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 ‘Scoreboard’ Category

The Hanoi International Rules Canister Report

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 21, 2014

Sunday 16th November, 2014 – Hoa Phat FC Training Fields, My DInh, Hanoi.

On a balmy Sunday afternoon in My Dinh, Hanoi, an historic event took place as representatives of the Vietnam Swans, and met for the inaugural “Hanoi International Rules Canister’. The game saw players from three different codes – Australian Rules, Gaelic Football and Rugby – playing a fourth one – International Rules. For the purposes of this game the planet was divided in two with the Viet Celts taking control of the Northern Hemisphere and the Vietnam Swans taking control of the Southern Hemisphere. The solid contingent of Hanoi Dragons rugby players greatly added to the occasion. Their Southern Hemisphere players lined out with the Vietnam Swans and their Northern Hemisphere counterparts did likewise with the Viet Celts. It was a game that ebbed and flowed from end to end with some lightning attacks from the Viet Celts (Northern Hemisphere) players being matched by hefty tackles and big marks by the players from the Vietnam Swans (Southern Hemisphere).

Three codes, one canister

VC Ladies Exhibition Game

The day began with a Gaelic demonstration match involving the Viet Celts ladies, with some players making their competitive debuts and others showing how much they have improved their mastery of the finer arts of soloing, tackling and shooting. Siobhan Kiernan proved one of the stand-out players, setting the game ablaze in the first half with a hat-trick of well taken goals, ably assisted by the runs and support of Bui Thi Yen. Down the other end, the blue defenders held their own with Lorena Darcy beguiling spectators into thinking that she was an old hand at this game which she was only playing for the first time. In midfield, Niamh Marshall, Rose McConnell and Sarah Downey played out some fierce contests and set in motion a variety of different attacks and sequences of play.

Alison Keys working the solo to perfection

The second half of the game saw the introduction of some of the young Swannies, taking to the game like the feathered kindred of their club’s moniker. The Sheaghdha Lucardie and Charlie Fennell added attacking verve and pace to the Blue line up, while Will Francis and Max Keys came in to provide some support for Marion Klaver and Alison Keys in the Red team. Despite signs of a Red resurgence after a well taken goal by Will, the Blue’s eventually proved the stronger outfit, with Sheaghdha’s magnificent lob over the unfortunately mal-positioned red goalkeeper rounding off an excellent display of Gaelic football by both sides.

The Canister

Viet Celts         (Northern Hemisphere)       6.6.6   (60pts)

Vietnam Swans (Southern Hemisphere)     2.5.12 (39pts)

As kick-off time in the main event crept up on the players, team captains Daniel Hopkins and Neil Hiney made a few last minute tweaks to their starting line-ups to accommodate the rugby players, who as stated had been split along hemispheric lines in keeping with the allegiances of the day. Confusion was rife with regards how to run with the ball, pass it, the scoring system, what constituted a legal tackle and how ‘marks’ worked but everybody was up for making it work. Before the throw-in the two teams came together and were given a quick debriefing on how to tackle from the local expert in the game – Grant Keys. The tackles he enacted on his team-mate Nick Darcy may have been meant as explanatory but a few nervous faces soon appeared on the pale complexions of some Northern players as it became clear that there’d be some heavy tackling over the course of the afternoon.

And then it was time for the throw-in/ball up, Keys and Mark Horkan selected as the behemoths to contest the initial encounter in this historic event. The Northern Hemisphere started well with their speed and directness. Wild Bill Langslet calmed Northern nerves with a well taken 3-pointer but it was the Southerners who drew first goal blood with a Rob Lee toe-poke, the first 6-pointer for the day. However, their lead was short-lived with Neil Hiney’s first major for the afternoon, quickly followed with another one from Moroccan Amin Shiranai, with his unmistakable coiffure delighting all those present. The Southern players troubles with the round ball soon become evident, with their hard runs, huge leaps and constant determination being let down by some wayward goal kicking, the Aussie Rules behind post at least ensuring the scoreboard was ticking over. The first quarter came to an end with the score at 17 -12 to the Gaelic players and their colleagues for the day.

Volunteer Joe Vile showing his opponent Luke the Swannie Jig

In the second quarter the Southern Hemisphere players started to dominate proceedings, with the height along the spine of their team serving as the basis for their attacks from the back and ‘up the guts’. Vietnam Swans legend Mick Francis was solid as a rock in goals, with his accurate long punts out from them giving his tall timber ever chance to attack. The odd shaped ball continued to plague the antipodean forwards, as they collected only one over and five points from six clear scoring chances, Swans Keys and ‘Crazy’ Dan Hopkins the main perpetrators. This was partly due to the influence of John Shoulders in the Celts backline as he marshalled his defence and his own inner demons to ensure that his defensive hounds of hell were always clipping at the heels of the Swans forward line. On the basis of play, the Swans won this quarter well and the VC forwards had very few chances being well shut down by the Swans defence and their service cut off by Joe Vile and his brethren in the Swans midfield. Amazingly however the scoring for this quarter was only 8pts to 7pts in favour of the Swans to give the Celts an overall lead of 24-20 at half time.

