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

Glenorchy Knights 3 (Marsh 20, Hope 88, Koroma 90) b South Hobart 1 (Ross 73)

HT: 1-0

[Detailed match report and statistics to follow soon]

Reserves

Glenorchy Knights 0 lt South Hobart 2 (Otte 2)

HT: 0-0

Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League

Northern Rangers 6 (Bremner 2, 85, Connors 20, 75, Nugerten 54, Luck 81) b Launceston United 0

HT: 2-0
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NORTHERN RANGERS V LAUNCESTON UNITED
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NTCA Ground, 8.30pm, Friday, 15 May

Northern Rangers should maintain top spot on the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League ladder with a win at home against bottom-side Launceston United.

Rangers will be without the services of Gareth Otley for the rest of the season as he has decided to travel the world.

“His professionalism in games and training has been very inspiring for the younger players,” said Rangers coach Roslan Saad.

“He started in the cup game against Ulverstone last week and played extremely well.

“I would like to put on record our appreciation for his services and it has been a pleasure for any coach to have a player like him.

“His loss will provide the opportunity for other players to try and win the spot.”

Rangers will be without the injured Rohan Pooley and he will be replaced by Brad Langerak.

Thataetsile Kakadumane may play in the reserves.

“We are looking forward to a good night game against United and, with their key players back in the squad, I believe United are not to be taken lightly,” Saad added.

“We just want to get the three points at home and I’m not particularly concerned with the goals.”

Launceston United are almost back to full strength with the return from Brazil of the Duffy brothers.

“Mitch Duffy had the honour of being captain of the team that went to Brazil,” said Launceston United coach, Brian Dracup.

“James Bolzonello and Michael Yates will also return to the senior squad and I have high expectations of these players to give us the impetus that we need.

“However, the club has made four new signings during the week and I can see some of the new additions being able to press for places in the squad over the coming weeks.

“We expect a hard game against Rangers and we anticipate all members of the team will give 110 per cent.”

Prediction: Northern Rangers

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BURNIE UNITED V RIVERSIDE OLYMPIC
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Montello, 2.30pm, Saturday, 16 May

Both teams have six points and everything to play for.

Burnie are in seventh spot and Riverside in sixth, but the statistics indicate there is little to separate the sides in terms of scoring goals and conceding them.

In the absence of team news from either side, despite emails requesting information, I’m stabbing in the dark here and will go for a stalemate.

Prediction: Draw

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SOMERSET V PROSPECT KNIGHTS
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Cardigan Street, 2.30pm, Saturday, 16 May

It’s fourth versus third at Cardigan Street and the home side should just be in front at the end.

“The cup win against Hobart Olympic last week has come at a huge cost for the Sharks, with main defender Casey Eaves missing the next few weeks with a hamstring injury,” said Somerset coach, Kevin Considine.

“A young and inexperienced defence is likely to line up against the Prospect Knights, who, like Somerset, would have been expecting a top-three finish this season.

“On the positive side, Tom Roach returns this week from injury, strengthening our midfield and attacking power.

“It should be a great match, weather permitting, as both teams play very similar football and both squads possess experienced quality players with some speedy up-and-coming youngsters.”

Prospect Knights have Tim Claxton unavailable.

"We have been performing well since our loss to Ulverstone and I hope we can continue to improve against quality opposition," said Knights coach Dane Hudson.

"We'll be without Claxton, but they may have one or two out also, so each team has opportunities to win the game."

Prediction: Somerset

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LAUNCESTON CITY V DEVONPORT CITY
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Mitsubishi Park, 2.30pm, Saturday, 16 May

The games between these two sides used to be the highlight of the Northern season, but no now.

Launceston City is in a rebuilding phase and cannot match the power of the current Devonport City outfit.

That does not mean a lack of endeavour and spirit, however, but it does mean that the visitors are the clear favourites.

Devonport are second on the ladder with 12 points, one adrift of leaders Northern Rangers, and six ahead of second-last Launceston City.

A win is vital for Devonport if they re to stay in touch with the leaders.

“There will be no changes in the team, just hopefully changes in the way they perform,” said Devonport City coach, Tom McGinn.

Ben Pizzerani will be included in the Devonport squad after he was unavailable for the past three weeks.

He will probably be given a run in the reserves and then sit on the senior bench.

Launceston City can never be dismissed and will lift their game for this clash, but Devonport are still smarting from their exit in the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy competition last weekend to Clarence United and will be keen to atone for that performance.

