Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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    16 July, 8th Annual Indochina Cup, Thailand. Includes the Inaugural Indochina All Stars team coached by West Coast Eagles Norm Smith Medallist, Andrew Embley.

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Archive for March, 2011

Details for 2011 Indochina Cup announced

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 31, 2011

Can the Swannies hang onto the Indochina Cup in Vientiane, 2011?

The Lao Elephants Prez, Paul Simcock, confirms that the 2011 Indochina Cup will be played in Vientiane on 25 November 2011.

Hello Presidents (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand)

We would like to confirm the date/s for the Indochina Cup which will be hosted by us in Vientiane, Lao.

  • Friday 25th November 2011 – Meet and Greet – Bor Pen Yang Bar
  • Saturday 26th November 2011 – Game Day and Presentations – Dinner and after function to be held on 3rd floor of Bor Pen Yang Bar (Private Function Area)

More details will be sent over the coming weeks including the hotels, ground locations, functions cost etc.

As Vietnam put on a fantastic event last year, the ‘Phants are looking to get not only one up by staging a better event, but two up by taking the Cup back!

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Kels gets Monkey off back – and onto finger

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 29, 2011

Former Skipper, Monkey, gets married to Kels last Friday

Last Friday, back in Melbourne, former Skipper, Monkey, married Kels.

They were lucky enough to have Nat and Steph in their midst. Nat read a Swannies telegram to the crowd:

“Monkey, contrary to popular mischievous opinion, you are a living legend at the Vietnam Swans. That honour was stitched up when you left Vietnam which allowed us to squeeze the Payne Train in under the salary cap. Since then you have lifted the bar again; this time by jagging Ms Kels, Plain n simple, that is nothing short of an awwwwesome performance.

“Before moving on, let us not forget Led Suitcase. Arguably, your part ownership of this highly decorated greyhound makes you and Kels the Swannies’ first ever royal couple.

“Kels and Monkey, during your time over here in Vietnam, you always did make it look like you were made for each other. Today’s wedding bells bode well for the rest of your lives together.

“Congratulations from everyone at the Vietnam Swans.

“PS, Honk yer horn if you love the sound of wedding bells – and the Asian footy.”

Nat faithfully reported afterwards:

“Danny (Monk) was heard to mutter the words… ‘This day is huge for me.  I put it up there with playing for the Swans on ANZAC Day at the dog track in Vungers!’

“Then I think he came to his senses and realised the significance of such a day and that his wedding wasn’t quite that big.”

Steph adds:

“Monkey’s wedding was BRILLIANT… very relaxed… very fun…”

Congratulations to Monkey and Kels from all the Swannies.

And, next time you’re out on the street, honk yer horn if you luv a Swannies wedding!

Posted in Legend | Leave a Comment »

2011 ANZAC Friendship Weekend – Poster unveiled

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 27, 2011

The 2011 ANZAC Friendship Weekend, Vung Tau, 23-25 April (click to enlarge). Artwork by Ross McRae.

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Richard “Ossie” Osborne to play ANZAC Friendship Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 25, 2011

Richard "Ossie" Osborne is chaired off the SCG after playing his last match, against the Sydney Swans, Round 22, 1998. Ossie will make his comeback in the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match, Vung Tau. Photo: AFL Photos.

AFL Star, Richard “Ossie” Osborne has confirmed that he will come out of retirement to play in the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau – thanks to the generous support of Club Sponsors, and . The has also supported generously.

Ossie said, “The two biggest highlights of my 17 year AFL career were playing in the 1997 and 1998 ANZAC Day games at the MCG in front of 90,000 + screaming fans.

“To be invited to play in the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match between the Vietnam Swans and the Hong Kong Dragons, gives me the opportunity to pay my respects to all who served in the Vietnam War.

“The fact that the game will be played on the same oval that the diggers played on in the late 60s/early 70s adds even greater significance to this special event.”

Swannies’ Club President, Phil Johns said, “Last year, we spoke about the symbolism of 100,000 people at Melbourne’s MCG on ANZAC Day and being able to hear a pin drop during the minute’s silence. To be a part of this experience is amazing.

