The National Prez, Phil Johns, gives a “mega squared” national update below.
Dear Swannies, Sannies and Supporters
- 12th Annual Asian Championships, Bangkok, 13 August
- AFL Coverage on Australia Network under threat
- Free golf at Montgomerie Links, Hoi An!
- Hoo Roo to Visa and Winkie who are UK bound; and the HK bound Westwoods
- Rest in Peace to Ailsa’s sister, Val
- And finally…
12th Annual Asian Championships, Bangkok, 13 August
Just six weeks from this coming Saturday, the Vietnam Swans will make our 5th appearance at the Annual Asian Championships. The Champs will be held in Bangkok on 13 August. The organisers, the Thailand Tigers, have just released the prospectus – a copy of which is attached below as a pdf file.
Key points from the prospectus are:
- there will be no seeding
- there will be a draw that randomly allocates four preliminary matches for each of the competing eleven teams
- The top four teams will then play in the semi finals and from there, the two winners will play off in the Grand Final
- Team squads for each match will be capped at 22 players – 14 on the field and 8 on the bench.
- Ring ins are not allowed (a “ring in” is a “player brought into a team from outside of the club, purely to help a team’s chances in the Asian Champs. The responsibility is on each team (to police)”).
The Thailand Tigers last hosted the Asian Championships back in 2007 – the year that the Swannies made our Champs debut. The Champs was also the occasion that saw the Hanoi Swans undergo a transformation into the country’s first and only national Aussie Rules team, the Vietnam Swans.
The Tigers put on a sensational Champs back then and this year will be no exception. The Champs, the Kanchanaburi ANZAC Match… The Tigers know how to organise the big events.
Compared with 2007, the Swannies are expecting to achieve considerably more success on the field. Expect to hear plenty more from the coaches on this matter and the warm up “Heritage Round Match” in Hanoi on 23 July between Hanoi and Saigon.
As most of us start to ramp it up, it’s reassuring to know that our show-pony players/teachers are currently enjoying their well-earned holidays in exotic parts of the world including South America and the subcontinent. However, last night the guilts caught up with Nat “All Asian” Payne who defensively emailed to advise that we could expect a photograph of him jogging past the Taj Mahal in his Swannies top… So far, just the words have come through. Perhaps the photo will come through in the future. (Footnote: apparently Steph has a few photos of Nat sprinting to the toilet – but without the all important Swannies top.)
AFL Coverage on Australia Network under threat
As you may be aware, there has been no coverage of NRL on the Australia Network this year. AFL matches potentially face a similar fate after August this year when new parameters set by the Department of Foreign Affairs come into effect as to what is most appropriate for the “intended target audience”.
Last week, Australia Business Asia, which comprises the 16 regional Australian Chambers of Commerce and Business Councils, made a submission to the Australian Government that was co-signed by each of the Chambers/Councils. It requested that the Australia Network continue to televise Australian sports including the AFL. The Vietnam Swans then forwarded the letter to the AFL and suggested that it also make representations to Canberra if it hadn’t done so already. The AFL replied that it was acutely aware of the issue and was doing all it could to convince the government of the merits of continuing the coverage.
The Asian football clubs are now on the verge of also co-signing a similar submission. Tomorrow, the Vietnam Swans shall forwarded the joint submission to the Minister for Communications (in the last couple of days, the Government has decided that the Minister for Communications should make the decision).
The Chinese word for “crisis” comprises two Chinese characters: one means “danger” and the other means “opportunity”. I believe this episode has created an opportunity. How extraordinary it is that an issue like the televising of the AFL into Asia has galvanised Australian opinion and action across the region! The business chambers are speaking with one voice. Asian footy is speaking with one voice. The AFL is being responsive. We’re all referring to each other’s arguments and in the process, the areas of overlap between our respective organisations has become very visible. That then opens up the possibility of working more closely together in more areas for mutual benefit. Organisational links are strengthening which is critical in a region where there is a high turnover of individuals.
How good is Australia’s Signature Sport??
Free golf at Montgomerie Links, Hoi An!!
Would you like a free game of golf at the amazing Montgomerie Links, Hoi An? And Hoi An – what an incredible place to spend a weekend! What an amazing gesture by Kyle Hackenberg and Montgomerie Links…
At the 2010 Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Party in Saigon, Kyle put in a winning silent bid at an auction for 50 rounds of golf at Montgomerie Links. The 50 rounds, valued at approx $100 per round, must be used up on the same day.
A date is still to be set but if you would like to express your interest in playing a round, please email me with your details. Also, include the names of some friends in case there are still some vacancies. Kyle will then determine a date and hopefully you will be able to join.
Please note that lodging an expression of interest does not guarantee that you will be able to play. Criteria will be based upon the number of people wanting to play, when registrations of interest were submitted, the proposed date etc.
Hoo Roo to Visa and Winkie who are UK bound; and the Westwoods who are HK bound
In Saigon, we say hoo roo to Visa, Winkie and family. We wish you all the best over there in the UK. You will be missed back here in Vietnam.
Visa, a photo opportunity: Big Ben in a Swannies jumper? I’d like to see that.
To the Westwoods heading from Hanoi to Honk On (Hong Kong, really), we hope it goes really well for you guys and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Rest in Peace to Ailsa’s sister, Val.
Ron and Ailsa Vernon came to our ANZAC Friendship Match this year. For Ron, it was an especially emotional time as he had been in Vung Tau during the War. Where we played footy that afternoon at the Vung Tau dog track was the same place that he had won a premiership nearly 35 years ago.
Last week, Ailsa’s sister Val – who also attended the ANZAC Match – died of a massive brain haemorrhage. Val will be buried later today.
The Vietnam Swans extend our deepest condolences to Ailsa, Ron, Brian and families. As a tribute to Val, the Swannies will be honoured to wear black armbands in our next match.
This email update has just skimmed the surface of just a few of the hard hitting stories going on. To keep abreast of all the latest, including full details on the Great Australia Network Debate, log on to http://vietnamswans.com or Facebook.
Honk! It’s a hoot!