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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Taroona and Metro, the two teams relegated from the Premier League last season, meet in the first round of the Division One Summer Cup competition at Olinda Grove at 5.30pm on Saturday.

Metro have lost Shane Kent and coach Ahmed Abdaltam. Darrin Chaffey is the new coach.

“This weekend, our squad will be stretched a bit more thinly as we have a Summer Cup game on Saturday against Metro and a Steve Hudson Cup game on Sunday against Northern Rangers,” said Taroona coach, Ben Horgan.

“Two or three guys will play in both games, probably coming off the bench on the Sunday, but, apart from that we will have different line-ups.

“The team for the game against Metro will mainly be made up of guys who started pre-season a bit later and so haven’t reached an ideal level of fitness yet, but with Summer Cup games being only 60 minutes, it shouldn’t be a problem.

“Some of the likely starters include Daniel Palmer, Stefano Flonta, Duncan Carey and Lucas Wyatt, who I expect will all be important senior players for us this season.

“No doubt Metro will be contenders for the Division One title, so it is important that we start with a good performance against them.

“Darragh Carey, Jack Elliott and Hamish Macgregor will all be back into the starting line-up for our game against Northern Rangers after missing last weekend’s win, but I was very happy with the job the new boys did against Launceston United.

“Mark Gates played a big part in our first goal and Mike Haslewood did well with the limited time he had on the park, which was great for two guys making their senior debuts.

“Alex Edwards will keep his place on the bench after coming on and creating a lot of scoring opportunities against Launceston United with his strength and passing range in midfield.

“Our numbers at training have been really good and the players have shown a real willingness to work hard to make up for last season, so, hopefully, that will show in our performances this year.”

Last season’s Division One champions Hobart United take on a new-look Beachside at 2.30pm.

Beachside have signed Colin Shepherd from University, Luke Atkin and Colin Wain from South Hobart, Karl Mathieson from Melbourne University, Kurt De Jong, Jason Szoka and Alex Bigg from Taroona, and Damien Lowe from St Virgil’s.

The new player-coach is Nathan Robinson, from South Hobart.

“There are some existing Beachside players still involved,” said Robinson.

“And, Kurt, Alex and Jason all transferred from Beachside to Taroona when promoted in 2008.

“We are looking forward to playing the Division One champions from last season.”

Pedro Ramirez, of Hobart United, said: “This year we go in with a new squad as a few players have opted to play premier league.

“The squad is based on a mix of senior and reserve players, which will be a challenge for the boys, but one they are eager to have.

“Beachside have always provided a good game and they will come at us with everything they have.

“For Hobart United Football Club, the Summer Cup will be a selection criteria for the rostered season.

“Alex Bellini will be out for the Summer Cup, but Ian Walker will be in our defence.

“Nathan Grandin will be on the field and this gives Chris Cooper a try-out as goalkeeper.

“We will play a very defensive game and try to come out with an element of surprise.

“Hobart United Football Club is in high spirits and the team will play the best they can against a very respected team.”

DOSA meet New Town Eagles at 1pm.

“The Eagles squad is depleted with regular starters Damien Bones and Tom Fotak transferring to other clubs, Sam Calvert with a long-term injury, Matthew Fennell suspended, and David Page and Bob Hadfield unable to be contacted,” said Eagles coach, Marty Nidorfer.

“Keepers Damien Crowle, Allan Wisby and Brian Sutherland have hung up the boots, meaning we have recruited renowned shot stopper Liam Donohue from the Huon Valley.

“Captain Steve Louden is back after a broken wrist which ruled him out of most of last season, and the team will rely on a host of up-and-coming under 19s in this campaign.

“We have lost a lot of guys from last year, but I think the youth we will put out there against DOSA will bring a new dimension to the team.

“It has been hard to retain players due to the fact we have been relegated to Division Two.”

The remaining match is between Nelson Eastern Suburbs and Christian United at 4pm.
The finalist from Group B of the Premier League section of the Summer Cup competition may be decided after only the second round of matches at South Hobart on Saturday.

If South Hobart, the group leaders, beat second-placed Tilford Zebras in the day’s second match at 12.30pm, South Hobart could be in the final, depending on the outcome of the earlier game (11am) between third-placed Hobart Olympic and fourth-placed New Town Eagles.

This shows what a farce the competition has become now that there are just eight Premier League sides.

Two groups of four, with no semi-finals, makes a mockery of the competition as a team could be out of the running after just one defeat.

At least with two groups of five, the suspense went on a bit longer.

