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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Photos (Top to Bottom): South Hobart's Jai David (right) tangles with a Beachside opponent; South Hobart's Jai David (right) scored; South Hobart keeper Sam Kruijver has recovered from his shoulder injury which kept him out for a lengthy spell last season; Beachside's Colin Shepherd and Nathan Robinson playing against South Hobart; action from today's match; South HObart's Greg Downes turned 17 today

South Hobart beat Beachside 3-1 at Wellesley Park this afternoon.

This was the return match from last weekend, when South won 10-2.

Ken Morton was away in Melbourne for the weekend, but his young charges again did well after trailing to a Colin Wain goal at the interval.

Wain is, incidentally, a former South Hobart player.

Second-half strikes from Jai David, Elliott Lovell and Cameron Williams gave South their win.

Beachside were without Ben and Sam Crosswell, who were both unavailable, while they had to borrow South Hobart’s under-19 goalkeeper as Alex Bigg and Michael Soszynski were also unavailable.

Beachside’s Luke Atkin was carried off after twisting a knee in the first half.

Beachside coach Nathan Robinson said he hoped it was nothing more than a strain but the player was carried to the dressing rooms at the interval on a stretcher.

“It’s mainly about fun at this stage and winning is not the top priority in these practice games,” said Robinson.

“Playing practice games is a better way to get new players to the club than just training sessions.”

Greg Downes, who celebrated his 17th birthday today, completed another successful game in his comeback from a broken leg sustained last season.

Adelaide United moved to second-last on goal-difference on the A-League ladder after drawing 1-1 with the visiting eighth-placed Wellington Phoenix at Hindmarsh Stadium this evening.

Adelaide went close to scoring in the 22nd minute when Michael Marrone hit the outside of a post.

United were unable to make it a fourth home win of the season despite taking the lead in the 57th minute through Alemao.

The Brazilian midfielder gained possession near the half-way line on the right and advanced on goal before driving a great shot from 30 metres past a helpless Liam Reddy in the Phoenix goal.

Wellington then attacked strongly and dominated the rest of the game and grabbed the equaliser in the 77th minute.

Substitute Adrian Caceras was on the pitch for less than a minute when he beat two defenders on the left and cut inside along the byline.

Caceras drove the ball low and hard towards the six-yard box and Adelaide goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic deflected the ball into his own net with his leg to make it 1-1.

Tim Brown missed an easy header for Wellington, while captain Adrian Durante was also off-target from a good opening.

The attendance was 9,070.

Wellington’s joy at gaining a point was tempered somewhat by the news that the Asian Football Confederation is renewing its efforts to ban New Zealand sides from competing in Australian competitions.

Second-last Brisbane Roar moved up to seventh place on the A-League ladder with a 2-0 win over eighth-ranked North Queensland Fury in a midweek game at Suncorp Stadium this evening.

The start of the match was delayed for a few minutes as a large crowd was still waiting to get in to the ground.

The attendance was 11,530, which is Brisbane’s sixth largest attendance of the season.

Two goals by Sergio Van Dijk did the damage.

His first came in the 20th minute when a long ball out of defence put Henrique away on the right and he cut the ball across goal from the byline for Van Dijk to hit home at the far post.

Van Dijk made it 2-0 in the 42nd minute when he converted a cross from the left.

Michael Zullo played in the unusual position of left-back for Brisbane and did very well.

There was controversy when Fury’s David Williams was injured and lay half in and half out of the pitch.

The referee did not stop play and that is when Brisbane counter-attacked and scored their first goal.

The physio was unable to treat him and there was an altercation between Fury coach Ian Ferguson and the fourth official about the incident.

The Diamond Princess leaving Hobart yesterday for New Zealand

Otto Klaus was in Hobart yesterday.

Klaus was, of course, the man who took Ulverstone to the state-wide Ampol Cup title back in 1982.

On 2 October of that year, they beat Juventus 3-2, with Kent and Lapolla scoring for Juventus and Rob Smith, Sugden and L Jones netting for Ulverstone.

