Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for August, 2010

Saigon Times and first photos of Heritage Round

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 31, 2010

Aiden played another great game for Hanoi

The first photos of Heritage Round have emerged.

To see the half dozen photos that have come through, click onto the .

Yesterday, an article appeared in the Saigon Times, titled, . It also includes a short report of the Heritage Round match.

To see other articles that have been written about the Vietnam Swans, click here.

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Hanoi wins Heritage Round!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 30, 2010

Victory again to Hanoi

The match was nearly cancelled due to incessant rain. But just two hours before the scheduled start, we were given the all clear to proceed – albeit on a shortened oval at the UN International School, Hanoi.

Saigon turned up as clear favourites – and got belted.

The final score was Hanoi 15.6. 96 to Saigon 6.9.45.

So, for the second time this year, the North has retained the trophy.

More to follow.

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Your Weekly Footy Feast

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 27, 2010

Hanoi's Phil Johns presents Saigon's Phil Crouch with a broken hammer n sickle trophy after the Sourtherners beat the Northerners 99 to 53 in Saigon on 21 April 2007.

National President Phil Johns gives us our Weekly Footy Feast.

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

  • Heritage Round Match, Hanoi, tomorrow
  • Grand Final Parties
  • Strategic Marine and Aussie Home Loans announced as sponsors
  • Reflections from a Swans’ Dad
  • The Countdown Clock
  • Rumour File

Heritage Round Match, Hanoi, tomorrow

Tonight, the Southerners will fly to Hanoi for tomorrow’s big Heritage Round clash. Hanoi will be dressed in the Sydney Swans kit while Saigon will wear the Vietnam Swans strip.

Tomorrow will mark the long overdue return of football to the nation’s capital. The last time the Swannies played a match in Hanoi was on 8 August last year against the Lao Elephants.

The Hanoians are pumped to be hosting this match and have put together a cracking schedule for Saigon’s favourite sons. It all starts at JASPAS tonight in Hanoi Towers.

The match will be played tomorrow at the UN International School, Ciputra between midday and 2pm. We shall then move to JAFA Restaurant for the post match festivities and the telecast of the AFL matches.

During the week, the Sydney Swans generously donated two footy jumpers signed by their 2010 player list for our Grand Final Parties. MJ picked them up - and immediately lost one to his partner and the other to his mother-in-law! MJ, make sure you bring them to Vietnam!!

Grand Final Parties

Tickets are now on sale for our Grand Final Party in Saigon. They will be on sale shortly in Hanoi.

  • Hanoi – will be held at Jaspas, Level 4, Hanoi Towers, 49 Hai Ba Trung Street. Tickets are USD40 or USD35 with a Swannies discount.
  • Saigon – will be held at La Cantine On the 6, 6 Dong Khoi Street and will cost USD35 for pre purchased tickets. Tickets are on sale now!

Click here for full details.

Strategic Marine and Aussie Home Loans announced as Club Sponsors

As announced during the week, the Vietnam Swans are delighted to welcome and Aussie Home Loans, specifically Aussie’s Broker, as sponsors.

Their generous support is greatly appreciated. Click here for full news of the announcement.

Reflections from a Swans’ Dad

A fortnight ago, Josh’s Dad, David, dropped into Saigon for a weekend. David came along to Friday night football, came out to training on the weekend and immediately fitted right into the Club. After returning to Australia, he sent an email to Josh reflecting upon his time in Saigon.

Among other things, David writes:

I travelled to Vietnam wanting to make a statement of support for my son. I admire his courage and stickability at having a go in another country away from his conventional support structure.

I always knew he loved footy (how many assignments can you do at school on the Essendon Footy Club?), but I was not aware of the degree of importance the Vietnam Swans has played in his sanity and happiness in Vietnam. I am aware now.

To read the rest of his email, click here.

David, thanks for wanting to be a part of this Club and we are extremely pleased to have you as a member! We look forward to seeing you next – probably in Melbourne at the Vietnam Swans Golf Day and/or Cricket Day in December.

The Countdown Clock

  • Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Parties (25 Sept) – 4 weeks.
  • The Asian Championships, Shanghai (16 Oct) – 7 weeks.

For all other Swannies events, click here.

The Vietnamese Government may rename the Gulf of Tonkin, for this weekend only, to the Gulf of Honkin'.

The Rumour File

As previously noted, it is just over a year since the last footy match was played in Hanoi.

The Vietnamese Government is rumoured to be so pleased that footy is returning to the Nation’s Capital that it has convened a Working Group to recommend what can be done to celebrate this auspicious occasion.

Apparently, top of the list of suggestions is a bold proposal to rename, for this weekend only, the Gulf of Tonkin. The rumour says it will be renamed the Gulf of Honkin’.

