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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In early 1983, the Australian Under-20 side came to Hobart for a training camp and a practice match against NSL side Heidelberg at KGV Park.

The game ended in a 0-0 draw but proved an exciting spectacle for the 2,500 people who attended.

The Young Socceroos head coach at the time was Les Scheinflug, an Australian international and undoubtedly the most successful coach Australia has ever had at Under-17 (Joeys) and Under-20 (Young Socceroos) levels.

His assistant was the incomparable Argentine, Raul Blanco, who is now technical director to the New Zealand national team.

The Young Socceroos trained at the Athletic Centre and found it most adequate for their needs.

Tasmania and Hobart Juventus’s own Luciano Fabrizio was a member of the Young Socceroos at the time and was delighted to be back in his home town.

Jim Patikas (Sydney Olympic), Frank Farina (Canberra Arrows), Rod Brown (Marconi) and Tony Franken (Australian Institute of Sport) were just some of the big names in the Young Socceroos squad.

Heidelberg was brimming with big names.

Goalkeeper Geoff Olver and defender Charlie Yankos were just two of the star-studded visiting line-up.

The Australian Youth Squad was: Goalkeepers - Chris Hummel (Canberra Arrows), Antony Franken (AIS), David Miller; Defenders - Tom McCulloch (Marconi), Ralph Maier (Newcastle), Tony Dakos (Sydney Olympic), Ray Vliestra (Wollongong), Roy Jones (AIS), Joe Rizzotto (Marconi), Paul Daley; Midfielders - Jim Patikas (Sydney Olympic), Fabio Incantalupo (Juventus), Russell Stewart (Brisbane Lions), Luciano Fabrizio (Brisbane City), Marcelo Salvo (AIS); Strikers - Frank Farina (Canberra Arrows), David Lowe (Newcastle), Rod Brown (Marconi), Danny Wright (Brisbane Lions), Steve Glockner (Brisbane City), Steve Maxwell (Adelaide City), Rene Licata (Marconi).

The Heidelberg-Alexander line-up for the game was: Olver - McKie, MacLeod, Yankos, Spanos - Selemidis, Valentine, Toro, Vincent - Patterson, Peterson (Substitutes: Campbell, Lea, Karamandos)

Patikas had a brilliant game and forced some outstanding saves from Australian international keeper Olver.

Photos(Top to Bottom): Gary Upton; Hanna Manuela; Kostas Kanakaris, Ken Morton, Liam Scott and Shae Hickey; Simon Burrett, Seth Otte and Nathan Wardle

Upton was not present at the dinner. He is currently in the UK and Jed Donoghue accepted the award on his behalf.

Upton also won the coach’s award.

Liam Scott took out the players’ player-of-the-year award and the ‘most improved’ category.

Shae Hickey was named as the most consistent player, while Kostas Kanakaris was the Premier League side’s leading scorer.

In the club’s Premier League reserves awards, Simon Burrett was the leading scorer and the most consistent player, while youngster Hugo Bladel was the most improved.

Tom Veness earned the coach’s award, Nathan Wardle the players’ player-of-the-year award, and Wardle and Seth Otte shared the ‘best player’ title.

In the Premier Women’s competition, Amy Whitney was the leading scorer, Brigitte Raymond the most improved, and Ella Blackburn won the coach’s award.

Danielle Raymond was the most consistent, while Hanna Manuela was announced as the player’s player of the year and the best player.

In the Under-19s, Dylan Postma was the leading marksman, Kieran Roach the most improved, and David Woolley won the coach’s award.

Max Rintoul and Michael Hughes shared the ‘most consistent’ award and Nick Cuthbertson and Tom Bilson the players’ player-of-the-year award, while Cuthbertson took out the ‘best player’ award.

Amy Whitney was the club’s leading scorer, Jed Donoghue was presented with the President’s Award and Greg Downes with the Chairman’s Award.

Katie Barker was named as the ‘Club Person of the Year’, and Drew Charlton as the “Junior Clubman of the Year”.

South Hobart again won the Premier League and the Premier League Reserve league titles this year.

Ken Morton will again be the senior coach next year, which will be the club’s centenary year.

Photos (Top to Bottom): Gary Lineker with some young fans at North Hobart; Nagoya Grampus Eight training at North Hobart; Nagoya manager Ryuzo Hiraki (left) and head caoch Jorge Yonashiro; Gary Lineker in training; Local players Ian Parker (left) and Stephen Brown (right) with Gary Lineker; Jorginho (No. 6) in training; Gary Lineker relaxes after training; Nagoya Grampus Eight training at North Hobart; Japanese reporter talking to a Nagoya coach; Japanese television crew in and amongst the Nagoya Grampus Eight players

In March 1993, they came to Hobart for a two-week camp in preparation for their J-League season.

Two of their stars were England international Gary Lineker and Brazilian international Jorginho.

Lineker had recently ended his international career and was just a goal short of equalling Bobby Charlton’s goal-scoring record for his country.

Jorginho, 33, had played for Brazil from 1983 to 1986 but missed the 1986 World Cup because of a broken leg.

He was a class player and was the man-of-the-match when Nagoya Grampus Eight took on Tasmania at North Hobart Oval on 13 March 1993 before a crowd of 3,000.

Nagoya Grampus Eight won 3-0, with Shigeo Sawairi and Jorginho netting to make it 2-0 at the break and Tetsuya Asano adding the third in the second half.

The Japanese squad of manager, five coaches and 27 players arrived in Hobart on 2 March 1993 and stayed at Ridges, a hotel beside the North Hobart Oval.

They trained at both North Hobart Oval and South Hobart.

Ryuzo Hiraki, 59, was the manager. He played for Japan at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.

The head coach was Jorge Yonashiro, a Brazilian of Japanese descent.

