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 ‘Farewell’ Category

A night for Rico

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 28, 2012

Farewell to "Word" photographer, Rico Gonzales.

Rico Gonzales was a photographer for Saigon’s Word magazine and on a number of occasions had taken photographs for the Vietnam Swans.

The Vietnam Swans are very saddened to learn that last week, Rico suffered a fatal stroke in Phnom Penh.

He was only 43.

In memory of Rico, his friends and colleagues are hosting a little party at Alibi on Thursday night, 29 March, from 7pm.

There will be live music, DJ Edge on the decks and happy hour prices all night to help celebrate Rico’s life.

for further information.

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4 Weeks yesterday – the 3rd Annual ANZAC Friendship Match, 21 April, Vung Tau

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 25, 2012

What should we name the medal for the best and most courageous player in the ANZAC Friendship Match? Email [email protected] with your suggestion.

National President, Phil Johns, says there’s just 4 weeks to go before the ANZAC Friendship Match. And there’s lots more going on as well.

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

  • 4 Weeks from yesterday – the 3rd Annual ANZAC Friendship Match, 21 April, Vung Tau
  • Help!! Naming of Medal at ANZAC Friendship Match
  • Next Weekend: Local Derby, Hanoi
  • Last Weekend – Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day raises $8,200
  • Last Weekend – Big crowd at Combined Irish/Aussie Rules football match, Saigon
  • A few days earlier – Battle of the Codes in Hanoi raised $1,000
  • Farewell to Cathie Meinrath’s father.
  • 2012 Indochina Cup confirmed for Hanoi
  • Final Thought

4 Weeks from yesterday – the 3rd Annual ANZAC Friendship Match, 21 April, Vung Tau

The countdown clock is on for the Swannies’ single biggest day of the year: the Annual ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau which will be held on Saturday, 21 April.

Four weeks today, we will be at the Vung Tau Dog Track to play the China Reds in front of a crowd of up to 1,000 people, including veterans – some of whom played on the same oval during the war.

This is the event that will give all who participate a lifetime memory.

In a cluttered world, that is a big statement to make. But this is the 2012 ANZAC Friendship Match, Vung Tau, Vietnam.

Promotional posters will appear everywhere during the coming week. Bookings ($40) for the after match dinner on the rooftop of the Worldwide Arms Museum in Vung Tau can now be made. If you would like to be a volunteer during the day, please advise! Latest information will be published at

Help!! Naming of Medal at ANZAC Friendship Match

We currently present an unnamed medal to the best and most courageous player on the day. We need a name for that medal which will stand the test of time. It needs to resonate with a wide audience and not exclude any parties. The platform of the ANZAC Friendship Match is too important to offer something that is only “vanilla” and neutral. The medal needs to be strong and stand for something. It needs to lead. The prestige of this annual medal will continue to grow as the years pass by.

If you have any suggestions, I would very gratefully receive them. !

Next Weekend: Local Derby, Hanoi

Next weekend, a number of players from Saigon will travel to Hanoi for a local derby in the lead up to the ANZAC Friendship Match. Multiple cities; one Club.

Last Weekend – Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day raises $8,200

Last weekend, the 2nd Annual Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day was held at Montgomeire Links, Danang. Compared with last year, the number of golfers doubled to 110 which was a great result. The increase in numbers was due to a reduction in the registration fee and the increased exposure. Unfortunately, not as many people attended the dinner in the evening which is when the raffle and auction were held. Nevertheless, despite the reduced registration fees and numbers at the auction, a fantastic USD8,200 was raised to support the great work being done by Swim Vietnam and Swim Safe (Royal Life Saving Society of Australia) Danang. That money raised will translate into lives saved in the water which is extremely gratifying.

During the week, Montgomerie Link’s General Director, Jon Tomlinson, confirmed that next year, the 3rd Annual Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day will be held on 23 March 2013.

Promisingly, a number of schools in Danang, Saigon and Hanoi have pledged to run swimming programs in the same week as Swing to Swim so that we continue to raise awareness during a “Water Safety Week”.

Thank you to all our very generous sponsors who supported this year’s Swing to Swim as well as the people who played in the tournament and joined the dinner. Bring on next year!

Last Weekend – Big crowd at Combined Irish/Aussie Rules football match, Saigon

Last weekend, there were 50 players and 200 spectators at RMIT in Saigon for a combined Aussie Rules/Irish football match. There were alternating quarters of each code. The teams were mixed to ensure a great contest.

It was a hugely successful day and in the process, $450 was raised for the Loreto Foundation.

