Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for December, 2010

Swannies meet Tigers at Swannies’ 4th Annual Cricket Day

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 30, 2010

The 4th Swannies Cricket Day - at the London. Flyer, Fabbo, Batchelor, Monkey and Payne

Things were looking grim for the Vietnam Swans’ 4th Annual Cricket Day at the Boxing Day Test Match. Even though the Poms only required 3 wickets, the MCG was still requiring punters to pay full price to gain entry to the ‘G. Hardly a nguyen-nguyen situation. So, the call was made to watch the last of the wickets fall at a pub in Richmond.

10.30am, Fabbo arrives at the pre arranged London Tavern. Shut. Walks around the corner to the Mount View in Bridge Rd. Shut. What is going on in this country?? Down Punt Rd to the trusty ol’ Cricketer’s Arms. Open. Dave Kainey turns up. All good for about an hour before the last of the Aussies are bowled out.

The call comes from Nat Payne saying that the London has finally opened and he and Monkey are there with a few mates. So Fabbo and Kainey leave the Cricketer’s for the London. Chris Batchelor and his mate then arrive. Half a dozen mates of Fabbo arrive. And then, more than a dozen Thailand Tigers arrive!! Bleeding Tigers everywhere!

The Thailand Tigers at the London Tavern

Tiger Trent Smith had threatened to come along to the Swannies Cricket Day and had warned us that Tigers were assembling in Melbourne for a wedding. He posted news on Facebook about the Swannies heading to the London and then the Thailand Tigers appeared (you see, Facebook can be a force of good!).

What a top afternoon it was with the Swannies and Tigers taking over the London. Inevitably, there were a number of comments from other tables who had some connection with Asian Footy.

Fabbo and Patto (Thailand Tigers) spoke of the two clubs joining forces at next year’s Boxing Day Test Match in the MCC Members. Asian footy wouldn’t need much coordination to make a big impact at the MCG if we all turned up in our respective team’s colours.

Asian Footy, bigger than you think! (Wasn’t the Swannies 4th Annual Cricket Day supposed to be about the cricket?)


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

While Aussies fizzle, Swannies sizzle at 6th Golf Classic.

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 29, 2010

Back row: Phil Johns, David Little, John Cranfield, Clint "Barfly" Bryant, Doug, Daisy, Shaun & Mark Greenshields, Ryan Jeffrey, Gus McEwin. Front Row: Peter & Dave Kainey, Chris Canty, Daniel Hogarth

Yesterday, while the Aussies were collapsing in a heap at the MCG, the Swannies were tearing up Royal Ivanhoe Golf Links in the prestigious Vietnam Swans 6th Annual Golf Classic.

This year, recognising the different skill levels and the social nature of the day, we played under . In the ambrose format, each group of players is a team. The next hit is always played by the team from the location of the previous best ball. So, if you shanked your ball into the woods while your team mate landed on the edge of the green, no problem. You also play your next shot from the edge of the green.

Team 1 – Winners! (Score: 5 Under)

  • Ryan Jeffrey (Hanoi Swan – and yesterday wore the souvenir t shirt from Hanoi Swans’ first ever match back in 2003)
  • Dave Kainey (former President, Hanoi and current player who is based in Singapore)
  • Paeter Kainey (Dave’s brother)

Team 2 – 2nd Place (5 Under; but one extra player than Team 1)

  • Gus McEwin (former Hanoi/Vietnam Swan and Captain. Now lives in Indonesia)
  • John Cranfield (former Vietnam Swan, Saigon)
  • Chris Canty (Hanoi Swan)
  • Daniel Hogarth (Hanoi Swan)

Team 3 (Score: 4 Under)

  • David Little (trained with Swannies in Saigon and is father of current coach/player, Josh)
  • Daisy (current player, Saigon)
  • Doug (friend of Daisy)
  • Clint Bryant (Hanoi Swan)

Team 4 (3 Over)

  • Phil Johns (current National President)
  • Mark Greenshields (2010 player, Saigon & Hoi An and current sponsor for home loans)
  • Shaun Greenshields (brother of Mark)

2010 Ryan Jeffrey Jacket Winners

The proud winners of the Ryan Jeffrey Jacket in 2010 was Team 1: Ryan Jeffrey, Peter and Dave Kainey.

