Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

  • 8th Annual Indochina Cup, Thailand

    August 16th, 2014
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    16 July, 8th Annual Indochina Cup, Thailand. Includes the Inaugural Indochina All Stars team coached by West Coast Eagles Norm Smith Medallist, Andrew Embley.

    AFL Asia - Asian Footy's umbrella organisation.










Remembering Ed for his children

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 14, 2014

Remembering Ed for his children.

Ed Smith’s brother, Justin, is now collating all contributions from family and friends for an entire memory book for his children. Please read below.

Dear Family and Friends of Ed,

You would likely be aware that on Saturday the 9th August we lost a friend, husband, son, dad, brother and most of all beautiful person. Ed was free diving and doing what he loved, being in the water, when the tragedy occurred.

Sadly, some of his youngest children will only be able to really know how great he was through your memories, so this email address has been set up as a digital repository.  It is dedicated to Eddie’s family for you all to send in your fondest memories of Ed, whatever they may be.  We will later convert memories and stories of Ed into a book which will be for Ed’s kids and broader family.

Kate has noted there may be need to be both a PG and an over 18 version of the book!! Please don’t hesitate to send whatever you feel.  I can say this confidently as I have never been able to find the guy doing anything but good things!!  It doesn’t have to be digital either (can provide a postage address). Just send whatever you feel is appropriate for you as we will sort the right stories for the right book.

Please share your stories/photos/videos of Ed or whatever you feel like and send them to . If you want to make something more creative like a card or kids drawings – send us an email () and I will give you a post address to send it to.  All will be included in the book we create.

Ed’s Solomon Island memorial will be held on Thursday the 14th August at 6am (5am east Australian time).  Please light a candle or think of Ed and the family during this time (or both).

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Ed Smith’s memorial service in Solomon Islands announced

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 13, 2014

Ed Smith Memorial Service, 14 August, Solomon Islands.

To view the notice regarding the memorial service in pdf format, click onto

If anyone there in the Swans football community wants to share anything for Kate and the kids then they can email to: “Kate particularly wants stories that will help the kids know Ed, as they grow up. You can send to  “

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The sun sets over the Solomon Islands for Swannie, Ed Smith. R.I.P.

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 11, 2014

The sun sets over the Solomon Islands for an amazing man, Ed Smith. R.I.P.

The Vietnam Swans have just received news that Ed Smith has died in a tragic diving accident in the Solomon Islands. Marty Sharples writes,

“Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but former Swannie and all round great human, Ed Smith, died on the weekend while diving in the Solomon Islands. Everyone is absolutely devastated. You could not meet a better bloke. He is survived by Kate and three beautiful kids.”

Ed was an amazing bloke: helping out new recruits on the footy field, giving his time with wife Kate, to the kids at the Warmhouse Orphanage in Hanoi to doing great things in his volunteer’s position over here.

In May 2008, he and Kate, who he was inseparable from, had returned to Tassie and had their first baby, Meg. At the time, Ed wrote, “We still love getting all of the mighty Swans emails. Sounds like the Swans are having a pretty busy year – makes me nostalgic. We had such a great time with you guys.”

Just 10 days ago, upon hearing of AFL Asia’s event in Melbourne on 17 August, Ed wrote to say that getting “Gary Buckenara (to attend) – that’s awesome”.

He then added, “We have our big meat pie comp (Expat v Best of the Solomon Island’s lads) coming up”.

The Vietnam Swans community extends its deepest thoughts and condolences to Kate, the three children, his family and friends.

As per custom, the Vietnam Swans will wear black armbands at our next match which will be the Indochina Cup next Saturday. Ed would have been very pleased that the weekend will also see the first ever Indochina All Stars team play.

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Expat Property Planners – Sagion Information Evening

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 11, 2014

Come down and join Swannies sponsor Greg Shand from Expat Property Planners as he, along with Paul Milbourne from Imperium Capital, give us the run down on investing and protecting property in Australia while living abroad.

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Warriors Beat Swans Before Paying Their Respects

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 26, 2014

Warriors President Shaun ‘Digger’ Di Gregorio presents Swans President Josh ‘Big Dog’ Lee & Gus ‘Luck’ Mcewin with the #10 Jumper as a dedication to the late Nick Shiells.

With only 14 Swans in total making the tour, including a few blokes with injuries the Swans were always going to go into the game the underdogs with the Warriors keen to restore some pride after their ANZAC Friendship Match thumping at Vung Tau.

However, it was the Swans that got away to the better start seeing them up 3.4.22 to 1.8.14 at quarter time. The Warriors had all the run in the following three quarters, as injuries, inexperience and age all began to take their toll, with the Warriors recording an well deserved 70 point win 16.24.120 to the Swans 8.8.50.

In what is a showcase of the great comradely between the two clubs the Warriors presented the Swans a signed #10 jumper as a tribute to the late Nick Shiells. Despite being in opposition colours the club will display the Malaysian jumper as a lasting memory to Nick, serving to highlight the contribution he made to AFL footy right across Asia. Earlier in the day Kim Wood, a close friend of Nick, debuted for the Swans wearing the #10 (the club felt it was fitting not to retire the #10 Swans jumper). Kim more than proved worthy of the honour lining up on ex-AFL star Daniel Chick and keeping him to 1 goal!