One of the few remaining original Swans and long-term supporter, Mick Francis back in action in the goals for the Swans

In the third quarter, the captain of the Northern Hemisphere, Neil Hiney started to run the show from midfield, making intelligent angled runs all over the pitch, covering acres with his barrelling strides and roaring constant instructions to his players throughout. Luke Kenny and Mark Horkan got similarly involved, both registering good scores to keep the scoreboard ticking over in favour of the independently republic inclined. Young Swan/Dragon multisport talent Scotty Mills made his mark a few times with great salmon-like leaps from the ground to earn valuable scoring opportunities, although he did not always profit as well as he might have. In defence, and later in midfield, Alex Maskiell was a huge presence throughout, although the searing pace of Amin Shiranai caused problems for the Australian defenders whenever he found himself involved in the action. Thanks to a clever ball by Wild Bill Langslet and an unselfish pass from Justin ‘Rude Boi’ Stevenson, Celt legend Jim Kiernan with grit and determination, fearlessly barged his way through heavy traffic to see the ball in the back of the net in the last minutes of the quarter. It was a great team goal. Without over-elaborating the passing, the fact that the Celts forwards were always prepared to pass the ball on quickly to a teammate in a better position meant that by the end of the third quarter the Northern Hemisphere team had amassed a healthy lead of 41 – 25. Wild Bill Langslet was having his best game in a VC shirt.

Young Swan Scotty Mills reaching for the sky

The Swans were still in with a shout of winning the game in the final quarter but needed a few 6-pointers early on. They had to chase the game which left them exposed at the back and this was ably exploited by the intelligent running of Mike McMillen. As the game entered the final stages of what had been an enthralling contest for those gathered hordes who had congregated for this unique event, the pace showed no sign of abating, with fitness levels on both sides proving testament to their constant commitment to their multiple sports. Despite eventually registering more scoring opportunities, the egg-chasers from the South couldn’t get the ball looping high and proud through the posts, with the superior accuracy of the assembled Northern Hemisphere representatives proving to be the difference. Neil Hiney was top scorer for the latter, with a goal, three overs and a smattering of points, while Rob Lee was the most accurate of a good spread of Australian and Kiwi scorers, with a goal, an over and a couple of points. The evergreen Swan Dan Lucardie also impressive up forward with two overs scored in open play.

It was a day that will be fondly remembered by those who participated, and especially by those who dreamed it up over multiple bia hois and via countless irrelevant and irreverent emails. Special mention to Jim Kiernan for his vision and procurement of the traditional Bia Hoi canister, a prize that will surely be much sought after by footballers of all persuasions across Hanoi for many years to come. Thanks also to Dave Cunningham for stepping in at short notice to do a fine job at officiating and Grant Keys for orgainising all the logistics from the Tay Ho end of the International Rules Curtain.

Plaudits must go to all the players who made the time and effort to turn up and make what was essentially a made-up sport into a successful hybrid encounter for the representatives of the different codes and clubs. While goalkeeper, Paddy ’The Wall’ Armagh might rate himself as the main reason for his team’s success, there are those who’ll claim a deal was made with the devil himself by one of the Irish divils, as what else could explain a score-line of 6-6-6?!

Thank you to our literary colleagues at the Viet Celts for allowing us to publish this thoroughly entertaining account of the day’s play. Also seen on

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Photos of 2011 Indochina Cup and scores now available!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 27, 2011

Outgoing Saigon President, Derrin Limbrick, and Swannies' Skipper, Luke "Dukes" Creamer, hold the 2011 Indochina Cup aloft.

Photos of this weekend’s 2011 Indochina Cup, won by the Vietnam Swans for the second year in a row, have now been uploaded to the .

Format of Indochina Cup changed on the day

Originally, it was planned for each team (Vietnam, Thailand, Lao and Cambodia) to play each of the three other teams once.

In the last round, Vietnam was to play Thailand and Lao was to play Cambodia.

However, given Vietnam and Thailand were undefeated going into the last round – and Lao and Cambodia were still to win a game – the third round had become a dead rubber. Regardless of the outcome, Vietnam would be playing Thailand in the Grand Final and Cambodia would be playing Lao.

So, rather than continuing to go with this format, it was decided to skip the third round and extend the Grand Final from two halves to four quarters.

The Scoreboard

Grand Final

  • Vietnam Swans 8. 6. 54 (approx) def. Thailand Tigers 1. 5. 11

Play off for 3rd place

  • Lao Elephants and Cambodian Eagles drew on 29 points each.

Preliminary games

  • Game 1 – Lao Elephants def. by Thailand Tigers
  • Game 2 – Vietnam Swans 4. 6. 30 def. Cambodian Eagles 2. 3. 15
  • Game 3 – Lao Elephants 1. 4. 10 def. by Vietnam Swans 3. 4. 22
  • Game 4 – Thailand Tigers def Cambodian Eagles

to see the photos on the Vietnam Swans Web Album.

Posted in Scoreboard | 2 Comments »

Footy back on the grass in Hanoi as training steps up for Indochina Cup

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 2, 2011

On Saturday, the Swannies in Hanoi return to the grass of UNIS. Here, Sammy Grigg clears the ball for the Vietnam Swans at UNIS during the inaugural Indochina Cup in 2007.

Today, with less than four weeks before the 5th Indochina Cup in Vientiane, Lao, the Hanoi President, Dan Hopkins, announced that training would return to the grass at the UN International School (UNIS) on next Saturday, 5 November 2011. There has been great difficulty in securing the UNIS grounds for a considerable length of time which has forced the boys to play on artificial turf.

