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Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for August, 2012

Tuoi Tre News reports on Swannies raising funds in Sapa race for swimming classes

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 31, 2012

Swim Vietnam will benefit from the Swannies and Hanoi Oi’s running for the swimmers.

On 21 August, Tuoi Tre News ran a story by Minh Phat titled, . The Vietnam Swans’ Adrian Enright and the Hanoi Oi’s netballers are driving the fundraising component of the race for Swim Vietnam.

The is reproduced below.

The running event Sapa21 Challenge Race will be organized on September 9 in the tourist hotspot Sapa in northern Vietnam, with some participants to take the event to raise funds for poor children in the central region.

The fund raising participants are from the Vietnam Swans Aussie Rules football team and the Hanoi Ois Netball team. They are raising money for Swim Vietnam, a charity which provides free swimming lessons to children and trains adults as swimming teachers.

The event will offer 21km and 10km races on the date.

If you are unable to take part, you can feel the charity atmosphere with Swim Vietnam and other participants by donating directly with any debit or credit card by clicking or visit .

All money raised will go directly to Swim Vietnam. It costs around $25 for helping a child go through the whole program and know how to swim, and $300 to sponsor a whole class.

Since its inception in 2008, Swim Vietnam has taught over 3,500 children and trained over 60 adults to be swimming teachers in the central province of Quang Nam. In 2012 alone, 1,500 children got free swimming courses.

Free swimming courses start from the beginning of March until the end of September every year to avoid the remaining time of the rainy season. Each program lasts 6 weeks.

Swim Vietnam has four swimming pools in Luong The Vinh school in Hoi An, in Palm Gardens Resort Hoi An, in Nam Phuoc 3 school and Duy Chau school in Duy Xuyen District.

Related items

  • To see a short You Tube video by Swannie, Adrian Enright, about the race and raising money for Swim Vietnam,  .
  • For more information on the Sapa 21km Challenge, .
  • Read the article on the Vietnam Swans website: Swannies and netballers run for swimmers in Sapa21 Half Marathon, dated 21 August 2012
  • To see other articles about the Vietnam Swans that have appeared in the media, click here.

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Announcing the new Rick Trewavas Clubman of the Year Medal (Hanoi and Saigon)

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 30, 2012

The Rick Trewavas Clubman of the Year Medal – from 2012.

The Vietnam Swans are delighted to announce that the Rick Trewavas Medal, formerly awarded to the Swannies’ most courageous player in games against Cambodia, will be rebadged. It will now be awarded to the Vietnam Swans’ Clubman of the Year in both Hanoi and Saigon.

Footy existed in Hanoi in 1998 with the Hanoi Hawks (and the Saigon Saints were in Saigon). The Hawks played several matches before the energy petered out.

Soon after 9/11 in 2001, the boys in Hanoi were back at it again, this time watching the AFL on Friday nights in the Bobby Skilton Room, above Pepperonis (part of the Al Frescoes’ group of restaurants) in Hanoi. It was named the Bobby Skilton Room because Rick Trewavas had a signed, framed photo of the South Melbourne Bloods/Swans’ man who he admired enormously.  The framed was hung on the wall each week (click here for more background information).

It was still two years before Hanoi would actually field a team – but the die had been cast. In November 2003, when Hanoi ran out on the field in the Tri Nations Tournament against Thailand and Hong Kong, they ran out as the Hanoi Swans (which became the Vietnam Swans in 2007). Our Club had officially been born.

In mid 2010, the Club learned that Rick was suffering from an aggressive lung cancer. Our next match happened to be against the Cambodian Cobras (now Eagles) and so we decided to express our support for Rick by recognising our best player on the day with the Rick Trewavas Medal. Brett Jotta won the Medal in that match on 31 July 2010.

In March this year, Mick Johnston won the Medal when we played in Phnom Penh. Last month, in Saigon, Qui Li took the Medal.

Meanwhile, Ross McRae Design kept tinkering with the design of the Medal. And the design kept getting better and better. It became apparent to the Swannies’ Hanoi and Saigon Committees that the Medal, in terms of its quality, history and symbolism was now becoming too big for a stage offered by a friendly match.

A far more appropriate stage seemed to be the Clubman of the Year – in both Hanoi and Saigon.