Prediction: Devonport City
Division One leaders Metro should have few problems in winning against fifth-placed Nelson Eastern Suburbs at home at North Chigwell on Saturday.

Metro have 13 points and Nelson just 4, which shows the huge gulf between the two sides.

Metro will be missing defenders Matthew Gasparin and player-coach Darrin Chaffey, both of whom are in Melbourne.

Midfielder Aaron Marney is doubtful after straining a hamstring against Prospect Knights in the State-wide Cup match last weekend.

Paul Hunt, John Ramage and Danny Cowen are the likely replacements, while Andrew Rubenach will be coach for the day.

“We’ve only played Nelson the once this year in the Summer Cup, which was a pretty poor standard game for both teams,” said Chaffey.

“Although we will lose some experience with the players that are unavailable, the guys stepping in are more than capable and I think our speed, along with a few positional changes, will cause a few problems for Nelson.

“I’m confident we can continue our winning run.”

Nelson’s Luke Wallace and Robert Brooke are both doubtful with knee injuries, but Craig Stockdale, Lewis Gibbs and Adam Mills return.

Natsuki Futumura and Dean Melville may come in if required as cover for injured players, while under-19s striker Andrew Gaskell is on the bench again and will come on in the second half.

“We were very undermanned last week against Riverside, but the players we had worked really hard and we need to go into this match with the same attitude,” said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.

“Captain Richard Flood will be out for at least six weeks and it will be a tough game, but we are hopeful of getting something out of it in what will probably be very difficult weather conditions.”

Second-placed Taroona host third-ranked Beachside at Kelvedon Park on Saturday in a vital match for both sides as they attempt to stay in touch with Metro.

Taroona have 10 points and are 3 points adrift of Metro, while Beachside have 9 points.

Taroona, playing their first game in four weeks, will miss Hugo Luttmer because of a broken bone in his foot, and Toby Dove, who has a broken collarbone.

Striker Chris Cox is still recovering from a hamstring injury and is doubtful.

Duncan Carey, Mark Gates and Phil Gale are possible replacements.

“All those boys have an eye for goal, but they will need to take their chances against better opposition than they’ve been up against most weeks, so it will be a big challenge for us,” said Taroona spokesman, Ben Horgan.

“Beachside have got a lot of very good, experienced players and we’ll need to be at our best for 90 minutes, which can be tough after having not played for a few weeks.

“They will be pretty happy with the fight they put up against Zebras in the State-wide Cup, so this is a real danger game for us.”

Beachside welcome back the experienced Colin Shepherd and will include former Taroona players Jason Szoka and Alex Bigg.

“We are looking forward to the challenge of playing Taroona, who have to be one of the favourites to be promoted from Division 1 this season,” said Beachside player-coach, Nathan Robinson.

“They have had an excellent pre-season, including their participation in the Hudson Cup, and have already drawn with current leaders, Metro.”

The remaining match of the round is a bottom-of-the-table clash between second-last Christian United and last-placed Hobart United at the former’s Sherburd Park headquarters.
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GLENORCHY KNIGHTS V SOUTH HOBART
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KGV Park, 8pm, Friday, 15 May

Fifth-placed Glenorchy Knights will have coach Eamonn Kelly back at the helm after a two-game absence for the match against second-placed South Hobart.

The Knights won both their games during Kelly’s absence.

Corey Smith is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards and will miss the match.

Alex Tatnell retains his place in goal, while Tony Dzelalija will be missing after announcing his retirement from Premier League football last weekend following the Knights’ 1-0 win over South Hobart in the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy match.

“The team will virtually be the same as what it was last week,” said Kelly. “I won’t be changing it around too much.

“Tony Dzelalija’s retirement is not unexpected. He’s of the same opinion of everyone else at the club, namely, if you want the club to go ahead, you’ve got to blood these young kids.

“That’s exactly what we’re doing.

“We’re a young team and a new team compared to what we’ve had at Knights for years and years and years.

“We’ve always said from day one at the start of this season that it’s a building year for us.

“The only thing is, we need to get consistency. This is what we’ve emphasises with them for the last month. We’ve just got to have consistency.

“We’re the same as any other club. We’ve had our fair share of injuries and people that have been suspended.

“But, we’ll soldier on and take each week as it comes.

“Our ambition was to blood a bit of youth, and that’s what we’ve done, especially in the last month.

