End of Season Update & Welcoming Grant Keys as President
Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 1, 2014
G’day Swannies Supporters,
- Swans make final 4 in Asian Championships (3rd time in history)
- ANZAC Day 2015 – Vietnam Swans Vs Singapore Wombats
- Formation of the IndoChina Bulldogs Local Development Side (100% nationals from Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Myanmar & Cambodia)
- 500 people attend Swans Grand Final Parties across Vietnam
- Swans partner clubs the Saigon Lady Gales + Hanoi’s Viet Celts taste success at the Asian Gaelic Games
- Swans defeated by the Australian Touring Side – Naracoorte
- Farewell from outgoing president Josh Lee & welcome to Grant Keys
2014 Asian Championship Wrap Up – Clark, Philippines
In arguably one of the most hotly contested Asian Championships ever seen the Vietnam Swans were able to make it through to the semi-finals for only the 3rd time in the clubs 11-year history.
Travelling with a squad of 26 including a number of first time players the boys had been working hard with some intense training led by resident gym junkie Mitch Hyde @ Saigon’s Australian International School (great sponsor of the Swans) with the Hanoi boys also putting in many extra sessions. They were also boosted by the inclusion of recently departed players Josh Leary & Josh ‘Hollwood’ Daly who travelled all the way from Australia, along with Luke Philpot who conveniently diverted his globetrotting to again pull on the boots.
The first game was against hosts and last year’s finalist the Philippine Eagles. Hoping to make an impact early the team were unfortunately found wanting after not being able to match the Eagles attack on the ball. Regrouping and bouncing back against a combined Laos/Myanmar/Bali side, win #1 was on the board by a comfortable 22-point margin. The 3rd game of the day was up against the Jakarta Bintangs – who had been un-defeated in 2014.
Needing a win to have a chance of a finals berth the Swans had their backs against the wall, but from the opening bounce it was clear that they were not going to lie down easy. In a fantastic display of team football the team recorded win #2 by 27-points. The final pool game Vs the China Reds proved to be the biggest win of the day for the Swans by 43 points.
With injuries to Co-Captain David ‘SOS’ Skowronski and playing coach Andy ‘Flapper’ Glendinning the Swans knew it wasn’t going to be easy against the Singapore Wombats in the Semi-Final, none the less there was a feeling around the team that their best footy would be good enough to make their Asian Champs Final debut. Unfortunately, the fairytale wasn’t to be with Singapore comfortable winners. Congrats to the Wombats who went on to win the final against defending champions the Hong Kong Dragons.
A big thank-you to all the supporters who travelled to the interesting Angeles City to support us. A football club doesn’t stop with the guys on the ground & we love having you in the Swans family. Also top work to the Kevin’s. Kevin Wilkinson who volunteered to play for the undermanned China Reds (it’s what Asian Footy is about!) and to club legend Mr Kevin Hornblower who announced his retirement. Congrats on a wonderful career Kev, you’ll be missed.
Also a big well done to Josh Leary, Nathan Milner & Grant Keys for making the All Asian Side. For full results check out –
ANZAC Day 25th April, 2015 – Vietnam Swans Vs Singapore Wombats
I’m proud to announce that the 2015 ANZAC Friendship match in Vung Tau will be played against the Singapore Wombats. As the 100th anniversary of the landings in Gallipoli the game will take on an extra special meaning.
As the highlight of the football year in Vietnam and representing our major fundraising effort for our partner charities – The Vung Tau Orphanage & Swim Vietnam. This is one event not to be missed so start making your travel arrangements now.
Given ANZAC Day will also fall on the Saturday there are a few logistical hurdles and changes to the day’s format. We are currently working through these with more details to be announced soon.
IndoChina Bulldogs – HELP WANTED
As reported earlier in the year the AFL Asia clubs of Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Laos & Myanmar are joining forces to foster local development of this great game of ours.
The aim it to build a team made up 100% of national players from these countries to compete in the 2017 AFL International Cup, which this year was won by PNG (5 Asian teams were represented – China, Indonesia, India, Pakistan & Japan). After a meeting of the club representatives it was decided that the team will be known as the IndoChina Bulldogs. The reason for selecting this name was based on the colours shared by all Indochina flags (Red, White & Blue) along with the fact the Western Bulldogs are seen to have close ties (and many supporters) from within the Indochina-Australian based community.
