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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Four southern and four northern sides qualified for the quarterfinals of the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy state-wide competition today.

Clarence United, University, Glenorchy Knights and Hobart Zebras are through from the south, while northern outfits Somerset, Northern Rangers, Riverside Olympic and Prospect Knights were successful.

A first-half strike by Andy Barron and a second-half penalty by Luke Cripps gave Clarence a 2-0 away win over Devonport City at Valley Road.

A second-half goal by Jade Clay gave the Knights a 1-0 win over trophy-holder South Hobart, at South Hobart.

South lost goalkeeper Sam Kruijver with a dislocated shoulder after only five minutes following an aerial clash with Corey Smith.

Tom Sherman’s cross from the left in the 51st minute found Clay, whose first shot was parried by replacement keeper Mark Moncur, but Clay netted from the rebound.

Goals by Nick Reed, Garry Hamilton, Toby Skene and James Nettleton gave Somerset a 4-1 win over Hobart Olympic, who replied through Emmanuel Tsakiris.

Andrew Nicholson have Northern Rangers a 1-0 half-time lead away to Ulverstone, whole second-half strikes by Todd Hingston and Mark Ambrose sealed the game.

Ethan Olner, with two goals, and one apiece by Colin Jackson, Ben Taylor and Stephen Gulbrandson saw Riverside Olympic down the visiting Nelson Eastern Suburbs 5-1. Tom Gordon netted Nelson’s consolation goal.

Beachside held Hobart Zebras to a goalless opening half before Brayden Pace fired Zebras ahead in the 57th minute.

Jayden Welch then netted twice for the visitors to make it 3-0 before Colin Wain pulled a goal back for Beachside a minute from the end.

Ricky Self got on to the end of an Aaron Brazendale corner in the final minute and headed Zebras’ fourth.

Eddie Opira gave University a 1-0 lead at half-time against New Town Eagles at Clare Street, but Adam McKeown equalised to take the game into extra-time.

A penalty shoot-out decided the outcome after there was no further score and University won that showdown 3-1 through successful spot-kicks by the experienced trio of Nigel Blundell, Aaron Hindmarsh and Iain Fletcher.

Wade Savage was the only successful penalty taker for Eagles, with Alex Gordon, Mark Page and McKeown having their efforts saved by Hamish Peacock.

University’s Bryn Griffiths was denied by Eagles keeper Craig Minty for University’s only miss.
Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy (Saturday, 9 May 2009)

Somerset 4 (Reed, Hamilton, Skene, Nettleton) b Hobart Olympic 1 (E Tsakiris)

Ulverstone 0 lt Northern Rangers 3 (Nicholson, Hingston, Ambrose)

Riverside Olympic 5 (Olner 2, Jackson, Taylor, Gulbrandson) b Nelson Eastern Suburbs 1 (Gordon)

Prospect Knights 1 (Sesay) b Metro 0

New Town Eagles 1 (McKeown) dw University 1 (Opira)

[University won the penalty shoot-out 3-1 with goals by Blundell, Hindmarsh and Fletcher. Eagles' only penalty success was from Savage. University's Griffiths had his penalty saved, while Eagles' Gordon, Page and McKeown were also thwarted by the goalkeeper.]

Devonport City 0 lt Clarence United 2 (Barron, Cripps pen)

South Hobart 0 lt Glenorchy Knights 1 (Clay)

Beachside 1 (Wain) lt Tilford Zebras 4 (Pace, Welch 2, Self)
Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy Preview for 9 May 2009

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SOMERSET V HOBART OLYMPIC
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Cardigan Street, 2pm, Saturday, 9 May

A full-strength Hobart Olympic should be good enough to overcome a weakened Somerset, despite their home-ground advantage.

Somerset are fourth in the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League, while Hobart Olympic are second-last, or seventh, in the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League.

Olympic should have goalkeeper Dmitri Nester, midfielder Chris Tsakiris and defender Chris Tsimiklis back after they missed last weekend’s 4-2 loss to Clarence United in the league.

Somerset coach Kevin Considine admits that Somerset are not the team they were a few years ago.

“We have lost three of our four defenders from last year,” said Considine.

“Captain Keegan Wells is travelling overseas, 2008 best-and-fairest Todd Hingston has been transferred to Launceston for work, and Michael Wolfert is having a year off.

“Centre-midfielder Chris Considine is working on East Coast, but fills in occasionally when needed.

“This comes on the back of losing five more experienced players from the two previous years last season, and we now have only three in our squad for this week’s match from the back-to-back premiership seasons.

