Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 37th 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 Southern Premier League soccer leaders Tilford Zebras should make it eight wins in a row when they take on sixth-placed New Town Eagles away at Clare Street on Saturday at 2.30pm.

A victory could even extend Zebras’ lead at the top to 8 points, with half the league season gone.

Zebras may be without striker Ben Crosswell because of work commitments, but they should still have too much firepower for an Eagles side that will be missing the suspended Alex Leszczynski and the unavailable Jacob Malakoff.

Crosswell is trying to change his shift so that he can play.

Zebras goalkeeper Troy Kaden and defender Henry Fagg have been dropped for 'disciplinary reasons', according to coach Nick Lapolla, which means Frank Mainella takes over in goal.

The 'disciplinary reasons' turn out to be a 21st birthday party in Melbourne which they will be attending.

Eagles’ coach, George Krambousanos, is away in Melbourne for family reasons and Peter Wass will be in charge of the team.

Second-placed Glenorchy Knights entertain fifth-ranked Clarence United at KGV Park on Friday at 8pm and the Knights will be going for their fourth consecutive league win, and fifth win in a row overall.

James Hope may be fit to return for the Knights, but Clarence have several injury concerns, including goalkeeper Michael Moschogianis, defender Mattias Toghill, and strikers Andy Barron and Chris Hunt.

Ben Hamlett is unavailable and Toby Ling is injured, so there is a chance that Adam Knapek, Ben Phillips and David Hoppitt will get a run.

Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly, is aware that Clarence’s Luke Cripps scored his third hat-trick of the season last weekend, but he is adamant that Cripps will not be assigned a marker.

Third-placed and reigning champions South Hobart host second-last Hobart Olympic at South Hobart on Saturday at 2.30pm and will be seeking to end a run of three league losses and one cup defeat in succession.

South’s Liam Scott, Ricki Eaves and Daniel Brown missed training during the week because of injury.

It has almost become a cliché that South dominate possession but do not turn this into goals, but that is the stark fact facing coach Ken Morton and he must find a solution if South are to return to winning ways.

Morton is wary of an Olympic side that he says is starting to bounce back and whose fighting spirit is exemplified by striker Michael Bulis.

Olympic did not play well against Eagles last weekend but still won with clinical counter-attacks, and this scenario is exactly the one that has undone South Hobart in their past four games.

Bottom-side University entertain fourth-placed Kingborough Lions United at Olinda Grove at 2.30pm on Saturday and the Students face a difficult task with two key players missing.

Jonathon Merry and Julian Proud are injured, but Alexis Bull may have recovered from illness and may be ready to resume.

Nigel Blundell has returned from the USA, while Damien Bones and Oliver Venettacci have recovered from injury but must pass fitness tests before being considered.

“We feel that we are happy to be playing Kingborough Lions at home this week as they are one of the toughest teams to beat at their home ground, and their result last week against South Hobart is evidence of this,” said University’s president, Julian Proud.

Kingborough’s Damian Pearce and Charles White are doubtful after suffering knocks last weekend and will be replaced, if necessary, by Trent Pearce and Andrew Kerr.

“This is a dangerous game against University and we need more consistency in our play,” said Lions coach, Geoff Freeman.
Division One leaders Metro may have a fourth Scottish import in their line-up for Saturday’s clash with third-placed Beachside at Sandown Park at 6.30pm.

The Scotsman is due to arrive in Hobart on Saturday morning, but he may not be cleared and signed in time to join his three countrymen, whose acquisition at the beginning of the season has played a huge part in Metro’s success this year.

Aaron Marney and Mathew Gasparin are also available for Metro this weekend, but Danny Cowen is interstate and player-coach Darrin Chaffey will play in the reserves.

Goalkeeper Michael McKenna has recovered from a dislocated thumb and may play.

Beachside will add Andrew Reason to its squad, and everyone else is fit.

“Being four points behind Metro before this game makes it a crucial game for us to win,” said Beachside coach, Nathan Robinson.

