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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Tasmanian football clubs, schools, associations and community-based teams affiliated to the Football Federation of Australia are invited to register for the 2009 McDonald’s Kanga Cup.

In its 19th year, the McDonald’s Kanga Cup is the biggest international youth football tournament in the southern hemisphere with the inclusion of over 200 teams and will be played over five days, with the opening ceremony scheduled for Sunday, July 12, and matches played from 13-17 July in Canberra.

The McDonald’s Kanga Cup is open to teams that are part of the Football Federation Australia Football Family and the tournament caters for male and female youth ranging from 10 years to 18 years of age.

Local owner and licensee of four McDonald’s restaurants in the ACT, Joe Sammut, is proud to celebrate McDonald’s fourth year of sponsorship of the Kanga Cup and is encouraging teams from across the country to enter and be a part of the McDonald’s Kanga Cup.

Local, interstate and international teams may be competing for the prestigious silverware, but the tournament’s sole focus isn’t on results, but rather on ‘uniting the youth of the world through football’, with a number of cultural and social activities organised for the week.

The McDonald’s Kanga Cup tournament is hosted by Capital Football and sanctioned by Football Federation of Australia.

The 2009 McDonald’s Kanga Cup Coordinator, Sarah Body, said: “The tournament is a great multicultural event as it encourages the fantastic opportunity for participants to make new friends from a variety of backgrounds”.

Each year, an Asian team is sponsored to come over for the McDonald’s Kanga Cup.

This year’s winning team of the Asian Fellowship will be invited to the McDonald’s Belconnen Lake Restaurant and will be awarded with a sports pack and the opportunity to meet Australian A-League football players.

“I encourage all junior football teams in Tasmania to enter the 2009 McDonald’s Kanga Cup,” said Body.

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Tasmanian soccer missionary, Glenn Thompson, who is a maintenance man at the school in Borroloola, on the Gulf of Carpentaria, recently took a team of Indigenous youngsters from Borroloola to Darwin for the Arafura Games.

The Arafura Games involve a whole range of sporting events - athletics, track and field, soccer, boxing - and is like a mini Olympic Games.

Forty or so countries from South-East Asia and the Pacific Rim countries send teams.

That's where Glenn took his team, the Borroloola Cyclones, an under-18 soccer team.

They were the revelation of the Games and The Sydney Morning Herald published a story, accompanied by a big colour photo of Glenn and his boys , on the front page, while SBS did a story about the team.

The Borroloola Cyclones, coached by Thompson, won only one of their four games, a 4-0 victory over the Northern Territory 'B' side.

They lost 3-0 to Macau, 7-1 to Aceh (Indonesia), 7-2 to Timor, the eventual gold medal winners, and 5-3 to the Northern Territory 'A' team.

But, it was a marvellous experience for the boys and they were the toast of the Games.

Glenn would love to bring his team to Tasmania on tour. Let's hope that one day we see them here.

Photo: (L-R) Ken Morton, Brian Dale, Kim Barker

The Tasmanian winners of the Football Federation of Australia awards for the coach, referee and volunteer of the year have been announced.

Ken Morton was named as the Coach of the Year, Kim Barker as the Referee of the Year, and Brian Dale as the Volunteer of the Year.

The inaugural Australian winners in each category will be announced at an FFA gala awards function in Sydney on 11 June.

The Australian Football Awards is a new national awards program to recognise and celebrate achievements from grassroots through to the Socceroos and the Matildas.

The awards are intended to demonstrate the connection through football from the games played around the country every winter weekend through to elite competitions and teams.

The Tasmanian awards are for the non-professional categories.

Morton is one of the most successful coaches ever to have worked in Tasmania and his most recent success was to take South Hobart to last year’s southern Premier League title.

“I think these awards are a brilliant initiative and I’m very excited about receiving it,” Morton said.

“It was a very special year last year as the side was put together quite quickly and it came together well and played some wonderful football.”

Kim Barker had a successful playing career in Tasmania and has now been refereeing for 20 years.

“It is an honour,” said Barker. “Playing the game for so many years and then stepping to the other side is new.

“It’s getting harder each year to try and keep on top of the play and we do make mistakes on the field because we’re not perfect.

“As long as we all still talk when we get off the field and are friends, well, that’s the best part of refereeing.”

Brian Dale is president of Kingborough Lions United and has a long history as a volunteer and involvement with the club.

“I think I started way back in 1982 and at no time do we look for personal recognition,” Dale said.

“It’s obvious other people think I’m doing something right.

“Volunteers need to be recognised because people are sometimes taken for granted and I think the FFA, in acknowledging the volunteer, is a step in the right direction.”

* * * * *

Australia’s World Cup qualifier next Sunday morning at 2am will be screened live at the Waggon and Horses Hotel in North Hobart if enough interest is shown.

The Socceroos play Qatar in Dohar and need only a point from the match to qualify for next year’s World Cup finals in South Africa.

If the event goes ahead, it will be the official ‘Green and Gold Army’ live venue for Hobart.