Dan wrote,

“UNIS training will be on Saturday at 3.00pm. Dan Lucardie has done a great job in organizing the ground for us. Being back on the grass for some ball work is awesome…

“I know that many guys have yet to grace the UNIS grounds. They are in the Ciputra complex north of West Lake.” (Click here for .)

Still in Hanoi, Dan Kindness has confirmed that tomorrow’s Thursday fitness training will be held, as per usual at the Australian Embassy from 6pm:

“Plan will be to have a basic circuit combining cardio and plyometrics to develop speed, agility and stamina, as well as a bit of upper body and core work to develop strength.”

Down south the Saigon President, Derrin Limbrick sent out a reminder that Wednesday’s training session would be on tonight at 6.45pm sharp:

“As a build up to the Indochina Cup, we are looking to work on our fitness and so we will start with a short road run so please bring along your runners as well as your boots. We only have 3 1/2 weeks to work on this before we head off Laos so it is also important that everyone is supplementing training with some additional sessions. At the end of the day, with a small squad, fitness will play a big factor as to whether we can come home with the Cup or not.”

Plenty going on.

The 2007 Indochina Cup scoreboard, Hanoi.

For the record – The inaugural Indochina Cup, 2007

The inaugural Indochina Cup was held in 2007. It was hosted by the the newly formed, national, Vietnam Swans at UNIS. Thailand won the tournament at which the Lao Elephants were playing their first ever match (five guys from Lao joined the Vietnam Swans to help us in our first Asian Champs appearance in August 2007. Three months later, those five guys had started up a footy team in Lao and called it the Lao Elephants – Slow, fat and almost extinct, they quipped).

The results of the Indochina Cup were:

  1. Vietnam Swans 5. 2. 32 def. Lao Elephants 3. 5. 23
  2. Lao Elephants 4. 4. 28 def. by Thailand Tigers 10. 3. 63
  3. Vietnam Swans 0. 2. 2 def. by Thailand Tigers 10. 5. 65

Related posts on the Inaugural Indochina Cup (which was referred to as the Tri Nations Cup at the time):

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Swannies win over Royal Australian Navy

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 11, 2011

The Swannies Scoreboard.

Tonight, the Swannies were triumphant against the HMAS Yarra and HMAS Huon.

The final score was, the Swannies 8. 6. 54 def. RAN 6. 3. 39.

The Royal Australian Navy was somewhat disadvantaged by a number of their team being stranded on a bus between Vung Tau and HCMC… (Ed’s note: the Swannies were not responsible for the Navy’s travel arrangements)

Great camaraderie afterwards. Another great match with the Navy.

More to follow.

Posted in Navy, Scoreboard | Leave a Comment »

Preliminary Game No. 4 – Swannies Vs Hong Kong

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 20, 2011

"Have fffffun out there", says Josh.

National Coach, Josh Little reports on the fourth game of the Swannies 2011 Asian Champs campaign: Vietnam Swans Vs Hong Kong Dragons.

The Dragons traveled to Vung Tau for the ANZAC Day Friendship match in April 2011 and they were handed defeat on that day. The Swans knew this was going to be a very different outfit than they faced earlier in the year with the boys having more numbers and were not as hung over.

The game started with Hong Kong getting the advantage in the center and winning the contested ball easily and sending it down into the forwardline continuously. The backline were working overtime with Nat, Heath, Dezza & Damo doing everything in their power to stop leaking goals. To their credit, they held their own and kept the game even. The midfield started to match the physicality that the Dragons were producing and they kept it a contest at half time despite Hong Kongs control.

The second half saw Trent, Dukes & Adrian doing their all to win that all important center clearance but they were unable to get the supply they needed from the half forwards. The Dragons set players across half forward which was making it impossible for the Swans to clear the ball out of backline. The loss of Nick Moger earlier in the day was leaving a big hole at half forward and the Swans were missing that tall marking target.

In the end, the Swans lost by 5 goals and they were unable to produce a score. This scoreboard really didn’t reflect the effort that the Swans put in against the Dragons because it was very much a contest for the majority of the game.

The result did not matter, with the Swans doing enough in the previous 3 games to secure their first ever semi final. This was the clubs goal of the Champs and it was achieved.

Posted in Scoreboard | 2 Comments »

Swannies Prez reports on ANZAC Friendship Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 24, 2011

The Shield played for in the late 1960s in Vung Tau (Kevin Back & Bob McKenna after 2AOD won the 1968 Grand Final)

National President Phil Johns speaks about yesterday.

Dear Swannies, Sponsors and Supporters

Yesterday, the Vietnam Swans recorded an historic and convincing victory against the Hong Kong Dragons in the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match. The final scores were 12. 17. 89 to 7. 5. 47.

It is true that travelling is tough and the Dragons weren’t helped by the fact that this weekend falls during Easter. However, it’s also true that just 11 months ago when the Swannies travelled to Hong Kong (which served as our farewell tour for Monkey (our then Skipper), JD and Jerry), we were smashed by over 100 points. Until yesterday, we had played Hong Kong four times for four losses.

Yesterday’s match demonstrated a marked improvement in the Swannies’ game plan and skill level. It was a credit and tribute to the commitment and dedication of the coaching panel and players – including the players who played in the earlier Legends’ and All Stars Match which the Rest of Vietnam Swans beat the Hanoi Swans by two points.

The new shield that is about to have the results of the 2010 and 2011 ANZAC Friendship Matches.