“With an improved performance last week, we are confident of a good showing this Saturday night.

“Bernhard Klasen is in good form in front of goal for us, but it will require a strong defensive performance if we are going to keep Metro at bay for the 90 minutes.

“They have scored freely and have had contributions from, not only their strikers, but midfielders, which is what make them a such dangerous opposition.”

Second-placed Taroona are away to fifth-placed Northern Suburbs DOSA at the Showgrounds at 2.30pm on Saturday.

Only goal-difference keeps Taroona behind Metro and in second place and if Metro falter, Taroona could take over the leadership by winning.

Steve Swift is unavailable for DOSA, but John Visentin returns after being unavailable last weekend.

“Taroona won the first encounter this season at Taroona 7-0 and we were flat in last week’s 4-0 loss to Beachside, which showed only playing one game in the last month has been disruptive,” said DOSA defender, Richard Korn.

“We will have to work hard to try and regain some momentum, but these things take time.”

Taroona will miss Cian Carey, who is unavailable, and he will be replaced at centre-back by either Will Darling or Ben Schaap.

“DOSA seem to have improved quite a bit since we played them in the first game of the season and I expect they will be much tougher opposition this time around,” said Taroona coach, Ben Horgan.

“We’re really starting to get some competition for places in the senior squad, with midfielders Lucas Wyatt and Ruaidhri Carey in good form in the reserves over the last couple of weeks and veteran striker Daniel Palmer scoring a hat-trick last weekend.

“One or more of those players may be included in the senior squad to give us some options off the bench.”

Fourth-placed Nelson Eastern Suburbs meet second-last Christian United at North Warrane on Saturday at 2.30pm.

Christian United striker Matthew Sly is suspended, but Leno Taglieri has recovered from a rib injury and should start.

Scott Nicholson is back from Brisbane and will be in goal, while John Manasseh has completed a massive 6-week suspension - incurred, ironically, against Nelson in the first round.

“Due to byes, unexplained gaps in the fixtures and cup weekends, Manasseh has spent over two months watching from the sidelines,” said Christian United’s Jesse Arnold.

“Still, John has been at every training session bar one and he is looking fitter and better than ever.”

Ben De Hoog is unavailable, Dave Nettlefold has a calf injury, and Dave Noble may have to make his way back to the seniors via the reserves.










Photos (Top to Bottom): Beachside's Sam Howarth (left) confronts DOSA's Nick Radovanovic; Bernhard Klasen nets from the spot; Beachside's Ben Davis (left) tackles DOSA's Stephen Swift; Colin Wain gets in a cross before Mark Wakefield (right) can intervene; Beachsides' Colin Wain; Beachside's hat-trick hero, Bernhard Klasen;, Beachside's Colin Shepherd; DOSA keeper Justin Farrugia can only watch as David Visentin retrieves the ball from the net; Andrew Douglas gets the final touch to put Beachside in front; A Beachside corner has DOSA on the defensive

Division One, Sandown Park, Sunday, 24 May 2009
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Beachside 4 (Douglas 14, Klasen 30 pen, 39, 78)
Northern Suburbs DOSA 0

HT: 3-0 Att: 54 Ref: C Ware
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Beachside: A Bigg - Atkin (McDonald 30), Davis, Robinson, Howarth - Douglas, Shepherd, Lowe (Szoka 79) Wain - P Bigg, Klasen [Substitute not used: Ryan] [Player-Coach: N Robinson]

Northern Suburbs DOSA: Farrugia - Korn, Visentin, Wakefield, Hey - Radovanovic, Frith, Durairajah [(Richardson 46) J Parry 71], Maccrum - Swift, Parry [Substitute not used: Chisholm] [Coach: J O’Hea]
________________________________________________________

Beachside moved back into third place on the Division One ladder with a comfortable 4-0 win over fifth-ranked Northern Suburbs DOSA on this picturesque little ground at Sandy Bay called Sandown Park.

Beachside made all the going in the opening half, but it took them quite a while to get on top in terms of goals.