Other winners were: 

  • Nearest to Pin #1 – Ryan Jeffrey
  • Nearest to Pin #2 – Mark Greenshields
  • Nearest to Pin #3 – Doug
  • Nearest to Pin #4 – Shaun Greenshields
  • Longest Drive – John Cranfield

After the golf had finished and we were at the Clubhouse, Peter Kainey, brother of Dave, thanked the Vietnam Swans for our gesture of wearing black armbands during the recent Indochina Cup in Saigon to honour the memory of his mother (see Farewell to Dave Kainey’s mother). Peter said that the Kainey family was moved and very appreciative of the Vietnam Swans gesture of support.

National President, Phil Johns replied that it had been a great honour and privilege for everyone at the Vietnam Swans to wear the armbands.

Then, it was off to Ryan’s house for the traditional post golf BBQ – and to reflect upon the new age of Australia struggling in the cricket!

Posted in Farewell | Leave a Comment »

Swannies Cricket Day moved to London Tavern

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 28, 2010

Ricky's bad days spell bad news for the Swannies wanting to go to the 'G tomorrow.

Due to the rather dismal state of affairs at the MCG in the Boxing Day Test Match between the Australians and Poms, the Swannies have had to change our plans for tomorrow’s Vietnam Swans 4th Annual Cricket Day.

Only 4 Australian wickets remain and we are still chasing 246 runs to force the Poms to bat a second time – and the Poms still have two days to bowl us out!

Cricket Australia has advised that to gain entry into the “People’s Ground” tomorrow will still be charged at full price.

Given the Aussies may not even last the first hour, the Swannies will now go to the at 238 Lennox Street, Richmond from 10.30am to watch it on the Box.

To find the London Tavern on Google Maps, .

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National Prez’s Christmas Update

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 24, 2010

The Nasho Prezzo seen on the Swannies video that's going viral. Click to view.

National President, Phil Johns, gives a 2010 Christmas update.

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

  • The Rise of the Vietnam Swans in 2010.
  • What was different in 2010?
  • Swannies video going viral
  • Swannies Annual Golf & Cricket Days
  • Melbourne. Highlights coming up in 2011
  • Special Thank Yous
  • And finally…

The Rise of the Vietnam Swans in 2010

If we were graphing the rise of the Vietnam Swans, the line in 2010 would have kicked. In 2010, the Vietnam Swans:

  • Won the Indochina Cup – undefeated in our 3 matches
  • Won our first matches (2 out of 4) at the Asian Champs
  • Won 4 out of 5 international friendlies
  • Won/lost two Heritage Round Matches (congratulations Hanoi on both occasions!)
  • Held our first genuinely national Best & Fairest awards in Saigon the day after the Indochina Cup
  • Hosted our Inaugural ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau
  • Formed a relationship with the Vietnam Veterans who played footy in Vietnam during the War
  • Were invited by the Sydney Swans to address an official prematch function at the MCG, together with a dozen Vietnam Veterans
  • Were invited to address the Noble Park RSL Club
  • In the last two weeks, the AFL and Sydney Swans websites, together with the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia’s Debrief magazine, have published information about the Vietnam Swans’ ANZAC Friendship Match next year
  • Trained and played with the Southern Dragons football club in Melbourne which is made up of predominantly Asian, including Vietnamese, footballers. Several of their players also trained with us in Saigon
  • Raised and donated $4,000 to the Tribob Swimming Program. Just last weekend, the first 31 Vietnamese swimming teachers to be Austswim-accredited, graduated from this program
  • Launched an Auskick program in Saigon. Vietnam Swan, Willy, has been running Auskick in Hanoi for three years already.
  • Welcomed AFL Superstars Nathan Buckley and Gary O’Donnell to one of our clinics in Saigon
  • Presented a Swannies jumper to Melbourne’s Rohan Bail at the Asian Champs in Shanghai
  • Participated in community days such as Auscham’s Big Day Out and LoretoFest in Hanoi and Saigon
  • Expanded the Club into Vung Tau picking up new sponsors (Strategic Marine and Tommy’s Bar), players and supporters
  • Have re-signed our 2010 sponsors for season 2011
  • Are in our strongest financial position yet

What was different in 2010?

In many respects, nothing. Underpinning the Swannies’ more visible successes in 2010, is a culture and set of values that, I believe, are the same as when the original Hanoi Swans were formed back in 2003. In 2004, when it was my turn to attend my first training session with the Swannies, the other dozen players came up and introduced themselves to me and made me feel incredibly welcome. Afterwards at the Bia Anchor opposite Hanoi’s Lakeside Hotel, then Captain Jarrod Dale awarded me with a free Bia Anchor t-shirt for being… (his brain ticked over as he tried to think of a reason) “the most enthusiastic new trainer – tonight”.

