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Archive for May, 2011

Coach Josh – on training for twilight AFL Masters

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 13, 2011

Coach Little has something to say about training.

Coach Josh Little sends out a message to the southerners regarding training this weekend in preparation for the AFL Masters twilight match on 1 June 2011.

Attention all Swannies in Saigon this weekend!

This weekend is an action packed couple of days with the Hoi An Swing to Swim Charity Golf event on as well as the South East Asia Gaelic Football Tournament.

However, with a game about 2-3 weeks away for the Swans, we cannot afford to drop off with our fitness and skills. Given the recent success we have had with the win over Hong Kong at the ANZAC Friendship Match, we need to keep pushing forward to make sure we keep riding that wave of success!

It looks like we can train at RMIT this Sunday at 2:30pm. If you rock up on Saturday, you will see Gaelic Football being played so this is why we cannot train in our regular timeslot. We want to train at RMIT so we can utilise the big space and do some big drills and a practice match if we have numbers.

We were originally not going to hold a training session this weekend but I think we can get the numbers to training and really have a great session.

There are a lot of people who didn’t get an opportunity at the ANZAC Match and some only played limited game time. If you’re keen to have a run then make the time this Sunday and get to training. We are NOT selecting a squad for this up and coming match so you will get a chance IF you make the effort to come to training. If you cannot attend this training then you have to let me or the coaching committee know.

It’s simple: The more numbers we get to training, the better drills, the better we train, the better we play – and then we win games.

Honk your horn if you’re pumped to take on the Masters. HONK HONK!!!

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Replica ANZAC Friendship Shield presented to Stan Middleton

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 12, 2011

Glenn Nolan presents Stan Middleton with a replica of the ANZAC Friendship Shield at Noble Park RSL.

Last Thursday, 5 May 2011, Swans National Committee man, Glenn Nolan, presented Stan Middleton with a replica of the ANZAC Friendship Shield.

The presentation happened at the Noble Park RSL Club in Melbourne.

Stan is the person who introduced the Vietnam Veterans to the Vietnam Swans in May of last year after finding a post on our website about the inaugural ANZAC Friendship Match (see Aussie Rules during Vietnam War). He’s also been dubbed as the official historian of the VFL (Vietnam Football League) which was played during the war years.

After being presented with the replica ANZAC Shield, Stan said he was “absolutely stoked”.

A week earlier, Stan had emailed the Vietnam Swans after receiving a Swannies update (24 April) on this year’s ANZAC Friendship Match to say:

The photo of Kevin and Bob with the Shield referred to by Stan.

I think our history during the war ties in beautifully with what the Vietnam Swans do now.

Very happy to hear you have modelled the (ANZAC) Friendship Trophy on our old Shield from the War. We are very proud to know that.

The photo the Swannies put up with Kevin Back and Bob McKenna holding the Shield was excellent. We had just got home from Bob’s brother’s home when I received the Swannies email. We had a BBQ there with about nine of the former 2AOD footballers (including Bob). Sadly Kevin Back died of a massive heart attack in 2003. I have emailed his widow with the article that included the photo.

I have (also) sent (a soft copy of) the onto heaps of Vets and I am getting a lot of excellent responses.

All the Swannies are extremely grateful for the support we have received from the Vietnam Veterans and in particular Stan (and Sinh) Middleton.

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Bill Haskell, ex POW, passes on – as does his message

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 10, 2011

Bill Haskell, Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand, ANZAC Day 2009

An email from the Vietnam Swans National President, Phil Johns.

Dear Swannies

It is with great sadness that the Vietnam Swans have learned that ex POW, Bill Haskell, passed away last week, aged 91.

Bill was a Prisoner of War on the Thai Burma Railway during World War II. We met him at the 2009 ANZAC Match against the in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

Bill’s speech during the official ceremony at the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery was extraordinary. Every measured and deliberate word in that speech was worth a thousand. Every word was more precise than a rifle bullet and more powerful than a rifle butt:

They died, in the main, through the sheer negligence of the Japanese in not supplying the basic food and medical supplies, in their inhumane and brutal treatment and in subjecting the prisoners to the absolute extreme of forced labour.

Bill Haskell delivers his powerful speech.

The prisoners were starved, overworked, exposed to diseases, harassed and brutally assaulted at the work place. The established rules of warfare in relation to prisoners of war were abandoned completely in the frenzy to push the railway through.

We remember these men (POWs) with great affection and deepest respect.

That afternoon, prior to the commencement of our ANZAC football match, as the two teams lined up on the side of the oval awaiting the arrival of three ex POWs, Partrick Stringer later wrote:

In the blazing afternoon heat, one man in particular, Bill Haskell, walked slower and I think more painfully than the others. With the aid of two walking sticks, he cut a heart wrenching sight making his way along the boundary line to his seat.  My eyes filled with tears as both teams applauded their presence.  Proud diggers indeed.

Four days after that 2009 ANZAC Match, ex POW Ernie Redman died in Esperance, Western Australia. Grant Harris emailed the Vietnam Swans to say:

I saw Bill Haskell today at Ernie’s funeral. Bill spoke again and once more his words were mesmerising. At around 90 years of age, Bill has sat on a 10 hour plus, 700km bus trip to be at the funeral.

