Who Is 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: Coach Matthew Rhodes with the Nelson Eastern Suburbs women's side

Rhodes has coached South Hobart at men’s Division One level, Taroona and, at women’s level, he has coached Nelson, Clarence and South Hobart.

What prompted you to apply for the Metro job?

I think Metro are a good club. I think they have a lot to offer. They’ve got good facilities and a home ground, and I think the club itself does a lot for young kids. They’re really heading in the right direction. That was my main motivation.

What will your priorities be?

Obviously, the priorities will be to get into the top league, but also to have a youth policy where we have young players coming through the system. Various things, like they’ve got at Taroona. No-one’s been more happy at Taroona going up than me. No-one’s followed them more closely than me. Ben’s [Horgan] done a wonderful job. They’ve got good players. I, personally, didn’t have much to do with them, and where that comment came from the other day, I don’t know. Ben and the committee down there deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve done.

Are you confident of doing well?

I’d like to think we can do well. They have a lot of good youngsters and I think next year they can do very well. But, I just don’t know what the league structure is going to be at the moment. There’s all sorts of rumours. But, I’d like to think we could be competitive.

Are you familiar with the players at Metro?

Yeah, I am. Honestly, as far as I know, there’ll be no imports. But, I really haven’t talked to anybody about that at the moment. I’m not aware of anything. I’m not aware of those two guys coming back at this stage. I think one of the guys is staying - the guy who plays at the back. That’s hypothetical at this stage though. That’s all I know. I’ve only spoken to the committee twice. So, I don’t really know, until tomorrow night, where everything stands.

When are you starting pre-season training?

Pre-season will start after Christmas, basically because most of the players are involved with Futsal, so they’re active and I think the season is long enough as it is. At the end of the day, they’re only amateurs, so they need a life as well.

[Rhodes confirmed that Corey Smith has not signed with Metro. There is also a strong rumour doing the rounds that Ben Crosswell will play with Beachside next season.]

Chris Hey, the 48-year-old newly appointed coach of Premier League club Hobart Olympic, has been there before.

Hey played for Hobart Olympic for 16 years and coached the club in 2000.

He was player-coach at Hobart Zebras for a year and coached Glenorchy Knights from 2001 to 2003.

He has not seen Olympic play in the past five seasons but knows something about the players.

“From what I’ve been told, there’s a mixture of good youth players and experienced players,” Hey said.

“It’s just a matter of trying to bring in some new blood to try and challenge those that are currently there, motivation-wise.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Hey said he had already spoken to potential recruits and had received a mixed response.

“I’ve simply spoken to those players, letting them know of my appointment, and some of those players are currently with other clubs,” he said.

“I’ve said to them that I’d be interested in seeing them at training.

“I’ve had a couple of knock-backs and I’ve also had a couple of question marks, I suppose.

“We’ll wait and see. I don’t believe in putting undue pressure on people.

“I’ve simply contacted a few that I regard as good quality players and who would fit into the mould I want as coach.

“We’ll wait and see.

“We have a social day [including a barbecue] on the 29th of this month [at Sandown Park at noon] which is just to get everybody from the club involved, and that’s not just seniors, but at all levels, male and female.

“We’ll commence pre-season training as a club the following week.”

Hey said he has a list of names of players at the club and a lot of them are ones he recognises.

“I’ve been making enquiries with people who have been part of the club set-up for the past couple of years, including Farrell Shaw [the outgoing coach] in relation to players that I don’t know.

“I’ve also got from Farrell the players who he understands may be moving on from the club.

“There’s one or two players who I understand intend going overseas on holiday, and there are one or two who are going to study interstate or in the north [Chris Tsimiklis is one of these].”

The FFT Board is soon to discuss Hobart Olympic’s proposed reversion to its original name of Olympia.

Newcastle Jets moved off the foot of the A-League ladder and dumped North Queensland Fury to bottom spot after winning their clash 2-0 in Newcastle this afternoon.

Fury have 15 points, while Newcastle are level on 16 points with Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar, but an inferior goal-difference keeps the Jets second last.

Before a crowd of 6,100, Newcastle captain Matt Thompson fired his side ahead in the 55th minute after Michael Bridges played a ball from the left low across the goalmouth to the far post.

Bridges made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 85th minute after he had been fouled by Paul Kohler.

Newcastle had numerous other scoring chances but Fury keeper Paul Henderson was in excellent form.

Sean Rooney was responsible for some glaring misses for the Jets.

The result means Perth stays in fifth place and Wellington in sixth on the ladder.

The closest thing to a goal in the opening half came in stoppage time when Perth’s Jacob Burns rattled the Phoenix crossbar with a powerful 20-metre shot.

Wayne Srhoj put the visitors ahead in the 69th minute when he played a short free-kick to Adriano Pellegrino and hit the return inside Reece Crowther’s near post from 20 metres.

Paul Ifill equalised in the 83rd minute, shooting home the loose ball from 12 metres after Perth keeper Tando Velaphi could only parry Adrian Caceres’s powerful shot from the left.

It was all Wellington in the closing stages but they could not find a winner before a home crowd of 6,930.