 7.30pm on Friday 15 October.

The Asian Presidents shall have the pre Champs meeting immediately beforehand at 6.30pm.

Andrew Demetriou shall be in Shanghai for both the Asian Champs and the that will be held the following day between AFL Clubs, Brisbane and Melbourne. The Shanghai Showdown is an exhibition match timed to coincide with the being held in Shanghai.

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Big names comment on Swannies Blog

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 19, 2010

On 13 June, this blog broke the news that the Swannies Blog (is) bigger than (the) MCG. The article explained that the Blog had just attracted its 150,000th hit – making it one and a half times the size of the MCG.

Little did we know that this would unleash a string of plaudits from some of the biggest names at home and abroad. To see the original comments attached to the actual story, click here. Otherwise, the comments have been reproduced below for your convenience.

Gary Ablett

Gazza Ablett Junior

Congrats to the blog!!

Whenever I want to find anything about, say, the affordability of living in the Gold Coast region, I always rely on the Vietnam Swans blog.

Keep it up!!

Gazza Jnr

The King (Wayne Carey)

Geez, that is almost as many hits as I have had…

Wayne Carey and John Brumby congratulate the Swannies Blog

Congrats to the blog!! The only truly worthwhile news front for all the latest in the AFL Asian style.

Premier John Brumby (Victoria)

May I take this moment to congratulate the Vietnam Swans blog site.

In all my years of politics, it has only come clear to me now, how hard hitting this site is. No wonder it has been banned by many player’s wives so the guys actually spend more time with the family.

Once again, congrats blog. May you have many more B.O.G.s

Finally, one thing that Osama and Obama can agree on... When it comes to blogs, the Swannies' Blog is No. 1

Osama Bin Laden

If I had only one wish, it would be that I had as much coverage as the Vietnam Swans blog!! errr and now I come to think of it, had the good looks of Phil Johns.

President Barack Obama

I’ve seen a lot of blogs in my time. Trust me.

But never have I seen a better blog than the Swannies!!

A big congrats to it’s creators.

Yours sincerely, The Pres.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

A National Presidential Mega Update

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 17, 2010

National President, Phil Johns, gives us a Swannies mega update:

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters; Another blockbuster email coming your way…

1. Mega Departures
2. DT and Gus to move to Indonesia
3. More footy players from Vietnam in the 60’s
4. Ozkick Saigon kicks off
5. Great news re Colin Mitchell
6. Swans Blog bigger than the MCG
7. The Footy Events Calendar
8. Sponsorships for the Official Vietnam Swans 2010 AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi & Saigon

1. Mega Departures

Swannies pin up boy, Poster Monkey and the Jumping JD (Jarrod Dean)

Germany showed the Shockeroos in the World Cup what can happen if you don’t continually rebuild your team.

The Swannies immediately heeded the message and this week began a clean sweep. Big names for the Swannies in recent years such as Monkey, JD and Baird, now – all gone!

Captain Monkey and fiance, Kels
Monkey took over the Captaincy from Gus a long time ago and went on to become one of our greatest ever. With his Dermie-like barrel chest, he could be found in the middle of most packs side-stepping forwards, backwards – wherever – to create just enough time to effect a continual stream of clean disposals. Silky. A great leader and club man. Will also be remembered for having his greyhound, LED Suitcase, sponsor last year’s Swannies AFL Grand Final Party after winning a big race. We wish Monkey and his very lovely fiance of the last two months, Kels (you kept that a secret, Monkey!), a great return to Victoria and Apollo Bay.

JD and Bridie
JD (Jarrod Dean) together with his wife, Bridie have the young family. While JD wasn’t able to make every match, if he could, he always would. And, when he could, couldn’t he play! Already one of the tallest on the ground, this boy just loved to climb up and over anyone to take big grabs (even at training sessions!). Combined with his spring-loaded achilles, he was next-to unbeatable. Have a fantastic one back on the Gold Coast JD and Bridie and enjoy being back with your families.

AB (Adam Baird) helps out Coach JD (Jarrod Dale) during the Swannies first ever victory in Hanoi, 2006

AB and Katherine
AB was one of the best we nearly had. If only it wasn’t for his mangled shoulder and gammy knees. As far as I know, he only risked training once in Hanoi – but could move. Was also Assistant Coach to JD (Jarrod Dale) when we had our first ever win back in 2006 against the Jakarta Bintangs. A memorable moment with AB was during a match against the Malaysian Warriors in Hanoi in 2006. AB was running water and instructions when one of the Warrior players invited AB to get off the field. AB laughed and then, for good measure, squirted the water bottle in his face.

AB’s wife, Katherine, was one of the original Hanoi Oi’s netballers. She did a mighty job keeping the netball on track after the departure of Julia Howes.