The fact that such prominent teams can be eliminated so early in a very short tournament lends weight to the argument for a revamp to a World Cup-style format of 16 teams - four groups of four, with quarterfinals and semifinals - and involving Division One teams [as outlined in an article published earlier this month].

South Hobart are not taking Zebras lightly as it was the Zebras who beat them in last season's final.

Tilford Zebras will have central defender Ryan Smith back after he returned from overseas just before Christmas.

He was in the UK last season and Zebras sorely missed him.

His return will bolster the defence.

Youngster Brayden Pace will make way so that Smith can resume his partnership with Henry Fagg and Michael Connolly.

“It’s always a good contest between the two clubs,” said Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla. “But, it’s early in the season, so who knows what will happen?

“We beat them in the final last year when we weren’t expected to get there.

“But, it’s too early in the season to put bets on things at the moment.

“I was pleased with certain aspects of our game last week, but I don’t think we got out of second gear really.

“We need to work more on certain parts of our game. We lack a bit of match fitness as well.

“I was pleased with Dwayne Walsh’s first game. He played really well.

“He’s been looking very, very sharp at training and he seems to have a new lease on life. He’ll do well.

“We’re looking forward to it.”

South Hobart may rest striker David Abbott, who has a hamstring strain.

“After speaking to Jed Donohue, who took training on Tuesday, the senior players have been in good spirits and trained well,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, who attended an international coaching conference in Sydney earlier in the week.

Andrew Brown, Michael Edwards and Franco Previdi, all from Clarence, also attended, as did the TIS head coach, Dean May, Neil Connell, Mark Broadbent of Hobart United, and Mike Denton from the North-West Coast.

“We’ll go into the game with a full-strength squad,” said Morton. “Ricky Eaves will take part in this game, but we may give David Abbott a rest.

“We’re well aware of the Zebras’ ability.

“A forward line consisting of Aaron Brazendale, Ricky Self, Dwayne Walsh, Josh Thorpe and Ben Crosswell - it all depends on which one wants to push on - is as good as, if not better, than any in the league.

“Without a doubt, Ben Crosswell is not the footballer of the year for nothing.

“We’ll treat them with due respect.

“I still think it’s very important that we focus on our own game and how we play and to be prepared to take the game to them and to be confident in our own ability.”

Hobart Olympic will have Youssef Mohamad and Michael Bulis back for the showdown with Eagles, but Ben Backhaus and Chris Tsimiklis will make their return via the reserves.

Backhaus has been on holiday and Tsimiklis twisted an ankle in a practice match a few weeks ago.

“We’re looking to improve from last week,” said Olympic coach, Farrell Shaw.

“Hopefully, we can against an Eagles team that will be very tough.

“They’ll be a lot different to what they were against South Hobart.

“South Hobart are a very daunting team and they put the wind up most players.

“Eagles have got a few good players, such as that lad in the middle of the park [Richard Delara], who showed he could play a bit.

“We’ll have to keep an eye on him.

“Cormac Collins up front can do different things, as we’ve found out previously.

“A few of the lads we’re not familiar with, but we’ll keep an eye on them and, hopefully, we can perform well.

“Michael Bulis, after a run in the reserves, will turn out for the seniors.

“He and Akuel Guot will form a good partnership in attack.”

New Town Eagles coach, George Krambousanos, will bring Wade Savage into the defence after watching his performance for the reserves last Sunday.

“We had a talk and a good session on Tuesday and we need to improve our defending,” said Krambousanos. “We worked on a few things at training.

“It’s hard when some of the players are in Launceston during the week studying and you haven’t got the whole squad to work with.

“We’ll look to doing better this week. It was hard playing the first game against a team of the quality of South Hobart, but we hope to bounce back this weekend.”

A loss for either side means curtains as far as appearing in the final is concerned.

Glenorchy Knights and Clarence United, the two top sides in Group A, meet at 2pm and a win for either will almost certainly mean a place in the final.

Knights will have Corey Smith and Tony Dzelalija in the line-up, but defender Nektar Vavoulas could be missing because of family reasons.

“The inclusion of Smith and Dzelalija will certainly boost morale,” said Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly.

“As far as last week’s game is concerned, a win is a win, but we won’t take too many glories out of it.

“There’s a long way to go.

“We played some good one- and two-touch football, which was good to see.

“We thought we might be without Jade Clay, but now we won’t be. He’s retired from cricket and we’ve got him for the rest of the season.

“I was very happy with Mynonge Kamba last week.

“He’s settled in well with the club and is training very hard.

“He’s personally got a point to prove this week against his old firm.

“Everyone’s looking forward to this game.”

