Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for the ‘Vietnam’ Category

National Vietnam Veterans’ Museum

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 23, 2008

The on Phillip Island, near Melbourne, “is the only museum of its kind in Australia that covers a specific period in Australia’s military history.

“The collection of around 6,000 artefacts exists to permanently record Australia’s longest commitment to any war, a period of 10 years that spanned from 1962.

“It presents the story of Australia’s military involvement at a time of deep division among the Australian population over conscription.”

Mighty Mad - Past and FutureNow, fast forward to January 2008. Maddie Johns (niece of current Swans President, Phil Johns – hence the Vietnam Swans hat) presented the museum with her Grade 4 project.

Her project does not make any reference to the war. It decribes life in Vietnam today. Maddie has stuck 20 Vietnamese flags into a foam board. Each flag presents a fact about Vietnam: population, currency, exports etc.

The juxtaposition of Maddie and her project in front of a photograph taken in time of war is stark. One represents the past. The other represents the future.

If you’re near Phillip Island, do drop into the for a factual and sensitive account of the Vietnam War (referred to by the Vietnamese as “the American War”).

Posted in Swans in the Community, Unheard of, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »

Dubai and Swans win in the Heat

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 11, 2008

Jezza - the Water Boy worth his weight in gold in the desertThe Gulf News has reported that in the curtain raiser prior to the Adelaide – Collingwood match, .

Given that Collingwood decided to become a sister club of the Dubai Dingoes and both sisters were trounced by similar margins (Collingwood was beaten 136 – 55), there are no prizes for guessing what seems to be the selection criteria for picking sisters!

The Swans Blog can report that the coach of the Dubai Heat was one of our own – Jeremy “Jezza” Palmer. Jeremy debuted for us on 6 March 2006 against the Malaysian Warriors as… our Water Boy. But he was the Water Boy with a difference. Even though he had literally just arrived in Vietnam and virtually none of us had even met him prior to him picking up the water, we all started doing what he told us to do on the paddock!

Three weeks later when we played the Jakarta Bintangs, we knew of Jezza’s prodigious talents. This time he played on the field, fed the footy down the throat of the forwards and we won our first ever match.

Expect a short review from Jeremy of the Dubai match on the Blog very soon.

Posted in AFL, Asian Footy, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »

Pago’s word on the Jumper

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 5, 2008

The Swans Blog has received an email from the President of the Saigon Geckos’ Rugby Club regarding the proposal for a new footy jumper. Pago, who is an original member of the Saigon Saints, has been instrumental in resurrecting Aussie Rules in Saigon by offering the resources and players from the Geckos as well as some well received advice. Pago also toured to Bangkok for the Vietnam Swans’ inaugural assault on the Asian Champs last year where his on-field performance was solid and his off-field session as “Fines Master” was exemplary!  

As the last surviving playing member of the Saigon Saints, can I please have some input when you guys decide the jersey.

The Saints formed in 1999 and at last count there are still 12 ex players residing in Saigon (who unfortunately, “are too old now to play”). I am sure that the club will get more support if it tries to keep some part of the history of Aussie Rules in Saigon alive, rather than just changing to something completely different.

I believe we have tracked down some of the old (St Kilda) jerseys too, and have enough for a team.

I propose that whatever design is decided that we try to incorporate the red, white and black. Not necessarily in equal proportions like St Kilda but however fits best. I also propose that on the neck of the jersey we have SSFC as other merged clubs do such as Sydney/South Melbourne (SMFC), Brisbane/Fitzroy BBFLFC), etc.


Pago added in a subsequent email, “All good for Hanoi to stay as the Swans, Saigon the Saints and then a combined Vietnam jersey.” He also said he has a photograph of the original Saigon Saints team which will be forwarded through shortly to the Blog. 

Posted in Asian Champs, Asian Footy, Vietnam | 1 Comment »

The Rooster’s latest design for a new jumper

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 4, 2008

The Big Rooster is back in town with renewed enthusiasm and a revised design for a new Vietnam jumper.

Swannies, what about this concept !!! If it is ever seen back in Australia, it would create more of a stir than when the first platypus was sent back to Blightie !!!

It covers all of the aspects that Sam mentioned (read Sam’s post)… the colours from the NLF flag, the South VN flag with the 3 red lines etc. etc… It also maintains the link to the team being the Swans… there is something for Sydney-siders, Adelaidians and Melbourne Eurotrash Wanna-be’s (Ed’s note: steady-on re the Magnificent Melbournians)… It also acknowledges the Saigon Saints Hanoi Swans and Hanoi Hawks Football Clubs…  (much like the BBFFC Brisbane Bears Fitzroy Football Club).

Note how I cleverly incorporate a sneaky reference to the current Vietnam flag !!!

This jumper is also not going to clash with any other Asian teams. Malaysia is a lighter blue and you also have the red stripes at the bottom.

