Vaughan was one of our rare Canadians. Over his past six seasons, he’s played a unique role in the Swans. He’s tough as nails and often got the job of defending against the opposing team’s biggest, quickest or most dangerous player.
We sat down to chat with Vaughan just before his final game, against the Cambodian Eagles in Phnom Penh in 2019.
Vaughan, why did you start playing footy?
Aussie rules gave me a chance to continue to play a competitive, contact sport. I always thought the skills I learned in Canada from soccer, hockey and football would translate. I was also drawn to the unique camaraderie of Aussies!
What was the hardest thing to adjust to?
Handballing is the single hardest skill I’ve had to learn. There is nothing in my past that translates to a handball.
What were the highlights in your time with the Vietnam Swans?
A few spring to mind!
- My first game ever; showed up to my first practice and Billy said ‘hey we’re playing in 2 weeks in Indo, you should come!’ I looked up flights, booked and 2 weeks later won Man of the Match in Jakarta.
- Manila Cup ‘15. We won! Flapper’s speech before the game, I remember him saying that when we meet up with these guys again, we’ll talk about it. I didn’t believe him… but every time I’m with the guys, it seems to come up.
- Been to only 2 ANZAC Friendship Matches… concussed in both!
You often got tough assignments on the field: favourite match-ups?
Always enjoyed the games against big Fitzy from the Cambodian Eagles, and loved every chance to put Josh Leary in the ground after he bailed on the Swans!!
What will you miss when you’ve left the Swans?
I’m going to miss the guys mostly. It’s always a great to travel on tour and have that group experience.
I’ll even miss trainings. Getting out on a Saturday and sweating out the previous night’s beer is always great!
What won’t you miss once you’ve left the Swans?
I won’t miss the fact that practice ‘starts’ at 10, but really 10:30. It’s definitely got better, but I won’t miss that sometimes things are little unorganized and last minute.
What’s next for you?
We’re moving to Jordan. No footy in Jordan, so unfortunately I’m going to have to pick up soccer. Still got my AFL subscription though, so I can still watch!
Thanks Vaughan and good luck in Jordan!
Vaughan bought some raw talent to the Swans and some noteworthy organisational skills (who books tickets when we release a schedule??). His wife Ali was a regular at our games and his family even appeared on a tour to the Philippines. Vaughan will be hard to replace!
In other news, the Swans are now seeking hockey-playing Canadians, rugby-playing South Africans or other nationalities with transferrable skills! Get down to training!