Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for March, 2013

Warriors claim second scalp in EAAFL against Swannies

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 30, 2013

Tragedy struck the Swannies just 5 minutes into our 60 minute trip to the ground when our bus broke down. A fleet of taxis then saved the day.

The Malaysian Warriors have triumphed over the Vietnam Swans in our second game of the EAAFL in Putra Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this afternoon.

Things started well this morning for the Swannies with a team walk from the hotel to Petronas Towers where we did some stretching, welcomed new people to the Club, Dave O’Shea’s visiting family and Andy Glendinning as the official National Coach of the Swannies in 2013.

An hour later, things went pear shaped with the team bus to the ground. It had only travelled a few kilometres before breaking down which left the Swannies scrambling for seven taxis – none of which knew where we were going. That’s how we roll in Asian footy.

Swannies won the toss in stifling, muggy heat and kicked with the wind. But it was the Warriors who had the better first quarter.

Swannies held our own in the second quarter. The rain happened in the third and fourth quarters in what was good, hard, solid, unrelenting footy. But, it was to be the Warriors’ day.

Dave O’Shea was awarded best Swannie by Malaysia and Warriors’ skipper, Stuart was voted best by the Swannies.

Congratulations to Malaysian Warriors’ President, Ben Simpson and wife, Rebecca (who were both there at the Havana Bar last night to welcome the Swannies), on the birth of a little baby girl this afternoon!

Black armbands were worn for the Nan’ of Josh Lee and for Peter Harvey.

Match reports to follow.

Final Scores

Malaysia 6. 13. 49
Vietnam 4. 3. 27

Footnote [Sunday 31 March 2013]: On the way to the airport this afternoon for the return flight back to Vietnam… the mini bus broke down.

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SWANS hoping to get off the bottom of the EAAFL ladder

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 29, 2013

Dave O’Shea previews tomorrow’s EAAFL match in Kuala Lumpur.

Dave O’Shea talks about tomorrow’s all important Round 2 clash of the EAAFL in Kuala Lumpur  between the Malaysian Warriors and Vietnam Swans.

The Swans and Warriors have opened their EAAFL Campaign with different results. The Warriors are coming off a good win against Thailand whereas the Swans are coming off a disappointing loss to Cambodia. Malaysia will no doubt be looking to continue their winning ways whereas the Swan will be focused on a vigorous turnaround.

In order for the Swans to turn around their form and get off the bottom of the EAAFL ladder, they are going to have to go against one of the giants of Asian football in the Malaysian Warriors. This will not be an easy feat especially after what Malaysia did to Thailand a month ago in their EAAFL season opener.

The Swans head into the match minus a few star players, however will be unleashing some new talent. The team will be officially managed for the first time by new coach, Andy Glendenning. The Vietnam public will be eager to see just what the supercoach from WA has done for the team.

New Josh and Marty will make their debut for the Swans. Both players have been training the house down and will be looking to impress in their first official match for the Swans.

The Swans will also welcome back to the starting 16 some wily veterans in the likes of Phil ‘Fabbo’ Johns, Mark Stennet, Mr Pow-ell, Kyle, MJ and Andy. What these boys lack in skill they make for in age. Oh I mean heart.

One of the Swannies strengths has always been its backline and this time is no exception. Phil G, Damo Judd, C-Dan, Rick and Brian are all tough as nails and will be looking to cut everything off that is sent forward.

The Swans will have a new look midfield in the likes of New Josh and MJ. Both these boys are fit, tough and keen. The Swans need a big performance from these boys if they are to have any chance against the power house midfield of the Warriors.

Marty will start in the ruck and will be rotating throughout the day with Mr Pow-ell. One is young and one is old but both are quality.

The forward line is strong, skillful, old, international, good at taking photos and angry. Kyle has strength that can be likened to that of a bull. Dave SOS jumps off the ground like it’s a trampoline. Billy is probably the angriest man in Asian Football. Mark Stennet is the best photographer not only in Asia but also in the whole Southern Hemisphere (don’t know how that will help the Swans kick goals but the Swans are hoping it will). Phil Fabbo Johns has as much silver hair as a Silver Fox. He can snipe a single goal on any single occasion anywhere in the world. Michael is the best American player in the Swans team and is going to KL for one reason.