“In Vung Tau this year, we won’t have 100,000 – but we will still have over 1,000 people. Compared with the MCG, it is easy to be swept along into thinking that this is just a small event. However, now pause and reflect. In terms of the significance of living history, playing on the same soil as those Australian sons from that era – and at least two of whom will be in attendance (Ron Vernon and Dick Johnston), the Vung Tau ANZAC Friendship Match is every bit as big as the MCG.

“This year, we will have someone who has played in both MCG and Vung Tau ANZAC commemorative matches. Ossie will bring a unique and valuable perspective to the occasion.

“Together with the Veterans and others who are trying to gain a sense of understanding, it will be a powerful, memorable, moving – and good fun – match and weekend.”

Details of Ossie’s game time are still to be confirmed by the Swans and Hong Kong Dragons but Dragons’ President, Robbie Burns simply said, “Let’s get Ossie up and we can work out the details later!”

was born in 1964 and played a total of 283 games, over 17 seasons, for four different clubs: Fitzroy (187 games), Sydney (16 games), Footscray (51 games) and Collingwood (29 games).

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Swannies to travel to KL, 18 June 2011

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 22, 2011

The Swannies and Warriors were in high level talks this morning.

The and Vietnam Swans have been trying to confirm a match for some time.

Originally, one was scheduled for 21 May – but that had to cancelled when it was realised that the Malaysians were facing an important social ball in the evening (what about the foot-ball?? Hearin’ me?).

Today, the Malaysian President had had enough. He picked up the hotline and phoned his counterpart in Vietnam.

Some high level and equally high powered talks ensued.

The result? Saturday 18 June 2011: Malaysian Warriors Vs Vietnam Swans, Kuala Lumpur. Lock it in your diaries.

Awesome. Another international footy match scheduled (for the Swannies full calendar, click here).

Meanwhile, some major breaking news is expected this week regarding next month’s blockbuster: the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match, Vung Tau.

Footnote: This coming weekend, the Malaysian Warriors will travel to Jakarta to play the Bintangs.

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Swannies in matrimony and maternally

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 20, 2011

Aiden on the left; Dad on the right after winning BOG at last year's ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau.

Just because the Swannies are busy doing everything else, it doesn’t mean that we’ve stopped doing the normal things in life – like getting married and having babies.

On 30 December, Heater and Paula had a beautiful baby boy named, Aiden.

While the Swannies Blog can’t confirm the birth weight, we can confirm that Aiden is now now considerably bigger. As one gushing Swannies insider reported, “Aiden’s a little xmas/new year’s elf…and a cute one at that.”

Congratulations to Paula and Heath for the birth of their little Swannie.

Now if Dukes plays keepings off with Pia, he might get another boot to the chest!

Last TET, while most of us were enjoying holidays, our Skipper, Dukes was in the business of getting married to the lovely Ms Pia in Sorrento on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The actual wedding day was Friday 4 February which is also Pia’s birthday.

Dukes and Pia make a fantastic couple and so it is really exciting news for them that they have formalised their commitment to each other.

Congratulations to Pia, Dukes, Paula and Heath!

As we say in the land of the Swannies, beginning, middle and end of the day, all good.

Posted in BOG | 3 Comments »

KOTO Founder honoured as “Young Global Leader”

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 19, 2011

Essendon great, Gary O'Donnell, with the Koto Kids at a Swannies' footy clinic, 14 March, 2011, Saigon.

Swannie, David Hadley, who has spent a lot of time with the KOTO Kids, writes about founder, Jimmy Pham, who was recognised earlier in the month with a Young Global Leader award from the World Economic Forum.

The Vietnam Swans would like to congratulate Jimmy Pham on being honoured as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum.  and the Swans have forged a strong relationship over the past year both on and off the field.  The Swans have run numerous coaching clinics for the Koto trainees with the most famous being when AFL stars Gary O’Donnell and Nathan Buckley did a clinic in March, last year.

The enthusiasm that Jimmy has towards Koto rubs off on both the trainees and staff, as they are all committed to the fabulous organisation.  I have been privileged to see fresh classes of street and disadvantaged youths at Koto training centres, both in Hanoi and HCMC.  They start off shy and uncertain.  When you see them a month later, you see what a massive difference having the Koto support team makes.  They are outgoing, cheeky, fun and hardworking.

