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Archive for February, 2012

Hanoi Prez on Cambodian trip and new training regime

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 28, 2012

Hanoi's new training poster (Ah, McRae...) and training last Saturday in Gia Lam, Hanoi. Click to enlarge.

Our Hanoi President, Dan Hopkins, speaks about the upcoming tour to Cambodia and the new training regime in the nation’s capital.

Hi all,

Hanoi has had two successful training sessions for 2012 now on our new field in Gia Lam (across the Red River). We have had a good hit out both weeks with the boys doing some hard running and polishing of the rustiness of the off season. To see photos from last week’s training session, .

Some new  faces to the park is also a promising sign: including Richard, Daniel (another one!) Trav and Zac. It’s great to see new and old faces come together to start of the 2012 season. Having had a slow start in finding a ground we can now really get geared up to having a massive 2012. We are also Training on Thursday nights at the Australian Embassy, combining some weights and cardio work. If you have friends and colleagues who are keen, then get them along to either or both training sessions. There is no such thing as to many Swannies on the park.

Also check out the new banner that Ross has put together (see above or click onto  or see above). Another ripper – with Big Edo showing off his good looks.


This Saturday, the Swannies will be opening up our 2012 season by traveling to meet the Cambodian Eagles in Phenom Phnom Penh. Dave D will be the only current Hanoian on the tour. He should do some hard running all day and hopefully help the Swans get a win on the board early against a formidable opponent. Former Hanoi Coach, Greg “Stanno” Stanton who now lives in Cambodia will also be there!

Good luck to all the playing group as it should be a huge tour. How’s that bus trip going to go I wonder?

Let’s get the word out there in Hanoi that the Swans are heading for another stellar year on and off the park and see if we can get some more members and supporters.

No known measurements 2012!

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Swannies unveil new designs for 2012 merchandise

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 27, 2012

Swannies polo shirts, hats, training singlets and shorts for 2012. All designed by, Ah McRae...

The merchandise has been awhile but it will definitely be worth the wait.

Our new jumpers (sporting the new Swannies’ logo as well as sponsors’ logos from Pest Free, Commonwealth Bank and Wide Eyed Tours) will be worn in Cambodia for the first time next weekend.

The following weekend, we expect to receive out new club shirts (three colours – red, white and black), training singlets (two colours – red and white. Sponsors’ logos: Pest Free, Commonwealth Bank, Wide Eyed Tours, Worldwide Arms Museum, International SOS, Crown and Lagler Australia), a new club hat (sponsored by Al Fresco’s) and a new pair of club shorts (with sponsor’s logo of Worldwide Arms Museum, Vung Tau).

And just who would design all this amazing gear? Ah (Ross) McRae; you’ve done it again.

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The Cambodian Cannonball Run is coming!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 26, 2012

The Cambodian Cannonball Run - 2-4 March 2012.

The Cambodian Cannonball Run, where the Vietnam Swans will take on the Cambodian Eagles in Phnom Penh, is coming. Next week in fact from 2-4 March 2012.

Anna Polson (wife of Swannie, Alex) has just finished this cracking poster to help promote the event.

The Swannies will wear black armbands to remember two people: Phil Ghasseb’s father who died on Friday night and John Carey, a Vietnam Veteran and friend of the Swannies.

In addition, we shall be recognising our best player, as judged by the Swannies’, with the Rick Trewavas Medal.

The Rick Trewavas Medal is awarded to our best player each time we play the Cambodian Eagles in a friendly (as opposed to tournaments such as the Asian Champs and Indochina Cup).

Rick Trewavas played a key role in setting up the Swannies – which he always referred to as the Bloods – in Hanoi.

Brett Jota was the inaugural, and only, winner of the medal back in 2010 when we played Cambodia in Phnom Penh (last year we played Cambodia twice but both times were at tournaments).

More to follow.

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Farewell to Phil Ghasseb’s father

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 26, 2012

The Vietnam Swans will wear black armbands for Phil Ghassab's father at our next match in Cambodia on Saturday.

