Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

  • 6th Annual Indochina Cup, Hanoi

    November 10th, 2012
    5 days to go.
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    10 Nov, 6th Annual Indochina Cup, Hanoi (Vietnam Swans, Cambodian Eagles, Thailand Tigers and Lao Elephants)

    11 November, Vietnam Swans' Annual Awards, Hanoi

    8 Dec, Christmas Party, Saigon (Hanoi tba)

    28 Dec, Swannies' 8th Annual Ryan Jeffery Golf Classic, Melbourne

    28 Dec, 2nd Annual Swannies' Celebration Soiree, Melbourne

    29 Dec, Swannies' 6th Annual Test Cricket Day, MCG Members, Melbourne

    Vietnam Swans' 2012 National Sponsors


Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day – 8 days to go!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 6, 2011

Swing to Swim - 14 May

The Inaugural will be held in 8 days time – Saturday 14 May at , Hoi An.

The Charity event has been timed to coincide with the end of the ‘s (RLSSA) . All money raised (less costs) will be donated to the RLSAA’s local swimming initiatives and Swim Vietnam which has already received some support from the Vietnam Swans.

Montgomerie Links is a stunning, award-winning golf course that will organise an amazing tournament. There will be lots of prizes for holes in one, longest drives etc. There will be lunch, dinner, presentations, awards, auctions, golf clinics from a PGA Professional, a kids clinic featuring Swim Vietnam students…

Full details can be found in the .

The Swannies love golf. Here's Ryan Jeffery at the Swannies Golf Day, Melbourne, held each 29 December.

Also, with Montgomeire Links being located between Hoi An and Danang, it gives you the chance to have a magnificent beach weekend away from the hustle of HCMC and the bustle of Hanoi. Nice! Also embedded below is a document with some great hotel deals that has been put together by Montgomerie Links.

We can swing the golf clubs on 14 May and have a great day and weekend. In the process, we will be supporting a process that will help Vietnamese children learn how to swim. Not only will that reduce the number of drownings in this country, it will also open up Vietnam’s waterways and coastlines to the joys of safe swimming.

If you think you can swing the weekend for some golf and beach (or would like to become a sponsor), please contact (Ph 0905 226 206) from Montgomerie Links or the .

It’s time to Swing to Swim.

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Vietnam Celts’ tribute to Willy’s mother

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 5, 2011

The Viet Celts play Auskick with the Vietnamese kids as a tribute to Willy's mother.

The Vietnam Swans received the email below from Jim Kiernan of the Viet Celts Gaelic Football Club  in Hanoi. The email was sent on 23 April – the day of the ANZAC Friendship Match and just two days after Willy’s mother passed away.

On behalf of the Viet Celts, just a few words wishing the Swans the best of luck today against the Hong Kong Dragons in Vung Tau (in the ANZAC Friendship Match).

I met Willy and the Swans for a few drinks on Thursday before Willy headed for home. Willy spoke about his mother’s love of South Adelaide and also coming down to watch him play in the juniors every Saturday.

Yesterday, as a tribute to Mrs Williams, I did half a training session in Aussie Rules with the new U13 team of Vietnamese kids that I’ve been training for the past eight weeks in Gaelic Football, here at the Vietnam Australia School (VAS) in My Dinh.

They were quite good at transferring their Gaelic Football skills once they came to grips with the bounce of the Sherrin. It also tied in well with ANZAC weekend.

We used a set of modified rules that myself, Stanno, Adrian and Crazy Dan devised a few weeks ago for playing Aussie Rules on astroturf. Some photos provided with the Sherrin and the O’Neills. Big Jon Holden from Australia has been helping me out with this team and we hope to do this type of split Gaelic Football/Aussie Rules session again with the Vietnamese kids.

Footnote: On 14 May 2011, Saigon will host the South East Asian Gaelic Football Championships and the Vietnam Swans will support the Vietnamese sides.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

5th Kainey Cup – Locked in for 23 July 2011, Jakarta

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 5, 2011

A youthful looking Gus McEwin and the Bintangs' (about to be) 100 gamer, Matt Stephens, Hanoi, 25 March 2006.

The Vietnam Swans have confirmed that we will play the Jakarta Bintangs in the 5th Kainey Cup in Jakarta on 23 July 2011.

This will be a particularly important game for the Jakarta Bintangs who will be determined to win for their former skipper, Matt Stephens who will be playing in his 100th game.

Matt Stephens is a terrific bloke and played in the first match between the Bintangs and the then Hanoi Swans back in March 2006 at the UN International School in Hanoi.