Try to have a great time back in Adelaide. And don’t ever be too proud to say that you prefer Melbourne.

2. DT and Gus to move to Indonesia

Former Hanoi Swans President, Daryl Taber, with wife Kathy and family, are preparing to leave Australia for work in Bandung, Indonesia. Former Captain Gus McEwin will leave Saigon for Jakarta in a couple of months. It is rumoured the Jakarta Bintangs have offered big money to recruit these two hacks.

3. More footy players from Vietnam in the 60’s

Roger Costello visits the Wall in Washington DC, with his son, on Memorial Day last month

Since playing the 2010 ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau, the Swannies have received emails from several veterans who played footy in Vung Tau during the War. All of them are supporting various charities over here and believed that our match was a positive development.

The Vietnam Veterans’ magazine, Chin Up, has published an article on the weekend. The Ulysses Motorcycle Club (for over 50 yo’s) will run an article in its Ride On magazine which has a circulation figure of 58,000. Greg and Anne Carter, together with a friend of theirs, have requested footage of the ANZAC Friendship Match to include in a DVD about “Aussie Footy”.

Mentioning motorbikes just before, Roger Costello is a Veteran, now living in the USA, who is a big supporter of the Swannies and the Saigon Geckos after numerous return visits. On 31 May, US Memorial Day, Roger says he went to:

Washington DC for Rolling Thumder with a MILLION bikes. It was started by Viet Nam Vets back about twenty years ago with 250 bikes. Now everybody hangs on our shirt tails!

He says the special moment for him was visiting the Wall of Names at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial with his son and daughter.

4. Ozkick Saigon kicks off

Matt Natalotto, Sam Conroy, Kev Hornblower and Rob Visa have kicked off Ozkick Saigon on Sunday mornings at the Australian International School. Already, a strong program in Hanoi has been running under the auspices of Willy for the past two years.

5. Great news re Colin Mitchell

From left, Colin Mitchell, Dave Kainey, Phil Johns, Scotty Stacey and Micky J at the 2007 Asian Champs, Bangkok

Great news for Colin Mitchell as he is expected to make a full recovery after a very nasty health scare. Colin was the official photographer for the then Hanoi Swans first ever away tour in 2005 (to Malaysia). In 2007, Colin and wife, Kay also flew into Thailand from China to take photos of the Vietnam Swans inaugural appearance at the Asian Champs.

A few days ago, Colin and Kay had to make an emergency flight to Brisbane from Qatar (where they work). Colin was in particularly bad shape. Apparently, all is now expected to be OK. But before then he must have a benign pituitary tumour removed next Tuesday. He will be in hospital for a week after that and then another two weeks of recovery before they can return to Qatar.

All the Swannies wish Colin a successful operation and speedy recovery.

6. Swans Blog bigger than the MCG

A couple of weeks ago, the Swannies Blog notched up its 150,000th hit. That’s one and a half times the size of the MCG! Unheard of.

7. The Footy Events Calendar

At the Swannies, we’re always saving the best ’til last. This email is no exception. Have a look at the upcoming schedule which begins with the 4th Kainey Cup on the 10th July in Saigon between the Vietnam Swans and the Jakarta Bintangs:

  • 10 July, Saigon – 4th Kainey Cup – Vietnam Swans Vs Jakarta Bintangs
  • 31 July, Phnom Penh – Cambodian Cobras Vs Vietnam Swans
  • 14 August, Saigon – Vietnam Swans Vs Cambodian Cobras (tbc)
  • 28 August, Hanoi – Heritage Round, Hanoi Hawks Vs Saigon Saints
  • 4 September, Hanoi – Gaelic Football, Indochina Invitational (tbc)
  • 23 September, Hanoi – The Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Cyclo Parade
  • 25 September, Hanoi and Saigon – The Vietnam Swans 2010 AFL Grand Final Parties
  • 16 October, Shanghai, China – The 11th Annual Asian Championships
  • 27 November, Saigon – The 4th Annual Indochina Cup
  • 28 November, Saigon – The Vietnam Swans 2010 Best & Fairest Awards
  • 28 December, Melbourne – The 3rd Vietnam Swans Annual Cricket Day, MCG
  • 29 December, Melbourne – The 6th Vietnam Swans Annual Golf Classic

8. Sponsorships for the Official Vietnam Swans 2010 AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi & Saigon

If your organisation would like to register your interest in being a sponsor of the Official Vietnam Swans 2010 AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi and/or Saigon, please contact either or a Vietnam Swans player. Should be a sensational event – especially given former Saigon President of the Vietnam Swans, Scotty Stacey, is a definite maybe to fly in for the occasion! Scottyyyyyyy!

The Vietnamese wouldn’t be honkin’ their horns unless they loved the footy.

Hearin’ me?