“On the positive side, we have recruited Tom Roach and Jon Lo from South Hobart, Adam Woodhouse, Toby Skene and Andrew Considine, who are ex-Sharks State premiership players, and George Miller.

“However, injuries and unavailability for this weekend’s cup match are keeper Woodhouse, striker Andrew Considine, midfielder Sam Phillips-Crole, defender Jordan Wright and midfielder Chris Considine.

“As a result, we will be unable to name our final squad until fitness tests on several other senior players are undertaken on Saturday morning before the match.

“We could end up with several ‘first gamers’ if they don't come up fit.”

Lo was back in Hobart this week and trained with his former club, South Hobart, so time will tell whether he benefited from the travel and training.

Prediction: Hobart Olympic

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SOUTH HOBART V GLENORCHY KNIGHTS
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Washington Street, 2pm, Saturday 9 May

Glenorchy Knights had a morale-boosting win over New Town Eagles in the league last weekend to end a run of two league defeats.

South Hobart, on the other hand, lost the southern league leadership when they drew 0-0 with bottom-side University.

The Knights, fifth on the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League ladder, have the potential to knock the holders out of the tournament, but they will have to show the sort of consistency that has eluded them so far this season.

With coach Eamonn Kelly still away in Newcastle, NSW, Nick Harrison and Josh Fielding will again be in charge.

“Following last week’s result and performance against New Town Eagles, both Josh [Fielding] and I feel that we should stick with the lads who preformed so well,” said assistant coach, Harrison.

“We are training Thursday night and will give James Hope a fitness test to see if he can come back into the squad.

“We will also have to make a decision if Josh starts or not.

“Mynonge Kamba is out after picking up an injury after coming on as a second half sub last week.

“Jayden Wiggins may be unavailable due to work commitments.

“All the pressure will be on South Hobart following last week’s results, and South’s players will know that a loss this weekend will see Morton out shopping to replace them.

“So, our lads can go out and express themselves with no pressure whatsoever.

“With that said, we will be going out to win the match.”

South Hobart will be without Daniel Brown, who has an ankle ligament injury that will side-line him for two or three weeks.

Ricky Eaves, who missed the match against University, comes back in place of Brown.

“It’s a major tournament and we’ve prepared in the right manner,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.

“They’ll be pumped up for it as this trophy means a lot to the Knights as it is named after one of their great players and they like to do well.

“Their changes against Eagles have worked and the young lads they introduced did the job.

“I’d like to think we’ll do well and we just have to convert our chances.”

Former players Jonathon Lo, now with Somerset, and Billy Gasparinatos, who is with Oakleigh Cannons in Victoria, trained with South this week.

Some of their enthusiasm and experience may have rubbed off on the rest of the squad in preparation for this cup-tie.

Prediction: South Hobart

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DEVONPORT CITY V CLARENCE UNITED
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Valley Road, 2pm, Saturday, 9 May

Devonport City beat Clarence United 4-2 away at Wentworth Park in the semi-finals of this competition last season and a similar result could be on the cards this time.

Devonport, second in the North, should be at full strength, while Clarence, third in the South, will be missing key players in Ben Parker and Ben Hamlett.

Jules McMahon, Jacob Huigsloot and Rowan Heggie have leg injuries and are doubtful.

New signings Sam McIntyre, from the University under-19s, or the TIS squad, and his brother, Adam, come in to the Clarence squad.

“ We will have a full squad to pick from this week with no other games, so this will allow us to take some fresh subs into the game,” said Devonport City coach, Tom McGinn.

“We’re looking forward to the week off from the league and it gives us a chance to judge how we are going against a southern side.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming Clarence as I believe they are a good young side who will certainly be coming north to avenge last year’s result in the cup.

“Our boys will also be going all out as it is important to keep winning so we can keep playing without the breaks.

“The key to the game, I believe, is who can settle first and take their chances as I am sure, with both teams being attacking minded, it will be a fast-flowing game.

“From our perspective, we will rely heavily on the midfield drive of Kamil Douglas and Sean Howe to support strikers Chris McKenna and Paul Scicluna.

“After the disaster of the first league game this season, our defence has been really strong, only losing a few goals, and with Nathan Gratton and Simon Wilson being very steady at the back.”

Devonport striker, Chris McKenna, said his team-mates were looking forward to hosting their first State-wide Cup game in several seasons.

“Hopefully, we can emulate last season’s cup run and perhaps go one step further and bring the cup back to Valley Road,” said McKenna.