The Bintangs are one of the founding clubs of the Asian Champs and Asian footy more generally. It will be fascinating to see how they celebrate and recognise a player and official who has given so much to the Club over such an extended period of time.

No doubt, the Flyer, Dave Kainey, will make the short trip from Singapore to Jakarta for the 5th Kainey Cup.

For the record, that first match between the two teams was an important milestone for the Swannies as we recorded . Last July, we also played the Bintangs in Saigon and beat them by just .

Just when it all looks good for the Swannies based upon our track record, in October 2009 we travelled to Jakarta and were taught a football lesson: . Definitely, the home ground advantage is a big one between these two teams.

Expect the 5th Kainey Cup in Jakarta to be an absolute cracker!

For the rest of the Swannies 2011 Calendar, click here.

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Stan Middleton speaks re 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 3, 2011

Stan Middleton (far right) pictured with Ossie and John Carey at the Noble Park RSL Club last month.

Stan Middleton is a great friend of the Vietnam Swans and the official historian of the Vietnam Football League. Below he responds to the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match.

Hi Vietnam Swans

Great to hear of the response to my article that appeared in the footy record at the ANZAC Friendship Match!

I have sent a soft copy of the  onto heaps of Vietnam Veterans and I am getting a lot of excellent responses.

I think our history during the war ties in beautifully with what the Vietnam Swans do now! Well done to the Vietnam Swans for embracing us!

Very happy to hear you have modelled the Friendship Trophy on our old shield from the War (see here for photo of original shield). We are very proud to know that! The photo you put up with Kevin Back & Bob McKenna holding the shield was excellent. We had just got home from Bob’s brother’s home when I received it! We had a BBQ there with about nine of the former 2AOD footballers (including Bob). Sadly Kevin Back died of a massive heart attack in 2003. I have emailed his widow with the article that included the photo.

Sounds like the game went well and good to hear the Swannies won!

ANZAC Day went very well here in Melbourne apart from Collingwood winning. However we did scare them and the 2 goals they kicked in the last minute of the game did not reflect how close we got to them!

Went on Tuesday as well but Hawks failed after a good start. Got one of the Vets into the Hawks room before the game and he was rapt! (through John Kilpatrick from the Swim Program).

I have kept a copy of the Footy record with Ossie’s story in it for you (see a soft copy here). Hope you have some hard copies of the the Vung Tau record for me! I will get Ossie back to Noble Park RSL to talk about the ANZAC weekend in Vietnam.

Also hope you met Jan Williams who has joined our Vietnam Swim group. I think she was one of your trainers for the game in Vung Tau. She is a real goer!

Glenn Nolan is coming to Noble Park RSL this week which will be excellent! (Ossie visited Noble Park RSL just prior to coming to Vietnam)

Regards, Stan & Sinh

Footnote: The Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day shall be played at Montgomerie Links on 14 May 2011.

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Ossie says thanks for ANZAC Friendship Weekend

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 30, 2011

Ossie speaks at the Gala Dinner. Photo, Adam Martin.

Richard Ossie Osborne has written to the Vietnam Swans National President, Phil Johns, to thank everyone involved for last weekend’s 2011 ANZAC Friendship Weekend – in particular, sponsors Jim Beam, Pest Free and the Caravelle Hotel. Below is his email.

Dear Phil

I wanted to pen an open letter to all involved in the ANZAC Friendship Weekend in Vung Tau last weekend.

Firstly to you Phil, without your incredible organising and all around passion for life and everything Aussie Rules, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for involving me in the most amazing five days of my life, bar none.

To all involved in their passionate pursuits involving orphaned kids and helping them live a happy and peaceful life, god love your beautiful hearts.

To Glenn at Tommy’s Bar in Vung (Tau) Wow, you are a legend mate and your knowledge of battle sights and the Long Tan area made it a memorable site to visit.

Dan Kindness at the Long Tan Cross addresses Swannies including Ossie. Photo, Adam Martin.

To all the Vietnam Vets involved in the weekend and particularly the ANZAC Day Dawn Service at the Long Tan Cross, your sacrifices to the land down under are now stuff of legend in my eyes.

I would also like to thank all my team mates, both with the Vietnam Swans and the Hong Kong Dragons, who’s company made it all the more memorable.

There are too many names to mention, but I would also like to thank everyone I met, involved in the weekend, it was a pleasure to share your company over a few beers.

A weekend like this would, of course, have been impossible for me to be a part of, without the generous support of sponsors Jim Beam, the Caravelle Hotel and Pest Free, to name a few.

Everybody should be so proud about the way they are representing the great game of Australian Rules in many areas of South East Asia and for that, I salute you.