It is with great sadness that the we confirm the passing of Phil Ghasseb’s father in Bunbury on Friday night, 24 February 2012.

Phil, a Swannie in Saigon, returned to Australia a few weeks ago to be with his father who was gravely ill.

The Vietnam Swans extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to Phil, his family and his father’s circle of friends.

The Vietnam Swans shall send flowers to the funeral and, as a sign of respect, will wear black armbands at our next match.Phil has added, “Just make sure you guys win.”

Our next match will be held next Saturday, 3 March, against the Cambodian Eagles in Phnom Penh.

For anyone who wishes to contact Phil, and who does not already have his contact details, please email

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Sydney Swans’ Mick Martin thanks the Vietnam Swans

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 24, 2012

Mick Martin from the Sydney Swans joins the big league in Saigon last month with man mountain, Edo.

Mick Martin, Fan Development Executive for the Sydney Swans, visited the Swannies in Saigon last month with girlfriend Erica. While here, he played in our match against the  Southern Dragons on 7 January.

Below, Mick writes to the Swannies.

To the Swannies

Things have been mighty busy around here leading in to our first NAB Cup match tonight (against St Kilda and Geelong).

First of all I just wanted to express my huge personal thanks to the whole Vietnam Swans footy club for the hospitality and generosity you all showed me and the rest of the crew during our trip to Vietnam. On a personal level, you all made our trip to Saigon in particular just so much fun and it ended up being truly one of the huge highlights of our holiday. You were all so hospitable and welcoming that we were so sorry in the end that we didn’t have more time to spend there with you in your city.

On a professional level, it was fantastic for me to see how amazingly well run you have that operation going there. Again, you should be really proud of what you’ve got going there and I encourage you to keep it up. There’s a genuine feeling of family about what you guys get up to and it was such a pleasure to experience.

The day after we left Saigon, Andy (who was there with us with his girlfriend Ms Roxy, and has been a rugby player since the day he could walk) said to me “If I ever live overseas I’m joining an AFL club”. Credit to the Swannies’ family for that.

So again, I just wanted to say thanks and congratulations. You gave me a time I’ll always remember very fondly and, hopefully, one day I can get back there to enjoy it all again!

I’m hoping all goes well on next weekend’s Cambodia trip and hopefully the good times tie in to a nice win to boot.


The Vietnam Swans very much enjoyed hosting Mick and Erica, with Andy and Roxy. We look forward to hosting them again at some time in the future.

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Saigon Prez talks up Cambodian trip, Swing to Swim and Gaelic footy

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 24, 2012

Sam Conroy on the ANZAC Boot Camp, Vung Tau, a couple of weeks ago.

Saigon President, Sam Conroy tells us about next week’s Cannonball Run to Cambodia, Swing to Swim and Gaelic Football.

Another big week for the Swans with heaps going on. The footy is back on the tele and we are about to kick off our touring for the year with what is becoming a legendary trip to Cambodia.


After Fabbo playing a Kevin Rudd and not quite telling the truth on how many players we have to the Cambodia boys (Ed’s note, ahem, are you right there??), we are in fact in good shape with 25 touring players and 10 supporters. It would be great to get 3 or 4 more players as late inclusions so if you’re still a chance jump on board, let Timmy know today. Timmy (muppet enforcer) will send out final details in the coming days with all the details of the trip but just get involved.


Saigon Auskick smashed it last week with heaps of kids and a few dads getting along to the Swannies training afterwards who we haven’t seen in a while. We had a great session which was capped off with a scratch match and a debrief from Chris O’Dempsey (who had worked with the then Brisbane Bears). Training will again start at 2:30 tomorrow but for the guys that are keen, we will do Matt Natalotto’s cross fit warm up from 2pm sharp.

17th of March

Two big events on for the 17th of next month: Swing to Swim at Montgomerie Links and a match against the Gaelic boys in Saigon.

