Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

  • Grand Final Parties – 27th September

    Saigon, Hanoi, Hoi AnSeptember 27th, 2014
    Biggest and best Grand Final Parties across Vietnam
  • Asian Champs – 10th October – Clark, Philippines

    The Swans take on Asia's best. Season's key event where the Swans will take on the strongest teams in Asia including the Hong Kong Dragons, the Singapore Wombats, the Jakarta Bintangs, the China Reds, the Bali Geckos, The Cambodian Eagles, the Thai Thaigers, the Malaysian Warriors and the hosts, the Philippine Eagles.

Archive for the ‘AFL’ Category

Swans run rings around Angkor

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 10, 2008

The Cambodian flag

The Cambodian flag

You may recall that in the lead up to the recent Indochina Cup, the Cambodian National flag was changed to resemble a set of goal posts.

Last weekend, two of the Vietnam Swans, Micky Johnston and Captain Gus McEwin took their footy fitness to Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat to compete in the Half Marathon (apparently the actual temple still only has three stupas??). Micky Johnston has filed the following report:

The Angkor Half Marathon was great. I averaged 6min kms (2:07) but hoped for a 5 minute average. Unfortunately, got a big blister on left heel at 14km mark, so had to slow down a bit (Ed’s note: So Mick, what was your average time for the first 14 kms before the bleeding blister struck??). Lots of trees so always in the shade. Flat roads and lots of local kids watching giving “high 5’s” to the runners.

A lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.

Gus (the) also (ran) did it and finished in 1:58. We both had plenty of steam left at the end so reckon the next one will be easier.

Well done, Mick and Gus.

Posted in AFL | 1 Comment »

The Australia Network email that saved the day

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 21, 2008

Below is the emailfrom the Australia Network which described what would happen once “normal transmission” resumes…

Thank you for your recent comment about our scheduling of the 2008 AFL season. You will be pleased to know that the schedule will be revised as of 11 April, and will conform to the following basic pattern:

1. An average of four matches per weekend will be shown: one on Friday night, one on Saturday afternoon, one on Saturday night, and one on Sunday afternoon.

2. No matches will be shown on Sunday nights.

3. When there is no Super 14s match to be shown at 2100 (Hong Kong time) on Friday or Saturday, the AFL match will be shown between 2100 and 2400.

4. When a Super 14s match is shown at 2100 on Friday or Saturday, the AFL match will follow it at 2300.

5. There will be occasional exceptions to this pattern. On Saturday 12 April, for instance, the matches will be shown at 1230 and 1730, and on Anzac Day, Friday 25 April, the Collingwood vs Essendon match will be shown at 1330, and the Fremantle vs Geelong match will be shown at midnight.

The changes for the weekend 11-13 April are already on our website schedule. The changes for subsequent weekends will appear very soon.

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy | 2 Comments »

Danny Armstrong and footy in Asia

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 21, 2008

Danny Armstrong, a Vietnam Swan, shares his email to the Australian Network which was submitted prior to the “return to normal transmission” announcement. Danny describes the special place footy has when you’re in Asia.

Dear Senior Management of Australia Network, I write to you with considerable displeasure at your ill-conceived, ill-informed decision to cut down the number of games available for viewing and reschedule the viewing times of AFL football coverage into Vietnam.I moved to Vietnam 19 months ago and was delighted to find a Vietnam team who I now play and train with regularly. Our team is made up of a mix of ex-Australian football players, rugby players and soccer players, but they are all attracted by the skill required to play the game and the games unique characteristics. It is also a terrific form of social interaction and has many spectator followers – both live and on Australia Network.As you are no doubt aware, there is also a flourishing competition of 10 Australian Football clubs with many members and supporters right across Asia, and a growing band of ‘locals’ playing and watching the game.

The game is uniquely Australian and many people in Asia are connecting with it. Many young people are also connecting with it, in part due to the ability to watch it on television.

Your decision to show games at 1am in the morning in Vietnam is extremely disappointing and will preclude many people from watching. It is almost as ill-conceived as the AFL itself who upon announcing their intention to take the game ‘truly national’ in Australia, then proceeded to show blockbuster Friday night games into Sydney at 10 and 11pm at night.

I strongly urge you to reconsider this decision. There is a groundswell of support in Asia and this decision will disenfranchise many of them and lose your network many supporters.

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy | Leave a Comment »

Footy’s on the Box!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 21, 2008

It’s midnight in Vietnam and footy is back on the box – one hour early. We weren’t expecting it until 1am.