All in all, the Vietnam Swans are super excited for this match. Bring your mums, bring your daughters, bring your friends even bring your dogs. This will be a thrilling contest between two of Asia’s most exciting football teams.

Malaysia responds on EAAFL website

Click here to see what Malaysia has to say: .

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The ride on mower hits the Vung Tau Dog Track…

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 28, 2013

Ron mows the oval at the Vung Tau Dog Track…

1967 Premiership player in the Vietnam Football League, Ron Vernon, hes stepped foot out on the hallowed turf of the former Lord Mayor’s Oval now known as the Vung Tau Dog Track.

This time he was on the ride on mower donated last Vietnam Veterans Day by a cricketing team from Australia, Ritchies XI.

Four weeks from Saturday before the 4th Annual ANZAC Friendship Match.

Meanwhile, Saturday also sees the Swannies take on the Malaysian Warriors in KL for our 2nd game of the EAAFL 2013 season.

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EAAFL Match Preview: Malaysian Warriors Vs Vietnam Swans. By Damo Judd.

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 28, 2013

Damo Judd, pictured here in Cambodia for the Australia Day match this year, previews this coming weekend’s match against the Malaysian Warriors in KL.

Damo Judd, the recipient of the inaugural Sponor a Swannie program which was offered this time by Drift Photography Tours, reviews this weekend’s match between the Malaysian Warriors and Vietnam Swans in KL.

Last time the Swans faced the Malaysian Warriors we WON…. just.

Then, it was the 2012 Asian Champs, and our impenetrable backline was to thank for stopping a relentless assault from their midfield in the second half of the match.  Now it’s on their home turf and we are missing three of our all-star defenders. To highlight how serious this game is we are putting the boots back on our National President the Silver Fox who we have been resting for it seems like years for a game such as this. The Fox is famous for delivering the signature “toe poke” 6 pointer at key strategic moments.

For those of you who live your Swannies games through the lens of “Drift Photography Tours” mastermind, Mark Stennet. It’s my duty to warn you that there will be a few less award winning action photos this time as we need Mark in the forward pocket. Don’t be disappointed; next time just book a ticket and join us live. Mark’s contributions go far beyond his trigger finger. Mark is an ideas man, Not only is he a key reason we even have the “East Asian Australian Football League”,  Drift Photography is responsible for our very first officially “Sponsored Touring Player” which I have the honor of receiving and a duty to continue the legacy.

So what can we expect and what’s it going to take to put some points on the board for our second game in the newly formed Asian football league?  The last few days the “Spotted Cow” was turned into a war room. Strategies were flying from every angle tamed by our inspirational coach Andy who instilled some back to basics rules that  we can actually remember.

Billy for once has official instruction to be “Loose”…. That instruction is strictly for on field performance. Speaking of awesome “Loose” players, Evan Koch will be there on the sidelines and threatening not to play. Any of you who have his email, show him some love and remind him of his duty as a Sworn in Swannie.

We are welcoming first time Tourer, “New Josh” who is rushing back from OZ by throwing him in the deep. Josh is expected to fill the massive hole in the guts that our Captain Dukes has left in his absence.

I’m packing a bunch of cable ties to restrain Saigon President, Nicko for his own protection. If near the end of the  game we are remotely close then there’s not much that can stop him wanting to run on the ground despite the fact that his ankle high puppy can still drop him to ground by tapping on his injured knee.

Never underestimate our back line, we still are solid with C Dan and the other most feared man in football Phil G who intimidates even his own team mates when he is committed to getting the ball.

Bottom line to win we need goals, and they are going to have to come as a team effort from each player.

One thing for sure, the Swannies are going to Bring it!!

Black armbands: As posted on this website on 3 March, the Vietnam Swans will wear black armbands in memory of TV journalist, Peter Harvey, who passed away recently.

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MC, Matty Townsend talks up the 2013 ANZAC Friendship Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 28, 2013

Matty Townsend, pictured at last year’s ANZAC Friendship Match, encourages the Northerners to make the trip south to Vung Tau for this year’s match. Photo: Courtesy, Drift Photography Tours.

Matty Townsend is the MC of the Vietnam Swans’ ANZAC Friendship Match and McMillan Dinner. He’s based in Hanoi and has just sent out an email to his fellow Hanoians about the “highlight of the Vietnam Swans calendar”.

