Contributed by: Cam Homes Monday, February 15 2016 @ 06:14 pm ACDT
The Vietnam Swans will host the 17th AFL Asian Championships at RMIT Saigon campus on Saturday 15 October, 2016.
Confirmation was announced at the AFL Asia Annual General Meeting which was held on January 27th 2016.
This will be the first time that the Swans will have hosted “Asian Champs”, which saw over 400 competitors travel to Bangkok in 2015.
The new two-division format with a 12-a-side second division focussing on a commitment to promote local development was hailed a big success in Bangkok and will be continued in Saigon.
“The Swans are excited to be hosting this years Champs and we can’t wait to welcome all of AFL Asia’s Clubs to Vietnam”, Swans President and AFL Asia Vice President Grant Keys said.
As part of the Champs, the Swans are also excited to announce their intention to host what is believed to be the first ever official game of women’s Australian football in Asia, with a Vietnam vs Rest of the World game being proposed.
“We pride ourselves on being the most inclusive Club in Asia, formed behind the close relationship we enjoy with our Saigon Ladies Gaels and Viet Celts Ladies sister clubs. We look forward to seeing these girls unite under a Swans banner this year and take on the world.” Keys said
“We hope by signalling our intention to host the first ever Women’s international in Asia we will encourage many other teams around the region to develop their own women’s footy programs and invite their ladies along to Saigon with them” Keys said nervously, as his wife dusts off her footy boots.
Following the success of AFL Asia’s local player development initiatives at the 2015 Champs that saw Andrew Embley travel to Bangkok for a pre-Champs clinic with a record 40 local players, the Swans will look to build upon these with further coaching clinics on the Friday and another East vs SE Asian local player feature game.
"We are making local player development a big focus of the Swans this year and will be looking hard at the schedule to see how we can fit in as much as possible over the Saturday and where possible, on the Friday before the Championships" added Mr Keys.
The Swans have proposed to AFL Asia its intention to help support AFL accreditation for umpires officiating at this years Champs.
"We can’t wait to welcome all of AFL Asia’s Clubs to Vietnam”, reiterated Mr Keys.
Source; AFL Asia and Vietnam Swans Australian Football Club.