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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Second-placed Metro can win the Division One title and gain promotion to the Premier League by beating fifth-placed Hobart United at home at North Chigwell at 2.30pm on Saturday in the final match of the season.

A loss or draw for Metro would hand the title to Taroona, which currently leads by two points.

Hobart United beat wooden-spooner Christian United 4-1 at KGV Park on Wednesday through two goals by Akuel Guot and one each by Justin Letiko and Adam Woodward.

This will have been good preparation for this clash and Metro will need to be at its best to win.

Metro have had good numbers at training, with the reserves and the under-19s also in line for their respective titles.

Ryan Murtagh may be included in the Metro squad after scoring 10 goals in his last three under-19 games.

Defender Sam Sweeney has recovered from injury and will be fit to play.

Metro recently beat Hobart United 3-1 away at Pontville, so form indicates Metro should be victorious again and earn promotion.

Hobart United coach Mark Broadbent believes his side can beat Metro.

“I do believe we can beat them,” said Broadbent. “Very much so after the last viewing.

“I think that Metro are vulnerable.

“They rely too much on individual players.

“I think if we are patient and if we stick to our game plan and our strategy we might be able to cause an upset.”

In Wednesday night’s other match, a goal by Jordan Brighella in the 63rd minute gave fourth-placed Nelson Eastern Suburbs a 1-0 win over second-last Northern Suburbs DOSA.

Meanwhile, Tasmanian Institute of Sport youngster Eli Luttmer, 15, failed to make the cut off for the Australian under-16s after attending a training camp in Canberra last week.

He has been put on stand-by as an emergency.

Photo: South Hobart captain Hugh Ludford (left) and Clarence United captain Ben Parker with the new Forestry Tasmania trophy

South have won their league encounters 6-0, 3-0 and 2-1, which clearly indicates they are the favourites going in to this final.

But, Clarence have done extremely well in the latter stages of the season, winning the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy state-wide competition and reaching this grand final, which will determine the state premiers.

Clarence will miss striker Andy Barron, who is unavailable, but they have many capable young replacements to add to their squad.

South Hobart will be without youngster Seth Otte, who will be replaced on the bench by Nick Di Falco.

“Daniel Brown and Jimmy Pennicott trained well and seem to be over their injuries so we should be more or less at full strength,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.

“We’ll go into the grand final to enjoy it and to soak up teh atmosphere and see if we can make a win.

“Clarence have done well and they play with a lot of energy, so we’ll have to be prepared to work hard.”

The rival captains are both confident that their teams can do well.

“We’ll definitely go in confident, but showing a lot of respect for Clarence,” said South’s 22-year-old captain and central defender Hugh Ludford.

“They’ve been performing towards the end of this season, but we’ll give it our best shot.

“We know if we go out and play at our best we can beat anyone, which we’ve proven this season.

“We’re not over confident, though, because if they play to their ability we know it’ll be a fight.”

Ludford said the team missed striker Billy Gasparinatos, who moved to Melbourne this year, but in Kostas Kanakaris it had found an adequate replacement as he had scored 14 goals in the league.

Clarence captain, 32-year-old central defender, Ben Parker, said: “It’s a big game for the players and the club.

“We’re going to do our best to win by going out and scoring as many goals as we can and hope that it’s good enough.

“I’ve never been in a team environment like this one, with everyone so full of energy and so full of confidence and the will to win.

“The players are just really enjoying what they’re doing and the success as a result of that.”

The curtain-raiser is between the State under-14 and under-15 teams, who are sparring before going to the national championships in Coffs Harbour, NSW, at the end of the month.

Coach Chris Hey said training time on an outdoor pitch had been limited because of the wet weather and ground closures.

FFT’s new technical director, Steve Payne, has been putting the players through their paces.

And, and trainer John Wheeler is celebrating his 20th year of involvement with Tasmanian youth sides at national championships.

Tasmania’s under-15s are in Group B of the championships and will come up against NSW Metropolitan, Queensland Country, Northern NSW, Victoria Country and Northern Territory.

They will play the State under-14s at KGV Park on Friday at 5.30pm as the curtain-raiser to the Top-Four series grand final between Clarence United and South Hobart.

Two of Tasmania’s promising young referees, Jimmy Hortle, 16, and Daniel Lineen, 20, will accompany the Tasmanian under-14s and under-15s to Coff’s Harbour to officiate at the championships.

Hobart United 4-1 Christian United


Hobart United warmed up for their important game against Metro on Saturday with this 4-1 win over bottom-side Christian United on a Wednesday evening at KGV Park.

Hobart United dominated possession and had far more chances against a Christian United outfit that put together some decent counter-attacks and might have scored more goals to make a closer contest of this.

Christian United missed the experience of veterans such as Leno Taglieri and Mathew Sly.

They had David Noble in goal. He is usually a central defender but did very well between the posts, displaying courage and good ball handling.

He moved to the outfield in the 63rd minute, with the score at 1-1, when Tony New went off and substitute Stephen Dixon went in goal.