Norio Tsukitake was another coach accompanying the squad, while the goalkeeping coach was Dutchman Dirk Havenaar.

There were five goalkeepers in the 27-man squad and the up-and-coming keeper amongst them was Ken Ishikawa.

The presence of Nagoya Grampus Eight attracted huge media interest, which was assisted by the fact that the World Under-20 Cup finals were being staged in Australia at the same time.

Two Japanese television crews were in Hobart for the duration of the camp and filed news stories in Japan every day.

The amount of publicity Tasmania was receiving in Japan was priceless, and it was all free.

Four English reporters came to Hobart for the match between Tasmania and Nagoya Grampus Eight, including my friend Rob Hughes, who was writing for The Times.

The others were Colin Gibson of “The Daily Telegraph”, Frank Wiechula of “The Daily Mirror” and Steve Curry of “The Daily Express”.

“The Mercury” never allowed me to cover soccer to such an extent before or since that visit.

I was able to file a lengthy report about the visitors each day and my story about Gary Lineker, based on an interview I conducted with him after training one day, was given an entire page in the paper [“The Mercury”, Tuesday, 10 March 1993].

The curtain-raiser to the big game was between a Tasmanian reserves side and Nagoya Grampus Eight reserves.

Tasmania won that match 1-0 through a goal by Nick Reed.

The visit was the brainchild of the late Denis McCauley, State Manager of the Tasmanian Soccer Federation.

McCauley had come to Tasmania from South Australia two years earlier to set up his Tasmanian Soccer Schools (TSS), an organisation of which he was president.

Gordon Nutt, the former Arsenal, Cardiff City and PSV Eindhoven winger, who was also living in Tasmania, was chief coach of TSS, which was sponsored by “The Mercury”.

Tasmanian politicians clambered aboard the initiative and promised all sorts of things for soccer, including repeat visits by Nagoya Grampus Eight. They could see the benefits of such visits and the free publicity in Japan, which could lead to an influx of Japanese tourists to Tasmania.

Sadly, after the Japanese left our shores, everyone went quiet.

Several Japanese teams began to conduct pre-season training camps in Australia, but not in Tasmania. Adelaide and the Gold Coast were preferred.

McCauley resigned later that year because he was fed up with the way soccer was being run in Tasmania and he returned to Adelaide.

There was a hive of activity in the game in 1993, apart from the Nagoya Grampus Eight visit.

The Tasmanian State team was very busy.

Tasmania lost 2-1 to Victoria at South Hobart later in the year, and 6-0 to South Melbourne Hellas at KGV Park.

The Canadian side Toronto Metros Croatia beat Tasmania 3-0 at KGV Park, a game in which Toronto’s Brazilian left-winger featured prominently.

I will deal with some of these games in future articles.

For the record, the Tasmanian senior side was: Neil Connell; Andrew Joseph, Wayne Boyd, John 'Snow' Compagne, Brett Murtagh, Roger Mies, Charlie McCaffrey, David Stoddart, Ian Parker (capt), Anthony Guilbert, Romeo Frediani (Substitutes: Tom McGinn, Scott Young, David Meldrum, Brett Williams) [Coach: Alex McDonald]

The Tasmanian reserve side was: Bob Smith, Peter Savill, Luigi Gugliotti, John Visentin, David Craig, Robert Mastrocola, Robert Furjanic, Fabio Pizzerani, Adrian Mann, Craig Pitt, Nick Reed (Substitutes: Matthew Wilson, Carlo Ambrosino, Tim Dale, Brett Williams)

Alex Holmes was Glenorchy Knights’ Premier League side’s best-and-fairest player for the 2009 season.

Holmes, a central defender, joined the club this season from South Hobart.

Prior to that, he was with Taroona.

Jade Clay was the players’ player of the year and also took out the Patron’s Award for the best senior player.

Amadu Koroma was the Premier League’s side’s leading scorer with 13 goals.

In the Premier League Reserves, Mathew Nowicki was the leading scorer with 9 goals, while the same player also collected the under-19s’ leading scorer award, having netted 15 times.

Andrew Robb was the reserves’ best-and-fairest player and Carlos Fuentes the players’ player-of-the-year.

Michael Garland was the under-19s’ most improved player, while the ‘best-and-fairest’ award and the players’ player-of-the-year award went to Wilson Kyalondawa.

Shelley Cook won the Premier League Women’s top goalscorer award, while Brenda Nevin and Georgia Griffiths-Lee shared the best-and-fairest award.

Danielle Nossiter was the women’s Premier League players’ player-of-the-year.

In the Women’s Division One team, Danielle Nossiter was the top scorer, Colleen Finn the best and fairest, and Tamika Smith the players’ player-of-the-year.

Tom Huigsloot, who was awarded Life Membership of Glenorchy Knights, was the top scorer in the Men’s Division Two team, with Marijan Begovic the best and fairest and Tom Huigsloot the players’ player-of-the-year.

In the Men’s Division Three side, Spencer Gibbs was top scorer with 10 goals, Andrew Tomkins the best and fairest, and Tony Jelovic the players’ player-of-the-year.

The Milan Lakoseljac Top Goalscorer award was shared between Jade Clay, James Hope and Brodie Green.

The Billy Krawczyk Encouragement Award for the ‘outstanding youth player that shows promise’, went to Brodie Green.

The Joe Udovicic Under-16 Encouragement Award for the ‘rising junior player with great potential’ went to Mathew Nowicki.

The Women’s Outstanding Achievement Award for the player whose achievement is considered to be outstanding went to Bianca Walker.

Josh Fielding took out the Peter Huigsloot Most Dedicated Player Award.

The Vin McKay Best Club Person award was shared by the Garland family and the Minnucci family.