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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Minister for Sport and Recreation. Michelle O'Byrne, with the members of the A-League taskforce

The Tasmanian Government will contribute $40,000 to the Tasmania United A-League Taskforce to enable the group to complete a feasibility study into the viability of a team.

Michelle O’Byrne, the Minister for Sport and Recreation, announced the grant this afternoon.

“The A-League competition will expand to 12 teams in 2010-11 and the Government is keen to ensure that Tasmania has every chance to secure a team licence in this current expansion, or when further opportunties are presented,” Ms O’Byrne said.

“Having a team in the national competition has the potential to deliver significant economic benefits to the State, as well as providing a marvellous opportunity for our young talent to play at the elite level.

“The feasibility study would allow a determination to be made as to whether a Tasmanian A-League team was viable and whether the taskforce would then proceed to preparation of a full-blown business case.”

Ms O’Byrne said the Government would consider further support once the feasibility study was completed.

“The feasibility study will look at a wide range of issues, including supporter base, potential stadium facilities and costs, administrative/training facilities, and potential revenue streams such as membership, gate revenue, sponsorship, merchandising, and broadcast rights revenue.”

Ms O’Byrne said the State Government was a strong supporter of football in the State.

“We are part-way through a four-year, $800,000 package to help grow the sport at the grassroots level and to also foster both male and female players with an elite junior development program through the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.”

The chair of the taskforce, John McGirr, thanked the Minister and the State Government for their support and encouragement of the endeavours by the group to secure a Tasmanian based A-League team.

McGirr also said the group would welcome any funding and said that from day one his group had seen this project as a private business enterprise.

“We are not looking for any government funds to prop the deal up,” McGirr said.

“We would expect that we can raise the $7.5 million to run the team through private enterprise.

“Our director of football, Ken Morton, is, as we speak, negotiating with a businessman in Dubai, who is very, very keen to come on board.

“He is a sheikh. He’s got multiple business, mainly in hospitality and hotels.

“Our football director coached against the sheikh’s team.

“He already owns a club elsewhere. He’s very, very passionate about the game and, as a lot of successful business people are, he’s very egotistical and it’d be nice just to own another club.

“[What attracted him] was the fact that we are up for sale, and it is a wonderful spot.”

McGirr said the sheikh had not been to Tasmania and because he had not met him he did not know what the sheikh knew about Australian football.

He did not know whether the sheikh would visit Tasmania in the near future.

“I know he’s pretty busy but, certainly, if he doesn’t come, we’d like to bring out one of his representatives,” McGirr said.

A check of the Internet indicates that the sheikh McGirr is referring to is probably Sheikh Al Amoudi, who is funding the Ethiopian Football Federation and the Ethiopian national team

Morton would have encountered the sheikh while Morton was coaching in Ethiopia in the early 2000s.

Morton coached Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation Football Club (EEPCO FC).

Morton said he would reveal the sheikh’s identity on Friday.

Photos (top to bottom): 1 Ross Hinkley's free-kick clears the crossbar
2. Charles White tussles with Ryan Smith
3. The captains greet the officials for the toss
4. Ben Crosswell is shown the red card

[Click on photo to view large version.]

Tilford Zebras (3-5-2): Kaden - Telega, Smith, Pace - Brazendale, Fagg, D Lapolla (Engels 77), Thorpe, Self - Crosswell, Walsh [Substitutes not used: Connolly, F Lapolla] [Coach: N Lapolla]

Kingborough Lions United (4-4-2): Voss - Palmer, Iseli, Pearce, Wells - R Hinkley, Andrews, Marchioli, Schuth - Greg Freeman (McDonald 54), White [Substitutes not used: Bremner, Bevan, Leamey] [Coach: Geoff Freeman]

HT: 3-2 Att: 120 Ref: B Kopra

The score in this game could have been 9-9 and it wouldn’t have raised an eyebrow amongst the spectators.

Either side could have won it.

A 4-4 draw seemed fitting, therefore, in a game that featured atrocious defending and squandered opportunities.

Greg Freeman had three good chances in the first 11 minutes, but it wasn’t until the 25-minute mark that his efforts were rewarded.

He went on to score two goals before being substituted because of injury shortly after the interval.

Ben Crosswell was sent off in the 64th minute. He had been fouled on the half-way line and was awarded a free-kick when he inexplicably picked up the ball and threw it at Joel Schuth’s head.

A sudden rush of blood to the head? It has cost him the chance to win a second consecutive Vic Tuting Silver Medal.