Welcome to the Swannies: Antti the Finnish guy, Reinhardt the Dutchy and Ben the Aussie enjoy an empty glass in Hanoi 2006 after a Thursday night training session.

Message received: Welcome to the Swannies.

Today, new players to a training session aren’t received any differently. All the current players enthusiastically introduce themselves and make the new recruit feel welcome. At the end of training, while new recruits don’t receive a free t shirt, they do receive a free beer when money for training is being collected – from everyone else.

We try to make the Swans history a living history. Knowing something about the people before us makes us feel like we are part of something bigger.

By being involved with other initiatives, like the swimming which is championed by Michael Johnston, the Club makes a statement to new recruits and the wider community about our Club’s culture of respect and determination to make a positive contribution.

Apart from being inherently good, it is all good at the beginning, middle and end of the day! It gives us increased legitimacy and relevance in the community and therefore an increased profile. The increased profile means that we can recruit players sooner which gives us more numbers, matches, profile, ability to support other initiatives etc. It starts to become self perpetuating.

Swannies video going viral

Adam Martin from Asian Images has completed a left-field 7 minute video of the Swannies’ successful 2010 Indochina Cup campaign. Adam says, among other things, that the video is “more intense than Apocalypse Now… and more powerful than the Ten Commandments“.

Find out why by .

The Swannies Annual Golf & Cricket Days
The Swannies Alumni is growing which proves that you can leave the country but not the Club. 

Auscham's Australia Day celebrations, Saigon, 22 January 2011 with the Swannies

It’s not too late to join the Vietnam Swans’ 6th Annual Golf Day and 4th Annual Cricket Day in Melbourne on 28th and 29th December respectively.

Either or call the Vietnam Swans on (+61) 0415 820 683 to confirm your attendance and details.

Highlights coming up in 2011

  • 22 January, Saigon. Auscham will be hosting its Australia Day Celebrations and the Swannies will be there running footy clinics (see attached promo poster)
  • 23 April, Vung Tau (90 minutes from Saigon). Vietnam Swans Vs Hong Kong Dragons, 2nd ANZAC Friendship Match.
  • 14 May, Hoi An (Central Vietnam). The Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day at Montgomerie Links. From 10-13 May, the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia shall host a global conference in Danang on drowning prevention. Separately, Montgomerie Links had contacted the Vietnam Swans about working with us for a charity golf day – and so we suggested that it be linked to the drowning prevention conference.

There’s also plenty more coming. Without doubt, next year will be the Swannies biggest by far. It’s the year that things will just “click” into place. 

Special Thank Yous

"Ho(nk)! Ho(nk)! Ho(nk)!" says Santa

At the end of 2010, there are so many people who need to be thanked, all of whom have played vital roles in helping the Club achieve our successes. I will be savage and only highlight four people:

  • Saigon Prez, Derrin Limbrick. We all see it because he’s always up there making it happen for the Swannies.
  • National Treasurer, Danny Armstrong. All year round does a mountain of unrecognised work behind the scenes: finances, merchandise, delivery etc
  • Coach Josh Little. Heavily involved with the coaching/training role but also proactively and effectively developing the Club off the field.
  • Glenn Nolan, a key supporter of the Swannies who travels regularly with us to matches at home and overseas. Actively promotes the Vietnam Swans through his network.

And I haven’t even thanked Matty Townsend MC extraordinaire, Ross McRae, graphic designer extraordinaire, Dan Kindness for the ANZAC weekend… As I say, the Swannies have many, many others to thank. 

And finally…

Have a great Christmas and New Year and I look forward to seeing you all again next year.

But, given it’s Christmas Eve, I think the final words need to be left to Santa:

Ho(nk)! Ho(nk)! Ho(nk)!, Merry Christmas!

Posted in awards, Swim | 3 Comments »

Saigon Prez – Merry Christmas and next year’s Committee…

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 24, 2010

The Saigon Prez, Dez wishes us Merry Christmas. Treasurer, Danny Armstrong listens in.

Saigon Prez, Dez, wishes the troops a Merry Christmas.