Have you ever eaten at a Koto restaurant?  The food and service are superb!

Congratulations again to Jimmy Pham and his hard working team at Koto.  The Vietnam Swans love your work!

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The Saigon President’s Update

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 18, 2011

Last week when Longy brought the footies to training, he looked a bit like this.

The Saigon Prez, Dez, gives his update.

Gents, after another challenging week in good old HCMC, plus no footy action on the box this weekend, there is surely only one option which will help quench that footy thirst. And that starts at RMIT tomorrow at 2 30 pm sharp. And after my efforts last week, I promise not to forget the footy’s again. However one good thing to come out of this was we got to find out how fast Longy can get his scooter coming down the backside of the Phu My Bridge, with the kit back strapped to his back.

How fast was it again Longy?

For those that made it last week, we had a scratchy start, but finished really well. In fact, I am pretty sure that Josh was heard to say that it was the best scratch match he had seen us play. And if we can get similar numbers again this week we will be looking to do the same thing. Plus we are trying to work out the teams for the following week’s ANZAC Teaser Scratchy.

ANZAC Teaser Internal Scratch Match RMIT 26th March

This will be used to help us finalize the squad for the ANZAC Match so please make yourself available. Plus we want to try and put together the best preparation possible. We have some of our Northern Swannies flying down from Hanoi to play which is awesome. So if you going to be available please e-mail myself or Josh asap so we can start to work out the team.

ANZAC Friendship Match – Vung Tau 23rd – 25th April – Vietnam Swans vs Hong Kong Dragons

For anyone still wanting to book accommodation please arrange this personally. We would still recommend the Petro Vietnam Hotel and the Imperial Hotel, however, there are other options available. You should note however that we have been advised that the rooms are all filling up fast so don’t waste too much time or you might be sleeping on the beach.

The Dragons are pumped, the Vung Tau Massive are pumped, the Hanoi Swans are pumped, and we should be too!

So, stop wondering about it, book your room and get there. I have also had questions about bringing family and partners etc, who are all more than welcome. In fact most people last year did so and it was a great weekend.

Swing… To Swim Charity Golf Day, Montgomerie Links, Hoi An, 14 May

It’s designed to help save lives by supporting swimming initiatives to reduce the number of drownings. More information coming next week.

Posted in Swim | Leave a Comment »

Christchurch fundraiser tomorrow, Hanoi

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 18, 2011

Christchurch in better times

Below is a message from one of the organisers of tomorrow’s Christchurch fundraiser in Hanoi, Eric Backhouse.

A quick reminder that the Christchurch Earthquake Fundraiser is on tomorrow at 2pm in Jaspas, Level 4, Hanoi Towers.

I’m sure you have been deeply saddened by the devastation in Japan, so soon after our own disaster in Christchurch and on such a huge scale.  The organisers of the NZ earthquake fundraiser have therefore decided to also set up a donation box on the day for donations to the Japanese Red Cross, alongside our own efforts for ChCh.  We don’t want to cut across any fundraising activities the Japanese community in Hanoi may launch in the coming weeks, but we all felt strongly that we wanted to do something to assist there also.  Assistance to either cause would be very welcome.

The event is shaping up well!

  • Well over 100 prizes up for raffle and auction, some really attractive items on offer
  • Free-flow drinks (beer, house spirits and soft-drinks) and snacks from 2.00-4.30pm, to warm you up
  • Great Kiwi music play-list (and Super-15 rugby on big screen from 11.30am for those really wanting a dose of NZ culture);
  • Face-painting for the kids, weather permitting;

It would be great to see you at the event; and if you are able to pass this on to anyone else you know who might be interested, we would really appreciate it.

If you are unable to make it but would like to purchase some tickets for the raffle (VND100,000 each), please let one of the Kiwis know.

Posted in Fundraiser | Leave a Comment »

Christchurch fundraiser tomorrow. Tokyo Goannas postpone theirs

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 18, 2011

Thick smoke billows from the No. 3 reactor of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Photo: AP

CHRISTCHURCH fundraiser tomorrow, Hanoi

Tomorrow in Hanoi, the community will come together at 2.30pm, JASPAS (4th Floor, Hanoi Towers) to raise money for the victims of the recent  Christchurch Earthquake.

