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Archive for December, 2012

Celebration Soiree Success and Middleton announced as ANZAC keynote speaker

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 31, 2012

Left to Right: Hanoi President, Dan Hopkins,; Saigon President, Nick Shiells and National President, Phil Johns, each addresses the Swannies’ Celebration Soiree in Melbourne on 28 December.

The Vietnam Swans held our 2nd annual Celebration Soiree in the evening of 28 December 2012 at the Great Northern Hotel in Carlton, Melbourne.

Again, it was a great success with more than 40 attendees. Several brought their children/babies along as well.

Presidents of National, Saigon and Hanoi persuasion all addressed the audience, reviewing the year that was for the Club as well as previewing what looks like will be a very exciting 2013.

Inductee to the Swannies’ Hall of Fame, Mick Francis was invited to say a few words as was Phil Jordan. Phil has just opened Golf Life Tours, a company that will take golfers to Vietnam from Australia. The first tours will be timed to coincide with the 2013 ANZAC Friendship Match and the hope is that money will be raised for Swim Vietnam.

The big news of the night was the announcement that Official Vietnam Football League Historian during the Vietnam War, Stan Middleton, who was there at the Great Northern, will visit Vietnam next year at the time of the ANZAC Friendship Match. Stan has accepted an invitation to deliver the Middleton Address which is held during the McMillan Dinner held immediately after the ANZAC Friendship Match.

Stan said a few words which were warmly received and we all look forward to next Saturday 27 April.

The night was a great success with representatives from each of the Swannies’ nine years being present. 2013, teh Club’s 10th Anniversary, looks set to be a big one!

Lucky Door Prizes:

We were very lucky to have two fantastic prizes to give away at the Celebration Soiree: one from the Novotel Nha Trang and the other from VIP Cabs. The prizes and winners were:

  • $100 VIP Cabs voucher, won by Stan Middleton
  • Two nights’ accommodation at , won by Mark “Willy” Williams

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Day 4 of the Boxing Day Test Match, Melbourne

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 30, 2012

Left, Swannies and Melbourne FC players at the London Tavern on Day 4 of the Boxing Day Test Match. Right, Swannie, Mark Stennett in Sri Lanka finding out what happened to the Sri Lankans in the Boxing Day test match.

Unfortunately, the Sri Lankan cricket team was only good enough to last two and a half days of the 2012 Boxing Day Test match. This, of course, threw the Swannies’ plans of attending the fourth day’s play, yesterday, into turmoil.

However, we rebounded quickly and strongly and, at midday, headed to the London Tavern in Richmond, just a stone’s throw from the hallowed MCG.

The usual suspects from Melbourne were there: Willy, Nat Payne, Dave Hadley, Dez, Josh Little and Mick Garnham. Then we had some big guns from overseas: Rick and Jamie Gaffney (Tassie!), Danny Armstrong (China), Kev Dacey (PNG), Dave Kainey (Singapore) and from Vietnam, Billy Cranger (on his Australian Tour), Dan Hopkins and Phil Johns.

While the number of Swannies fell far short of what we would have pulled if there was still cricket on at the ‘G, it was still mega fun. And we also managed to bump into some players from the Melbourne Footy Club including former captain, Brad Green.

Meanwhile, the Swannies have sent our photographer, Mark Stennett over to Sri Lanka, dressed in Swannies retro t shirt and hat, to find out what the heck is going on with the country’s national cricket team. Above, Mark can be seen at the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. This may not be the temple’s real name but apparently it has Buddha’s tooth inside.

Coming up!

  • Kainey/Jeffery/Johns/Bruce win coveted Red Jacket at Swannies Annual Ryan Jeffery Golf Day. 23 golfers. Dan Hopkins and father win two rounds of golf at Montgomerie Links, Danang, Vietnam.
  • Celebration Soiree a mega hit with more than 40 attending. Stan Middleton wins $100 VIP Cabs voucher. Mark “Willy” Williams wins 2 nights’ accommodation at Novotel Nha Trang.


Whoever said that “Too much Swannies is never enough” can read the play like a newspaper.

