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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Forestry Tasmania Premier League, KGV Park, Friday, 27 March 2009
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Glenorchy Knights 3 (Smith 50, Hope 53, Sherman 82)
University 0

HT: 0-0 Att: 100 Ref: K Barker
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Glenorchy Knights (4-4-2): Peter - Wiggins, Grundy, Smith, Marsh (Kamba 85) - Clay, Dzelalija, Fielding, Roberts - Koroma (Sherman 71), Hope [Substitutes not used: Green, Tatnell] [Coach: E Kelly]

University (4-5-1): McCallum - Wilkinson, J Andrews, Merry, M Andrews (Opira 65) - Venettacci, Hindmarsh, Bones, Blundell (Teale 82), Burgess (Winter 55) - Bull [Substitute not used: Piesse] [Coach: S Gallacher]
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University might have embarrassed Glenorchy Knights if they had taken their chances in the first half.

The second half was a different story, with the Knights well on top and leading 2-0 after just 8 minutes.

The game was over by the time the Knights hit their third 8 minutes from the end.

Knights’ goalkeeper Ben Peter was back to his best form. He had obviously heeded the words of his coach, Eamonn Kelly, that his place was up for grabs and that Alex Tatnell was waiting in the wings.

Peter saved superbly from Alexis Bull, on two occasions, and from Aaron Hindmarsh, all in the first half, while late in the match he produced another fine save from a Bull free-kick.

His opposite number, Rory McCallum, was no slouch either. He pulled off good saves against Amadu Koroma and substitute Tom Sherman.

In the 11th minute, a great ball by Hindmarsh put Bull through on the left of the box, but his rather weak shot was still well saved by Peter.

In the 13th minute, James Hope missed a glorious chance for the Knights, heading a cross tamely straight at McCallum from 5 metres.

In the 25th minute, Koroma broke through on the left, but in a one-on-one situation, McCallum blocked the striker’s shot.

Peter pulled off a magnificent reflex save in the 29th minute when he somehow tipped Hindmarsh’s scorching close-range shot over the bar.

In the 31st minute, Josh Fielding’s excellent diagonal ball put Jade Clay away on the right and he cut inside but fired against the near post.

University were unlucky in the 38th minute when Damien Bones miscued a shot, but the ball fell to Bull, whose effort was saved by Peter with his feet.

Five minutes after the resumption, the Knights took the lead.

Corey Smith foraged forward and, after being knocked flat in a scrimmage, rose to his feet, advanced on goal and clipped a great shot in under the bar, despite McCallum getting his hands to the ball.

In the 53rd minute, it was 2-0. Koroma’s fine touch put Will Roberts through on the left and his low cross was turned home by Hope.

Midway through the half, Koroma skipped past a couple of opponents inside the box, but his shot was deflected by John Andrews for a corner.

Substitute Sherman had an effort saved by McCallum in the 76th minute, but six minutes later, he was luckier, heading home Fielding’s cross from the right to make it 3-0.

Two minutes into stoppage time, Peter did well to turn Bull’s free-kick over the bar for a corner, but the Knights were not finished.

In the 94th minute, Fielding fired against a post.

It had taken the Knights a long time to assert their superiority, but they were well worth their win in the end, which took them level on 6 points with league-leaders South Hobart.

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  • Glenorchy Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly, said:

“We started off in a blaze of glory for ten or fifteen minutes, but then we just seemed to lose concentration.

“We took them in at half-time and gave them a good talking to. Fishy [Fielding] addressed them, I addressed them, and we came out and we were a different team.

“We played football. We kept the ball on the ground, we knocked it about, we moved it, we supported one another.

“A tribute to James Hope tonight. He had a great game.

“Jade Clay. There’s not many people that I can’t run through that didn’t really play a good game.

“We fall down when we start to play as individuals, trying to do too much, instead of just keeping it simple. When we play simple football, we look good.”

  • University coach, Scott Gallacher, said:

“A bit of a disappointing end, I thought.

“Our fitness is a problem, obviously.

“We’re a few weeks behind everybody else. If we can get fit, which I think we will, we’ll get there.

“I thought we outplayed them in the first half. If we’d knocked a couple of goals in then, it might have been a different story.

“We just ran out of puff.