Northern Swans and Swan supporters,

The highlight of the Vietnam Swans calendar each year is the ANZAC Friendship Match MATCH, scheduled this year for Saturday 27 April in sunny Vung Tau, just a quick hydrofoil ride from HCMC!

For those of you unfamiliar with the event, the Vietnam Swans are privileged to host a weekend of football and festivities each year to commemorate and build on the relationship between Australia and Vietnam.  In addition to hosting an international team from around the region in a cut-throat game of footy at the Greyhound Track – this year, our friends the Jakarta Bintangs – the Swans also put on a Legends Vs All-Stars match in the lead-up and bring the weekend to a climax with an ANZAC Friendship Match Gala Dinner, the McMilland Dinner. This year’s keynote address, the Middleton Address which is held during the McMilland Dinner, will be delivered by Stan Middleton. Stan is the official historian of the Vietnam Football League which was played from 1966-71, mostly at the Dog Tack (then known as the Lord Mayor’s Oval).

Every year, more and more visitors from Australia join the weekend, including an increasing number of Australian veterans returning to Vietnam for the first time. As well as playing a great game of footy, you can also take tours of the battlefields and learn more about Australia’s history in Vietnam. For those who’d like to complete the experience, you can come down a couple of days early and attend the dawn service at Long Tan, the site of Battle of Long Tan & the Long Tan Cross.

The Vietnam Swans use the occasion to raise money for local orphanages and swimming initiatives that save young lives. In Vietnam, more children currently die from drowning than road accidents, and by contributing our efforts each year, we can all help to build the friendship between Australia and Vietnam in a collective and meaningful way.

We warmly invite people to attend the ANZAC Friendship Match in the spirit of friendship and respect – and to have an amazing day at the footy.

For further information about playing in one of the matches on the day, accommodation, tours etc:

  • Contact Club Secretary, of the Vietnam Swans’ Hanoi Committee
  • Contact National President,
  • Visit the dedicated ANZAC page on this website by clicking here.

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National Committee appoints National Coach for Season 2013

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 27, 2013

Andy Glendinning – the Swannies new 2013 National Coach! Congratulations!

The National Committee has formally appointed Saigon Coach, Andy Glendinning, as the Club’s National Coach for Season 2013.

The first challenge for the new National Coach will be this weekend when the Vietnam Swans play our second round of the East Asian Football League against Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur.

National President Phil Johns said this morning that he was “delighted to announce that the National Committee has resolved to appoint Andy Glendinning to the position of National Coach for 2013.

“Andy has an outstanding footy record back in Australia.

“Andy will also spend less time on the ground which will allow him to put more effort into his coaching. Importantly, this then frees up some mental space for some of our senior players who will be able to focus more on their own games, confident in the knowledge that Andy is analysing the game from an overall perspective.

“So, we should be able to get more out of the coaching and more out of the players. A “nguyen-nguyen” situation.

“Andy will of course work very closely with his counterpart in Hanoi, Dave “SOS” Skowronski, as well as the leadership groups.”

From all the Swannies, congratulations Andy!

Co Captains appointed for Malaysian Match

With the absence of Skipper Dukes on this trip, SOS and Dave O’Shea will be the Club’s acting co Captains.

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2013 National Committee confirmed

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 27, 2013

The Swannies new look 2013 National Committee has been confirmed. And how about the room!

The Saigon and Hanoi Committees confirmed the last two remaining positions on the 2013 National Committee.

The National Committee comprises six members. The first four are automatic appointments (with the current holders of those positions in brackets):

  • Saigon President (Nick Shiells)
  • Hanoi President (Daniel Hopkins)
  • Hanoi Coach (David Skowronski)
  • Saigon Coach (Andy Glendinning)

In addition, there are two elected positions – elected by the Hanoi and Saigon Committees; namely:

  • National President
  • National Treasurer

Phil Johns and Rowan Luke were elected unopposed to the positions of National President and National Treasurer.

Speaking afterwards, Saigon Committee Member, Billy Crang said:

“Congrats to Fabbo (Phil Johns) on the re-election.  I really did push some people to run against him for controversy’s sake but like Rudd they were just too scared of the red-head.

“I would like to thank Rowan also. The difference he makes to the Club on the Treasurer/finances side is fairly clear, even to those who aren’t actively involved in that area.  But the overall input to the Club is totally priceless, especially as he doesn’t sit within the player group per se.

