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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Photo: Ivan Senzen, Dinko Jelicic and Romeo Jozak...the three Dinamo Zagreb youth coaches who came to Hobart but weren't able to see a game

South Hobart, the reigning Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League champions, can draw level with current leaders Tilford Zebras if they beat third-placed Glenorchy Knights at South Hobart on Saturday.

But, Zebras play Hobart Olympic in an evening match at KGV Park on Saturday and a win would put them three points clear again.

Both games hold plenty of interest in terms of league position, while four coaches from the famous Dinamo Zagreb team from Croatia will also be at South Hobart to cast their eyes over the local talent.

Visions of a future Mark Viduka being discovered come to mind, and the coaches are believed to be here to watch young Knights striker Amadu Koroma in action.

They have been to Sydney and Melbourne to watch games and will return next year to see matches in Perth and Adelaide.

Knights will be without utility player Corey Smith, who was handed an 8-game suspension by the FFT tribunal on Wednesday night for his behaviour in the grandstand after being sent off against Zebras on 12 June, for which he initially served a one-match ban.

Smith did not help his cause by coming up to the stand still in his playing kit.

His absence will probably make way for Will Roberts to return to the starting line-up.

South Hobart will probably make only one change to the team that beat Zebras 1-0 through a Liam Scott goal on Wednesday night.

Ricki Eaves will probably start in preference to David Abbott, who is out of form, according to coach Ken Morton.

Morton feels that Abbott was bitterly disappointed at not playing in last year’s State under-21 games against A-League sides and has not recovered psychologically and this is affecting his form.

Jonathon Ladic will play his last game for South Hobart before heading to Melbourne and Oakleigh Cannons, or possibly Indonesia, where Morton may have a club for him.

Knights have dropped to third on the ladder and are looking shaky and they will need to improve considerably to have any chance against a South side that is hitting peak form.

Zebras are also looking fragile and Olympic, who are now in fifth place, must be in with a chance, despite being hammered 11-0 the last time the sides met.

That was an aberration and Olympic had two players sent off when 6-0 down.

Fourth-placed Kingborough Lions United host sixth-placed New Town Eagles at Lightwood Park on Saturday and a close game can be expected.

Both teams should be close to full strength and the goals may well flow, as they did last time the sides met at this venue, the Lions having won 6-3.

Lions are suffering from a lack of football training on grass. On Tuesday they had an orienteering session and they have not been able to get near a gymnasium at other times.

Eagles coach George Krambousanos is considering giving Josh Hadfield a run as he has impressed in the reserves, but the youngster will need to show greater commitment.

Cormac Collins is injured and will not play.

The remaining match of the round is at Olinda Grove on Sunday, where bottom-side University entertain second-last Clarence United in an important match for both teams.

Clarence has everyone fit, but there may be tactical changes in store for a side that is flirting with danger but has a couple of games in hand.

Clarence beat University 2-0 in a recent State-wide Cup quarterfinal, but the score-line flattered them as University might easily have led by half-time had they taken their chances.

Home-ground advantage may favour University and a win for the Students would give them a glimmer of hope for avoiding relegation.
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SOUTH HOBART 1-0 TILFORD ZEBRAS
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This win put South Hobart in second place and three points behind Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League leaders Tilford Zebras, but with a game in hand.

The game never reached great heights.

Zebras had Frank Mainella in goal, with Troy Kaden on the bench, and Tommy Fotak made his first senior appearance of the season, playing in defence.

Mainella had an excellent game and thwarted David Cooper, Jonathon Ladic and Hugh Ludord with good saves.

Fotak was good as a destroyer, either heading clear or punting the ball upfield from the ground.

Jayden Welch and Kurt Engels, the two wide midfielders, found the going tough, as expected.

Bart Beecroft made his first appearance for South Hobart since the opening day of the league season when he came on in stoppage time at the end of the second half.

South coach, Ken Morton, made an early change when he took off David Abbott in the 33rd minute and replaced him with Ricki Eaves.

A key change that Morton also made was when he moved Gary Upton from right-back into midfield and dropped Josh Heerey to the right-back position.

Upton started to make things happen in midfield and Zebras had to watch Upton closely and this limited their attacking forays to some extent.

Dwayne Walsh had a poor game in attack for Zebras. He demonstrated his usual speed, but his ball control and technique let him down.