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Swannies head to London Tavern on Day 4

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 28, 2012

Given the unmitigated disaster of the Sri Lankans being smashed by an innings and two hundred runs – and there now being no fourth day’s play, the Swannies will move on.

The Swannies will spend Day 4, 29 December, at the London Tavern in Lennox Street, Richmond. Starts at 12 midday.

More to follow on all the mega successful golfing news and Celebration Soiree.

Go you Swannies.

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Swannies’ triple header starts in Melbourne tomorrow – with some big names

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 27, 2012

Swannies triple header starts in Melbourne tomorrow

has designed the poster with all the details for the Swannies Melbourne Summer Triple Header which kicks off tomorrow! Below is the very latest updated information – including some of the huge names that will be attending the Swannies Celebration Soiree tomorrow at the Great Northern. Drop into that one! Also, some great prizes to be won from , and VIP Cabs Australia.Friday, 28 December – Golf, Ivanhoe Golf Course. First flight tees off at 10am sharp!

The Swannies’ 8th Annual Ryan Jeffery Golf Classic. Social tournament format: Ambrose/Best Ball. Green fees – $26.

Win the right to wear the Red Championship Jacket! Win two rounds of golf at the magnificent in Danang. Bookings essential.

Friday, 28 December – Swannies’ Twilight Celebration Soiree, North Carlton @4-7pm

The Swannies’ 2nd Annual Twilight Celebration Soiree, , 644 Rathdowne St, North Carlton.

Somne big Swannies names will be there including the three current presidents (Johns, Shiells and Hopkins), former presidents (Limbrick and Willy), Official Legends (Mick Francis and Dave Kainey), the Official Historian from the Vietnam Football League (Stan Middleton), former treasurers (Armstrong) and many others.

Pay as you go. Event banners from Vietnam and a presentation on the Swannies’ amazing 2012 as well as a sneak peek at 2013 which is the Club’s 10th anniversary.

Win 2 nights’ accommodation at ! Win a $100 taxi voucher from VIP Cabs Australia! Confirmations appreciated.

Saturday, 29 December – Test Cricket, MCG @ 10.30am

The Swannies’ 6th Annual Cricket Day, MCC Members’ Pavilion, MCG. Day 4, Boxing Day Test Match between Australia and India.

Following the first day’s play yesterday where the Sri Lankans were bowled out and the Aussies lost three wickets, we will only buy tickets on the day (in case there is no fourth day’s play). So, meet next to Ligfht Tower No. 1 (near the MCC Members) at 11am).

All welcome at all Mega Swannies’ Functions. Past and present players, sponsors, families and friends especially welcome.

RSVP: Phil Johns – or +61 (0) 415 820 683.

VIP Cabs Australia – 10 per cent cash back to Vietnam Swans! Every time, in Australia.

If you book a VIP Cab, 10 per cent of the fare will be credited to the Vietnam Swans. Great cabs and a great way to support the Swannies from Australia.

To ensure the 10 per cent is passed on to the Swannies, book your VIP Cab with Chris on +61 (0) 420 311 494 or via email at

Full details can be found by clicking here.


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Phnom Penh Post writes about Australia Day clash between Swannies and Eagles

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 26, 2012

On Christmas Eve, the Phnom Penh Post published an article, .

The article by H S Manjunath, and reproduced below, previews the big match on Australia Day, 26 January, 2013, between the Cambodian Eagles and the Vietnam Swans in Phnom Penh.

Aussie Rules Football fans in Phnom Penh are in for a special treat to mark Australia Day on January 26 when the Cambodian Eagles play host to the visiting Vietnam Swans from across the border.

The Eagles ended their season last month with a strong showing in Hanoi, finishing runners-up at the Indochine Cup, which featured two teams from Vietnam and a combined Thailand-Laos team besides Cambodia.

The fierce one-day competition saw the Eagles overpowering Vietnam B and the Thai-Lao combine.

But they went down gamely to an excellent outfit in Vietnam A, who went on to claim the title, the symbol of supremacy in this form of football in the Southeast Asian region.