“We played Clarence in the semi finals of last year’s tournament and came away with a 4-2 away win and, while we’re not too sure of their current personnel, we are confident of a good performance.

“They seem to be doing well in the Southern Premier League and, no doubt, Brownie will have them fired up and raring to go.”

Prediction: Devonport City

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NEW TOWN EAGLES V UNIVERSITY
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Clare Street, 2pm, Saturday, 9 May

New Town Eagles, sixth on the southern ladder, will be missing goalkeeper Michael Soszynski, who is unavailable because of work commitments.

Craig Minty will be his replacement.

Midfielder-cum-striker Cormac Collins is available after illness led to him missing last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Glenorchy Knights in the league.

Eagles coach, George Krambousanos, was devastated after the loss to the Knights and University’s 0-0 draw with league-leaders South Hobart has made him very wary.

“It could go either way,” said Karmbousanos. “We have trained well this week and are in a good frame of mind.

“University are a good side on paper and they turned a corner last weekend and will be dangerous opponents.”

University’s chances will depend on which line-up they field.

There was talk of them fielding the same side that disposed of Christian United 7-3 in the preliminary round.

If that is the case, they may well lose.

If they turn out with the side that drew with South Hobart last weekend, they should be good enough to win.

Prediction: University

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PROSPECT KNIGHTS V METRO
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Harley Parade, 2pm, Saturday, 9 May

Prospect Knights will be without three regular players.

Phil Atherton, with an Achilles tendon problem, Chris Pickering, who has to work, and Nathan Balym, who is suspended after being sent off last weekend, will all be missing.

Jack Mahr and Trent Mitchell from the under-18s, who have a bye this weekend, are two of the replacements.

“I know Metro have had some really good results recently and they’ve had experience in the Premier League in past seasons,” said Prospect Knights coach, Dane Hudson.

“I think they’ll be well organised and try and keep possession for long periods of the match.

“We’ll have to try and break that down as quickly as we can and retain possession ourselves.

“I suppose the first 20 minutes will be a case of both sides sussing out the other.

“I hope we’ve got enough quality to win out on the day.

“We know they’ve got three Scottish guys who are supposedly pretty good, but they’ve got eight other players, too.

“It’ll be interesting and I just hope our guys attach enough value to the game, mentally and in terms of working hard.

“I haven’t seen Metro play and so they could be strong in areas where we’re weak, and vice versa.

“We’ll certainly be playing to win.”

Metro’s player-coach, Darrin Chaffey, is looking forward to the match.

“This will be a good yardstick for us to see where we’re at,” Chaffey said.

“We’ve really just been cruising along the last couple of games, but with all due respect to Christian United and Hobart United, our wins against them are no real indication at all as to how we compare to Premier League clubs around the state.

“Prospect are currently sitting third on the Northern Premier League ladder, so we’re looking forward to the challenge on Saturday.

“Paul Hunt will retain his spot in the squad for the trip north after an excellent debut on Sunday.

“Michael McKenna has a dislocated thumb and is out, while Grant Malcolm suffered a boot full of studs to his knee against Hobart United and will require a fitness test before Friday.

“Sammy Sweeney and Simon Land are back from suspension and will be available for selection.”

Prediction: Metro

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RIVERSIDE OLYMPIC V NELSON EASTERN SUBURBS
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Windsor Park, 2pm, Saturday, 9 May

This is one of the David versus Goliath ties of this round.

Riverside Olympic are sixth on the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League ladder, while Nelson Eastern Suburbs are fifth on the southern Division One ladder.

Riverside will be without captain Rob Hughes, who has a hamstring injury.

“As I know little about Nelson, we will be going in with the same team that played last week and not risking to rest anyone,” said Riverside coach, Troy Scott.

“After last week’s result and some work on our formation, we will be going all out to progress to the next round.

“We will have two fresh subs and I will pick a third from a practice match played beforehand.

“As a club, we are looking forward to playing a team we know nothing about.

“They will come up here with nothing to lose, which is a good way to play.

Nelson are unlikely to be at full strength.

“Having been killed off once in this competition and now resurrected, God
only knows what will happen next,” said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.

“It's like some ridiculous episode of Ghost Whisperer, or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, which could make me that professor guy in the tweed jacket and our 17-year-old goalkeeper, Nic DeCarpentier, Buffy.

“Lots of players cannot make the trip to Launceston.