To DOSA’s credit, they never gave in, put in the hard yards, and restricted their opponents to just one goal in the second half.

Fifteen-year-old Jayden Hey had a fine senior debut for DOSA. He had a good effort saved and deflected for a corner in the second half as DOSA forced three corners in quick succession.

After several wild shots at the DOSA goal, Beachside took the lead in the 14th minute after a cross from the right, Andrew Douglas getting the last touch.

On the half-hour, it was 2-0 from the penalty spot, Bernhard Klasen converting the spot-kick, awarded after a defender’s push on an attacker.

With 6 minutes of the half remaining, Klasen made it 3-0 with a powerful shot that went in off the far left-hand post.

Klasen should have completed his hat-trick in the 50th minute when he got on to the end of a Pat Bigg left-wing cross, but he steered his header over the bar.

In the 78th minute, Bigg slammed a shot against the crossbar and, when DOSA failed to clear the ball properly, Klasen did grab his third goal, firing home from close range.

Colin Wain had a fine game for Beachside. How South Hobart could use him now!

Some of Beachside’s build-ups, usually involving Colin Shepherd at the heart of the action, were superb.

Nathan Robinson also frequently pushed forward, but his sights were not aligned properly and he always blazed over the bar.

Simon Natoli, a qualified referee, must be commended for taking over on a line during the second half. This is no disrespect to the enthusiastic young lad who was running the line until then, but Natoli, a DOSA player, brought that extra bit of learning and experience to the task.

_________________________________________________________

  • Beachside’s Bernhard Klasen said:

“It was a pretty messy game out there today.

“We’re going to have to make sure that next week we’re a little bit sharper with our tackling, especially in the middle.

“I think we were just a little bit lazy in the second half, wanting to get to the ball, and that’s obviously what showed in the outcome of the second half.

“The things we’re going to have to work on is being just a little bit more persistent in getting to the ball first, otherwise good teams like Metro are going to make us chase all day.

“I reckon that’s something we’re going to work on during the week.”

  • Northern Suburbs DOSA coach, Joe O’Hea, said:

“It was our first game in four weeks so it was just like starting the season over again.

“The second half was much better than the first half.

“But, we’re just a little bit down on our touch.

“We got to get our confidence up and got to get our game fitness up again.

“There were a couple of promising things there, I thought.

“We’ve got plenty to work with.”
____________________________________________________________

STATISTICS

BEACHSIDE DOSA
22 Goal Attempts 4
10 Shots on Target 1
5 Corners 4
10 Fouls Committed 5
2 Off-Sides 0
2 (Davis 69, MacDonald 71) Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0

Beachside:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
P Bigg 5 3
Klasen 8 5
Robinson 3 0
Howarth 1 0
MacDonald 2 0
Wain 3 2

Northern Suburbs DOSA:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Swift 1 0
Parry 1 0
Hey 1 1
Maccrum 1 0
Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League, Wentworth Park, Saturday, 23 May 2009
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Clarence United 3 (Cripps 2, 9, 69)
Tilford Zebras 4 (Crosswell 29, 45+4, Walsh 40, Brazendale 90+4)

HT: 2-2 Att: 115 Ref: S Collins
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Clarence United: Moschogianis (Sweetten 73) - J Huigsloot, Lewis, S McIntyre, Togill (Stevens 68) - Hunt, Ling (McMahon 57), Parker, Cannamela - Barron, Cripps [Substitute not used: Hamlett] [Coach: A Brown]

Tilford Zebras: Kaden - Pace, Telega, Smith, Fagg - Brazendale, Cairns, Self, Welch - Walsh, Crosswell [Substitutes not used: Thorpe, F Lapolla, Hall, Mainella] [Coach: N Lapolla]
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Clarence United went for Zebras’ throats from the outset and rocked the league-leaders with two goals in the opening 9 minutes.

They had a third ruled out for off-side. If that one had counted, one would wonder if the Zebras could have come back.

As it was, the Zebras were reeling, but they maintained their faith in their own abilities and slowly but gradually worked their way back into the game.