Rowan is able to offer perspectives from a different angle that gives so much more insight that can enable quick, measured and relevant responses. These inputs should, in the long term, help to preserve both our momentum and also the great value the Club brings so many individuals.  

“Thanks Rowan and Fabbo and looking forward to 2013!”

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Drift Photography Tours to sponsor Damien Judd for Malaysian tour

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 26, 2013

Drift Photography Tours will sponsor Damien Judd $100 for the Malaysian Tour next weekend. Do you want to Sponsor a Swan?

It’s a great way to get on board when traditional spots like out prime match jumper spots are so difficult to get onto these days.

  • The initiator of this concept and first direct Sponsor is 
  • The first recipient of this award is Damien Judd on next weekend’s Malaysian tour. Damien’s currently launching a web application, XSIS Business Systems, which has committed to sponsor a candidate for the next tour.

Damien now tells us some more about Drift Photography Tours and owner, Mark Stennett below:

As a Club and team, the Swans are something remarkable. It’s only made that way by a series of remarkable individuals over a long period of time. I’ve been playing with the Swans for more than six years and when I reflect on all the awesome memories, it’s those faces I see and not the Swans logo.

Mark is one of these faces and deserves a spotlight, not because I want to feed his ego but because his other life at Drift Photography tours is pretty damn’ interesting. Knowing what he does could give you a chance to gain skills to see and share great parts of the world in a new light.

It’s a few years ago now but I still remember the first time I saw Mark at one of the Swans football games.  I hadn’t even spoken to Mark or seen any of his photos. I took one look at his equipment, immediately turned to the guy next to me and told him to “give up now”.  Old mate was a pretty good photographer but Mark was carrying two rigs with lenses I mistook for anti aircraft cannons. I could tell he knew how to use them.

Prior to this I remember coming back after games full of exhilaration waiting for the photos to show my mates. When they came out they usually consisted of the compulsory team/banner,  pictures of footballs on the ground with no people, people on the ground with no footballs, goats, babies, close-ups of our sweaty faces and other images I couldn’t make out because they were taken with instamatics from a few hundred meters. Mark came along with a level of professionalism and, now, we can see faces and action as it happens, how we remember and even some things we didn’t. The photos even capture cool effects like the dust cloud particles as we hit the ground.  Last match in Cambodia there is a photo of me being tackled in the face with one finger in me eye and the other in my mouth that I never knew about.

“I was freaking amazed when I had a look at the gallery on Drift Photography’s website. Some of those spots/faces I’ve gone past a hundred times and never looked at them in the way that is captured in those images”, Damien Judd.

Drift Photography do a combination of local discoveries in HCMC and epic trips like Everest Base Camp. You may think that you don’t need to pay a “Photographer” to jump onthe back of a motorbike taxi drive around some random spots in town to take a few snaps.

I personally am even worse. I don’t even own a camera and think my eyes give me all the photos I need. I’ve lived here long enough to see it all – and was freaking amazed when I had a look at the gallery on Drift Photography’s website. Some of those spots/faces I’ve gone past a hundred times and never looked at them in the way  that is captured in those images.

By the way, Mark is a great bloke too and knows how to tell a story. I’m super keen to join him on the next Everest.

For further information, check out

New Sponsorship opportunities.

Contact us and let us know what you want to give and what you need from the recipient. We will confirm with you which game and give you a list of applicants to choose from.

Better still, contact and find out what value he believes his business received from Sponsor a Swan.

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Vung Tau Dog Track being prepared for ANZAC Friendship Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 26, 2013

The sprinklers are working at the Vung Tau Dog Track.

The sprinklers are out at the Vung Tau Dog Track.

Glenn Nolan and Ron Vernon are riding the ride on mower.

The ground staff are attending the pitch.

It’s all happening.

The 4th Annual ANZAC Friendship Match is just four weeks away from Saturday.

Saturday, 27 April 2013.

Followed by the McMillan Dinner and Middleton Address.

Thank you to Mr Tu from the Vung Tau Dog Track and the Vabis Group for all his support.

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Water Safety Week(s) a swimming success at the British International School

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 25, 2013

Water Safety Week at the British International School in Saigon has “worked really well”.

23 March was originally scheduled to be the date for the 3rd Annual Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day at the amazing Montgomerie Links. Unfortunately, an unavoidable scheduling conflict at Montgomerie Links has meant that the day has been postponed to a date later in the year (still to be confirmed).