Special mention to David Hadley who won the Best on Ground trophy as judged by veterans Ron Vernon and Kev McMillan (the trophy was generously donated by Ken Earney).

Ex AFL star, Richard “Ossie” Osborne made a sneak appearance on the field (thanks to JIm Beam, Pest Free and the Caravelle Hotel) playing the first half for the Swannies and the second half for the Dragons.

In the pre match formalities, the Australian Consul General, Graeme Swift, welcomed the crowd. The NZ Consul General, Graham Sims, introduced the minute’s silence commemorating the lives lost during multiple wars, the victims of the Queesnland floods, the Christchurch earthquake and the Japan tsunami. He also made special mention of members of the extended Swannies family who have recently passed away: Maria Russo (Joe’s mother), Colin Koch (Paul’s father), Graham Steward (former strapper who lived in Hanoi several years ago) and Maureen Williams (Willy’s mother).

New Zealand and Australian national anthems were sung live by Elizabeth Mason. The Vietnamese national anthem was sung by Vietnamese women and children dressed in their traditional ao dais

In front of Ron Vernon, we then played on the same ground that he had won his 1967 Premiership in the Vietnam Football League when playing for the RAAF…

The after match dinner was held outdoors on the 4th floor of the Petro Hotel overlooking the Dog Track / Lord Mayor’s Oval where we had played earlier.

Amazing weekend that is still happening. Battlefield tours today. Long Tan ANZAC Dawn Service tomorrow followed by the live telecast of the Collingwood-Essendon ANZAC Match…

Thank you very much to Hong Kong for coming to  Vung Tau for our first international ANZAC Friendship Match.

Congratulations to the Vietnam Swans for winning the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match – and the style in which it was won.

Related points of interest:

  • See embedded photos below of the final scoreboard with the new ANZAC Friendship Shield (modelled on the Shield used by the players in the Vietnam Football League in the late 1960s) and the venue for last night’s dinner with the Lord Mayor’s oval in the background.
  • Australia’s Channel 9 News is expected to include a story by Peter Harvey on yesterday’s ANZAC Friendship Match match in tonight’s 6pm News Bulletin.
  • This weekend’s includes an article on Osborne’s Vietnamese odyssey to help save lives (see Page No. 15) which mentions the ANZAC Friendship Match and the Vietnam Swans’ support for swimming initiatives.
  • This morning, Veteran, John Carey was on ABC Radio (Macca’s Australia all Over program) speaking about the ANZAC Friendship Match and ANZAC Dawn Service.
  • 1377MTR Melbourne radio station shall have a live interview with our Saigon President, Derrin Limbrick, on Tuesday during their afternoon drive time slot.
  • Last week, the Vietnam Swans received a letter from the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, thanking the people of Vietnam who contributed to the Queensland Floods Relief Appeal.

Posted in Farewell, Legend, Scoreboard | 4 Comments »

Champs Game No. 3 Report: Vietnam Vs Barbarians

Posted by Vietnam Swans on October 22, 2010

Skipper Dukes tells us what happened in Game 3 against the Barbarians

Captain Luke “Dukes” Creamer prepares the match report for Game 3 of the Asian Champs between the Vietnam Swans and Barbarians.

The Crossroads

After dropping our first two games of the Champs against highly fancied opponents, the mighty Swannies were at what you could call… the crossroads. From here our tournament could have been a winless disaster or a glorious ground breaking success. The choice was ours.

Prior to this match, both the Swannies and the Barbarians hadn’t done much to trouble the scorers but both teams had shown glimpses of their true abilities.

The game didn’t start well for the Swannies as the Barbarians moved the ball quickly forward and scored a goal promptly. However, this was all the Swannies needed to get their proverbial rumps into gear and avert the aforementioned winless disaster.

This was the turning point of the Swannies Asian Champs campaign and, although it didn’t come easy, from here on, the Swannies fired up and pushed for their first ever Asian champs victory. As in all great victories there were no standouts but inch-by-inch the Swannies started to get on top.

Key reasons for the Swannies beginning to win this arm wrestle was the tireless Dave “Angry / Crazy” Hadley started to get it going our way in the ruck. Nat “strawbs o dwyer / luke hodge / dummy lead / aaron fiora / all asian player” Payne repelled every Barbarian forward foray like he was laying the smack down in the octagon. The twin pronged attack of Danny Armstrong and Timmay “the Vung Tau massive cage fighter” Clements were straightening us up and giving a focal point while Mat “the eveready bunny” Nattlotto and Kev “2 time Asian champs superstar and hot pants wearing swannie glamour boy” Hornblower kept pumping it into the forwards. All this led to the moment we had waited 4 years for: when Sam “Triple S” Stevens, also from the V.T.M., slotted a set shot from a near impossible angle to seal the result and make Swannies history.

The Barbarians were the Swannies first ever scalp in a Champs. Mega achievement in a mega city

On a side note, in light of the magnitude of this result you would have expected post game pandemonium. However, due to the fact that there was no scoreboard, some people were unsure of the result, so, it took a while for everyone to realise we had won… only in Asia.

Danny Arm and others did call for the song but as we felt bigger and better things were to come we were glad we waited until the end of the day to pump out one of the best renditions heard in Swannies history VFL, AFL inclusive.

From a personal point of view I think all the Swannies should be proud of the weekend’s result, which has been achieved by many peoples efforts over a long period of time. Well done you Swannies and let’s now make our next MASSIVE effort to hold the Indochina Cup aloft on our home turf next month on 27 November.