“We are looking to restore some pride and keep our unbeaten home record intact,” Eagles head coach Grant Fitzgerald told the Post yesterday.

Items of related interest

  • To see other articles about the Vietnam Swans, click here.

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Swannies Clothing Company in Merimbula as Swannies’ hats seen everywhere!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 25, 2012

The Swannies Clothing Company in Merimbula. Meanwhile Mick Garnham goes to see the Melbourne Heart soccer team play in Melbourne and Willy is tackled in Venus Bay.

Natty Payne has only just arrived back in Australia but already he is creating waves.

This time, he has photographed a Swannies Clothing Company in Merimbula, NSW! Unheard of. But makes sense given the escalating demand for Swannies’ merchandise.

Meanwhile, Mick Garnham was at the A League soccer on Saturday night in Melbourne with Helen when the Melbourne Heart went down to the Melbourne Victory. Naturally, he was wearing his Swannies’ hat.

In Venus Bay, South Australia, a week ago, Willy was tackled by his kids when he was wearing his Swannies hat.

No doubt we’ll find out what really happened when we catch up for Swannies functions for the golf, soiree and cricket on 28 and 29 December in Melbourne.

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Swannies come out for Christmas; this time, Moreton Island, Queensland

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 23, 2012

Swannies take on Moreton Bay by storm.

Dave O’Shea loves his Mum nearly as much as his Swannies.

Dave O’Shea’s Mum loves him nearly as much as her Swannies.

Dave has just sent in this photo of his Mum and a couple of unidentifieds dressed in their Swannies gear on Moreton Island (just off the coast from Brisbane).

It provides further evidence that the word of the Swannies is spreading in the lead up to Christmas.

And why wouldn’t the word of the Swannies be spreading following Santa’s recent announcement that, for the umpteenth time, this Christmas he will again be wearing his favourite colours of red and white with a splash of black. Further evidence of awesomeness.

If you have a great Christmas photo of you wearing your Swannies’ colours this festive season, be sure to email it through to

Merry Christmas!

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Miss Australia and reliving the glory days!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 21, 2012

Glamour returns to the Swannies’ website. Left, Australia’s Renae Ayris comes 4th in the Miss Univers pageant. Right, Miss Australia 2008 gives Gus the eye in Saigon.

The Swannies don’t often rehash yesterday’s news. Unless it’s timely and/or important.

Given today is a special day (the Mayon calendar says today is the end of the world), we’ve decided to shamelessly relive the glory days.

Who could ever forget the day that Miss Australia, Laura Dundovic, came to Saigon on 21 June 2008? She was here as part of the 2008 Miss Universe competition.

Certainly former Hanoi President, Willy, will never forget. And Gus appears unlikely to forget after, for a fleeting moment, Laura gave him “that look”  where he just may have thought that he had found himself a keeper.

And what has prompted this article? Well, yesterday The Age newspaper reported that:

“It’s always been said there’s something in the water in Perth and now local girl Renae Ayris has been voted the fourth most beautiful woman in the universe.

“The 22-year-old dancer was awarded third runner-up, behind Miss USA Olivia Culpo, who was crowned Miss Universe 2012, first runner-up Miss Philippines Janine Tugonon and second runner-up Miss Venezuela Irene Sofiá Esser Quintero.” for full story.

Congratulations to Renae.

And to Miss Laura, clearly, you’re well and truly due for a return trip to Vietnam!

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University of West Sydney meets Swannies in Saigon

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 21, 2012

The Swannies’ Phil Johns and Ross McRae discuss living and working in Vietnam – and Swannies – with students from the Uni of West Sydney in Saigon.

Sunday, 9 December, the day after the Swannies Christmas Party in Saigon, National President, Phil Johns and Ross McRae, Gun Designer, met up with 10 students from the University of West Sydney.

Leading the tour were Tim Hall and Colin Sheringham.

The topic of discussion was living and working in Vietnam as foreigners – and the Swannies, of course.

