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Footy Flashbacks, 27 October 2006 – 5 AFL Premiershippers travel to Hanoi

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 21, 2011

Clark "Crackers" Keating attempts to break free from the Swannies' Growds. Sam Gilbert in the background

On 27 October, 2006, AFL CARE Australia brought a group of AFL players to Dead Cat Stadium in Hanoi to play the then Hanoi Swans. They had been riding bicycles through northern Vietnam to promote HIV /AIDS awareness.

Amongst the crew were players who had won five AFL Premierships; namely, Clark Keating (three  with Brisbane Lions), Aaron Keating (one with Port Adelaide) and Craig Starcevich (one with Collingwood). The late Rob Dickson (see Former Hawthorn player dies in car crash) was also there as was St Kilda’s Sam Gilbert (who didn’t seem to be taking any photos back then).

Below is a summary of the night which was written the day after on 28 October 2006.

Guys, what an absolutely sensational evening last night was!

For those who couldn’t make it to Dead Cat, we did a couple of training drills led by DT and MJ. Then the AFL Giants took a training run.

This was followed by “Game On” which consisted of two 10 minute halves. Everyone played wherever they wanted and there was no such thing as “Pagan’s Paddock” as we had opted for the flooding technique. Someone said the Swans had 28 players (which included a number of rugby players which was great). But that’s fair.

Pete Westwood signals another goal. Presumably it would have been for the Swannies...

That may have helped with the score line which was very respectable considering who I have to play with. The visitors kicked 4.2.26 to our 2.6.18. For our team, it was APEC Growds who kicked AGOAL followed by another. Tragedy occurred after the second goal when the footy cleared the fence and ended up in the lap of a passing motorcyclist.

Then it was off to the Australian Embassy for a couple of refreshers where we were met by the netballers who had just finished a match.

The Director of CARE gave a short speech about the role that the AFL players had played in promoting HIV/AIDS awareness which was backed up by a couple of the players. Then triple premiership player Clark Keating got up and spoke about the 2007 Grand Final in which the Hanoi Swans would play. He described the week and the feelings and the emotions that we would face – right through to the final siren.

Then it was off to the Dragon Fly and the New Century nightclub. If we weren’t in the land of the midgets, you might not have noticed the 190cm (average height) of the AFLers on the dance floor.

This morning, Chan the Fruiterer received a visit from Clark Keating, CARE, MJ and Craig Dylan to buy some bananas and cabbage – and to have their photo taken (see ). Chris Canty had organised “Chan the Fruiterer” to be an AFL tipster in the Herald Sun each week. There were regular reports of her tipping skills in the paper. (Check out the year 2006 on the Swannies’ Media Page.)

For those in Melbourne, Channel 9 will have a story in tonight’s news. There will also be a story on the Footy Show when it returns (Ed’s note: we ended up on the floor of the cutting room. Doh!)

It was an absolutely cracking night (Ed’s note: Interesting language given the reason we were bumped from the first episode of the Footy Show in 2007 was the breaking story on Ben Cousin’s drug taking).

Meanwhile,  a Vietnam/SE Asia team may enter the VAFA next year (Ed’s note: the former Elgar Park Dragons who have since moved to a different . league as the Southern Dragons) And, the Shellbourne Swans have found the Hanoi Swans thanks to Gerry who was holidaying through Hanoi during the finals and was seen at the Barracuda Bar buying drinks from the celebrity barman.

It’s been another big week in football.

Related photos

Check out , Hanoi, 26 October 2006.

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