And then from 11 April it will be “normal transmission”. Bring it on.

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy | Leave a Comment »

Breaking News: AFL coverage returns!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 20, 2008

In an email just received by Austrade, the CEO of Australia Network, Mr Bruce Dover, has confirmed that the current (crazy) TV coverage of the AFL is “only until April 11 when normal transmission resumes”. 

Austrade very kindly forwarded a copy of the email to the Swans Blog.

It’s a very good news story to kick off Easter with.

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy | 4 Comments »

AFL Coverage on Australia Netwreck

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 19, 2008

Following a request from the Singapore Wombats to all Asian footy clubs, the Swans President sent out the following email to those on the list:

In what threatens to erupt into a major diplomatic incident between Australia and Australians in Asia (and their ever growing number of friends), the Australia Television Network has banished coverage of the AFL to TV’s wasteland hours – 1am in Vietnam!

That’s right: Friday night football and Saturday night football can now be viewed at 1am on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Around the footy grounds across Asia, everyone is speaking of similar woes. Various representatives of the Swans and the other Clubs in Asia have fired off emails to the Australia Network, DFAT and the AFL. So far, in Football’s 150th Year, all have been played with a straight bat (that’s our point; it’s not cricket!).

Today the Singapore Wombats emailed (see previous posting below) all the Asian Presidents asking us to exhort our email lists to register our displeasure with people of influence or the Australia Network directly on their website at  

If there is a good thing that is coming out of the controversy that has engulfed the Australia Network, it would be that this incident has galvanized the footy clubs across Asia to publicly speak with a louder voice – as one.

Ladies and gentlemen, this crisis could be a seminal moment in the development of Asian football. For all our sakes, let’s just hope that there aren’t too many families who have to suffer in the process.

Again, the website you need to email right now is

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy | Leave a Comment »

Singapore sings for TV change

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 19, 2008

An email from the President of the Singapore Wombats wanting to right a television wrong:

Folks, some of you would have no doubt seen the banter circulating about the raw deal we are getting here in Asia in relation to AFL coverage in 2008 i.e. only 4 games, and with Friday and Saturday games in the most part after midnight.

The purpose of this email, however, was to request you to rally your in country players, supporters, sponsors, and other relevant members of your broader community – to provide the Australian Network with an appreciation of the displeasure such a programming decision brings to all those who enjoy watching AFL (and at a decent hour) here in Asia.

The Australian Network have requested that all feedback is provided through the “contact us” system located on their website

Weight of numbers can make a difference, one minute of your and your troops time prior to Easter to provide feedback could mean many enjoyable hours in front of the TV on the couch !
I have sent an email to all our guys in Singapore to voice their feelings via the website and the reaction and desire to right this wrong has been tremendously positive.

Best Regards

Adam Grant
President (and avid TV/Couch Potato)
Singapore Wombats Football Club

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy | Leave a Comment »

Australia Network slams Asia’s footy fans

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 18, 2008

Heath, the Chief Operating Officer of the Australia Network responds to the concerns of footy fans across Asia who are upset with the changes to the telecasting of AFL matches in Season 2008.
From: Heath Watt –
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 12:16 PM
To: Heath Watt
Subject: AFL Coverage on Australia Network
Importance: High

Dear all

Thank you for your comments regarding changes to the 2008 sports coverage on Australia Network.  To expedite a response I am writing at once to all who have written directly to me and as such cannot not respond to individual points.  Be assured that all of your emails have been passed on to the Head of Programming and the Chief Executive for their review.

As you would be aware there are numerous changes to the schedule for sport in 2008.  The changes have an impact on all sports and do not only impact AFL coverage.  The changes to the AFL schedule will see one less match broadcast per week and shifting the broadcast time for two matches.  The current schedule has  been made based on numerous factors including the mandated positioning of Australia Network by DFAT, our understanding of our primary and secondary audience preferences, financial implications, programming efficiency and time zones.  Australia Network is not a sports channel and as such we cannot revert to a sports only schedule during Australian winter sports seasons.

We constantly review the schedule to maximise the viewing experience.  The Programming Department is currently reviewing the possibility of achieving improvements to the schedule it can deliver to AFL viewers.  Should we be able to make improvements to the schedule for AFL viewers, they will be announced through and the Sports Lounge Newsletter. I encourage you to keep across this site for information on the AFL, Rugby and NRL coverage in 2008.