The two goalkeepers - Zebras’ Troy Kaden and Kingborough’s Jason Voss - usually did what they had to do well, but the same cannot be said of the defenders in front of them.

Both defences proved porous and gave away needless goals, which added to the spectacle but which will have their coaches rushing to devise training sessions to overcome basic deficiencies.

The strikers from both sides will be kicking themselves at their misses. Easy chances were waiting to be snapped up but went begging. They’ll have nightmares about some of these.

Kingborough created the first chance of the match. In the 5th minute, Charles White fed Freeman down the left, but his shot was deflected for a corner.

In the 9th minute, Ricky Self got his head to a corner at the far post, but a defender also got a touch and the ball rose into the air and landed on top of the crossbar and dropped out of play for another corner.

A minute later, Freeman caught the Zebras defence flat-footed and raced clear, but he sent his shot wide.

Within seconds, Freeman was again in with a chance, but being stationary, he could not get any power into his header, which he tried to loop over Kaden, and the ball fell into the keeper’s arms.

In the 11th minute, the Zebras’ Aaron Brazendale sent in a perfect cross from the right, but Daniel Lapolla headed over the bar.

Dwayne Walsh showed a nice turn of speed in the 20th minute as he outpaced the Kingborough defence, but his shot flew wide.

Freeman hit pay dirt in the 25th minute. His first shot was blocked, but he netted from the rebound to put the Lions in front.

It took the Zebras only five minutes to draw level. Josh Thorpe’s free-kick from just outside the box on the right was headed home by Crosswell.

The Zebras should have been ahead a minute later when Crosswell put Lapolla clean through the middle, but Voss blocked the shot with his feet.

In the 33rd minute, Freeman should have put the Lions in front. He controlled a cross from the left by Ross Hinkley and outfoxed two defenders, only to shoot over the bar.

He atoned for his laxity when, in the 36th minute, he collected a long goal-kick by Voss and again beat two defenders. This time he fired past Kaden to make it 2-1 for the Lions.

Zebras were level within a minute, Walsh running on to Lapolla’s pass and beating Voss with his shot.

Kingborough hit back as Schuth struck a firm shot over the bar in the 42nd minute.

Two minutes before the break, confusion between Voss and Michael Wells allowed the Zebras to take the lead for the first time. They both hesitated and each left the ball for the other, enabling Henry Fagg to nip in and score into an open net to give Zebras a 3-2 lead at half-time.

With just under an hour gone, Schutch found himself on the edge of the box but unable to make an angle for a shot. He knocked the ball back to Marcello Marchioli, who scored with a marvellous shot that gave Kaden no chance and took the score to 3-3.

In the 61st minute, Thorpe’s corner to the back post was headed back across goal by Ryan Smith and Fagg was there to head his second and Zebras’ fourth.

Two minutes later, Kaden had to dive to his left to keep out a shot by White.

Zebras’ cause was dealt a blow in the 64th minute when Crosswell received his marching orders and the Lions smelt blood against just ten Zebras opponents.

In the 66th minute, Kaden again did well to bring off a save, this time against Ross Hinkley.

In the 70th minute, it was Voss’s turn to come to his side’s rescue. Lapolla crossed from the right to Walsh inside the 6-yard box, but Voss smothered two efforts by the striker to force the ball into the net.

Within a minute, it was 4-4. Substitute Tom McDonald robbed Smith of the ball 30 metres from goal and he was untroubled in advancing and slotting the ball past an unprotected Kaden.

Thorpe should have done better than shoot straight at Voss in the 75th minute, but White missed an even better chance for Kingborough with two minutes remaining when he was left with only Kaden to beat, but he fired wide.

The match thus ended at 4-4 with neither side satisfied, but probably relieved at having at least earned a point.


  • Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:

“Defensively, we just let silly goals in. We just let them in.

“Every time we scored, we just let silly goals go in.

“A controversial sending-off changed the game. A few off-sides didn’t go our way.

“Not a good day. Not a good day.”

  • Kingborough Lions United coach, Geoff Freeman, said:

“Not much defending, or quality defending, from either side.

“Certainly, both sides going forward looked dangerous most of the times they went forward.

“I think we showed a lot of character after going up, and then going up again and them getting ahead 3-2, we showed a bit of character to get back in the game.

“We let ourselves down defensively, but going forward, a lot of promising signs.

“We should have won it. We should have won it.”


