Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for July, 2010

Bloods triumph over Cambodian Cobras for Rick Trewavas

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 31, 2010

Swans successfully stand up to Cobras

This afternoon in Phnom Penh, the Vietnam Swans had a convincing win over the Cambodian Cobras 13.21.99 to 1.9.15

Brett Jota won the Rick Trewavas Medal for being the Swannies B.O.G.

More to follow.

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Cambodian tour, Rick Trewavas Medal and more

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 30, 2010

Phil Johns and the bloke who organised Vietnam's first ever footy match back in 1966, John Heaney

National President Phil Johns previews and reviews another busy week.

Dear Bloods, Sponsors and Supporters

  • Tomorrow – Cambodian Cobras Vs Vietnam Swans, Phnom Penh
  • The Rick Trewavas Medal
  • Last Sunday – Vietnam Swans, Sydney Swans, Vietnam Veterans and Southern Dragons
  • Yesterday – Vietnam Swans attend Noble Park RSL Club, Melbourne, at invitation of Veterans
  • Latest stories and photos
  • Final thought

Tomorrow – Cambodian Cobras Vs Vietnam Swans, Phnom Penh

Two years ago, we travelled to Cambodia for the Indochina Cup which doubled as the Scotty Stacey Farewell Tour.

Tomorrow, led by Acting National President, Derrin Limbrick, the Vietnam Swans are back in Phnom Penh to take on a rebranded Cambodian team. After the 2008 Indochina Cup, the Cambodian Kangaroos went into hibernation. But now, they have awakened – this time as the Cambodian Cobras. But, judging from yesterday’s local press reports in Phnom Penh, the Swannies would be ill advised to assume that they will be wiping any sleep from their eyes.

Make no mistake, the Cobras are ready to strike. For example, the Phnom Penh Post was headlined, Cobras keen to silence Swans in Aussie Rules friendly.

The Swannies, despite recently suffering a few high profile departures are very well represented. From Saigon tonight, 30 will board the bus. Several more will travel independently to meet the team in Phnom Penh.

Tomorrow’s match will have more significance for the Swannies with our best player set to receive the Rick Trewavas Medal.

The Rick Trewavas Medal

Rick Trewavas was, literally, there at the very beginning for the Swannies – which were referred to at that time as the Bloods. Another guy who was there at the beginning, Mick Francis, tells us more about Rick who lives on the Gold Coast.

Mick Francis in the doorway to Rick Trewavis' Bobby Skilton Room

Rick is a great supporter of the Swans. He was one of the original people in Hanoi back in the late 90’s who loved their footy. He inspired the Bobby Skilton Room. He had a big passion for Bobby.

Rick organised the photo of Bobby through his contacts in Australia which came via Australia Post who Bobby was doing some marketing work for at that time. It was signed and mounted on our wall and we were certainly very proud of it.

To have something so meaningful on our club room wall made it very special. He also donated a small picture of Bobby with his stats that we placed under the TV, shrine like, every Friday when we watched the footy. Rick used to sleep with this thing so it meant a lot to him and to us.

Now, you have to remember that in those days, Hanoi had pretty much f*** all: no shopping centres, no cars, no traffic lights, and not much of anything from back home. So, the Bobby Skilton room really became our base for survival, our home, our place where we can be Aussies. It was the core of our footy community and it was the place that gave us a sense of belonging.

Earlier this week, Rick wrote to the Vietnam Swans informing us that he has an “aggressive lung cancer”.

Tomorrow, the Bloods will be honoured to play for Rick. The Rick Trewavas Medal is a symbolic gesture of our collective support and appreciation for a man going through an important time in his life.

While we do not have any photos of Rick, attached is a photo of a younger looking Mick Francis outside the Bobby Skilton Room, above Pepperonis, in Hanoi.

Last Sunday – Vietnam Swans, Sydney Swans, Vietnam Veterans and Southern Dragons together at the MCG’s Harrison Room

Bobby Skilton, Swannies, Saints, Hawks and Southern Dragons at the MCG

Last Sunday, 25 July, in the Harrison Room at the MCG, 18 Vietnam Swans / Saigon Saints / Hanoi Hawks, 10 Vietnam Veterans and four Southern Dragons all joined forces and attended the Sydney Swans prematch function for past players and officials. In the crowd were Brownlow Medalists Bobby Skilton and Neil Roberts.

