Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 37th 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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Hobart Olympia have adopted a new club badge signifying their Greek heritage as well as their Tasmanian home.


The badge features a Spartan helmet inside a map of Tasmania, which is framed by olive branches, the traditional victory symbol of the ancient Olympic Games.


Olympia’s new president, George Mamacas, said: “The Hobart Olympia Board unanimously voted for the new logo and the tag Warriors.


“We are proud to adopt the classic Greek warrior helmet and make it our own.


“It represents the fighting spirit of our ancestors and brings to the club a wonderful facelift and new beginning to kick off the next 50 years of the club.


“We believe our new look and logo will immediately give our younger players and members something to be proud of and to identify with while representing our club both on and off the field.


“The logo, whilst retaining classic features, embraces both our Australian and Greek heritage.


“We believe the new look of both old and the new will stand the test of time and serve the club well for the next fifty years.


“The fighting spirit of the ancient Greek warrior is something that will be reborn and feared on the playing fields of Tasmania, where the Olympia Warriors will roam during season 2010 and beyond.”

Thierry Henry showed the bad side of the modern game when he deliberately handled the ball twice to enable France to score against Ireland in their World Cup qualification play-off recently and thus qualify for next year’s World Cup finals.


Diego Maradona’s infamous “Hand of God” goal in 1986 was another prime example of lack of sportsmanship.


Argentina won 2-1 and went on to win the World Cup while England were eliminated.


But, Saturday saw a ray of sunshine in terms of sporting behaviour in, of all places, Italy.


Ascoli are struggling at the foot of Serie B, yet they showed remarkable sportsmanship in their game against Reggina.


Ascoli led 1-0 through a controversial 14th-minute goal.


As Reggina’s Carlos Valdez lay injured on the ground, he tried to kick the ball out of play so that he could receive treatment.


Ascoli intercepted the attempted clearance and scored.


Reggina’s players were furious and defender Andrea Costa was sent off for his vehement protests to the referee.


Ascoli’s players knew they had done the wrong thing in scoring the goal and they did the right thing when play was re-started with a kick-off - they stood aside and allowed Reggina to score unopposed and make it 1-1.


Ascoli went on to lose this home match 3-1.


The three points lost may yet prove crucial at season’s end when relegation is decided.


Ascoli certainly deserve a FIFA fair play award.


Well done, Ascoli. Let’s see if FIFA recognise you. After all, they have 'Fair Play' banners hanging everywhere.


Where do readers of this blog stand?

Perth Glory stayed fifth on the A-League ladder after drawing 1-1 at home with the visiting eighth-ranked Brisbane Roar this evening.


Both sides were poor in attack and less than reliable in defence.


Their passing was woeful, particularly in the final third, and their first touch was awful.


Henrique had the ball in the net for Brisbane in the 10th minute, but it was disallowed because of off-side.


In the 16th minute, Brisbane’s Serginho Van Dijk fired a free-kick wide.


Perth almost scored in the 17th minute when Naum Sekulovski did well to get over a left-wing cross, but Branko Jelic’s header came back off the bar.


The ball fell to Adriano Pellegrino, whose tame header went straight to Brisbane goalkeeper Griffin McMaster.


In the 21st minute, Jelic had a dangerous shot turned over the bar by McMaster for a corner.


Two minutes later, McMaster did well to block at the feet of Pellegrino.


Luke DeVere gave Brisbane the lead in the 52nd minute after clever play on the left by Van Dijk resulted in a corner.


The corner to the far post was headed back in by Josh McLoughin and Devere fired home from point-blank range.


Substitute Jamie Harnwell equalised in the 78th minute after a great cross to the far post from the left by Todd Howarth.


Pellegrino nodded the ball back for Harnwell to strike, but McMaster should have saved instead of allowing the ball to strike his arm and trickle over the line.


Both sides missed glorious chances to win in the closing minutes.


In the 85th minute, substitute Michael Zullo fed Mitch Nichols down the right and he passed to Van Dijk, whose first touch was poor and the chance went begging.


In the final minute, a superb outside-of-the-left foot shot by Howarth was brilliantly saved by McMaster.

Gold Coast United moved into third place on the “Beer and Betting” League ladder with a 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners at Skilled Stadium this evening.


The Mariners dropped from third to fourth.


Matt Simon headed the Mariners in front in the 39th minute after a short corner and cross from the left.


Shane Smeltz equalised in the 68th minute after a fine attack by Gold Coast saw substitute Andrew Barisic cross to the far post from the left.


Gold Coast should have had a third shortly after, but the assistant referee incorrectly flagged for off-side.


Barisic, a former Melbourne Knights player and currently playing mainly in the Gold Coast youth side, capped a fine performance as a substitute by scoring the winner in the 76th minute.


Jason Culina’s shot from the left was parried by Danny Vukovic and Barisic slammed home the loose ball.


Brisbane Roar’s Charlie Miller was in the corporate boxes with Gold Coast owner Clive Palmer and is expected to sign for Gold Coast on Tuesday.


Gold Coast are just four points adrift of leaders Melbourne Victory and a point behind second-placed Sydney FC.