Gents, with the end of the year almost upon us, I just wanted to wish you and your families a safe and happy Christmas and New Year. It has been a huge year for the Swannies and we can all look back and reflect with some amount of pride. Things just seem to be getting bigger and bigger for this Club and I am sure that 2011 promises to follow a similar trend.

On that note, towards the end of January next year, we will be holding an election evening to determine the Saigon Committee members for 2011. We will send out the date once it is confirmed. However, with all of you eligible for nomination, I would like you to take into consideration the possibility of holding a position on the committee next year. There will be several main positions up for grabs but also opportunities for people who are looking to play a more minor role.

The proposed positions for 2011 will be as follows;

  • Saigon President
  • Saigon Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Events Manager
  • Communications
  • IT /Graphic Design

We are also looking for people how want to be involved but perhaps are not sure where they think they should fit in. If you’re one of these guys, just let me know.

Plus we are also looking for nominations for the Coaching Committee. We have not decided on the final structure for this committee, however I am still looking for expressions of interest at this stage.

So, if you would like to nominate yourself or someone else for any of the above positions please, send either myself or Fabbo an e-mail with your confirmation. I will also send out another reminder early next year.

Lastly, for those of us who are not going to be in Melbourne for the Swannies Golf and Crickets days (28 and 29 December), it certainly looks like we will be missing out. It looks like that are going to have around 20 for the golf which is huge and it is also great looking at the list and seeing the different generations of Swannies who are going to be there. I am also looking forward to hearing about the big show down between Monkey and Fabbo. After some interesting comments made by Fabbo this year I am sure that Monkey will be looking forward to taking Fabbo’s scalp.

My money says though, that after a couple of beers they will end up walking down the 18th holding hands. Good luck boys.

For now though, let’s just relax and enjoy the next two weeks.

Ya hearin’ me!

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Vietnam Vets’ magazine publishes info re Swannies

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 22, 2010

Vietnam Veterans magazine, Debrief, publishes information about the Swannies

The summer issue of the ‘s quarterly magazine, Debrief, has just been published. It includes a page devoted to the Vietnam Swans.

Debrief reproduces a Swannies update that was distributed to the members and supporters list on 27 October 2010 – just after the 2010 Asian Championships in Shanghai. There was also a section on the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match:

As you will be aware, the Vietnam Swans will host the Hong Kong Dragons in the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau. Prior to the Asian Champs, the Vietnam Swans and Hong Kong Dragons organised for both teams to meet on the ground after the tournament (Asian Champs in Shanghai) for a beer. Which we did.

Everywhere, ANZAC matches have special symbolism and significance. In Vietnam, they are are also intertwined with a raft of political sensitivities. Accordingly, both Club Presidents addressed the assembled teams to set the context and background for next year’s ANZAC Friendship Match in Vietnam.

To see the article in Debrief Magazine, click onto . To see the update on the Vietnam Swans website, click here.

To find out more about the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match, click here.

To see other articles published in the media about the Vietnam Swans, click here.

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The Indochina Cup Interviews on video

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 21, 2010

Trav Fennell faces some tough questions from Adam Martin

Adam Martin from , as well as taking fantastic photos at the Indochina Cup, has also compiled the most amazing of a selection of extraordinary interviews with some of the Swannies’ luminaries after our big victory.

Adam believes that his video is:

  • more intense than Apocalypse Now
  • grittier than Romper Stomper
  • more twisted than SAW 1,2,3,4,5 & 6
  • more powerful than the Ten Commandments
  • more dinkum than The Club
  • as funny as a Chuck Norris flick

In summary, this has the lot!

Adam also conducts hard hitting interviews with the likes of Ellis, Johnston, Clements, Limbrick, Armstrong, Williams, Johns, Fennell and Francis.

It’s a classic watch and as a reflective Adam Martin says during the video, “that’s what we like about interviewing footballers… They know stuff.”

To see the 7 minute video which, arguably, could change your life, click . It’s a hoot!

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Tuoi Tre News: AustSwim certifies Vietnam swimming teachers

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 20, 2010

Vietnam swimming teachers certified.

Today, 20 December 2010, Minh Phat wrote a story in the Vietnamese newspaper, regarding Austswim certifying the TriBob swimming teachers in Hoi An last Saturday night. The TrBob Swimming Program is supported by the Vietnam Swans:

Australian national organization, AustSwim awarded Saturday international-standard certificates to 31 Vietnamese swimming teachers who completed its first-ever training course held in central province of Quang Nam.