The Sydney Swans warmly welcomed the Vietnam Swans and Vietnam Veterans and then invited a representative from both the Swannies and the Vets to the podium. Sydney Swans Player of the Century and MC, Tony Morwood, then asked both representatives a number of questions. One of the questions to the Swannies was:

Why did you become the Swans?

We recounted the Rick Trewavis story which resonated – particularly as Bobby Skilton, Rick’s hero, was in the audience. (The following day we emailed Rick to tell him what had happened. That was when we received his email breaking the sad news.)

The day at the MCG was a marvellous opportunity for all the Swannies to mix, to learn about footy during the Vietnam War, to learn about the Southern Dragons and to rub shoulders with those running a footy club at the elite level.

The Vietnam Swans have sometimes made reference to “Connecting Communities”. Looking around the room that day, there was ample evidence of “Connecting Communities”.

Will Martin, one of the Hanoi Swans remarked,

Who would have thought, all those years ago when we trained at Dead Cat Stadium in Hanoi, that we would end up in the Harrison Room of the MCG?

We believe that the Vietnam Swans may be the first footy team in Asia to have been involved in an official function of an AFL Club. Regardless, it was all good.

For photos of the day, click .

Yesterday – Vietnam Swans attend Noble Park RSL Club, Melbourne, at invitation of Veterans

Phil Johns, Chris Hayes, John Willis & John Heaney at the Noble Park RSL

Yesterday, upon the invitation of Veteran Stan Middleton, I had the pleasure of attending the Vietnam Veterans weekly get together at the Noble Park RSL Club in Melbourne. It was a special occasion and a privilege to attend. An hour into it, we stopped for formalities. Visitors, including the Vietnam Swans were officially welcomed. We also received a generous opportunity to address the audience.

The Honor Roll was a stark reminder of Vietnam in a different era. Anniversaries coming up in the next week for those Australians and New Zealanders who did not return from Vietnam were recounted together with the particular set of circumstances. This was followed by a recital of the Ode – and then the Joke of the Week to lighten things up again.

Everybody was extremely welcoming, generous and interested in footy in Asia – particularly our ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau (pronounced by Swannies as Vuhngers, and by Vets as Vahngers).

I even met John Heaney who organised the first ever Aussie Rules match in Vietnam back in 1966. John claims he was in a bit of strife at the time and a Major Glendinning offered him the chance to escape punishment – on one condition: that he set up Aussie Rules in Vietnam. Q.E.D!

The Vietnam Veterans were awesome and have extended an open invitation to all Vietnam Swans to attend their weekly Thursday event at the Noble Park RSL Club. There’s also a very good chance that we’ll get the opportunity to welcome a few of them over in Vietnam.

For the full story, click here.

For photos of the day, click .

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Final thought

This week, rather than honking our horns, let’s make a conscious effort to barrack for Rick’s Bloods in Phnom Penh tomorrow.

Go the Bloods!

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Vietnam Veterans invite Swannies to Noble Park RSL, Melbourne

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 29, 2010

John and Stan - instrumental in getting Aussie Rules up and running in Vietnam

Yesterday, on the invitation of Veteran and footy nut, Stan Middleton, Swannies National President Phil Johns attended the in Melbourne.

Each Thursday, the Vietnam Veterans meet at the Club.

The afternoon begins informally with people mingling and telling stories and enjoying a snag and a hamburger. Then comes the Honour Roll which honours the anniversaries in the coming week of those Aussies and New Zealanders who fell during the Vietnam War. The Ode is then recited. There’s a minute’s silence. And then comes the joke of the week to lift everyone’s spirits.

It was a special place to be.

During general business, visitors to the RSL Club were welcomed. The Vietnam Swans were welcomed and Phil Johns was invited to address the audience.

Feedback and interest in the ANZAC Friendship match was very strong. Chris Hayes, father of St Kilda’s star player, was there and is hopeful to come to Vietnam towards the end of the year.

One person in the crowd, John (see photo), organised Vietnam’s first ever known Aussie Rules match back in 1966. John was in trouble for some reason and a Major Glendinning, offered John the chance to escape punishment on one condition… That condition was that he set up Aussie Rules in Vietnam.

A great day and all members of the Vietnam Swans have been invited to attend the Veterans Thursday functions.

