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.
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!
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 .