  • Swing to Swim is our key fundraising event for the year and we need to get behind this as much as we can. Adam Zakharoff from tick tick Boom9arang Bistro) is looking for some boys to play the day before so you could make it a big weekend of golf, supporting a great cause and maybe a cold beer or two. Let me know if you’re a heading up for the weekend.
  • The Gaelic boys are pumped for a hit out with the Swans and the plan is to run a skills session on the fundamentals of each code prior and then a a hit out of two quarters of each code. I am a member of the Saigon Gaels and they are a top bunch of lads.

Short and sweet this week and I’m sure I have forgotten something but that can all be worked out tomorrow.

Posted in Legend, Swim | Leave a Comment »

Confirmed – 2012 Asian Champs to be played in Bangkok, 11 August

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 23, 2012

The Swannies are headed back to Bangkok for the 13th Annual Asian Champs to be held on 11 August 2012. (Pic - last year's Champs in Bangers)

The Thailand Tigers’ President, Alan “Yoda” Sutherland, has just confirmed that the Thailand Tigers will host the 13th Annual Asian Championships in Bangkok on 11 August 2012. Below is Yoda’s email to the Asian Presidents.

It is my pleasure to confirm that Thailand is now committed to hosting the 2012 Asian Championships!   I apologise for not getting back to you sooner but we were unable to obtain official confirmation of the ground booking until last night.

The date set for the games will be Saturday, 11 August.  The venue will be Patana International School – the same as last year.

We will get back to you over the next few weeks with more details so please hold back on emails for the moment on specifics regarding accomodation, fees, draws etc..

Myself and the committee look forward to welcoming you back to Bangkok.

The Swannies thank the Thailand Tigers for their willingness to host the Champs yet again and very much look forward to it. The Tigers are always exceptional hosts and organisers and this year will be no different.

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Swannies stickers everywhere in D7, Saigon outside Tra Vy’s Butcher Shop

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 23, 2012

Swans stickers everywhere near Tra Vy's butcher shop in D7, HCMC.

in D7, Saigon has gone Swannies Savvy with a big Swannies sticker underneath the cash register. A sure sign of wealth, prosperity and good luck in D7.

In addition to a sticker inside the butcher’s shop, there’s also one on the umbrella (see picture of Trav with Oanh) and on a stray motorbike.

So next time you need a snag, head out to Tr Vy’s and check out the Swannies!

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Saigon Auskick kicks off last Saturday

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 21, 2012

How good is it to have Auskick back in the 'Gon?? Photo, Mark Stennett.

Saigon Auskick  2012 kicked off last Saturday, 18 February, at RMIT.

King of the Kids, Michael Golden welcomed 20 kids and heaps of parents to the kick off for 2012. Wife, Melissa, busily signed up loads of names.

Most were sporting their new Auskick Swans’ shirts sponsored by . The shirts come in red and white and have a mega cartoon Swan on the back. Looks cool!

Michael says that it was “Great to see all the kids and parents at sign up on Saturday. Thanks for the support.

“Sign up will continue next weekend, so bring your mates along for some more exciting training and fun.

“In future weeks, we will be able to split the kids into two groups which will make Auskick more interesting and fun for everyone.”

And Michael’s not joking! Now he’s got some goal and point posts as well as a handball hot dot game which will be set up for the first time next Saturday. That will be perfect for those of us who just love kicking goals!

The Auskickers train from 2-3pm on Saturdays. The Swannies start our training session at 2.30pm as per usual – but for the first half hour, we just use the far end of the oval. This is expected to be a winning combination for both the Auskickers and the Swannies in another fabled “nguyen-nguyen” situation.

  • To see more photos from last Saturday, . This web album, a sub album of the Vietnam Swans’ Picasa web album, will be updated most weeks with fresh photos.
  • For the latest on Auskick information, check the special “Auskick” tab at the top of this page.
  • To contact the man running the Auskick sessions, please email Michael Golden at Saigon Auskick

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Swannies Supercoach gears up for 2012

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 20, 2012

Swannies Supercoach is on for 2012

Ross McRae is Supercoach Ross to all his friends in 2012. He now gives us an update on what is happening this year.

Just wanted to let you know that places are filling up to join the elite coaching comp.