Thank you very much to the Noble Park RSL Club and Stan Middleton for making the Vietnam Swans feel so welcome and we hope to see many of them in Vietnam.

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Vietnam Swans go to the MCG

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 26, 2010

The Sydney Swans' Forward Flanker of the Century Tony Morwood and Vietnam Swans National President, Phil Johns

Yesterday, 25 July 2010, the Vietnam Swans travelled to the MCG: not for a match but a union/reunion.

The invited us to their pre match function for past players and officials.

In addition, we invited the Vietnam Veterans, who had played footy in Vietnam during the war, and the Southern Dragons.

Representing the Vietnam Swans were Phil Johns, John Gourlay, Scott Beasley, Mark Williams, Drew Franklin, Will Martin, Paul Jones, Trish Franklin, Gary Shiells, Leigh Shiells, Peter Grave (and Matt), Ryan Jeffery, Damien Judd, Clint Murrell, Andrew Johns, Maureen Johns and Greg Keogh.

The Vietnam Veterans. Stan - Front middle.

The Vietnam Veterans (see website for the ) were led by Stan Middleton. In addition they had Neil Roberts (Brownlow Medalist), John Kilpatrick (Ex St Kilda Player, long time Hawthorn trainer), John Bell (AFL Timekeeper), George Soumilas, Peter Cotchett, Ken Mountford, Turk Fogarty, Neil Dalton and Charles Skillen.

Four Southern Dragons attended: Martin, Johnny, Glenn and Mitchell.

Swannies, Dragons and Bobby Skilton

Also floating around at the function was long time friend of the Vietnam Swans, triple Brownlow Medalist, Bobby Skilton.

Tony Morwood, the Sydney Swans Forward Flanker of the Century and General Manager for Melbourne and Canberra then interviewed both Phil Johns about the Swannies and Stan Middleton about their footy in Vietnam.

Lots of mingling. Lots of photos. Lots of fun.

The Vietnam Swans are keen to make this an annual event where the Vietnam Veterans, Southern Dragons and Vietnam Swans join a Sydney Swans pre match function.

Tony Morwood has said that, subject to the fixture and diary, the Sydney Swans would be “happy to have you guys attend another one of our functions next year”.

It was a terrific day and the Vietnam Swans thank the Sydney Swans very much. It was also incredibly important in developing our relationships with the Vietnam Veterans and Southern Dragons. It is also expected to give our swimming initiative a significant boost. More to follow on that story.

For more photos on the Swannies day at the MCG, check out our on line .

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Swannies ANZAC Union at MCG; Cambodian tour…

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 23, 2010

Fabbo at the Kainey Cup earlier in the month

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

Previous updates have been mega. This one is mega to the power of two.

  • MCG Union of Vietnam Swans, Sydney Swans, Vietnam Veterans and Southern Dragons
  • 20011 ANZAC Friendship Match confirmed – Hong Kong Dragons
  • Cambodian Match
  • Southern Dragons Training Session, Melbourne
  • Thank you to the AFL’s Josh Vanderloo for Auskick packs
  • Farewell Jerry!
  • Five minutes with the Flyer
  • Facebook – Follow it all
  • Sign off

MCG Union of Vietnam Swans, Sydney Swans, Vietnam Veterans and Southern Dragons

The Saigon Saints in 1998

Originally, 25 July 2010 was slated to be a reunion of Hanoi/Vietnam Swans at the Melbourne Vs Sydney footy match at the MCG. And then we found a Hanoi Hawk and a Saigon Saint in Melbourne. Then the Sydney Swans invited us to attend their pre match function of past players and officials. Then the Vietnam Veterans who had played footy during the War in Vietnam accepted our invitation to attend.  And then a number of Vietnamese players from the Southern Dragons Football also said they would attend.

What started off as a reunion has, in a sense, become a union of different and key parties.

One can’t help but think that the foundation for the Vietnam Swans ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau is getting stronger and stronger.

2011 ANZAC Friendship Match confirmed – Hong Kong Dragons

Footy in Vung Tau, 1968

It is my great pleasure to announce that the Hong Kong Dragons have accepted our invitation to play in the Vietnam Swans 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match, Vung Tau. It literally took them less than 30 minutes to accept our invitation.

The Hong Kong Dragons are one of Asia’s longest established footy clubs and played in the then Hanoi Swans first tournament in 2003. The Dragons had previously expressed a very strong interest in playing us in Vung Tau. In short, the Hong Dragons will be a very fitting Club for the Vietnam Swans to play on such an important occasion in such a historically significant location.

