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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Photo: Jim Pennicott

Jim Pennicott, South Hobart’s 15-year-old defender, is quickly coming to grips with first-team football.

The club has had many injuries and Pennicott has been drafted into the side rather sooner than expected.

He came on as a substitute in the 4-0 league win over Glenorchy Knights two weeks ago, while last weekend, he started and finished against Kingborough Lions United in the 0-0 draw.

He made his senior debut this season in the Summer Cup against New Town Eagles, when South Hobart won 6-0.

That’s not bad for a player who could not get into the Tasmanian Institute of Sport programme.

Pennicott came through the Central Region junior development programme and then the State under-14 and under-15 teams.

“The only opportunity after that was the TIS, but I didn’t get in, so I decided to come to South Hobart,” said Pennicott, who is in Year 10 at Taroona High.

“I think I’m doing all right.

“The last game, I made some mistakes, but against Kingborough I felt more comfortable.

“I’d bring the ball down and have a look at the options up front.

“Last week, I didn’t realise I’d come on so early in the game, but David Cooper got injured and so I was it.

“I was really nervous and it took me a couple of minutes to realise I was on the pitch.”

Pennicott, whose father, Gary, was a notable player in the north and south of the State, began as a forward but was moved to the defence in the State squads.

He has thoughts of moving interstate when he is older and of making soccer a career.

“That’s what I want to do because I enjoy the game,” he said.

“I was anticipating sitting on the bench for much of this year, but with all the injuries we’ve had, I’m just going to seize the opportunities that come my way.

“I think South Hobart can retain the title this year, particularly with the quality of players we have.

“But, we can’t take things lightly because we won’t breeze through because there are lots of good teams.”

After Greg Downes broke his leg on Saturday, Pennicott may well be called upon again this coming weekend against Hobart Olympic.

It’s a game South Hobart must win to stay on top of the Forestry Tasmania Premier League ladder.