Colin has just emailed the above photos through this morning. He added that he found the discussion “very interesting particularly the Vietnam Swans’ involvement with s Learn to Swim program. The students also enjoyed the discussion and have begun to understand at a deeper level much of what you said.”

Phil and Ross were very pleased to have met up with the University of West Sydney and we thank them all for their interest in what the Club is doing in Vietnam. Hopefully, going forward, the Swannies will be able to develop closer links with UWS in a meaningful way. We watch this space.

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Know one, build a story, many benefit. From Shanghai to Melbourne to the streets of Vietnam

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 19, 2012

Left, Josh Little presents Melbourne player, Rohan Bail with a Vietnam Swans jumper at the 2010 Asian Champs in Shanghai. Right, Garry West-Bail, father of Rohan, met up with Josh in Melbourne last week to discuss his fundraising initiative for KOTO in Vietnam next year.

Last week, former coach of the Swannies, Josh Little, who now lives in Melbourne, caught up with Garry West-Bail.

Garry is the former CEO of Queensland Hockey and ongoing father of Melbourne Football Club champion, Rohan Bail.

Garry is also preparing for a mega fundraiser for the Vietnam charity, (Know One Teach One) by running/cycling/walking from Saigon to Hanoi in October of next year.

Josh explains further below.

Back in late 2010, the Vietnam Swans travelled to Shanghai to take on the rest of Asia at the Asian Champs. Not only did the Club register its very first win at the Champs, we were also fortunate enough to cross paths with the Melbourne Football Club. The Demons travelled to China to take on the Brisbane Lions in the Shanghai Showdown which most of the Vietnam Swans attended. This was the perfect opportunity for the Swans to get in contact with Melbourne and repay one of its young guns, Rohan Bail, for donating his guernsey to the Swans earlier that year.

When the Swannies had the pleasure of meeting Rohan, we were all impressed with his well mannered nature and willingness to embrace the team.

Just over two years have passed and now, another member of the Bail clan, has crossed paths with the Swannies. This time, it’s Rohan’s father, Garry.

Garry is planning a big trip to Vietnam next year – but this is no ordinary visit! Garry has teamed up with and will be running, walking and cycling from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi to raise funds and awareness for the children in the KOTO program.

One of the KOTO Kids takes a screamer over Essendon Great, Garry O’Donnell, at a Swannies Auskick session at RMIT University, Saigon in March 2010.

KOTO is an amazing organisation that takes in underprivileged children from all around Vietnam and educates them, teaches English skills and gives the children opportunities to work in the hospitality industry. KOTO has restaurants set up in both Hanoi & Ho Chi Minh City.

Over the last ten years there have been over 400 graduates of this program, many of whom have succeeded in gaining employment in restaurants and hotels in Vietnam, other parts of Asia and Australia.

A number of Swannies have also worked for KOTO and we have run a number of Auskick programs for them as well, including one with Collingwood’s Nathan Buckley and Essendon’s Garry O’Donnell.

Planning is still underway for Garry’s fundraiser but it is estimated that  will start in October 2013. Garry has already started training for the event with daily runs, walks and bike rides.

The Swannies are keen to work closely with Garry to see how we can most effectively support his generous initiative. So, watch this space.

For further information, you can email Garry by or by visiting his website at

Garry’s RunKotoRun sponsorship update

1. Intrepid Foundation will donate $1 for every $1 raised. Also promote on their website with a story and a donor section.
2. New Balance to be the project’s footwear and apparel supplier
3. The project will be launched at a KOTO fundraising dinner in Melbourne
4. Melbourne Football Club to support the project via a number of yet to be determined programs and / mediums (eg in house media /communication staff to ensure timely updates and stories. (Examples of similar promotions on the MFC’s website include Darwin and Kakadu trips.)

Story of related interest:

Major sponsor of the Vietnam Swans, , posted some great news on its website two days ago:

“Back in December 2011 we posted a blog story about a young disabled girl, Huyen, who is from a picturesque little village in a remote valley north of Hanoi.  We have befriended Huyen and, on our motorbike tours, we visit her family to enjoy a home cooked meal.  Our generous travellers have been donating money so that Huyen can fulfill her dream of studying English in Hanoi.

