Sam Grigg, in his first ever match as Coach of the Vietnam Swans, reports on last weekend’s victory to the Vietnam Swans over the Malysian Warriors at RMIT University, Saigon.
When word floated across the South China Sea that the hairiest man in Asian football, Malaysian Warrior Nicolas Vogels, wouldn’t be making the trip to face the Swannies in Saigon, my confidence in outclassing Scotty Stacey as the Vietnam Swans coach took a hammering akin to the Aussie dollar last week. The Malaysian boys weren’t going to be nearly as hung-over facing us match day as what they would’ve had Vogels been leading the charge the previous night!
The recent relaying of the RMIT turf provided less than favorable ground conditions for the Linfox-Loscam Cup. A good few inches of monsoon water lay on the surface – more than enough for Captain Gus to stay at home for fear of getting dirty.
And while it may have been a hindrance to some, it wasn’t to the former Whitefriars school captain Mr. Phil Fabbo Johns who showed that age is merely a number, that grey hair is cool on the football field, and that if you’re told by the coach to mark the football, then you bloody well mark the football. Ya hearin’ me?
Be it a hang-over resulting from his hospitable (as opposed to hospital) efforts in drinking up a storm with the Malaysian boys on Friday night, or a sign of bigger and better things to come when most thought his best footy was behind him, the national president turned Saturday’s game on its head. It was awwwwwwwesome.
Individuals aside, it was a fantastic team effort that saw the Swans come out on top by 7 goals, or possibly 6, as the Malaysian fullback would have you forcefully believe. From the coach’s standpoint, who was he to argue with a goal umpire far better looking than himself?
Nathan was in sensational form racking up possessions at will and was clearly best on ground. From the boundary line you could see the determination in his eyes and the mud on his face, though the mud turned out to be nothing more than a dirty beard he’d been growing since Singapore.
Greg was good. Muzza was better but only because he was wearing the coach’s boots. Louie had a purple patch and for 5 minutes tore the game apart. Monky was strong out of the middle. Danny showed the young fellas how to play in wet. Derrin stood tall in defense. Larry got his first touch in what was his 6th game for the Bloods. Big Joe got a kick but didn’t manage to kick it over the man on the mark. Shannon was more preoccupied with his girlfriend on the boundary line. Nick ‘tapped’ bottoms as only a true Xavier boy could. Jarrod didn’t win any friends. Rich preferred talking to the goal umpire (the other goal umpire that is). Paul, age will not weary them. Dave looked good in Malaysian colours. Damo was strong. Isaac went well for a Seppo. Johnny turned 27. Drew’s best moment was presenting the Linfox-Loscam Cup to himself as Captain. Scotty got dragged. Gus was a no-show but I think I’ve already mentioned that?
Special mention to Griz who not only put in a super effort on the field and was one of the Swans best, but also for his pains in travelling south of the DMZ as the sole representative of the Hanoi chapter.
Overall a sensational win by the Bloods to claim the Linfox-Loscam Cup. Many thanks to the Malaysian boys for coming across to play the Swannies in what was a hugely successful day both on and off the field. As to be expected, a great effort by the Swans hierarchy in organising the day’s proceedings.
Special mentions to Vietnam Swans’ stalwarts, Paul Koch and Dave Morton who offered to pull on jumpers for the Malaysian Warriors for the day. Also to Scott Stacey for umpiring in the first half. A particularly big thanks to the new sensation, Chris McNamara who played the pivotal role of Senior Field Umpire all day.
Shame we lost the boat race, but they owed us that much…
Coach Grigg (Wins 1, Losses 0)
Anyone with actual photos of the match is asked to email them to