17 Goal Attempts 14
9 Shots on Target 6
7 Corners 5
6 Fouls Committed 13
1 Off-Sides 5
1 (Smith 85) Yellow Cards 1 (Marchioli 89)
1 (Crosswell 64) Red Cards 0

Tilford Zebras:
Thorpe 5 2
Self 2 1
Crosswell 2 1
D Lapolla 1 0
Walsh 3 2
Telega 2 1
Fagg 2 2

Kingborough Lions United:

Greg Freeman 6 2
Schuth 1 0
White 4 2
Marchioli 1 1
R Hinkley 2 1

Photo: 1. Zebras' Aaron Brazendale heads for goal

2. Kingborough's Charles White shoots wide

South Hobart retained the Steve Hudson Cup when they beat Northern Rangers 3-1 in Launceston today.

David Cooper gave the southerners a 1-0 lead at the break, while Ricky Eaves made it 2-0. The referee, however, awarded the first goal as an own-goal to Todd Hingston.

Sam Luck then had a penalty saved by Sam Kruijver. Five minutes later, Riverside were awarded a second penalty and Des Schipper netted to make it a goal the difference. Both penalties were awarded for fouls on Mark Ambrose.

Greg Downes made the game safe with a late goal.

It was Ken Morton's fifth Steve Hudson Cup success as a coach. He has now won it twice with South Hobart, twice with Glenorchy Knights and once with Tilford Zebras.

"This one was special." said Morton.

"The late Steve Hudson's family were there, some of them having come from the Mainland, and that made it really special."

In other games, Launceston City beat Prospect Knights 3-1 and Riverside Olympic overcame Launceston United 3-2.

In the only Forestry Tasmania Premier League match played today, Tilford Zebras drew 4-4 with Kingborough Lions United at KGV Park.

Zebras' Ben Crosswell was sent off in the second half.

Henry Fagg, with two goals, Crosswell and Dwayne Walsh netted for Zebras, while the Lions replied through two goals by Greg Freeman and one each by Marcello Marchioli and Tom McDonald.

In the reserves, Zebras squeezed home 3-2 through goals by Jayden Welch, Ashley Fisher and Matt Hall.

Kingborough's marksmen were Phil Cooper and Marcus Bremner.
South Hobart meet Northern Rangers in today’s Steve Hudson Cup final in Launceston.

South Hobart, the holders, had a comfortable 3-0 away win over University yesterday in the Forestry Tasmania Premier League.

But, they lost captain Bart Beecroft to a serious injury and he will miss the final.

Beecroft was involved in a collision with an opponent and may have suffered a broken jaw.

Sam Kruijver will retain his place in goal at the expense of Mark Moncur.

Daniel Brown played against University and should also retain his place. He initially played in attack against the Students before moving back into defence.

Northern Rangers coach Roslan Saad used this tournament to assess his players and getting to the final was a bonus.

“We have used around 31 players to get us to the final,” Saad said.

“I’m very happy with that because all the boys that have played in the Steve Hudson Cup have done very well.

“Our aim for this tournament was not to win the cup, but to use it to expose the players and to try the team system.

“The boys are beginning to believe in the system and their ability.

“We will still go into the match as a pre-season match and will be using some players that have yet to be selected for the senior team to show their ability.

“I have a lot of respect for South Hobart as a club and also their coach, Ken.

“As I said it previously, it will be good for us to be able to play South Hobart twice.

“It is like a dream come true now for the club and we just ‘did it’ the first time we met.

“Now I hope we can ‘do it better’.”

The match for third and fourth places featured Taroona against the Tasmanian Institute of Sport.

Taroona lost on Saturday in a penalty shoot-out to New Town Eagles in the semi-finals of the Division One section of the southern Summer Cup competition.

The sides were locked at 1-1 after normal time (only one hour in this tournament) and Eagles won the penalty shoot-out 4-3.

The TIS, in the guise of University’s under-19s, beat South Hobart 4-0.

This match, therefore, should be a close affair.

“We want to finish the tournament with a good performance,” said Taroona’s assistant coach, Ben Horgan.

“It has been a great experience for our boys and playing the full 90 minutes each week has given us a solid preparation for the league.

“We’ll keep the same squad but give some of the guys who haven’t had a lot of game time more of a run.

“Hugo Luttmer couldn’t shake off his hamstring injury in time for last week’s game, but, hopefully, he will be right for this weekend so he can play against his son Eli.

“I might stick him out on the left wing to make sure the two are matched up against one another.”