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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Premier League Section Summer Cup (Group A, South Hobart, Saturday, 20 February 2010)


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Olympia Warriors 0

South Hobart 4 (Kanakaris 19, Scott 26, Lo 32, 37)


HT: 0-2 Att: 150 Ref: C Phillips


Olympia: Nester - Lebski, P Tsakiris, Percy, Hey - Smith-Richardson, Phillips, Mason, McCallum - Kunwar, Meredith [Interchange: Wiggins, Richardson, E Tsakiris, Farrugia] [Coach: Chris Hey]


South Hobart: Kruijver - Downes, D Brown, Ludford, Scott - Beecroft, Pennicott, Ladic, Hickey - Kanakaris, Lo [Interchange: M Brown, King, D Cooper, Upton] [Coach: Ken Morton]


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Hobart Olympic's change of name to the original Olympia this year was accompanied by a change of emblem to that of a Greek warrior's helmet and much talk about the fighting spirit of the ancient Greeks.


Well, on Saturday at South Hobart, Olympia Warriors really were like the Spartans at Thermopylae in 480BC.


They initially held out the South Hobart attacks bravely, but they then went behind to a goal from one of their own - the Spartans, too, were betrayed by a Greek helping the Persians, who showed the enemy another entrance to the pass - before eventually being overwhelmed and succumbing to superior forces.


By the time Kostas Kanakaris - ironically a Greek, who once played with Olympia - had breached Olympia’s defences, it was only a matter of time before the Warriors capitulated.


South added another goal before the interval and then two more in the second half to run out easy 4-0 winners.


Kanakaris hit the opener in the 19th minute from the right-hand side of the box, while the marauding fullback Liam Scott added the second seven minutes later when Olympia’s keeper, Dmitri Nester, cannoned a clearance off the youngster and the ball ricocheted into the net to make it 2-0.


South played cleverly, with accurate passing, rapid movement and interchange of positions, while Olympia tried to use the long ball out of defence, but to little effect.


South went 3-0 up just two minutes after the break when Scott’s low cross from the left was deftly flicked over the goalkeeper by Jonathon Lo, who has returned to the club after a year in the north-west with Somerset.


South’s fourth goal exemplified all that was good in their play.


The move was started in defence by Scott, who put Kanakaris away down the left. His low cross eluded everyone but Lo, who scored easily from close range.


The win made it six points from two outings for South Hobart, who are top of Group A and a hot favourite to reach the final.


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· Olympia Warriors coach, Chris Hey, said:


I thought in the first fifteen we started off well and kept possession of the ball, but I didn’t think we pushed our back-line up and allowed them to come to us.


“We talked about their ability to play the diagonal ball, but they were still very effective. We just couldn’t combat them today.


“I was disappointed we didn’t hold our different lines of defence and with some of our decision making, where we had the opportunity to hold on to the ball and yet we played those early balls. Whether we panicked or whether it’s just where we are in the season compared to them, I don’t know.


“It’s still encouraging. I mean, we’re a work in progress, I suppose. I always said we were going to be slow starters. But, there are some encouraging signs.


“I thought Emmauel Tsakiris did well in parts and I thought Benjamin Phillips was excellent in the centre of midfield. He’s a really good pick-up for us. It’s good to see someone so young wearing the captain’s armband today in place of Hugh Richardson, who wasn’t going to play because of a virus.


“Ben Phillips stepped up to the mark today and I think showed a lot of people that he’s going to be a top player in Tassie football for years to come.”


· South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:


“It was comfortable in the end. We played some good football today.


“Whereas in some other games we may not have taken the chances, today we took the chances.


“I’m very happy with the way the boys have committed themselves and doubling up again tomorrow is not easy, but they’re doing very well at the moment.”












Tilford Zebras kept alive their hopes of reaching a fourth successive Summer Cup final when they beat New Town Eagles 2-0 at South Hobart today.


But, it will be a tough assignment and not entirely dependent on their own results.


Zebras are in second place in Group A, three points adrift of leader South Hobart.


For Zebras to reach the final, they must beat Olympia next weekend and hope that South Hobart lose to New Town Eagles.


This is just the way in which Zebras sneaked through the back door last year to reach the final, but it seems most unlikely this season.


South Hobart will need just a point against Eagles to reach the final and they should, on current form, be more than capable of achieving this.


They have yet to concede a goal in this tournament and have two wins from two outings, while today they also competed in the northern Steve Hudson Cup and, despite falling behind to an early goal, eventually triumphed 7-3 against Western Knights.


Ricky Self fired Zebras ahead against Eagles today in the 7th minute when he shrugged off a challenge by Michael Anderson before shooting past Craig Minty from 25 metres.


Luke Engels had gone close for Zebras in the 4th minute, but Eagles should have taken the lead a minute later when Adam McKeown released Jamie Vernon on the left of the box.