“Captain Richard Flood injured his knee against DOSA, Craig Stockdale is working, Robert Brooke and Lewis Gibbs are also working, while midfielder Luke Wallace also got a knock on the knee last week and will sit this match out.

“It’s more injuries and player unavailability this week, but it’s almost the norm for this season.

“A few players come in from the reserves, including Rowan Sakul, Ben Gibson, Drew Bannister and John Wallace, while under-19 players Cody Flynn and Andrew Gaskell will also be in the squad.

“Left-footed under-19 striker Jordan Brighella may also debut, dependent on his work commitments.

“It’ll be a chance for a few guys to show what they can do against a Northern Premier team.

“Custer probably had more chance at the Little Big Horn, but at least this will be 11 v 11.

“We don't know much about Riverside, but if we win, I guess the drinks will be on me, for those old enough to drink that is.”

The Nelson Eastern Suburbs squad is: Nic DeCarpentier, Rowan Sakul, Rick Chew, Joe Van Der Slink, Tom Roach, Adam Mills, Ben Gibson, Cody Flynn, John Wallace, Andrew Gaskell, Tom Gordon, Drew Bannister, Jordan Brighella.

Prediction: Riverside Olympic

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ULVERSTONE V NORTHERN RANGERS
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Ulverstone Showgrounds, 2pm, Saturday, 9 May

Ulverstone, fifth on the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League ladder, host league-leaders Northern Rangers.

Ulverstone are hoping that captain Adrian Beard will be back from interstate in time to be included in the squad, although he will not be in the starting line-up.

“In the last game of last season, we actually beat Rangers quite nicely with ten men,” said Ulverstone coach, Kim Rigby.

“We actually have good games against them and they actually play a little bit like we do, I think.

“We got hurt last week and our opponents were a bit too strong and direct for us, but these guys tend to play better football than a lot of the other teams and that tends to suit us a little bit.

“It gives us a bit more time.

“They’re a form side and we’re trying to get up there and we’re sort of matching some and struggling against others.

“The disappointing thing is we have the bye the following week and then we play them again, so we get to meet them twice in three weeks.

“I think we’ll go all right. I wouldn’t predict a win, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we did.

“I think they’ve got some pretty decent forwards that we need to be very careful with.

“We were caught out a bit last week by a couple of set-pieces which caught us badly, and we played for about 60 minutes with the men, which made it difficult.

“I’m not going to predict too much. I hope we win. I said to the boys I hope to get a win and get another trip down to Hobart so we can showcase ourselves a bit down there again.”

Northern Rangers will be without Paul Bremner, who is unavailable.

“He will be replaced by one of Rangers’ promising young talents, Michael Townsend, who has impressed the coaching staff with his performance in the reserves,” said Rangers coach, Roslan Saad.

“He was one of five of last season’s under-18 boys that has made it to the reserve squad.

“We are taking the cup very seriously as we are looking forward to having some games with the southern teams.

“The club aims to improve on last year’s performance by doing better than just reaching the quarter-finals.

“I hope the bye we had last week doesn’t affect the team’s momentum.”

Prediction: Northern Rangers

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BEACHSIDE V TILFORD ZEBRAS
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Sandown Park, 4.30pm, Saturday, 9 May

Beachside, third in Division One, host Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League leaders Tilford Zebras in an evening match at Sandown Park.

Beachside has an unchanged squad from last weekend, when they beat Christian United 7-2.

“This will be a totally different challenge,” said Beachside player-coach, Nathan Robinson.

“Zebras are in terrific form and scoring lots of goals, so it will be very difficult for us.”

Zebras will miss defender Henry Fagg, who is in Sydney.

Michael Connolly will be his replacement.

“I don’t think we’re quite there yet,” said Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla. “I think we’re at about 70 per cent of our potential.

“The positive thing is our strike force. We can score goals from anywhere.

“I haven’t seen Beachside play, but I know they have experienced players such as Nathan Robinson and Colin Shepherd.

“It’s interesting that the first time I coached Zebras seniors was against Beachside about four years ago, when I was the under-19s coach.

“Michael Edwards was the senior coach and he was away for a few weeks, so I was in charge. We beat them 7-0.”

Prediction: Tilford Zebras
ASIAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Wednesday, 6 May 2009 (Newcastle Stadium)

Group E

Newcastle Jets 2 (Sasho Petrovski, Sean Rooney) b Beijing Guoan 1 (Ryan Griffiths)

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Group H

Pohang Steelers 3 b Central Coast Mariners 2

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Semi-final 2nd leg

Arsenal 1 Manchester United 3