Clubman of the Year recognises not just the previous two hours on the field, but the previous 12 months off the field. Who has been the lifeblood of the Club during that time? Who has been developing the Club and making the glue to hold it all together? The Rick Trewavas Medal will now give us the opportunity to recount the history and culture of the Club amongst the faithful who turn up for the annual awards evening. It fits.

Mick Francis in the Bobby Skilton Room, Hanoi, circa 2002. Brett Jotta wins the Inaugural Rick Trewavas Medal in Phnom Penh, July 2010.

Last week, we sent Rick a Rick Trewavas Medal with the inscription,

To Rick
Thanks for inspiring
The Bloods
Vietnam, August, 2012

Rick received the Medal two days ago and wrote back:

“It has arrived. Geez it evokes Vietnam. The ribbon colours (red and yellow) and the scale and yellow gold of the medal – Uncle Ho would be proud.

“I have left a message in one metre large letters, emblazoned on my driveway by a high pressure hose, so that if Google Earth passes this way, all can see. It says “GO BLOODS” and is heartfelt. Honk!”

In a classic “one-two” operation, we then approached Rick and asked if he would mind if we shifted the focus of the Medal from a friendly match to the Clubman of the Year: Rick replied:

Mind? You flatter my name. I was raised in a football environment where the Clubman of the Year was the most revered award.

Indeed I’ll Butter Up for that.

Super chuffed me. I’ve already made certain the medal goes to my Grand Daughter.


So, it is now official. The Rick Trewavas Medal, henceforth, will now be awarded to Hanoi’s Clubman of the Year and Saigon’s Clubman of the Year.

Footnote: We are still to give our Best and Fairest Medal an appropriate name (as well as the BOG Medal for the ANZAC Friendship Match).

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Kiwi Kurt wins “Heart of a Swannie” and says thanks

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 29, 2012

Kurt in the thick of it in the 2012 ANZAC Legends’ Match.

Kiwi, Kurt Walker walked out onto the field in Saigon last weekend – and then played the game of his life. In the process, he picked up two complimentary tickets to Auscham’s Arabian Nights Ball for being the Most Determined Player to play with the “Heart of a Swannie”. The tickets were generously donated by John MacFarlane.

Below, Kurt thanks all and sundry with some carefully crafted prose. Like many other recent contributions to this website, Kurt’s literary excellence has been hailed by the critics as another example of brilliance.

At the risk of staying quiet and being thought a fool; or opening my mouth and sounding like a fool, removing all doubt, I choose the latter.

Firstly, thanks to John MacFarlane for the Auscham Arabian Ball tickets which created the BOG/Most Determined Player idea for last weekend’s scratch match.

I would also like to thank wholeheartedly those who have patiently taught me the skills of the game: Dukesy, Heater, David O, Nicko, Sam, Damo and Kyle to name a few. Sorry if I missed anyone out but you know you are the rest and best of the team for coaching and mentoring me in the true spirit of a great game.

I have found a new religion, a cult of personalities that are a brotherhood of unfathomable dimensions.

There are also visionaries among us such as Fabbo.

I felt not only a sense of camaraderie but also a certain esprit de corps among us as players in Vietnam.

I sense there is not only us on the field; there is also the presence of those who were before us. The ghosts of footballers past, shadows guiding us towards a triumphant future in football, propelling us into infinite glory. No mere spectres or ghouls who inhabit this earth without purpose, but Odin’s chosen ones beside us, relinquishing us in the taste of victories’ golden ambrosia’s drunk from the skulls of our vanquished foes…

PS. I wrote this on Sunday after a few ales and was trying to emulate our Club’s geniuses of literature, the bards of the Club.

I got a little carried away.

Keep on Honking!

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Jakarta Bintang, Lofty, dies in Indonesian plane accident

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 29, 2012

Jakarta Bintang, Peter “Lofty” Elliott.

Two days ago, the reported that:

“A search and rescue team has found the bodies of an Australian man and three other people in a plane wreck in Indonesia.

“Australian Peter Elliott, founder and general manager of Perth-based survey company Elliott Geophysics International, was on board a light plane that disappeared on the island of Borneo in Indonesia on Friday.”

Lofty, as Peter was known, was a life long player and supporter of the Jakarta Bintangs.

Accordingly, the Vietnam Swans emailed Jakarta Bintangs’ President, John Eddy, to extend our deepest sympathies and requested that our condolences be forwarded to the family and friends of Lofty, as well as the Bintangs.

The Bintangs replied that the boys would organise “an appropriate send-off (and) the kind words are very much appreciated”.