Tickets are VND300,000 and are available at the door. You will recall that in Saigon, an incredible USD97,000 was raised.

JAPAN fundraiser in Tokyo postponed

Meanwhile, the fundraiser that was planned by the Tokyo Goannas in Tokyo tonight has been postponed. Tokyo Goannas President, Andrew Peyton explains below:

“We have decided to cancel our planned Fundraiser for the Japan Earthquake Appeal that was set down for this evening, Friday 18th March. Due to the planned power outages that will affect trains, commuting to and from the Fundraiser will pose considerable difficulties for all attending.

“Instead, we will be moving the event back one week to Friday 25th March at Paddy Foley’s Irish Pub, Roppongi, Tokyo, Japan.

“Thank you so much for your understanding and apologies for any inconvenience.”

For further information or for those wishing to donate to the Tokyo Goannas’ Appeal, .

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Guangzhou Scorpions to tour Saigon

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 16, 2011

Will the Fev come back in 2011 as a Guangzhou Scorpion??

It’s been a long time between footy reports on the Swannies Blog, but tonight, it’s back to business.

The Guangzhou Scorpions have just confirmed that they can and will tour Saigon for a footy match against the Vietnam Swans on 22 October 2011.

The Guangzhou Scorpions were formed in May of last year in Guangzhou (Canton) China.  Guangzhou is China’s third-largest city and lies a couple of hours across the border from Hong Kong.  Prior to last weekend, the Scorpions had played two games; their inaugural game against the Macau Lightning (for the Pearl River Cup) last August and in December against the Hong Kong Dragons.

But last weekend the Southern China Football League kicked off which, as well as the Scorpions, comprises the Macau Lightening and the Hong Dragons who have been split in two: the HK Reds and the HK Blues (click onto for full details).

The Swannies very much look forward to hosting the Scorpions later this year.

In other footy news, the proposed internal Heritage Round Match between Hanoi and Saigon in Nha Trang has been changed to a scratch match in Saigon on 26 March. It’s being billed as an ANZAC Internal Teaser Match. At least four players from Hanoi are expected.

And then, it’s the big one, the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match: Vietnam Swans Vs Hong Kong Dragons, Vung Tau, 23 April 2011.

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Diggers’ reunion last week, Vung Tau

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 15, 2011

Reunited Vung Tau 2011

Last Wednesday, 9 March 2011, there was a reunion of the Australian Diggers from 2Comp Ord / 2AOD who were based in Vung Tau and their Vietnamese employees from back in the late 1960s.

The leader of the return tour was Stan Middleton and his wife, Sinh. You may recall that Stan was the man who contacted the Swannies on this website a few weeks after we played our inaugural ANZAC Friendship Match last year. He was the one who told us all about them playing footy as well during the War at the Lord Mayor’s Oval – which is now the Dog Track where we play our match (see Aussie Rules during Vietnam War).

Stan and Sinh are great friends of the Vietnam Swans and it was therefore an honor for Swannies National President, Phil Johns and National Committeeman, Glenn Nolan to be invited to the occasion.

Stan and Sinh run a foundation that supports the former employees. One by one, they went to the front of the room to collect their envelope. Each had a story. One was overcome with emotion. She is 43 and has an Australian father who she has never met him. He had already moved on by the time she was born and she is torn with grief.

A big grab at the Lord Mayor's Oval, late 1960s

Jim recounted that his first tour to Vietnam was OK. His second tour was “horrific”. He didn’t elaborate but we all sensed that the tone in which he muttered that word was worth a thousand. He said that when he saw footage of the tanks crashing through the gates of the Presidential Palace in 1975, he held grave fears for one of his Vietnamese staff. Just a few years ago, he found out that he was still alive and living in the US which filled him with untold joy.

Stan made Glenn and Fabbo feel extremely welcome as did other members of the Noble Park RSL Club and others. He also gave the ANZAC Friendship Match repeated plugs to the very receptive audience. He then presented Glenn with an item of memorabilia for the Tommy’s 3 Sports Bar.

Stan has also forwarded on some additional photographs of the footy during the War in the late 1960s. To see another 60 photos, visit the .

All photos courtesy of the ‘s website.

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