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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Only one southern side made it through the first round of the Tasmania-wide top-four finals series on Saturday.

Southern Premier League champions South Hobart remained on course for five pieces of silverware when they downed the visiting Riverside Olympic 2-0 at South Hobart.

Tilford Zebras, who came second in the south, lost 3-1 at home to Burnie United at KGV Park.

Glenorchy Knights lost 2-1 away to North-West Coast outfit Devonport City at Valley Road, while Northern Rangers needed extra-time before overcoming southerners Clarence United 1-0 at the NTCA Ground in Launceston. Clarence finished the game with only nine men.

Burnie United showed speed, physical determination and good technical skills in defeating Tilford Zebras.

Burnie took the lead in the 18th minute after a neat build-up through midfield. When the ball was knocked wide to the right, Kyrone Johnson played a splendid first-time ball to the edge of the box for Chris Smith to run onto and beat Zebras goalkeeper Jason Voss with a low shot inside the far left-hand post.

Zebras fought back and only a goal-line clearance by Michael Wolfert prevented Matt Hall from equalising in the 22nd minute.

A minute later, Burnie went further ahead after a quick counter-attack from the ensuing goal-kick. They worked the ball down the left and Chris Smith flicked the ball on for Mark Ambrose to cut inside the fullback and beat Voss with a fine shot.

Zebras again responded with a good attack, but Burnie goalkeeper Bradley Ryan saved superbly from Jonathon Ladic’s bullet-like shot.

Wolfert again came to Burnie’s rescue on the stroke of half-time when he tidied up after Ryan could only parry Jayden Welch’s shot.

Within a minute of the resumption, Chris Smith left Jordan Muller in his wake as he broke clear down the right and his shot was only partially blocked and almost crossed the goal-line before being properly cleared.

Ladic pulled a goal back for Zebras in the 69th minute with a low drive from range that flew through a crowded goalmouth and slipped past Ryan, who was caught off guard.

Zebras pounded the Burnie goal in search of an equaliser, but their shooting was inaccurate and Burnie grabbed a third goal in the 78th minute when Astyn Johnson netted from Ambrose’s low cross from the left.

Zebras continued their assault on the Burnie goal, but the northerners held out for a meritorious victory.

A goal in the 4th minute by teenager Andy Brennan gave South Hobart the lead against Riverside Olympic, while a marvellous strike by Tom Roach three minutes before the interval sealed the home side’s win.

South Hobart will now meet Devonport City in one semi-final, while Northern Rangers will clash with Burnie United in the other.

Beachside won the Division One title and earned promotion to the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League on Saturday after thrashing bottom-side FFT Under-15s 9-1 at KGV Park on Saturday.

It really was a case of men against boys and the Under-15s had no answer to the combined experience, technical skills and tactical acumen of Beachside.

Bernhard Klasen netted four goals for Beachside, while former NSL player Brett Pullen grabbed a brace and Patrick Dunne, Ben Davis and Andrew Reason a goal apiece.

There was no denying the Under-15s’ endeavour and courage and they put together some nice passages of play, but they were never in the hunt. Chris McDonald netted their consolation goal, while Harry Woolley almost grabbed a second when he broke through from midfield, but the talented and experienced Beachside goalkeeper Michael Soszynski was off his line in a flash and blocked at the youngster’s feet.

Sydney FC drew 1-1 with the Central Coast Mariners in a dramatic A-League match at the Sydney Football Stadium this evening.

The two goalkeepers appeared the villains of the piece.

A terrible mistake by the Mariners’ inexperienced Mathew Ryan, who took the place of Jess Van Stratten, who will miss the rest of the season because of a knee ligament injury suffered at training this week, allowed Sydney to take the lead early in the second half.

And, near the end, Sydney custodian Liam Reddy conceded a penalty and was sent off.

The Mariners’ Argentinian signing, Patricio Perez, netted the spot-kick to make it 1-1.