Honk Honk Dukes.

Posted in Scoreboard | 5 Comments »

Hongkers – the Farewell Tour Match Report

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 30, 2010

Captain Monkey at his last match for the Swannies (as a resident)

Captain Monkey provides his Match Report for last weekend’s match against Hong Kong. The match was also his last as, together with JD and Jerry, he will leave Vietnam in the next couple of weeks.

Playing the Mighty Dragons in their own lair was always going to be a challenge but the Swans touring party was pumped full of enthusiasm and confident we would farewell the 3 leaving Swans in style.

Coach Josh had the team in order and it was a fine blend of experienced campaigners and youthful first gamers all committed to the cause. Angry was the only injury concern with his broken hand but in true Swan Spirit he said…”It’s ok coach, I’ve got another one”.

Warm up – its always a fine line for the finely tuned Swans between warming up and overheating but today the boys were on and after some spine tingling, tear jerking inspirational speeches the Game was underway.

JD in the ruck got his first of 204 Tap outs for the day and the Swans swung their game plan into action… Kick it to Mark! Unfortunately there was a 8 goal breeze in the first quarter and the Honkers boys were making the most of it. The Swans defence was under siege but Matt the Glove, Sam at CHB and Nicko continually swept the ball out of trouble. MJ slips that helmet on and automatically becomes some sort of battering ram and he wasn’t alone with Stewie and co tackling like demons possessed.

I’m not Blowin’ his Horn but Big Kev was sensational, busting packs, directing traffic, picking up kicks at will and all under serious duress from over indulgence the night before! While the quarter was a dogged one of defence the photographers had one reason to go snap happy and that was the gravity defying leap of the Birdman! His leap started at half back, took him to the head of a Honker on the wing – before crashing back to earth to the gasps of the crowd and whistle of the ump as he unfortunately didn’t touch the ball. Nonetheless, the Birdman had taken flight and the wind was ours in the next quarter.

Coach Pud had even managed it onto the field and was happy with what he was seeing, there were even 1%’s on display. Keep the rotations happening and keep our legs fresh, we were going to need it against the 35 man strong bench of the Dragons in the second half.

JD warms up prior to the game with the Hong Kong skyline making a spectacular backdrop

The second quarter started like the first…JD winning the Tap and from there he won everything else. Spectacular grabs, kicks, goals you name it, he was in it and if he wasn’t in it it was his twin, Mark!

The Vung Tau contingent led by Sam started to impose themselves. Sam was getting leather poisoning and also Dragon poisoning as he valiantly tried to shut down their engine room. Timmmmmmy was also making his presence felt. Actually I don’t think there’s been a bigger debutante with such a presence since ‘Colin’and his infamous Cambodian x-ray machine crossing. Timmmmmmy was in everything!

The backline were working like clockwork and enjoyed having the wind at their backs. One-handed Hadley was roosting the ball the length of the ground while President Dez was like a Filipina, literally everywhere. He was Mr Fixit, Mr Plugit, Mr Natural doing anything to help the Swans as usual.

I can’t remember who kicked our goals but we got a few. It was most likely Mark and most likely from about 50m but the team as a whole contributed and this game was on.

The second half seemed pretty much the same as the first…. Mark and Jarrod dominated again but there were some great cameo performances by Lethal Lee the Rugby man with some great runs and Gus deftly picking out players at will on his trusty left foot. Sam ‘Forrest’ Conroy was given the tagging role on one of the Honkers Guns and he did so well he was purchased a beer later that evening. Hang on, there might have been more to that story but I guess the moral of it is – you don’t want to be tagged by Forest!

Jerry Jerry Jerry had the Honkers boys and sometimes himself baffled with his American Goose Step and ability to slip through packs unnoticed, kind of like a spy. Stewie and the Vung Tau boys got better and better as the game went on and have a big future with the Swans.

As the fog started to lift from Kev’s head he also lifted off the ground and took a screamer right in front of the Coaching committee. Unfortunately, it wasn’t paid but in Swannie terms it was close enough!

The final quarter was a battle. JD slammed through a beauty and celebrated accordingly with a double fist pump and salute and Mark-Goal continued on his way but, as our legs ran out, it became a battle for a spot on the bench!

Fabulous Phil had been making his searching leads from the goal square all day snaring a couple I think and for the sake of this quality journalism they were Bruce McAvaney Specials! In a last minute attempt, he was thrown into the middle but by the time he got there, and boy was he elusive in getting there, the siren sounded and the Swans had gone down in a very competitive close fought match… according to our scoreboard anyway!

Big Mark and JD simply dominated the day and with some awesome support from absolutely everyone who took the field the Hong Kong Dragons knew they’d played a match.

Congratulations to all that organised and toured and I know Jerry, JD and myself had a ball and have enjoyed the Vietnam Swans experience in general for the last couple of years so we thank all who we’ve crossed paths with.

Keep up the great work from Fabbo down, get everyone involved, have fun and I’m already looking forward to a Gus Comeback as soon as possible.

Ex Captain Monkey

Posted in Farewell, Scoreboard | Leave a Comment »

The Indochina Cup Wrap

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 1, 2009

Vietnam Swan, David Hadley reports on last Saturday’s Indochina Cup in Bangkok between Vietnam, Thailand and Lao.

