Who Is Walter Pless?


A teacher by profession, but is now in his 38th year as a football writer. Has written for "Soccer Action" (Melbourne), "Australian Soccer Weekly" (Sydney) and "World Soccer" (London), as well as for several Tasmanian newspapers. Currently contributing to "Goal!Weekly" in Melbourne and the Australian magazine "Soccer International". Played for Croatia-Glenorchy, Caledonians, Metro, Rapid and University in Tasmania, as well as in the United States of America. Coached University, Metro and Croatia-Glenorchy.

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All the other Division One matches are postponed because of ground closures.

Captain and midfielder Adam Mills in still unavailable for Nelson because of a knee ligament injury, while Robert Brooke and Lewis Gibbs should return after recovering from illness.

Tom Gordon, who scored his first league goal for the club last weekend, will captain the side.

Midfielder Natsuki Futumura will play his last game of the season as he is heading back to Japan next week.

“We played a well-controlled and organised game last week against Taroona, but unfortunately lost the match in the last few minutes and had nothing to show for it,” said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.

“We need to regroup and approach this game with the same intensity.

“The team has been playing pretty well over the last month and our young goalkeeper, Nic De Carpentier, had an excellent game against Taroona in his first match back after a knee injury.

“Craig Stockdale and Tom Gordon also did well.

“Despite continuing injury concerns, we are confident we can get a result this weekend.”

The previous meeting between the sides resulted in a 1-1 draw.

This will be DOSA defender Simon Natoli’s 150th senior game for the club.

Mark Wakefield, David Visentin, Scott MacCrum and Calvin Frith have injury worries, which means 16-year-old Nick Butt may retain his place after a promising display last weekend.

Payne has been coaching with Bryst in Canada, where he worked with indoor programs, summer camps and the under-14 boys’ and under-21 men’s teams for the past four years.

He has the Brazilian ‘A’ coaching licence and the UEFA ‘A’ and ‘Pro’ licences.

Payne has spent time in Brazil working with club side Cruzeiro at youth and senior levels.

He replaces Richard Evans, who left after only a short stint in Tasmania late last year.

Meanwhile, Vicki Linton, head coach of the women’s football program at the Tasmanian Institute of Sport, has left to take up full-time duties with the Australian women’s national teams and the hunt is on for her replacement.

* * * * *

Speculation is rife about where the TIS men’s team will play next season.

The team has been playing as University’s under-19s this season and top the ladder, 4 points ahead of Clarence United.

Most clubs were vehemently opposed to the TIS helping out University by playing as their under-19s because they claimed it enabled University to abrogate their responsibilities for youth development by providing them with a ready-made team.

Now that University has been relegated to Division One next season, the TIS side will have to find a new league in which to play.

One suggestion is that they play in the Division One competition, which will be much more demanding than the under-19 league they have played in this season.

They have swept most opponents aside easily this year and on Saturday demolished Hobart Zebras 8-1.

* * * * * *

Football Federation Australia has announced a Grassroots Football Facilities Fund consisting of grants ranging from $5,000 to $20,000 for ‘grassroots’ football clubs that have at least half of their members in the junior age groups, that is, up to an including under-16s.

The maximum grant a club can received is $20,000 and the money cannot be spent on recurrent administrative or staffing costs.

It can be spent on things such as portable goals for small-sided games, installation of rainwater tanks attached to club rooms and amenities blocks, the planting of winter grass and improving the drainage of grounds.

The money may also be used to enhance change rooms, particularly those for women players, to construct artificial turf pitches and multi-use sports areas, to convert open spaces into small-sided football pitches, to install fixed floodlights or other lighting, and to purchase goal-nets and corner flags.

There will be three grants periods over the next year and the first ends on 31 August, so all those soccer clubs out there who have plenty of juniors should contact their local councils and Football Federation Tasmania with a view to applying for a grant.

It may even lead to fewer cancellations - which we have seen plenty of in this wet winter - in the future.

The recent coaching change at Division One club Metro came as a complete surprise to centre-back Grant Malcolm, one of the club’s three Scottish imports.

With Metro top of the league and favoured to win promotion, Darrin Chaffey was replaced by under-19s coach Bob Nicholson before training one evening.

“We had no inkling of it,” said 21-year-old Malcolm. “It was a decision made by the guys in charge.

“We came to training and got ready for a normal session and were then told there was a change of coach.”

Metro currently lead second-placed Taroona by three points, with just three games remaining.

Malcolm is confident Metro can win the title and earn promotion to the Premier League after just one season out of the top flight, but Taroona is a threat.

“The title is ours to lose,” Malcolm said. “Taroona have shown they’re a good team.

“They’re definitely the best team we’ve played, apart from Beachside.

“Taroona are always a team that play right to the death.

“They’re never going to give up.”

Malcolm played with EK Rolls Royce in Glasgow for the past five seasons, which is the team from which Metro obtained the services of Steve Pettit last year.

He played at centre-back for them last season, but is usually a central midfielder.

Malcolm has been ill for the past month and is just getting back to match fitness.

He bemoans the lack of talking amongst players during games and puts that down to the inexperience of youngsters.

He also said that players were sometimes too keen to push forward and search for goals when defensive unity had to be maintained at the back and it was such failings which almost cost Metro the game against Taroona (it ended 4-4, with metro earning a late penalty).

Malcolm rates Taroona’s Chris Cox as the most dangerous attacker he has faced this season.

“He’s very quick,” Malcolm said. “When he came on against us as a substitute, he changed things.

“It’s usually fast attackers that cause me problems.”

Malcolm and his two Scottish compatriots at Metro, Ricky Orr and Colin Sweeney, often watch Premier League matches whenever they can and, if they stay for a second season, would love to give it a crack with Metro.

Metro striker Ricky Orr has scored 24 league goals in 14 matches this season.

It is a performance that has helped propel Metro to the top of the Division One ladder and the club stands on the crest of promotion to the Premier League with four matches remaining.

The 23-year-old is one of three Scottish imports that are currently playing for Metro.

A fourth, Steve McClung, had to return to Scotland for family reasons after just a month here.

Orr played for Hamilton Academicals as a professional when he was in his teens.

He then moved to Larkhall Thistle and was with Arthurlie before taking up Metro’s offer to come to Australia.

He played in midfield for Arthurlie, although he had some experience as a striker and did score some goals.

“I’m used to playing in the centre of midfield, but Metro needed a striker so I said I’d play up front,” said Orr.

“I would like to help or young players develop and that’s more important than the goals.

“I’m not worried about the goals as long as the younger boys are enjoying the game.

“It’s getting harder to score goals now because opponents know me and they’re starting to man-mark me.”

Orr said that Beachside defender Ben Davis has been his toughest opponent and they were both sent off the last time the teams met, although Orr appealed successfully against a suspension.

“Ben Davis has always given me a hard time and he’s knocked lumps out of me,” Orr said jokingly.

“But, that’s all part and parcel of the game.

“It’s a rough and tumble at times and I’m not bothered by that.”

Orr said the title is Metro’s to lose and he feels for Taroona, which is in second place.

“They deserved to win the last time we met, when we got a late penalty to draw the game at 4-4,” he said.

“They’re a good side and I feel for them if they don’t go up because they’re too good a side to be playing in that league.”

Orr is uncertain about his future with Metro and said it all depended on whether he could get an extension to his visa. He is a qualified electrician.

“I wouldn’t mind having a shot at Premier League, buy we’ll see what happens with the visa,” he said.