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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Something is seriously wrong in the local Division One kingdom.

Northern Suburbs DOSA had the unfortunate distinction of setting a new record for men’s football in Tasmania on Saturday.

The club’s reserves lost 31-0 to Beachside, with Adam Direen netting ten of Beachside’s goals.

The previous record was established in 1993, according to local soccer statistician, Keith Roberts, when in a Division 4 game, New Norfolk beat University Tigers 24-1.

The biggest scores at senior level occurred in the north in 1972 when Launceston Croatia lost 19-0 twice - first to George Town and then to Ulverstone.

The biggest score in the south in the top flight occurred in 1952, when Caledonians beat ANM 17-0, and in 1959, when South Hobart beat Kingston 17-0.

Saturday’s results also featured a 16-0 reserves win for Taroona over Christian United.

These results should be investigated by Football Federation Tasmania because there is obviously something drastically wrong.

The Division One competition feeds the Premier League in terms of promotion for the champion side, but there can be little depth with scores such as these.

* * * * *

Clarence United are, quite rightly, fuming after the late cancellation of their game against Northern Rangers on Saturday in the state-wide top-four finals series.

With the team bus warming up and the players ready to depart for Launceston, the club was informed mid-morning that the game had been postponed because the ground was unplayable.

Clarence were then asked to front up the next day to play the game in Ulverstone, but declined because of the short notice and the unavailability of some players.

It looks as if the game will now be played in Launceston next Saturday, throwing the finals series back by a week.

The Hobart Olympic women’s team, which was due to play Launceston City in Launceston, reached Campbell Town before being informed their game had been postponed.

* * * * *

South Hobart, coached by Jed Donoghue, added the Premier League Reserves title to their silverware this season, despite going down to Glenorchy Knights 3-0 on Sunday at South Hobart in their final league match.

South’s seniors, of course, won the Premier League title and so that is the second year in a row that the club has won both the senior and reserve titles.

* * * * *

I sometimes listen live to “Football Fever”, an excellent radio program about Australian football, which is broadcast on Sydney radio station 2KY on Sunday evenings from 9pm to 11pm.

It is hosted by Paul Williams and Jason Lovelock.

Last Sunday, they interviewed Bonita Mersiades, Football Federation Australia’s Head of Corporate and Public Affairs.

During the interview, Mersiades was asked about a Tasmanian A-League bid.

She said that no bid had yet been received from Tasmania and that if one were to be received in the future it might be considered if there was an expansion of the A-League beyond 12 teams.

* * * * *

Michael Driessen made an appearance for University's senior Premier League side some weeks ago in the postponed match against Clarence United on a Thursday evening at Wentworth Park.

The veteran had not played senior football for some seasons.

Michael told me he almost scored and that reminded me of his days playing for University.

Above is a photograph of Michael, taken by Ralph Dymond, showing him almost scoring for University against Croatia-Glenorchy back in about 1984.

The goalkeeper making the save is none other than John Michniewski, who had come to Tasmania after playing professionally in the US.

A professional from Poland initially, Michniewski came to Tasmania to join New Town Eagles, but after they were relegated, he joined Croatia.