Whilst totally unique jumpers are great, there is a school of thought that supports jumpers that maintain a tangible link to an AFL jumper… When Adelaide play at the MCG this year, somebody is more likely to wear such a jumper (Ed’s Note: But only if you’re a pumpkin-head Adelaide supporter) rather than the Laos Elephants’ jumper for example. So you will get noticed and the profile of VN footy will improve which is important (when I was living in Jakarta, we had an ex-AFL player living there for 18 months before he found us !!!).  Any publicity is good publicity. 

I am definitely coming up for March 8th to kick a few goals (with the Vietnam Swans against the Malaysian Warriors).

Agree or disagree with the jumper proposal? Post a comment and build upon the Big Rooster’s 6-goal contribution!

Posted in Asian Footy, Vietnam | 2 Comments »

Houston, we have a glitch…

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 4, 2008

As we keep hearing every moment of every day, Vietnam is an emerging market enjoying unprecedented growth. The aviation sector is no exception.

Vietnam News recently reported that:

Vietnam Airlines plans to buy almost 50 new planes in the next 10 years while Pacific Airlines (part owned by Qantas) will add 30 more planes.

There’s a glitch, though. There isn’t enough room on the tarmac for them.

Unheard of! Meanwhile, the Swans Blog has learnt that a high profile Swans Man was recently upgraded to Seat 1K on his return flight back from Melbourne to Vietnam. When asked why they had done that, he replied. “Not sure. But I was wearing my Vietnam Swans t-shirt.”

Coincidence or not?

Posted in Unheard of, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »

Australia Day Footy around the World

Posted by Vietnam Swans on January 30, 2008

Last Thursday, 24 January 2008, World Footy News ran a story on “Australia Day Footy” around the World. The story included a plug for the Vietnam Swans participation in the Experience Australia Day event in Hanoi: 

This Saturday, 26th January is Australia Day, a day that becomes especially important to the many expatriates living away from their home country. Every year there are many parties held around the world to celebrate the day, which inevitably links in with Australian Rules football clubs who celebrate the day with a game or use the occasion as a fund raiser. Other celebrations hold games purely as part of the fun of the day and may provide non Australians at the festivities with their first live taste of the game.

To read the rest of the article, click on the link. To read about the day in the Vietnam News and this year being the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam, click on its article, ““.

Posted in Swans in the Community, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »

Swans Steal Show on Australia Day

Posted by Vietnam Swans on January 30, 2008

The Hanoi contingent of the Vietnam Swans stole the Australia Day Show  last weekend at the Melia Hotel – well, at least according to the Swans Blog.

In other words, more precisely from Ms Hoang Van Anh from Australia Education International, “the event was a great success. I appreciate the Vietnam Swans participation. It attracted lots of attention from the youngsters. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Swans for spending time – especially at the weekend… Hope to be able to work with you in the future”.

Bring it on!

Posted in Swans in the Community, Unheard of, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »

The Swans’ World Wide Web

Posted by Vietnam Swans on January 10, 2008

You may recall that the recently contacted the Vietnam Swans inviting any of us who are thinking of travelling to London to start playing with them (obviously keen to start winning a few premierships).

The have also said that they will put something on their website and in their weekly newsletter about discovering another brother club in Vietnam.

The were keen to know when our season typically starts and finishes (well, we’re 24/7 – 52 weeks) and who we play against (ever heard of the Asian Champs???).

The word is spreading and you never know, we might even have a bank of London Swans (yep, “bank” is the collective noun apparently for Swans) visiting our shores one day for a tour. 

Posted in Asian Footy, Aussie Rules, Vietnam | 5 Comments »

The Swans review 2007

Posted by Vietnam Swans on December 31, 2007

2007 was a big year for the Swannies. Below are some of the highlights: 

  • - It was the year that Hanoi and Saigon combined to form a national team, the Vietnam Swans.
  • - The Vietnam Swans then made our inaugural appearance at the Asian Championships in Bangkok in July.
  • - Players and officials for our first Asian Champs came from no fewer than 6 countries (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, Singapore and Australia) to make it happen.
  • Triple Brownlow Medalist, Bobby Skilton; Triple Premiership Player, Clarke Keating; and member of the SouthMelbourne/Sydney Swans’ Team of the Century, Tony Morwood, individually wrote to the Vietnam Swans in the lead up to the Champs to wish us luck.
  • We commenced a relationship with Sponsor, Jim Beam where they actively used the Swans appearance at the Champs to market their product – ie, they sought genuine business value from the sponsorship (eg Jim Beam promotional posters  that incorporated into the design the Swans appearance at the Champs.)
  • In the lead up to the Champs, we launched the Vietnam Swans Blog which has since had more than 17,000 hits.
  • The guys from Laos who played with us at the Champs – have since gone on to form their own Club, the Laos Elephants.
  • We hosted a Tri Nations Tournament in Hanoi with Laos and Thailand that was combined with the netball. Approximately 200 people attended the after match function.
  • We hosted a match in Saigon against Asian Champs Premiers’ the Hong Kong Dragons.
  • We hosted a derby between Hanoi and Saigon in Saigon.
  • We formed part of Austrade’s Australian Schools Open Day in both Saigon and Hanoi where we used footy to help differentiate the Australian education product. Club Sponsor, QBE Insurance, sponsored 900 Swans hats that were given away to attendees in the two cities.
  • The Vietnam Swans received very generous support from sponsors for their third Grand Final Party in Hanoi and close to 200 people attended.
  • In the lead up to the Grand Final, Vietnam Swans stalwart, Wayne Tinlin, was interviewed by ABC Radio in Australia.
  • The Vietnam Swans ran the 2nd Grand Final Cyclo Parade in Hanoi on the Thursday prior to the Grand Final. A photograph subsequently appeared in Melbourne’s Herald Sun Newspaper and ABC Radio in Adelaide did a live interview with Wayne Bubbles Tinlin.
  • Club NewsThe Swans continued to give back to the community by raising money for an organisation dealing with prostate cancer in Hanoi and also for the Loreto Foundation in Saigon which deals with disadvantaged children. On both occasions we raffled off Jim Beam bottles which were part of the original sponsorship from the Asian Champs.
  • The Swans also gave sporting equipment to the orphanage in Hanoi that we have been associated with.
  • The Swans held our 3rd Annual Golf Day in Melbourne on 29 December.

