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 ‘Navy’ Category

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 »

Swannies’ 5th Annual Test Cricket Day at MCG a big hit

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 29, 2011

Day 3 of the Swannies' 5th Annual Cricket Day at the MCG

Yesterday, the Swannies returned to the MCG for the 5th Annual Cricket Day – Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test Match in Melbourne between Australia and India.

It was a big hit with 18 people coming along which made it our biggest turnout yet.

We had Richard Beecher, Dez and Fleur Limbrick, Mark “Willy” Williams, Dave “Flyer” Kainey, Danny Monkey, Phil “Fabbo” Johns, Nick Shiells, Bud 1, Garry Shiells, John Carey, Stan Middleton, Ryan Tierney, Michael Garnham, Mat Garnham, Jez Limbrick, Chris and Dan.

fantastic fun meeting up with everyone and, dressed in our Swannies’ colours, we also received plenty of looks.

A highlight of the day was after the cricket, Willy and Fabbo went into Richmond. They started talking to a woman who works for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). She is best mates with Irvo, the Navy guy who played a key role in organising the footy match against our first touring RAN ship, HMAS ANZAC in 2008. She then called Irvo and they had a great chat. The Swannies keep shrinking that world!

Today, the Swannies go out to Ivanhoe golf course for the Swannies’ 7th Annual Ryan Jeffery Golf Classic. That will be followed by the Inaugural Swannies’ Celebratrion Soiree at the Rainbow Hotel in Fitzroy.

It’s all a hoot. And it just keeps getting bigger.


Posted in Navy | 1 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 »

Swannies thanked by National Sponsor, Pest Free

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 23, 2011

Pest Free Australia thanks Pest Free Vietnam and the Vietnam Swans.

Ray Connell is the President of . Below, is an email to his distributors and the Vietnam Swans. He thanks Pest Free Vietnam for sponsoring the Vietnam Swans and thanks the Vietnam Swans.

His email is reproduced below.

Dear Distributors.

proudly sponsors the Vietnam Swans Football Team in Vietnam. The (national) team made its debut at the 2007 Asian Champs in Bangkok. The Vietnam Swans not only enjoy their football and mateship within the team and Club, they also raise and give money to charities that are in need of help.


  1. 2011 The Vietnam Swans Co-Organized a Queensland (Australia) Flood Appeal. $45,000 raised.
  2. Supported Organizers of the Christchurch (NZ) Earthquake Appeal. $100,000 raised.
  3. Co-Organized the Inaugural Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day in Central Vietnam. $25,000 raised for drowning prevention.
  4. Hosted the 2nd  Annual ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau. 500 people attended including a number of Veterans.

Pest Free Australia would like to thank our Vietnam Master Distributor for their sponsorship of the Vietnam Swans Football Team and also every member of the Vietnam Swans Club for their continued hard work, charity donations and support for such worthy causes.

Pest Free Australia is proud to have the company’s logo associated with so many major sponsors. Please refer to the attachment – .

Pest Free Australia wishes The Vietnam Swans Club the very best for the 2012 season. I will be visiting Mark and Moc (Pest Free Vietnam) in Vietnam in 2012 and I am personally looking forward to meeting with club members, especially being an ex Rugby Union and Rugby League player myself. (Please do not hold that against me.)

My Kindest Regards To All.
Ray Connell.JP.
Pest Free Australia.Pty.Ltd.

The Vietnam Swans greatly appreciate the generous words of Pest Free Australia. Pest Free has been an amazing supporter of the Vietnam Swans. In addition to its annual sponsorship of the Swannies, Pest Free secured AFL goal posts of “international standard” in Saigon back in 2008 when we had our first game against the Royal Australian Navy (HMAS ANZAC) lined up – but without goal posts!

Earlier this year, Pest Free played a key role in bringing ex AFL star, Richard” Ossie” Osborne, to our ANZAC Friendship Match.