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Swannies’ website three times bigger than 1970 VFL Grand Final!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 28, 2012

Yesterday, the Swannies’ website notched up its 350,000th hit. That’s three times bigger than the record crowd that attended the 1970 VFL Grand Final.

The 1970 VFL Grand Final between Collingwood and Carlton is regarded as one of the greatest ever, for many massive reasons.

Collingwood was the strong favourite prior to the game and by half time, they led their arch rivals by 44 points. However, towards the end of the second quarter, as reported by , “Carlton’s David McKay kicked it to the wing and Jesaulenko soared high into the sky on the shoulders of Collingwood’s ruckman Graeme ‘Jerker’ Jenkins, a giant of a man at 6’6″, and took the heaven-high-grab with his hands out in front of his face. The commentator, Mike Williamson, spoke the famous words:

“McKay, to the wing position on the members’ stand side. OH JESAULENKO! YOU BEAUTY!”

Jezza, of course, went on to become a sponsor of the Mighty Vietnam Swans in 2012 together with wife, Annie, through (click here for the full story).

At half time, Carlton coach, Ron Barrassi gave his players a spray and a half. He also demanded that his players play on at all costs and to keep handballing. Then, he took a little blonde bloke by the name of Ted Hopkins off the bench and put him in the forward pocket. Hopkins went on to boot four goals and Carlton had snatched victory from Collingwood’s jaws, winning by just 10 points.

The Grand Final had everything – including a record attendance at the MCG of a staggering 121,696. The record still stands.

Interestingly, yesterday, the Swannies’ website recorded its 350,000th hit – which is very nearly three times the size of that MCG crowd. And therein lies the basis of the incredible – but true – claim that the Swannies’ website is three times bigger than the 1970 Grand Final.

Ohhhh, Vietnam Swans!! You beauty!!

PS It’s just five weeks before the Swannies host our famous AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi (Intercontinental Hotel) and Saigon (Boomarang Bistro, D7) and the motorcyclists are honkin’ more than before… Ooooh. Giddy up!!

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Swannies’ Hanoi AFL Grand Final Party On – at the Intercon!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 27, 2012

ANZAC Umpire Adam McDonald declares, “Grand Final On – at the Intercon!” Photo of Adam, 2012 ANZAC Friendship Match, courtesy Mark Stennett Photography.

The big news coming out of Hanoi this week is that the Swannies’ AFL Grand Final Party is on – at the .

This is big news as the AFL Grand Final Party has been held at club sponsor, JASPAS (part of the ) since “the beginning”. Swannies’ Living Legend, Mick Francis was consulted to put a date on “the beginning”. The best answer he can come up with is that JASPAS (formerly Jaacs) has hosted AFL Grand Final parties since at least 1999.

This year, a change of venue was required because JASPAS will be undergoing a huge renovation. Potentially, this was “the beginning” of a crisis.

Enter Adam McDonald – 200 game AFL boundary umpire, two times ANZAC Day umpire at the MCG and one time ANZAC Friendship Match umpire in Vung Tau. Adam also just happens to run the Intercontinental Hotel in Hanoi. Accordingly, Adam offered to make the Intercontinental available to host the Swannies’ AFL Grand Final Party this year.

The Swannies and JASPAS were in full agreement. JASPAS has even offered to help sell tickets.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in Hanoi, it’s Grand Final On – at the Intercon!

Details of Swannies’ AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi and Saigon

Full details and posters of both the Hanoi and Saigon Grand Final Parties will be made available next weekend, after the AFL announces details of the the first week of finals. It’s killing us to hold back the details – but it’s still the home and away season!

And wait until, you see Ross McRae Design’s poster for the Swannies’ AFL Grand Final Parties… Ah McRae, you’ve smashed it again!

Now, if you can’t wait, we’re not surprised. To keep you going, have another look at the promo video put together for the Vietnam Swans’ AFL Grand Final Parties last year by the  Australia Network by . Australia Network will again be the Swannies’ Official Media Sponsor in 2012.  Only 5 more weeks to go…

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The Mega Bretta Look-a-Like Poll Daddy

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 26, 2012

Just who does Mega Bretta Jotta look most like? Vote now!

Mega Bretta Jotta is a man with no limits and many look a likes.

Dave O’Shea  says there are two questions about the Mega Pocket Rocket that need to be answered:

  1. Will he wear shoes in the next match?
  2. Who does he most look like?

Please vote on Poll Daddy below for the look-a-like.