Clarence might have snatched a late winner but were denied by the woodwork.

Given such reprieves, the Zebras never look back and they hit the winner in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Clarence goalkeeper Michael Moschogianis was in the thick of the action.

Early in the second half, he wiped about the unfortunate Henry Fagg as both went for a high ball into the box.

The loose ball fell to Ben Crosswell, who slammed it into the unguarded net to give the Zebras a 3-2 lead.

Fagg, looking somewhat groggy, was able to resume after some minutes of treatment.

In the 71st minute, Moschogianis was, in turn, wiped out by his own defender, Sam McIntyre, who appeared to have been pushed into the goalkeeper by the on-rushing Zebras forward, Dwayne Walsh, a former Clarence player.

Moschogianis was down for the count and didn’t move. He was eventually stretchered off and an ambulance summoned. It was feared he had suffered a neck injury.

Later reports indicated he was all right.

Clarence took the lead after just two minutes. Mattias Toghill’s free-kick from just outside the box on the left was headed against the near post by Ben Parker, and Luke Cripps followed up to score.

In the 6th minute, McIntyre hit the bar and Cripps again had the ball in the net from the rebound, but this time the assistant referee’s flag was raised to dampen the celebrations.

It was 2-0 three minutes later, however, as Zebras failed to clear a corner and Cripps fired home through a crowded penalty area.

Crosswell pulled a goal back in the 29th minute with a sweetly struck left-footed shot.

Andy Barron almost got Clarence’s third in the 38th minute, but after racing through the defence, he fired into the side-netting.

Five minutes before the break, Moschogianis saved Crosswell’s shot and conceded a corner, from which Walsh netted to make it 2-2.

Crosswell put Zebras in front four minutes after the resumption, but in the 69th minute, Cripps completed his hat-trick and made it 3-3 when he was given acres of space on the right.

Two minutes from the end, Chris Hunt was unlucky when he outpaced the Zebras defence down the left and shot, but the ball came back into play off the inside of the far post.

Four minutes into stoppage time, lack of concentration by the Clarence defence allowed Aaron Brazendale to race through and plant the winner past substitute goalkeeper Sam Sweetten.

The win put Zebras 7 points ahead of second-placed Glenorchy Knights and 8 in front of reigning champions and third-placed South Hobart.

Clarence dropped to fifth, but with a game against bottom-side University in hand.

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  • Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown, said:

“The result is disappointing, but not the way we played. I mean, it should be obvious to everyone out there we went out to try and attack Zebras.

“We did open them up, we did score goals, we did hit woodwork, but unfortunately not enough tonight.

“But, as we’ve seen through the Summer Cup final and then in the first leg encounter and then in the second leg encounter, there’s not much between the two sides.

“Maybe, Zebras just had that little bit more experience and were more clinical towards the end.

“We had two or three chances in the last three or four minutes and they could have killed the game off, and then go up the other end and they score.

“Full credit to Zebras. I think most people would say that they are the best football team in the competition at the moment.

“They are not on top of the ladder for nothing, and it’s something for us to aspire to over the next couple of years.”

  • Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:

“Well, in the first ten minutes and you’re two nil down, the character of the blokes was shown. They’re always fighting.

“They’ve always got that character to keep playing. It was a battle.

“The last twenty minutes, Clarence put us under heaps of pressure, but in the end we’ve scored.

“It’s three points.”
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STATISTICS

CLARENCE UNITED TILFORD ZEBRAS
12 Goal Attempts 11
9 Shots on Target 7
7 Corners 5
16 Fouls Committed 12
14 Off-Sides 7
1 (Barron 87) Yellow Cards 1 (Walsh 72)
0 Red Cards 0

Clarence United:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Parker 1 1
Cripps 3 3
McIntyre 1 1
Toghill 1 0
Hunt 4 3
Barron 1 0
Huigsloot 1 1

Tilford Zebras:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Crosswell 4 3
Walsh 2 2
Telega 2 0
Welch 1 1
Cairns 1 0
Brazendale 1 1