Who Is Walter Pless?

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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Photos (Top to Bottom): John Otto scores with a free-kick; Metro in possession in midfield [Quiz: Find George]; Taroona supporters join Hobart United players and fans to celebrate at the end of the match

Division One


Metro 1-2 Hobart United

Reserves

Metro 2-3 Taroona

Under-19s

Metro 3-2 Taroona

Division Two

New Town Eagles 6-1 University


South Hobart 1-3 Clarence United


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Clarence United blew South Hobart away in the first half and led 3-0 at the interval.


It should have been five or six goals because Clarence were guilty of some glaring misses, and they also hit the woodwork.


Five minutes before half-time, South Hobart suddenly seemed to realise they were on the back foot and needed to get back into this game then if they were to win.


They gradually took over and dominated possession, but as has happened so often this season, they could not score.


Normally, a side that is leading 3-0 must be considered favourites to win, but one always sensed that South Hobart could get back into this match.


In the second half, Clarence relied on the occasional counter-attack, but it was mainly backs-to-the-wall stuff and they ultimately held out to win the Forestry Tasmania Finals Series grand final.


Luke Huigsloot, Sam McIntyre, Ben Hamlett, Chris Hunt and Joseph Stevens were superb.


They overshadowed the South Hobart midfield and, indeed, ran rings around their opponents with their pace, passing and vision.


McIntyre at one stage beat two opponents with a dip of the shoulder and acceleration, while Huigsloot was prepared to put himself in danger to win the ball, and his finishing was lethal.


The speed of Hunt and Hamlett was too much for South to handle, while Stevens, who has really blossomed in the latter half of the season, showed great skills, a clear head and clever play.


Luke Cripps did not have a great game as his first touch was a bit off the mark, but when the side needed him at the penalty, he did not let them down, scoring with aplomb.


Cripps moved back into defence late in the match as Clarence defended their lead, but he has done his work by that stage.


Mattias Toghill, Matt Lewis and Julian McMahon were reliable at the back, while Ben Parker, the captain, was a little wayward in his distribution but led the line with bravado.


Keeper Michael Moschogianis was playing his last game for the club before retirement. He made some fine saves, but also conceded the penalty by bringing down Daniel Brown, which earned him a yellow card. It might easily have been a red.


In injury time, Clarence brought on their three substitutes, Adam Knapek, Ben Phillips and Nick Mayne, but it was merely an attempt to use up time.


South made positional changes after the break, with Liam Scott moving into a right-midfield role and leaving only three at the back - Hugh Ludford, David Cooper and substitute Nathan Wardle, the latter having replaced Jim Pennicott at half-time.


It increased the pressure on Clarence, but ultimately it was poor finishing that prevented South from getting back into this game.


Kostas Kanakaris was more guilty than most. He missed at least two clear-cut chances.


Clarence were in top gear from the beginning and one felt it was only a matter of time before they scored against a sluggish South.


In the 17th minute, Hamlett came close when his shot from 22 metres hit the outside of the left-hand post.


Five minutes later, Hunt should have scored after a fine attack, but the ball was deflected for a corner which proved fruitful.


Hunt sent the corner over from the right and Huigsloot was left unmarked to head home and give Clarence a deserved 1-0 lead.


In the 25th minute, a push in the back of Hamlett by Pennicott resulted in a penalty, which was coolly despatched by Cripps to make it 2-0.


Clarence might have had a third goal in the 29th minute when McIntyre put in a low cross from the right, but, incredibly, Hunt shot over the bar.


South did not have their first shot until the half-hour mark, when Brown fired a powerful drive from long range high and wide of the target.


Four minutes later, Cripps cut the ball back from the right and Huigsloot, arriving late, struck a perfect shot past Mark Moncur from the edge of the box to make it 3-0.


In the 36th minute, it should have been game, set and match when David Cooper had a sudden rush of blood to the head and played a free-kick square across the field just outside his own penalty area and did not see the lurking Hamlett.


Hamlett gleefully accepted the pass and advanced on goal, but the alert Moncur, who was to prove South’s saviour on more than one occasion in this match, was off his line in a flash after seeing the danger and he produced a superb save to deny Clarence a fourth goal.