Perez made his A-League debut for the Mariners when he came on as a 53rd-minute substitute for Rostyn Griffiths and he had a sensational match.

Not only did he score the penalty - which was controversial as there appeared little if any contact by Reddy, who also wasn’t the last defender - he headed another effort into the net but was incorrectly ruled off-side.

Sydney’s players were incensed by the referee’s penalty decision and the dismissal of Reddy and four of them received yellow cards in the space of four minutes for dissent (between the 72nd and 75th minutes). Sydney coach Vitezslav Levicka, to his great credit, came to the touchline and urged his players to calm down.

It was referee Matthew Breeze’s 100th A-League match and he could not have had a more controversial one.

Perez’s distribution, vision and mobility were outstanding and only a block by substitute keeper Ivan Necevski prevented him from adding another goal on his debut.

His cross from the right in the closing minutes found Adam Kwasnik, but he directed his header straight at Necevski.

Tasmanian fans can be delighted that they saw the Argentinian in action in Launceston and Hobart before he actually made his A-League debut.

Sydney twice hit the woodwork in the first half.

In the 12th minute, a Mark Bridge shot took a deflection off the Mariners central defender Patrick Zwaanswijk and hit the outside of Mathew Ryan’s right-hand post.

In the 34th minute, Nick Carle put Sebastian Ryall through with a precise pass, but the latter’s shot also hit the outside of the same post.

Sydney hit the front in the 47th minute when a low cross from the left by Byun Sung-Hwan bounced just short of the keeper and carried through to Rhyan Grant, who smashed the ball home from close range.

Twenty minutes from the end, Matt Simon appeared to handle the ball before flicking it through for Perez, who raced across the face of goal and went down as Reddy dived for the ball at his feet. The Mariners were awarded a penalty and Reddy was shown the red card. Necevski replaced Reddy in goal and striker Kofi Danning was sacrificed.

Perez easily converted the spot-kick, scoring with a low shot to the keeper’s right.

The point moved the Mariners up to fourth spot, while Sydney, whose chairman is Tasmanian businessman Scott Barlow, moved from second-last to seventh on the 11-team ladder.

State-wide Top-Four Finals Series

Tilford Zebras 1 (J Ladic 69) lost to Burnie United 3 (S Smith 18, M Ambose 23, A Johnson 78)

South Hobart 2 (A Brennan 4, T Roach 42) beat Riverside Olympic 0

Devonport City 2-1 Glenorchy Knights

Northern Rangers 1-0 Clarence United

Division One

Beachside 9 (B Pullen 10, 45, P Dunne 23, B Klasen 30, 32,60, 74, A Reason 82, B Davis 89) beat FFT Under-15s 1 (C McDonald 51)

University 6-0 DOSA


University 9-1 DOSA

Atletico Madrid won the European Super Cup this morning [Australian time] by beating Inter Milan 2-0 at the Stade Louis II Stadium in Monaco.

And so, Rafa Benitez’s reign at the Milan club begins. Hardly an auspicious start for the man who slowly but surely dismantled Liverpool and turned them from one of Europe’s most successful clubs to one of Europe’s most toothless.

I wonder if he will do the same to Inter, who won the treble last season under Jose Mourinho, the self-dubbed ‘Special One’, who is, of course, now with Real Madrid.

Inter won the Italian Super Cup last week, but they were a pale shadow of the team that won last season’s European Champions League, despite the fact that 10 of last year’s 11 players who won the European trophy final were in the side this morning.

Diego Milito even had a last-minute penalty saved by the Atletico keeper, while Samuel Eto’o was inconspicuous.

Jose Antonio Reyes put Atletico in front after 62 minutes, while Sergio Aguero, who is Diego Maradona’s son-in-law, grabbed an easy second in the 83rd minute.

I think it will be a long season for Inter.

Meanwhile, in Germany, reigning champion Bayern Munich went down 2-0 away against Kaiserslautern.