Who Is Walter Pless?

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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Clarence United have one foot in the Premier League section Summer Cup final after beating Glenorchy Knights 2-1 in a Group A match at South Hobart this afternoon.

Clarence top the group with two wins from two outings and just need a draw against bottom side University next week to reach the final.

Strikers Luke Cripps and Ben Hamlett caused Knights headaches galore, while Knights’ attacks kept breaking down in the final third.

Jacob Huigsloot headed Clarence in front from Hamlett’s cross in the first half, while Cripps headed the second from Hamlett’s corner just after the break.

Amadu Koroma pulled a goal back for the Knights two minutes from the end with a powerful header after a great build-up involving Josh Fielding and Cosmos Paite.

In the other Group A match, Kingborough Lions United and University drew 1-1, but the Lions won the marathon penalty shoot-out 10-9 to earn the bonus point.

Matthew Besley gave University a 1-0 lead at the break, but a marvellous strike by Marcus Bremner made it 1-1.

The successful penalty takers for the Lions were: Michael Palmer, Marcello Marchioli, Joel Schuth, Bremner, Brett Andrews, Ryan Bevan, Damien Pearce, Marc Iseli, Tom McDonald and Michael Wells.

Oliver Venettacci, Andy Wilson, Matthew Besley, Brook Teale, James Wilkinson, Johnathon Merry, John Wilson, Joseph Summers and David Procter netted for University, but Mitch Gooch blazed the last spot-kick high over the bar.

South Hobart slipped up in Group B when it was held to a 1-1 draw by Hobart Zebras, but South won the penalty shoot-out 6-5.

Josh Thorpe had a first-half penalty saved by South’s Mark Moncur, while Greg Downes put South ahead midway through the second half.

A brilliant strike by Ricky Self made it 1-1, but South twice hit the woodwork before the end - through Matthew Brown and Downes.

In the penalty shoot-out, Jonathon Ladic, Hugh Ludford, Downes, Liam Scott, David Cooper and Josh Heerey all scored for South Hobart, while for Zebras, Thorpe, Aaron Brazendale, Ben Crosswell, Henry Fagg and Andrew Telega were on target.

South Hobart's Gary Upton hit the crossbar with his effort, but Moncur saved from Dwayne Walsh and Daniel Lapolla to give South Hobart victory and the bonus point.

A first-half penalty by Alexander Leszczynski gave New Town Eagles a 1-0 win over Hobart Olympic.

Eagles finished the game with just nine players after Richard DeLara and Chris Wass were both sent off after collecting second yellow cards.

[Detailed match reports to follow as soon as possible.]



Luke Cripps heads Clarence's second goal against the Knights (bottom)

Mitch Gooch of University places his spot-kick over the bar to give the Lions victory (top)

Southern Summer Cup (Premier League section)


New Town Eagles 1-0 Hobart Olympic
South Hobart 7-6 Tilford Zebras [1-1 at full-time; South Hobart won penalty shoot-out 6-5]
Glenorchy Knights 1-2 Clarence United
Kingborough Lions United 11-10 University [1-1 at full-time; Kingborough Lions won penalty shoot-out 10-9]

Southern Summer Cup (Division One)

Hobart United 1-5 Beachside
New Town Eagles 3-0 DOSA
Taroona 1-0 Metro
This is the full text of the preview sent to "The Mercury", just so that you can see how it was cut by 50 per cent:

Summer Cup Soccer Preview [Premier League Section] for “The Mercury” of Friday, 20 February 2009

By Walter Pless

Summer Cup holder Hobart Zebras must win against last year’s losing finalist South Hobart when they meet at South Hobart at 12.30pm tomorrow [Saturday] if it is to reach this year’s final.

South Hobart can virtually assure itself of a place in the final from Group B by beating the Zebras.

Zebras will be strengthened by the return of central defender Ryan Smith from overseas after he missed all of last season.

South will have Ricky Eaves on view for the first time, but striker David Abbott may be rested because of a hamstring strain.

