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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The hot weather today reminded me of the 5-a-side and 7-a-side tournaments that used to be held at KGV Park in the early 1970s and during the 1980s.

That was in the days before Futsal.

Can you imagine playing 5-a-side in the heat on the full KGV Park pitch?

That was what happened in the early 1970s during the pre-season.

The organisers must have had rocks in their heads because players were not yet fully fit as most clubs had only just started training for the new campaign and KGV was the largest pitch in the State.

It was often a case of who could last the distance and who could score from range.

Common sense prevailed a decade later when 7-a-side became the norm for an end-of-season tournament and KGV was divided into two pitches, each occupying half of the field.

Players formed their own teams and did not necessarily play for their regular-season clubs.

One of the best sides was called ‘Brazil’, while Juventus also had a talented side, as the above photographs demonstrate.

Much later, the season traditionally ended with a ‘World Cup’ tournament featuring sides such as Australia, Croatia, Greece, Italy, Germany, and England.

These were 11-a-side games and there were some wonderful contests.