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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Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League (South Hobart, Saturday, 24 April 2010)


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Tilford Zebras 5 (R Self 33, B Crosswell 45 pen, 77, 90 pen, L Engels 65)

Olympia Warriors 1 (C Kumpulainen 16)


HT: 2-1 Att: 130 Ref: C Phillips


Tilford Zebras: Kaden - Muller (Cox 63), Telega, Smith, K Engels - L Engels (Young 76), Self, Hall, Welch - Walsh, Crosswell [Substitutes not used: Cairns, Voss] [Coach: Romeo Frediani]


Olympia Warriors: Nester - Mohamad (Assi 63), A Hedge, McCallum, Percy - Meredith (Howell 80), Wakefield, Phillips, Kumpulainen (Mason 45+2) - Cronk, Wadawu [Substitute not used: Kay] [Coach: Chris Hey]


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This was a game switched from KGV Park to South Hobart, but it didn’t ultimately affect the Zebras’ performance.


After Luke Engels had fired a shot straight at Olympia goalkeeper Dmitri Nester following Jayden Welch’s corner in the 2nd minute, they were on the back foot for the next 20 minutes as Olympia sought to take the lead.


They did just that in the 16th minute when Warren Wadawu played a ball forward and Chris Kumpulainen beat defender Jordan Muller and goalkeeper Troy Kaden before slotting the ball home into an empty net.


This initial success promised much, but poor defending was to be Olympia’s undoing.


Ricky Self put a shot just over the Olympia bar in the 29th minute and it was clear that the tide was already turning against the Warriors.


Zebras were level in the 33rd minute with a simple but effective attack, begun by captain and centre-back Andrew Telega, who swept the ball wide to the left for Welch to expose Olympia’s right flank.


He had an unimpeded run down the left and his low cross to the far side of the box found Self, who was unmarked and hammered home from 15 metres.


Zebras almost had another in the 39th minute when Ben Crosswell broke down the left and crossed the ball low and hard into the middle, but Matt Hall could not keep his shot down and the ball cleared the crossbar.


Crosswell and Dwayne Walsh, nominally the Zebras; two strikers, were dropping deep and proving very mobile and this often left the Olympia defence chasing shadows.


Olympia suffered a blow in the 43rd minute when Kumpulainen landed awkwardly after challenging Ryan Smith for a header and was carried off with ankle ligament damage.


It took Olympia four minutes to bring on substitute Lee Mason and, in that time, Zebras went further ahead when Nick Meredith pulled Luke Engels’s shirt and conceded a penalty, which was easily despatched by Crosswell to give Zebras a 2-1 lead at the interval.


Olympia came out firing for the second half and should have been level in the 48th minute when a delightful through-ball by Meredith put Wadawu in with only the keeper to beat, but the Zimbabwean chose to chip the ball and it looped harmlessly over the crossbar.


Olympia’s tempers were fraying and Youssef Mohamad was booked in the 50th minute for a foul on Crosswell.


Seven minutes later, it was tit for tat as Smith received a yellow card for fouling Wadawu, who required treatment.


Olympia squandered another good chance in the 58th minute. Luke Engels failed to control a cross inside his own penalty area and the ball fell to Meredith, who shot over the bar.


A minute later, Meredith fired wide from a good opening, while on the hour, Lee Mason appeared certain to score, but his shot was superbly saved by Kaden, who conceded what proved to be a fruitless corner.


That was four excellent chances to score in the space of 12 minutes, which could have given Olympia a 5-2 lead.


Having squandered the opportunities, it was no surprise that Zebras took theirs. In the 65th minute, an error at the back by Adam Hedge gave the ball to Luke Engels, who, looking up and seeing Nester off his line, scored with a great chip that dipped under the crossbar and gave Zebras a 3-1 advantage.


In the 77th minute, Crosswell was given time and space by a flat-footed Olympia defence to collect Walsh’s chipped pass and shoot past Nester from close range to make it 4-1.


In the 85th minute, Smith was deceived by a bouncing ball and Brady Cronk was gifted an opportunity, but his shot lacked power and Kaden was able to get down and save with his outstretched leg.


Smith was injured in going for the ball and was taken off on a stretcher. Surprisingly, Zebras did not bring on their remaining out-field substitute, Paul Cairns and played out the remaining time - which proved to be 10 minutes - with 10 men.