The Vietnam Swans look forward to announcing some exciting news with respect to Pest Free’s sponsorship of the Vietnam Swans in 2012.

Posted in Navy, Swim | Leave a Comment »

Swannies’ sweet success at Indochina Cup caps off stellar 2011

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 28, 2011

Nick Moger (gun), a first time tourer, kicks for goal - watched on by another first time tourer, Damo Ballantine (gun) and the seasoned veteran - and player of the tournament - Skipper Dukes.

National President, Phil Johns does a quick follow up after the Swannies victory at the 2011 Indochina Cup which was played between the Lao Elephants, Thailand Tigers, Cambodian Eagles and the Swannies.

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

The Vietnam Swans have just returned from the 5th Annual Indochina Cup which was held in Vientiane, Lao. With silverware!

The Swannies were lucky enough to win the Indochina Cup last year. This year, we were lucky enough to win in emphatic style and become the first team in the competition’s short history to claim back to backs. And it feels pretty good!

Our touring squad was only slightly smaller than the host team’s. I think our Club has a good vibe and an inclusive culture that serves us well.

The departuing Dan Kindness. Says we might see him at next year's ANZAC Friendship Match...

We farewelled no less than five players on this tour: Saigon President, Derrin Limbrick (with wife, Fleur); Dan Kindness (key architect behind the ANZAC Friendship Match and footy matches against the Royal Australian Navy), Stewie Green, Hao Tien and Tim Riordan.

The departures are bad news indeed – but that’s just what happens in Asian footy. Our footy club is always in a process of continual renewal. So we were pleased to welcome a swag of new recruits on their first tour who outnumbered the departures. The international tour debutants included “best on ground” in the Grand Final, Dave O’Shea, and the Italian Man Mountain, Edo, who introduced himself to the Swannies in Hanoi just a fortnight ago.

Special mention and congratulations to our Captain, “Dukes” Creamer who picked up the award for “Player of the tournament”.

For and more reports, as always, turn to

To acknowledge and celebrate the Club’s stellar year – on and off the field – in our eight year history, make sure you attend our Christmas and Awards Parties in Saigon (next Saturday, 3 December from 2pm, Boomarang Bistro) and Hanoi ( Saturday 10 December, JASPAS). And it will be a great opportunity to properly thank and farewell some true Club legends.

Dave O'Shea pleased the recruiters when he picked up Best on Ground in the Grand Final, in his first international tour.

If you’re back in Melbourne in the Christmas/New Year period, don’t forget the Swannies cricket day at the MCG on 28 December and the annual golf day on 29 December.

Need another footy fix? Don’t worry. 7 January in Saigon, the Vietnam Swans will kit up again to take on the Southern Dragons from Melbourne. The Dragons emailed this morning to say that, so far, they have a squad of 17 confirmed.

Congratulations to all Swannies who turned it on last weekend and to the rest of the Swannies who weren’t able to be there on the day. Back to Back. That’s a very impressive achievement!

On Saturday, what did the final siren sound like?

It sounded like someone honkin’ his horn.

Go you Swannies!

Thank you!

The Vietnam Swans would like to extend our sincerest thanks to the Lao Elephants for hosting such an outstandingly well organised event. In particular, we would like to highlight the great work done by the President, Paul Simcock, Vice President, Michael Simcock and their organising Committee. Congratulations to the Lao Elephants.

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

Unveiling of Swannies banner for 2011 Indochina Cup, Vientiane, Lao

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 25, 2011

The Swannies' 5th Annual Indochina Cup, 26 November, 2011, Vientiane, Lao.

The 5th Indochina Cup starts tomorrow, Saturday, 26 November, 2011. The National President, Phil Johns, writes an update:

Ross McRae, Ah McRae, you’ve done it again, has just done it again. Ross has just finished his banner design for the Swannies defense of the Indochina Cup. The banner reviews the Swannies’ previous 12 months.