Warmest Regards
Richard Osborne

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Saigon Prez, Dez Limbrick gives a quick ANZAC wrap up

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 29, 2011

The Saigon President, Dez, with his wife, Fleur, last weekend.

Saigon President, Derrin Limbrick gives a quick wrap up of the ANZAC Friendship Weekend.

Gents, what a fantastic weekend we have just had in Vung Tau. The Legends game got the day off to a great start and was great to watch. Last weekend also marked our first ever win over the Dragons which highlights the growth of our football club. I have to say it was one of the best performances I have been involved in and having had a chance to reflect, I can say that all the hard work and training that everyone put in really did pay off. Every year the Swans just seem to keep getting bigger and better.

There are lots of special mentions I need to make. Well done to Angry Dave and Trento for taking out the best on ground and Captain’s award respectively. We also had a few guys who were potentially having their last run for the Swannies. Angry Dave, Rob Visentini and Greg Stanton. Plus we need to remember our Hanoi Prez Willy, who was due to play his last game but due to very unfortunate circumstances, had to head back to Australia due to his mother passing away.

An event like this does not happen without all the people who chipped in over the weekend so a big thanks to you all. It was also fantastic to see how many visitors to Vietnam wanted to help out and be a a part of our football club. It is truly a great thing to be a Swannie.

Training is cancelled for this weekend. We are giving everyone a well deserved week off. In our place the Saigon Gaelic Team will be training at our usual time of 2 30 pm at RMIT. If you’re keen to have a run with the Gaelic team, you are more than welcome to train. They are in preparation for the SE Asian Champs on 14 May and would love to have you along.

See you all next week and I hope that you all have a safe and happy long weekend (Vietnam has a 4 day long weekend).

Don’t forget though, we have some great things coming up soon! The Swing to Swim Charity Golf Day is on the 14th May in Hoi An. If you are keen to get along or sponsor the event please let Fabbo or myself know asap.

Our next match is against the AFL Masters on June 1st. Ex AFL player Richard Champion is their coach and I am sure that there will be some other big names turning up so it promises to be a great night.

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A word from the Swannies’ National President for the ANZAC Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 29, 2011

Swannies National President, Phil Johns

Below is a message from the National President of the Vietnam Swans, Phil Johns. The message appeared in the .

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match at the Greyhound Racing Track, formerly known as the Lord Mayor’s Oval, in Vung Tau, Vietnam.

Today we will commemorate the fallen; predominantly fathers, sons and brothers from a number of countries – including our own – who violently lost their lives during violent periods of history.

Today, we will remember lives violently and indiscriminately taken: fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, in recent floods, earthquakes and tsunamis during a peaceful period of history.

Today, we will celebrate the lives of people close to the Swannies’ community: Maria Russo (Joe’s mother), Colin Koch (Paul’s father), Graham Steward (former strapper for the then Hanoi Swans) and Maureen Williams (Willy’s mother). Each died recently and peacefully during a peaceful time.

Today, we will raise money to support orphanages and to save young Vietnamese lives by teaching them how to swim.

More than 40 years ago, the then Lord Mayor’s Oval hosted matches of an exotic code known as footy, Australia’s signature sport.

Today’s footy match, at the very same venue, collapses time by bridging two eras separated by vast oceans. Coming off the bridge, we are struck not by the differences but the similarities. Sure, there are some who handball an oval ball while others kick a round ball. And then there are some who put their beer on ice while others put their ice in beer.

But really, most of us are all doing the same thing: we’re just trying to raise our families, meet the boss’ deadlines and catch up with friends.

The Vietnam Swans recognise, however, that for some, the journey to this ground today has been difficult. We salute your courage.

Vietnam has been a magnificent and welcoming host country for those of us who make up the Vietnam Swans. For this, we thank you most sincerely. And, that is why we are so pleased to use today’s ANZAC Friendship Match as a vehicle to showcase Vietnam 2011, a young, vibrant, resourceful and modern country – with a rich and proud history spanning thousands of years.

Thank you to all of you who have come to today’s 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match between the Vietnam Swans and the Hong Kong Dragons.

Enjoy your time – and Go Swannies!

Phil Johns
National President
Vietnam Swans

Click onto to download a full copy.

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A Word from the Consul General at the ANZAC Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 29, 2011

Consul General, Graeme Swift addresses the crowd, pre match. Photo Adam Martin

Below is a message from the Australian Consul General to HCMC, Mr Graeme Swift. The message appeared in the .

