Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 24, 2011
National President Phil Johns speaks about yesterday.
Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters
Yesterday, the Vietnam Swans recorded an historic and convincing victory against the Hong Kong Dragons in the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match. The final scores were 12. 17. 89 to 7. 5. 47.
It is true that travelling is tough and the Dragons weren’t helped by the fact that this weekend falls during Easter. However, it’s also true that just 11 months ago when the Swannies travelled to Hong Kong (which served as our farewell tour for Monkey (our then Skipper), JD and Jerry), we were smashed by over 100 points. Until yesterday, we had played Hong Kong four times for four losses.
Yesterday’s match demonstrated a marked improvement in the Swannies’ game plan and skill level. It was a credit and tribute to the commitment and dedication of the coaching panel and players – including the players who played in the earlier Legends’ and All Stars Match which the Rest of Vietnam Swans beat the Hanoi Swans by two points.
Special mention to David Hadley who won the Best on Ground trophy as judged by veterans Ron Vernon and Kev McMillan (the trophy was generously donated by Ken Earney).
Ex AFL star, Richard “Ossie” Osborne made a sneak appearance on the field (thanks to JIm Beam, Pest Free and the Caravelle Hotel) playing the first half for the Swannies and the second half for the Dragons.
In the pre match formalities, the Australian Consul General, Graeme Swift, welcomed the crowd. The NZ Consul General, Graham Sims, introduced the minute’s silence commemorating the lives lost during multiple wars, the victims of the Queesnland floods, the Christchurch earthquake and the Japan tsunami. He also made special mention of members of the extended Swannies family who have recently passed away: Maria Russo (Joe’s mother), Colin Koch (Paul’s father), Graham Steward (former strapper who lived in Hanoi several years ago) and Maureen Williams (Willy’s mother).
New Zealand and Australian national anthems were sung live by Elizabeth Mason. The Vietnamese national anthem was sung by Vietnamese women and children dressed in their traditional ao dais…
In front of Ron Vernon, we then played on the same ground that he had won his 1967 Premiership in the Vietnam Football League when playing for the RAAF…
The after match dinner was held outdoors on the 4th floor of the Petro Hotel overlooking the Dog Track / Lord Mayor’s Oval where we had played earlier.
Amazing weekend that is still happening. Battlefield tours today. Long Tan ANZAC Dawn Service tomorrow followed by the live telecast of the Collingwood-Essendon ANZAC Match…
Thank you very much to Hong Kong for coming to Vung Tau for our first international ANZAC Friendship Match.
Congratulations to the Vietnam Swans for winning the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match – and the style in which it was won.
Related points of interest:
- See embedded photos below of the final scoreboard with the new ANZAC Friendship Shield (modelled on the Shield used by the players in the Vietnam Football League in the late 1960s) and the venue for last night’s dinner with the Lord Mayor’s oval in the background.
- Australia’s Channel 9 News is expected to include a story by Peter Harvey on yesterday’s ANZAC Friendship Match match in tonight’s 6pm News Bulletin.
- This weekend’s includes an article on Osborne’s Vietnamese odyssey to help save lives (see Page No. 15) which mentions the ANZAC Friendship Match and the Vietnam Swans’ support for swimming initiatives.
- This morning, Veteran, John Carey was on ABC Radio (Macca’s Australia all Over program) speaking about the ANZAC Friendship Match and ANZAC Dawn Service.
- 1377MTR Melbourne radio station shall have a live interview with our Saigon President, Derrin Limbrick, on Tuesday during their afternoon drive time slot.
- Last week, the Vietnam Swans received a letter from the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, thanking the people of Vietnam who contributed to the Queensland Floods Relief Appeal.