Cambodian Match, 31 July 2010

Just six days after the MCG Event, the Swannies are on the road again. This time we are off to play the Cambodian Cobras in Phnom Penh on 31 July. The Vietnam Swans will be the first team to tour Cambodia since the 2008 Indochina Cup which doubled as former Saigon President, Scotty Stacey’s farewell tour. There are still hushed whispers about that tour… Believe the hype; do not expect anything less on this tour.

Southern Dragons Training Session, Melbourne

Dragons President, Tri (pronounced "Try". What an Aussie!) presents Swans President Phil Johns with a Dragons jumper

From Hong Kong Dragons to Southern Dragons… Last night, in freezing conditions, Damo Judd and myself attended a training session with the in Clayton. The Southern Dragons are made up of predominantly Asians, many of Vietnamese descent: two of whom have trained with the Swannies in Saigon. The Dragons field three teams with 90 players in the Southern League. They say they have had people from as far afield as Werribee and Sunshine wanting to play for them! Strike! But having seen the great culture that underpins this club, Damo and I could see why players are prepared to travel so far to be part of it.

Dragons Vice President, Kane, presented the Vietnam Swans with a Dragons jumper which will go straight to our pool room in Saigon where it will be proudly displayed. Damo will also take to the field for the Dragons on Saturday.

Essentially, it was all good – until the Coach made us do sit ups on the freezing, cold, wet ground. Yikes! Bring back training in 35 degrees and stifling humidity.

The Vietnam Swans and Southern Dragons are keen to develop the relationship between our clubs.

Thank you to the AFL’s Josh Vanderloo for Auskick packs

The AFL’s Josh Vanderloo has been a great supporter of the Vietnam Swans Auskick program in Hanoi. Now that we have a program up and running in Saigon, Josh has sent us an additional 50 Auskick packs. Thank you, Josh! Thanks also to Sam Conroy and family for transporting them back to Vietnam.

Farewell Jerry!

One of the Swannies favourite sons, Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! returns to the USA this week. Farewell Jerry and Linda. Thanks for being such an active part of the Club while you were here and keep flying the footy flag.

Five minutes with the Flyer

On Friday nights in Saigon, we have Josh on the Couch. Josh focuses on the big AFL issues of the week, Swannies business and current players.

We now have a new segment called Five minutes with the Flyer. In this segment, Dave “Flyer” Kainey tracks down a former player and asks them a handful of questions about their days with the Swannies and what they’re doing now. Where can you see this segment? Only on!

Facebook – Follow it all

Can’t keep up with it all? Forget to check the Swannies Blog to see Five minutes with the Flyer? Become a “friend” of the . Every time we post a new story on the Blog, we will include the headline and link on Facebook so that, if you’re a “friend”, you will be automatically updated.

Sign Off

At the beginning, middle and end of the day, I wanna honk my horn.

Alas, being in Melbourne, I’m not allowed to.

Just how good is the footy in Vietnam??

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Auscham’s Roaring 20’s Ball – 18 September, 2010

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 22, 2010

Auscham's Roaring 20's Ball is coming!

AusCham is back this September with its hugely popular charity ball in Saigon. This year’s theme will be the Roaring 20’s!

Auscham is a great supporter of the Vietnam Swans and we share a number of the same sponsors including the Commonwealth Bank and Jim Beam.

The Event of the Year will be held on 18 September at the Intercontinental Hotel – exactly one week prior to the Biggest Event of the Year, the Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Party.

For more information on Auscham’s Roaring 20’s Ball, please contact .

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Swannies (Vietnam & Sydney), Veterans, Southern Dragons reunion, MCG 25 July

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 21, 2010

Triple Brownlow Medalist, Bobby Skilton walks onto the MCG after Sydney win the 2005 AFL Grand Final - watched on by the Hanoi Swans in Jaspas, Hanoi. Bobby expects to be back at the MCG on Sunday for the reunion.

National President, Phil Johns, emails the attendees who will attend the Sydney Swans pre match function at the MCG on Sunday 25 July 2010.