500kVND / 25AUD entry fee, the prize money split between first and second.  Last year Shagger and I went 60/40 (you decide before the GF).

18 coaches (-1 for Gus), so that’s 8,500,000VND as a nice finals drinking kitty to split.

With the likes of legendary supercoachers such as Scott Stacey, Mark ‘Willy’ Williams, Paul ‘Livin the Dream’ Koch, Dave ‘Angry’ Hadley, Danny ‘Monkey’ Monk, David ‘just Daisy’ Bourke and Shannon ‘Crow-Shagga’ Leahy, how will new comers to the league fair?

Moggy, Dave O’Shea, Ryan and VT legend Timmay  are all joining the mix looking for bragging rights against the old blood.  Also wild card entry Shagger’s dad, Michael, pitting his acumen against his son (perhaps its just another team for Shannon on the sly?).

With the NAB Cup having kicked off already, Swannies’ training sessions in full swing, it’s time to get leather poisoning!

So drop me an email to  if you want in!

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Tuoi Tre newspaper reports on 2012 Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 19, 2012

Tuoi Tre Newspaper reports on the 2012 Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day.

The Tuoi Tre newspaper, last Friday, published an article titled, .

The article, written by Minh Phat, looks at the fundraiser which will be held on 17 March 2012 and is reproduced below.

Montgomerie Links, near Da Nang City, is to host the ‘2012 Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day’ on March 17 to raise funds for survival swimming programs in the central region of Vietnam, where more children die from drowning than road accidents.

The second annual event, organized by Montgomerie Links and the Aussie Rules footy club Vietnam Swans, is aiming to raise US$25,000 to donate to local swimming programs — and in Danang. The event is supported by The Royal Life Saving Society Australia (RLSSA) and Auscham Vietnam.

The 150 golfers taking part in this coming event will enjoy a fun experience on the 18-hole, highly-decorated Montgomerie Links Golf Course, which was voted the best in Vietnam for the past two years.

Firms and individuals are invited to join the golf event to lend a hand to raise awareness and save children from drowning.

“[We are] proud to host Swing to Swim due to the significance of drowning in our region… This charity golf event takes enormous steps to provide funding for these worthy swimming programs to save the lives of local citizens…” said The Montgomerie Links General Director Jon Tomlinson.

“Vietnamese children should not only survive but thrive in the waterways of Vietnam. Swim Vietnam and Swim Safe are unlocking an exciting world of safe swimming in this wonderful country,” added Vietnam Swans’ President, Phil Johns.

In 2011, Swim Vietnam taught over 1,000 children to swim and is aiming to teach 1,500 children this year. The program also trains adults as swimming teachers.

Since Swim Vietnam’s inception in Vietnam in 2008, they have successfully taught swimming to over 2,300 children and given them water safety skills which could help save their lives. Over 60 swimming teachers have also been trained.

“Two children in my school drowned when the road flooded and they were swept away two years ago… We can teach them how to save themselves in these types of situation … as most Vietnamese children do not know how to swim,” said Ho Huu Tung, a teacher of Quang Nam-based Duy Phu School whom was trained to be a swimming teacher.

Swim Safe runs a summer survival swimming program in Danang. It teaches over 5,000 children each year and provides training to high drowning provinces across Vietnam.

Vietnam Ministry of Health statistics state that at least 10 children drown here every day. Some international aid agency surveys call it the “silent epidemic” and estimate that it is possible that as many as 30 children drown per day in Vietnam.

For more information on Swing to Swim or to join the event please contact Tel: 0510 3941 942. Email: . Or, email the .

  • To view the original article, .
  • To see more articles about the Vietnam Swans that have appeared in the media, click here.

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Press Release: Montgomerie Links to host the 2nd Annual Swing to Swim Charity Golf & Dinner Event

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 18, 2012

The 2nd Annual Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day; 17 March 2012.

Montgomerie Links and the Vietnam Swans are pleased to announce details of the 2nd Annual Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day to raise funds to reduce the number of drownings in Vietnam. Below is the press release.