If true, this will certainly be no silent tribute to Aussie Rules!

Honk! Honk! Giddy up!

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Josh’s Dad reflects after a weekend with the Swannies

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 26, 2010

Shannon, Mick, David and Josh at training a fortnight ago

Two weekends ago, David Little visited the Swannies. David is the father of Josh, who is the coach in Saigon. After returning to Australia, David wrote to Josh and reflected on his weekend with Josh and the Swannies.

Josh, thanks for the great time in Vietnam. The following comments are for you and your colleagues, I would like you to pass them on to the team.

I travelled to Vietnam wanting to make a statement of support for my son. I admire his courage and stickability at having a go in another country away from his conventional support structure.

I always knew he loved footy (how many assignments can you do at school on the Essendon Footy Club?), but I was not aware of the degree of importance the Vietnam Swans has played in his sanity and happiness in Vietnam. I am aware now.

It was an honour and a joy to meet the guys that make up the club. I loved the diverse personalities from a heavy metal, Filipino rock band support act of Tim to the passion of ‘Fabbo’ Phil with his undying energy to find ways to promote his club.

Josh has fitted into this group like a ‘hand into Matthew Lloyd’s glove’.

In particular I was rapt at how you embraced the dads. I know Michael (Shannon’s father), like me, felt a part of the group from Day 1.

It took me a good week to get over the training, but no injuries, so all is good!

Good luck with all the big challenges ahead, including the Vietnam Swans 2010 AFL Grand Final Party.

I am proud to be a paid up member of this Club.

David, Josh’s dad.

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New Club Sponsors – Strategic Marine & Aussie Home Loans

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 24, 2010

National President, Phil Johns announces the signing of two new Club Sponsors.

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

It is my great privilege to announce two new Club Sponsors for the Vietnam Swans:

  • Strategic Marine; and
  • Aussie Home Loans or, more specifically, Mark Greenshields who is a broker for Aussie Home Loans.

Strategic Marine

Strategic Marine is an international ship building and engineering firm that specialises in both steel and aluminium construction. Strategic Marine operates in Vung Tau (home of the Vietnam Swans ANZAC Friendship Match), Australia, Singapore and Mexico.

Strategic Marine’s General Manager, Michael McCourt writes,

Strategic Marine is proud to be a sponsor of the Vietnam Swans. As an Australian-owned company with operations in Vung Tau, it’s great to support an organization so iconically Australian as an AFL team. We also respect the contribution that the Swans make to cultural ties between the two countries, and to local community causes.

Go the Swannies!

Mark Greenshields - Broker for Aussie Home Loans

Aussie Home Loans –

‘ website encourages visitors to “Let an Aussie Mortgage Broker fight hard to get you a better deal, even if it is with your current lender”.

is a broker for Aussie and it is he, as an Aussie Home Loans broker, who is the Vietnam Swans new sponsor. Mark only spent five months in Vietnam before returning to Australia but, even in that short space of time, he made a big impact on the Vietnam Swans. It didn’t take long before Mark Greenshields was renamed Mark Goal for his ability to, well, mark the footy and boot a goal! Mark was very much the man committed to the team and played in every one of our home and away games in that five month period.

The Vietnam Swans saw first hand what a difference Mark made out on the field. We have no doubt that he will also be able to make a big difference in getting you a better deal on your home loan in Australia.

Mark Greenshields can be contacted at


The Vietnam Swans are delighted to welcome both Strategic Marine and Mark Greenshields, an Aussie Home Loans Broker, as new sponsors.

We very much look forward to working with them over the next 12 months.

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Details for 2010 Grand Final Party, Saigon

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 23, 2010

The Swannies 2010 Grand Final Party in Saigon is coming!

The artwork has been finalised for the Vietnam Swans 2010 AFL Grand Final Party in Saigon which will be held at at 6 Dong Khoi Street, D1, HCMC.

The artwork has been sent to the printers. Tickets will be available to purchase by the end of this week for just 650,000VND (USD35).

To reserve your tickets, email now.

The poster features Club Legend, Gus McEwin who has played more games for the Swannies than anyone else. He started in our first ever match in 2003 and was running like a G Train until just last month when he relocated to Indonesia (having said that, he is expected to fly back to Saigon for our match against Cambodia on 4 September).

Speaking of Legends, another is Scotty Stacey. Scott was also there at the beginning in Hanoi and was instrumental in establishing the national Vietnam Swans team in 2007 and became the inaugural Saigon President of the Vietnam Swans. So why is this of any relevance to our Grand Final Party? Well, Scotty is going to fly in from Australia for the Big Event!