A few days earlier – Battle of the Codes in Hanoi raised $1,000

The winning Skowronski's Sausages team.

On 15 March, the sporting codes in Hanoi, including the Swannies, combined to host the 2nd Annual Battle of the Codes Trivia night for charity. The show was won by Skowronski’s Sausages (btw, Skowronski is a Swannie).

During the evening, $1,000 was raised which will be split evenly between Swim Vietnam and Little Tigers Orphanage. A great result and well done by all.

Farewell to Cathie Meinrath’s father.

The Vietnam Swans were greatly saddened to learn of the sudden death of Cathie Meinrath’s father during the week. Our thoughts are with Cathie, her family and friends during this difficult time. Cathie, who now lives back in Australia, has been a great supporter of the Swannies while she was working for the Commonwealth Bank over here. Cathie often attended our matches (home and away) and generously volunteered at our various functions.

As a mark of respect, the Vietnam Swans shall also wear our black armbands at the ANZAC Friendship Match in memory of Cathie’s father.

2012 Indochina Cup confirmed for Hanoi

Confucius reflects on the Swannies.

A week ago, Hanoi President, Dan Hopkins confirmed that Hanoi had secured a venue next to the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, to host this year’s Indochina Cup. So, it’s official. The Vietnam Swans will host the 2012 Indochina Cup in Hanoi on 17 November.

It is expected that the Vietnam Swans will host the Club’s Best and Fairest the following day on Sunday 18 November.

Final Thought

Confucius once say, “He who honk, love Swannie”.

Go you Swannies!

Posted in awards, Farewell | Leave a Comment »

Farewell to Cathie Meinrath’s father

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 23, 2012

Farewell to Cathie Meinrath's father.

The Vietnam Swans are very saddened to learn of the passing of the father of Swannies’ supporter, Cathie Meinrath.

Cathie’s father passed away unexpectedly yesterday in Sydney.

The Vietnam Swans extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Cathie, who has been such a passionate supporter of the Swannies for a number of years,  her family and friends.

The Vietnam Swans will be wearing black armbands in memory of all who have fallen during times of war at our ANZAC Friendship Match on 21 April 2012.

As a mark of respect, we shall also be wearing the black armbands for Cathie’s father.

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Farewell to Phil Ghasseb’s father

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 26, 2012

The Vietnam Swans will wear black armbands for Phil Ghassab's father at our next match in Cambodia on Saturday.

It is with great sadness that the we confirm the passing of Phil Ghasseb’s father in Bunbury on Friday night, 24 February 2012.

Phil, a Swannie in Saigon, returned to Australia a few weeks ago to be with his father who was gravely ill.

The Vietnam Swans extend our condolences and deepest sympathies to Phil, his family and his father’s circle of friends.

The Vietnam Swans shall send flowers to the funeral and, as a sign of respect, will wear black armbands at our next match.Phil has added, “Just make sure you guys win.”

Our next match will be held next Saturday, 3 March, against the Cambodian Eagles in Phnom Penh.

For anyone who wishes to contact Phil, and who does not already have his contact details, please email

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Farewell to Vietnam Veteran, John Carey

Posted by Vietnam Swans on January 19, 2012

John Carey, pictured left, at last month's Vietnam Swans' Annual Cricket day at the MCG with Stan Middleton and Willy.

UPDATE, 20 January 2012. Funeral details: Wednesday 25 January, 10.30am, Cordell Chapel, Fawkner Cemetery, Sydney Rd, Fawkner.

The Vietnam Swans have been greatly saddened to learn this morning of the passing of Vietnam Veteran and great bloke, John Carey.

Fellow Veteran, Ron Vernon has written to say that:

“I just had a phone call from (John’s wife) Kay to say that John laid on the couch last night and didn’t wake up.

“I only spoke to him on the weekend and he was so looking forward to going back to VN and the (ANZAC) football match.”

In March/April of last year, John, with Kay, returned to Vietnam for the first time since he had served here. John was amazed with the transformation of the country over the previous four decades and was greatly impressed and touched.

His mate, Ron Vernon, also introduced him to the Vietnam Swans. Coincidentally, in 1999, John had worked with National President, Phil Johns back in Melbourne. John thought the ANZAC Friendship Match was a terrific concept and was bitterly disappointed that his pre booked tour had him returning to Australia just two weeks before last year’s match. However, John vowed to come to the 2012 ANZAC Friendship Match (which would have been his second trip to Vietnam in 12 months after a 40 year break) and to do what he could to promote the match back in Australia.