***Stop Press! Auscham, the Australian Chamber of Commerce, becomes Official Partner of 2nd Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day***

The 2nd Annual Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day will once again be hosted by The Montgomerie Links and proudly supported by Indochina Land and the Vietnam Swans while being endorsed by the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia (RLSSA), which have contributed significantly to swimming programs in the country

Swing to Swim will be held on Saturday 17th March 2012 in a bid to raise VND 500,000,000 for local swimming programs, Swim Vietnam Hoi An and Swim Safe Danang. In a country where more children die from drowning than road accidents, these swimming programs are essential for raising awareness and reducing the number of drownings in Vietnam and the immediate region.

The Montgomerie Links and Vietnam’s very own Australian Rules Football Club, the Vietnam Swans will continue their cooperative building on the success of 2011 when VND 500,000,000 (USD25,000) was raised in the charity golf event’s inaugural year.

Raising money to teach kids how to swim.

“The Montgomerie Links is proud to host Swing to Swim due to the significance of drowning in our region. With miles of coastline and rivers that surround Danang and Quang Nam provinces, this charity golf event takes enormous steps to provide funding to these worthy swimming programs to save the lives of local citizens while further demonstrating Indochina Land’s commitment to charitable causes” said Jon Tomlinson General Director of The Montgomerie Links and Vice Director of Indochina Land’s Hospitality Division.

Vietnam Swans’ National President, Phil Johns commented that “Along Vietnam’s coastline and internal waterways, we know how water can take someone’s life in a breath. We also know that water sustains life” he said. “Australians are renowned for their swimming ability and therefore, as Vietnam’s Australian Rules Football Club, we are very proud to support these swimming initiatives. Vietnamese children should not only survive but thrive in the waterways of Vietnam. Swim Vietnam and Swim Safe are unlocking an exciting world of safe swimming in this wonderful country.”

The golf event is designed to be fun and light hearted with a team “scramble” format played over 18 holes at the stunning Montgomerie Links Golf Course voted the best in Vietnam for the past two years. In addition to the round of golf, as part of the package, there is lunch and gala dinner comprising an auction hosted by the Vietnam Swans who also donate AFL football memorabilia such as the 2010 West Coast Eagles Australian Rules Football jumper that last year was auctioned for VND, 25,000,000 to Montgomerie Links member and Danang resident, Mr Le Ngoc Tu.

Entries and sponsorship opportunities are now available!

At Swing to Swim, Swannie, Mick Francis, doesn't need to drive. He's our masterful auctioneer! Pictured with wife, Yen.

Tournament Schedule:

  • 10.00am – Arrival and practice at Driving range
  • 11.00am – Light Lunch and Golf Tournament Briefing
  • 12.00pm – Shot gun Start – 18 holes
  • 2.00pm – Kids Clinic featuring Swim Vietnam students
  • 5.00pm –  Dinner Presentation, Awards and Auction

Golf Competitions:

  • Teams Format (Scramble) with prizes for:
  • Hole in One
  • Nearest the Pin
  • Longest Drive
  • Par 3 “Circle of Hope”
  • Most Accurate drive (In Between the Lines) – hole #9

FEE: All inclusive entry fee VND 2,000,000 – entry fee, green fee, caddie fee, balls at driving range, light lunch, dinner presentations. (MLV members receive a 10% discount)

If you feel ready to commit now, please join us on Saturday 17th March 2012

For more information and reservation please contact us at:

Tel: 0510 3941 942 or Ms. Donna Tran – 0905 226 206


SPONSORSHIP opportunities:

  • NAMING RIGHTS – Medley Platinum level – USD $10000 cash:
  • Gold Freestyle – USD $5000:
  • Silver Backstroke – USD $2500
  • Bronze Butterfly – USD $1000
  • Hole In One – USD $5000 of retail value
  • Naming right on hole min at $500
  • Auction: min $100

If you would like to register your interest in being a sponsor and/or playing in the Swing to Swim event, please email Donna Tran at Montgomerie Links on or Phil Johns, National President, Vietnam Swans on .

Posted in Swim | Leave a Comment »


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