“We are thrilled to let you know that Huyen is how studying English in Hanoi.” for the full story.

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Swannies lock in first games for 2013

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 18, 2012

Confirmed. The 2013 Cambodian Cannonball Run to Phnom Penh has been confirmed for Australia Day, 26 January. Photo, courtesy Joe Garrison.

On the weekend, Age journalist Jake Niall wrote an interesting article, . Jake was saying that “football remaining in the headlines beyond grand final day is proving detrimental to summer sport”.

He adds, “the Kurt Tippett scandal, the Melbourne tanking investigation, drugs and the challenges facing indigenous football have all been unwelcome dramas for the AFL since the season ended. Collectively, these eruptions of controversy have made 2012 the longest ‘season’ on record.

An interesting article but overlooks another key factor: the never ending stream of big stories coming out of Vietnam: for example,  the Swannies three peat performance at the Indochina Cup, the induction of three Swannies into our new Hall of Fame, Dukesy’s three peat for the Club’s Best & Fairest, Rocket’s controversial match report on the Reds win in Saigon’s local derby Grand Final, Christmas parties, key departures etc.

Now, the Club can confirm details of events for the opening months of 2013, the Club’s 10th Anniversary:

  • 23 January, Saigon – , National Sponsors’ Dinner
  • 26 January, Phnom PenhThe Cambodian Cannonball Run. Cambodian Eagles Vs Vietnam Swans. The Eagles report that as the match will be played oin Australia Day, they would like to make “a massive event of it and the Australian Business Association of Cambodia want to get behind the event”.
  • 2-3 March, Vung Tau – 2nd Annual ANZAC Boot Camp
  • 16 March, Saigon – Gaelic Championship (tbc)
  • 23 March, Danang – The 3rd Annual Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day, Montgomerie Links
  • 30 March, Kuala Lumpur – Malaysian Warriors Vs Vietnam Swans
  • 27 April, Vung Tau – The 4th ANZAC Friendship Match: Vietnam Swans Vs Jakarta Bintangs. Early discussions suggest that several high profile AFL personalities shall be in attendance at the event. Official historian of the Vietnam Football League during the war years, Stand Middleton, has already confirmed his attendance.

Meanwhile, annual golf, cricket and Celebration Soirees are still to be held in Melbourne this year: 28 and 29 December specifically. . Friends and family welcome.

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A Kathmandu amongst the Midder Powell Pigeons. Who is really livin’ the dream?

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 17, 2012

Conclusive proof that it is only Midder Powell livin’ the dream.

Swannies’ Skipper, Dukesy, flew back into Melbourne on Saturday – and a barrage of updates commenced.

First, he opened up the Age newspaper – and there was a review of the AFL Footy Almanac (the Foreword to the Almanac was, of course, written by the Swannies’ very own controversial umpire, Rocket).

Midder Powell takes livin’ the dream very seriously. “Yeah. Sure.”

Next, he turned the page and, in Dukesy’s own words,

“Saw this advert (about Kathmandu – see above) on arrival to Oz today. Who are Kathmandu kidding? They clearly haven’t met Midder Powell!”

As shown in the picture above, Midder Powell certainly has the bookends of livin’ the dream covered.

At the left end of the bookshelf, Midder Powell has recently gone sailing through the tropical waters of Thailand.

Then, at the other end of the bookshelf we have the conclusive results of a recent poll. On 7 December, decided to enlist the help of Polldaddy to find out once and for all what the people thought.

The question posed on Polldaddy, now affectionately known as Powelldaddy, was, “Do you think Midder Powell is livin’ the dream?”

Unbelievably, 100 per cent of punters agreed – an unprecedented result on Polldaddy. So, it’s official. Mr Powell is officially livin’ the dream – as shown in such dramatic fashion on Polldaddy!

When asked to comment on Kathmandu’s startling claim, Mr Powell replied:

“If you think you can live the dream with Kathmandu, you’re bleedin’ dreamin’ “.

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