The Vietnam Swans travelled to Thailand last weekend to partake in the 3rd Annual Indochina Cup alongside the Lao Elephants and the Thailand Tigers. Coming along for the adventure were two Vietnam Shooters netball teams. This made for a very simple formula. One football team + two netball teams + Bangkok = Long, messy weekend. If you add in the Fine master and fine mistress, Dale Weightman and colourful characters like “Jukebox”, this equation becomes a given.

Enough with the maths lesson and over to the football. First up was Vietnam vs Lao. Vietnam did not take the recent loss to Lao in the Asian Champs lightly. In fact the Swans were full of spite and rage. Have you ever seen a flock of Swans charge at a herd of elephants? Unlikely. But imagine it was possible. The Vietnam Swans came out strong. With the best centrelines assembled this year, the ball was quick to enter the forward line repeatedly. The centreline of JD, Monkey, Dukes and Heath seemed to have a special connection. It’s like they work at the same International School and see each other every day (Ed’s note: Unbelievable but true!). That’s as improbable as a flock of Swans charging a herd of elephants though.

Danny Armstrong became a focal point at Full Forward and kicked many goals. Gus was making a point at centre half forward, the main one being he wants to play there more often. Whilst he played very well, no one wants to see Gus happy, so he will be back in the backline next season. The whole team jelled and we won quite convincingly. There was no ‘i’ in Vetnam Swans that game, only great teamwork.

The second game was against the much fancied Thailand Tigers. Earlier in the year we faced each other for the ANZAC Day game in Kanchanaburi and the scoreboard was not something that was talked about afterwards. Knowing this, the Tigers gave us ex AFL player, Dale Weightman for 5 minutes in the first half. The ‘flea’ played 275 games for the Richmond Tigers, won a premiership and was state captain of Victoria for 2 years in the State Of Origin. Little did he know how difficult Asian Football is – although he did a goal assist for Dukes, a Flea devotee, which fulfilled a childhood dream of his.

The Swans started strongly, matching the Tigers goal for goal. The Vietnam Shooters had just won their Cup and came over to the footy oval for added support. After fighting hard and valiantly, the Swans went down 52-21. A few straighter kicks would have given the Swans the fluff in their feathers to come home strongly. We won a few hearts over that afternoon and a lot of respect for ourselves.

Fabbo made his 14th long, moving speech of the year after the game. This was a special day for Fabbo, he reached his 50th long, moving speech for his career. Congrats Fabbo. Monkey celebrated second best player of the tournament, gaining a lot of possessions once Kelsey came along to watch.

After an eventful ride home back to Bangkok, the celebrations began with the Shooters showing the footballers a thing or two about partying. All the teams got together for a charity auction in Bangkok with the ‘flea’ being auctioneer. The stories from that night will be told for years to come, but you are getting none out of me. Remember kiddies, “What happens on the football/netball trip, stays on the football/netball trip.”

The Vietnam Swans got up at 11am on Sunday morning for the Matty ‘FineMaster Flash’ Townsend show. After two hours of fines, the only thing ending the show was the need to get to the airport.

And so, while that ends the season for the Vietnam Swans in terms of matches, there’s still lots more to come in 2009:

  • 12 December, End of Season BBQ, Saigon
  • 28 December, Test Cricket, MCG, Melbourne
  • 29 December, the 5th Annual Vietnam Swans Golf Day, Melbourne.

Contact for further information and to register your interest in attending.

PS Photos hopefully coming very soon of the Indochina Cup.

Posted in Scoreboard | Leave a Comment »

The ANZAC Day Match Report

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 30, 2009

Damo tells it the way it happened

Regular columnist, Damo, reviews last weekend’s ANZAC Day match in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, against the Thailand Tigers.

ANZAC Day 2009 marked a very special week for the Vietnam Swans and “Asian Footy”. The Swans made the trek to Kanchanaburi, Thailand for an experience described by the National Prez as a “rocking chair memory” (the one you will remember when you’re 80 years old, sitting on the verandah in your rocking chair as you reflect upon your life).

The Day began with most of the touring party of 34 making the 3.30am bus – but a little bleary eyed after a midnight arrival. However, we were very primed for the day’s events. The usual gaggle was made much more respectable by the women: Cath, Lek, Kels, Kerri, Linda and Fleur who were willing to “put up” with a footy weekend.

First up was the Dawn Service at the Hellfire Pass Memorial on the Death Burma Railway – such a tranquil place if not for the memory of the horror experienced there. For those who didn’t know the full story, the place and history was made real thanks to the personal presentation on the bus by Patrick Stringer (part of our touring party) whose father was an ex POW.

Bill Haskell OAM, with raw passion, delivers a powerful speech with polish.

After the traditional Gunfire Breakfast (Anzac biscuit and a shot of Bundaberg rum), we returned to our hotel for a quick and hearty meal. We then attended a second service at the War Cemetery with wreaths being laid by the Thailand Tigers, the Vietnam Swans and representatives of the other four clubs that have played Thailand on ANZAC Day. Perhaps the most powerful moment was when ex POW Bill Haskell OAM delivered his speech.

Truly memorable events

At the ground the crowd numbered a few hundred with special VIP guests including 3 ex POWs, a few Diggers and some home town fans on an ANZAC tour. The atmosphere oozed comraderie thanks to the special events of the day and the mighty organizational efforts of the Tiges.