Hobart Olympic, third in Group B, meets last-placed New Town Eagles at 11am and must win to keep alive its hopes of a place in the final.

Olympic welcomes back striker Michael Bulis to partner new signing Akuel Guot in attack, while defender Youssef Mohamad is also back after holidays.

Ben Backhaus and Chris Tsimiklis will work their way back through the reserves, while the club is still awaiting a clearance from Greece for its new midfielder.

Eagles will add Wade Savage to its side after he impressed coach George Krambousanos in the reserves last weekend.

Krambousanos had a serious talk to his players at training during the week after last Saturday’s debacle against South Hobart - a 6-0 hiding - and has worked on strengthening the defence.

Glenorchy Knights and Clarence United, the two top sides in Group A, meet at 2pm in a game neither side can afford to lose as the winner will have one foot in the final.

Knights will have defenders Tony Dzelalija and Corey Smith back after they missed the opening-round 2-0 win over University.

Defender Nektar Vavoulas may be unavailable because of family reasons.

Midfielder Mynonge Kamba will be keen to impress against his former club.

Clarence may introduce key players Luke Cripps, Sam Cannamela and Julian McMahon after their return to the ranks.

The final game of the day at 3.30pm is between University and Kingborough Lions United.

University will be strengthened by the inclusion of Brook Teale, Damien Bones, Nigel Blundell and Julian Proud.

Taka Manaka and Aaron Hindmarsh are still away and will be sorely missed.

The Lions are still without injured midfielder Charles White, and Ross Hinkley may start on the bench again because of ankle problems.
The third round of matches in the Steve Hudson Cup in Launceston this Sunday features some intriguing matches.

The holders, South Hobart, take on fellow southerners the Tasmanian Institute of Sport at 1pm.

South Hobart are in action the day before against Tilford Zebras in the southern Summer Cup.

This will be a difficult game for South Hobart and the TIS may find their opponents tired and less effective than usual.

The TIS have a win and a draw from their two games to date, which is a credit to the youngsters.

TIS are second in Group A and South Hobart are first.

TIS will find South Hobart a handful and a draw is probably the best they can hope for.

Taroona, the third southern side in the competition, have done extremely well and have won both their games, which puts them on top in Group B.

They will have played in the Division One Summer Cup competition in the south the day before and this trip to Launceston to take on Northern Rangers, second in Group B, will test their resources and commitment.

Former Clarence United star Paul Bremner will make his debut for Northern Rangers. He has impressed at training.

Derek Schipper and goalkeeper Marshall Pooley will also make their debuts in this competition for Rangers.

Thataetsile Kakadumane is not yet match fit and will be given another week to get up to speed.

Andrew Nicholson returned last weekend after two years out of action and played extremely well.

Rangers are nowhere near full strength yet but should be worth at least a draw in this game.

The squad is: M Pooley, J Wilson, G Tams, R Prestidge, S Nugteren, P McBeath, O Aykiran, D Rieser, S Luck(captain), A Demeijer, M Bami, T Hingston, D Schipper, A Nicholson, P Bremner and M Ambrose.

“The team are shaping up well and the boys have been working very hard in training,” said Rangers coach, Roslan Saad.

“The healthy competition for a place in the team is most welcome by any coach.

“Competition are so tough that players that join in late usually will take at least two weeks before they can get close to the rest in terms of fitness and system of play.

“That explains why TT [Thataetsile Kakadumane] is not selected.

“We conceded two goals in the first game and one goal last week, so no goals conceded is the target for this week.

“I believe we can get a close win against a good team like Taroona if we compete for everything and try to win the individual battles and put them under pressure.”

Third-placed Launceston City take on last-placed Riverside Olympic in the other Group A game at 11am.

In Group B, third-placed Prospect Knights meet last-placed Launceston United at 2.30pm.

The North-West Coast Summer Cup competition begins on Saturday with two matches at Devonport’s Valley Road.

At 12.30pm, Ulverstone meet Burnie, while at 2.30pm, Somerset are up against Devonport City.

Both should be tight contests.