Cairns had, apparently, left early and coach Remeo Frediani decided not to use substitute goalkeeper Jason Voss as an out-field player. Against a better side than Olympia, this might have been costly.


Frediani’s confidence was proved correct, however, as his side scored again before the end.


In the last minute of normal time, Rory McCallum fouled Kurt Engels inside the box and Crosswell netted his second penalty of the game to complete his hat-trick and give Zebras a 5-1 win over their traditional rivals.


It is crunch time for Olympia. This game completed their first-round program of seven matches in what is their 50th anniversary season and they have just one point to show for it.


They have 14 matches left and had better start picking up points soon.


The win kept Zebras in third place, two points adrift of leaders South Hobart and one point behind second-placed Glenorchy Knights.


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· Tilford Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani, said:


“The first 20 minutes they were all over us, really, but after that we picked it up and obviously got the two goals back before half-time.


“The second half was much better. We knocked it around and Crosswell was very good up front again.


“We knocked the ball around and I’m happy with the three points.”


· Olympia Warriors coach, Chris Hey, said:


“In the first half, for the first 25 minutes, I thought we played well.


“As soon as they scored, our heads went down and, to be quite honest, the second half was an absolute disgrace.


“We played as individuals, heads down and not really giving a damn with the way we were supposed to be playing.


“We had some good chances, but we’ve got to put them away. When the chips are down, you’ve got to learn how to fight and, what I saw from that team out there in the last 20 minutes, it was very disappointing.


“There was no leadership. There were just eleven individual players running around doing individual things.


“We’re a far better team than that. The last three games that we’ve played, we’ve played some really good football. We’ve missed heaps of opportunities, heaps of chances, and we’ve got to learn to put them away.


“But, that last 20 minutes was disgraceful.”






Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League


Tilford Zebras 5 (B Crosswell 45 pen, 77, 90 pen, R Self 33, L Engels 65) b Olympia Warriors 1 (C Kumpulainen 16)


Kingborough Lions United 1 (M Bremner 51) dw Clarence United 1 (B Hamlett 81)


Reserves


Tilford Zebras 3 ((A Young, O Bird, P Cairns) b Olympia Warriors 2 (A Powell, R Lebski)


Kingborough Lions United 0-3 Clarence United


Under-19s


Tilford Zebras 2-6 Olympia Warriors


Kingborough Lions United 3 (T Brewer 45, N Vialle 46, B Watkins 77) lt Clarence United 4 (L Marsh 1, 26, A Barron 11, S Kavas 18)


Southern Division One


Metro 13 (Leek 3, Marney 2, Dawes 3, Cowen 2, Wicks 2, Richardson) b DOSA 2 (Webetu Aboye, Gamar Ali)


Reserves


Metro 7 (Berry 3, Richardson 2, Kent, Hunt) b DOSA 0


Under-19s


Metro 4 (Lucas 2, Brown, Medhurst) b Olympia 1


Division Two


Southern FC 1-4 New Town Eagles (Michell 2, Reeve, Labski)


Division Three


New Town Eagles White 2 (Cairns, Andree) b University Players 1


Division Four


Woodbridge 4 (Dale Byrne 2, Jack Turner 1, Justin Byrne 1) b South Hobart 2


Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League


Launceston United 1-9 Devonport City


Prospect Knights 3-3 Ulverstone


Northern Rangers 3-1 Burnie United


Somerset 4-3 Launceston City

Second-placed Hobart United entertain Division One leaders Beachside at Pontville at 2.30pm on Sunday in a top-of-the-table clash that is extremely important to both title aspirants.


United will be without suspended Akuel Guot, who is the league’s leading scorer with 5 goals.


He is suspended after being sent off against Metro.


Beachside will be without Jason Harvey, who is unavailable, and his replacement is Adam Direen.


Player-coach Nathan Robinson will make no other changes to the side that drew 3-3 with University last weekend.


“We are expecting a fast and physical encounter,” said Robinson. “We know Hobart’s strengths, but being able to stop them will be a challenge.


“Our players are looking to repeat the dose from the opening game of the Summer Cup, when we defeated them 2-1.”


A win for the visitors will give them a valuable 4-point lead over United, while a win for the home side would put them two points ahead of Beachside.


A draw may see third-placed Nelson Eastern Suburbs move to equal top spot, providing they can beat the FFT Under-15s, who are bottom, at North Warrane at 2.30pm on Saturday.