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Vietnam Swans write to AFL Chairman, Mike Fitzpatrick regarding proposal for Vietnam Veterans’ Day blockbuster in 2013

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 26, 2012

The Vietnam Swans have written to AFL Chairman, Mike Fitzpatrick, proposing a Vietnam Vets Day Match. And he is said to find the proposal “interesting”.

Last month, on 20 July 2012, Vietnam Swans National President, Phil Johns, wrote to AFL Chairman, Mike Fitzpatrick, proposing that the AFL  host a match dedicated to the war veterans on Vietnam Veterans’ Day, Sunday, 18 August, 2013 (18 August commemorates the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in 1966).

Next year is particularly significant because 2013 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam – a milestone that the Australian Government is reportedly keen to recognise and celebrate.

Mike Fitzpatrick is reportedly “interested” in the proposal but has said that any decision would need to be taken by AFL CEO, Andrew Demetriou. Below is an edited extract of the email to the AFL Chairman.

Would a Vietnam Veterans’ Day Match detract from the ANZAC Day Blockbuster?

  • The ANZAC Day blockbuster is super successful and its premiere status must be preserved. But a growing number of AFL clubs are questioning why they cannot share the financial and non financial returns of this occasion. A Vietnam Veterans’ Day match could potentially complement and help to preserve the status of the ANZAC Day Match by easing the building pressure.
  • 25 April and 18 August are virtually the book ends of the home and away season. These two anniversaries are separated by four months. Playing the Last Post on 25 April confirms that the new AFL season is well and truly underway. The second time in the season that the Last Post is played, it also announces that we have entered the home straight to the AFL Finals.

The man under the spotlight, AFL CEO, Andrew Demetriou, is reportedly the person who would need to make a decision on the 2013 Vietnam Veterans’ Day match proposal.

Can a Vietnam Veterans’ Day Match be a stand alone event?

  • Australia recognises Vietnam Veterans’ Day by a service at the Long Tan Cross at 3.30pm local time. This is 6.30pm Australian Eastern Standard Time – which opens up the possibility of a live telecast of the minute’s silence at Long Tan. On ANZAC Day at the MCG, 100,000 people speak of hearing nothing more than the Australian and New Zealand flags flapping in the breeze. At (approx) 6.45pm on 18 August, a crowd at an AFL stadium could share a similar experience – while watching live images of the minute’s silence at the Long Tan Cross on the scoreboard against the darkness of the night’s sky.
  • Sherrin footballs have travelled to armed conflicts before. In Vietnam, the Diggers actually played a thriving competition from 1966-71 that was known as the VFL (Vietnam Football League). These Diggers remain organised and plentiful. They are available for interviews and have numerous photos and records of those times ( for actual photographs).

Examples of existing connections between the AFL and Vietnam Veterans Day

  • A month ago, the AFL inducted a number of players into its Hall of Fame including Graham Cornes and Glenn Archer. The former is a Veteran. The latter is the son of a Veteran.
  • Nathan Buckley, Lenny Hayes, Chad and Kane Cornes are all sons of Veterans.
  • Glenn James is a Veteran who also played in the Vietnam Football League.
  • Kevin Sheedy’s brother in law, Kenny Earney, is a Veteran.

Examples of high profile, non AFL, Veterans who could potentially support this proposal and bring exposure

  • Former Governor General, Michael Jeffery.
  • Former Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer.
  • Former Head of the Defense Forces and current Qantas Board member, Peter Cosgrove.

Nathan Buckley’s father, Ray (front left) is a Vietnam Veteran. Photo, Swannies’ footy clinic with Nathan Buckley and Garry O’Donnell, RMIT University, Saigon, March 2010).

Who would potentially support the proposal?

  • The Australian Government is looking for vehicles to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam.
  • The Vietnam Veterans remain hungry for recognition of their contributions and sacrifices. Such an event could provide a significant healing opportunity of national significance.
  • The Defense Department needs living war heroes to help support its current recruitment campaigns – and the numbers of WWII veterans are dwindling.
  • There is an assumption that issues haven’t quite been resolved for the Vietnam Veterans. A dedicated football match would open the discussion and the public could feel like they were doing something positive just by attending the match or watching it on the television.
  • Businesses with interests in Vietnam could be supportive; eg reports that “AWI is hoping to kickstart promotion (of a new office in Vietnam) when the Australian government coordinates celebrations of 40 years of trade and diplomatic relations with Vietnam next year.”

