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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Nelson Eastern Suburbs 1-0 Northern Suburbs DOSA


This was a game of missed chances and, in the end, one goal settled it in favour of Nelson Eastern Suburbs.

Given that Hobart United had won the earlier match of the evening 4-1 against woodenspooner Christian United, DOSA dropped a place to finish the season second-last, while Hobart United moved up a place to fifth, or third-last.

There were some fine passages of play, but too often both sides spoiled their performances by wayward passing which gave away possession.

Craig Stockdale was a pillar of strength at the back for Nelson and he made several crucial tackles, including one against youngster Jayden Hey, whose lightning speed was a constant source of danger.

Hey had the speed, but his finishing was often poor and this detracted from his performance. He must learn to maintain his composure when his pace takes him past defenders and puts him into scoring positions.

Tom Gordon played almost as a deep-lying centre-forward. Although the goal came from his cross, he missed numerous chances through soft shooting, although he did work hard, covered a lot of territory and got into good positions. He was prepared to shoot on sight, but the accuracy and power were missing.

One of his best chances came in the 76th minute when Simon Natoli’s square pass at the back was too soft and Mark Wakefield could not get to it before Gordon nipped in, gained possession and advanced on goal. But, his shot was superbly saved by Justin Farrugia.

Seconds later, Gordon had another chance when Nicholas Butt’s misdirected back-header put him in with a close-range chance, but he somehow spurned the opening.

Nic De Carpentier had another fine game in goal for Nelson and he made two crucial saves in the second half as DOSA desperately sought an equaliser.

The first came when Stockdale made a rare error, glancing Wakefield’s free-kick into the path of Michael Langshaw, but De Carpentier came off his line and blocked at the opponent’s feet to concede a corner.

The in-swinging corner was dangerous, but De Carpentier got away with punching the ball down to the edge of the box. Fortunately for him, no DOSA player was on hand to have a shot.

Nelson had been fortunate to survive just before the interval when Joe Vanderslink came to De Carpentier’s rescue, chesting Derrick Parry’s shot off the line.

DOSA keeper Farrugia produced some splendid saves, but he blotted his copybook in the 63rd minute when his error led to Nelson’s goal.

Farrugia spilled a sharp cross from the left by Gordon and the ball fell to substitute Jordan Brighella, who smashed it home at the far post.

Farrugia denied Brighella a second goal when he produced a marvellous save in the final minute.


· Nelson Eastern Suburbs coach, Michael Roach, said:

“I think, unfortunately, it was a bit of a low-standard game, considering we only played the way we want to play in patches.

“So, a little bit disappointing.

“We certainly had plenty of chances so we should probably have wrapped it up comfortably.

“But, it was a knuckle-biter right to the end, and that’s the sort of season it’s been, a bit of an up and down inconsistent season for us.

“But, we’re happy with the three points.

“Well done to DOSA. They really fought it out and made it quite a struggle.”

· Northern Suburbs DOSA coach, Joe O’Hea, said:

“I thought we actually played quite well and made a couple of good chances.

“A couple of good saves by their keeper, I think, one with his legs and one in the first half as well.

“A much better effort, I thought. They played really well.

“We’re starting to come together as a team, but at the wrong end of the season.”


Nelson Eastern Suburbs: De Carpentier - Stockdale - Gibbs, Vanderslink, T Roach - Gaskell, Wallace, Roberts (Ireland 68), Gibson (Flynn 46) - Gordon, Mills (Brighella 60) (Substitute not used: Rush)

Booked: Roberts 60

Goals: Brighella 63

Northern Suburbs DOSA: Farrugia - Mason (Richardson 62), Natoli, Swift (McGurk 70), Butt - Langshaw, Maccrum (J Parry 79), Hey, Korn - Wakefield, D Parry (Substitute not used: Whitty)

Att: 60

Ref: D Ambler

Division One

Hobart United 4 (Guot 45, 49, Letiko 68, Woodward 79) b Christian United 1 (Whayman 67)

Nelson Eastern Suburbs 1 (Brighella 63) b Northern Suburbs DOSA 0

Hobart United have a showdown with Metro at North Chigwell on Saturday at 2.30pm in a game that will decide the Division One title and promotion to the Premier League.

