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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Woodbridge may be bottom of Division Four, but the players and officials are enjoying the game and doing the best they can to promote soccer in an area that is not exactly a hot bed of the round-ball game.

The club is also trying to cater for juniors in the area, without much help from anyone.

“Last year, we had a very strong under-15 team that was made up of three under-13 players, two under-14s and five under-15s,” said Woodbridge president, Dalles Hayes (pictured left).

“They regularly only played with ten, and sometimes nine, and were very competitive, beating Hobart Olympic 3-2 in one game with only nine players.

“Sadly, because of this lack of players, this youth team has not been able to carry on with the club or even continue playing together.

“Some of those kids had been playing together since under-6s.

“At present, we have around 20 players in the under-10 to under-13 age group and I am determined that we will provide this particular group of children with better opportunities as they progress through to the youth level.

“We do not have a coach qualified at this level yet, but another coach and I intend to do our youth coaching course this year.

“We have three or four players in our senior team that are under 19, with the youngest having just turned 15.”

Hayes said that there is potential for the game to develop in Woodbridge and that the club hoped to field teams in most junior age groups in the years to come.

“Last year, two boys from our under-15s, Jed Peebles-Stringer and Jack Asprey, went overseas to represent Australia in Futsal,” Hayes said.

“A few years earlier, Kate Markellos was in the southern girls’ representative team, and Lizann Gibbons was selected in the State women’s team.

“There is the potential that we will continue producing players of this calibre from our area and the challenge is to be able to nurture this talent.

“I believe that the majority of the local community have a high regard for any sporting opportunities that are provided for children locally as there is not much on offer.

“Football Federation Tasmania do no more for Woodbridge than they do for any other club, but making coaching courses available and more accessible for, not only Woodbridge, but also for Cygnet and Huonville, would be a start.

“Basing these courses in Kingston would provide better access for all three clubs.

“In a perfect world, they could provide a subsidy of some form to clubs in regional or lower socio-economic areas, but that would be expecting a bit much.”

Woodbridge shares a small club house with the local cricket club and there are no change rooms and only limited storage space.

“The club is about kids playing soccer and, really, all you need for that is a ball,” said Hayes.

“Our 11-a-side pitch is the smallest in the senior competition and our junior pitches either run across this pitch or are beside it.”

If small regional clubs such as Woodbridge can grow and be successful, it is the game as a whole that would benefit.

But, for that to happen, such clubs need a bit of a helping hand from the governing body.

And, if anyone wants a game, Woodbridge could do with some extra players, and a pleasant afternoon drive down the Channel should be enough incentive and reward for most people.
The quarterfinal draw for the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy competition was made at FFT headquarters last night.

These are the pairings, to be played on Saturday, 20 June 2009:

Northern Rangers v Prospect Knights (NTCA Ground)
Clarence United v University (Wentworth Park)
Somerset v Glenorchy Knights (Cardigan Street)
Riverside Olympic v Tilford Zebras (Windsor Park)

The quarterfinal draw for the women’s State-wide Cup is:

Ulverstone v Hobart Olympic
Tilford Zebras v Clarence United
Glenorchy Knights v Beachside
University v Devonport City

The women’s quarterfinals will be played on Sunday, 21 June 2009.

* * * * *

Tasmania’s Jessie Williams has been selected in a group of 30 players to attend a training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra from Thursday, 21 May, until Sunday, 24 May.

At the training camp, a squad of 22 will be chosen to represent Australia at the Asian Football Confederation under-14 girls’ Festival of Football to be held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, from 17-30 June 2009.

* * * * *

The TIS men’s team has returned to Tasmania after its two-match tour of South Australia.

TIS lost 5-2 to SASI, with Brady Cronk and Alex Nandan netting for the Tasmanians.

TIS then beat the South Australian Institute of Sport side 1-0 through a goal by Jamie De Smitt.

The goal came from a 25-metre shot in the 83rd minute.

“This was a great result against a strong team, and shows the progressions that these boys have made,” said TIS coach, Dean May.

“These trips interstate are vital in ensuring the boys are truly tested.”