Benefits to the AFL

  • The creation of a blockbuster of national significance.
  • Irrespective of preference to particular sporting codes, a match on Vietnam Veterans’ Day could resonate with all Australians – opening up a dialogue between the AFL and supporters of rugby, soccer etc. This type of blockbuster could be particularly good for the new clubs in the northern states.
  • The Vietnam War is an important and troubled piece of Australian history. A dedicated match could help with the understanding and healing of this period. It would further consolidate the AFL’s pre eminent position in the country of using Australia’s Signature Sport to tackle issues of national significance.
  • By hosting the match in 2013, the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, the AFL would be taking the stage on an international issue. That stage could then be used to talk about and explore further the AFL’s international initiatives. While the modern day Australia/Vietnam relationship is dynamic and current, ANZAC Day, is overwhelmingly about Gallipoli and a different era. It’s not about current international relationships and initiatives (I am not saying that Vietnam needs to be the focus of the AFL; rather, it’s just a vehicle to make “international” more relevant).

Could this be the SCG on Vietnam Veterans’ Day, Sunday, 18 August, 2013?

Playing the match

  • The AFL will have an exhaustive list of criteria as to which teams should play and the venue to be used. And, if the concept was repeated in subsequent years, whether venues and teams should be rotated or fixed like the ANZAC Day match. All I suggest is that the pre match formalities would commence at approximately 6.30pm AEST and I would presume that the focus of the match would be outside Victoria, probably focusing initially at least on the rugby states.

Timing, risk and the potential for success

  • If the idea is to fly, it must be 2013 – the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations. That allows the AFL to safely “test the waters” by promoting it as a one off event.
  • Next year, 18 April will fall on a Sunday – so the AFL will already have matches scheduled for that day.
  • After the inaugural match was played, an informed assessment could then be made as to whether the event could be repeated in 2014 and beyond.
  • In 2013, Vietnam Veterans can be recognised while they are still relatively young and plentiful. If done properly, they would become great ambassadors for the event for many years to come giving it the legitimacy that would allow it to grow into a blockbuster.
  • Anecdotally, based upon the way that the three Vietnam Swans’ ANZAC Friendship Matches have been received, I have considerable confidence that the concept has enormous potential. Of course, our event is based upon a very small sample – but it’s of the right people. To read some comments from Veterans and non Veterans, click here. Or view the (low budget) documentary we have just placed on (eg 16mins where it refers to the VFL competition before leading into an interview three veterans on the couch talking about their experiences).

I think this is an extraordinary opportunity of quite profound significance in terms of Australia’s history. I think that in 2013, the planets are in alignment. And I think the AFL would be a big beneficiary. And all I can do is raise the idea with the decision makers.

[Vietnam Swans update2 27 August 2012]: Some feedback being received by the Vietnam Swans is that perhaps the AFL proposed match, while still being held on 18 August, should be more inclusive by honouring all veterans regardless of the war/conflict they served in. This would broaden its relevance and recognise the contributions made by diggers in theatres such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Rawanda etc. So, while the ANZAC Day match tends to focus on those who did not return home, a Veterans’ Match could focus on those who have returned home.

Items of related interest

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Saigon Scratchies return tomorrow!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 24, 2012

Brilliant football and brilliant writing are two things that DavO takes in his stride. Photo, Mark Stennett Photography.

Dave O’Shea has freshened up after a mega Asian Champs campaign and has returned to the chair to preview tomorrow’s blockbuster in Saigon between the Reds and the Whites.

Where: RMIT, Saigon
When: Saturday 2:00pm
What to wear: Swannies’ jersey – Whites inside out. Reds the correct way.
What will happen: Quick warm up. Teams will be split up into Reds Vs Whites. First bounce at 2:30.

For those of you who like brilliant literacy and want to find out some rumours and gossip regarding the Swannies, read on. If you don’t care about any of that and do not appreciate writing at its best, see you Saturday at 2pm at RMIT.

It’s that time of the month again when the Saigon boys come together for a Reds Vs White scratchie of biblical proportions. Out of four games played so far, we have an even series with both teams winning two games each. Which team will take the lead on Saturday? Will it be the Roaring Rumbling Reds or will it be the Mighty Whites? Only time will tell ladies and gentleman!