Akuel Guot eventually scored twice, but he missed numerous chances and should have had a couple of hat-tricks.

Christian United looked threatening in the opening minutes and Hobart United keeper Nathan Grandin was almost caught out from a throw-in after just two minutes, but he recovered his ground and managed to clear in time.

A minute later, Guot beat Chris Mrzyk down the left and cut inside, but Noble got down to his cross and snatched the ball safely.

In the 5th minute, Hobart United took a quick short corner and Peter Otto shot wide of the target from the right.

Guot was given another opening a minute later by Justin Letiko, but his shot went harmlessly across the face of goal.

Christian had their first real chance in the 9th minute when Ashley Page forced a corner with a shot.

From the corner, Tim Wierenga had a shot blocked and the ball fell to Wilson Lumago, who fired wide.

Hobart United produced a fine attacking move on the quarter-hour when Peter Otto slipped the ball to Letiko, whose shot was saved by Noble. The ball fell to Guot, who fired into the side-netting from close range.

Letiko broke through on the right in the 17th minute, but Noble dealt easily with his shot as it was directed straight at him.

Guot had another chance in the 20th minute after Alex Bellini’s thrown in from the half-way line on the left was flicked on to him, but again the striker fired wide of the target.

Christian United were still dangerous on the counter-attack, however, and in the 23rd minute, a fierce snap-shot by Wierenga went straight at Grandin.

A minute later, a long ball out of defence by George Lotiko found Guot, who raced for goal, but the courageous Noble saved at the striker’s feet.

In the 29th minute, Christian were unlucky not to take the lead when a long-range free-kick by Brodie Whayman hit the top of the crossbar.

On the half-hour, a suicidal back-pass by Guot picked out Page, who beat two defenders but then mis-kicked at the crucial moment when he should really have scored.

Wilson Lumago was replaced in the 35th minute by Isaac Gwolo after Lumago injured a foot in a tackle by Peter Otto.

Lumago writhed in agony on the ground for a moment, then bounced to his feet and threw his boot on the ground in a display of frustration as he was helped from the pitch.

In the 33rd minute, Letiko’s shot flew straight at the keeper, while at the other end, Scott Nicholson sent a long-range free-kick wide.

In the 38th minute, Guot had two chances in quick succession but put the first straight at the keeper and the second wide of the target.

Hobart United had a penalty appeal turned down in the 41st minute after it appeared as if Ben De Hoog had handled, but it was only a half-hearted appeal at best and rightly ignored by Mr Thain.

Noble again showed his goalkeeping prowess in the 42nd minute when he smothered a close-range attempt at goal by Letiko.

But, on the stroke of half-time, Christian United’s resistance finally crumbled when Guot struck home Samson Rume’s low cross from the right to make it 1-0 at the interval.

Four minutes after the resumption, Peter Otto cut in from the right after a sharp turn and slipped the ball through the Christian defence for Guot to score and make it 2-0.

Christian’s perseverance was rewarded in the 67th minute, however, when Whayman forced the ball over the line to pull a goal back.

Hobart United struck back within a minute when Letiko netted to make it 3-1, and the same player then struck a post two minutes later as Hobart United stepped up a gear against a tiring Christian United side.

Adam Woodward made it 4-1 in the 79th minute with a ferocious shot that hit the under-side of the bar and bounced down and over the line before rebounding into play.

The eagle-eyed assistant referee signalled immediately that the ball had crossed the line and there were no protests.

Hobart United brought on their two remaining substitutes in the closing minutes as they coasted to a victory which moved them up a place to fifth on the Division One ladder.


· Hobart United coach, Mark Broadbent, said:

“I thought it was a fantastic game.

“Having the width of the field and the depth of the field played to our advantage because we were able to use our width and to use the whole park.

“Having Christian being a body heavy team, playing one and two touches are highly important.

“If you get caught with the ball they’ll crunch you.

“I think playing one and two touch found more space and found more options for us to advance up to the forward third of the park.

“So, bring on Metro.”

· Christian United defender, Scott Nicholson, said:

“A good game in the first half when I thought we matched it with them throughout most of the first half.

“There was a lot of running obviously in it and I thought the skills were pretty good.

“Come the second half, they got a bit of a run on us in the first, I suppose, ten minutes, a couple of goals on us, which flattened us as usual.

“It seems to be the same thing that happens with us. Second half, we come out and we lose the tempo.

“I think we just started to run out of legs.

“Subs is a big thing with us. Having three really good subs on the bench would really make a big difference.

“But, the guys gave everything they could and I really appreciate all the boys.”


Hobart United: Grandin - Walker, Bellini, Lotiko - P Otto (Chatwin 79), Taban-Kuel, Woodward, Rume (A Otto 67) - J Otto, Guot, Letiko (Smedley 84)

Goals: Guot 45, 49, Letiko 68, Woodward 79

Christian United: Noble - Mrzyk, De Hoog, Whayman, T Wierenga - Lumago (Gwolo 35), New (Dixon 63), Pilgrim, Nicholson, Livingston - Page

Goals: Whayman 67

Att: 50

Ref: M Thain