So, where do you start?

There’s the Swannies’ annual December golf day (in Melbourne) and cricket day (MCG Members), Queensland floods fundraisers, Christchurch earthquake fundraisers, Swing to Swim Charity Golf Days, swimming programs, Asian Championships, last year’s Indochina Cup, matches against the Royal Australian Navy, Guangzhou Scorpions, AFL Masters and Malaysia, the ANZAC Friendship Match, a string of important farewells of people leaving Vietnam, Swannies’ AFL Grand Final Parties, Bitexco Tower Vertical Runs, All Asians, ex AFLer Richard Osborne and Vietnam Veteran, Kenny Earney at the Noble Park RSL Club and… and…

If you need any graphic design work done, Ross McRae is the man to speak to. He does an outstanding job again and again. The only thing he won’t do is promote himself – even after I asked him to put a picture of himself on the banner, toiling away on his computer! Ross can be contacted at

This will be the Swannies last game of the calendar year. We will be farewelling two greats: Derrin Limbrick and Dan Kindness. We will be introducing a string of new players, on their first Swannies’ tour, to the fun and excitement of playing footy in other parts of Asia. And, we’re going to be defending the Indochina Cup (ICC) which we won last year in Saigon.

2011, as shown in Ross’ banner, has been an outstanding year for the Swannies. As Hanoi Coach Ado said, the crowning achievement for the Swannies would be “for the Swannies to go B2B ICC 2011”.

Even though it is our last game/tournament of the year, there’s still plenty more happening in Saigon, Hanoi and Melbourne…

Coming Up:

  • 26 November, 5th Annual Indochina Cup, Lao
  • 1 December, Farewell Celebration Golf Tournament for Australian Consul General, Graeme Swift. With Wayne Grady. Saigon
  • 3 December, B&F and Swannies Christmas Party, Boomarang Bistro, Saigon
  • 4 December, Auscham Christmas Party supported by the Swannies, Boomarang Bistro, Saigon
  • 10 December, B&F and Swannies Christmas Party, JASPAS, Hanoi
  • 17 December, Auscham Christmas Party supported by the Swannies, Hanoi (tbc)
  • 28 December, The 5th Vietnam Swans’ Annual Cricket Day, MCG Members, Melbourne
  • 29 December, The 7th Vietnam Swans’ Annual Ryan Jefferey Golf Classic, Ivanhoe, Melbourne
  • 7 January, 2012, Vietnam Swans Vs Southern Dragons (Melbourne club comprising numerous Vietnamese Australians), Saigon

Start registering your interest in attending each (some) of these crack-a-jack events.

Little Johnnie wouldn't have said, "Keep walking". Honk!

And finally…

Today, the Swannies can reliably report that Johnnie Walker was misquoted. He didn’t say, “Keep walking”. Get real, what does “keep walking” mean?

Little Johnnie would have said, “Keep Honking!” Because, like the rest of us, he would love the footy.

Honk! Honk!

Good luck to all the tourers to Vientiane this weekend. And to those of us who can’t make this tour, thanks for helping us get there.

Posted in Farewell, Fundraiser, Navy | 2 Comments »

Swannies’ jam packed calendar: footy, Christmas parties, golf, cricket…

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 19, 2011

Last year's Swannies' Golf Day and MCG Cricket Day (at the London Tavern??) in Melbourne. And it's on again!