Vernon advanced on goal, but his chest-high shot aimed inside the far post lacked power and was at just the right height for Jason Voss to make a comfortable save.


Zebras were well in control and were prepared to shoot from range, while Eagles relied on the counter-attack, but these usually petered out before becoming dangerous.


Eagles did have the ball in the net early in the second half after good work by Anderson and McKeown, but the effort was ruled off-side.


It took Zebras until the final minute to make the game safe. Matt Hall’s shot was parried by Minty, and Dwayne Walsh swept home the rebound to make it 2-0.


Glenorchy Knights beat Clarence United 1-0 in the Group B game today, taking them to the top of the group with a maximum of six points.


It was a dour, physical game which was settled midway through the second half when Alex Holmes headed home Josh Fielding’s corner.


Knights had other chances through Corey Smith, Will Roberts, Holmes and Andrew Robb, while Clarence did not once test their former keeper, Alex Tatnell, in the Knights goal.


Knights need just a draw next weekend against Kingborough Lions United to reach the final.


Should they lose, Kingborough or Clarence will make the final, providing Clarence can overcome bottom-side Taroona.


In the Division One section of the Summer Cup, Metro beat Nelson Eastern Suburbs 5-1 after leading 3-0 at the interval.


Adam Mills netted for Nelson.


"It was an ordinary effort from us," said Nelson coach, Michael Roach.


"It was a better second half, but Metro were the better team on the day and deserved to win."


The Tasmanian Institute of Sport beat Huon Valley 10-0 in the other match at North Chigwell.


Brady Cronk scored four goals, Hugh Foley grabbed a hat-trick, and Declan Foley, Nick Mearns and Jesse Curran each netted one goal apiece.


"With several senior players out with injury, this was a good opportunity for some of the younger players to step up and perform, and that is exactly what they did," said TIS head coach, Dean May.


"Huon Valley should be commended for their effort to continue to play football despite the result."


Tom Roach scored twice as South Hobart downed Western Knights 7-3 in the Steve Hudson Cup in Launceston.


Jim Pennicott, Shae Hickey, Jonathon Lo, Greg Downes and Liam Scott all grabbed a goal apiece.


Taroona succumbed 3-2 to Ulverstone.


In other results, Roverside Olympic beat Launceston City 3-1 and Northern Rangers finally came good with a 5-0 win over Launceston United.







Premier League Section Summer Cup


Group A


Tilford Zebras 2 (Self 7, Walsh 60) b New Town Eagles 0


Group B


Glenorchy Knights 1 (Holmes 45) b Clarence United 0


Premier League Reserves


Group A


Tilford Zebras 3 (R Lapolla 2, D Lapolla) b New Town Eagles 1 (K Lebski)


Group B


Glenorchy Knights 1 (Barabara) b Clarence United 0


Division One Summer Cup


Group A


Metro 5-1 Nelson Eastern Suburbs


Men’s Division Two Social Summer Cup


New Town Eagles White 3 (Ketchell, Leszczynski, Shackcloth) b Hobart United 0


Steve Hudson Cup


South Hobart 7-3 Western Knights


Ulverstone 3-2 Taroona


North-West Summer Cup


Somerset 4-1 Burnie


Devonport City 9-2 Ulverstone


A-League Semi-finals


Wellington Phoenix 1-1 Perth Glory

(Wellington Phoenix won penalty shoot-out 4-2)

Newcastle Jets eliminated Gold Coast United from the A-League finals series on Saturday night.


The match, played at Skilled Park on the Gold Coast, ended goalless after extra-time and the Jets won the penalty shoot-out 6-5.


A brilliant display of goalkeeping by the Jets’ Ben Kennedy kept Gold Coast at bay.


Kennedy denied Shane Smeltz four times, and also saved from Joel Porter, Jason Culina and Anderson.


Porter also headed a good chance wide, while Smeltz was centimetres off target with another effort.


Newcastle had their chances, too, with Gold Coast keeper Jess Vanstrattan foiling Matt Thompson, Jobe Wheelhouse and Kaz Patafta.


Nikolai Topor-Stanley saved the day for Newcastle on one occasion when he headed off the line as Porter looked certain to score.


Song Jin-Hyung flashed a shot just wide of the Gold Coast net late in the first half.


In the penalty shoot-out, Newcastle scored through Tarek Elrich, Sasho Petrovski, Patafta, Thompson, Ljubo Milicevic and Topor-Stanley, while Song shot over the bar.


For Gold Coast, Culina, Dino Dulbic, Michael Thwaite, Anderson and Smeltz netted, while Kristian Rees blazed over the bar and Zenon Caravella had his effort turned against the post by Kennedy.


The attendance of 4,109 was the lowest ever in the A-League finals series.