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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John McGirr, the head of the Tasmania United A-League Taskforce, was on WIN TV news this evening with a sobering view of Tasmania's chances of an A-League team.

McGirr said that unless $100,000 was raised in the next two weeks, the bid was dead.

He said that FFA required a professionally prepared bid on the table within two weeks and that the cost of that would be $100,000.

Does anyone think the Government will chip in again? They recently gave the Taskforce $40,000 to finish off the feasibility study.

Who will be accountable for this state of affairs. The Government is certain to want to know what happened with the feasibility study.

* * * * *

Goran Jozeljic was at KGV Park last night to watch his former club, Glenorchy Knights, beat Kingborough Lions United 3-0.

Jozeljic, who plays for St Alban's Saints in Victoria, took a week off to visit family in Hobart.
From a special correspondent in Sydney

It’s a Tuesday night in the middle of winter in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, and one asks oneself: “What does one do on a mid-week evening in the middle of winter in Sydney?”

Well, the TV guide gives a great clue. Free-to-air is just that – crap comes for free, and the programs listed do not excite the entertainment needs of a middle-aged bachelor residing in Dee Why. What about FOXTEL I hear you asking? The apartment block doesn’t receive its signal, so the TV is not an option tonight.

What about going to the football to see a pre-season game for Sydney FC and warming up the vocal chords for the real thing commencing in a couple of months? The game is being played a few kilometres away at Cromer Park, against the local State League outfit, Manly United. Great idea! In fact, don’t even drive. Use the three kilometres as walking exercise – after all, this bachelor is an entrant in this year’s Global Corporate Challenge, where participants aim to walk 10,000 steps per day over a four-month period. What a great way to add to today’s step count.

Grabbing an umbrella, the walk commences to Cromer Park. Shortly after, the heavens open up and the downpour challenges the tropical storms of the summer – the only difference is that the rain is quite cold rather than lukewarm. One starts to think: “How stupid am I? Where am I going in these conditions? Surely I’m wasting 45 minutes walking to the ground, only to find that the game is called off”.

But, the determination and commitment to Sydney FC as a fan, and the willpower, are too strong and I arrive at Cromer Park shortly before 7pm. I am shocked on two fronts. First, there are another 1,600 idiots there wanting to see the game, and second, the damn game is actually proceeding.

The ground resembles something close to a swimming pool and the weather resembles something best described by the newly created noun, coined from the current national coach, “Ver Bleak”. How the hell does one expect to see a game being played in these conditions? Surely an abandonment is in the best interests of all involved, including the fans! To top it off, it’s extremely cold for a winter’s night in Sydney.

Amazingly, right on 7pm, the players emerge from the dressing rooms, along with the officials – and yes, they’re dressed in their clubs’ playing strips and the game is to go ahead. At the same time, the heavens open up for a second time. Only this time, the rain can only be described as torrential x 2. Now who are the real idiots? At least the bachelor has found comfort under the cover of the grand stand – despite being drenched in the lower legs and feet from his adventurous walk to the ground.

Sydney FC began the game fielding a near full-strength team – all faces recognisable from last season, with the exception of the left back, who was a Korean on trial with Sydney and named Sung Hwan Byun, and the Slovakian international, Karol Kisel.

Both excelled in their performance in the first half, with Byun scoring the opening goal from a free-kick on the half-hour mark, and Kisel dominating the mid-field with veteran Steve Corica.

The other unrecognisable feat of the first half was the way that Sydney FC knocked the ball around the park. Many one- and two-touch passes along the ground – which was challenging in its own right with all the surface water around – and player movements off the ball which were simply non-existent under previous coach, John Kosmina.

It was plainly obvious to see the impact new coach Vitezslav Lavicka (Damn! How is one supposed to remember that and get it right each week?) has had already on the team. Where am I? Initially, when walking into the ground, one could’ve been fooled into going back in time and being time-warped in the 80s watching a local suburban mid-week game in the winters of Hobart. The resemblances were many. But, the standard of play being now exhibited was vastly different. One had to pinch oneself and ask: “Is this the same core bunch of blokes who performed so disappointingly last season? Surely, they can’t have been transformed this easily?”

Transformed they were, though, and the exhibition being put on by Sydney FC was most encouraging in the first half. The challenge was now whether it could be sustained for the full 90 minutes.

The second half commenced in slightly better conditions, with the rain having downgraded itself to a drizzle and eight changes being made to the Sydney FC starting line-up. The youth team was now predominantly on the park and most of these kids had already played a handful of A-League games at the end last season, when all hopes of making the finals were lost. Even Mitchell Prentice came out from under his injury rock and played exceptionally well, even if he was unrecognisable with his new blonde streaks.

And, impress they did. Within 10 minutes, Sydney FC went 2-0 up courtesy of Chris Payne, after some great work on the right-hand side of the field by Ryan Grant. Within minutes, Brendan Gan made it 3-0, and shortly after, Shannon Cole displayed his trademark dead-ball skills by hammering home a free-kick from 25 metres to make the final score line 4-0 to Sydney FC.

Another game without a goal being conceded – that’s six in a row – and the juggernaut continues on. Hopefully, the team hasn’t peaked too early, even though they seem to be a major class above all the NSW State League opposition that they are currently playing against.

More encouraging for Sydney FC was the fact that they played, and dominated, the last 20 minutes of the game with only ten men after Kofi Danning was injured and couldn’t return to the field and no substitutes were left to replace him.

For Sydney FC supporters, the game demonstrated many positives and that the club was heading in the right direction under Lavicka. But some real concerns still remain from last season. Namely, keeper Clint Bolton still has no confidence in the air and marquee player John Aloisi is still too slow up front. No doubt Lavicka will need to address these issues over the coming month or so leading into the new A-League season.