If you think things are starting to wind down just because the end of the year draws near, you’re dreamin’. The Swannies have a jam packed schedule to make sure you finish the year exhausted. Here’s what’s coming up:

  • 26 November, Lao – 5th Annual Indochina Cup. Swannies are hoping to go back to back and we farewell two icons from the Swannies: Saigon President, Derrin Limbrick; and Dan Kindness, key architect behind the ANZAC Friendship Match and the three matches we have played against the Royal Australian Navy.
  • 26 November, Hanoi – Auscham Ball, Circus Spectacular. .
  • 1 December, Saigon – Australian Consul General, Graeme Swift Farewell Celebration Golf Tournament. for full details.
  • 3 December, Saigon – Best & Fairest and Christmas Party at the tick, tick Boom-arang Bistro, D7. Family friendly event starts at 3pm and all are welcome. Full details very soon.
  • 4 December, Saigon – Auscham Christmas Party, Boomarang Bistro. Go back to back with the Swannies for this recovery party. Full details coming.
  • 10 December, Hanoi – Best & Fairest and Christmas Party, JASPAS.
  • 28 December, Melbourne – The 5th Vietnam Swans Annual Cricket Day, MCG. Last year, the Aussies couldn’t make it to the fourth day (well, they had 3 wickets remaining) so we were forced to go to the London Tavern – where we met a dozen Thailand Tigers!). This year we’ll be in the members of the MCG on the third day to see the Aussies and the Indians! To confirm your attendance, the National President.
  • 29 December, Melbourne – The 7th Vietnam Swans Annual Ryan Jefferey Golf Classic, Royal Ivanhoe Golf Links, Melbourne. Even if you don’t like golf, this is a great event. We play “Best Ball” so even if you’re not the greatest player, you still have a fantastic day. To confirm your attendance, the National President.

What a hoot! It just keeps getting bigger.

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

Lest we forget today on the 11th hour on 11/11/2011

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 11, 2011

Lest we forget - at the 11th hour on the 11/11/2011. Photo, Adam Martin.

Today, the 11/11/2011 is Remembrance Day.

At 5am on 11 November 1918, three German government representatives accepted the Armistice terms to end World War 1, the so called war to end all wars.

The armistice became effective at 11am the same day, and as the guns fell silent on the Western Front in France and Belgium, four years of hostilities ended.

The cease-fire was made permanent the following year when members of the Commonwealth and the League of Nations signed the Treaty of Versailles ().

In Australia, this year’s Remembrance Day poster (RAN), commemorated on 10 July 2011.

The RAN has been a big supporter of footy in Asia. Last month, for example, the Vietnam Swans hosted a match against the HMAS YARRA and HUON.

HMAS Warramunga is currently on tour through the region and, during the week, played a footy match against the Cambodian Eagles. On Sunday, 13 November, the Singapore Wombats will host a three way competition against Warramunga and HMAS Sirius.

Sadly, has reported that a female sailor from HMAS Warramunga has died while on shore leave in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

The Vietnam Swans extend our condolences to the family, friends and fellow crew of the sailor.

Posted in Navy | Leave a Comment »

Navy thanks Swannies for recent Phoenix Trophy match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 30, 2011

The Phoenix Cup Perpetual Trophy. Photo, Dani Moger.

Three weeks ago, on 11 October 2011, the Vietnam Swans played a twilight match against the Royal Australian Navy for the Phoenix Perpetual Trophy.

Ryan Post, from the Australian Navy, has written to thank the Swannies (and to express his disappointment that 10 of their players missed the match because they were stuck on a bus!).

The email is reproduced below.

Dear Swannies

We were kicking ourselves that we were unable to make it to the match on Tuesday night (11 October). I know that there were at least 10 others on the bus with us, coming back from the Battlefield Tour, who also had their shorts and boots in their bag ready to go. They were equally frustrated we couldn’t make it back on time.

From all reports, everyone who got out from both ships (HMAS Yarra and HMAS Huon) had a fantastic time and I would like to sincerely thank the Vietnam Swans for the considerable effort that your Club has gone to in order to make the evening such a memorable event.

I hope that all Australian ships who come to Vietnam in the future keep the Phoenix Trophy tradition alive for many years to come.

Once again, thanks for your efforts.


  • For photos of the match, .

Posted in Navy | Leave a Comment »

Photos of Royal Australian Navy match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 22, 2011

Skipper Dukes. Photo, Adam Martin.