John Carey at the MCG, three weeks ago, on 28 December 2011.

John  was true to his word and did many things that included an article published in last month’s 7th Battalion’s Newsletter (see 7th Battalion’s December newsletter promotes 2012 ANZAC Friendship Match). He also came to the Vietnam Swans’ 5th Annual Test Cricket Day at the MCG just three weeks ago on 28 December.

The Vietnam Swans send our deepest condolences to Kay, their family and friends. It is very sad news.

As a mark of respect for John, the Vietnam Swans shall proudly wear black arm bands at our next match. And, playing the ANZAC Friendship Match on 21 April will now be just that little bit more special.

R.I.P. John.

UPDATE, 20 January 2012, : CAREY. – Robert ‘John’. 16.7.1945 – 18.1.2012 Passed away suddenly on Jan. 18, 2012 aged 66 Devoted husband to Kay, adored father of Matthew and Sarah and Brendan and Kylie. Loving Pa to Olivia, Annie, Sam and Oliver, Lola and Charles. Dearly loved son of Charles ‘Stanley’ and Joyce (both dec.). Loving brother of Ron, Andrew and Stephen. Our caring, wonderful man – Loved forever. Funeral details: Wednesday 25 January, 10.30am, Cordell Chapel, Fawkner Cemetery, Sydney Rd, Fawkner.

UPDATE, 21 January, 2012, from wife Kay (published in Herald Sun): My darling John – my soldier while suffering your own pain in stoic silence you cared for and loved me, our beautiful family and all around you until your last breath. Your sense of caring for others, your strong cheeky nature, your work ethic and wisdom lives on in all our angel family. I thank you and may God Bless you my love ’til we meet again. – your Kay.

Posted in Farewell | 9 Comments »

Dan Kindness and Haoie to enjoy a farewell cyclo pub crawl tonight!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on January 11, 2012

Dan Kindness, pictured left at last year's ANZAC Dawn Service, will leave Vietnam. Tonight he will have a farewell cyclo pub crawl like this one for the Swannies' 2008 AFL Grand Final Cyclo Parade in Hanoi.

As a footy club in Asia, the Vietnam Swans meet many – and say goodbye to many.

Tonight, the boys in Hanoi will put on a Cyclo Pub Crawl for Club Legend, Dan Kindness who will leave Vietnam with his family in another week.

Also cyclo-ing will be another key Swannie, Mr Haoie.

Hao, pictured here on a match banner from last year, will also dominate in his farewell cyclo pub crawl.

Dan’s influence and impact on the Club has been immense and enduring. Dan played a key role in establishing our ANZAC Friendship Match which is only in its third year. Dan played a pivotal role in establishing the tradition where visiting Royal Australian Navy ships play a game of footy against the Swannies. Dan organised the Thursday night fitness sessions at the Australian Embassy in Hanoi. But most importantly, Dan has just been there at our Club as a top bloke.

Tonight, the Club will put on a show for Dan and Hao in Hanoi. A Cyclo Pub Crawl – similar to our AFL Grand Final Cyclo Parades that we used to do in Hanoi. The details are as follows:

Start: Tonight, 1700-1730

Where: Bia Hoi – south side cnr Phung Hung and Bat Dan – Old Quarter, Hanoi

Cyclo Pub Crawl: Cyclo Bia Hoi crawl through the old quarter to make it to

Dinner: 1900

Where: near Truc Bach Lake, 10 Nguyen Bieu, Ba Dinh

Come along if you can for a fantastic night with a fantastic couple who have done so much for our Club.

Posted in Farewell, Legend, Navy | Leave a Comment »

Merry Christmas from the Prez

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 24, 2011

Cheer, cheer the red, white and black. Santa comes to the Swannies' Christmas Party/B&F in Saigon on 3 Dec.

National Prez, Phil Johns wishes everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Go you Swannies – especially at the upcoming cricket, golf and inaugural celebration soiree in Melbourne.

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

Being Christmas Eve, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

2011 has been a monster year for this Club. On the field, it was our best to date. Off the field, we hosted plenty of great fun events. We also responded appropriately to several tragedies. Ross, Ah you’ve done it again, McRae, continued to weave his graphic magic on the canvas and designed our new club logo. Inevitably, there were lots of players during the year who made the decision to move on from Vietnam.

Following Mark “Willy” William’s departure in Hanoi, Dan Hopkins took over the Hanoi Presidency and is doing a magnificent job. In Saigon, we have just farewelled Dez Limbrick and there is a great sense of anticipation about his successor, Sam Conroy. Nominations for Sam’s 2012 Committee in Saigon close today and already some very high profile and high calibre candidates have raised their hands.

