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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Queensland Roar beat Central Coast Mariners 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium this evening to win the minor A-League semi-final 4-1 on aggregate before 24,000 spectators.

"It was a good, solid performance from the team," said Roar coach, Frank Farina.

"We're playing with a lot of confidence."

The Mariners had enough of the play to do better, but Roar's incisive counter-attacking spelled danger throughout the match.

Michael Zullo was one of Queensland's most effective players and he went close in the 8th minute with a powerful low drive from the left.

In the 18th minute, Mariners goalkeeper Danny Vukovic did well to save a shot from Mitch Nichols, who had been put through after a one-two with Zullo.

A minute later, the Mariners went close after a free-kick from the right found Dylan MacCallister at the far post, but his header was blocked by Roar keeper Liam Reddy.

In the 21st minute, Matt Simon's shot was beaten out by Reddy and the Roar counter-attacked immediately and scored.

Vukovic parried a shot by Sergio Van Dijk and McKay was first to the loose ball. He chipped it back into the middle, where a poor clearing header went only to Massimo Murdocca, whose fierce shot was turned in by Nichols to make it 2-0.

Zullo went close in the 29th minute when he switched wings, but his shot from the right went just wide.

The Mariners had Nigel Boogaard and Paul O'Grady booked in the closing stages of the first half as the visitors became increasingly frustrated.

McKay made it 2-0 four minutes after the break. He was released down the left by Nichols and beat Vukovic at his near post.

It could have been 3-0 in the 52nd minute, but Hyuk-Su Seo's shot was turned onto the post by a diving Vukovic.

Nicky Mrdja pulled a goal back for the Mariners in the 64th minute when he squeezed a low shot under Reddy, who should have stopped the ball.

"No complaints," said Mariners' coach, Lawrie McKinna. "Queensland were the better side over the two legs."
South Hobart begin their trophy hunt for 2009 at South Hobart at 3.30 pm on Saturday, 14 February, against New Town Eagles.

South will have new signing Gary Upton in midfield, but will be without strikers Billy Gasparinatos and Julius Ross.

Igor, signed from Glenorchy Knights, may take his place in midfield for South, but some reports have him out of the State and in Brisbane.

Coach Ken Morton said his players had benefited from their pre-season trip to Melbourne and should be ready for this encounter.

New Town Eagles will miss State representative goalkeeper Nathan Pitchford, who sustained a knee injury in a recent practice match.

Andrew Savage has come out of retirement and will be in goal, while Cormac Collins is available again after studying in Launceston last season and should play in attack.

Jacob Kavanagh, the former Beachside forward, will also be in the Eagles line-up and he has impressed coach George Krambousanos.

The experienced Richard Delara will be in midfield to counter Upton and their tussle should cause sparks.

Former South Hobart striker Alex Gordon has also joined Eagles but will miss this game because of injury.

Krambousanos, who is in his second stint as Eagles coach, said he has a young and enthusiastic team, which will give a good account of itself.

Glenorchy Knights and University commence the day’s program at 11am and the Knights should repeat their success of last weekend, when they beat University 4-3 in a practice game.

They had half their team missing in that game, but all will be back for this competitive match.

The Knights have also recruited well. They have Shane Kent from Metro, Nektar Vavloulas from Olympic, William Roberts and Tom Sherman from Taroona, Jackson Marsh from Nelson, and Mnyonge Kamba from Clarence.

University’s Julian Proud netted a hat-trick in the practice match and he is obviously the man the Knights defence will have to watch.

Hobart Olympic will have Akuel Guot from Hobart United in their ranks for the match against cup-holders Tilford Zebras at 2pm.

Guot scored goals galore last season and this is his first crack at the top flight, but having scored more than a goal a game for United, he should be up to it, even against sterner defences.

Olympic, who also have a new midfielder from Greece, will be competitive against a Zebras outfit that will unveil new signing Dwayne Walsh, a State representative striker from Clarence United.