Moschogianis proved his worth, too, when he turned a marvellous volley by Shae Hickey over the bar just before the interval.


This was a period of increasing South dominance and, from the resulting corner, Lewis cleared a goal-bound strike from Ludford off the line.


Three minutes after the resumption, a poor defensive header by Clarence following a cross from the left gave possession to Kanakaris, but he missed the target when a goal appeared inevitable.


A quick counter-attack by Clarence in the 53rd minute should have resulted in a goal. McMahon played a long ball out of defence to Cripps, who beat Cooper but played the ball a little too far behind the unmarked Hamlett on the right instead of into his path.


This gave Moncur time to anticipate what was going to happen and he rushed outside his box and blocked at Hamlett’s feet and conceded a corner.


In the 73rd minute, Kanakaris missed an open goal, while seconds later, Cooper shot just wide as South continued to pile on the pressure.


Julius Ross came on for Ricki Eaves with 15 minutes remaining as South coach Ken Morton tried to swing the game back in his side’s favour.


Ten minutes from the end, South earned their penalty, which Ludford stroked home to make it two goals the difference.


Nick Di Falco replaced Josh Heerey seven minutes from the end as South played their final card.


It seemed a mere token gesture, however, as Clarence survived and South were left to rue their poor start and their missed second-half chances.


And so, Clarence United, who finished fourth on the southern ladder, completed the double of Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy and Forestry Tasmania Finals Series trophy, both of which are state-wide competitions.


Andrew Brown's time has finally come. After at least five years of effort, he has finally given Clarence the success they have been waiting for.


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· South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:


“I’m very disappointed.


“In the first half, we were very sloppy and second to the ball.


“They were sharp and played with a lot of good energy, and punished us.


“I’m not too sure about the penalty. I think it was a push in the back. But, having said that, it’s been given.


“But, the free header from the corner was a poor goal to concede and then, obviously, the third goal made it very difficult for us.


“In the second half, I thought we had enough chances to claw our way back in to it.


“Disappointed, but congratulations to Clarence, and I’m sure everyone will come back a lot stronger next year.”


· Clarence United coach, Andrew Brown, said:


“We’re playing very well for the game.


“We’ve felt like we’re getting closer and closer to South Hobart for a number of weeks.


“We were at full strength, almost, so we felt very confident if we stuck to our game plan.


“I didn’t expect it to be three nil at half-time, but then the game plan was always to shut down the game.


“We knew how well South Hobart can strangle people.


“Watching them play against the Knights showed some of their vulnerabilities.


“Once we went three nil up, I knew the game was won and what we did then was just insurance.


“Tactically, it was disappointing to give a penalty away towards the end, but I’m very proud of the young boys.


“We’ve been on a big long, long run and to do the State-wide Cup, and, I think it’s the State Championship - it says that on the shield - double, is a wonderful, wonderful moment for young people.


“I’ve got 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds and 18-year-olds that have no idea what it represents.


“But, hopefully, as they mature and get older they will look back with fond memories on this year that we’ve had.”


__________________________________________________



South Hobart: Moncur - Pennicott (Wardle 46), Ludford, Cooper, Scott - Eaves (Eaves 75), Brown, Beecroft, Hickey, Heerey (Di Falco 83) - Kanakaris (Substitute not used: Kruijver)


Goals: Ludford 80 pen


Clarence United: Moschogianis - Toghill, Lewis, Parker, McMahon - S McIntyre (Knapek 90), Stevens (Phillips 91), L Huigsloot, Hunt - Cripps, Hamlett (Mayne 94) 9Substitute not used: Sweetten)


Booked: Moschogianis 80


Goals: L Huigsloot 22, Cripps 25 pen, L Huigsloot 34


Att: 400 (Finals Series Grand Final, KGV Park, Friday, 18 September 2009)


Ref: K Barker




Tasmania Under-14s 1-2 Tasmania Under-15s


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The first half of this match was excellent, with both sides reading the game well and generally showing good team work and individual technical skills.