To make this dream happen we desperately need support from right across the region and within Australia. We are currently looking for a jumper sponsor & if anyone has close ties with the Western Bulldogs AFL side we would love to hear from you.
We are also currently running a competition to select the jumper and logo design. Be sure to get involved at –
500 people attend Swans Grand Final Parties across Vietnam
For the first time the Vietnam Swans held 3 Mega grand final parties – Hanoi, Saigon & Hoi An. With a total number of people attending these in excess of 500 it’s a great example of the popularity of the game outside Australia.
A huge thank-you to the sponsors of these events who provided the prizes for the raffles, auctions and door prizes. The only reason we can hold these events are because of your generous support.
While many in the Swans community were sad to see the result…..I wasn’t (GO YOU HAWKS).
Saigon Lady Gales + Hanoi Celts (Mens) take out GAA Asian Champ’s Plate
In their first year as a team our sisters at the Saigon Lady Gales were able to bring home some silverware from their Asian Champions tournament in Kula Lumpur. With their outfits sporting the Vietnam Swans Logo and the logos of a number of our sponsors – how could they go wrong! Their commitment and success has given the Saigon boy’s that little bit more motivation for next year.
The Hanoi based Viet Celts men’s team also savoured some long awaited success, bringing home their first piece of silverware in their 7 year history. With Swan John Shoulders leading the way. Special mention to the Viet Celts ladies and a combined Gaels-Celts ladies team who also put up a great effort. Well done to you all and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership.
Swans defeated by the Australian Touring Side – Naracoorte Demons
Travelling to Vietnam on an end of season trip the Naracoorte Demons lined up against a Swans side still feeling the effects of the prior-weekends Asian Champs. The Sunday match ensured that sore heads were aplenty but that didn’t stop anyone from giving it their best. The Swans were led by some of their newest & international members – encouraging signs for 2015.
After the game the team were travelling to Vung Tau to spend some time at the Vung Tau orphanage and put to use the equipment purchased by the Swans with the proceeds from this years ANZAC Friendship match.
Thanks to Glenn Nolan (Tommys Bar – Vung Tau) for arranging the game and if anyone is connected with a team in Australia that would like to visit for a pre/post season tour please get in touch.
Farewell from outgoing president Josh Lee & welcome Grant Keys as new National President
Earlier this year I received an email from one of the Swans founders, Scott Stacey, who wrote to congratulate me on taking over from the irreplaceable Phil ‘Fabbo’ Johns. He also mentioned just how much the Swans meant to not only himself but to the many others who had been involved with the club over the years – at that point all I could think of was S-!T…..don’t screw this up!
However, I quickly learnt that being apart of the Mighty Vietnam Swans means being apart of a culture of unbelievable support (both in Vietnam and via it’s supporters in Australia and abroad). It is with this support that I managed to survive the year. I’ve been proud to see the club continue to grow and thank all of the many people who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with – it truly has been an honour and I hope I keep in touch from my new home in Singapore. ()
While there are too many people to name individually a special mention to club treasure Mr Rowan Luke for his guidance. The senior playing group led by Andy, Billy & SOS plus the Swans sponsors and many other people who make our existence possible.
With that I would like to Welcome Mr Grant Keys to the role of National President. Big Grant (Just to make it clear who he is in the photo) and his family are in their first of a three year posting to Vietnam, his wife Alison working with DFAT at the Australian Embassy in Hanoi.
Grant comes to the Swans with some great experience developing footy in Beijing. During this time Grant helped establish the first all-Chinese team to compete in the 2007 AFL International Cup.
While he grew up in suburban Melbourne as a mad Bombers fan playing junior footy with Parkmore, Grant chose a basketball path, rising to play two seasons with the West Sydney Razorbacks NBL team and over 300 games in the South East Australian Basketball League, winning championships with the Ballarat Miners and Canberra Gunners.
Outside of footy Grant keeps himself busy in Hanoi learning Vietnamese, looking after his 3 kids, Max 7, Harry 4 and baby Emily and researching Bia Hoi culture. Prior to moving to Hanoi, Grant left the Australian public service after 13 years developing policy and managing programs for the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and hasn’t looked back in his new role of diplomatic spouse!
Best wishes to Grant.
Note: the remainder of the 2015 committee will be appointed in the coming weeks.
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