Rhys Endall will be missing from the Nelson line-up because of a strained quadricep. Craig Stockdale may be his replacement, but there is some doubt about his availability because of work commitments.


Pat Lenck has an injury and missed training on Wednesday, but he is likely to start in midfield.


Max Caulfield comes into the side at left-back, while central-defender Alex Priest gains a place in the Division One squad for the first time this season after being a regular under-19 player last year.


Striker Ryan Mills is on the bench but will start if Stockdale is unavailable.


The rest of the starting line-up is similar to last week.


“It’s good to have Max Caufield back in the squad,” said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.


“He’s a really good attacking left-back, while Alex Priest is a tall central defender who has been getting forward at set pieces and scoring goals in the reserves.


“The State under-15s look to be improving fast, going on their recent results, so we will need to ensure we put up a good performance.


“Poor finishing cost us a win versus Metro, but I’m generally happy with the way we are playing and if we can keep building on that and start putting away the chances we are making we should go well this week at home.”


Sixth-placed DOSA entertain fourth-placed Metro at the Showgrounds at 2.30pm on Saturday.


“Having drawn against the FFT Under-15s, it should give us a bit of confidence for this game against Metro,” said DOSA coach, Pedro Ramirez.


“Metro is a team with youth and experience and players such as Darrin Chaffey and Terry Kent know how to give the kids support.


“We will need to be strong in the way we play this game. Fifty-fifty challenges are the way we need to play this game.”


DOSA will be without Blake Smedley and Dominik Filip, who are injured and may be out for eight to ten weeks.


Adam Woodward is ill and a doubtful starter, while Roland Stern is on a two-week interstate holiday.


Salvador Iraheta, Kyle Dermody and Webetu Aboye have been included in the senior side.


“We have not been playing our structure as good as I would like, but persistence and time will allow the players to adapt,” Ramirez concluded.


The remaining match of the round is at Olinda Grove at 2.30pm on Sunday, when fifth-ranked University host second-last Southern FC.


University should win comfortably against the visitors and Julian Proud may well become the league’s new leading marksman.

Devonport City may well take over the lead in the Forestry Tasmania Northern Premier League competition on Saturday from current leaders Burnie United.


The sides are level on 9 points, but Burnie’s excellent goal-difference puts them on top.


But, Burnie have the more difficult assignment this weekend as they are away to reigning champions and third-placed Northern Rangers at the NTCA Ground, while Devonport should have a relatively easily task of disposing of bottom-side Launceston United away at Birch Avenue.


Burnie’s Sam Cocks and Chris Smith are the league’s leading marksmen, however, with 8 goals and 7 goals, respectively, and this sort of firepower is just what is needed to sink Rangers.


It may well be that Burnie retain their top spot ahead of Devonport, but with a reduced margin between the sides in terms of goal-difference.


Devonport will be going for a cricket score, though, and the outcome of this tussle between the two leading sides against weaker opponents should be intriguing.


Third-placed Somerset welcome second-last Launceston City to Cardigan Street and the home side should be the victors.


Fifth-ranked Ulverstone play their fourth away game of the season when they make their second trip in a row to Launceston to take on sixth-placed Prospect Knights at Harley Parade.


“We have had some fantastic battles with the Knights over the last few years and I do not expect this one to be any different,” said Ulverstone coach, Kim Rigby.


“We will be keeping the same eleven players from last week’s 7-0 win over Launceston United, although a few positional changes within the teal are likely.


“We have had a reliance on Brayden Mann to score the majority of our goals, so it was pleasing last week to have four different scorers.


“Will Cox-Haines, who played in all our games last year, had his first run of the season last week and will start again this week and gain some much-needed match fitness.


“Our number one goalkeeper, Chris Smith, continues to look safe at the back, ably supported by the back-three of Brian Tabrett, Dallas Baldock and Ben Hutchinson.


“Our midfield is not totally firing, but a few positional changes last week seemed to help, with Joel Stone and Callan Mann out wide and Adrian and Adam Beard playing in the middle, along with Will Cox-Haines in the holding or support role.


“Our target player, Kyle Baldock, is proving to be a good option alongside Brayden Mann up front.


“Our bench players will be Ben Foote, who is carrying some slight knee soreness, and Jason Singleton, Adrian Foote and second-choice keeper Steve Arthur.”