Hi Attendees to Sunday’s Blockbuster at the ‘G

Regarding arrangements for the MCG, we will all receive wristbands and reserve seat tickets at the Harrison Room, Level 2, Ponsford Stand (entry via Gate 1) subject to you having:

  • completed your own booking form (see attached) and faxing it through to the Sydney Swans’ Melbourne office in advance; and
  • gained your own entry into the MCG via MCC/AFL membership or purchasing a ticket at the gate.

The pre match function that we shall attend for the Sydney Swans past players and officials commences at 12.30pm.

Dress code is neat casual with a collared shirt.

We have a great list of people coming along – including triple Brownlow Medalist Bobby Skilton who “will almost certainly” be there, I have just been told (see attached photo of Bobby on the MCG after the 2005 Grand Final as the Hanoi Swans in Jaspas, Hanoi look on).

From the Vietnam Swans / Hanoi Hawks / Saigon Saints, we have:

  • Mark Williams – Current Hanoi President and player. Played in the Hanoi Swans first ever tournament back in 2003
  • Will Martin – Former Hanoi Swans player who returned for the Vietnam Swans inaugural match and appearance at the 2007 Asian Champs in Bangkok
  • Drew Franklin – Former Vietnam Swans Coach, Committee Member and player who has played in each of the Swannies three Asian Champs
  • Peter Grave – Former Vietnam Swans Player at 2007 Asian Champs
  • Scott Beasley – Former Vietnam Swans player at 2007 Asian Champs who also returned for last year’s Indochina Cup in Bangkok
  • Trish Franklin – Loreto Foundation Director and footy nut. Loreto does amazing work with disadvantaged children in Vietnam. Loreto is the beneficiary of the Saigon Saints AFL Grand Final Party
  • Damien Judd – Vietnam Swans player since the Club went National and current Committee man
  • Ross Mc Rae –  Current Vietnam Swans player and graphic designer for the Club
  • Paul Jones – Founder of the Hanoi Hawks in 1991 who then moved to Saigon where he played with the Saigon Saints
  • John Gourlay – First Vice President of the Saigon Saints when founded in 1998 and, by all reports, extraordinary goal umpire
  • Garry Shiells – Father of current “rock star” Vietnam Swans’ player, Nick. Garry has also trained with the Swannies.
  • Phil Johns – Former President of the Hanoi Swans and current National President of the Vietnam Swans
  • Andrew Johns – Brother of Phil and has also trained with the Vietnam Swans
  • Ryan Jeffery – Played in the Hanoi Swans first ever match in 2003. Host and Organiser of the Hanoi/Vietnam Swans annual golf classic held each December in Melbourne – now in its 6th year
  • Danny Monk – Former Vietnam Swans Captain who returned to Australia just a month ago.

From the Vietnam Veterans who played footy during the Vietnam War, we have:

  • Neil Roberts – 1958 Brownlow Medalist with St Kilda, Vietnam Swimsafe
  • John Kilpatrick – Former St Kilda Player, long time Hawthorn trainer, Vietnam Swimsafe
  • Glenn James – Former VFL Umpire, 17 Construction Sqn Player Vietnam 1969-70
  • John Bell – AFL Timekeeper, 2AOD Player Vietnam 1968
  • George Soumilas – 2AOD Player Vietnam 1968-69
  • Peter Cotchett – 2AOD Player Vietnam 1968-69 also father of Port Melbourne VFL Captain 2007 & 2008
  • Ken Mountford – 2AOD Player Vietnam 1968
  • Charles Skillen – 2AOD Player Vietnam 1967-68
  • Stan Middleton – 2AOD Player Vietnam 1967-68. Also has put together an amazing website with photos of actual footy matches played during the War. Click .
  • Sinh Middleton – Vietnames wife of Stan
  • John Haward – Viet Vet and former Hawthorn Trainer, Vice President Box Hill RSL & President of Box Hill Vietnam Veterans

From the Vietnamese Australians playing with Southern Dragons Football Club, Clayton, we have:

  • Tri – Coach and Gun Player of the Dragons
  • Martin Nguyen –  marketing
  • JP – Player who has also trained with the Vietnam Swans

After the match, former Hanoi/Vietnam Swans players Muzza, Barfly and Rhys are keen to catch up for a drink somewhere.

Sunday shall be a cracking day. And having just played our inaugural ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau – where the Veterans played during the War, the sense of occasion at the G on Sunday should be even more poignant.

I look forward very much to seeing you all there.