As the end of 2011 approaches, I would like to thank all of our sponsors again. I would also like to make special mention of Linfox Logistics. Unfortunately, due to a change in strategy, Linfox will not be renewing its Signature Sponsorship of the Swannies next year. Linfox has been a terrific sponsor of the Swannies since 2007 when we became a national Club. We have greatly valued Linfox’s generous support.

Linfox’s departure has, of course, created an opportunity. I am therefore delighted to announce that Pest Free will take over the title of Signature Sponsor of the Vietnam Swans in 2012. Pest Free has been an absolutely fantastic supporter of the Swannies. Pest Free has been a major sponsor since 2007 and provided additional support at critical times. In 2008, for example, we had an oval lined up for a match against the Royal Australian Navy in Saigon. Alas, we didn’t have any AFL goal posts – until Pest Free stepped in and saved the day with a set of international standard goal posts that we still use today.

Earlier this year, Pest Free played a key role in securing ex AFL star, Richard “Ossie” Osborne in coming out to our 2nd Annual ANZAC Friendship Match.

Not surprisingly, expectations at the Club for 2012 are high. And, our season will start with a rush on 7 January in Saigon when the Swannies host a match against the Southern Dragons in the Inaugural Vietnam-Australia Friendship Match. The Southern Dragons are based in Melbourne and comprise numerous players of Vietnamese origin.

But that’s 2012! Between now and then, we still have Christmas, the Swannies’ Annual Cricket and Golf Days in Melbourne (Willy, Dez and 19 others, so far, will be there) together with the Inaugural Swannies’ Celebration Soiree on 28 and 29 December. See attached poster for full details. If you would like to come to any of these events, please email me or call me on my Australian number, +61 (0) 415 820 683.

Thank you very much again to everyone who helped to make 2011 such a success for the Swannies. We really lifted it up a notch or two this year and had great fun doing it.

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year – and Go you Swannies!!

Posted in Farewell, Navy | 2 Comments »

Hanoi Prez wraps up the Swannies B&F in Hanoi

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 15, 2011

The Hanoi President, Dan Hopkins, last weekend in Hanoi.

Dan Hopkins, Hanoi President wraps up last weekend’s hugely successful Awards and Presentations night. The man who also won the award for Outstanding National Contribution also congratulates winners of other awards.

Hi all! Thanks to all who joined us last Saturday night at JASPAS for Hanoi’s 2011 Presentation Night.
The night was a huge success and fun was had by all. The night started off with some initial presentations
to sponsors and a run down of the charity work the Swans have managed to accomplish this year.
Then on to the good stuff with a match by match summery and overall votes for the games and tours.

Throughout the count there were some awards given including:

  • Hanoi Clubman Award: Dave Diviny, for all his hard work throughout the year.
  • Coach’s Award: Dan Lucardie for his work ethic and positive attitude anytime he hits the track.

Congratulations Boys!

Then we kicked on with the count going through the Asian Champs (semi-finalists) and Indochina Cup (winners).

After all the votes were counted, the winner of Hanoi’s Best and Fairest was pretty obvious.

Hanoi’s 2011 Best and Fairest –  Congratulations Dave ‘SOS’ Skowronski!

We also said farewell to Hao Stew and Dan K. These boys have been a massive part of the Swans this year and further back. The efforts that you guys put on the track and off will not be forgotten. Thanks from all Swannies for all your contributions.

We do have one more upcoming event before Christmas.

The Big Kids Aussie Xmas Bash 16th Dec @ American Club 5.00pm. (Auscham, Koto, Swans and Dragons). Lets get out there for a BBQ, a kick of the footy and some froffies to send off 2011 and enjoy a good Aussie style Christmas party!

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Hanoi celebrates successes at Awards and Presentations Night

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 11, 2011

L to R: SOS, Best Player; Dave Diviny, Clubman; Dan Lucardie, Coach's Award, Dan Hopkins, Outstanding National Contribution.

Last night in Hanoi, the Swannies celebrated Season 2011 by recognising the outstanding contributions of all but a few in particular. They also farewelled three Swannies.

The individual awards were:

  • Best Player from Hanoi: David “SOS” Skowronski
  • Hanoi Clubman of the Year: David Diviny
  • Coach’s Award: Dan Lucardie
  • National President’s Award for Outstanding National Contribution: Dan Hopkins

The three players to be farewelled were:

  • Dan Kindness
  • Stewie Green
  • Hao Tien

It was a fantatsic night and season.