Remembering at Kanchanaburi Cemetery, 2009.

Bill’s body did grow old. However, his age never wearied his fierce but dignified determination to carry the torch for the POWs and to pass on the message for those who could not. We have heard Bill’s message and it now becomes our responsibility to ensure that we never forget.

Bill, may you finally rest in peace having now been reassured by your brothers that you could not have possibly done an ounce more for them.

For those of us fortunate enough to meet you, we remember you with great affection and deepest respect.

The Australian Governor General, Quentin Bryce, at this year's ANZAC Dawn Service, Hellfire Pass.


At this year’s Vietnam Swans ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau, the message was “Honouring lost lives; saving young lives”. As well as commemorating the lives lost in wars, we used the match as a vehicle to promote swimming initiatives to reduce the number of drownings in Vietnam. In Vietnam, each year there are more drownings than road fatalities involving children.

On Saturday, the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia (RLSSA), Montgomerie Links (Danang), Swim Vietnam and the Vietnam Swans will hold the Inaugural Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day. This Charity Golf Day for swimming initiatives will follow on immediately after the RLSSA hosts a global conference in Danang on drowning prevention. That conference starts tomorrow and will be officially opened by the Australian Governor General, Quentin Bryce. Two weeks ago on ANZAC Day, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce attended the Dawn Service at Hellfire Pass and Kanchanaburi War Cemetery in Thailand.

Last Saturday, the Thailand Tigers played a commemorative match as a mark of respect for the late Bill Haskell.

Posted in Swim | 5 Comments »

Swing to Swim Dinner

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 9, 2011

Swing to Swim Dinner

Details of the dinner following next Saturday’s Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day at Montgomerie Links have just been announced. It starts at 5pm at Montgomerie Links and includes a buffet dinner, live music and items for auction and raffle.

For those playing golf, the price is included in the golf ticket. For those just attending the dinner, the price will be VND600,000.

Below is a list of the raffle prizes and items for auction. Wow!

  • 1 night stay in Premier Deluxe at Sheraton Hotel including breakfast for 2 persons – $300
  • 1 weekday green fee voucher of Van tri golf club
  • 14 spa gift vouchers  at $30 each
  • 3 nights stay in Ocean View Deluxe Villa including daily breakfast for 2 persons at Six Senses Con Dao at $3,314
  • 1 night weekend stay in a Park Suite at Park Hyatt with breakfast for 2 person and 2 welcome martini drinks at 2 Lam Son bar at $770
  • 1 Signed Ryder Cup Captain Cap by Colin Montgomerie
  • 2 night stay in bedroom villa at Nam hai at $1,825
  • 2 nights stay in Pool villa including spa treatments  at Fusion Maia at $670
  • 2 nights stay at Deluxe Garden View for 2 persons at Palm Garden Resort at $337
  • 2 nights stay at Garden View for 2 persons at Furama Resort at $600
  • 2 nights stay at Junior Suite for 2 persons at Lifestyle resort at $650
  • 1 F&B voucher at Pool bar at Lifestyle Resort for 2 at $100
  • 10 F&B vouchers at Alfrescos at $50/each voucher
  • One day snorkeling/excursion to Cham Island by wooden boat for 2 pax of Cham Island Driving value at $800
  • 1 F&B voucher for 2 persons at Mango Mango value at $100
  • 1 porcelain tea-set from Reaching out value at $250

To book your golf and dinner package, please contact at Montgomerie Links.

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Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day – 8 days to go!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 6, 2011

Swing to Swim - 14 May

The Inaugural will be held in 8 days time – Saturday 14 May at , Hoi An.

The Charity event has been timed to coincide with the end of the ‘s (RLSSA) . All money raised (less costs) will be donated to the RLSAA’s local swimming initiatives and Swim Vietnam which has already received some support from the Vietnam Swans.

Montgomerie Links is a stunning, award-winning golf course that will organise an amazing tournament. There will be lots of prizes for holes in one, longest drives etc. There will be lunch, dinner, presentations, awards, auctions, golf clinics from a PGA Professional, a kids clinic featuring Swim Vietnam students…

Full details can be found in the .

The Swannies love golf. Here's Ryan Jeffery at the Swannies Golf Day, Melbourne, held each 29 December.

Also, with Montgomeire Links being located between Hoi An and Danang, it gives you the chance to have a magnificent beach weekend away from the hustle of HCMC and the bustle of Hanoi. Nice! Also embedded below is a document with some great hotel deals that has been put together by Montgomerie Links.

We can swing the golf clubs on 14 May and have a great day and weekend. In the process, we will be supporting a process that will help Vietnamese children learn how to swim. Not only will that reduce the number of drownings in this country, it will also open up Vietnam’s waterways and coastlines to the joys of safe swimming.

If you think you can swing the weekend for some golf and beach (or would like to become a sponsor), please contact (Ph 0905 226 206) from Montgomerie Links or the .

It’s time to Swing to Swim.