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Bradshaw spends “5 minutes with the Flyer”

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 19, 2010

At the 2007 Asian Champs, Gus McEwin had 5 minutes with the Flyer. Today, it's Neil Bradshaw's turn

Today, Dave “Flyer” Kainey starts a new segment for the Swannies Blog. He invites former players who have left Vietnam to spend five minutes with him. Today, the Flyer catches up with Neil Bradshaw.

Neil and Angela Bradshaw left Hanoi at the end of 2005 with the two kids in tow. They spent the next three years in Canberra while their daughter, Frances, finished high school. At the start of 2009 with son, George, 17, about to go into his last year of school, they moved to Bangkok. Frances has just turned 20 (crikey) and is doing Law / Arts at ANU.

I asked Neil the following questions:

1. What are your early memories of the Hanoi (Vietnam) Swans?

Friday night Bloods Panel, initially at Jaac’s (now Jaspas), then it moved to Pepperonis on Hang Hanh St when Mick Francis ran the restaurant. Rick Trawavas and Wayne Tinlin (talking shite about Port) were also there, drinking beer, and then watching the footy when Australia Asia Pacific TV (now Australia Network) used to carry the Friday night match of the week. We also did the planning for setting up a team, getting fit, training etc etc – then I attended one or two training sessions at the paddock until it got too hard for my fitness level.

2. Tell me about the setting up of ‘Dead Cat (Hoang Cau) Stadium’ as an initial training base after being based on the paddock next to the Australian Embassy in Hanoi?

Twilight training on the paddock next to the Embassy on Dao Tan St (the corner site opposite the Daewoo Hotel where they are currently building the 65 storey Lotte Centre) was pretty funny due to the parlous state of the ‘pitch’ and the only place I ever really trained with the Swans – I have a vague recollection that there was also a training session or two at the Van Phuc field opposite the former UNIS campus (now Uniworld) on Van Bao.

By the time of the big move to ‘Dead Cat’ Stadium, I was pretty engrossed in setting up and running the Australian Mullets Softball Club and beating the Americans. We started playing softball at Dead Cat at around the same time the Swans moved their training base there – Anh Phi from UNIS helped us to set up bookings for the ground each week for Sunday games and was a great help.

3. The Inaugural International (Tri-Nations) against Hong Kong and Thailand at the Industrial Park was where it started for the Club. How was the day for you?

Neil Bradshaw takes a screamer for the Bloods at the Thanh Long Industrial Park in 2003

I remember being very impressed with how the guys (Mick Francis I think was instrumental in organising this) got that ground at Thang Long Industrial Park together with the posts etc – really looked great. I was late getting to the Swans first game against Hong Kong and saw the last Quarter or so.

I then pulled Coach Bubbles aside and told him he should put me in for Potsy at Full Forward – as a big game player. Potsy was obviously not too happy about this – and so I ran on for a quarter and a half in the second game against the Tigers. I did bugger-all in that game, except eventually took a mark when the opposition was looking the other way, but missed the set shot for a behind… I did scramble a goal at the other end in the third term though. See the photo attached of the mark I took which your readers can make up their own minds about. I remember Ryan Jeffrey posted this photo on the original (Hanoi) Swans website which he set up soon after he left Hanoi to go back to Melbourne.

I remember I felt a bit uncomfortable throwing on the guernsey given I had not attended any of the preparatory training sessions – it was Murray Lott who got me out there on the day, a rugby man who played his first ever game of ‘Rules’ but was a terrier around the packs. I remember also Jarrod Dale in particular looked the business as B.O.G for the Bloods.

The Hanoi Mulletts

4. You played a major role in setting up ‘The Mullets’ softball team, another great sporting team in Hanoi, I believe you had a few Swans on the list? How did they perform?

Yes we set up the Hanoi International Softball league during my time which was a lot of fun. I’ve

The Mulletts

attached a photo of our winning Mullets side which beat the Yanks (19-18 I think in extra innings) in the final in the inaugural year (2003/4) of the competition. Instrumental in that memorable win on the day were Swans list players Dave Kainey, Mike Growder, Brett Farmer and Jarrod Dale. Scott Stacey was a regular in setting up the Mullets and in the winning season and was deeply disappointed to be in HCMC on the day of the final. Mick Francis played a fair bit in the early days of the Mullets, particularly when we used to play at the Van Phuc field against the Septics. Another Mullets regular – and as keen and dedicated to his softball as to all his interests – was Justin ‘Pumper’ Hart, a master of the ‘takeout slide’ into First Base.

