Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 37th 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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Sally Shipard was in Hobart on the weekend to watch the Women’s State-wide Cup Final and to talk to the players. The 22-year-old Matilda enjoyed her visit and spoke to the female players on the eve of the game. She also participated in the TIS side’s recovery session the day after the game. I caught up with Sally at KGV Park before the final and here is the transcript of the interview.


Walter Pless: What brings you to Hobart?


Sally Shipard: I was asked about a week ago whether I’d like to chat to the girls on Friday night and be involved in the final. I was looking forward to it and I’m glad I’m here.


WP: Have you been to Hobart before?


SS: I have been, but I was two or three years old, so that doesn’t really count.


WP: Are you looking forward to the Women’s World Cup next year?


SS: Absolutely. I mean, we’ve just qualified and we’ve got a year to prepare so we’ve got a good block of time together and, hopefully, we can improve. We’re looking forward to it.


WP: We are the Asian champions, so what does that mean for women’s football?


SS: It’s a great thing for football in general, Australia wide. It’s the first time any team has won the Asian Cup, which is a pretty special thing to be able to say and, you know, out of all the male and all the female teams that have represented Australia, it’s a first, so it’s a pretty nice thing, really. We’re really looking forward to the World Cup.


WP: How do you think we’ll go on that bigger stage?


SS: We’ve previously managed to get out of the group stage in most World Cup or Olympic tournaments and get to the quarterfinals, so really, with any major tournament, you want to equal or better your past performances and get out of the group stages and reach the quarterfinals and who knows from there?


WP: You were Australia’s youngest Olympic footballer. Will you be playing at the next Olympic Games?


SS: Hopefully, presuming we qualify. With Germany next year, we then come home and then we’ve got the Olympic qualifiers towards the end of next year. It’ll just be another Asian Cup process. Hopefully, we manage to have a successful tournament during the World Cup and then qualify for the Olympics and have a successful London campaign.


WP: How do you think Australia will go at the World Cup?


SS: It is exciting times and we do have a whole year to prepare and, as I said, you want to get out of your group and equal your last effort. I think we’re capable of doing that and getting a quarterfinal berth and into the semi-finals and finish in the top four.


WP: Has the W-League helped in developing women’s football?


SS: Absolutely. I mean, in any kind of sport, the foundations can sometimes be the most important and I think the W-League, which is in its third year, I think it’s just great that the girls are playing week in and week out and those who aren’t quite in the national team are being exposed to quality football under the watchful eye of the national team coach. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to show what they’ve got.


WP: What would your advice be to budding young Tasmanian female players?


SS: Persevere with training and just enjoy your football. With enjoyment comes your work ethic and your willingness to work hard to succeed. It’s an important stepping stone to create some sort of foundation within yourself, and then, I guess, making the most of opportunities just to travel away. Sometimes it might mean that you’ve actually got to be moving away from your home town, but it’s all worthwhile at the end if that’s what you want to do and if that’s what you enjoy.


WP: Do you like playing in midfield?


SS: I like to play wherever the coach wants me to play. I feel a little lost at the minute in that I don’t actually know my position, but hopefully, I’ll be able to stick it out in the midfield because that’s where I do actually love playing. But, football is football and wherever I am out on the pitch, I’m not really concerned.




Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy Final (KGV Park, Saturday, 21 August 2010)


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South Hobart 2 (A Brennan 4, T Roach 85)

Clarence United 1 (A Barron 64)


HT: 1-0 Att: 400 Ref: K Barker


South Hobart: Kruijver - Pennicott, Ludford, D Brown, Scott - Hickey (Downes 60), Beecroft, Roach, Lo - Kanakaris (Wook Bum Heo 68), Brennan [Substitutes not used: Cooper, Moncur]


Clarence United: Sweeney - Toghill, Cannamela, Parker, McMahon - Barron (Tsakiris 88), Stevens (Malcolm 90), Rees, McIntyre - Cripps (Hunt 46), Huigsloot [Substitute not used: Maxwell]


______________________________


This game could have been over in the first half if South Hobart had taken the excellent chances that came their way.


Andy Brennan put them ahead in the 4th minute with a neat finish from a right-wing cross, but the youngster then missed two clear chances provided by Shae Hickey and Hugh Ludford.


Hickey’s well-timed through-ball put Brennan in with only the goalkeeper to beat, but Cameron Sweeney blocked his shot.


Ludford’s lob into the box found Sweeney caught off his line and, when Brennan lobbed the keeper, the ball bounced just wide of the far post.


Brennan has been the find of the season and his 14 goals have certainly helped South to the title this year. He can be excused for the two misses and must not be disheartened as the goal he did score helped his side to lift the trophy.


