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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South Hobart should retain top spot on the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League ladder by beating fifth-placed Taroona at home at South Hobart on Sunday.


South Hobart have the best defence in the competition statistically, but they rank only equal fifth in the number of goals scored.


Scoring is their problem. Indeed, Taroona have scored one goal more than South Hobart, so the visitors don’t have much to learn from their hosts in that regard.


Jim Pennicott is carrying a knee injury, but it would not surprise to see him included in the squad.


“He trained quite freely tonight, so we’ll see if there’s any stiffness after that,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.


“Liam Scott is good now with his arm, and Shae Hickey is coming back to full fitness after his ankle injury.


“Hugh Ludford is available, and one of our Koreans has been cleared and he’ll get a game in the reserves.


“We might also play Andy King and David Abbott in the reserves, too, just to get 90 minutes in.


“David Abbott was up for selection last week, but he did his knee and he’s been a bit stiff in training, but again, he was all right tonight.


“He’ll probably get a start in the reserves with Clarence in mind the following week.


“He’s been looking quite sharp, has David.”


Taroona coach Ben Horgan admitted this will be a very tough game.


“But, we’re looking forward to the challenge,” Horgan said. “We’ve got a similar squad to last week, although Lucas Wyatt is a late withdrawal due to work commitments.


“Darragh Carey will come in to the side at left-back.


“Midfielder Andy Douglas has also been included in the squad for the first time after coming to us this season from Beachside.”


Third-placed Tilford Zebras will have Ben Crosswell back from the UK for their clash with second-ranked Glenorchy Knights at KGV Park on Friday night.


Daniel Lapolla will be missing for Zebras because of a hamstring injury.


“Jayden Welch is fifty-fifty at the moment and we’ll see how he goes when we test him out on Friday,” said Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani.


“I’m looking forward to the game, and I think the boys are, too, and think it will be a test for us.


“It could be a completely different game to the practice game which we had with them before the Summer Cup started [0-0 draw].”


Knights will be without Corey Smith, who is suspended after being sent off last weekend against Kingborough Lions United.


The striking partnership between Amadu Koroma and Juma Barabara is starting to work well and the Zebras defence will have to be on their toes to cope with the speed and technical skills of this pair.


Sixth-placed Kingborough Lions United entertain bottom-side Olympia Warriors at Lightwood Park on Saturday and this is a vital match for the visitors, who have yet to win this season.


The remaining match of the round is at Clare Street on Saturday, where fourth-placed New Town Eagles welcome second-last Clarence United.


Simon Strang is unlikely to start for Eagles because of a groin injury.


“We had our boys down from Launceston for training because it was Easter and everyone was fit and ready to go,” said Eagles coach, George Krambousanos.


“The boys are enjoying their training sessions and the vibes are good. Everything seems to be pretty good at the moment.


“We hope we can beat them. Last year, we beat them on our home ground and they beat us on their home ground, so maybe it’ll be a replay of 2009.


“At the moment, we’re on a high.”


Zlatko Belanic, the former Eagles keeper who lives in Adelaide now, is currently conducting coaching clinics in Hobart and he took a session with Eagles on Thursday night, working not only with the goalkeepers but with some of the outfield players as well.


Eagles are the second highest scoring side in the competition and have the leading scorer in Adam McKeown, while Clarence have conceded the third highest number of goals.


This could be a recipe for a goal feast.



Premier League Reserves (KGV Park)


Tasmanian Institute of Sport 4 (J de Smit 12, F Kenyi 15, J Walker 43, 90+2) b New Town Eagles 3 (M Fennell 24, A Gonzalez 59, J Quan 69)


2010 FFA National Boys’ Junior (Under-13) Championships (Canberra)


Victoria Country 2-4 Tasmania


Tasmania 7-1 Northern Territory

Tasmanian Institute of Sport player Jeremy Walker has been selected to participate in FOX8’s reality TV show Football Superstar, which screens tonight.


The show’s aim is to select Australia’s most gifted young footballer.


In past contests, the winner has earned a one-year contract with an A-League club and other prizes which may include a car or a year’s university scholarship.


There are 15 contestants who spend a month in an Australian city in luxurious accommodation and train with the local A-League club.


The contestants are tested on their football ability, but are also given mental and physical challenges by the show’s host.


This year's contestants will be aiming for a contract with Brisbane Roar and a year's scholarship with a university.


Ange Postecoglou will be the chief judge this year as he is the coach of A-League club Brisbane Roar.


******


Football Federation Australia is reported to be considering sending someone down from Sydney for two days a week to perform the role of FFT’s CEO.


FFT has also recently interviewed a New Zealander who probably came second in the recent hunt for a CEO which resulted in the selection of Patrick Barlow.


Barlow, you may remember, resigned before he even started in the position.


The New Zealander met Sean Collins and board member Michael McIntyre during a recent visit to Hobart to discuss the position.


Tasmanian clubs and football supporters await developments with interest.


*******


Tasmania's Lucy MacGregor, Caitlin Stalker and Isabella Gee were selected in the Group B All-Stars team after this week's 2010 Westfield FFA National Junior Championships for under-13 girls in Canberra.


Tasmania finished fourth in the 6-team Group B section of the competition.










The Easter break gave me a chance to delve into the archives and I came up with a page from The Tasmanian Mail of 28 July 1981 and an article I had written about Tasmania’s ‘State-of-Origin’ team.