Having being beaten in our last encounter, the Tigers were well prepared on their home turf and weren’t planning on giving us any breaks. Their troupe even included personnel to keep stats on individual players. Unheard of – but I like it! The Swans might consider applicants for this position providing they are willing to accept donations from Potsy and others to add some creative and entertaining flavor to their stats.

The Swannies team

Our defenses were under the hammer right from the first horn. The defensive line, led by Big Dave at centre half back, with some great marking prowess, made it difficult for them. However, on too many occasions, our guys just had to watch the ball fly overhead and through the goals thanks to some thumping kicks by Huey from way down centre field that would challenge a cruise missile for distance and accuracy.

When the Tigers charged through on the run, our last line of defense was first-time Swan, Youngie. Youngie wins the award for “Dirtiest on Ground” without any other challengers coming close. The author could not quite see if he “dirtied up” by diving after the Tigers’ shadows or by cooling off in a mud puddle after overheating chasing their lightning fast and capable full forward.

Other awards this week include the “self pity” award with dual nominees, Matt & Nick, who both had encounters with the infamous Yoda. Nick for getting cruelly tackled by such a little man and Matt for being clean slower than someone twice his age and never actually seeing Yoda’s face. Don’t feel too bad guys, Yoda did have the force on his side. And, prior to this article, nobody really noticed as you both had plenty of ball all over the field.

Age has wearied the Swannies' retirees, Gus and Muzza

Please note, Gus has missed nominations for this award for the first time after putting in a solid farewell game. Farewell also to Muzza who finished with so much heart it put him on a stretcher with his knee joint bent at an unnatural angle. Nothing taken from Muzza’s sacrifice for the team… but rumor has it that his injury was an attempt to slow him down instigated by Willie. Willie, who has forever had a crush on him, just could never catch him.

Also of note were the performances of Paul K and Mickey J who both have years on Yoda. They managed to run around in the sweltering conditions of Asian footy, described by ex POW Snow as being “unbelievable” and keep up with the young fellas – and still not die.

In the centre the skill was there but not quite the pace with Mango and his team mates leaving us a step behind on a few too many occasions. Our on-ballers still provided plenty of hard-crunching contests for the crowd right in front of the stand. Damo (who knows better than to write about himself but is tired of his team mates, Monkey and Willie constantly headlining) has proof that despite being outrun, he was never out of the race with impact bruising on his tackling shoulder and both arms. There were even official complaints by the Tigers’ centres that evening of being attacked by an unsavory herd of angry rhinos. A few less pizzas and a few more yards on the training paddock might have made the difference and is needed by some before next game (Shags will let everybody know who they are).

Up forward the guys showed heart but I think the grass was growing faster than the numbers on our side of the scoreboard. To be fair they didn’t have a lot to work with. We did miss the towering might and scrapping ability of our unnamed regulars who know who they are and didn’t make the trip. But, they have promised to make up for their absence in the upcoming clashes against Jakarta.

Swans coach and BOG, Drew, awards the Thailand BOG gong to Huey

In the end the Tigers scripted the score and there was nothing we could do to change it. It was a walloping.

Nonetheless Coach Drew was proud of us and made us feel that the scoreline does not tell the real story.

Drew’s dad has to be proud of him for finally dislodging the iron grip Monkey seemed to have on the BOG honours.

Thanks again to our National Sponsors: Linfox, Loscam, Jim Beam, Pest Free,, White Mint, Odyssey Resources, Crown Relocations, SOS International and La Vie Water. Their year-long support goes a long way to ensuring that we can continue to put together unforgettable events.

Thank you to the Thailand Tigers for organizing such an incredible weekend.

Posted in BOG, Farewell, Scoreboard | 3 Comments »

The Match Report: Vietnam V Bali

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 6, 2009

Damo now writes exclusively for the Swans Blog

Damo files this report on the Bushfire Match between the Vietnam Swans and Bali Geckos held in Saigon on 28 March 2009.

Saturday, 28th March 2:00 pm, marked the much awaited season opener for 2009. RMIT University was proud to have real Aussie Rules goal posts marking the grounds for a change.

The match was between the Vietnam Swans and the Bali Geckos. It formed part of the Black Saturday Bushfire Fundraiser and Tribute to the Yarra Valley Mountain District Football Netball League and fire-affected communities.

The Swans looked great having ditched last year’s tight little “porn star” shorts to the obvious disappointment of some fans. For the first time, the field was missing a few iconic faces of the Swans including the revered “Supercoach Scotty Stacey”. The “Silver Fox”, Phil Johns, brought his spirit and his voice-box but not his boots so, alas, there was no repeat of the famed “soccer goal” from the pocket. We had a new captain, the awesome “Monkeeee” who found space enough to add another BOG award to his trophy cabinet.

Monkeeee - another BOG for the trophy cabinet

The whistle blew, the ball was bounced and Drew and the centres quickly converted. Perhaps we had an advantage due to the reflection in the eyes of the Bali team caused by Drew’s new fluorescent green boots and the blazing, bright sun. This kept up, helped by the unstoppable marking powers of… “Jarrod”… who really deserves a cool nick name.

The initial dominance of the Swans really took the Geckos boys by surprise. They were chasing us until we lapsed just before half time when we allowed the visitors to boot 4 unanswered goals in the last minutes of play.