Jonathon Lo, the league’s leading marksman with 18 goals, also went close for South as his long-range effort flew just over the bar.


Kostas Kanakaris also had a good chance. He played a one-two with Pennicott and received the return, only to shoot straight at the keeper.


Clarence came out for the second half in determined mood. The injured Luke Cripps had been replaced at half-time by Chris Hunt, who played wide on the left. Andy Barron moved into a central striker’s role and it was game on.


South keeper Sam Kruijver produced a fine save from Barron in the 61st minute, while a minute later, fullback Mattias Toghill shot wide from range.


Clarence’s attacks at this stage were relentless and caused panic in the South defence. In the 65th minute, the South defence was in danger of being over-run and an attempted clearance cannoned off Barron and struck the base of the left-hand post. Barron was the first to reach it and he scored from close range to make it 1-1.


Clarence almost took the lead in the 75th minute, but Nathan Rees’s header following a corner came back off the bar. The ball fell to Luke Huigsloot, who headed it at goal, but it was blocked on the line and all hell broke loose as Clarence players tried to force the ball into the net and South’s players tried to block.


The situation was resolved when Mr Barker blew for a foul on keeper Kruijver.


This was the signal for South to regain the initiative and, with substitutes Wook Bum Heo and Greg Downes full of running, Clarence were now on the back foot. Downes had replaced the injured Hickey, who was brilliant until injuring an ankle in a tackle. One piece of sheer improvisation and skill on the right wing in the first half by Hickey was absolutely sensational as he beat defenders on the proverbial sixpence before passing the ball inside and into the danger zone.


Downes forced Sweeney to make a good save in the 76th minute with a full-blooded shot from an angle on the right.


The winner came in the 85th minute. A cross from the right and deep into the box by Pennicott was not cleared by the Clarence defence and the alert Tom Roach threw himself sideways into the air and volleyed a great shot into the net from 15 metres.


After the presentation of the trophy and winners’ medals to South Hobart, Clarence formed a guard of honour and clapped their opponents off the field in a very sporting gesture. Clarence had relinquished the trophy to a team that has now gone 30 games without defeat.


_______________________________


· South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:


“I thought we made it hard for ourselves because we played ever so well in the first half and could have had three or four goals, but we didn’t put good chances away and we didn’t really turn the screw like we should have done in the first half.


“And, then in the second half, Clarence came out with a good spirit and put us under pressure aerially. They battled away really well and got a goal and that put us under pressure.


“But, I was happy with the last 15 or 20 minutes as we started to play again and when Wook Bum Heo came on we started to get some crosses in and that made the difference.


“A super goal from Roach. Nice reaction in the box.


“I’m very happy. It’s a win for us and it extends our unbeaten run and we’ve won the Lakoseljac Cup final.


“I take a lot of pride in that because I was a friend of Milan and I was one of the instigators in getting the Lakoseljac Cup sponsored, so I’m very happy to win this trophy. It’s a major trophy for us.”









Women’s State-wide Cup Final (KGV Park, Saturday, 21 August 2010)


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Tasmanian Institute of Sport 1 (E Gavalas 35)

Taroona 1 (L Bremner 20)


HT: 1-1 AET: 1-1 Penalty Shoot-out: 4-5 Att: 200 Ref: R McAllister


Tasmanian Institute of Sport: Plummer; Vienna-Hallam, Daley, Stalker, O’Brien, A Ayton, Williams, Gavalas, Foote, Edwards, Cavarretta, Macgregor, Bird, Connolly [Interchange applied]


Taroona: Catheral; Ormandy-Neale, Konings, Manuela, Prescott, Tolman, Cretu, H Ayton, Bremner, Fyfe, Tarbath, Raymond, Collet, Parsell [Interchange applied]


___________________________


The Tasmanian Institute of Sport side refused to be overawed by the older and more experienced Taroona outfit.


Taroona took the lead in the 20th minute when the TIS failed to clear a corner. The ball went back to the corner taker, Lisa Bremner, who gratefully accepted the second chance and hammered it home.


Ten minutes before the interval, TIS equalised. Jessie Williams slipped a perfect pass through for Ellie Gavalas to run on to and she beat the keeper and fired home from an angle on the left.


Williams has similarly fed Gavalas earlier, but the keeper had managed to get to the ball first on that occasion.


TIS took the initiative in the second half and Rani Cavarretta hit a post in the 65th minute.


Six minutes later, they went close again as Georgia Foote fired against the crossbar.


Taroona responded in the 83rd minute when Sarah Cretu’s shot from the right clipped the top of the crossbar.


In extra-time, Adelyn Ayton looked certain to win the match for the TIS, but when put through on the right, she contrived to shoot over the bar.


