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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!

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3 Responses to “National Prez’s Christmas Update”

  1. Danny Armstrong said

    There is of course one key person that Phil didn’t mention in his ‘special thank yous’ and that is of course Fabbo himself, who was once again tireless in his promotion of the Swannies this year. Your leadership and all around efforts have been outstanding Fabbo and have been acknowledged by sponsors, supporters, members and players alike. Thank you and well done. We wouldn’t be in the position we are and with the positive outlook that we have without your passion and commitment.

  2. Willy said

    and lets not to forget to champion the efforts of young Nick from Saigon for not only winning the ‘Vietnam Swans Rising Star’ award but also representing the Swannies in the Mr Vietnam Huge Universe body building competition.

    His pecs are bloody huuuuuuuge..

  3. Fabbo said

    Danny, thanks very much for your note above. Much appreciated.

    As I have realised again since singling out individuals to acknowledge, you miss out on others – like when we did the Club Man of the Year award.

    This year in particular, the Swannies have had so many people contributing so much. Matty Townsend’s MC work, the guides he would prepare for touring parties, his organisation of the Grand Final Party in Saigon, his Most Improved Player Award… Ross McRae’s outstanding graphic design work for posters, banners, tickets etc – all of it is so important in how the Club presents itself… Sam Conroy, being one of the team to organise the stuff for footy training each week, being the Club’s secretary, being actively involved in Auskick, doing a truckload of work (with Kellie) for the Vietnam Housewares sales… Dan Kindness for his outstanding work in getting 70 people to fly from Hanoi to Vung Tau for the ANZAC Weekend, doing the incredible tours of the significant sites, establishing the mid week training session… Phil Murphy for his work on the ANZAC Friendship Match and with the vetrerans… Trav Fennell for playing a major role in really lifting the Swannies Grand Final Party in Hanoi… Willy for running Auskick for the third year in Hanoi… Nic Russo for picking up the Rising Star Award… Stanno for coaching teh boys in Hanoi… Matt Natalotto for getting the Auskick up and running in Saigon, being our fitness/dietician guru and showing us amazing character in a very challenging situation… Sam Stevens for also displaying amazing character in a very challenging situation… Jo Armstrong for always helping out in the background when we host events… Dukesy for his on field leadership… Timmay Clements for his undying enthusiasm and energy and his “can do” attitude… Mark Greenshields for finding the Swannies and being such an important member of the team (and now, Sponsor) even though he was only ever going to spend six moths in Vietnam… Mic Smith for the exposure he gives us through the Saigon Times… MJ for really pushing the swimming program along…

    And I still haven’t mentioned guys like Nick and Shag who are always throwing in their support…

    And how many people have I missed? That’s the problem with naming individuals from a team – you always forget to mention someone else who deserves recognition.

    The Swannies really have a great team working very effectively at the moment. In 2011, we will inevitably have a number of departures including a couple of high profile departures. So, going forward, we will be looking for some new people to step up and play a bigger role.

    But, on this last day of 2010, I have never been more confident about the Swannies future going into a new year.

    Go you Swannies!

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