“From being a 60-minute team, we’ve become a 40-minute one.”
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STATISTICS

GLENORCHY KNIGHTS UNIVERSITY
25 Goal Attempts 9
7 Shots on Target 6
5 Corners 2
8 Fouls Committed 10
1 Off-Sides 2
0 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Glenorchy Knights:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Fielding 5 1
Koroma 3 1
Hope 5 2
Dzelalija 1 0
Wiggins 1 0
Clay 5 1
Smith 2 1
Marsh 1 0
Sherman 1 1
Roberts 1 0

University:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Bull 4 3
Hindmarsh 3 2
Bones 1 1
Opira 1 0
Forestry Tasmania Premier League, Friday, 27 March 2009

Glenorchy Knights 3 (Smith 50, Hope 53, Sherman 82) b University 0
[HT: 0-0]

Reserves

Glenorchy Knights 4 (Kent 2, Vienna-Hallam, Vavoulas) b University 1 (Cropp)
[HT: 2-0]

[Detailed match report up by midnight.]
The Division One league season begins on Saturday with three matches.

Hobart United have the bye.

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METRO V BEACHSIDE
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Saturday, 2.30pm, North Chigwell

Beachside beat Metro 2-1 in a pre-season friendly, but Metro then turned the tables and easily accounted for Beachside 4-0 in the semi-finals of the Summer Cup.

This is an important showdown, therefore, for two of the three sides expected to fight out the title, Taroona being the other.

“We got off to a flyer against Beachside in the semi final of the summer cup a couple of weeks ago, which set the game up for us,” said Metro coach, Darrin Chaffey.

“We’re well aware that this is unlikely to happen again and therefore won’t be thinking that this game is a given.

“Beachside have some experienced players in Nathan Robinson, Colin Shepherd and Bernhard Klasen, and some very good youngsters coming through also.

“I’m sure they’ll be out to make amends for that result.”

Martin Cairns, Terry Kent and Wayne Jackson have returned to training this week after extended breaks and holidays.

Youngsters Danny Cowen and Wade Hawkins have had excellent starts to the pre-season and will star in this match.

Darrin Chaffey (stress fractures of the foot) and Ricky Orr (hamstring) are unlikely to feature in this match.

Beachside will miss Klasen and Luke Atkins, who are unavailable, and Ben Davies, who has a groin injury.

Sebastian Milford, David Long, and Liam Brown will come in to the side.

“We’ve certainly got a younger more athletic team, and I think that’s important,” said Beachside coach, Nathan Robinson.

“Pace was a factor in their favour last time, so we need to counter that and we’ve got the team to do that.

“We certainly need to defend better. There’s no doubt about that.

“They were quite efficient and impressive up front in an attacking sense.

“It wasn’t just their strikers, but their midfielders as well.

“Jason Dawes and their existing players seem to have got a boost from these other guys from Scotland coming in, so they’ve lifted.

“They’re a danger. They’re favourites for the Division One title, and rightfully so.

“We think, when you’ve got guys like Colin Shepherd and Colin Wain and Kurt De Jong in an attacking sense in our team, we’re always a chance.

“We need to make sure that we defend properly and we’ll see how Metro cope with the tag of favouritism now.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge. It’ll be a good game and a good test for us.

“The weather forecast is good and the ground should be in good nick at this time of the year, so it’ll be a good run for everybody, hopefully.”

Prediction: Metro

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TAROONA V DOSA
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Saturday, 2.30pm, Kelvedon Park

DOSA will begin its 2009 season away to Taroona.

DOSA has several new signings who will be making their debuts.

These are Daniel Chisolm, from Metro under-19s, Dave Visentin, from University, Joel Richardson, from Glenorchy Knights, and Steve Swift.

Richard Korn is unavailable as his brother is getting married.

Aaron McGurk is still out due to an ankle injury sustained during the Summer Cup.

16-year-old Zak Alumbulwa showed some promise in the summer cup and will possibly be given an opportunity to make his senior league debut. He has been named on the bench.

Taroona will field a formidable line-up, similar to the one that played in the northern Steve Hudson Cup competition.

“Darragh Carey and Llewyn Tubb will make their first senior league starts at left- and right-back respectively after their outstanding performances throughout the pre-season,” said Taroona’s assistant coach, Ben Horgan.

“They’ve both been really impressive in making the step up from under-19s last year, and they give us a lot of drive coming out from the back as they are both quick and confident on the ball and solid defensively.

Up front, Hugo Luttmer seems to have gotten over his hamstring problems, but Chris Cox is away, unfortunately, so we’ll have to change things slightly.

