It’s the opening game for the Swannies at the Asian Champs and we’re up against the Asian powerhouse, Singapore. Nat Payne reports…
Wombats forced to dig themselves out of a hole as Swans hold heads high!
After one of the most disciplined and meticulous preparations in Asian Championship history, the Vietnam Swans were ready to take on the Goliaths of Asian Australian Rules Football. And it didn’t get much bigger for David (Swans) when they battled the Goliath that was the Singapore Wombats. Multiple Asian Champ winners and a team made up of close to 40 players. Still, the Swannies were as ready and as hungry as they had ever been.
The night before they had carbo loaded at their local Shanghai Chinese restaurant and had been inspired by a pre subway trip speech from Asian football’s version of Kevin Bartlett, Kevin Hornblower! The boys listened in awe to Kev regale story after story about his glory days and what it took to take the ultimate prize. Later that weekend Kev also took it upon himself to provide a certain Brisbane Lion full forward with some important tips that he could’ve done with several years earlier.
All was in readiness and not even a confused bus driver or a blocked sewerage system at the ground could clip the wings of these Swans. The first half was a ‘Chinese arm wrestle’ which saw the majority of ball being contested between the 50metre arcs. David ‘Angry’ Hadley was outsized, but toiled admirably while his captain Luke ‘Dukes’ Creamer and Lucas ‘Judd’ Skelton locked horns with the Wombat’s rotating onball brigade. The backline, which was also undersized, was forced to repel many forward efforts from the Wombats.
At the half, the Swans were in it up to their beaks and the Wombats would have to dig deep to get over the line.
After some motivational words from coach Josh Little and a little tweaking of positions, the Swannies were at it again. The Wombats came out with a new set of fresh legs which provided wave after wave of run, off their half backline. The Swan’s midfield and backs were feeling the pressure and turned to their experienced generals for support. Assistance came, but it was too late… this time.
One minute before the siren, Vietnam’s fortunes took a massive swan dive with star onballer and umpire favourite, Lucas Skelton being assisted from the ground after a nasty knock. He was to take no further part in the day and severely dented Vietnam’s chances of claiming that ellusive first victory.
David had lost his first battle to Goliath, but was in no way beaten. Could the Swans rise from the ashes of defeat? Only time would tell.