5. Finally, your thoughts on the 2010 AFL season? The premier team? A team that will surprise as a finals contender? A media headline that will be bigger than that mark you took in 2004 at the Industrial Park?

I was pretty disillusioned early on after the Crows lost six in a row. No big surprise in the finals I expect with the strength of the top 4/5 teams, and Geelong and Saints so dominant in particular. I think it will be St Kilda’s year, but I’d love to see the Crows sneak in (despite our usual tough run to the finals having to play all the top sides from the previous year)… that would make a good headline I reckon. And as I write they’ve just beat the Cats at Footie Park so maybe they finally believe they can do it… I think they have a great list, and are certainly good enough to play finals footy this year if they can keep it all together.

Go the Bloods! Best of success to the Club, which has come an amazingly long way since the early days.

Thanks Neil for spending ‘5 Minutes with The Flyer’

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The Saigon Prez’s weekly update

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 16, 2010

Dezza, last week at the Swannies Vs Bintangs match in Saigon

Saigon Prez, Derrin Limbrick gives us the week’s update.

Gents, well another week flys by, but I must say that the knocks, aches and pains somehow felt a lot easier to deal with this week. I guess that is what happens when we all get to bask in the glory of a fantastic win last weekend. The Kainey Cup has come back to Vietnam and I for one am pretty happy about that. Days like this do not happen every week in Vietnam so it is worth savouring the moment. It also does not happen without the contributions from everyone who helped to make the weekend such a success. I want to thank our fantastic sponsors, the players, volunteers and everyone who came out to watch. The Cup belongs to all of us not just the 20 players who were out there on the field on Saturday.

And how good are the Bintangs? Not just as a footy team but also as a bunch of blokes! I know that I for one would be happy to have them back any day of the week, plus we should all be looking forward to touring their next year because I know that they are going to look after us well.

Ok, moving on to this weekend we have cancelled training to give everyone a chance to get over last week. In my e-mail last week I suggested that it might be a good idea to go and enjoy an afternoon of golf at the par 3 in Phu My Hung.

Or alternatively, there is a blockbuster game on Saturday at 11. 30 between the Pies and the Saints. For those of you who missed the game earlier this year, there was no love lost between the two sides, which culminated in the infamous handbags at 10 paces incident between Mick Malthouse and Stevey Milne. So I think that this match is going to be a cracker.

Friday nights with Josh on the couch – Cafe Latin Tonight 7 pm

Josh is planning on entertaining us all again tonight during the breaks of the match tonight between the Crows and the Cats. The match kicks of at 7 pm and Jim Beam are sponsoring the evening, with Happy Hour prices from Cafe Latin while the match is on.

For those who were not there last week it was extremely funny, and the guests were very entertaining (Angry Dave Hadley a standout). So if you’re looking for somewhere to watch the footy make sure you get on down to Latin tonight.

Cambodian Tour – Weekend 31st July

The Cambodian Tor is locked in. The Club will be hiring a coach to take us from HCMC to Phnom Penh on Friday night, and back again on Sunday. There has been plenty of talk about how good it was the last time we did this and that is no exaggeration, so make sure you keep the weekend free and come along.

We will be finalizing the arrangements over the next week and so we can let you know the costs for the bus and accommodation, however we are hoping to make it as cost effective as possible.

If you’re planning on coming, can you please get back to me so we can get an idea on the size of the bus we are going to need.

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VFL stars to attend Swannies MCG reunion

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 14, 2010

Neil Roberts, Vietnam Veteran & footy player, and 1958 Brownlow Medalist, will attend the Sydney and Vietnam Swans reunion at the MCG on 25 July 2010

The Vietnam Swans have just heard from Stan Middleton (former footy player during the War in 1967-68). He will come to the Swannies reunion at the MCG on 25 July – which will be held during the Sydney Swans pre match function for their own past players and officials. – with a glittering cast. His email is reproduced below.

I have organized and booked for 9 people to attend past Players & Officials function of which 8 have booked seats in the area reserved. The other is a timekeeper at the game so has to leave the function early. Either that or he will delay the start of the game!

