Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for December, 2011

Inaugural Swannies’ Celebration Soiree’s super success

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 31, 2011

Controversially labelled "The Old Timers"... Former Hanoi Prez, Daryl Taber; current Vets Ken Earney and Stan Middleton; and another former Hanoi Prez, Dave Kainey, 3rd left) & David Kainey.

After the Swannies’ golf game on Thursday – the Annual Ryan Jeffery Golf Classic, we headed off for the Rainbow Hotel in Fitzroy. Nineteen of us showed up.

Turning up were former Hanoi Presidents Mark “Willy” Williams, Dave Kainey and Daryl Taber. We also had Vietnam Veterans Kenny Earney and Stan Middleton with his wife, Sinh. Current National President, Phil Johns. Former Hanoi Swannies Ryan Jeffery, Chris Canty, Dan Hogarth, Clint Bryant and Nick Russo. Former Vietnam Swannie John Cranfield. Current Swannies’ sponsor, Mark Greenshields (Aussie Home Loans). Friends of the Swannies, Mick Granham, Astuko, Maria and Nathan.

That part was all good – and then we had the complete random blow in from the Lao Elephants / Malaysian Warriors, Snakes. He just happened to be drinking in the same pub with his friends.

We hung up our Indochina Cup banner and had a slide show ticking over in the background. Ryan Jeffery then pulled out a heap of photos of the Hanoi Hawks from back in 2003 and even had video footage of the then Hanoi Swans enjoying some Friday night football at Pepperonis Pizza Bar from back in 2002/3.

Awesome evening. Wait until next year when we host our second Swannies’ Celebration Soiree!

Photos to follow (Editor’s tip: Australia’s access to internet sux. Bring on Vietnam’s WIFI).

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Young Guns take Swannies’ 7th Annual Ryan Jeffery Golf Classic

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 30, 2011

Ryan Jeffery passes the Red Championship Jacket to the winners, Nick, Moggy, Domingos and Willy.

On Thursday 29 December 2011, the young guns of Domingos, Nick “Moggy” Moger, Mark “Willy” Williams and Nick Shiells took out the Vietnam Swans’ 7th Annual Ryan Jeffery Golf Classic at Ivanhoe Golf Course in Melbourne.

In the “Best Ball” competition, they managed to beat the team of Chris “Snags” Canty, Nathan, Dan Hogarth and John Cranfield.

Finishing strongly in last position were the prezos – former Hanoi Presidents, Dave “Flyer” Kainey, Daryl “Smooth” Taber and National Pez, Phil “Fabbo” Johns.

Unfortunately, Ryan Jeffery was unable to play due to his recent skirmish with chicken pox which has seen him shed 10kgs. However, he did turn up to wear the new Red Championship Jacket designed by Ross McRae and hit a sizzling ceremonial drive off the tee to commence the day’s proceedings.

Other awards went to:

  • Hole 1 – Longest Drive – Chris Canty
  • Hole 7 – Closest to the pin – Nathan
  • Hole 10 – Longest Drive – Domingos
  • Hole 18 – Closest to the Pin – Domingos

A great day again for the Swannies in Melbourne.A special mention to Shane Rice who is the Manager at Ivanhoe Golf Course who is a former player for the Tokyo Goannas. Shane shouted each of the Swannies’ players a beer after the round of golf which was greatly appreciated.

Special thanks to Ryan Jeffery, Ross McRae (designer of the jacket), Micky Johnston (the guy who organised the tailoring of the jacket) and the guys who turned up to play.

A very big thank you is also due to the tailor of the Red Championship Jacket, Mr Xe, on the corner of Le Loi St and Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hoi An, who donated the jacket to the Vietnam Swans.

Photos to follow.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Swannies’ 5th Annual Test Cricket Day at MCG a big hit

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 29, 2011

Day 3 of the Swannies' 5th Annual Cricket Day at the MCG

Yesterday, the Swannies returned to the MCG for the 5th Annual Cricket Day – Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test Match in Melbourne between Australia and India.

It was a big hit with 18 people coming along which made it our biggest turnout yet.

We had Richard Beecher, Dez and Fleur Limbrick, Mark “Willy” Williams, Dave “Flyer” Kainey, Danny Monkey, Phil “Fabbo” Johns, Nick Shiells, Bud 1, Garry Shiells, John Carey, Stan Middleton, Ryan Tierney, Michael Garnham, Mat Garnham, Jez Limbrick, Chris and Dan.

fantastic fun meeting up with everyone and, dressed in our Swannies’ colours, we also received plenty of looks.