Mickey Johnston unveiled the newly tailored, designed by Ross “Ah, McRae, you’ve done it again” jacket for the Vietnam Swans’ Annual Ryan Jeffery Golf Classic which is played each year in Melbourne on 29 December.

Congratulations to all.

More to follow.

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Hanoi’s Best and Fairest – tomorrow!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 9, 2011

Last year, Stanno took out Hanoi's BnF and Dan Kindness took out the Best Club Man, Who will take out these awards tomorrow night in Hanoi?

Hanoi President, Dan Hopkins, congratulates Skipper Dukes for taking out the Swannies’ Best and Fairest. He also provides full details of Hanoi’s awards and presentations to be held tomorrow, 10 December 2011.

Hi all,

Last week Luke ‘Dukes’ Creamer won the National Swannies’ Best and Fairest count. The Skipper who has taken the Swans up a gear in 2011 was a very well deserved winner. His Indochina Cup performance was a prime example of his skill and determination to attack the pill and lead from the front and take home our B2B ICC 2011.

From all in Hanoi, a big congratulations to Dukes for a great year, a very deserving winner.

Hanoi’s Awards and Presentations

It’s now time to acknowledge all of our Hanoi players from throughout the year.

With such a successful year from the Hanoi boys, let’s all get down to Jaspas on Saturday to
acknowledge our players and supporters. Also to farewell some very special players who
have given so much to this Club on field and off.

Where and when

Jaspas Hanoi Towers
Saturday, 10th December
6pm onwards.

The Club will put on some beers and finger food for the first hour or two. We will have a B&F count
as well as some other awards and a slide show of 2011.

See you all tomorrow night!

Entry is open to all but please RSVP to the Hanoi President, if you would like to attend.

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The Saigon Times reports on the Swannies Indochina Cup win

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 8, 2011

The Saigon Times reports on the Swannies' ICC win.

The Saigon Times on 2 December 2011 reported on the Swannies win in the recent Indochina Cup with a story titled, by Michael Smith.

Below is an extract.

The Vietnam Swans took out the final of the IndoChina Cup in Laos on Saturday against the Thailand Tigers to defend last year’s title.

“The defence of the Indochina Cup capped off a stellar year for the Swannies – easily our biggest in terms of both on field and off field performance,” said Swans National President Phil Johns.

“Next year, there’s no reason why we can’t continue the same trajectory. This year was another building block for the Swannies,” Johns said.

The tour to Laos for the fifth annual Indochina Cup proved to be an incredibly popular one with a 27 strong squad of Swans players flying over.

The Swans beat the Cambodian Eagles and Lao Elephants before taking out the Thai team 8. 6. 54 to 1. 5. 11. Swans captain Luke Creamer was awarded player of the tournament.

The Lao team drew with the Cambodians for third place. The match’s final goal was a milestone moment in Asian football when a Lao national kicked a six pointer after the siren to even the scores.

Johns said the Swans’ win was a nice farewell gift to two key members of the club – Dan Kindness, who was one of the main architects of the ANZAC Day match in Vung Tau, and Saigon Swans President Derrin Limbrick.

Items of related interest

  • To see the original article, .
  • To see other articles about the Vietnam Swans that have appeared in the media, click here.

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Tim Riordan says farewell to the Swannies in Vietnam

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 7, 2011

Tim - "The Swans was definitely the best run and organised club I have been lucky enough to be a part of."

Two days after the victorious Indochina Cup, Swannie, Tim Riordan, flew out of Saigon for a posting in the Middle East, complete with broken nose!

Tim has just filed this report about the Swannies.

To the Swannies

I had a great time and it was great to be part of such a fantastic club while I was there in Vietnam. I have played in a lot of clubs in various sports around the world, and I don’t say this lightly, but the Swans was definitely the best run and organised club I have been lucky enough to be a part of. I know this is down to the hard work of a lot of people involved in the club. Keep up the enthusiasm and good work.

I was looking forward to being much more involved with the Club when I got there, but unfortunately work didn’t allow it. Who knows, I might be back in a few years and be able to play a bigger part (most likely off the field by then).

(My girlfriend) Cathy had a great time and she also says thanks to all you guys.

I’ll make sure to get a few snaps and send them on, I never go to a hot country without my sleeveless Swannies (Dublin and Vietnam) shirts as they’re essential in the search to loose my tan-lines…

The Swannies thank Tim for his time with the Swannies and wish him well with his job in the Middle East. We hope to see you again soon, Tim!

Posted in Farewell | 1 Comment »


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