The month-long course was co-organized by AustSwim and Tribob — a charitable swimming school for Vietnamese children which has been operating for three years in Hoi An.

Not only providing swimming skills, the course’s learners were also guided with water safety and emergency procedures and techniques for artificial respiration .

UNICEF statistics show that drowning is the number one killer of children under the age of 15 in Vietnam where on average 10 children drown every day.

This training will help them become wonderful coaches helping other coaches and school children to improve water safety skills in Vietnam, said Phil Johns, national president of Australian Football Club Vietnam Swans — sponsor of the swimming program.

To see the original article, click .

To see other articles in the Press regarding the Vietnam Swans, click here.

Posted in Swim | Leave a Comment »

Hoi An swimming coaches graduate with international accreditation

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 20, 2010

Saturday night’s Graduation Ceremony for the Tribob Swimming Program, Hoi An

On Saturday night, 18 December 2010, a graduation ceremony was held for 31 Vietnamese Physical Education teachers who were awarded Austswim Certificates as part of the . They have the distinction of being the first ever AustSwim Coaches to be accredited in Vietnam.

Their training will now enable them to be ‘super coaches’ to help other coaches and school children to lift the general level of water safety skills in Vietnam.

Ms Van from the Tribob program has written to the Vietnam Swans:

The graduation went great this evening. All teachers are so proud and happy with their Austswim certificates.

In attendance we also had Mrs Nguyen Thi Ngoc Ha, the Head of the Hoi An Education Department and Ms Kerre Burley who was in charge of the AustSwim course.

Mrs Ha said, ‘This Swimming Program is great for Hoi An’s children. Thank you Tribob Swimming Program and we are looking forward to work with you next year.’

I am very happy that everything went so well tonight and now we have more teachers and a new pool coming soon. Our new teachers will be able to use their skills to teach more children next year.

Thank you for all your kindness support the program.

The Vietnam Swans are very pleased to be associated with the TriBob Swimming Program and extend our sincere congratulations to each of the 31 recipients for their well deserved achievement.

In Vietnam, more children die from drowning than road accidents and this program is helping to address the issue.

The Vietnam Swans assisted the Program in 2010 by raising money at our ANZAC Friendship Match and AFL Grand Final Parties. The fund raising will continue in 2011 so that Vietnamese children can not only survive but thrive in the water.

Posted in Swim | 7 Comments »

Everyone loves a Swannies jumper

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 19, 2010

Swannies jumpers spread

Everyone loves a Swannies jumper.

A couple of weeks ago, former Swannie, Peter Grave sent through a photo of his daughter back in Australia wearing her jumper and preparing to take a big grab.

Adam Martin’s nephew, also in Australia, has just taken a screamer – arguably the best ever – in a Swannies top.

And last night, we farewelled Strategic Marine’s Mark Schiller (Strategic Marine is a Club Sponsor).  And what jumper was Mark wearing? Swannies, of course!

If you would like to purchase a Swannies jumper for USD70, please email

Posted in Farewell | Leave a Comment »

Swannies’ success seduces stars

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 18, 2010

Greg Norman meets Beth; Ted Ballieu meets Sinh; and Julia Gillard meets Shannon

Just over a month ago, golfing legend, Greg Norman, flew into Saigon to catch up with Swanette, Beth.

A week ago, Vietnam (footy) Veteran, Stan Middleton emailed a photo of Victorian Premier, Ted Bailleu catching up with his wife, Sinh (Ted’s the tall one. Sinh’s a bit shorter).

Two months ago, the Australian PM, Julia Gillard flew into Hanoi for some high level talks with Super Swan, Shannon.

Go you Swannies!!

Posted in Legend | Leave a Comment »

Viet Celts to celebrate Christmas in Hanoi tomorrow

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 16, 2010

The Viet Celts invite Swannies to Christmas Party

Did you know that “Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be Irish”?

Tell the Irish they’re dreamin’.

Nevertheless, tomorrow night in Hanoi, Friday 17 December 2010, the Viet Celts Gaelic Club are celebrating Christmas – and they want the Swannies to join them.

The Viet Celts and Swannies have enjoyed a fabulous relationship this year. Both Clubs have had very successful years on and off the field and have played n trained together.

So, from 8pm get on down to Pairc an House of Son Tinh, 31 Xuan Dieu Street to join a Christmas Beer Party (50per cent beer cost paid) to mark the GAA year in Hanoi.

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