Posted in awards | Leave a Comment »

Auskick kicks off in Saigon

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 14, 2010

Saigon Ozkick Now Open!

The all new Saigon Ozkick has kicked off in Saigon! Swannie, , tells us more.

Saigon Ozkick is now being held each Sunday at 8am at the Australian International School in An Phu, Saigon.

The first session was held a fortnight ago and was a great success. We are hoping to continue this trial run at AIS. As we get bigger, we will need an oval – perhaps training before the big kids called the Vietnam Swans.

At last week’s clinic we had 10 kids with 4 dads helping and we feel we could accommodate up to 20 + kids. Easily!

So bring the kids down and hang around yourself if you want to watch or help out. And remember, both boys and girls are welcome!

For further information, please contact .

An update from Matt re last Sunday (13 July):

This week we had 14 kids including two little 3 year olds, three new girls and a couple of other new boys. Helping out was Rob Vis, Sam, Kev HB, Tim and myself.

We went through some of the same drills as the first week including kicking, handballing, marking  and this week added bouncing on the run a go! As always it was a great reward to see the kids try and accomplish these new skills.

The Clinic will run again this Sunday and probably, there will be at least one more after that before the summer break. During the holidays we will look at all the new options for finding a bit of turf to use for the second half of the season.

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Swannies confirmed to tour Cambodia

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 13, 2010

The Swans last travelled to Phnom Penh in November 2008 for the Indochina Cup and Scotty Stacey's farewell

During the week, high level discussions were held between the Vietnam Swans and Cambodian Cobras.

It has now been confirmed that the Vietnam Swans will play the Cambodian Cobras in Phnom Penh on 31 July, 2010.

The last time the Swannies travelled to Cambodia was for the 2008 Indochina Cup on 22 November 2008. This also doubled as the farewell tour for former Saigon President, Scotty Stacey. (Rumour file: there’s a rumour going around town that Scotty Stacey will make a cameo appearance at the Vietnam Swans 2010 AFL Grand Final Party in Saigon.)

A return visit to Saigon by the Cobras has been tentatively scheduled for 14 August.

To see full details of the Vietnam Swans 2010 Calendar, click here.

Posted in Farewell | Leave a Comment »

Swannies Blog bigger than MCG

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 13, 2010

Swannies Blog - one and a half times the size of the 'G

If you sat down all the people who have visited the Vietnam Swans Blog, you would need one and a half MCG’s!

Unheard of!

Just over a week ago, the Swannies’ Blog notched up its 150,000th visitor.

Over the past 12 months, we have been averaging 4,800 hits per month.

That shouldn’t be a surprise for those who know about the Swannies Blog which has a reputation for being hard hitting and always reporting without fear or favour.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Footy tips and Super Coach payments

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 11, 2010

Josh "Pudding" at the ANZAC Friendship Match

Josh Little, our resident Tip-Star has the following to say about payments for the footy tipping and Super Coach:

Hey guys, just a quick reminder about footy tipping (VND200,000) & Super Coach (VND300,000) payments. We have reached the halfway point of the season but we are yet to receive payments from all of our participants.

Can you please ensure payments are made within the next week. You can contact Danny Armstrong or if you cannot make the payment. If we don’t hear from you then you will be ineligible for the prize money.

Payment in Saigon can be made directly to myself or Danny at footy training or you can transfer the money into my bank account. Contact me for details

A big thank you to everyone who has already paid!

Would be great if we could get everyone at training tomorrow to bring the money if they are yet to pay. Last week’s training in Saigon was probably the best I have been a part of since arriving in Vietnam.

With a lot of games within the next couple of months, selection could come down to who attends training and who doesn’t. Make sure you pop down for a kick tomorrow!

On a separate note, let’s all wish Gus a safe trip in Kenya. Gus has been itching to go there for a long time and I’m sure he will have a blast there. He is just coming off a 2 week date/holiday in Cambodia but he apparently needs another getaway. Keep up the good work!

Have a great weekend!

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Hoi An Children’s Swimming Program thanks Swannies

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 6, 2010

Prizes for children on the Hoi An Swimming Program

As you may recall, at the ANZAC Friendship Match, we raised VND19.5 million (USD1,030) for the Hoi An Children’s Swimming Program. Jo Stewart, the Program Manager sent the letter below to the Vietnam Swans.

To everyone at the Vietnam Swans

Thank you so much for your extremely generous contribution of VND19.5 million to the Hoi An Children’s Swimming Program.  The money is being used to pay for transport to enable us to bring the 600-700 children to the swimming pool over the course of the summer. Each child will attend 18 lessons. Each school participating in the program gets an allocation from this amount, with the schools furthest away from the pool receiving the most money.  This $1,030 covers roughly one quarter of the total transport cost.  Each school is responsible for paying the rest.  The school also decides what is the most appropriate means of transport.  Most schools put on a bus.  Some schools which still cannot afford to pay for a bus use the money to have someone accompany the children on their bicycles.

