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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South Hobart could increase their lead at the top of the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League ladder if they beat third-placed Tilford Zebras at 2.30pm at South Hobart on Saturday and if some other results go their way.

South have a 4-point lead over second-placed Glenorchy Knights, who have a game in hand.

If South win, and if Knights lose to fifth-placed Clarence United away at Wentworth Park at 6.30pm on Saturday, South could open up a 7-point lead at the top, which would be an excellent way for them to start the second round of matches.

The league-leaders will be without midfielder Jonathon Ladic and utility player David Abbott.

Ladic has gone to Tilford Zebras but will not play against his former club as he has not yet been cleared.

Abbott has joined seventh-placed Taroona and will be in their line-up for the match against bottom-side Olympia Warriors at South Hobart at 2.30pm on Sunday.

South will also miss the suspended midfielder Garry Upton, but central defender Matthew Brown and Hugh Ludford should be available for selection.

Brown took a hammering from his own keeper last week but is expected to have recovered, while Ludford has been troubled by an ankle injury but has trained well this week.

Greg Downes will replace Ladic in midfield.

“I thought we should have won our first-round game against them,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton. “We had chances to win it.

“It’s the start of another round and, obviously, if we’re going to win anything this year we have to win this game.

“Our philosophy will be to go out and try to win the game.

“I might try to adjust things a little to get greater focus on getting forward quicker.

“I have great respect for Frediani as a player and now as a coach and we’ll try and do everything possible to make a win out of it.”

South have two more Koreans in the pipeline but they have yet to be cleared.

“We’ve had a couple of Koreans arrive,” Morton said. “They’re not registered or anything like that yet.

“The centre-back is from Brazil. He’s from Division One and is six foot two, maybe three, and he looks all right.

“We’ve got a couple now for whom it might be worthwhile getting clearances for. One is a winger or striker who could be a bit special down here. We’ve put in the papers to sign him and we’ll see how we go.

“I just think it’s not just a matter of strengthening us, but for the game. It lifts the other teams to play against them.

“I know that from when we played Beachside. All their players responded, like Brett Pullen, Nathan Robinson and them, and it’s the same for our lads in training, just the respect, and it brings more out of our own players and I’m sure they’d bring the best out of our opposition as well.”

Zebras will have defender Henry Fagg back after a neck injury, but Matt Hall is away and central defender Ryan Smith is out for the season and needs a knee reconstruction.

Jordan Muller, who had replaced Fagg in the past two games, has been ill all week.

“They thought it was Ryan’s cartilage originally, but no, the knee is gone and he needs a complete knee reconstruction,” said Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani.

“The season is finished for him.

“Everyone else is raring to go. David Cox and Paul Cairns will come in, while Daniel Lapolla has recovered and is available.

“We drew last time, but I don’t think we were as ready then as we are now. We’re confident, even with a couple of players out, and we’re pumped. We had two very good sessions this week and, hopefully, that’ll make a difference this weekend.”

South Hobart are the only unbeaten side in the league, while South and Zebras have both scored 17 goals.

Zebras have conceded 12 goals, four times as many as South, and it is this sort of statistic that could be a clue to the outcome of this showdown.

Glenorchy Knights have been hit by illness and injuries, despite having last weekend off.

“We’re going to be struggling on Saturday night,” said Knights coach, Eamonn Kelly.

“Danny White hasn’t trained and Amadu Koroma hasn’t trained. Josh Fielding only trained on Monday. They’ve all come down with this virus and I don’t know what the outcome of that will be.

“Jade Clay will need a fitness test on an ankle injury he picked up against South Hobart. He’s only trained once in the last three weeks.

“We’re looking forward to the game, obviously, and I’d like to think it’ll be another 5-1. But, they’ve improved week by week and so I’m confident, but not overly confident with having to play at Wentworth Park at 6.30 on a Saturday night and having as many players as I have up and down health-wise. We’ll give it our best shot and see what happens.”

Clarence will be at full strength.

Sixth-placed New Town Eagles host fourth-ranked Kingborough Lions United at Clare Street at 2.30pm on Saturday and both sides need a win badly.

The Lions need a win so that they can stay in the top-four, while Eagles want to increase the distance between themselves and the bottom two sides.

At a meeting of club presidents on Wednesday evening, it was determined that promotion and relegation will apply this season, so the fight to avoid relegation is well and truly on.

Eagles will be without defender Mark Page for three weeks after he was injured against South Hobart last weekend.

Central defenders Chris Wass and Steve Louden are still troubled by niggling leg injuries.

“Nathan Pitchford and Ethan Menzie came down from Launceston on Thursday night to train with us, which is a bonus for us,” said Eagles coach, George Krambousanos.

“We have a few niggling injuries to Chris Wass and Steve Louden, and also to Jamie Vernon, who suffered an ankle injury against South on Sunday.

“I can’t answer the question of whether these three will play.

“We’ve got Jacob Clamp and Shane Kent, of course, to come in if things are not right, so we’ll see what happens.

“We trained well on Tuesday and Thursday so we hope things go better than the last time we played them.”

Kingborough are likely to be close to full strength.

The bottom-of-the table clash between Taroona and Olympia Warriors should be well worth watching as both sides seek to escape the relegation zone.

Olympia have yet to win a game, while Taroona are in danger of becoming stuck in a rut.

“We’ve just signed Dave Abbott from South Hobart, and he will come straight into the side because he’s a top quality player and he will add a new dimension to our attack being a left-footer,” said Taroona coach, Ben Horgan.

“We’ve also signed Matt Hedge from Olympia, but he is still getting over some injury problems and will come back through the reserves.

“Cian Carey is also back in training having recovered from the injuries which have kept him out all season and he may even be available this weekend.

“These guys will definitely strengthen our squad, but really we need everyone to step up and contribute defensively because most weeks we’ve been creative in possession but we haven’t shown much resilience when teams have attacked us.

“This is a vital game as far as both teams are concerned and even though it is still early days we need to start getting some points on the board to avoid relegation.”

Olympia should have striker Kosta Grillas back after a hamstring injury, but Chris Kumpulainen will miss up to six weeks because of an ankle injury sustained last weekend against Zebras.