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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Photos: (Top) Kostas Kanakaris lies injured; (Bottom) Olympic's new midfielder, Kostas Kanakaris

Hobart Olympic’s new Greek midfielder, Kostas Kanakaris, has already had a positive impact on the local league after just four games.

His technical skills are good and he is a constructive playmaker in midfield for Olympic.

The 19-year-old was born in Australia, but his family returned to Greece when he was just three years old.

It took Olympic several weeks to arrange a clearance for Kanakaris from Greece, which meant he missed the club’s first two Summer Cup games.

He played in the third, which ended in a draw with South Hobart, but Olympic won the penalty shoot-out.

His first league match was the 0-0 draw with Clarence United and he caught the eye with his industry and skills on a slippery pitch in torrential rain.

“The pitch was very wet and it was difficult to play good soccer,” Kanakaris said.

“We’ll have to do better in our next game.”

Kanakaris said he had returned to Australia to play soccer.

In Greece, he played for a neighbourhood team in the city of Ilion.

“I like playing in midfield because it’s all about passing, or making assists,” he said.

“I work on the skills by myself, after training.

“The coach exhausts us physically at training, but I work on my skills afterwards.”

Kanakaris, who is working as a tiler, believes that Olympic has a great chance of winning the title this year.

“We are really concentrated on our training and we are working hard as a team,” he said.

“Greek soccer is slower than here. It’s much quicker and more physical here.

“Here, players are fitter and strong, but in Greece the players are more technical.”

Kanakaris thinks South Hobart and Zebras are the teams to beat in Hobart and that hard training by Olympic should see them triumph.

Olympic have not made the best of starts to the league season.

Sunday’s 1-0 loss to New Town Eagles dropped Olympic to second-last on the ladder.






Photos: (Top to Bottom) The captains greet the match officials; Bulis and Wass battle for the ball; Eagles wish each other luck before the kick-off; John Muir and George Krambousanos watch the action; Andrew Clark and Robert Lebski battle it out in midfield; New Town Eagles squad

Forestry Tasmania Premier League, Clare Street, Sunday, 29 March 2009
________________________________________________

New Town Eagles 1 (Gordon 90)
Hobart Olympic 0

HT: 0-0 Att: 120 Ref: C Phillips
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New Town Eagles: Soszynski - Page, Savage, Rybak (Anderson 85), Wass - Vernon (Gordon 74), Clark, Malakoff, Kavanagh - McKeown, Leszczynski [Substitutes not used: Ferrall, Minty] [Coach: G Krambousanos]

Hobart Olympic: Nester - Mohamad, P Tsakiris, Tsimiklis - Lebski, C Tsakiris, Mason, Larzabal (A Hedge 73), Kanakaris - Djekanovic (Kunwar 80), Bulis [Substitutes not used: Kaproulias, Plomaritis] [Coach: F Shaw]
________________________________________________________

Hobart Olympic have only themselves to blame for this defeat as they had the game in the bag in the first half but failed to score.

It was New Town Eagles’ first league win and it lifted them to sixth place on the ladder and dumped Olympic to seventh spot.

The relief on Eagles coach George Krambousanos’s face was there for all to see.

He had been devastated by the opening two defeats and he can now see a glimmer of hope on the horizon for his side.

The introduction of goalkeeper Michael Soszynski was a success. He did not have any difficult saves to make and he handled all the shots well.

The introduction of substitute Alex Gordon with 15 minutes remaining was a sensible move as he scored the winner with aplomb in the final minute.

The game should have been all over by then, however.

Olympic had some glorious chances in the first half.

In the 3rd minute, Kostas Kanakaris passed inside to Michael Bulis, whose shot was deflected for a corner.

From Danijel Djekanovic’s corner, Bulis had another shot deflected for yet another corner.

The best Eagles could muster was a long-range shot from the left by Jacob Kavanagh that cleared the crossbar.

Olympic should have scored in the 22nd minute when Bulis brushed aside the challenge of Chris Wass and advanced unchallenged on goal, but he somehow shot wide.

In the 33rd minute, Soszynski got down to a Bulis shot, which he handled with ease.

Another easy chance went begging in the 42nd minute when Kanakaris was presented with a clear shot at goal, but he lifted his effort high over the bar.

Midway through the second half, Eagles had their best chance when Leszczynski’s cross from the left found Jamie Vernon, but he contrived to head an easy chance over the bar.