I was also writing for “Soccer Action” in Melbourne at the time, and also coaching Metro.


Steve Darby was the Tasmanian coach and the team had just had two wins from two outings.


They beat a Victorian Youth XI 2-0 in Melbourne and a ‘Rest of the World’ side 1-0 at KGV Park.


Darby was an excellent coach and was on the look-out for opponents for Tasmania.


Darby was the Tasmanian director of coaching at the time, but was keen to coach the State side as he did not want to be merely a ‘theoretical coach’.


He had coached Devonport City the previous year in the State League.


Tasmania had not had a State team for five years until then, so the results were newsworthy.


Proposed games against the Australian Institute of Sport and Queensland had been called off because of financial constraints.


Victoria had not responded to a challenge issued to them.


Darby outlined three reasons for the establishment of a Tasmanian ‘State-of-Origin’ team.


Firstly, he felt there was a need for Tasmania’s senior players to have a further professional aim beyond just playing for their clubs, and that was to play for the State.


Secondly, he was keen to give the youngsters of the time a target, namely to play for the ‘State-of-Origin’ team.


Thirdly, he felt it was important for Tasmania to play against top-ranking opponents so that they could see where they stood relative to Philips League (the national league at the time) players. This would also enable Tasmanian coaches, administrators and fans to gauge the standard of our football and its progress.


Remember, this was the time when Tasmanian football had a host of top-quality European imports, so the pressure to have a Tasmanian State team made up of the best available players was intense.


Some of the imports were Brian Davidson (New Zealand), a two-time Rothmans Gold Medal winner, Ian Parker (UK), Liam Monagle (Ireland), Bruce Ward (UK), Peter Sawdon (UK), Ken Worden (UK), John Charlton (UK), Kevin Swinscoe (UK), Nick Cook (UK), Peter Willis (UK), Eric Young (UK), Peter Brine (UK) and Peter Davidson (New Zealand).


Darby stuck to his guns and insisted on the formation of a ‘State-of-Origin’ Tasmanian team comprised of locally born players, or those who had been here since the age of ten.


The squad he chose was: Goalkeeper - Steve Kannegiesser (Rapid-Wrest Point); Defenders - Steve Kannegiesser (Rapid-Wrest Point), Chester Willcock (Rapid-Wrest Point), Conrad Hughes (George Town), Larry Nunn (Rapid-Wrest Point), Darby Conlan (Launceston Juventus), Chris Hey (Brighton-ICL), Alastair Payne (Croatia-Glenorchy), Leon Darko (Juventus-Pioneer); Midfielders - Willy Peters (Brighton-ICL), Mossie O’Sullivan (George Town), Chris Gleeson (Devonport), Angelo Ambrosino (Australian Institute of Sport), Luciano Fabrizio (Juventus-Pioneer), Darren Bacon (Juventus-Pioneer); Forwards - Mark Oakes (Rapid-Wrest Point), Andy Scheibl (George Town), Neil Thomas (Croatia-Glenorchy). The manager was Brian McKay, a star of Olympia and Brighton-ICL and a former Rothmans Gold medal winner.


A State League was in operation at the time and I can remember the last day of the 1981 season. Brighton-ICL were playing Launceston Juventus at South Hobart and the winner would be the league champion.


It was the first and last time I saw a queue at the turnstile to the South Hobart ground stretching down to Macquarie Street as the match kicked off.


Brighton-ICL (formerly Caledonians) won 2-1 and became the State League champions. The State League then folded and it was back to the two regional leagues in 1982.


In 1981, Rapid, Croatia Glenorchy and Juventus Pioneeer were eying the Philips League and had hopes of being admitted.


Rapid had won the 1980 title, but by 1981 some of their best players, namely Phil Kannegiesser, Peter Willis, Ray Mohring and David Smith, had followed their coach, Ken Morton, to the new National League club, Wollongong City.


White Eagles had been relegated from the State League in 1980. Their squad included goalkeeper John Michniewski, a Polish import who had come here via the American National Soccer League, Frank Letec, Peter Sherman, George Krambousanos, Nick Cook, Mark Leszczynski, Ken Worden, and Iraqi import Nuri Aziz.


Worden would go on to become national coach of Malaysia and Singapore.


1981 was the year when Tasmania had its first FIFA referee and national league referee, Jack Johnston, who went on to officiate at the 1983 FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Mexico.


He later became Tasmania's commissioner of police.


1981 was also the year Darby, Wolfgang Stuetzel, coach of Ulverstone and a Rothmans Gold Medal winner, and I attended the International Coaches’ Convention in Sydney as Tasmania’s representatives. The convention coincided with the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.


We were at the final at the SCG, where West Germany beat Qatar 4-0 in heavy rain.


We stayed at the same hotel as the West German and Qatar teams and regularly attended their training sessions.


Some of the notable speakers at the conference were former England manager, Sir Walter Winterbottom, and the Brazilian coach, Evaristo, who was a star with Barcelona and Real Madrid and was coach of Qatar’s under-20s.


Evaristo won 14 caps for Brazil and scored 8 goals.


One of the images I retain of that time was the look on the faces of the Qatar players on the morning of the final as they came to breakfast. It was one of dejection. It was teeming with rain and they had rarely, if ever, seen such weather conditions. They were beaten before they took the field.