Friends, I’d like to welcome you to the 2nd Annual ANZAC Friendship Weekend in Vung Tau. It’s my honour to be involved in an event that celebrates the modern friendship between Australia and Vietnam, particularly on a weekend when Australians pause to remember the sacrifices made by their compatriots in places across the world.

Monday’s Dawn Service is a chance to show our respect to the fallen, reflect on the tragedy of war and how selfless service by many, many thousands has been a major part of the formation of the modern society we all call home.   More and more veterans are returning to Vietnam each year to commemorate the service of their friends and contribute to the building of friendship between our two countries, and I especially welcome them today.

Australians are a practical people, and this event is also a tremendous example of the efforts Australians bring to bear in helping others. Each of the three charities benefiting from the weekend’s events are having a positive impact on the communities in which they work, and they exist because of the dedication and generosity of their organisers and volunteers. I encourage each of you to consider how you might make your own contribution.

Of course, the weekend kicks off with a football match on the historic Dog Track Oval, and what a match it promises to be! I’d like to pay tribute to the Vietnam Swans and their supporters throughout the country and their efforts to grow this ANZAC Friendship Weekend into the celebration and commemoration that the occasion deserves, noting the work of the community here in Vung Tau in particular. I’d also like to welcome the Hong Kong Dragons to Vietnam, and thank them for accepting the invitation to take part. As the first international side to play the ANZAC Friendship Weekend game, I trust that the occasion will be one they remember fondly in years to come.

I wish the weekend’s events every success.


Graeme Swift
Australian Consul General
HCMC, Vietnam

Click onto to download a full copy.

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A word from Hong Kong President, Robert Burns, for the ANZAC Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 29, 2011

Hong Kong President, Robert Burns, with Richard "Ossie" Osborne.

The message below from the President of the Hong Kong Dragons appeared in the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match footy record.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

The opportunity to combine playing Australian Rules Football in a foreign country whilst at the same time making a meaningful contribution to strengthening local cultural ties with Australia is rarely offered.

When asked by the Vietnam Swans President, Phil Johns, to participate in the first international ANZAC Friendship Match, the Hong Kong Dragons quickly responded with a resounding “yes”.

The Hong Kong Dragons and Vietnam Swans have had a long standing friendship over a number of years and the ANZAC Friendship Match not only strengthens our relationships with the Vietnam Swans but gives our players and club the opportunity to contribute to the enormous good will being generated in bringing Vietnam and Australia closer together as neighbors and friends.

We look forward not only to a closely contested game on the field, but also to a few cold drinks and stories shared with friends afterwards.

The tour to a Local Orphanage and the Dawn Service on Easter Monday will be highlights of the tour.

The Hong Kong Dragons feel humbled and honored be to invited as the first team to contest this first international ANZAC Friendship Match.

We look forward to this event running for many years ahead and thank the Vietnam Swans in advance for their hospitality.

Robert Burns
Hong Kong Dragons

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Monkey spotted in MCG’s ANZAC Day crowd

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 28, 2011

Monkey - a refreshing sight of a Swannie in the ANZAC crowd.

As well as there being an ANZAC Friendship Match in Vung Tau, they also have an ANZAC Day clash at the MCG each year between Essendon and Collingwood.

However, this year’s mega crowd at the MCG was different. Amongst the sea of faces was none other than the Swannies’ own, Monkey – our most recent former captain who has most recently married Kels. He is pictured to the side wearing his Swannies shirt and he is a living legend.

Monkey reports, “90,000 Bombers, Pies and… one Swan!!!”

and see some amazing “fan cam” technology. You see the whole crowd – 360 degrees – and then you can zero in on your target, Mr Monkey. Incredible.

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Official Photographer’s photos now available for ANZAC Match

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 27, 2011

The Swannies line up prior to the ANZAC Friendship Match (Adam Martin, Asian Images)

Adam Martin from , and Official Photographer of the Vietnam Swans, has just released his photos of the 2011 ANZAC Friendship Match held in Vung Tau.

His photos can be found on the .

The photos cover the Legends’ Match, the ANZAC Friendship Match and the Dawn Service.

The Vietnam Swans thank very much for his generosity and excellent photographs.

To see more of Adam’s professional work, click onto .

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ANZAC Friendship Match photos by Colin Connelley

Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 27, 2011

Nick in action against the Dragons: Fabbo in the Legends' Match

Colin Connelly has uploaded 143 photos onto his own web album which can be found by .

Above, Nick Shiells in action against Hong Kong in the ANZAC Friendship Match and Fabbo, playing for the Hanoi Swans, in the preceding Legends’ and All Stars’ Match.

Photos by Swans’ Official photographer, Adam Martin, to follow.

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