I want you all to understand that having the transport this year makes a huge difference.  The area of Hoi An is extremely spread out.  In order to come to swim class some of the children have to travel up to 15km by bicycle. Having transport means that this year we can open up the lessons to younger children, and obviously, the earlier we can teach them the less risk they have of drowning. We can also offer lessons to children in more rural areas, which also tend to be the higher risk areas. In addition it means that the attendance rate is higher so the children’s swimming skills are better at the end of the program.  And last, but certainly not least, the children are safe on their way to and from class.

One of our main initiatives for this year is our Train the Trainer program. We have an AustSwim training course presenter arriving at end May.  She will be running an intensive teacher training course for 20 of the local PE teachers. We are working with AustSwim so that the teachers receive official AustSwim accreditation at the end of the course. This is part of our long term plan to introduce the necessary skills so that the local schools have the knowledge and experience to be able to provide swim teaching themselves.

So many thanks again for your generousity. If any of you ever come to Hoi An, please do get in touch and you can come watch a class in action. If you are interested please have a look at our website where you can find some further info on the program.

Best regards
from everyone at the Hoi An Children’s Swimming Program

To read the May Newsletter for the Hoi An Children’s Swimming Program, click .

Posted in Swim | Leave a Comment »

Breaking News! Bintangs to tour 10 July

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 5, 2010

Dave Kainey with his Cup

In breaking news, the Jakarta Bintangs have just confirmed that they will tour Saigon for a match on 10 July 2010. The Jakarta Bintangs and Vietnam Swans shall play for the 5th Kainey Cup.

The last time our two teams met was on 31 October last year in Jakarta. Then, the Bintangs were far too strong beating us 97 to 32.

This year, however, even with the departures of Monkey, JD and Jerry, the Swannies are expecting to field a very strong team.

The scheduling of the Jakarta match for 10 July, the same day we expected to be playing the Cambodian Cobras in Phnom Penh, has required us to perform some hasty rescheduling.

The Cambodian match will now be held at the end of July (exact date to be confirmed). Thanks to the Cobras for their patience.

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Pictorial Review of ANZAC Weekend

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 3, 2010

Phil Johns with a baby at an orphanage that the Swannies visited on ANZAC Weekend

The National President of the Vietnam Swans, Phil Johns sends out the email below which includes the pictorial review of the . (pdf version).

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

Please find attached a pictorial review (finally!) of the Vietnam Swans in Vung Tau.

It was an incredible and moving weekend. It was made more special when two weeks ago, Sam Middleton contacted the Vietnam Swans. Sam served in Vung Tau in 1967-68 and reported that back then, there was a full scale Aussie Rules Competition played between 7 Australian Units twice per year. And where did they play? The Lord Mayor’s Oval which has since become the Vung Tau Dog Racing Track. That’s where we played our Friendship Match. Sam also has lots of photos of the footy during that period on his .

Apart from football, the weekend provided us all with a unique opportunity to meet some Veterans and learn about what had happened.

The Vietnam Swans visited two local orphanages to share some time holding, laughing and kicking the football (which had to be sugar coated with time spent kicking the soccer ball).

We supported (major organiser and venue for telecast of the Collingwood-Essendon ANZAC Match) to raise money for the orphanages. The Vietnam Swans auctioned off some memorabilia and all proceeds were donated to the . In Vietnam, more children die from drowning than road accidents. Going forward, this is an area that the Vietnam Swans are keen to offer additional support.

Strengthened by the very positive feedback that we have received about the ANZAC Friendship Match, the Vietnam Swans would like to continue this new tradition. Next year, rather than playing a “Heritage Round” match between the Hanoi Hawks and Saigon Saints, the Vietnam Swans will play an international team in Vung Tau.

The Swannies are keen to play footy and we’re also keen to give something back to the communities in which we live. We think and hope that our ANZAC Friendship Match can play a positive role with multiple benefits, even if modest, for many parties.

Hong Kong Match a week ago

Last week, the Vietnam Swans made our first tour to Hong Kong to play the Hong Kong Dragons. Congratulations to the Dragons who were a powerhouse on the field and sensational hosts off it. The trip also served as the farewell tour to three champions of the Swannies: Captain Monkey, JD and Jerry. As expected, we gave them a fitting send off. We also welcomed six new guys who enjoyed their first tour for the Swannies. All good!


The ANZAC Weekend in Vung Tau last month really was incredible. And so were so many people who put in so much time and effort to make it such a success. I know I’m a bit biased, but when I look around the Club and see the quality of people and the quality of the things that they’re doing, I do think that it’s not a bad sort of a Club.

Congratulations and thank you to all.

Posted in Farewell, Swim | Leave a Comment »


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