A highlight of the day was after the cricket, Willy and Fabbo went into Richmond. They started talking to a woman who works for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She is best mates with Irvo, the Navy guy who played a key role in organising the footy match against our first touring RAN ship, HMAS ANZAC in 2008. She then called Irvo and they had a great chat. The Swannies keep shrinking that world!

Today, the Swannies go out to Ivanhoe golf course for the Swannies’ 7th Annual Ryan Jeffery Golf Classic. That will be followed by the Inaugural Swannies’ Celebratrion Soiree at the Rainbow Hotel in Fitzroy.

It’s all a hoot. And it just keeps getting bigger.


Posted in Navy | 1 Comment »

Full results of Swannies’ 2011 Best and Fairest

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 26, 2011

The Swannies held our 2011 Best and Fairest count in Saigon on 3 December and Hanoi on 10 December. Below are the full results.

Swannies’ Skipper, Luke “Dukesy” Creamer won the National Best and Fairest with 76 points.  Heath Ellis finished in second place on 70.5 and Derrin Limbrick finished third with 57.5.

David Skowronski finished in 4th place and as the highest ranked player from Hanoi, took out Hanoi’s Best and Fairest.

Season’s Ranking Player Rnds 1-4 Champs Rnds 5-6 ICC Total
1 Luke “Dukesy” Creamer 13 15 21 27 76
2 Heater Ellis 34 10.5 26 0 70.5
3 Dez Limbrick 20 27 3 7.5 57.5
4 David Skowronski 15 4.5 13 0 32.5
5 Kev Hornblower 8 13.5 3 6 30.5
6 Dave O’Shea 0 0 10 19.5 29.5
7 Nat Payne 16 7.5 4 1.5 29
8 Damo Ballantine 6 0 8 15 29
9 Ado Enright 9 13.5 6 0 28.5
10 Nicko Shiells 23 1.5 0 0 24.5
11 Brett Jota 13 4.5 0 0 17.5
12 Trent Mears 11 6 0 0 17.0
13 David Hadley 16 0 0 0 16.0
14 Dan Hopkins 12 1.5 0 0 13.5
15 Shag Leahy 12 0 1 0 13.0
16 Phil Jordan 8 0 0 4.5 12.5
17 Spencer Fowler 1 0 8 0 9.0
18 Ryan Evans 0 0 0 9 9.0
19 Bill Crang 0 6 0 0 6.0
20 Damo Judd 0 0 3 0 3.0
21 Richard “Mighty” Quinn 0 0 2 0 2.0
22 Nick “Moggy” Moger 0 1.5 0 0 1.5
23 Tristan Dwyer 0 0 1 0 1.0

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Merry Christmas from the Prez

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 24, 2011

Cheer, cheer the red, white and black. Santa comes to the Swannies' Christmas Party/B&F in Saigon on 3 Dec.

National Prez, Phil Johns wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Go you Swannies – especially at the upcoming cricket, golf and inaugural celebration soiree in Melbourne.

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

Being Christmas Eve, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2011 has been a monster year for this Club. On the field, it was our best to date. Off the field, we hosted plenty of great fun events. We also responded appropriately to several tragedies. Ross, Ah you’ve done it again, McRae, continued to weave his graphic magic on the canvas and designed our new club logo. Inevitably, there were lots of players during the year who made the decision to move on from Vietnam.

Following Mark “Willy” William’s departure in Hanoi, Dan Hopkins took over the Hanoi Presidency and is doing a magnificent job. In Saigon, we have just farewelled Dez Limbrick and there is a great sense of anticipation about his successor, Sam Conroy. Nominations for Sam’s 2012 Committee in Saigon close today and already some very high profile and high calibre candidates have raised their hands.

As the end of 2011 approaches, I would like to thank all of our sponsors again. I would also like to make special mention of Linfox Logistics. Unfortunately, due to a change in strategy, Linfox will not be renewing its Signature Sponsorship of the Swannies next year. Linfox has been a terrific sponsor of the Swannies since 2007 when we became a national Club. We have greatly valued Linfox’s generous support.

Linfox’s departure has, of course, created an opportunity. I am therefore delighted to announce that Pest Free will take over the title of Signature Sponsor of the Vietnam Swans in 2012. Pest Free has been an absolutely fantastic supporter of the Swannies. Pest Free has been a major sponsor since 2007 and provided additional support at critical times. In 2008, for example, we had an oval lined up for a match against the Royal Australian Navy in Saigon. Alas, we didn’t have any AFL goal posts – until Pest Free stepped in and saved the day with a set of international standard goal posts that we still use today.