“Cian Carey is always dangerous in front of goal and Toby Dove has looked really sharp in training the last couple of weeks and he will worry teams with his pace and movement, so we’ve got a few options.

“We haven’t played DOSA for a few years, so I don’t know too much about them, but I expect they’ll be pretty pumped up for their return to Division One.

“We need to make sure we build on the form we showed in patches through the Steve Hudson Cup and really start to take control of games and finish teams off.

“But, overall, I’m very happy with the way our pre-season has gone and I expect a good first-up performance from our guys.”

Prediction: Taroona

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CHRISTIAN UNITED V NELSON EASTERN SUBURBS
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Saturday, 2.30pm, Sherburd Park

Nelson Eastern Suburbs should start as favourites against last season’s Division One Knock-out Cup winners, Christian United.

Craig Stockdale comes into the Nelson line-up for his debut in the league after sitting out the Summer Cup because of cricket commitments.

Stockdale has Premier League experience with South Hobart and University and should find this league well within his capabilities.

Tom Gordon returns from a hamstring injury sustained in the opening minutes of the last Summer Cup match against Metro.

Also back after missing the Summer Cup and most of last season is striker Luke Wallace, while two members of the under-19 team, midfielder Cody Flynn and striker Andrew Gaskell, are named on the bench and will definitely come on in the second half.

“This is the strongest team we have available at the moment, with just a couple of guys out injured, and we have a fair bit of firepower up front,” said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.

“I'm also interested to see how the two guys from our under-19s go.

“They are terrific young players, and are quick and skilful.

“We're hoping for a win first up, but we won't be underestimating Christian United either.”

Prediction: Nelson Eastern Suburbs
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GLENORCHY KNIGHTS V UNIVERSITY
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KGV Park, Friday, 27 March 2009, 8.30pm

Glenorchy Knights will try and put the disappointment of last week’s loss to South Hobart behind them when they take on bottom-side University.

But, the Knights will have to put in a solid 90-minute performance against the Students, who are gradually assembling their first-choice squad.

The Knights were reasonable in the first half last weekend but fell away badly in the second.

The rather soft goal they conceded just before the interval seemed to hit them for six and they never recovered.

“Nothing of any real significance has come out of the weekend in regards to when we trained on Tuesday,” said Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly.

“Everyone is fit, but everybody was a little disappointed with our second half, but that doesn’t win games.

“I think it’ll be a very interesting game. They’re [University] getting themselves back to full strength.

“I’ll go into the game with..let me just say, it’s worrying times.

“If we perform like we performed last week, we’ll probably get the same result again.

“So, it’s up to us to make sure that that doesn’t happen.

“I’ve got every confidence in the squad of players that it won’t happen again.

“I think they’ve got the belief. Had we not played South Hobart and had we played someone else and won, it would have been hard to try and keep the lid on them.

“So, it’s a sort of Catch-22 situation, where you’ve won one and you’ve lost one.

“We’ll just soldier on this week and see what happens. We won’t be taking it lightly.”

Kelly is considering a change of goalkeeper. Ben Peter’s position is in danger from his understudy, Alex Tatnell.

The Knights signed Tatnell from Clarence and he was in the State under-21 squad which played the four games against A-League youth teams.

“I don’t think you can possibly be happy with the keeper when you look back on the Summer Cup performance and what we’ve done in two league games and, you know, the amount of goals the goalkeeper has cost us,” Kelly said.

“Maybe that’s one of the things we’ll address. It all depends on our final training session, and on how people perform.

“If his [Tatnell] opportunity should arise this weekend, I’m sure he’ll grasp it with both hands.

“There’s probably two or three people who should be sitting on tenterhooks until after our last training session.”

University have some very experienced players in their squad and will make the Knights work hard for the points.

Nigel Blundell, Damien Bones, Brook Teale, Julian Proud and John Merry have many games under their belts and would probably earn a place in the Knights side.

Aaron Hindmarsh and Andrew Wilson are fast and versatile and will keep the Knights' rearguard on its toes.