Great work all round.

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Update from Swim Vietnam

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 23, 2014

V for the Vietnam Swans. How good is it that we can help a smiling face like this.

This is Hang. She is 9 years old. Six weeks ago she could not swim at all. Now she can swim 30 meters, tread water for 2 minutes and knows basic lifesaving skills so she can save one of her friends if they are in trouble in the water.

Hang can now swim and survive as a result of the money  which was raised by the Vietnam Swans at the 2014 ANZAC Day match. This donation alone has enabled Swim Vietnam to teach 150 more children, including Hang, the skills they need which will protect them from drowning. Thank you to all the Swannies, from the Swim Vietnam team and all the children you have helped to teach to swim.

Drowning is the number one injury related killer of children in Vietnam. Many more children drown in Vietnam than are killed in road accidents.* Swim Vietnam trains swimming teachers, builds swimming pools and establishes swim schools which give free swimming and water safety lessons to prevent children from drowning.

* 2012 Vietnam Ministry of Health Injury Mortality Report





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Kulin/Kondinin Blues Donate $1000 to the Vietnam Swans

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 10, 2014

Looking sharp in Swannies Guernsey’s – Simon Duckworth, Clayton Crabbe from the Kulin/Kondinin Blues along with club President Mick Lucchesi

Great news Swannies – the boys at the Kulin/Kondinin football club have kindly donated $1000 to help us grown the game here in Vietnam. The connection to the powerful Western Australian Club comes via David Tholstrup (Toasty), who before joining us in ‘Nam played 320 games for the Blues, including 2 premiership and a B&F, along with coaching them for 7 years.

The club have been able to play in every grand final since 2005 which is all the more impressive given that the town(s) population is about the same number as you’d find on your average Vietnamese bus (a few hundred). The Blues currently sit on top of the Eastern Districts Ladder and are looking to take out their 7th flag since ’05.
The Swans thank Dave & Christine (Toasty & Roadsy) along with all the players and members of the Kulin/Kondinin Blues and wish you the very best for the year. Hopefully one day soon we get to repay your kind donation with our hospitality here in Vietnam.


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Vietnam Swans Charity Fundraising Kicking Goals in 2014

Posted by Vietnam Swans on July 9, 2014

Last week Vietnam Swans stalwart Mr Glenn Nolan presented My Hoang and children from the Vung Tau Orphanage with a variety of sports equipment purchased from funds raised at the the annual ANZAC Friendship Match. To make sure the children get the most out of this equipment, veteran Ian Diamond has put together a dedicated program and will be teaching the students how to use of the gear. Having a sports program incorporated into the curriculum is a fantastic step forward in the development of these children.
The Swans were also able to contribute to the ongoing work of Swim Vietnam. With drowning being the leading causes of death among Vietnamese children the club is very proud to be able to assist Joanne Stewart and her dedicated team teach 100’s of children (and teachers) something that most Australian’s take for granted. 
A big thank-you once again needs to go to all who assisted in making these contributions possible. The Swans were able to double their overall contribution to partner charities vs 2013, which not only again highlights just how much the Annual ANZAC Friendship match and McMillan Dinner is growing in popularity but also how the Vietnam Swans and it’s supporters can give back to our adopted home and it’s people that we love so much. 
Go Swannies! 


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AFL Asia plans Asian footy function in Melbourne during IC14

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 9, 2014

A Mega Awesome AFL Asia function is bound for Melbourne during the AFL’s International Cup. Save and promote the date: 17 August 2014!

The AFL’s International Cup 2014 (IC14) is coming to Melbourne in August.

Teams from Asia that will compete in the IC14 are the Indonesian Garudas (who make their IC debut), China Red Demons, Japan Samurais, Indian Tigers and the Pakistan Shaheens (more to follow on exciting developments in footy in Pakistan…).

AFL Asia is keen to “show n throw” our support behind the teams representing Asia when it matters most – on the ground in Melbourne during the IC.

We are also very keen to use the IC as a vehicle to reignite the passion of people who have been involved in footy across Asia (AFL Asia’s Alumni) – and have since returned back home.

Well, now it’s time to melt the freeze. Asian footy needs you! And our Asian footy teams at the IC need your support.

This initiative is being driven by AFL Asia’s Secretary, Mark Stennett who has recently returned to Melbourne after a 7 year footy stint at three Asian clubs (Singapore Wombats, Malaysian Warriors and Vietnam Swans).

Details of AFL Asia’s IC14 Event in Melbourne

  • Date: Sunday 17 August 2014 (Indonesia’s National Day)
  • Time: From 2pm
  • Price: Pay As You Go
  • Venue: Pier Hotel, Port Melbourne

We are hoping to get 150-200 people there including a number of AFL and media personalities. So far, subject to any commitments with sponsors etc of the visiting teams, the China Red Demons, Indonesian Garudas and Indian Tigers have confirmed. If the AFL Asia Alumni get behind it, this number will be easily achieved.

We are also speaking with the promoters of the film “Aussie Rules the World” about including their involvement.