Earlier this year, Pest Free played a key role in securing ex AFL star, Richard “Ossie” Osborne in coming out to our 2nd Annual ANZAC Friendship Match.

Not surprisingly, expectations at the Club for 2012 are high. And, our season will start with a rush on 7 January in Saigon when the Swannies host a match against the Southern Dragons in the Inaugural Vietnam-Australia Friendship Match. The Southern Dragons are based in Melbourne and comprise numerous players of Vietnamese origin.

But that’s 2012! Between now and then, we still have Christmas, the Swannies’ Annual Cricket and Golf Days in Melbourne (Willy, Dez and 19 others, so far, will be there) together with the Inaugural Swannies’ Celebration Soiree on 28 and 29 December. See attached poster for full details. If you would like to come to any of these events, please email me or call me on my Australian number, +61 (0) 415 820 683.

Thank you very much again to everyone who helped to make 2011 such a success for the Swannies. We really lifted it up a notch or two this year and had great fun doing it.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year – and Go you Swannies!!

Posted in Farewell, Navy | 2 Comments »

Swannies thanked by National Sponsor, Pest Free

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 23, 2011

Pest Free Australia thanks Pest Free Vietnam and the Vietnam Swans.

Ray Connell is the President of . Below, is an email to his distributors and the Vietnam Swans. He thanks Pest Free Vietnam for sponsoring the Vietnam Swans and thanks the Vietnam Swans.

His email is reproduced below.

Dear Distributors.

proudly sponsors the Vietnam Swans Football Team in Vietnam. The (national) team made its debut at the 2007 Asian Champs in Bangkok. The Vietnam Swans not only enjoy their football and mateship within the team and Club, they also raise and give money to charities that are in need of help.


  1. 2011 The Vietnam Swans Co-Organized a Queensland (Australia) Flood Appeal. $45,000 raised.
  2. Supported Organizers of the Christchurch (NZ) Earthquake Appeal. $100,000 raised.
  3. Co-Organized the Inaugural Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day in Central Vietnam. $25,000 raised for drowning prevention.
  4. Hosted the 2nd  Annual ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau. 500 people attended including a number of Veterans.

Pest Free Australia would like to thank our Vietnam Master Distributor for their sponsorship of the Vietnam Swans Football Team and also every member of the Vietnam Swans Club for their continued hard work, charity donations and support for such worthy causes.

Pest Free Australia is proud to have the company’s logo associated with so many major sponsors. Please refer to the attachment – .

Pest Free Australia wishes The Vietnam Swans Club the very best for the 2012 season. I will be visiting Mark and Moc (Pest Free Vietnam) in Vietnam in 2012 and I am personally looking forward to meeting with club members, especially being an ex Rugby Union and Rugby League player myself. (Please do not hold that against me.)

My Kindest Regards To All.
Ray Connell.JP.
Pest Free Australia.Pty.Ltd.

The Vietnam Swans greatly appreciate the generous words of Pest Free Australia. Pest Free has been an amazing supporter of the Vietnam Swans. In addition to its annual sponsorship of the Swannies, Pest Free secured AFL goal posts of “international standard” in Saigon back in 2008 when we had our first game against the Royal Australian Navy (HMAS ANZAC) lined up – but without goal posts!

Earlier this year, Pest Free played a key role in bringing ex AFL star, Richard” Ossie” Osborne, to our ANZAC Friendship Match.

The Vietnam Swans look forward to announcing some exciting news with respect to Pest Free’s sponsorship of the Vietnam Swans in 2012.

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7th Battalion’s December newsletter promotes 2012 ANZAC Friendship Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 22, 2011

The 7th Battalion's December newsletter promotes the 2012 ANZAC Friendship Match.

John Carey is a Vietnam Veteran and friend of the Vietnam Swans. John will attend the Swannies’ 5th Annual Cricket Day at the MCG on 28 December 2011.

John has also written an article in the 7th Battalion’s December newsletter promoting the 2012 ANZAC Friendship Match. Below is an extract.

On Saturday 21 April 2012, prior to ANZAC Day, an AFL football match is also played on the Vung Tau Oval, the same ground where servicemen competed in a very active competition during the Vietnam War.