Metro must win that game to secure the title.

If they lose, Taroona are the champions.

Hobart United’s greater speed and experience should give them victory against Christian United and put them in the right frame of mind to take on Metro.

Wednesday’s main fixture at 8pm is between fourth-ranked Nelson Eastern Suburbs and fifth-placed Northern Suburbs DOSA.

Nelson will miss midfielder Robert Brooke and defenders Rowan Sakul and Cameron Rush. The first two are unavailable, while Rush has a shoulder injury.

Midfielder Adam Mills, who has been sidelined for six weeks with a knee injury, returns for this game.

Nick Roberts will assume a defensive midfield position, while Ben Gibson, who can also play in goal, will be at centre-back.

Tom Roach retains his left-back position, while Joe Vanderslink is back after missing the previous game.

Jordan Brighella, Cody Flynn and Oliver Ireland, three of Nelson’s promising teenagers, will play some part in the course of the 90 minutes, while Richard Flood has been included in the 15-man squad and will be sued as cover for any late injuries or withdrawals.

“This is our last match of the season and at KGV and should be a good surface after so much mud rolling this season,” said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.

“So, it’s a nice way for us to finish.

“There are a few defenders who are unavailable for us, but there are some good players back in as well and we should be good enough to come away with the points.”

Jack Mason, a 16-year-old defender, will make his senior debut for DOSA.

Nick Butt and Michael Langshaw will retain their places in defence after making their debuts only a few weeks ago.

Included in the DOSA squad will be midfielder Scott Maccrum, who missed the recent match against Christian United. He will be in contention for a starting spot.

Justin Farrugia has recovered from a finger injury sustained against Christian United and will be in goal.

Work commitments mean that David Visentin is unavailable.

Aaron McGurk, Nick Radovanovic and Tom Ray have not recovered from injury and will miss the game.

This trio has managed only nine senior games between them this season.

“The injuries to McGurk, Radovanovic and Ray have been symbolic of our injury predicament this season,” said DOSA defender, Richard Korn.

“We have given a lot of teenagers a game in the seniors recently to give them experience.

“Hopefully, they will recognise DOSA has given them opportunities other clubs may not have and replay the favour by remaining with the club.

“In time, hopefully, this will address our problem of lack of depth.”

Steve Payne, a 59-year-old Englishman, has started work as Football Federation Tasmania’s new technical director and game development manager.

He has been working as an academy coach in Canada for the past 20 years, developing youth players and mentoring coaches, and recently obtained his UEFA Pro Licence in soccer coaching.

Payne played briefly as a schoolboy with Charlton Athletic in London and then as a semi-professional.

“Once I realised I was not going to become the number one player in the country, I took up my other career, which was journalism,” Payne said.

“I was a journalist in England and Canada on national newspapers and I covered the first Gulf War and travelled the world writing for the Toronto Sun.

“I then did a little stint in public relations with the Ontario government.

“All the way through this, I was either playing or coaching and gradually moving up the coaching ladder.

“In December last year, I finally finished what is the pinnacle in Europe, the UEFA Pro Licence.

“I took a longer time because I had another career at the same time, whereas professional players can do it much more quickly.”

When he obtained his Pro Licence, Payne looked around the world for coaching opportunities and was attracted to Australia.

“I’d been to Australia twice before and I liked the country and the people,” he said.

“Athletics-wise, Australians are very competitive, strong, and they want to win.

“They have a good mental attitude with all sports and they take their sport seriously.”

Payne said Football Federation Australia had set down a new curriculum involving small-sided games and a new pathway for coaches and he wholeheartedly agreed with this.

“I spent considerable years in Brazil, where small-side games and work on technique is paramount, as it is in Holland,” Payne said.

“The task here is to implement those FFA programs and to upgrade and get more qualified coaches on the ground here so that the kids are being looked after properly.

“Coach development, of course, leads to player development, and FFA are particularly interested in finding the best 8- to 12-year-olds.

“To me, I think we can all get together and find those ’little devils’, as I like to call them, within that age group.”

Payne has already attended a junior carnival in Hobart and has seen some very talented youngsters.

He will be in Launceston on the weekend to run his eye over another junior tournament.