Clarence may have Sam Cannamela, Julian McMahon and Luke Cripps back for this match.

The final game of the day, at 3.30pm, is between University and Kingborough Lions United, fourth and third in the group, respectively.

Having lost their opening games, the prospect of a place in the final is already looking slim for both clubs.

University hope to have Brook Teale, Damien Bones and Nigel Blundell available, which would make them a formidable outfit.

The possible return of Julian Proud from suspension would also be a positive factor.

Taka Manaka is currently in Malaysia, while Aaron Hindmarsh is still on holidays.

Kingborough will retain the same squad as last weekend, with Charles White ruled out for the Summer Cup series after jarring a knee in a practice match against Metro.

Ross Hinkley has ankle problems and coach Geoff Freeman said he may keep him on the bench again this weekend.

“He may get some game time and he may not,” said Freeman, who was critical of the rules of the competition, which he said restricted his choice of players.

“We are handicapped by the Summer Cup rules so I’ll probably get as much time as possible out of the guys who have already played.”
South Hobart 1-0 New Town Eagles

A goal on the stroke of half-time by Simon Burret gave South Hobart a 1-0 win over New Town Eagles in their Premier Reserve League Summer Cup fixture at South Hobart today.

South had the better of the match, but poor finishing meant victory was not assured until the final whistle.

Felix Kang and Hugo Bladel went close for South Hobart in the opening quarter of an hour, while Eagles' only response was a free-kick by Andrew Hagger that flew over the crossbar.

In the 14th minute, South's Andy Brennan volleyed just wide after a corner, conceded by goalkeeper Andrew Savage, who saved bravely at the feet of Burrett.

With seconds of the first half remaining, Jesse Gasparinatos's dangerous shot from the right was punched out for a corner by Savage.

Gasparinatos floated the corner into the six-yard box and Burrett nodded the ball over the line to give South the lead at the interval.

Seven minutes after the resumption, Nathan Wardle was lucky to receive only a yellow card for a tackle on Wade Savage.

Ten minutes from the end, South's Daniel Phillips was put through on the right, but he blazed high and wide when well positioned.

Eagles had a good chance with eight minutes remaining, but Brian Zielinski was at full stretch and managed only to lob the ball harmlessly over the goal.

South Hobart: McGoldrick - Wardle, Clarke, Sattler, Veness - J Gasparinatos, Burrett, Bladel, F Kang - Franklin, Brennan [Substitutes: S Kang, Cuthbertson, Simpson, Phillips]

Booked: Wardle 37

Goals: Burrett 31

New Town Eagles: A Savage - Johnston, Wilson, Zielinski, Grabek - Hagger, A Shackcloth, W Savage, Anderson - Clamp, Marshall [Substitutes: Kelly, P Shackcloth]

Booked: W Savage 57

Ref: B Kopra

Att: 100
Prospect Knights drew 1-1 with Northern Rangers in the Steve Hudson Cup competition in Launceston today.

After a goalless opening half, Reece Kinslow put Prospect ahead 10 minutes into the second half.

Amos Gbaise equalised in a goalmouth scramble about 15 minutes from the end.

In other results, Launceston City held South Hobart to a 0-0 draw, the TIS beat Riverside Olympic 3-2, and Taroona overcame Launceston United 3-1.

Hugh Foley netted twice and Declyn Foley once for the TIS against Riverside, while Chris Cox, with two goals, and Toby Dove, with one, were Taroona's scorers against Launceston United.

In the southern Summer Cup (Premier League Reserve section), Glenorchy Knights beat University 6-1 at South Hobart after leading 3-0 at the break.

Tony Dzelalija opened the scoring for the Knights, while Matt Nowicki scored the second.

Joe Minnucci netted twice, as did Cosmos Paite. One of Paite's goals was a penalty.

University grabbed their consolation goal near the end through Hugh Burgess.

Clarence United beat Kingborough Lions United 1-0.

Hobart Olympic beat Tilford Zebras 2-1 after leading 1-0 at half-time.

Michael Bulis and Emmanuel Tsakiris scored for Olympic, while Adrian Venettacci replied for the Zebras.

Tsakiris's goal came from a splendid over-head scissors kick, the ball zooming into the roof of the net and leaving the goalkeepr flat-footed.

A Simon Burrett goal on the stroke of half-time gave South Hobart a 1-0 win over New Town Eagles.

Jesse Gasparinatos's fierce shot aimed at the top near corner of the net was punched out by Andrew Savage for a corner.

Gasparinatos took the corner and Burrett nodded the ball into the net from close range for the only goal of the game.