Meanwhile, Hanoi’s Grand Final Party will be held at Jaspas in Hanoi Towers, Hai Ba Trung Street. Final details will be confirmed in the next couple of days.

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Riding On magazine Writing On the ANZAC Friendship Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 21, 2010

Riding On article. Click to enlarge.

Glenn Nolan, part of the Vung Tau Massive is also the Vice President of the .

He has just forwarded the side article on Long Tan Cross ANZAC Day 2010 which has appeared in the August 2010 issue of Riding On magazine. Click on the article to enlarge it.

Half of the article refers to the ANZAC Friendship Match.

The article is all good – except there is one slight inaccuracy. It was actually Hanoi rather than Saigon who won the match! By a single point.

Click here for other articles that have appeared in the press about the Vietnam Swans.

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Houseware sales and Auskick this weekend in Saigon

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 20, 2010

Back of Car Sale. Saturday, 21 August 2010, Saigon. Be there!

Does your home need something extra? The Vietnam housewares Back of the Car sale may be just the ticket for you.

Vietnam Housewares export a vast amount of stuff to countries like Australia. Tomorrow, with the Vietnam Swans, they are having a clearance sale at the , D2 , Saigon.

It’s on from 8am – 4pm.

Auskick returns to Saigon on Sunday 22 August, 2010

, our Auskick Man, gives us the update on Auskick Saigon which returns this weekend:

Dear families, friends and footy lovers…

Auskick Saigon will be on again 8am, this Sunday at the AIS sports centre –Thao Dien.

The new season has seen large numbers of kids coming along and getting involved in the fun. This week will be HUGE as the first group of kids to complete three sessions will receive their Auskick packs which include your very own sports bag, footy, Auskick cap, drink bottle and heaps more!  Remember it only takes three sessions to earn yours so come along and get kitted up!

This week we will have all new drills and skills, fun competitions and another game where last week the blues beat the whites 5 goals to 3!

Mums and dads – Come 10 minutes early to warm up and have a kick with your kids before the session starts.

For further details, contact .

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Saigon’s Father-Son Rule

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 19, 2010

The Father-Son Rule in Saigon

Seemingly, Saigon’s Father-Son Rule is that if Dad is in town, then you bring him out to training.

Well, that was certainly the case last weekend when Shannon’s Dad, Mick and Josh’s Dad, David, both came out to a Swannies training session.

And it was awesome.

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

Vietnam Veterans’ Day, 18 August, 2010

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 18, 2010

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

Lest we forget.

Today’s will be held at the Long Tan Cross, commencing at 3.30pm (6.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time).

The Vietnam Swans Community

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Back of Car Sale, Saigon, 21 August

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 16, 2010

Back of Car Sale. Saturday, 21 August 2010, Saigon. Be there!

On Saturday 21 August, Saigon will come alive with the sound of bargain hunters traipsing across Saigon to the , D2, for some awesome homewares.

The homewares are supplied by Vietnam Housewares which is affiliated with the Vietnam Swans Club Sponsor, Pest Free.

The Back of Car Sale is open from 8am – 4pm and is perfect for anyone who thinks their home needs something extra.

You’ll be booting yourself if you miss this one.

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The National Update

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 14, 2010

Last night in Saigon, Shag get's on Josh's Couch with his Dad, Mick - and provides some light relief to the Essendon drubbing in the ANZAC Day Replay.

National President, Phil “Fabbo” Johns gives us the National Update

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

  • ANZAC Day Replay in Hanoi and Saigon – and Kev MacMillan.
  • Star of Gallantry award received by Lt. Col. (Ret.) Harry Smith.
  • Heritage Round and Asian Champs
  • Swannies to play Victorian team
  • Irishman to play for Swannies
  • Footy around the region
  • Swannies set to announce two new sponsors
  • Photos of Cambodian match available
  • Details of the 2010 Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Parties
  • The Count Down Clock
  • Closing thought

ANZAC Day Replay last night in Hanoi and Saigon – and Kevin MacMillan

Last night in Hanoi and Saigon we had the ANZAC Day Replay between Essendon and Collingwood. More than twenty attended in Saigon including the Dads of Josh and Shag. Special Guests to Josh’s Paddock included Shag, Mick (Shag’s Dad) and Fabbo.

Meanwhile, we are just four days away from Vietnam Veterans Day on 18 August which marks the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, 1966.

For those of you who attended our ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau this year, you will remember Kev Macmillan. Kev was the Veteran who led one of our bus tours on the Saturday morning. At the beginning of the match, he carried the Match Ball to the field umpires in the centre of the ground. At the end of the match, he presented the BOG Medal to Heath Ellis.