Current Standings:

5. Glenorchy Knights P 2 W 1 D 0 L 1 F 4 A 7 Pts 3
8. University P 2 W 0 D 0 L 2 F 1 A 5 Pts 0

Likely squads:

Glenorchy Knights: Peter, Tatnell, Smith, Dzelalija, Grundy, Kamba, Fielding, Roberts, Koroma, Sherman, Hope, Wiggins, Vavoulas, Clay, Paite

University: McCallum, Piesse, Bones, Merry, Bull, O Venettacci, Proud, A Wilson, Wilkinson, Opira, Besley, Blundell, Teale, Andrews, Madden, Hindmarsh

Prediction: Glenorchy Knights

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SOUTH HOBART V KINGBOROUGH LIONS UNITED
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South Hobart, Saturday, 28 March 2009, 2.30pm

South Hobart can extend their lead at the top of the Forestry Tasmania Premier League by beating second-placed Kingborough Lions United.

South Hobart will still be without captain and midfielder Bart Beecroft, who is recovering from nose surgery.

Defender David Cooper is doubtful because of an ankle injury, while Josh Heerey is also doubtful with the same type of complaint.

Gary Upton is unavailable against his former club because he has a wedding to attend, while Daniel Brown will also be away.

“Ned Clarke, Nick Di Falco and Jim Pennicott could be on the bench," said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton. "Pennicott might play if Cooper is not right.

“The only other change we’ll make is if David Abbott comes through fit and then he’ll make the forward-line selection. He looks pretty lethal, but if he’s not right, I cannot play him.

“I’ve got Olympic and Zebras to come and, if I can get him up for those two games, it’s better than losing him again now when he’s not fully right.

“He’s been doing his bit, but he’s kept coming back because he feels all right. We’ll give him a proper test, where he has to do squats and leaps. That’ll test him. If there’s no reaction, then he’ll be right to take his place.

“We’re in a good vein of football at the moment.

“We played a training game on Tuesday night and the team was, because of Cooper being out, Jimmy Pennicott, Ned Clark, Hugh Ludford and Liam Scott, Gary Upton and Greg Downes, and again [Ricky] Eaves, [Jonathon] Ladic and [Shae] Hickey, with [Julius] Ross up front.

“It was devastating. It was different class. But, it’s all right saying that because it was a training run.

“Now we’ve got to transfer everything into game situations.

“I saw Kingborough play Eagles and I thought the game was very much even in the first half and then Brett Andrews got a great goal from a flicked header from a good set-piece, a corner.

“And, the same with the second goal. A good reverse pass to the back post and Charlie White ghosted in and scored with a good header.

“But, there were only set-plays in it in the first half. In the second half, I thought they [Kingborough] opened up and started to get in behind them [Eagles] easily.

“The bottom line is we’ve scored seven goals and conceded none and created a lot more in the two games that we’ve played and dominated the game.

“We have to have a confidence and a belief in ourselves, but a total respect for Kingborough.

“I think we’ll do that. We’ve trained well, we’ve got a good spirit, but that spirit has got to go over into the game.

“We see weaknesses there that we should attack and exploit them[weaknesses].”

Kingborough will be without midfielder Brett Andrews, who damaged a knee in a tackle against Eagles and had to be substituted.

He has been examined and no structural damage to the knee has been sustained. The knee is still bruised and Andrews will be rested.

Midfielder Ross Hinkley has asthma but may be fit in time to play.

Kingborough coach, Geoff Freeman, said: “I’m not sure who’s going to come in.

“South are a good side, so it’ll be a tough game.

“We’ve got away to as good a start as we could have hoped for, but this will be big test this week.

“Having said that, they’ve got the pressure on them.

“We’re not expected to win.

“I’m not saying we’re going in not confident, but they’re certainly expected to beat us, so any result we can get will be pleasing.”

Current standings:

1. South Hobart P 2 W 2 D 0 L 0 F 7 A 0 Pts 6
2. Kingborough Lions P 2 W 1 D 1 L 0 F 10 A 7 Pts 4

Likely squads:

South Hobart: Kruijver, Pennicott, Ludford, Scott, Hickey, Ladic, Downes, Ross, Clark, Di Falco, Bladel

Kingborough Lions United: Voss, Leamey, Iseli, White, Schuth, McDonald, Marchioli, D Pearce, T Pearce, Palmer, Wells, Freeman, Bevan, Bremner, R Hinkley

Prediction: South Hobart

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TILFORD ZEBRAS V CLARENCE UNITED
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KGV Park, Saturday, 28 March 2009, 4pm

Tilford Zebras welcome back striker Ben Crosswell from suspension. He served one week and had the other two weeks suspended on appeal.