Gus was also on fire at last year’s Swannies’ AFL Grand Final Party in Saigon.

The Cinderella story from last match was the return to Saigon of GUS. A bit like The Don; Beyonce and Madonna, GUS only needs one name. No one even knows or cares about his full name or his last name. No one even knows if “GUS” is his real name.

What we do know, however, is that the great man kicked a bag of goals in his return match. A bit like his name, we don’t know the exact number. Some say it was 6, others say 7. The ‘Modest Gus’ simply says, “I don’t remember; it was quite I few. I was on fire!”

All Asian “Mega Jotta” has rearranged his work schedule so he can partake, not only in tomorrow’s match, but every Saturday’s match going forward for an STS (Swannies Training Session). He will be a welcome addition to the mighty Whites. The White team was dominated out of the middle last match. Hopefully, Mega Jotta can make a Mega Improvement to the Mega White Team.

Rumours are floating around that superstar midfielder, Damo Ballantine, will finally leave his corner at Apo (Apocalypse Nightclub) and return to the Swannies. If this rumour has any credibility, it will be a huge boost for one of the teams. We will have to wait to see who turns up on Saturday before naming Damo in a team.

Nick Shiells is another big name that should play on the weekend. After a hectic work load and a few niggling injuries, Nicko is ready for a huge return to form. At Shagga’s birthday party on the weekend, Nick had Swannies’ Hunger written all over his face. He was even harassing Swannies Superstar Captain, Dukesy to bring back the Tuesday night sessions. Nicko’s PUMPED!!!

Nicko’s pumped and wants the return of Tuesday night training. Photo, Mark Stennett Photography.

Will Trav (Fallon) redeem himself after winning WSOM (Worst Swannie of the Month)? Everyone was fined at the Asian Champs for Trav’s “no show” performance. He owes the whole team a mega sized sausage from his Tra Vy Butchery (now open in D2 and also in a brand new location in D7!!).

More Swannies’ gossip is that the next poster boy of the Swans will be Shagga Leahy. Shag will be looking to fire after celebrating his 30th birthday on the weekend. Hopefully he takes his anger out on the field this weekend and not on any DJ’s.

Some of the most exciting news is that Rocket is back in the country after a stint in Australia. When Rocket umpires, there is always less controversy. He will be sharp with his decisions and will be great to have at RMIT!

With the return of a number of superstars. This match is shaping up to be the best one yet. What makes it more appealing is the fact that John MacFarlane is putting up two Auscham Arabian Ball tickets valued at $150 each for the match. One lucky player will be awarded the two tickets for being the “Heart of a Swannie” (click here for full details). What a legend!!!

If you enjoyed this read, you’re not alone. If you would like a double dose you can always read it again. While you’re waiting to read it again, you can also read some of the reviews from the Asian Champs. Some brilliant writing from some brilliant authors. Examples include:

  • Damo Judd – “Swans might not be the toughest sounding bird on paper but if you have ever seen a flock of tightly packed angry swans in action after the same piece of bread…”
  • Mega Bretta Jotta – “Dukesy passed it over to Mega Bretta, who then showed some great running skills and efforts to finish off the first half with a goal to level the scores.”
  • MJ – “It was more a sigh of relief than a resounding cheer that greeted the final siren with the Swans ahead of the Singapore Wombats by 5 points: Another Swannies demon expunged at Nirvana (the mecca lawns of the Polo Club) – Honk!
  • Myself – “Some in the huge crowd of spectators suggested that the Swans went into the match against Thailand with the wrong attitude after a big first win.”
  • (Natty Payne – Ed’s note: Due to another busy week in education, writing skills will be practised in the future.)

Not only are we fantastic football players, we are also geniuses of modern day literature. As always, there is also some other very interesting posts on the Swannies’ website to read. If is not already your homepage, do yourself a favour and make it your homepage.

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Chris O’Dempsey goes for bronze in 2012 Masters Hockey World Cup today

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 24, 2012

Chris O’Dempsey before the match for bronze at the 2012 Masters Hockey World Cup in London.

[UPDATE Saturday 25 August: Chris O'Dempsey reports that the Australians were leading one goal to nil with six minutes to go "...and a dubious penalty gave the Dutch an equalizer... Sadly, we lost in the (ensuing) penalty shootout... and losing the bronze medal. However.. the finals have seen the boys play the best hockey of the tour!"]