This event has pivotal potential for the development of AFL Asia in Asia and Australia. Lock it in your diaries and please help to spread the word.

More details to follow.

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Video Tribute for Swannies 2014 Hall of Famer, Phil “Fabbo” Johns

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 8, 2014

At the 2014 McMillan Dinner after this year’s ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau, Michael Johnston and Gus McEwin were presented to the 250 strong crowd as the Swannies’ latest Hall of Famers. They were confirmed last year and join Mick Francis, Scott Stacey and Dave Kainey.

Then, to most people’s surprise, without an introduction, a video started. It was a tribute video for former National President, Phil Johns who had just been inducted into the Swannies Hall of Fame!

The video was prepared by Hall of Famer, Michael “the Magnificent” Johnston (current gun player from Hoi An and champion of swimming for Vietnamese kids). Messages are received from Dave Kainey (former Hanoi Swans President, Hall of Famer, gun player), Phil Jordan (former gun player – after he had played for the Lao Elephants), Adrian “Ado” Enright (former Hanoi Coach, gun player), Reinhard (no relation to Gina – but original Hanoi Swan gun player recruited from Holland), Luke “Dukesy” Creamer (former Skipper, gun player), Derrin “Dez” Limbrick (former Saigon President, gun player), Josh Little (former national coach, gun player), Antti (former gun player and original Hanoi Swan recruited from Finland) and Danny “Monk” Monkey (former Skipper, gun player). Special cameo appearances from Mark “Willy” Williams (former Hanoi President, gun player), Natty Payne (Original All Asia, former gun player) and Edoardo “Edo Man Mountain” Bozzola (former gun player recruited from Italy).

Highlight of video:Ms Ngan from Jim Beam.

Message from Fabbo:

Wow! What a humbling shock to be inducted into the Swannies Hall of Fame. And the setting, surrounded by such important people who are all actively contributing to the evolving story of the Vietnam Swans and footy in Asia… the 5th Annual ANZAC Friendship Match, the McMillan Dinner with 250 amazing people including AFL Legend and Hall of Famer, Alex Jesaulenko and all those incredible people on the video.

I was completely blind sided with the Award and its timing. But, rest assured, it hit the sweet spot in a way I could never imagined. Smashed right through my defenses in the backline!

To the people who made it happen, thank you. And thanks Micky J for putting together the video. Outstanding effort.

There are many, many other people I would like to thank who have helped me during my time with the Swannies. One person I would like to make a special acknowledgement for is Nick “Nicko” Shiells who was there that night.

Go you Swannies!

Forever we will run.

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Mania Cup Recap

Posted by Vietnam Swans on June 4, 2014

After last years last minute semi-final loss to eventual winners the Philippines, the Swans were keen to make amends and pulled together a small but strong touring squad for the 12-a-side tournament. Facing last years runner-up the Singapore Wombats first up the Swans knew they needed to make a statement early – and that they did, beating the wombats by 4 goals with some superb teamwork all over the ground. This form continued into the second game against the Barbarians with Josh Leary and Mitch Hyde getting plenty of ball from the centre. The boys racked up over 10 goals in 24 minutes of play. The third game against Hong Kong Darkside was a tough contest. With only 1 player on the interchange, a few players carrying injuries combined with the Manila heat, the day was starting to take its toll. However heads started to turn with Vietnam running out convincing winners, setting up a Semi-final berth against the Hong Kong Dragons. 

Depleted but determined, the Swans were still confident and knew that by playing as they had done throughout the day, it would see them through to their first Manila Cup Grand Final. The Dragons had other ideas however and came out strongly with some silky ball movement and tough contested footy, jumping to a 3-goal lead early in the first half. But in a goliath effort the Swans dug deep and fought their way back into the game with Josh Daly and Kevin Hornblower leading the way. Pegging back the score to be within a goal, the Swans could just not manage to find a way to grab the lead as they struggled to match the fresh legs of Hong Kong. The fairytale was not to be with the Dragons winning by 1 straight kick – 5.4.34 to 4.4.28. While devastated the Swans walked away with heads held high knowing that they left everything out there and played some fantastic football all day. 

In some cruel poetic justice the Hong Kong Dragons went on to win the Cup in a fiercely contested game against the Philippine Eagles. Congratulations to both sides and all teams that competed and a big thank you to the PAFL for hosting the event.            


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Check out the Ladies Saigon Gaels new playing kit complete with the Vietnam Swans Logo

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 21, 2014

Along with the logos of all the Swans major sponsors.

2014 has seen the beginning of a partnership between the Vietnam Swans and the newly formed Sagion Ladies Gaels.  The girls have shown off their AFL skills a few times this year including our first ever mixed rules game on Australia Day, joining the boys for the annual bootcamp in Vung Tau and wowing the crowd with some impressive skills at the ANZAC weekend. However, this weekend will see the Gaels compete in their first international tournament with the South East Asian Games in Hanoi – Good luck girls, wear the Swans (& Gaels) logo with pride and bring home a win.

Also best of luck to all the Swannies boys who are also picking up a round ball for the male Gaels this weekend……get some good run in before we head to Manila!

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