This is now the home ground of the Vietnam Swans Football Club and players involved are all Australian expats who, every two months, play against expat teams from other Asian countries. The event is named the ANZAC Friendship Match and the 2012 match is between the Vietnam Swans and the China Reds.

The official after match dinner is at the lovely Petro Hotel behind the ground. All who come to the game are invited to attend (bookings required).

To read the full article which includes details on ANZAC day itself, click onto .

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Cricket, Golf and Soiree: two days; three events. It’s how the Swannies roll in Melbourne

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 19, 2011

Swannies hit Melbourne this summer with Cricket, Golf and now, a Celebration Soiree!

The National President, Phil Johns, gives an update on this month’s Swannies’ events in Melbourne – Cricket, golf and a celebration soiree all in just two mega days.

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

Ah, Ross McRae, You’ve done it again. Ross has designed the graphic for the Swannies’ Triple Header that is coming up in Melbourne on 28 &29 December, after Christmas:

  • Wednesday 28 Dec @10.30am: The 5th Vietnam Swans Annual Cricket Day. Day 3, Boxing Day Test Match. Australia Vs India. MCC Members’ Pavilion, MCG. Entry to MCG and Pavilion – $50.
  • Thursday 29 Dec @10am: The 7th Vietnam Swans’ Annual Ryan Jeffery Golf Classic, Ivanhoe Golf Course. Green Fees – $26. Check out the new Ross McRae-designed Swannies’ Championship Jacket!
  • Thursday 29 Dec @4-6pm (after the golf): The Inaugural Swannies’ Celebration Soiree, The Rainbow Hotel, 27 David Street, Fitzroy. Pay as you go. Come along and find out why the Swannies are such a modern day hoot in both Australia and Asia. This is your chance to say that you went to the very first one!


So far, we have former Presidents Derrin Limbrick & Fleur (resigned just a week ago from Saigon Chapter of Vietnam Swans with Back to Back Indochina Cups), Willy (Hanoi Chapter of Vietnam Swans, played in first ever Swannies’ game, 2003), Dave Kainey (then Hanoi Swans and played in Swannies’ first ever game, 2003)  and Daryl Taber (then Hanoi Swans and first Swannies’ tour) attending. We also have the former skipper, Danny Monkey. Ryan Jeffery (only person to have played in all seven of his Swannies’ golf days and played in Swannies’ first game, 2003), Dan Hogarth (first Swannies tour back in 2005 to Malaysia). There’s recently retired Johnny Cranfield and current sensations Moggy and Nick Shiells. Ryan Tierney trained with the boys once in Saigon and that’s enough for him to want to come out to the cricket. John Carey is a Vietnam Vet and he will also join us for the cricket with wife, Kaye.

We also have a number of fathers, brothers and friends who are confirmed to attend. Many more have said they are trying to clear their calendar to find a space. We’re set for a few great events over a couple of mega days.

Honk if you love being a Swannie in Melbourne.

Honk! Honk!

  • To read the poster in pdf format, click onto

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Expats and traffic accidents in Vietnam – Tuoi Tre newspaper

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 18, 2011

Photo - Tuoi Tre newspaper

On 28 November 2011, the Tuoi Tre newspaper published an article on .

Below is an extract from this article that makes for very sober reading in the lead up to the festive season.

When Lisa Hamilton received a phone call from Vietnam informing her that her son, Ryan Gallaher, had been involved in a motorbike accident, she says her first reaction was that he had broken a leg or had some other minor injury. But after her son’s friend explained the seriousness of the accident, she was in shock.

Gallaher, 35, sustained severe head injuries when he crashed his motorbike while not wearing a helmet. He had been out drinking alcohol in the southern coastal city of Vung Tau, where he had been teaching English.

Over the next five days, Hamilton struggled to get to Vietnam. She had to apply for a visa and a passport, which she did not have at the time since she had only been out of her native Canada once, before she could get on a plane. She arrived in Ho Chi Minh City on June 9 2010, five days after her son’s accident.

“I guess I must have been naive,” she says. “I thought all I had to do was get to my son and everything would be taken care of, we would come back home and everything would be fine.”

As it turned out, getting her visa and passport then travelling half way across the world was only the beginning. When she arrived in the city her son, who was in a coma, had been transported from the poorly supplied Ba Ria Hospital just outside of Vung Tau to District 5’s perpetually busy Cho Ray Hospital. She found him in the head trauma unit, a large cluttered room with around 40 beds, usually full of patients, from young children to adults. She says she found the conditions horrifying and wanted to get her son out before he became infected.