In the final minute of normal time, Eagles counter-attacked through Andrew Clark down the right. He slipped the ball inside to Adam McKeown, who survived a fierce tackle and knocked the ball wide to Gordon on the left.

Gordon advanced on goal and coolly slotted the ball past the advancing Dmitri Nester and inside the far post for the winner.

_________________________________________________________

  • New Town Eagles coach, George Krambousanos, said:

“As I said prior to the game, they’ve never beaten me as a coach.

“I honestly think the lads are just starting to come right, although we’ve still got four or five players out.

“It was a great effort. We made a few changes and they seemed to work.

“We’re playing in a happy way and we’re scoring goals, and that was good.”

  • Hobart Olympic coach, Farrell Shaw, said:

“First half, all us. Second half, pretty even.

“They always looked as if they were going to pinch one.

“We missed far too many chances. I mean, the game should have been over six nil at half time.

“It’s ridiculous. You can’t miss those chances and win games.

“It’s very, very disappointing the way we played in the second half.”
___________________________________________________________

STATISTICS

NEW TOWN EAGLES HOBART OLYMPIC
8 Goal Attempts 13
1 Shots on Target 7
3 Corners 6
13 Fouls Committed 14
2 Off-Sides 1
1 (Leszczynski 10) Yellow Cards 2 (P Tsakiris 68, Djekanovic 71)
0 Red Cards 0

New Town Eagles:
PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Page 1 0
Kavanagh 2 0
Leszczynski 2 0
Vernon 2 0
Gordon 1 1

Hobart Olympic:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Mason 2 1
Bulis 5 3
Djekanovic 2 1
Kanakaris 2 1
Lebski 1 0
Hedge 1 1




Photos: (Top to Bottom) Danijel Djekanovic on the move; Well done, boys!; New Town Eagles starting XI;
Eagles' James Vernon (left) battles Olympic's Robert Lebski

Hobart Olympic will kick themselves after losing 1-0 to a last-minute goal against New Town Eagles at Clare Street today.

Olympic dominated the opening half and missed glorious chances that fell to Michael Bulis and Kostas Kanakaris.

Bulis squandered at least four good chances, none better than when he shrugged off a challenge by Chris Wass, only to shoot wide with the goal at his mercy.

The home side got back into the match in the second half and James Vernon should have put Eagles ahead in the 67th minute, but nodded Alex Leszczynski’s cross wide.

In the 90th minute, Eagles launched one last counter-attack and, when Adam McKeown slipped the ball wide to the left, substitute Alex Gordon kept his head and rolled the ball past Olympic goalkeeper Dmitri Nester and inside the far post for the winner.

Olympic brought on substitute Dipendra Kunwar with 10 minutes remaining, but it gave the speedy utility player little time to make things happen.

Two goals by Michael Anderson and one each by Adam Shackcloth and Josh Hadfield gave Eagles a 4-2 win over Olympic in the reserves, Matthew Hedge, with a penalty, and Akuel Guot replying for Olympic.

Goals by Alex Ayres and Jacob Klamp gave Eagles’ under-19s a 2-1 win over Olympic, which netted through Daniel Langdale.


FORESTRY TASMANIA PREMIER LEAGUE (As at 29 March 2009)

TEAM P W D L F A Pts
South Hobart 3 2 1 0 7 0 7
Clarence United 3 2 1 0 5 2 7
Glenorchy Knights 3 2 0 1 7 7 6
Kingborough Lions 3 1 2 0 10 7 5
Tilford Zebras 3 1 1 1 9 10 4
New Town Eagles 3 1 0 2 7 10 3
Hobart Olympic 3 0 1 2 3 5 1
University 3 0 0 3 1 8 0

[Detailed match report later.]



Photos: (Top to Bottom) Chris Tsakiris clears the ball ahead of Jacob Kavanagh and Jacob Malakoff; Andrew Clark gets in a tackle on Chris Tsimiklis; Goalscorer and goal-saver...Eagles' Alex Gordon (left) and Michael Soszynski

Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League


New Town Eagles 1 (Gordon 90) b Hobart Olympic 0

Reserves

New Town Eagles 4 (Anderson 2, Shackcloth, Hadfield) b Hobart Olympic 2 (M Hedge pen, Guot)

Under-19s

New Town Eagles 2 (Ayres, Klamp) b Hobart Olympic 1 (Langdale)