Now, it’s off to the car to drive home. Damn! I just remembered that I walked to the game. I now faced the daunting task of trying to keep warm. I trundled off on the 45-minute walk back to the warm confines of an apartment, a warm shower to thaw out, and a hot cup of tea. Forget about the severe blisters caused by the walking. What a great way to spend a cold, wet, bleak, winter’s night in Sydney. Some of us are just so easy to please!

Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League, KGV Park, Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Kingborough Lions United 0
Glenorchy Knights 3 (Fielding 3, Hope 46, 76)

HT: 0-2 Att: 80 Ref: K Barker
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Kingborough Lions United: Leamey - Palmer, Iseli, Lucas, D Pearce - Bevan (T Pearce 68), Andrews, Marchioli, Hinkley - White (Bremner 78), McDonald [Substitutes not used: McConnon, Voss] [Coach: Geoff Freeman]

Glenorchy Knights: Tatnell - Lawler, Green, Holmes, Marsh (Vavoulas 81) - Roberts (Dos Santos 57), Hope, Fielding, Sherman - Clay, Koroma (Kamba 81) [Substitute not used: Peter] [Coach: E Kelly]
_________________________________________________________

This win, the seventh in a row for Glenorchy Knights, lifted the second-placed side to within two points of Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League leaders Tilford Zebras.

A minute's silence was observed prior to kickoff for the late Sue Iles, mother of former senior coach and player Warren Iles, former player Ross Iles, and wife of former club official, John Iles, who passed away suddenly on Sunday. Sue had been a Kingborough stalwart and worked tirelessly for the club.

The Knights got the three points, but it was a sloppy display and they might have been punished by a better side than Kingborough Lions United.

It’s been quite obvious for some time now that Kingborough’s biggest problem this season had been in the goalkeeping department.

If they had a reliable goalkeeper, they would probably be higher on the ladder.

Jason Voss was on the bench for this game and David Leamey was between the posts.

In only the 3rd minute, Leamey flapped his gloves at a standard 35-metre chip from Josh Fielding but let the ball slip through and into the net to put the Knights 1-0 up.

Kingborough were lucky in the 8th minute when Leamey blocked Amadu Koroma’s close-range effort and the ball rebounded to Tom Sherman and then off defender Michael Palmer and onto the top of the crossbar.

The Lions’ first real chance came in the 11th minute when Charles White fed Tom McDonald on the left, but the striker fired into the side-netting.

In the 17th minute, a poor goalkick by Alex Tatnell went straight to McDonald, who put White through, but he shot straight at Tatnell.

A rebound off Kingborough newcomer Isaac Lucas almost gifted the Knights a goal in the 22nd minute, but Koroma shot just wide of the target.

In the 33rd minute, Kingborough were again extremely lucky to survive as both Sherman and Koroma were off target within seconds of each other.

A minute into stoppage time at the end of the first half, James Hope made it 2-0 for the Knights with a chip from the right of the box that sailed over Leamey and lodged inside the far post.

Four minutes after the break, an error by Alex Holmes allowed McDonald to gain possession and he set up White, who again shot straight at the goalkeeper when he should have scored.

In the 57th minute, Knights brought on their new Brazilian, Breno Bianchini Joviano Dos Santos, in place of Will Roberts.

His first touches were accurate and he seemed up to the pace of the local game.

White was again the culprit for Kingborough when, in the 64th minute, he got on to the end of a Marcello Marchioli free-kick and, unmarked, headed tamely over the bar.

Hope should have scored for the Knights in the 71st minute when he was allowed a free-header from a corner, but he steered the ball wide.

Five minutes later, he was more fortunate when he connected with a Dos Santos cross from the left and powered a header at goal. Leamey appeared to have it, but succeeded only in punching the ball up in the air and it dropped over the line to make it 3-0.

An unsatisfactory display by both sides, but Knights made the most of their chances, even if it was with a little bit of help from Kingborough.

__________________________________________________________

  • Kingborough Lions United coach, Geoff Freeman, said:

“We just weren’t good enough today.

“I think we started poorly from the early error and we didn’t really recover after that.

“We tried hard and we can’t fault the effort, but we just weren’t good enough today.

“Glenorchy Knights were a little bit slicker and their third goal - we probably missed a couple of earlier tackles - but then the actual cross and finish was just that more quality than we had today.”

  • Glenorchy Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly, said:

“It was a terrible game. There was nothing flash about it at all.

“As far as we’re concerned it’s a win and three points in the bag.

“It’s another game out of the way.

“It wasn’t pretty football, I don’t think, from either side.

“That’s not my problem what they do.

“We showed we have a weakness in our back-line and we need to plug the hole before it gets too much of a problem.

“I was pretty pleased with the midfield. They played all right and kept their shape.

“We brought Amadu [Koroma] off purely and simply to rest him for the weekend because we’ve got a pretty tight schedule now.

“Three points is three points, but it wasn’t pretty.”
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STATISTICS

KINGBOROUGH GLENORCHY KNIGHTS
17 Goal Attempts 18
8 Shots on Target 10
6 Corners 7
9 Fouls Committed 13
1 Off-Sides 3
1 (Andrews 87) Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Kingborough Lions United:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Hinkley 2 0
McDonald 4 3
Marchioli 1 0
White 5 3
D Pearce 1 1
Bevan 2 0
Andrews 1 0
Lucas 1 1

Glenorchy Knights:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Fielding 3 2
Koroma 3 2
Hope 4 3
Sherman 4 2
Holmes 1 0
Clay 1 0
Marsh 1 1
Dos Santos 1 0
Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League

Kingborough Lions United 0-3 Glenorchy Knights (Fielding 3, Hope 46, 76)

HT: 0-2