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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Photo: Glenn Thompson outside The Coffee Club, sponsors of Brisbane Roar, in Glenorchy yesterday

Glenn Thompson, the Tasmanian who has featured prominently on SBS and on the front pages of The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age this past season because of his work with indigenous football, is home for a couple of weeks.

I caught up with Glenn yesterday and he is still pursuing the dream of his indigenous men's and women's team, the Borroloola Cyclones, touring Tasmania.

Borroloola is a town in the Gulf Country of the Northern Territory and Glenn's teams caused a sensation at this year's Arafura Games and the Indigenous Festival of Football in Townsville.

Tasmania also competed at that latter tournament.

Borroloola will participate in a tournament in Alice Springs in a couple of weeks' time.

John Moriarty, FFA's Indigenous Football Ambassador, hails from Borroloola and his wife is from Tasmania and he is keen to get Glenn's teams down here.

Borroloola recently received a visit from Adelaide United's Travis Dodd and he was a sensation amongst the kids in the town.

Glenn attended Friday night's grand final between Clarence United and South Hobart.

He often attends the local Summer Cup competition if he is in town.

Midfielder Jade Clay has been named as the Knights’ senior team players’ player-of-the-year for 2009.


Amadu Koroma was the leading scorer with 13 goals.


Former senior star, Tom Huigsloot, was awarded life membership of Glenorchy Knights.


* * * * * *


Goalkeeper-turned striker Rory McCallum was University’s best-and-fairest player for 2009.


The club celebrated its 60th anniversary a couple of weeks ago but this has been dampened by the fact it has been relegated from the Premier League.


Past Vic Tuting Silver Medal winner and club president Julian Proud missed most of the season through injury but hopes he will be fit to resume next season.


Proud’s power in the air will be a valuable asset in that league and his goals will be invaluable.


* * * * * *


Former South Hobart striker Daniel White is back in Hobart after a disappointing spell in the Victorian Premier League.


White joined Green Gully Cavaliers and started in the seniors before falling out of favour with the coach after he was moved to right wing.


He was rarely given a start and asked to leave the club.


After meeting the directors, they agreed to his transfer to Whittlesea Zebras.


A day after joining Whittlesea, the Green Gully coach was sacked.


White saw out the season with Whittlesea and following their relegation, he returned to Hobart and is considering which club to join.


He attended Glenorchy Knights’ presentation dinner last Saturday night.










It is 33 years since English First Division club Sunderland played against Tasmania at KGV Park.


Sunderland had just won promotion to the First Division and had won the FA Cup three years earlier in 1973 - against Leeds United.


That FA Cup Final will always be remembered for goalkeeper Jim Montgomery’s brilliant double-reflex save against Trevor Cherry’s diving header and Peter Lorimer’s follow-up volley.


A goal by Ian Porterfield had given Sunderland a 1-0 win against Leeds in that FA Cup Final and many of the players from that side, as well as manager Bob Stokoe, were there at KGV Park.


Montgomery saved a penalty against Tasmania’s John Constantinovits as the visitors won 5-0, with Mel Holden netting all five goals.


Montgomery is 65 now and one of his sayings, which is very appropriate for Tasmanian soccer, was : “You can’t have a future if you don’t have a past.”


Hence these occasional trips down memory lane on this blog site.


The Tasmanian team against Sunderland was: Eddie Puclin, Geoff Butler, Paul Shegog, Wolfgang Stuetzel, Harry Stewart, Eamonn Kelly, John Genovesi, Mike Bailey, John Constantinovits, Frank Letec, Hans Streit. The reserves were: Wally Bucher, David Smith, Dominic Fraraccio, Dudley Hall, Michael Southworth. The manager was Reg Tolputt, the trainer Peter Goss and the coach Dennis Ford. Ron Spence was the referee.


Ford was the Tasmanian director of coaching, but he left shortly afterwards to take over as coach of Queensland.


Constantinovits was sent off after he tried to charge Montgomery, who had saved his penalty.


The attendance was just over 2,000, and you can see that from the photos accompanying this article.








Metro 1-2 Hobart United

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Metro fluffed it.


In the final game of the season - and a home game at that - they had to beat last year’s champions, but now fifth-placed, Hobart United, to snatch the title from Taroona, who were 2 points ahead.


And, they lost 2-1.


It was an extraordinary turn of events, but once again, it showed what makes football such a wonderful game - its total unpredictability.