Ben Crosswell was his usual tricky self and showed some great skills, but he only managed one decent shot.

Zebras could have had two goals in the opening half. In the 6th minute, Ryan Smith smacked a shot against the post, while in the 25th minute, Welch’s shot was cleared off the line by Ludford.

In the 32nd minute, a free-kick by Ladic found Cooper, but his header was well saved by the alert Mainella.

Kostas Kanakaris, playing as a lone striker for South, found things difficult. He did have one chance when he cut inside from the left, but his miscued shot went to the far side of teh ground for a throw-in.

Shae Hicky also had one opportunity when he worked his way in from the left, but he blazed wildly over the bar.

Six minutes later, Ladic found a way down the left, but Mainella blocked his shot at the near post and conceded a corner.

In the 39th minute, Ludford unleashed a powerful drive from long range, but it flew straight at Mainella.

South gradually began to get on top in the second half and as early as the 48th minute, Hickey shot narrowly over the bar from wide on the left.

Zebras squandered a great chance in the 59th minute when a poor goalkick by Mark Moncur saw Crosswell gain possession just outside the box and dead in front. Crosswell should have scored, but shot wide.

In the 61st minute, a dangerous cross from the left by Liam Scott found Eaves at the near post, but he flicked the ball over the Zebras bar when he might have scored.

The goal came in the 73rd minute and resulted from a lack of pressure by Zebras at a South Hobart goalkick.

Moncur took a short goalkick wide to his right and the ball was passed infield to Upton, with no Zebras players pressuring their opponents.

Upton hit a long ball to the left of the Zebras box, where a hesitant Mainella expected the deep lying Engels to clear. Engels failed to control the ball and fell over, allowing the marauding Scott to gain possession and score into an empty net as Mainella was caught off his line.

The injured Crosswell came off with 11 minutes remaining, to be replaced by Josh Thorpe, but he was unable to swing the game back in the Zebras' favour.

Eaves almost made it 2-0 in the 86th minute, but he fired into the side-netting.

__________________________________________________________

  • South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:

“As a football match, I didn’t think a lot of the game.

“But, having said that, it was going to be a mistake that won the game.

“A typical Zebras versus South Hobart game. A bit tentative, people playing on counter-attacks and one goal was going to win it.

“Fortunately, it was their mistake and our goal.”

  • Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:

“I thought it was a good game between two quality sides.

“As I said to the boys, it was only going to take one goal to separate it and, unfortunately, it was a mistake and we paid the price for it.

“Besides that, I’m proud of the boys.

“It’s not over yet.”

____________________________________________________

South Hobart: Moncur - Upton, Ludford, Cooper, Scott - Abbott (Eaves 33), Ladic, D Brown, Heerey, Hickey (Ross 77) - Kanakaris (Beecroft 92) (Substitute not used: Wilcock)

Booked: Brown 64, Kanakaris 75, Upton 92

Goals: Scott 73

Tilford Zebras: Mainella - Telega, Smith, Fotak (Connolly 87), Pace - K Engels, Fagg, Self, Welch - Walsh, Crosswell (Thorpe 79) (Substitute not used: Kaden)

Booked: Self 85, Telega 91, Thorpe 92

Att: 100

Ref: I Jozeljic
Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League

South Hobart 1 (Scott 73) b Tilford Zebras 0

[Match report to follow.]

* * * * *

Glenorchy Knights player Corey Smith was tonight handed an 8-game suspension for his behaviour in the grandstand after he was sent off in the 5-3 win over Tilford Zebras on 12 June.

Smith missed one game as a result of the dismissal and copped the 8-week ban after tonight's tribunal meeting at KGV Park.

* * * * *

Tonight's scheduled Women's Premier League match between Hobart Olympic and South Hobart was cancelled after South Hobart failed to field a side.

South Hobart had requested a postponement because they said they could not field a side as they had too many injuries and unavailable players, but FFT were unmoved and left the game on the scheduled program.

Some supporters arrived at the ground at KGV Park at 6pm expecting to see a game but were disappointed.

FFT should have realised what was going to happen - they had emails from South Hobart saying they could not field a side - and should have either scheduled a reserves game between, say, South Hobart and Tilford Zebras, or they could have had a Premier League double-header by scheduling the Clarence versus University match, which has now been postponed twice on Thursday evenings at Wentworth Park, for 6pm as the curtain-raiser to the South Hobart versus Tilford Zebras senior game.