Understandably, the game dropped off a bit in the second half as the teams tired. They had, of course, been in camp for most of the week and this had taken its toll physically.


There were some impressive players on view and this augurs well for the future of the game in Tasmania.


The Under-15s could have taken an early lead when the Under-14s failed to clear a corner in the 8th minute, but Brodie Knights could not get any power into his close-range shot and the ball went out for a goal-kick.


A minute later, however, the Under-15s did take the lead when Alexander Nandan went on a long run through the middle and finished with a powerful shot that gave Tristan Prendergast no chance.


The Under-14s were level within three minutes, however, when Jim Eagles’s persistence on the left of the box enable him to dispossess Eli Luttmer and beat Liam Ferrall with his shot.


The Under-15s recovered quickly from this set-back and Prendergast had to produce a fine save in the 18th minute from Hugh Foley.


Nandan restored the Under-15s’ lead in the 23rd minute with a shot from 20 metres that beat Prendergast at his left-hand post.


Sam Hamilton went close for the Under-15s on the half-hour when he fired in a shot from wide on the left that just missed the far post.


Prendergast was again called into action in the 33rd minute when he saved well from Brady Cronk, who had brushed aside Lucas Hill and advanced on goal before shooting.


Three minutes after the break and with the Under-15s pressing to extend their lead, Luttmer went close with a header that narrowly cleared the bar.


Midway through the half, Nandan again tested Prendergast, who was up to the task, tipping the midfielder’s shot over the bar for a corner.


The match drew to a close with defender Aidan Rigby chancing his luck for the Under-15s, but his shot just flashed wide of the far post.


It was a highly entertaining match and a worthy curtain-raiser for the senior grand final.


_________________________________________________________________


· Tasmania Under-14s stand-in coach, Mike Edwards, said:


“From the Under-14s’ point of view, their instructions tonight were to go out and put into practice what they’d been doing in camp over the last two weeks and, from what we saw, they were certainly doing that.


“We’re very pleased with the way the 14s performed tonight.


“Obviously, having come up against a very physical, a very strong under-15 side, they showed they’re capable of matching it in many of the areas.


“So, yes, very happy with what we saw from the 14s tonight and they should do well while they’re away.”


· Tasmania Under-15s coach, Chris Hey, said:


“As Mike said, we tried to work on tonight what we’ve been working on in the last three days at camp and some of it came off, and some of it didn’t.


“One of the biggest problems we had tonight was the fact that we’re not releasing the ball quickly enough.


“Sometimes we’re holding on to it, which is allowing the opposition to get back defensively.


“And, we need to be a little bit more accurate in getting the ball to feet.


“But, having said that, the guys have just come out of a three-day camp.


‘You know, we’ve been training four or five hours a day and, you know, mentally and physically, the idea of the camp was to give them an idea of what they’re going to be facing at the Nationals and for their mental approach to be able to get up to the games that they’re going to be facing at the Nationals given those conditions.


“Not disappointed with the result. I thought the 14s were a very, very good unit, played some good soccer, and I think both teams, hopefully, will do well at the Nationals.”


____________________________________________________________________


Tasmania Under-14s: Prendergast - McClung, Hill, Collin, Hearn - Ire - Devine, Quigly, Green, Eagles - Geeves (Substitutes: Fahey, Maxwell, Clarke)


Goals: Eagles 12


Tasmania Under-15s: Ferrall - Luttmer, Muller, Cuschieri, Rigby - Knights, Nandan, Lovell, Hamilton - Cronk, H Foley (Substitutes: Lanau-Atkinson, DeSmit, D Foley, Watkins)


Goals: Nandan 9, 23


Att: 200 (KGV Park, Friday, 18 September 2009)


Ref: D Lineen

Top-Four Grand Final (State Championship)

South Hobart 1 (Ludford 80 pen) lt Clarence United 3 (L Huigsloot 22, Cripps 25 pen, L Huigsloot 34)

Curtain-raiser

Tasmania Under-15s 2 (A Nandan 9, 23) b Tasmanian Under-14s 1 (J Eagles 12)

A-League

Adelaide United 0-2 Melbourne Victory