A team from Family Medical Practice in HCMC helped Hamilton make flight arrangements to Bangkok, where there were better facilities at Samitvej Hospital, and cut red tape that would allow them to get on a plane with medical equipment.

A flight was arranged five days after Hamilton’s arrival. At that point she says she had already spent US$1,800 for the ambulance from Ba Ria to HCMC, US$500 at Cho Ray and US$15,000 for the flight to Bangkok. Gallaher’s friends covered the Ba Ria Hospital bills. Her son did not have any medical insurance.

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Swannies hat on top of the world with the Pleiters

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 16, 2011

Mark Pleiter (pictured left) wears his Swannies hat at Everest Base Camp!

Typically, a Swannies hat will look good on top of anyone’s scone. And the level of goodness is multiplied when that person happens to be on top of the world. Well, not quite on top of the world – but the next best thing.

A couple of months ago, Swannie, Mark Pleiter went to Nepal and climbed up to the Mount Everest Base Camp where the above photo was taken!

It’s not surprising that some people ask whether Ben Hur was big enough to be a Swannie.

Congratulations to Mark. And, Go you Swannies!

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Saigon President calls for nominations for 2012 Saigon Commttee

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 15, 2011

Sam Conroy at last month's 2011 Indochina Cup.

The new Saigon President, Sam Conroy, calls for nominations for the 2012 Saigon Committee.

Dear all.

We are calling for nominations for the 2012 Saigon Committee.  With the departure of key members and the arrival of so many new people to the Club, I hope that we can build a strong committee that includes lots of new faces and new ideas.

The roles open for nomination are:

  • Secretary –  Ensuring all information is captured and follow up with Committee and non Committee members on any open tasks.
  • Tour Captain – With the assistance of other on and off the committee members, will lead Swans’ tours and touring sides coming to Saigon.
  • Merchandise and Gear Manager – Working with the Committee to ensure we have gear available for training and games. Order and arrange merchandise as required.
  • Membership. Growing the player and social club membership for the club and maintaining up o data information of all members.
  • Coaching Committee. Looking for 4 or 5 members to assist in the coaching of the team. Only require one member of the coaching committee to attend committee meetings.
  • Big event manager. Lead the big events on our calendar for next year, mainly ANZAC match and Grand Final
  • S.ponsor manager. Development of new sponsors for the club and maintaining relationships with existing sponsors.

Saigon President and Treasurer are not up for nomination at this time with both roles recently appointed by the members of the Club.

Nominations close on the 24th of December but if you’re interested in any role and need more information let me know and we can discuss further.

Saigon President, Sam Conroy can be contacted by

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Hanoi Prez wraps up the Swannies B&F in Hanoi

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 15, 2011

The Hanoi President, Dan Hopkins, last weekend in Hanoi.

Dan Hopkins, Hanoi President wraps up last weekend’s hugely successful Awards and Presentations night. The man who also won the award for Outstanding National Contribution also congratulates winners of other awards.

Hi all! Thanks to all who joined us last Saturday night at JASPAS for Hanoi’s 2011 Presentation Night.
The night was a huge success and fun was had by all. The night started off with some initial presentations
to sponsors and a run down of the charity work the Swans have managed to accomplish this year.
Then on to the good stuff with a match by match summery and overall votes for the games and tours.

Throughout the count there were some awards given including:

  • Hanoi Clubman Award: Dave Diviny, for all his hard work throughout the year.
  • Coach’s Award: Dan Lucardie for his work ethic and positive attitude anytime he hits the track.

Congratulations Boys!

Then we kicked on with the count going through the Asian Champs (semi-finalists) and Indochina Cup (winners).

After all the votes were counted, the winner of Hanoi’s Best and Fairest was pretty obvious.

Hanoi’s 2011 Best and Fairest –  Congratulations Dave ‘SOS’ Skowronski!

We also said farewell to Hao Stew and Dan K. These boys have been a massive part of the Swans this year and further back. The efforts that you guys put on the track and off will not be forgotten. Thanks from all Swannies for all your contributions.

We do have one more upcoming event before Christmas.

The Big Kids Aussie Xmas Bash 16th Dec @ American Club 5.00pm. (Auscham, Koto, Swans and Dragons). Lets get out there for a BBQ, a kick of the footy and some froffies to send off 2011 and enjoy a good Aussie style Christmas party!

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