 In many respects, 2007 has been a remarkable year for the Vietnam Swans. Congratulations to all involved – especially those involved with the Asian Champs. 

We are now extremely well positioned to have a very strong 2008. For a sneak preview of 2008, tune in to the blog tomorrow – the 1st Day of the New Year.

Posted in Asian Champs, Asian Footy, Swans in the Community, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »

Almost born…

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 16, 2007

You may recall that back on 28 May 2007, the Blog ran a high powered story on “Are the Lao Elephants coming soon?”. It had a quote from self appointed Elephants President, Marty Sharples saying that a few of the boys had “decided to form a club here after the (Asian) Champs: The Lao Elephants – fat, slow and almost extinct”.

Well, we don’t know whether they will be fat and slow but we do know that they are nearly born. Tomorrow, they will be running out onto the hallowed turf of the UN International School. 

The Blog is never one to get get caught up in hyperbole but, historically, this will be an incredibly important weekend. You’ll be able to tell your grand children about being there when the Lao Elephants made their international debut.

See the .

Posted in Asian Footy, Unheard of, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »

The ‘tache n passion for charity

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 15, 2007

As previously mentioned, this weekend, a number of the players from the Vietnam Swans, Thailand Tigers and Lao Elephants will be sporting new look moustaches. It’s all in the name of “Movember” to raise awareness for men’s health issues back in Australia. We’ll use the weekend’s Tri Nations’ Tournament to raise some money to assist a local charity.

The money will be donated to the The US Committee for Scientific Cooperation with Vietnam. They are a non-profit (501 (c) (3)) membership corporation and do not have a religious agenda. The group has ties with The National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (dealing with the incidence and prevalence of disease in large populations and with detection of the source and cause of epidemics of infectious disease) and work within the HIV Department.

They are soon commencing a primary health care program in the northern highlands. They will add prostate to the primary screening and care. The program will be at the village level using trained community health workers with physicians from the province level providing back-up and supervision to the Commune Health Workers (CHW’s). They’re doing training for the CHW’s in January.

It is hoped that Dr Bui Duc Thang from the Committee will attend the footy on Saturday to present the medal for Mo of the Match. Meanwhile, Swans’ Sam the Man who has been one of the key promoters of Movember in Vietnam lives in Quang Ngai, Central Vietnam, which has been batterered by typhoons. Yesterday he reported:

“Right now it needs to stop raining in Quang Ngai. Mate, I’ve never seen anything like it – we’ve got floods and landslides like you wouldn’t believe. The road is closed between Quang Ngai and Danang (where the airport is) – best I start swimming to the airport – preparation is the key.”

Good luck Sam in making it to the airport so you can get to Hanoi for the weekend’s Tri Nations!

Posted in Asian Footy, Swans in the Community, Vietnam | 1 Comment »

Australian Ambassador does the Official Draw

Posted by Vietnam Swans on November 9, 2007

This morning, the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr Bill Tweddell, did the Official Draw for the triple header on Saturday 17 November at the UN International School in Hanoi.

The Official Draw is:

  1. 12.30pm – 1.20pm: Vietnam Swans V Laos Elephants

  2. 1.40pm – 2.30pm: Laos Elephants V Thailand Tigers

  3. 2.50pm – 3.40pm: Vietnam Swans V Thailand Tigers

Netball will be played by the ladies in the morning at UNIS. The footy will start at 12.30pm.

The format for the footy tournament is a round robin with each match being 2 x 20min halves. The break at half time will be 10 minutes. There will be 14 players on the field and as many as you like on the bench. In the event of a draw, there will be no extra time. The winning team will have the highest number of wins. Where teams have won an equal number of games, percentage will determine the winner of the tournament.

As well as it being “Game on”, it will also be a good chance to see which of the three teams have the best moustaches. There should be plenty of ‘tache n passion as the three countries fight for glory on the field as well as raising awareness for men’s health issues during the month of Movember.  

Posted in Asian Footy, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »


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