But, Ricky Self is unavailable and coach Nick Lapolla will be in Melbourne. Romeo Frediani will be in charge in Lapolla’s absence.

This is a replay of the Summer Cup final, which Zebras won 4-3.

The start at 4pm is a little inconvenient for those supporters and the media who would have liked to have watched the South Hobart versus Kingborough game at South Hobart first and then this one afterwards.

With the South Hobart match finishing at about 4.15pm, one would expect to miss the first half of the Zebras versus Clarence game. Last week, Zebras played Olympic at 6pm, which enabled people to get there after watching Kingborough versus Eagles at Lightwood Park.

I believe this game had originally been scheduled as Clarence’s home game at Wentworth Park, but the lights will not be ready until after Easter, so it was switched to KGV Park.

“I think last week we played better overall in patches,” said Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla.

“Obviously, there’s a few little defensive things we’ve got to sort out, which we’ve been doing.

“But, overall, young Brayden Pace in the middle did all right last week, and up front, Walshie ran his butt off last week.

“If they continue doing that this week, we’ll be okay. I think we’ve learned from the final what to expect. I think, overall, we’ve probably tightened up a bit, even though we’ve let a few goals in.”

Clarence United skipper and striker Luke Cripps trained this week and may return after a hamstring strain.

Julian McMahon has been away working in Queensland all week, but should be back on Friday evening in time for the Saturday game.

“No other changes are contemplated as all players are fit and well,” said coach Andrew Brown.

Current standings:

3. Tilford Zebras P 2 W 1 D 1 L 0 F 8 A 7 Pts 4
4. Clarence United P 2 W 1 D 1 L 0 F 2 A 1 Pts 4

Likely squads:

Tilford Zebras: Kaden, Pace, Fagg, Smith, Connolly, Telega, F Lapolla, D Lapolla, K Engels, Thorpe, Crosswell, Brazendale, Walsh, Hall, Welch

Clarence United: Moschogianis, Cannamela, Ling, Parker, J Huigsloot, Hoppitt, Chapman, McMahon, Hunt, Hamlett, Barron, Toghill, Lewis, Sparks

Prediction: Tilford Zebras

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NEW TOWN EAGLES V HOBART OLYMPIC
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Clare Street, Sunday, 29 March 2009, 2.30pm

Eagles have signed ‘have-gloves-will-travel’ goalkeeper Michael Soszynski because the club’s first- and second-choice keepers are injured.

Cormac Collins is unavailable for Eagles, but Jacob Kavanagh and Ben Whitehall return.

Olympic have doubts about Chris Tsimiklis and Hugh Richardson, who both have the flu.

Eagles coach, George Krambousanos, said: “Without being rude, we’re the only team that beat them in the Summer Cup.

“It’s been a long time since they’ve beaten me.

“If we start to work the way we should be working on the park, we should be okay, I think.

“Olympic are an exciting team. They’re very good, but they seem to find us hard no matter when or what.

“At the moment, I don’t think our ground gives us much of an advantage.

‘The ground is looking good, although the cricket pitch in the middle is hard.

“We’ve only had one training session on it and so haven’t really done anything, but we will have a training session on Saturday when we can use the ground and become aware of it.

“Really and truly, we haven’t had a good, good session on it, so at the moment, I don’t think it’s an advantage.”

Hobart Olympic coach, Farrel Shaw, said: “After last week’s game, I’m hoping for a better performance.

“We’re up against an Eagles side that has been our bogey side the last few times we’ve played them.

“They seem to lift their game against us.”

Olympic might do well to start Dipendra Kunwar in attack with Michael Bulis.

Kunwar is very fast and fearless and he could cause terror in the Eagles rearguard.

Current standings:

6. Hobart Olympic P 2 W 0 D 1 L 1 F 3 A 4 Pts 1
7. New Town Eagles P 2 W 0 D 0 L 2 F 6 A 10 Pts 0

Likely squads:

New Town Eagles: Soszynski, Minty, Clark, Wass, Leszczynski, McKeown, Malakoff, Westland, Vernon, Rybak, Page, Gordon, Ferrall, Grabek, Anderson

Hobart Olympic: Nester, Plomaritis, Lebski, Tsimiklis, P Tsakiris, C Tsakiris, Y Mohamad, K Kanakaris, Larzabal, Mason, Guot, Bulis, A Hedge, Kunwar, Richardson

Prediction: Hobart Olympic