Kev is currently in Australia being “nuked” with radiation therapy for a cancer that had developed on the side of his face. He says he’s “positive about the prognosis and so far (has) responded well to the surgery”. He warns us to “start planning for my return to Vietnam!”

You Betcha, Kev! All the Vietnam Swans look forward to seeing you back here very soon.

Star of Gallantry award received by Lt. Col. (Ret’d) Harry Smith

Lt. Col. (Ret'd) Harry Smith who was awarded the Star of Gallantry, received it last week.

During the week, Kev also forwarded some news about Lt Col. (Ret’d) Harry Smith who finally received his Star of Gallantry award just last week.

As described by Wikipedia, the is a military decoration awarded to personnel of the Australian Defence Force and is awarded for “acts of great heroism or conspicuous gallantry in action in circumstances of great peril. After the Victoria Cross, it is the highest of the Military gallantry awards in the Australian Honours System.

“In August 2008, was awarded the decoration for his leadership and gallantry during the in the Vietnam War. Smith was originally recommended for the Distinguished Service Order following the battle, but this was subsequently downgraded to the Military Cross. The award of the Star of Gallantry to Smith came as a result of several years of campaigning to the Australian Government resulting in an independent review which recommended the award.”

Side note: Bruce Beresford is currently shooting a “, which is expected to be released in 2011. Other films by Bruce Beresford include Breaker Morant, Don’s Party, Driving Miss Daisy and The Club.

Heritage Round and Asian Champs

The 2010 Asian Champs logo

Heritage Round will happen again on 28 August 2010 in Hanoi between the Hanoi Hawks and Saigon Saints.

This round will be particularly important as we build up to the Asian Champs, in Shanghai, in October. A big turnout from HCMC is expected as we try to increase the level of interest in this year’s Champs. The actual match will be played on the Saturday and Hanoi is planning supporting functions for Friday and Saturday nights as well as Sunday lunch time.

Former Swannie, Patrick Stringer, now resident of Shanghai, has organised an amazing deal for us at the Radisson Hotel during the Champs.

The new 2010 Asian Champs logo has been released (see picture to the side).

Go the Swannies alumni!

Swannies to play Tarrawingee (from Victoria)

Daniel, 2008 Swannies Golf Day, Melbourne

Former Swannie, Daniel Hogarth is set to return to Vietnam – with his footy club, Tarrawingee, for their end of season trip. The proposal is to play a match against the Vietnam Swans in Saigon on Sunday, 19 September, at RMIT University. Then the Tarrawingans will spend some time in Central Vietnam before making it to Hanoi in time for the 2010 Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Party.

Some background on Daniel: he travelled on the then Hanoi Swans first overseas tour in 2004 to Malaysia. He has also played in several of the Vietnam Swans Golf Days in Melbourne which are held each year on 29 December. Another Swannie, Will Martin is also good friends with Tarra’s Boca.

Go the Swannies alumni!

Irishman to play for Vietnam Swans

Benny McDevitt currently plays for the Belfast Redbacks in Ireland. It looks very likely that he will be moving to Hanoi in mid September – and he has just stumbled across the Swannies’ website. Benny says,

It has made my day knowing that Aussie Rules is being played in Hanoi / Vietnam. I would love to join the team! This would be great for me as I have aspirations to play in the International Cup next year (in Australia) with Ireland and was worried about moving and hindering my chances.

No chance of the Swannies hindering anyone’s chances, Benny. So get that McButt of yours onto the plane as quickly as you can!

Footy around the region

Today, the Thailand Tigers play the Jakarta Bintangs in Pattaya. On our Heritage Round weekend, 28 August, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia will play a Tri Nations Cup in Singapore.

Swannies set to announce two new Club Sponsors

The country has been awash with rumours that the Vietnam Swans are about to announce details of two new Club sponsors.

At this stage, the Club will neither confirm nor deny anything. Having said that, the smart money seems to be on:

  • , a ship building company in Vung Tau; and
  • . Mark, who has also been a gun for the Swannies is an agent for Aussie. It is Mark, rather than Aussie Home Loans who is rumoured to be the sponsor.

The Vietnam Swans expect to announce full details in the coming week.

Photos of Cambodian match available

Photos of the recent Cambodian match are now available on the Swannies Web Album.

Details of the 2010 Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi and Saigon (HCMC)

Details of the 2010 Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Parties shall be announced this week.

The Count Down Clock

  • 6 Weeks – The 2010 Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Parties, Hanoi & Saigon (25 September).
  • 9 Weeks – the Asian Championships, Shanghai (16 October)

For the Swannies full Calendar of Events, click here.

Closing thought:

Would an Australian visiting Vietnam start honking their horn? Maybe even every day?

Maybe not maybe.

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