“We’ve now got four players in there from the reserves and the under-19s that we’ve never had before, and they’ve replaced the Grundys, the Benny Peters and the Tony Dzelalijas of this world.

“As much as they’ve been great ambassadors and servants to the club, the time is upon us for a change.

“We have to think of the future, and the future is the youth, and that’s why we made the decision we did three weeks ago to make a few changes and so far it’s worked.

“I mean, it will backfire. There will be a down-side to it. It’s just when the down-side comes. We have to be prepared for it.

“While these kids keep doing what they’re doing, and representing themselves and the club to the extent of what they’re doing, until they put a foot wrong, they’ll be in there every week.”

Kelly said the Knights were expecting a Brazilian player to arrive in a couple of weeks and a second Brazilian player to be here by the start of June.

South Hobart will have Mark Moncur in goal in place of Sam Kruijver, who dislocated a shoulder last week against the Knights.

Kruijver will be out for between six and eight weeks.

Central defender Josh Heerey has a strained hamstring but may be fit to play if the treatment he is undergoing is effective.

Shae Hickey returns to the squad and will probably start.

Bart Beecroft is still a few weeks away and South Hobart are exploring the possibility of him wearing a face mask when he returns.

South Hobart may have lost the cup game to Knights last weekend, but they won the first league encounter between the sides this year 4-0 and should win this game.

Prediction: South Hobart

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TILFORD ZEBRAS V HOBART OLYMPIC
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KGV Park, 4pm, Saturday, 15 May

League-leaders Tilford Zebras will have Henry Fagg and Paul Cairns back for this traditional derby against second-last Hobart Olympic.

The Zebras are playing the best soccer in the competition and have a whole host of potential goalscorers, as well as plenty of quality players on the bench.

Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, is not under-estimating Olympic’s threat.

“They pull out a bit extra against us and league position doesn’t always mean anything in these games,” said Lapolla.

Olympic have huge problems, both in terms of morale and playing ability, and even though they should be fired up for this traditional derby, spirit alone will not be good enough to win.

Their chances may be improved slightly if goalkeeper Dmitri Nester and midfielder Chris Tsakiris return to the side, but Lincoln Conquest is suspended.

Prediction: Tilford Zebras

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CLARENCE UNITED V UNIVERSITY
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Wentworth Park, 6.30pm, Saturday, 16 May

Third-placed Clarence United could move into second place on the Premier League ladder if they beat bottom-side University.

Clarence will miss midfielders Julian McMahon and Ben Hamlett, who both have leg injuries.

Goalkeeper Michael Moschogianis and midfielders Sam Cannamela, Chris Hunt and Rowan Heggie did not train on Tuesday after picking up niggling injuries in last weekend’s 2-0 away win over Devonport City in the State-wide Cup.

Defender Toby Ling and midfielder and captain Ben Parker will return to the side, while Matthew Chapman and Brendan Garth may also get a run if the injured players do not recover.

University may be getting their act together at last after earning a point against the high-flying South Hobart two weeks ago and then progressing to the quarterfinals of the State-wide Cup with a penalty shoot-out win over New Town Eagles last weekend.

Prediction: Clarence United

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NEW TOWN EAGLES V KINGBOROUGH LIONS UNITED
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Clare Street, 2.30pm, Sunday, 17 May

Sixth-placed New Town Eagles welcome fourth-placed Kingborough Lions United to Clare Street in what is an important game for both sides.

A win for Eagles would move them further away from the two bottom sides, while a Lions victory would keep them in touch with the leaders and could even put them third.

Andrew Clark, Mark Page, Chris Wass, Jamie Vernon, Alex Leszczynski and Wade Savage missed Eagles’ training session on Tuesday because of colds and injuries, but all are expected to be fit in time for the game on Sunday.

Eagles will have goalkeeper Michael Soszynski back from suspension and after he also missed the State-wide Cup match against University because of work commitments.

“I will try a different formation and there’ll be a couple of new faces in the starting line-up,” said Eagles coach, George Krambousanos.

“There’s no way the score will be 6-3 for Kingborough this time round.

“They’re always a good challenge, but things will be different to the first-round meeting with them.”

The Lions have suffered from some poor goalkeeping in recent games and if they can get this aspect of their game right, they should be in with a real chance.

They will still be without the suspended Brett Andrews, while Marcello Marchioli is also unavailable.

Striker Tom McDonald is under an injury cloud but could play.

Andrew Kerr and Trent Pearce are the likely replacements.

Prediction: Kingborough Lions United