With more forks in the road than a bag of pretzels we’ve arrived at the 2023 ANZAC Friendship Weekend. Our players have put in alot of work in both ends of the countries and all 3 games are shaping up as absolute rippers! Congratulations to everyone for pulling the boots on in Saigon and thanks to all the supporters and sponsors making the day possible.
ALL PLAYERS – Please be at the ground by 9am and were needed lend a hand throughout the day. Many hands makes light work!
9:30am Legends vs All Stars Game – RAAF vs 2AOD
The Legends vs All Stars game is a long running tradition of the ANZAC Friendship Match. It was born out of the number of Swans players, family and friends who have been so caught up in the event’s pull that they continually want to be a part of the event. Returning, current and first time players in Vietnam are all welcome, with the game being based in Saigon this year we are hoping to see a few (in)famous faces pulling on the boots and turning the legs over!
One thing is for sure, the game is 100% for fun before and after but during those 4 quarters there’ll be plenty of desire to win and silky skills on display.
This year the magic of the Legends vs All Stars game continues but on the occasion of our 13th Friendship match we’ve paid tribute to two of the original footy teams ever to play the great game in Vietnam in the RAAF and the 2OAD (2nd ordnance and disposal) playing between ‘66 & ‘71 in the spiritual home of football in Vietnam in Vung Tau. The 2AOD team will take on the mantle of the All Stars and captained by club legend and former pres Eric Kerrison while the RAAF will represent the Legends and be captained by another club legend in Adam “Stacka” Carrol.
Players can still register for the Legends vs All Stars game but you must contact the club facebook page directly to ensure entry to RMIT!
10:50am – Men’s International Game – Vietnam Swans vs Singapore Wombats
We’ve come off a really positive 2022, a season that was thrown together with limited options post-covid and a period where our organization grew in both numbers and experience. We burst out of the blocks in Cambodia going undefeated in the tri-series, had back-to-back home wins against great competition and had a proper crack at Asian Champs in Div 1 and Div 3, albeit we came up short in both. I’d also like to take this opportunity specifically to thank AFL Asia, and the Eagles, Tigers and Wombats for both hosting/traveling last year and allowing us to play the sport we all love. These last couple of years have been challenging for everyone, and the fact we were able to come out of lockdown/restrictions and compete in the events that we did was a massive positive during difficult times.
As a club we march into 2023 with a strong sense of self-belief. We know where we belong in this league – We have strong squads, new faces on the committee and have acquired some brilliant new sponsors, to add to the list of greatly appreciated support that this club has received and continues to receive as we grow. In return, we promise to return that support to you all in 2023 and beyond.
Swans 2023 ANZAC Friendship Match Men’s Squad
Jono McKay (c)
Our balded brother earned All Asian Ruck accolades at last years champs and has not slowed down since. Excellent overhead mark with a dangerous left foot that can slot goals from a distance. Jono will be looking to give our mids first use once again.
Jake Norris (c)
Swannies Co-Captain and in-and-under terrier Jake “Burra” Norris makes the trip South and plugs into the midfield as seamlessly as a Hanoi hair implant clinic operates (Hopefully). Burra is the glue that binds the North, one of AFL Asia’s premium midfielders over a long period of time and one of the best blokes you’ll meet around the region.
Alan ‘Austin’ Power will be looking to continue his recent SAFL form and make an impact against Singapore. Coming into his 2nd year of footy, the man from Munster has shown plenty of versatility and strength in the air.
This crafty Gaelic star usually finds himself in the front half of the ground with the round ball, however ‘D7 Kev’ has proven to be an ever-reliable defender for the Swans playing Aussie Rules Footy.
Teaguey despite being an Irishmen brings plenty of footy experience to the squad having played with the Swans on many occasions over the past decade. An absolute nugget that knows how to find the footy and use it well.
An absolute midfield beast that can break tackles and break others in a tackle too. Tish will lead our engine room on Saturday and no doubt lead them well, his willingness to sacrifice himself for his teammates will be on stage for all to see. Runner-up BOG against Hong Kong, he’ll be the bookies favourite to take out best-afield honors against Singapore in his current form.
Delving from the depths of Gawler in South Australia, Cam ‘Mini Tim’ King brings goals to the side but more importantly comes with the biggest social media following of anyone at the club. #goswans
The epitome of the type of player you love to have on your team but absolutely hate to play against. Nath is as hard as nails, has elite intercepting ability and can run all day. He’ll continue to do what he’s done for the Swannies for many years… dominate.
Pete is another crafty Irishmen who can find the goals. His commitment to developing his footy skills and seeking advice has been 2nd to none ever since he joined the Swans and he has been rewarded with a place in our best 22.