The Vietnam Swans have just received the photos from last week’s Royal Australian Navy match taken by .

Click onto the to see his photos.

Also, be sure to look at where he has some amazing photos from around Asia.

Posted in Navy | Leave a Comment »

Swapions Vs Scorns – Tomorrow, RMIT University, Saigon

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 21, 2011

Tomorrow, the Swapions will take on the Scorns at Saigon's RMIT University! (Banner, Ross McRae)

National President, Phil Johns send out an update regarding tomorrow’s big clash between the “Swapions” and the “Scorns”!

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Friends

  • Tomorrow: Swapions Vs Scorns, RMIT University, Saigon
  • Angry’s reflections from afar: “My time with the Swannies.”
  • Thank you again to the sponsors of the Vietnam Swans AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi (JASPAS) and Saigon (Boomarang Bistro)

While the Vietnam Swans’ AFL Grand Final Parties may have been held three weeks ago may have drawn the curtains on the AFL’s 2011 season, our season’s just warming up!

Last week it was the Royal Australian Navy; tomorrow it’s the Swapions and Scorpions (!) and next month, we have the 5th Annual Indochina Cup in Lao. Then it’s Swannies’ Christmas parties, annual cricket days at the MCG, golf in Melbourne…

Tomorrow: Swapions Vs Scorns, RMIT University, Saigon

The Guangzhou Scorpions, Asia’s newest team, said at the start of the year that they would tour Vietnam. Touring is always tough due to the costs and time away from work and families. And it’s tougher for the new teams with smaller playing lists to draw upon. The Scorpions have been further challenged by some key injuries – but the Scorpions have already started arriving in Saigon!

The Vietnam Swans welcome the Scorpions and congratulate them for proceeding with the tour.

Embracing the spirit of Asian footy, together with the Swannies from Hanoi who are flying down for the weekend, we shall mix the teams completely to have a real contest. Gunagzhou, Hanoi, Saigon and Vung Tau will all be split into two teams named, the Swapions and the Scorns. The Swapions shall wear the Swannies’ jumpers and the Scorns shall wear the Scorpions jumpers.

This weekend will be another important building block in the developing story that is Asian football. And to mark the occasion, Ross McRae (you’ve done it again), has prepared another ripping match day banner.

Players from the Vietnam Swans shall wear black armbands in memory of Hoa’s grandmother who passed away during the week. Hoa, from Kangaroo Indochine Wines, is a great and active supporter of the Vietnam Swans and Auscham.

Tomorrow’s match will be played at RMIT University in D7, Saigon from 1.30pm – 3.30pm. Free entry. Al Fresco’s will be selling food and drinks. International SOS will be in attendance at the match. Afterwards, we shall all move to the Boomarang Bistro Saigon. All welcome.

Angry’s reflections from afar: “My time with the Swannies.”

Dave “Angry” Hadley left Vietnam five months ago. From Oslo, Norway, he has reflected upon his three years with the Swannies and his post appears on the Swannies’ website.

Dave has a list of “many memorable moments both on and off the field“ which serve as a reminder of the role that this club plays in people’s lives – and just how busy the Club has been.

Click here to read Dave’s post.

Thank you again to the sponsors of the Vietnam Swans’ AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi (JASPAS) and Saigon (Boomarang Bistro)

We mentioned the Swannies’ AFL Grand Final Parties in Hanoi and Saigon at the beginning of this email. They were great parties and we had amazing sponsors.

To see just who we had as sponsors, click onto Hanoi’s Grand Final Party and/or Saigon’s Grand Final Party.

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Angry’s reflections from afar: My Time with the Swannies. Pt II

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 20, 2011

Dave "Angry" Hadley looks over his three years at the Swannies. Photo: Adam Martin.

Dave “Angry” Hadley, a Swannie, left Vietnam five months ago. From Oslo, Norway, he has reflected and written upon “My time with the Swannies”. Pt I was published two days ago. Today, we publish Pt II.