It was also disappointing to see that the main building was again closed for the evening's games.

I know of several elderly soccer followers who have been deterred from attending Wednesday night games in recent weeks because the building, which provides warm viewing areas on cold nights, is closed.

The bar does not have to be open, but the facility does provide a suitable viewing area for elderly patrons.

On a recent weekend, the building was also closed and the only outside toilets were flooded. This is hardly conducive to attracting supporters to games and something should be done.

* * * * *

Four coaches from the Dynamo Zagreb club in Croatia will be at Saturday's South Hobart versus Glenorchy Knights match at South Hobart on a scouting mission.

The four are visiting NSW, Victoria and Tasmania to look for talented players.

They will be watching the Knights' Amadu Koroma in particular on this occasion.

They will visit Australia against next year and watch matches in Perth and Adelaide.
Third-placed and reigning champions South Hobart can move to within three points of Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League leaders Tilford Zebras by winning their match at KGV Park at 8pm tonight.

Given their current form and Zebras’ inconsistency, this is not an entirely implausible scenario.

Zebras’ defence is looking very fragile these days and South could exploit this.

Zebras coach Nick Lapolla will wait until the last possible moment before naming his side publicly.

“It’ll basically be the same side as last time and we’ll see how we go,” Lapolla said.

“To be quite honest, I haven't finalised the team yet.

“We’re still looking at a couple.

“Overall, I hope it should be a good game. It’s an important game for both sides.

“Two good-quality teams are playing so it should an interesting, entertaining game.

“We’ll see what happens.”

South Hobart coach Ken Morton has a full-strength squad from which to pick.

“I don’t envisage making any changes from the last game,” said Morton.

Bart Beecroft and Dean Willcock, who has returned after 18 months in the UK, will probably be included in the squad.

“I think it’ll be a typical South Hobart versus Zebras game,” Morton added.

“Both teams will feel each other out and maybe be a bit tentative.

“I’m not one to overplay things, but we, as a group, are obviously in fine fettle.

“After having the injuries that we’ve had, we’re probably in a good situation coming in to this game.

“We’re playing with a good spirit, and we’ve got a good determination among the players.

“If you take the Clarence game and the Olympia game - I wasn’t at the White Eagles game but the ground was a bit heavy - but in those two games in particular, we played with a good passing rhythm and certainly got good penetration.

“That’s the sort of performance we have to look for against the Zebras.

“But, we have to remember Zebras have scored 60 goals, nearly 30 goals more than we’ve scored.

“We are confident, though. We’ll go into the match full of confidence.

“I think the tension comes, from our point of view, where it’s a key game and we need to win it.

“If we win it, then that applies a bit of pressure on Zebras.

“If we don’t win it, then it eases that pressure on Zebras and puts more pressure on us to finish second, third or fourth.

“From our aspect, therefore, it’s an important game and a game we need to win.

“A draw won’t hurt us, but we need to win and start to apply some pressure.

“I mean, while there’s a massive goals-for, the goal-difference actually isn’t that great, maybe seven goals between us, and we have a game in hand.

“All of that doesn’t come into play for me.

“What comes into play is that it’s one against three, and three can start to apply pressure if we win.

“And, that’s exactly what we’ve got to do.

“We’ve come off two excellent wins, and I mean wins with a performance.”

Morton said that Ben Crosswell was obviously a Zebras player to watch, and he did not discount the possibility of Aaron Brazendale playing.

Brazendale is supposedly overseas, but Morton was not convinced he has left yet.

He also thought Zebras might use Brett Pullen and Paul Cairns in midfield.

“We’ll have to put pressure on the ball and make it difficult for them,” Morton said.

“We expect Pullen to play.”

A women’s match between Hobart Olympic and South Hobart is listed as the curtain-raiser at 6pm, but there is some doubt as to whether it will go ahead.

South Hobart coach Dirk Gadd sought to have the game postponed as he is having trouble fielding a side because of injuries and players being unavailable, but FFT have shown no sympathy with South’s plight and have rostered the game to go ahead.

South’s game last Friday was abandoned by the referee at half-time when South could only field six players for the second half.

And, Thursday night's game between Clarence United and University has once again been postponed - for the second week in a row.

Why FFT don't simply schedule that game as the curtain-raiser tonight at KGV and have a double-header, which would attract a lot of fans, is difficult to fathom.