He had us all fooled! All of the “Goo-Goo Ga-Ga’s” we’ve heard from drunk Billy over the last decade were just preparation for fatherhood. As one of the club’s long-standing leaders, these occasions are his bread and butter and once again he’ll be standing tall for Vietnam on the last line of defense against the Wombats.
‘The Prez’ stands alongside Billy as the other of the Twin-Towers down back and takes his job as seriously as anyone else in the first 22. A solid 1-on-1 defender with a passion for contest and contact, Matty’s improved field kicking over the last 12 months has made him a lock as one of our Big Backs and a menace for opposition forwards.
The calmer of the Milner brothers but don’t take that to mean he doesn’t throw his head over the ball. Sean uses the footy as good as anyone in the team by both hand and foot. Contested footy beast and a leader amongst the boys, he’ll be a vital cog in our midfield once again.
As one of our senior local contributors and with a wealth of ANZAC experience, Dino’s evasiveness and ability to think quickly under pressure makes him a danger in any international game let-alone one of such significance. He loves an explosive burst around goal, and is bound to get on the board when lurking around the toes of our big FWD’s.
A little pocket rocket that has both the tank and good looks of Vinh Diesel. A Vietnamese stalwart of the club that absolutely bleeds black, red and white. Vinh has proven himself to be a great lockdown backman on the opposing teams small forwards.
Although coming from the USA Will has a plethora of footy knowledge playing across Asia and being a fan of the game for a number of years. He has a strong body that can break tackles along with the brains to be a useful midfielder.
Age is no barrier for the legendary Andy ‘Flappers’ Glendenning, as he continues to shine for the Vietnam Swans in season 2023. Andy’s goal sense, hand/foot skills and knowledge of the game are incredibly important in the make-up of our front 6, he’s also still good for midfield minutes and guaranteed to make an impact on gameday.
An American living in Hanoi, Malone brings a ferocious attitude on the footy field and loves mixing it up with the opposition talls. A very good tap ruckman and improving at ground level, he’s a great addition to the 22 and adds that important physicality at the contest.
A running machine that’s afraid of nothing on the footy field, except the sun. A tall, strong midfielder that can also run off a back or forward flank he’s been a welcome addition to our squad since 2022.
Jakob’s commitment to training and games has earned him a well-deserved spot in our squad to face Singapore. He was a solid contributor in our recent game against Hong Kong and when he switched jumpers at half-time he showed excellent run and carry from the backline.
Quick and agile, Jezza flourishes as a high half forward or wingman. Cannot be missed on the field with his neon hair! Excited for what he can bring to the Swans in his ANZAC Debut, there has been a bit of hype around him in the North for some time now!
Villa takes his spot again out of the goalsquare for Vietnam, coming off a solid game against the Dragons in our season opener and ready to display some 2020 ANZAC form, albeit with an opponent this time no doubt (No offense, Matty Bahen!). With great dukes and a straight kick, Villa may be approaching 40 but you wouldn’t know it as he still makes life hell for even the most capable defenders in the league.
Trenna comes back to the Swans after a several-year hiatus and after a blistering month on the track he finds himself in the Swan’s 22 yet again. Trent is a reliable and unassuming backman, he rarely loses in the air and keeps his feet well at the contest, we’re looking forward to him winding back the clock and showing the RMIT crowd that rebound from defense that made him a regular selection during his golden years.
Everyone’s favourite dog breed, Tom ‘Poodle’ Meyer comes from a rugby background and it shows with his tackling pressure and attack on the ball. He’s learning every game and will only continue to improve.
With a touch of silver in his locks and a foot short on pace, one look at Steve and you’ll know this guy has kicked a few footies around the AFL Asia circuit. Steve always seems like he has time when the footy is in his hands, he’s a solid contributor with a great left foot and a worthy recipient of being named in the 25.
We all wait with bated breath as one of our starting 16 tries to make his way back from a horribly unfortunate hammy strain in the last SAFL hitout. Wayno is one of the beating hearts of this footy club, a half-forward genius that can create something out of nothing and often does. An absolute necessity in our forward six, the reigning SAFL Goalkicking medallist and arguably funniest bloke in Asia is racing the clock to be ready for the April 22nd.
12:50pm – Women’s International Game – Vietnam Swans vs Singapore Wombettes
The Lady Swans will face off against the indomitable Wombettes who will provide a stiff challenge for the group having taken the chocolates in the women’s competition at Asian championships in 2022. Almost 50% of the squad will be playing their first full match of competitive football but look to see plenty of pace, dare and strength from these women that have a strong desire to win.
The team will be led by Co-Captains Clare O’Gorman (2022 BnF winner) and Ashley Abrahams. Their experience, along with club-stalwarts Katie Walsh and Lucy Nguyen will be pivotal in guiding the new yet talented newcomers on game day.