Clarence United take on Kingborough Lions United at 12.30 pm and, with both teams evenly matched, a penalty shoot-out could be the method that decides the points.

Both sides will be young, so this should be an energetic, fast and keenly contested match.
Australia managed to squeeze out a 0-0 draw away to Japan in their World Cup qualifying match in Yokohama tonight.

The point leaves Australia top of their qualifying group with 10 points from four outings.

Japan are second with 8 points from four games.

Australia were on the back foot for most of the game and only had one shot at goal in the 90 minutes.

The Blue Samurai, on the other hand, had some excellent chances but were thwarted either by poor finishing, bad luck, or good shot-stopping by Mark Schwarzer.

Two Australians were cautioned in the first half as the Socceroos fought a desperate rear-guard action.

In the other Group A match, a goal direct from a free-kick in stoppage time by Mahmood Abdulrahman gave Bahrein a 1-0 away win over Uzbekistan in Tashkent to move them into equal third place in the group.
A quick trip around the training track tonight and it was evident that clubs are busy preparing for this weekend's kick-off in the Summer Cup competition.

Hobart Olympic and Beachside were training on adjacent pitches at Sandown Park.

Olympic had a senior squad of a dozen players working under the eye of coach Farrell Shaw.

Stratos Plomaritis seemed to be the goalkeeper and he may well be in goal for the opening match.

Peter Tsakiris, Michael Bulis and Robert Lebski were just some of the regular players on view.

Beachside spent some time in the dressing rooms after some ball work, probably receiving a pep talk and discussing strategy with coach Nathan Robinson.

Tilford Zebras had a senior squad of about 14 players, but there was no sign this evening of Ben Crosswell.

Dwayne Walsh, formerly of Clarence United, was there, while Troy Kaden is obviously the goalkeeper.

Coach Nick Lapolla was being assisted by Robert Corradetti and Ronnie De Felice.

Regulars Ricky Self, Josh Thorpe, Aaron Brazendale, Michael Connolly, Andrew Telega and Fabio and Daniel Lapolla were among those in attendance.

The best attendance was that of Glenorchy Knights, who had many young African players training.

Ben Peter will clearly be the senior goalkeeper, but the side will miss Janko Begovic and Tom Huigsloot.

James Sherman and Will Roberts from Taroona were in attendance.

Senior coach Eamonn Kelly left early and his assistants, Nick Harrison (not the player) and Eihab Khoury, took the remainder of the session.

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Hey! There is a new blog on Tasmanian football about.

Have a look as it's pretty classy. You can find it at: http://taslandfootball.wordpress.com/

Don't know who runs it, but it will be interesting to follow.

And, don't forget about the other blog that has been about for some time now, the Tasmanian Football Forum at: http://footballforum.plebian.net/blog/

It's good to see such interest in promoting discussion about the Tasmanian scene.

There's also a radio program each Thursday from 6-7pm on 96.1FM, hosted by Martyn Wells and Jes Singh. Tune in and have a listen each week.

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It looks as if FFT will ditch the Tasmanian Premier League Football TV show which has been on Aurora Channel 183 on Austar for the past two seasons.

With the Steve Hudson Cup already underway and with the Summer Cup starting this week in Hobart, no plans have been revealed about the show continuing this season.

The show begins next weekend and will cover top-flight football in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, but not, apparently, in Tasmania this year.

FFT probably believe it's not worth the investment ($200 a show last season, paid to Aurora Channel).

"Australian Four Four Two" has ditched all state coverage of football because of a lack of response, while Tasmania's segment in "Soccer International" and "Goal!Weekly" are also in jeopardy.

Local coverage in the Huon Valley News is also not certain.

That leaves "The Mercury", "The Examiner" and "The Advocate".

Perhaps some supporters will see fit to lobby FFT about its budget allocation to promotion of the game. Last season, I think it worked out at 1 per cent of the total budget.