But, the good news is that the British International School in Saigon has been able to pick up on an idea of the Vietnam Swans; to schedule an unofficial Water Safety Week.

Below, Alison Jones, the TX Primary Physical Education Coordinator, explains what has been happening at the British International School during its Water Safety Week.

The British International School TX Campus has taken part in a two-week Water Safety Campaign to highlight the need to be safe both in and around water. Some of the activities the children took part in were:

  • A Sponsored Swim. All reception – Year 2 children swam fantastically well during their sponsored swim, trying to earn as many pennies as they could for our TX community charities, whilst bringing attention to water safety. Money is still being collected and will be split equally between the five BIS charities.
  • TA swimming lessons. Lots of the TX teaching assistants opted to take part in booster swim sessions with Mr. Chau the TX swim coach over the duration of a week. The teaching assistants often help out in swimming lessons and so these booster sessions will definitely improve their own water confidence skills.

    Some of the students to have benefitted from the swimming initiative.

  • TX Community Swim. We had a wonderful session with 26 children from Binh Trieu. The children developed their  water confidence, buoyancy and basic swimming techniques. The children were so excited about swimming in the TX pool and they all looked exhausted when we said goodbye.
  • TX swim gala reminder: Thursday 28th March. Years 1+2 between 8:15am – 9:45am; Years 3 – 6 between 10:00am – 12:00pm.
  • Survival swimming sessions. To highlight our Water Safety Week at TX, all the children between Years 3 – 6 at TX took part in a series of structured personal survival lessons during their swimming lessons in the last week of term.

Thanks for giving us the idea. It has all worked really well.

The Swannies say great work to BIS for helping the swimmers!

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Swannie stumbles across Swannies jumper in Sydney Pub

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 25, 2013

Swannie, Shannon “Shag” Leahy, walked into a Sydney hotel last week – and stumbled across a Swannies’ jumper! (Photo from October 2010)

Last week, Superstar Swannie, Shannon “Shag” Leahy stumbled into a Sydney pub – and came across a Swannies jumper hanging on the wall.

Immediately, a message was shot back to Vietnam: “I’m in a pub called the Courthouse in Newton, Sydney – and there’s a Swannies’ guernsey on the wall! Who is our link??”

Well, in May 2010, Mark Wall was in Hanoi looking for a Vietnam Swans jumper for his friend. Mark expalined back in October 2010:

“I got the shirt at the request of Richard Acheson, a big Swans fan, here in Sydney. He had heard of your club during a recent holiday in Vietnam. When I gave the shirt to him he had it framed by a Vietnam Vet, believe it or not, and hung it in the pub.”

Vietnam immediately asked Shag to take a photo of himself at the pub. Alas…

“Neither of us had iPhones so couldn’t take a pic… Good to know we’re being represented tho’ in the trendy ‘burbs of Sydney. Go you Swannies!”


  • To see the original post on this website, click onto Courthouse hangs Swannies in Sydney, dated 10 October 2010.
  • According to the , it “pays tribute to its location on Australia Street: the walls are decorated with a massive coat of arms and an Aussie flag. The Sydney Swans vest is indicative of the massive ‘Swannies’ fan base at the pub, which is also a fun place to watch games during the AFL season.”

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Swannie meets Vet footy players back in Australia

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 24, 2013

Swannie, Dave Hadley bumps into Vietnam Veterans in country Victoria who had played in the Vietnam Football League during the War.

With just over a month to go before the 4th Annual ANZAC Friendship Match, Swannie Dave “Angry” Hadley, who now lives back in Australia, bumped into some Veterans who actually played footy over here!

Dave explains below.

I was in Bright (country Victoria) for the recent long weekend (11 March) and saw some Vietnam Vets riding around.  It was their second year of doing which is organised by the Vietnam Veterans’ Association of Australia. There were about 50 in the group.

I chatted to a few of the Veterans as they had played footy at the same oval (the Dog Track which was formerly known as the Lord Mayor’s Oval) in Vung Tau as the Vietnam Swans for our ANZAC Friendship Match.

They also reminisced about the dog racing in Saigon when the track was covered in bomb holes.

I brought a bit of Swannie’s stuff in but the Veterans I talked to had been back to Vietnam in August last year for Vietnam Veterans Day.

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