Ulverstone had a marvellous team while Klaus was at the helm and it included Joe McGrory, Liam Monagle, Rod Sanders and three fly-ins from Sydney each weekend - Badih Hammoud, Jim Meerbani and Peter Hassan.

The Sydney trio had their own manager in Hassan Amed, and Ulverstone were a feared team in Tasmania.

And, boy, could those three boys play!

Ulverstone won back-to-back Northern titles and lost to Morton’s Olympia in the State final over two legs in the early 1980s.

The Sydney fly-ins eventually joined Croatia Glenorchy, where their technical skills made them a delight to watch.

A typical Ulverstone line-up (before the introduction of the fly-ins) of the time was: Rob Smith, Ron Smith, Jones, Koch, Shegog, Foote, Sugden, Sallese, Compagne, Monagle, Di Felice, Fisher, R Koch, Howe, Sanders.

Klaus was known as a disciplinarian and his training sessions involved a lot of unusual (for Tasmania) physical work.

This included players being put in a special harness and towing tyres around.

Mind you, I have seen Brazil’s squad doing this even recently. Then again, Dunga is their coach.

Rod Sanders even now jokes that he’s still recovering from Klaus’s sessions!

Klaus then moved south, where he coached Olympia-WPL, Rapid and Hobart City.

Klaus, a German who had come to Tasmania from Sydney, at one time had a promising young German coach from Hamburg, Heinz-Willy Gerdsen, here for a few months as his assistant.

Gerdsen coached in the amateur leagues in Germany and, after returning to Europe, eventually moved to New Zealand, where he still lives and coaches in Auckland.

Klaus also brought over a talented German player for Juventus (I think his name was something like Kantenwein), but the move did not work out and the player hardly made any appearances here before leaving.

Klaus and his wife were on the cruise liner “Diamond Princess”, which arrived in Hobart yesterday morning and left for New Zealand in the evening.

I spent an enjoyable day with him and he managed to catch up with Ken Morton in North Hobart, and former Hobart City president George Marino and City player Robbie Marino at Robbie’s Harbour Lights restaurant.

Klaus and Morton were fierce rivals in the 1980s, of course, but the last time the two had met was a few years ago when Morton took his Vietnamese club side to Queensland on a pre-season training camp and tour.

Klaus, who is 77, still coaches and is looking extremely fit.

He is the coach of the University of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, where he has a team made up of the foreign students studying at the university.

He also coaches a local under-12 side.

He was one of Tasmania’s most colourful, outspoken and controversial coaches in the 1980s and early 1990s.

When he coached Olympia-WPL, he made the team run out for their games and form a circle around the centre-circle, with the goalkeeper in the middle, and wave to the crowd.

The players were awfully self-conscious and uncomfortable with this routine at first, but eventually got used to it.

It was a forerunner of today’s common sight around the world, where the teams walk out together, line up, and then shake hands.

It was always a source of humour to seek out tempestuous player Nick Cook’s views of the routine.

Cook, who was the ‘stormy petrel’ of Tasmanian soccer at the time and who played for Rapid and Olympia during Klaus’s tenure, was able to imitate his German coach to a tee (behind his back, of course), and used to have his team-mates in fits.

He had a habit of calling his coach ‘Santa’ Klaus.

Klaus was the instigator of some of the first junior coaching clinics in southern Tasmania and he would bring former Socceroos coach Rale Rasic here to conduct the clinics.

Klaus was in charge of Hobart City when they had their famous walk-off at KGV Park against Caledonians in 1987.

The club were expelled and Klaus and George Marino fined. Klaus was banned for two seasons but the sanctions were eventually over-turned in the courts.

“The Mercury” devoted a huge amount of space to the matter in the coming months, but the articles were written by their Australian Rules chief reporter, David Stockdale, as Klaus and Marino apparently felt I was biased against the club and so believed that I wouldn’t write balanced accounts.

I ended up reporting on the matters from an overall football perspective, while David interviewed the City personnel and expressed their views.

We have all resolved our differences since, of course, and are all firm friends. I try and catch up with Klaus whenever I am in Queensland.

Klaus said he would try and seek out Gerdsen while his ship is in Auckland.

The local scene seems very quiet nowadays compared with when Klaus coached here.