Should you have further comments, now or in the future, regarding the coverage of AFL or other programming on Australia Network, I recommend that you make the comment through the Australia Network “Contact Us” system located on the website at .  This system provides Australia Network with the ability to review overall comments and trends and ensure that the sentiments of emails are not lost in an individual’s email inbox.  Further emails made directly to Australia Network staff on this issue will not receive a response.

I hope that you get an opportunity to enjoy all sport on Australia Network this year and you join us through the associated Dream Team Competitions at and .

All the best.

Heath Watt
Chief Operating Officer
Australia Network

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy | 1 Comment »

Stacey Slams AFL Coverage in Asia

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 18, 2008

Last year, 5 AFL matches were telecast into Asia each weekend. This year it has been dropped back to 4 matches. Further, the Friday & Saturday night matches won’t be shown until 1am the following morning! 

Needless to say, the footy clubs around Asia are not happy. Not happy at all!

The Hong Kong Dragons contacted Australia Network to express their disappointment. To read Australia Network’s response, read the .

The Swans Super Coach, Scotty Stacey then wrote to the CEO of the Australia Network, Mr Heath Watt:

Dear Sir,

Warmest greetings from a SE Asia expat. I write to you regarding an issue which is fast becoming the largest stir of the community here, the programming of AFL telecasts into the region.

To read the full email, click onto  – a fine piece of professional and reasoned writing exercising great restraint.

The irony of it all is that Australia Network is cutting back while the AFL is talking big about expanding overseas.

The Swans Blog has emailed the AFL asking whether it had made any representations to the Australia Network. So far we have not received a response (admittedly we only sent the email off 20 minutes ago).

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy | Leave a Comment »

150 Years of Australian Football

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 16, 2008

Contrary to popular belief, it is not Vietnam that is celebrating 150 years of footy but footy itself. Aussie Rules was born 150 years ago in 1858 and was described by pioneers at the time as, “Awesome, mate. Simply awesome”.

The AFL has put together a calendar of events through 2008 to:

  • Connect with Community Football, our existing fans as well as engage new fans
  • Reinforce Australian football as the leading sport in this country
  • Reinforce the key values of Australian football
  • Deliver major programs that have lasting effect on community football and growth of the game overall
  • Celebrate and enjoy this memorable year

Of interest to footy clubs across the globe will be the “Kick around the World” program which will be held on 7 August. On this day, Australians around the world will be encouraged to “kick a football” and to submit photos of the most unusual place they have kicked a footy. The AFL is keen to “create some magical moments by kicking footballs all over the world”.

For the full details, download the AFL’s presentation,  or log onto the for the latest details.

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy | Leave a Comment »

Bartel, a Big Rooster?

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 13, 2008

In news just to hand, Rooster has again spammed the Swans Blog – this time with an “unheard of” claim that the bloke on the left is none other than the 2007 Brownlow Medalist, Jimmy Bartel in Finland (photo on the right with Jimmy in Cat Attack mode… thanks be to the Geelong Advertiser).

According to Rooster, Bartel recently toured Santa’s home country, met up with the Footy Finns and donned one of their jumpers. Rooster shamelessly adds that the jumpers were made by the Big Rooster. 

Posted in AFL, Unheard of | Leave a Comment »

The AFL spotlight on international football opportunities

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 12, 2008

The AFL spotlight of Saturday’s AFL match in Dubai between Collingwood and Adelaide has lots of people talking.

  • AFL Supremo, Andrew Demetriou said, “. He went on: “South Africa certainly is a priority and so is Japan – with our Toyota partnership – and Los Angeles has appeal as part of our Australia Day celebrations over there. And we certainly plan to continue to rebuild our relationship with Ireland”.
  • AFL Chief Broadcasting and Commercial Officer Gillon McLachlan said .
  • David Matthews, the AFL’s General Manager for National and International Development says .
  • Kevin Sheedy has been appointed to help drive the game internationally. According to World Footy News, he has argued that .
  • In today’s Herald Sun, Sheedy also talks about the and needs to start thinking about what the competition should look like in 2050.
  • Austrade’s Chief Economist, Tim Harcourt says, ““.

All this talk is a far cry from the lead up to last year’s Asian Championships when the AFL Footy Record refused to make reference to the Champs because, unfortunately, “it kind of goes outside the scope of what we do“. The Swans’ President wrote to the Footy Record at the time to express his disappointment and to detail some ideas about the broader opportunities of using Australia’s signature sport to promote not just footy, but events and organisations with a link to Australia (see ).

If you’ve ever checked World Footy News’ , you will see just how many volunteer footy clubs already exist around the world. There’s a lot of energy out there. 

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy, Our Sponsors | 1 Comment »


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