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Vietnam Celts’ tribute to Willy’s mother

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 5, 2011

The Viet Celts play Auskick with the Vietnamese kids as a tribute to Willy's mother.

The Vietnam Swans received the email below from Jim Kiernan of the Viet Celts Gaelic Football Club  in Hanoi. The email was sent on 23 April – the day of the ANZAC Friendship Match and just two days after Willy’s mother passed away.

On behalf of the Viet Celts, just a few words wishing the Swans the best of luck today against the Hong Kong Dragons in Vung Tau (in the ANZAC Friendship Match).

I met Willy and the Swans for a few drinks on Thursday before Willy headed for home. Willy spoke about his mother’s love of South Adelaide and also coming down to watch him play in the juniors every Saturday.

Yesterday, as a tribute to Mrs Williams, I did half a training session in Aussie Rules with the new U13 team of Vietnamese kids that I’ve been training for the past eight weeks in Gaelic Football, here at the Vietnam Australia School (VAS) in My Dinh.

They were quite good at transferring their Gaelic Football skills once they came to grips with the bounce of the Sherrin. It also tied in well with ANZAC weekend.

We used a set of modified rules that myself, Stanno, Adrian and Crazy Dan devised a few weeks ago for playing Aussie Rules on astroturf. Some photos provided with the Sherrin and the O’Neills. Big Jon Holden from Australia has been helping me out with this team and we hope to do this type of split Gaelic Football/Aussie Rules session again with the Vietnamese kids.

Footnote: On 14 May 2011, Saigon will host the South East Asian Gaelic Football Championships and the Vietnam Swans will support the Vietnamese sides.

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5th Kainey Cup – Locked in for 23 July 2011, Jakarta

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 5, 2011

A youthful looking Gus McEwin and the Bintangs' (about to be) 100 gamer, Matt Stephens, Hanoi, 25 March 2006.

The Vietnam Swans have confirmed that we will play the Jakarta Bintangs in the 5th Kainey Cup in Jakarta on 23 July 2011.

This will be a particularly important game for the Jakarta Bintangs who will be determined to win for their former skipper, Matt Stephens who will be playing in his 100th game.

Matt Stephens is a terrific bloke and played in the first match between the Bintangs and the then Hanoi Swans back in March 2006 at the UN International School in Hanoi.

The Bintangs are one of the founding clubs of the Asian Champs and Asian footy more generally. It will be fascinating to see how they celebrate and recognise a player and official who has given so much to the Club over such an extended period of time.

No doubt, the Flyer, Dave Kainey, will make the short trip from Singapore to Jakarta for the 5th Kainey Cup.

For the record, that first match between the two teams was an important milestone for the Swannies as we recorded . Last July, we also played the Bintangs in Saigon and beat them by just .

Just when it all looks good for the Swannies based upon our track record, in October 2009 we travelled to Jakarta and were taught a football lesson: . Definitely, the home ground advantage is a big one between these two teams.

Expect the 5th Kainey Cup in Jakarta to be an absolute cracker!

For the rest of the Swannies 2011 Calendar, click here.

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Stan Middleton speaks re 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 3, 2011

Stan Middleton (far right) pictured with Ossie and John Carey at the Noble Park RSL Club last month.

Stan Middleton is a great friend of the Vietnam Swans and the official historian of the Vietnam Football League. Below he responds to the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match.

Hi Vietnam Swans

Great to hear of the response to my article that appeared in the footy record at the ANZAC Friendship Match!

I have sent a soft copy of the  onto heaps of Vietnam Veterans and I am getting a lot of excellent responses.

I think our history during the war ties in beautifully with what the Vietnam Swans do now! Well done to the Vietnam Swans for embracing us!

Very happy to hear you have modelled the Friendship Trophy on our old shield from the War (see here for photo of original shield). We are very proud to know that! The photo you put up with Kevin Back & Bob McKenna holding the shield was excellent. We had just got home from Bob’s brother’s home when I received it! We had a BBQ there with about nine of the former 2AOD footballers (including Bob). Sadly Kevin Back died of a massive heart attack in 2003. I have emailed his widow with the article that included the photo.

Sounds like the game went well and good to hear the Swannies won!

ANZAC Day went very well here in Melbourne apart from Collingwood winning. However we did scare them and the 2 goals they kicked in the last minute of the game did not reflect how close we got to them!

Went on Tuesday as well but Hawks failed after a good start. Got one of the Vets into the Hawks room before the game and he was rapt! (through John Kilpatrick from the Swim Program).

I have kept a copy of the Footy record with Ossie’s story in it for you (see a soft copy here). Hope you have some hard copies of the the Vung Tau record for me! I will get Ossie back to Noble Park RSL to talk about the ANZAC weekend in Vietnam.

Also hope you met Jan Williams who has joined our Vietnam Swim group. I think she was one of your trainers for the game in Vung Tau. She is a real goer!

Glenn Nolan is coming to Noble Park RSL this week which will be excellent! (Ossie visited Noble Park RSL just prior to coming to Vietnam)

Regards, Stan & Sinh

Footnote: The Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day shall be played at Montgomerie Links on 14 May 2011.

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