The Swan’s first Saigon home game of the season brings with it a whole lot of questions as we cross the midway point and head into a hectic second half of the 2015 season. Having not seen the Eagles for nearly 18 months, it’s won’t be until game day that we know what they’re bringing. The 5 key talking points for the Swannies this week are…
Will the Swans come up after a 1st half of the season which saw some guys training 4 days a week to lift the ANZAC trophy vs the Asian Champ Singapore Wombats, and the Manila Cup vs every other super power in Asian Footy? There’s no doubt the horns have been honking in Vietnam but are the guys able to maintain this sort of intensity? Rumours are swirling that the captain has been seen streaking in Pasteur St rather than attending trainings in recent weeks. The return of the Irishmen from their soccer duties always throws a spanner into the best laid plans. The teaching brigade including last minute hero Vaughan Swart are in other hemispheres, and the Hanoian contingent (except Manila cup MVP Tommy D) who have been instrumental in the early season successes aren’t making the trip.
Step Up in Saigon
Timmy P tells us there’s been 5 Step Up films – while he likes them they are in reality piles of mud – could this be the first decent step up script ever? A lot of guys will be making RMIT debuts, including ‘Rampaging’ Roy Horgan, Pierre ‘Fan-favorite’ Braun, Jason ‘Danang Directory’s most consistent poster’ Carter, and even the ‘so hot right now’ Tom Doer. We saw in Manila how guys can take their moment in this style of footy so it’ll be great to see these guys grabbing their chances. 2/3 of the Swannies engine room from the Manila triumph are actually cheating on the Swans right now in the US of A leaving a huge chance for the ever charging Tuan Nhan, the silky Timmy P and Hanoi’s finest Tommy D to take charge.
This time of year Saigon holds plenty of surprises. Will it be a slugfest in a tropical downpour? Will it be blazing sun and 110% humidity like the final Saturday session at Saigon Paintball? How will Coach Andy handle his team line ups as this changes? The Eagles boast some of the craftiest and experienced footballers in Asia, the Swans some of the least experienced. Could the weather throw the old guys an advantage or will they wilt in the heat?
The Big Fella
Where is he? Rumours abound he’s been seen crawling out of South East Asia’s pubs and clubs for the past week including some of Saigon’s finest, but has already scratched himself from this weekend’s game. The Swans have switched to using their not so gentle giant in attack this season with astonishing results. There’s another Hanoian monster looking to take his title this weekend and the cries of “kick it to Keysey” will switch to “kick it to Marty”. Can he produce the same results? In the guts, size looks another factor with James Bairstow now missing in action, occasionally popping up in Facebook feeds from different corners of the planet. The Swans will have to pull some part-timers from their regular positions to try and match up on what is always a tall but athletic Eagles mid-field brigade. On that note there’s a brigade of little fellas (and girls) heading our way for the half time Auskick game vs the Saigon Colts. Vietnam’s first ever international Auskick game is sure to be a ripper too!
Tra Vy hasn’t been seen around the footy field much this season but it’s finally apparent why. He’s been preparing the best sausages in the world for a Super Special Saturday feast at this week’s game! You won’t find a better Aussie feed on the Asian continent so the price of admission (free) will be worth it just for the feed. Will he pull on the boots??? That remains to be seen as does so much, but this weekend will surely go down as one of the finest in Vietnamese Asian Footy history.
The Swans v Eagles rivalry is a strong and historic one and it is great to see the teams getting a back to back series happening through the middle of the season. Make sure to be at RMIT from 1.30pm this Saturday the 4th of July for the game, and from 7pm upstairs at the Spotted Cow for the best buffet and free flow drinks around.