Linking up with the Swannies off the field

The Vietnam Swans were as successful off the field as they were on.  I learnt what a special and close group the Swans were very early on.  I remember my first few training sessions which seemed to be just about catching up and having some laughs.  Fifteen minutes into training, Captain/Coach Drew Franklin would tell everyone that enough is enough. Time for ‘mothers club’ to finish!

It was always a highlight after training to get together for food, drinks and a good laugh. Watching football together on Friday and Saturday nights was a great way to feel some ‘normality’ after a hard week.  Being so close, the Swannies would link up to play other sports together such as basketball and tennis. I received a lot of help from everyone whom made my first 6 months in Vietnam a lot easier.

Swannies, Dave (RMIT) and Dez (Crown Relocations), teamed up to give away some computers to needy children.

A highlight of off the field was joining up with Club Sponsor, Crown Relocations and Derrin Limbrick to give 250 computers away to charity. RMIT and Crown Relocations joined forces to give computers away to many charities in Vietnam, something that became a lot easier with Derrin and I already being friends through the Vietnam Swans. (See Computers given to needy children.)

I visited many of these charities with one kindergarten near HCMC being particularly memorable. The computers were donated to one of the Swans great friends, Loreto.  I arrived at the kindergarten to see how these computers were being used and the children loved them. They were playing educational games and having a lot of fun.

Raising Money and Charities

I do not even know where to start with the great work the Vietnam Swans do with raising money for disasters and charities. It always made me so proud with the flurry of activity that occurred in these areas.

There was money raised for Australia and other countries, including the Black Saturday bushfires, bombings in Jakarta, Queensland floods and the New Zealand earthquake. With the Vietnam Swans strong link with another Club Sponsor, the Commonwealth Bank, the transferring of funds back home was made a lot easier.

There was also a lot of work with local charities and orphanages.

It is great to see that the Swans are now heavily supporting Swim Vietnam, with MJ’s strong help. Drowning is the highest cause of death in Vietnam for children and this program will help to prevent so many dying.

The Koto Kids at RMIT, Saigon.

I have enjoyed helping out where I can, especially football with the KOTO trainees.  The KOTO trainees have never seen Australian football before, but they all go in courageously and have a lot of fun learning. (See Aussie Rules training for KOTO Sports Program.)

I also enjoyed organising a trip to an orphanage for the 2010 ANZAC Friendship Match. After the visit, I asked one of the Swannies where his girlfriend was.  It turned out that some of the touring party had stayed almost the whole day playing with the children in the orphanage.

And the rest…

Angry meets Bruce McAvaney in D1, Saigon!

I have only touched the surface on my time with the Vietnam Swans.  There were so many other highlights that I have not mentioned yet. These include matches against the Navy, the Indochina Cups, the Asian Champs, fine sessions with resident funny man Matt Townsend, my top 10 Fabbo speeches as well as that fateful day when I ran into Bruce McAvaney and family in my full Swans outfit during a dinner after a match against the Navy. (See Bruce McAvaney meets Angry Dave.)

I have played in monsoons and days that are so hot that you wonder if you will die of dehydration during the match.

What a great bunch of blokes the Swannies are. Fabbo, the work you do for the Vietnam Swans is nothing short of outstanding.

I will always remember my time with the Swannies fondly, will attend events when I can and will read the website with pride.

Footnote: Dave has been a fantastic asset to the Swannies during his time here in Vietnam. He played a lead role in so many of our off field activities. His work on the field was awesome – whether that be rucking all day, booting goals or whatever. Angry’s done it all.

As we say at the Swannies, Angry, while we were prepared to let you leave the country, we won’t let you leave the Club!

If you would like to read more about any of the topics raised by Angry, use keywords in the search function on this website.

Posted in Navy, Swim | Leave a Comment »


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