The TIS squad travel to Melbourne in June to play the Victorian Institute of Sport, and the players will then attend the World Cup qualifier between Australia and Japan.
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BEACHSIDE 1-4 TILFORD ZEBRAS
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Tilford Zebras made it to the quarterfinals of the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy with this ultimately comfortable win away to Division One opponents Beachside at Sandown Park.

It took the Zebras almost an hour to get in front, but once they did, they were never in trouble, despite Colin Wain’s excellent goal for the home side when they were trailing 3-0.

This was an early evening match in gloomy, drizzly conditions and the game was held up for 15 minutes ten minutes before half-time because the floodlights had not come on to full power.

By the time the teams came back on, the lighting was suitable and the first half was completed.

Alex Bigg was excellent in goal for Beachside and it was largely due to him that the Zebras were held at bay for so long. He also kept the score-line respectable with some fine saves.

Brayden Pace put the Zebras ahead in the 57th minute when he pushed forward down the right and placed a low shot past Bigg and inside the far post.

In the 78th minute, Jayden Welch slipped the ball past an unprotected Bigg to make it 2-0.

With two minutes remaining, a shot by Fabian Lapolla took a nick off Welch and sneaked inside the right-hand post to give Zebras a commanding 3-0 lead.

Colin Wain volleyed a fine goal past Troy Kaden a minute later to pull a goal back for Beachside, but Ricky Self netted the third goal in four minutes when he headed home Aaron Brazendale’s corner to make it 4-1.
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  • Beachside coach, Nathan Robinson, said:

“I think we can be proud of our efforts.

“We knew we were playing the top team in the Premier League who have come off three very good results against Kingborough away and South Hobart and the Knights before that.

“They were in pretty red-hot form and they came with their full squad and talented players, who we wanted to meet.

“For virtually the first hour we held firm and, whilst we didn’t always create a number of chances, I thought we played some good soccer and we were a threat when we went forward.

“We can take a lot out of the game, even though we conceded some poor goals towards the end so that the score-line seems worse than it was.

“There are a lot of positives and our guys stood up to the challenge tonight and we were always a threat.

“I thought with Colin Wain and with our wide players going forward we could always pinch a goal, but once you concede the first goal to a Premier League team in the cup, it’s always going to galvanise them and perhaps our heads dropped a little bit after that and they got on top and ran out worthy winners in the end.”

  • Tilford Zebras coach, Nick Lapolla, said:

“A great cup game when you play these minnow teams.

“Yeah, it’s good for Beachside, but I thought we pretty much had control of the game.

“It was just a matter of the first one going in and finishing them off.”

_________________________________________________________

Beachside: A Bigg; P Bigg, Howarth, Klasen, Milford, Wain, MacDonald, Szoka, Robinson, Atkin, Davis [Substitutes: Lowe, Douglas, Thompson)

Booked: Davis

Goals: Wain 89

Tilford Zebras: Kaden; Pace, Telega, Smith, Connolly, Welch, Hall, Self, Brazendale, Crosswell, Walsh (Substitutes: F Lapolla, Viney)

Goals: Pace 57, Welch 78, 88, Self 90

Att: 85

Ref: S Collins
Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy, South Hobart, Saturday, 9 May 2009
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South Hobart 0
Glenorchy Knights 1 (Clay 51)

HT: 0-0 Att: 126 Ref: K Barker
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South Hobart: Kruijver (Moncur 5) - Cooper (Pennicott 87), Ludford, Heerey, Scott - Abbott, Upton, Ladic, Eaves - Ross (Otte 64), Kanakaris [Substitute not used: Bladel] [Coach: Ken Morton]

Glenorchy Knights: Tatnell - Wiggins, Holmes, Green, Lawler - Clay, Dzelalija (Roberts 62), Marsh, Sherman (Grundy 75) - Smith (Fielding 88), Koroma [Substitute not used: Vavoulas] [Coach: N Harrison]
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South Hobart, the cup holders, are out of the tournament, as are Devonport City, last season’s losing cup finalists.

South Hobart suffered a major blow when they lost goalkeeper Sam Kruijver after just five minutes.

Kruijver went for a high ball with Knights striker Corey Smith and both players crashed heavily to the ground.

Kruijver suffered a dislocated shoulder and was carried off on a stretcher and replaced by the experienced Mark Moncur.

Knights almost made the most of confusion in the South defence in the 11th minute when the ball ricocheted off a defender and fell to Amadu Koroma, but he fired just wide.