Those attending are:

  • Neil Roberts (1958 Brownlow Medalist) Vietnam Swimsafe
  • John Kilpatrick (Ex St Kilda Player, long time Hawthorn trainer) Vietnam Swimsafe
  • Glenn James (former VFL Umpire, 17 Construction Sqn Player Vietnam 1969-70)
  • John Bell (AFL Timekeeper, 2AOD Player Vietnam 1968)
  • George Soumilas (2AOD Player Vietnam 1968-69)
  • Peter Cotchett (2AOD Player Vietnam 1968-69 also father of Port Melbourne VFL Captain 2007 & 2008)
  • Ken Mountford (2AOD Player Vietnam 1968)
  • Charles Skillen (2AOD Player Vietnam 1967-68)
  • Stan Middleton (2AOD Player Vietnam 1967-68)

If you would like to attend this event, please contact the now for full details. b-i-g.

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The Kainey Cup Match Report

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 12, 2010

Coach Josh gives us the run down of what happened on the weekend.

Coach of the Vietnam Swans, Josh Little, tells us what happened on the weekend when we played the Jakarta Bintangs.

The Kainey Cup is always one of the most popular contests in Asian footy and this match lived up to the hype. The weekend kicked off at Cafe Latin with the Jakarta boys arriving in Saigon just after the Friday night AFL telecast: this week between Port Adelaide and Collingwood. With a lot of the boys being on their best behaviour and limiting their alcohol consumption, it was clear that everyone was focussing on the big prize the next day.

The weather was perfect on the Saturday and the ground was looking almost as lush as the MCG! With some of the boys leaving the Vietnam side to play for Jakarta to help even up the numbers (a big thank you to the boys for doing that) the sides were evenly matched and ready for a fierce battle.

Jakarta - quickly out of the blocks

The match started off with Jakarta jumping out of the blocks to kick the first 3 goals leaving the home side stunned! It wasn’t until Gus, the captain in his last match for Vietnam, put the Swans on the board with a great goal which got the home team up and about. Chris, in what wasn’t his natual sport, showed he has what it takes with a good goal from the pocket and then was unlucky with hitting the post within minutes.

The second quarter started in great fashion with the boys in the middle getting the job done. Boris was fantastic, in his first match for the Swans since crossing over from the Lao Elephants, giving our midfielders first use of the ball which created a great advantage in the clearances. Sam, Nicko & Stanno were all working well together and causing head aches for Jakarta as Vietnam started to get on top. The forward line started to show the goods with Danny getting on the end of some lovely passes and the bootless Brett snagging a couple of goals to give the Swans the advantage going into the main break.

The Swans started well in the third with the back line keeping Jakarta very quiet: Derrin doing a great stopping job & Mark “Goal” Greenshields taking plenty of contested marks. The Swans were a little inaccurate in the third, wasting many opportunities and keeping Jakarta in the game. MJ’s class for Jakarta was creating problems for the Swannies in the middle as the Bintangs converted a late goal to set up an interesting final term.

The Swans were jumped again with the visitors kicking an early goal but to the Swannies credit, we didn’t drop our head. We kept on pushing despite some of the boys being a bit exhausted. With Jakarta coming home strong with a couple of goals, Brett bobbed up again to put home his 3rd goal and to take out the goal of the year! Tight against the boundry line and about 30-40 meters out, little Brett slamed the ball on his bare foot and snapped an absolute golden goal!

Jakarta never gave up and they kept on pushing hard but it wasn’t enough. The siren beat them in the end and the Swans regained the Kainey Cup. Then it was off to Cafe Latin where everyone celebrated a great day!

Barefoot Brett in action

It was a great game with the Swannies winning by 8 points and some heroic performances on the day. Gus played his heart out in his last match and showed just how valuable he can be in the forward line and around the ground. Mark “Goal” across half back was fantastic. His strong hands were so important at the end of the game. Brett Jotta was brilliant and was considered the best on ground by many. His 3 goals were great and his hard running all over the ground was a real bonus for the Swans.

He also showed everybody out there that shoes are not necessarily required in footy!

Thanks to Jakarta for touring Vietnam. They played the game in the right spirit and we will look forward to our next battle in Jakarta for the Kainey Cup!

To see more of Ross and An’s photos, click .

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First photos of Kainey Cup

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 11, 2010

Ross McRae and Em An have very kindly posted the first photos of the Kainey Cup onto his photo album.

To see all 144 photos, click .

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