Swans 2023 ANZAC Friendship Match Women’s Squad
Ashley Abrahams (C)
Ashley brings a wealth of playing experience to the team and was the star women’s player at the ANZAC weekend last year. A strong midfielder with elite skills.
Clare O’Gorman (C)
We all know what we’re going to get from Clare; elite speed, ferocious attack on the ball and an incredibly positive energy. She will be the key to our midfield running over the top of the opposition.
Canadian born and raised but has taken the Saigon sporting world by storm by competing across 3 footballing codes and running marathons. Expect to see Alana cover plenty of blades of grass and spend a lot of time in the midfield.
One of many Irish recruits ‘Brody’ will showcase the run and carry that is so pivotal to both Gaelic Football and AFL. Quick to pick up the skills at training, she’ll make a great impact against Singapore.
Another of the Irish contingent, Aoife has a deadly eye for goal in her home country’s sport, expect to see the same in the AFL against Singapore.
Carol packs plenty of aggression and a lot of pace in what will make her a great player off the half-back line. She’s picked up the game quickly and has the brains to be an excellent player.
Another Canadian that is new to the game. Courtney too has plenty of sporting experience herself, most notably in the game of lacrosse. She’s picked up the kicking and marking skills quickly and has already participated in the mixed SAFL games.
A Hanoian that will again be bringing plenty of footy experience down to the South. Touted as the ‘better Dunlavy’, Eva is versatile in where she can play which will be of immense importance to this inexperienced squad.
A recent Irish recruit and new to Saigon, Evrena has thrown herself into the sporting circles here and I expect her to do exactly the same on Saturday. Eager to learn with plenty of speed and coordination, she shows a lot of promise as a future midfielder.
Joining us for her first session just two weeks ago, Jennifer possesses the same strong skillset as the other Gaelic stars and showed quick development with her foot skills.
‘KQ’ joined us for Asian Champs last year for her first ever game and has only continued to build since then. Coming from a rugby background, expect some big tackles from this fierce competitor. She has an amazing game sense for someone that is new to the game and has a great eye for goal.
One of only few players that has grown up watching or playing AFL, Katie Walsh knows the game better than anyone else that will be on the field. She has an excellent overhead mark and will look to use that to her advantage at either end of the ground.
Continuing with the experience coming down from the North, Krista has played across all competitions with the Swans. Another goal-kicker that will undoubtably get her name on the scoresheet.
The Vietnamese born Layla has proven to be valuable in both the backline and forward line in recent games, including the 2022 Asian Champs. And she’s certainly not afraid to put her body on the line.
Our Viet pocket-rocket Lucy is another of the club stalwarts. A booming kick, strong tackler and an absolute brick wall down in defense. She’ll lead our defensive line.
1 of 2 Irish Lucy’s with red hair that has joined the Swannies – Lucy O’Rourke (nickname pending) will look to use her height and strong ball use to her advantage in what is a relatively short team.
The 2nd of 2 Irish Lucy’s with red hair, but if you get them confused don’t stress, this Lucy is the one that will have a bottle of soju in her hand. One of the strongest competitors in the team, she was excellent at full-back when she filled-in for a friendly game last year.
Mary has been an absolute dynamite on the track since she joined the Swannies. Pace, unrelenting attack and a desire to get the ball in her hands as much as possible. She’ll be damaging in the midfield and push forward too.
Yet another Irish recruit that is a gun on the Gaelic field and will be bringing this same intensity to the footy field. Great voice combined with run and carry will make Meabh a major ball-winner all over the ground.
Amazingly just 1 of 2 Australians in our squad, Molly has grown up watching the game of footy and is now pulling on the boots! If her surname is anything to go by, expect some goals on Saturday.
Ngoc Anh Nguyen
One of only a few Swannies to have been involved with the club in both the North and the South, now residing in Saigon Anh has demonstrated a strong desire to learn the game which has seen her skills improve in leaps and bounds.
Nguyen Ngoc Huyen Tram
Playing with us for about a year now, Tram is one of the most aggressive tacklers I’ve seen and we absolutely love it. She has a contagious passion for the game and she’ll show exactly why she received multiple awards for her efforts last year.
Recently crossing over from Gaelic, Niamh brings some much needed height to our team. A strong runner with a good set of hands, she’ll be useful at both ends of the ground and is going to be hard to stop with more experience under her belt.
Nicole has been around the club for a number of years, mostly in a social capacity, but has now joined as a player! She has been a footy fan for a while now which has made her transition to playing the game a breeze. Another of our players that will be dangerous up forward.
Wrapping up our list is our final Vietnamese player and 1 of 5 Hanoians making the journey down from the North for the women’s game. Phuong is not new to the game and has shown a clever ability to crumb and kick goals in our forward line.