Friend of the Swannies, Chris O’Dempsey – and his Australian Hockey Masters Team, will go for bronze today at the 2012 Masters Hockey World Cup in London.

Chris says that the Australians have “fought our way to the bronze medal game against the Netherlands! Time to dust up the Dutch!”

The game will commence at 1.50pm today, Oxford time.

Earlier in the week, the Australians lost to England who will play off in the Final for gold.

Chris, who has not yet spoken with the Swannies’ most controversial player, Billy Crang, believes that “atrocious umpiring gave the Poms the game.”

Just last month, Chris was in Saigon and donated a couple of items for our AFL Grand Final Parties; namely, a signed 1996 Brisbane Bears jumper (signed only months before the Bears became the Brisbane Lions) and a Heart Reach Australia hat signed by the former motor racing ace, the late Peter Brock.

From all the Swannies, good luck to Chris and his Australian hockey team as they take on the Dutch this afternoon. No need to be encouraging the Dutch to smoke any more spliffs by letting them win!

To monitor the results, click on to the 2012

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Two Auscham Arabian Ball tickets to be won in the Swannies’ Saigon’s Saturday Scratch Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 23, 2012

Auscham’s Arabian Nights Ball will be held on 15 September in Saigon. And, thanks to John MacFarlane two tickets will be there to be won in Saturday’s Scratch match in Saigon for the Heart of a Swannie!

Swannie, John MacFarlane had committed to picking up two tickets to the Gala Ball of the year in Saigon; Auscham’s Arabian Nights Ball.

But then, he realised he was going to be in Australia on 15 September – the date of the Ball. Doh!

No problem. Just another Mega Swannies’ Opportunity.

With tickets purchased just yesterday, John has declared that they will be up for grabs in Saturday’s fortnightly Scratch Match in Saigon between the Reds and the Whites.

Both tickets will be awarded as one prize for the “Heart of a Swannie” – as voted on by the National President himself.

“No-one can say that isn’t a truly legitimate prize”, says John. Regardless, it should be a truly mega awesome prize.

For those who haven’t already bought your tickets, it will take place at the InterContinental Asiana Saigon.

The ballroom will be transformed into an “oasis of decoration and entertainment”. Guests will enjoy free flow drinks and a special Arabian four-course meal.

Tickets are highly sought after and are selling quickly. So if you haven’t already, get on board now. Entrance per person is VND3,165,000 or VND31,650,000 per table of 10.

An array of prizes will also be up for grabs on the evening thanks to AusCham’s sponsors. Funds from the raffle tickets and silent auction at the event will be donated to the Loreto Australia-Vietnam Program. Proceeds will be used to renovate and buy equipment for a multi-sensory room at Nguyen Dinh Chieu School for the Blind in District 10.

To donate prizes or buy tickets for this event, please contact  or call 3832 9912. So, time to get aboard your magic carpet and enjoy a night of exotic tastes and senses.

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Cricketers buy car for Vung Tau orphanage

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 23, 2012

Richo’s XI and Vaughan’s XI fight it out last Sunday on the cricket pitch – before donating a car to the Centre for the Protection of Children. Inset – cricket in Vung Tau in 1967.

Last Sunday, 19 August, 2012, Richo’s XI from Queensland played a game of cricket against Vaughan’s South East Asian Invitational XI at the Vung Tau Greyhound Racing Track (same venue as the Swannies’ ANZAC Friendship Match).

The purpose of the match, played in great spirit between the two teams, was to honour Australian servicemen and women (see attached article, ). For the record, the match was won by Richo’s XI.

After the game, the two teams returned to Tommy’s Bar (a sponsor of the Vietnam Swans) where Richo presented My Huong, Director of the Centre for the Protection of Children in Vung Tau and Long Hai, with a new 7 seat car to help transport the kids! An extremely generous gesture by the cricketers that was very gratefully received by an, understandably, emotional My Huong.

Special thanks: The inset photograph of a cricket match being played at the Vung Tau back beach in 1967 was supplied by Vietnam Football League historian, Stan Middleton. Stan adds,

“Our cement cricket pitch was laid by the women labourers in our camp. We had a distinct home ground advantage against other units as we had the only cricket pitch! Whilst I was there we never lost a game…”

Unfortunately, Stan’s Essendon Bombers aren’t travelling as well as his 1967 cricketing form after being smashed by Carlton last weekend. But, it’s not all bad: “At least I enjoyed watching Collingwood lose against North!”

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