TIS won the penalty shoot-out 5-4 through successful spot-kicks by Olivia Edwards, Shelbi Vienna-Hallam, Adelyn Ayton, Jessie Williams and Rani Cavarretta. Caitlin Stalker’s spot-kick was saved by Taroona keeper Savannah Catheral.


For Taroona, Kellie Konings, Laura Prescott, Ashlee Tolman and Karina Tarbath netted from their penalties. Sarah Cretu’s effort was saved by TIS keeper Jemma Plummer, but when ordered to re-take it because the keeper had moved early, Cretu blazed wide. When Holly Ayton missed, the TIS were victorious and lifted the trophy.


____________________________


· Tasmanian Institute of Sport coach, Michael Edwards, said:


“Really, really very proud of the girls tonight. We knew we’d get a tough game out of Taroona.


“They’ve had a great year in the league.


“We don’t play 90 minutes of football, so I was really proud the girls were able to run it out and then go to extra-time and still play some reasonable football.


“I think we had our chances to win it. Perhaps our passing wasn’t the best and our finishing wasn’t the best, but I’m really pleased they stood up at the penalty shoot-out and were confident.


“You know, young Caitlin Stalker at 13 to step up and take a penalty in a senior grand final is an amazing thing.


“I’m just so proud of the girls and what they’ve done this evening.”


· Taroona coach, Dirk Gadd, said:


“I’m really proud of the girls and the way they fought it out. It wasn’t going to be as easy for us as I thought.


“I’m just really happy for them. It’s a bad way to go out, but I can’t be happier.”








Photos (Top to Bottom): Kingborough Lions United's starting XI against the TIS; Kingborough's Iwao Shimizu gets a pass away in midfield; Kingborough's Peter While passes back to Travers Wailes (No. 7); The TIS's second goal; TIS midfielder Declan Foley takes on Kingborough's Iwao Shimizu; Kingborough's Iwao Shimizu starts a Kingborough attack; Jamie De Smit hammers home the TIS's third goal [PlessPix]

Premier Reserve League (KGV Park, Saturday, 21 August 2010)


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Tasmanian Institute of Sport 4 (J De Smit 19, 44, D Foley 25, J Walker 80)

Kingborough Lions United 1 (T Wailes 71)


HT: 3-0 Att: 100 Ref: P Galloway


Tasmanian Institute of Sport: Prendergast - McClung, Hill, Abbott, Mearns - De Smit (Devine 76), Ince, D Foley - Walker, H Foley, Hamilton


Kingborough Lions United: Leamey - T Wailes, Polmear, Lucas (L Brown 46), Laning Davis 62) - G Wailes, Shimizu (Watkins 62), While, R Hinkley, J Brown - Hughes


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Tasmanian Institute of Sport goalkeeper Tristan Prendergast did not have a thing to do in the first half of this match as Kingborough Lions United struggled to launch a meaningful attack.


TIS dominated possession and switched play constantly, which stretched the Lions’ defence and had all their opponents on the back foot.


Kingborough were forced to play the ball backwards and their players were instantly under pressure whenever they did receive a pass.


It could have been more than 3-0 at half-time as Jamie De Smit and Hugh Foley also had shots that hit both posts in quick succession.


De Smit put the TIS ahead in the 19th minute, while Declan Foley added the second 6 minutes later after crosses from the flanks put the Lions defence in all sorts of trouble.


Sam Hamilton, who switched wings effectively, caused panic in the Lions rearguard with his pace and accurate crosses.


Kingborough’s failure to clear a corner gave the TIS their third goal in the 44th minute, De Smit smashing the ball home from the left of the box through a crowd of Lions defenders.


Kingborough pulled a goal back in the 71st minute when Gavin Wailes’s volley came back off the crossbar and his brother, Travers, headed home.


Jeremy Walker chipped Kingborough keeper David Leamey 10 minutes from the end to complete the win.


The teams meet again at KGV Park on Wednesday at 6.30pm and we will see if the Lions have learned from their experience.


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· Kingborough Lions United coach, Warren Iles, said:


“They’re a hard team to play. They keep the ball very well and they move it quickly. They’re very fit and very talented.


“We shot ourselves in the foot a few times in the first half with a couple of defensive lapses and we paid for it.


“Conceding the third right before half-time put a dent in us.


“Our second half was a lot better.


“Liam Brown made a big difference when he came on, and certainly up front. He missed training during the week, which is why he was on the bench. He certainly made a big difference.


“So, now we’ve got to back up and play them again on Wednesday night, but it’s also good to give a couple of our under-19s a run, and we’ll give a couple more a run on Wednesday night, I think. They didn’t look out of place at all, which was good to see.”