Two minutes later, South had the chance of the match. Ricki Eaves played Kostas Kanakaris through the defence on the left of the box, but the striker, with only the goalkeeper to beat, hit the ball over the bar with the outside of his right foot when a left-footed shot must have been more effective.

Having left-footed players is a bonus and neither side used theirs to good effect.

David Abbott was used on the right by South, the aim being for him to cut inside and shoot. But, he rarely did this and usually got caught up in tangle of legs before he could get in a shot.

The Knights used Tom Sherman wide on the left of midfield, but he was often forced to defend.

Their other left-footer, Will Roberts, was left on the bench until an hour had gone. He and Sherman together on the left, possibly as striker and midfielder, might have paid greater dividends.

In the 20th minute, a shot by Smith bounced just short of Moncur and the keeper did well to smother the ball.

In the next minute, Smith had two excellent chances, but shot narrowly wide on both occasions.

South’s response came with Liam Scott attacking in the 27th minute but placing his effort straight at goalkeeper Alex Tatnell.

Knights were still dangerous, however, and in the 31st minute, Koroma beat Hugh Ludford and David Cooper on the left and cut inside before forcing Moncur to save and concede a corner.

Six minutes after the resumption, Smith found a way down the left and managed to get a cross to the far side of the box, despite the close attentions of Josh Heerey.

Jade Clay met the ball and drove a firm shot at goal. Mocur managed to party the shot and the ball came back to Clay, who this time, beat Moncur at the near post to give the Knights the lead.

It was mostly South Hobart after that and the Knights were confined largely to rearguard action, with only an occasional counter-attack.

In the 57th minute, a dangerous cross from the right by Jonathon Ladic was just pushed wide by Tatnell before the on-rushing Julius Ross could get his head to it.

South’s best chance of the half came in the 69th minute when Gary Upton’s half-volley arrowed towards goal but just missed the far top left-hand corner of the net.

In the 72nd minute, Heerey shot wide after a corner.

Four minutes later, Cooper’s header at the far post following a corner was blocked on the line by the Knights defenders, while a minute later, Kanakaris blazed wide of the target.

Knights made a late substitution, bringing on Josh Fielding in place of Corey Smith to add some experience and composure in the closing seconds, and they held on for a famous victory in a competition named after one of their greats of the past.

When coach Eamonn Kelly returns, the pressure will be on him to maintain the status quo in terms of team selection as this side has now won two in a row.

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  • South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:

“From my perspective, we didn’t play with any composure or any control today.

“We expected Knights to get at us and attack us high up the field. They did that and I thought we were a bit sloppy today.

“We dominated the game in terms of possession, but possession doesn’t win football matches.

“Goals win football matches and we didn’t have any strikes at goal, or not enough, to test the keeper.

“On this type of ground, low shots are going to be skidding, coming back off the keeper and things like that.

“We just didn’t get enough bodies in the box to warrant to win it.

“Good luck to Glenorchy Knights. They’ve played well, with a good spirit, and I wish them well in the competition.”

  • Glenorchy Knights coach, Nick Harrison, said:

“Nil-nil at half time, but I think in the first half we had three or four good chances and they had the one chance.

“Thoroughly deserved. I’m a bit speechless actually.

“The conditions suited us. They were a bit of a leveller.

“South are a good side on a good pitch, so today’s weather probably favoured us more for a battle.

“Absolutely thrilled. Well done the lads.”
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STATISTICS

SOUTH HOBART GLENORCHY KNIGHTS
16 Goal Attempts 14
7 Shots on Target 6
12 Corners 4
10 Fouls Committed 10
3 Off-Sides 1
0 Yellow Cards 3 (Smith 34, Dzelalija 35, Grundy 79)
0 Red Cards 0

South Hobart:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Ross 1 1
Kanakaris 2 0
Ladic 2 0
Scott 2 2
Upton 2 1
Cooper 2 1
Eaves 1 0
Abbott 3 2
Heerey 1 0

Glenorchy Knights:

PLAYER GOAL ATTEMPTS SHOTS ON TARGET
Smith 4 2
Koroma 2 1
Marsh 2 0
Clay 3 2
Holmes 1 0
Wiggins 1 0
Fielding 1 1