Gus and his flat-footed opponent

At half time, the only person who didn’t have his head in the ice bucket, cooling his radiator, was the Veteran, “Gus”. Gus, who has recently completed ½ marathons and jungle endurance races, was complaining that his opponent in defence “hadn’t moved all day”. In response, Gus was taken off the very tall, skinny “white guy” that to the rest of us looked a lot like a goal post and put on the Monster full forward who made him earn his dinner.

The Fashion on the Field award goes, with thanks, to whoever forgot to bring the kit jerseys (Ed’s note: we don’t like to start rumours, but do the initials “Danny Armstrong” mean anything to anyone??). With bench players exchanging sweaty tops with those coming off the field, the one-size-fits-all approach left some of the bigger guys making plays in skin tight “boob tubes” (Ed’s note: all good. Sex sells and with no more “porn star” shorts, something constructive needed to be done…).

We had a shiny new scoreboard built by the hardworking folk at but, unfortunately, at the end of the day, the bigger numbers were on the wrong side of the board. Even with Willy’s dodgy hammy making it through the entire game and the “energizer bunny”, Chris, who just never stopped running all day, it still wasn’t enough.

As a consolation, we seem to have broken the spell of 2008 by having our goals/behinds ratio in the right order. We can now call our forwards, “goal kicking forwards”. With a little more accuracy training, those last couple of close shaves could have passed on the right side of the post. There is, as always, a “next time”.

Goal Umpire Fleur's decisions are "Final!!"

Make sure you check out some of the awesome pics taken by and Bill Crang. Lots of photos to be seen at the . And don’t just look at the foreground but give attention to our supportive sponsors you can see in the banners.

Special thanks to Field Umpire Greg Armstrong and the boundary and goal umpires – including goal umpire, Fleur, whose Decision is Final!!

Next up, the Anzac Day match against the Thailand Tigers on 25 April in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

Posted in BOG, Fundraiser, Scoreboard, supercoach | Leave a Comment »

The Swans claim victory in defeat

Posted by Vietnam Swans on September 9, 2008

Go you Swannies!!

In 2004, Swans President, Dave Kainey who lived a previous life with the Jakarta Bintangs, spoke to his charges at Hanoi’s dust bowl, Dead Cat Stadium.

He spoke of the wonders of the “Asian Championships” competition. Everyone looked on goggle-eyed wondering how it was possible for such a competition to be stitched together every year in Asia. Do they really play footy at such a level in Asia?

Last year, 2007, the Vietnam Swans, wearing our Sydney Swans jumper made our debut at the Champs in Bangkok. In the “Thirst for the First Tour” (we were sponsored by Jim Beam!), we were able to generate enough interest to have more than 40 people in our touring party. We came from Hanoi, Saigon, Quang Nghi, Tianjin (China), Laos, Cambodia, Singapore, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. We created a piece of history.

Thanks to Sam Grigg’s forward thinking, that piece of history is commemmorated in the form of his specially made footy boots that were signed by each person on that tour.

This year, the 6 boys from Lao, who played for the Vietnam Swans last year, deserted us… Inspired by last year’s run with the Swans at the Champs, they went out and created the Lao Elephants team. Since then, the Swans have played the Elephants twice – in Hanoi last year in the Indochina Cup and last July in Vientiane. And now, they were fielding their own team at the Champs. It was a fantastic effort by Marty Sharples and his team mates.

In 2008, the Vietnam Swans arrived at our second Champs full of confidence – and wearing our own, unique footy jumper (that is currently in a competition for Australia’s Favourite Footy Jumper). This year the touring party was just under 40. Of our 31 players, only 10 were at last year’s Champs. Vietnam has a very transient nature but, the fact that we had 31 players is strong evidence of our ability to now recruit locally from Hanoi and Saigon (we still had Eggo from Cambodia). We are getting stronger.

Last year Sam was fined for bringing “sand (Miss Emma) to the beach”. This year, Danny brought Jo and the whole family; Nathan brought Struth Ruth; Issac brought Bec: Big Joe brought Little Lek. Then there was Claire (Hanoi Treasurer) and Jo M (Hanoi Secretary). Kevan Dacey flew in from Australia to help out the team again with his mate, Roger; Drew’s father, Tony, together with another Claire, were cruising through Singapore…

We had former Presidents Francis and Kainey on this tour. We even had Mr Tung from Hanoi who became the first Vietnamese citizen to play at an Asian Champs. As well as a growing history we have an exciting future.

Trav Fennell recently remarked that small businesses take 3, 4 or 5 years to really start getting traction. You can’t help but get a similar feeling that as a Club, the Swannies may be following a similar route.

Our first match against Thailand was strong but we missed out by less than a goal. Our second match against the Hong Kong Dragons was inspiring. It was stirring. Perhaps the highlight was the ferocious tackling – something that we haven’t put much focus on in training. It put the reigning premiers under intense pressure from which the likes of Eggo could swoop and boot goals on the run – but we missed out by a single goal.

The Dubai Heat who went on to win the tournament, were just too good for us. And then those Lao Elephants got over the line in front of us to claim their second victory in their Asian Champs debut.

But anyone seeing the match against Hong Kong would know that, while we failed to win on the scoreboard, we have been winning everywhere else. Soon the scoreboard will be an accurate reflection.

There are many people to thank for this tour which will be done in another entry, but one person to be singled out is the Saigon President and Coach of the tour, Scotty Stacey. As well as on the day, he did a truck load of work behind the scenes in the lead up.

Well done Swannies!

Posted in Scoreboard | 2 Comments »


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