Metro will be left to ponder what went wrong.


They imported three Scottish players during the pre-season and won the Summer Cup easily.


It was with great anticipation that they looked forward to the league campaign and promotion back to the Premier League.


They were well in control and were miles in front when they asked player-coach Darrin Chaffey to stand down. He did so for the good of the club and the under-19s coach Bob Nicholson took over.


That’s when Metro started to lose their centre of gravity, just as a spinning top does as it loses its momentum.


What had been a dead cert suddenly came down to the last game.


The recriminations started flying before the final whistle blew and as Sam Sweeney was sent off, he appeared to want to mix it with the Taroona players on the touch-line before being ushered away by cooler heads.


Metro seemed paralysed from the start. They never got their rhythm going and, despite playing with the wind and rain coming off Mt Faulkner at their backs, they could not score in the opening half.


This was also due in no small measure to the calm but efficient defending of Alex Bellini and Ian Walker, and the fine goalkeeping of Nathan Grandin.


Hobart United recovered from a miserable start. John Otto missed an absolute sitter after just 30 seconds when Simon Land could not hold Jacob Taban-Kuel’s free-kick from wide on the right and dropped the ball at Otto’s feet. From three metres out, Otto somehow lifted the ball over the bar.


But, United rolled up their sleeves and gritted their teeth and ran into the wind and the rain with even greater determination.


Jack Turner and Ricky Orr both shot wide of the target for Metro, whose long balls out of defence were usually caught by the wind and picked up too much speed for the front men to catch.


There are benefits at times from playing into the wind as the ball often holds up just right for a crack at goal.


In the 36th minute, the worst thing that could happen did happen to Metro. Turner conceded a penalty when he brought down John Otto.


Taban-Kuel made no mistake with his spot-kick to put the visitors 1-0 up and the seeds of doubt were sown in Metro’s minds.


Five minutes later, it was 2-0 as John Otto’s 25-metre free-kick flew unerringly over Land and into the far right-hand top corner of the net.


The first half, amazingly, went on for an extra 8 minutes, but Metro could do nothing.


Four minutes after the resumption, Orr pulled a goal back for the home side from close-range, but one still had the feeling that they could not catch United, let alone overtake them.


Grandin came into his own in this half and made a couple of marvellous finger-tip saves to deny Metro.


In this way, he thwarted both Danny Cowen and Aaron Marney.


When the final whistle blew, the Taroona reserve players - the seniors weren’t there - and the Taroona supporters raced on to the pitch and joined Hobart United’s players, arm in arm, in joyous celebrations.


______________________________________________________________


· Metro coach, Bob Nicholson, said:


“Obviously, very disappointed at the loss.


“You know, it makes it difficult for next season again to continue the rebuild.


“Congratulations to Hobart United. I thought they were actually, you know, probably wanted the game a little bit more today, even though our guys knew what was at stake.


“Yeah, obviously disappointed, and not really much more to say.


“Well done Hobart United.


“Congratulations to Taroona, I should add, on the season.


“It’s been neck and neck the whole way and a couple of crucial games that we just didn’t finish in front of goals and that’s probably what has cost us.”


· Hobart United coach, Mark Broadbent, said:


“I thought it was a fantastic game.


“I thought coming to Metro’s home ground being on a smaller part of the park, I thought they might have had us in the centre of the park, but full credit to the lads and the way they actually presented themselves in the middle of the park and in defence.


“We kept a strong back-line and it presented options of a counter-attack, which we used to the best of our ability.


“It worked out our way that the ball was still at our feet and we could punish them, which is great.


_____________________________________________________________


Metro: Land - Turner (Rahni 91), Malcolm (Hawkins 85), Chaffey, Gasparin - Cowen (McQueen 73), Dawes, Sweeney, Jackson - Marney, Orr


Booked: Sweeney, Dawes, McQueen


Sent off: Sweeney


Goals: Orr 49


Hobart United: Grandin - A Otto (Lotiko 62), Walker, Bellini, Rume - Woodward, Chatwin (E Otto 82), Taban-Kuel, P Otto - Letiko, J Otto (Substitute not used: Smedley)


Booked: Chatwin, Letiko, J Otto, Taban-Kuel, P Otto


Goals: Taban-Kuel 36 pen, J Otto 40


Att: 100 (North Chigwell, Saturday, 19 September 2009)


Ref: I Jozeljic