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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Wellington Phoenix moved up a place to fourth spot on the A-League ladder with a 3-0 win over second-last North Queensland Fury at WestPac Stadium in Wellington this evening.


The match was played in Antarctic-type conditions. It is mid-summer in the southern hemisphere, but the temperature in Wellington was in single digits and the stadium was lashed by driving rain driven by gale-force winds.


There were 7,727 fans in attendance and, 10 minutes from the end, a group of ‘Yellow Fever’ home fans performed their usual ritual when their team is winning near the end - they stripped off to the waist and waved their scarves and chanted in support of their team.


Fury had the better of the first-half chances, with Robbie Fowler shooting into the side-netting in the 3rd minute and Dryon Daal having a shot saved by Liam Reddy in the 6th minute.


After the goalless opening half, Wellington took the lead in the 47th minute with a Eugene Dadi header following a corner.


Dadi later had to be substituted after suffering a bad head wound that bled profusely.


Paul Ifill made it 2-0 in the 78th minute when he cut in from the left and scored with a right-footed shot from the edge of the box.


Jon McKain completed the scoring in the 90th minute with a fine header from a deep right-wing cross after a corner.








South Melbourne beat South Hobart 4-1 this evening in the Tasmanians’ first game against the Victorian giants at Bob Jane Stadium.


South Melbourne fielded what was probably an under-20 team, with three or four over-age players.


South Hobart fielded a youth side in the first half and trailed 2-0 at the interval.


They brought on some senior players for the second half and Andy King managed to pull a goal back for the visitors, but the home side scored twice more.


Kostas Kanakaris also should have done better with a couple of chances that came his way.


Ken Morton was pleased with South’s performance and said that sloppy defending cost them at least a couple of goals.


The senior sides will meet on Saturday in the second and final game of the tour.


*****


Senior coach Romeo Frediani and several senior players were missing from Tilford Zebras’ training session at Queens Walk this evening.


Frediani is in Sydney for a Futsal tournament.


In his absence, Rodney Bones took the session, while Dale Itchins and Nick Di Martino were also in attendance.


New goalkeeper Jason Voss was going through his paces with last year’s first-choice keeper Troy Kaden and another young keeper.








Malaysian side Sarawak toured Tasmania in 1997 and played four matches here - two in Hobart, one in Launceston and one in Devonport.


In the first game of the four-match tour, played at KGV park on 14 March 1997, Southern Tasmania beat Sarawak 2-1 after trailing 1-0 at the interval.


An own-goal by McNeill in the 33rd minute gave the visitors the lead, the ball leaving goalkeeper Matthew Rhodes helpless after the defender found the net while trying to clear a corner.


Rhodes was injured early in the second half and was replaced by Neil Connell.


Colin Shepherd, who was at the peak of his powers that year, equalised for Tasmania in the 58th minute after a fine build-up by Adrian Mann, Craig Nichols and Andrew Leszczynski.


Leszczynski hit the winner for Southern Tasmania three minutes from the end.


Two days later, the sides met again at KGV Park and this time Sarawak won 3-2 after leading 1-0 at half-time.


This was a fine Southern Tasmanian outfit with players such as David Stoddart, Brett Pullen, Shepherd, the Leszczynski brothers, Adrian Mann, Mark Falzon, Craig Pitt and Nick Anis.


Sarawak led 3-0 with 10 minutes remaining, but two goals in three minutes by Shepherd made the final score-line quite respectable.


Shepherd’s first came in the 82nd minute from a deft touch after Anis’s cross, while his second, in the 85th minute, was a header from Stoddart’s free-kick.


Northern Tasmania drew 1-1 with Sarawak in Launceston, David Hill putting the Tasmanians ahead on the half-hour from a pass by Roger Mies, and Alistair Edwards equalising 20 minutes from the end.


Sarawak beat North-West Tasmania 4-1 in Devonport in the final tour match.


John Compagne netted for North-West Tasmania after a corner, while Alistair Edwards hit a hat-trick for the Malaysian side, whose other goal came from Shamsurin Abdul Rahman.


Les Bee, who was back in Hobart last weekend conducting coaching courses, was the coach of the Tasmanian sides, while Alan Vest, one of the big names in Australian and South-East Asian coaching circles, was in charge of Sarawak.


Vest was with Sarawak from 1990 to 1998.


Sarawak had been relegated in 1989 but Vest took them to promotion in his first year.


They won the Malaysian FA Cup in his second year and were in the top two or three teams during the rest of Vest’s tenure.


Sarawak were the Malaysian league champions when they toured here, so Vest’s tenure was a hugely successful period in the club’s history.


Vest, who now lives in Perth, goes back to Sarawak three times a year conducting coaching courses and working with the under-21s for the Ministry of Sport.


I spoke to Vest today and he said that Sarawak used to regularly draw crowds of 40,000 and more, but they finished second-last in the second division last year and crowds are down to the hundreds.


Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Tasmania’s three regions played against top touring sides nowadays.

Gold Coast United moved from third to second on the A-League ladder tonight after beating fourth-ranked Newcastle Jets 2-0 at Skilled Park.


Melbourne Victory, who had been second, dropped to third, while Gold Coast are now just 2 points adrift of leaders Sydney FC.


A free-kick in the 33rd minute after Song’s foul on Anderson resulted in the first goal, Jason Culina curling the set-piece from wide on the left beyond goalkeeper Neil Young and inside the far corner.


Young should have done better, but he may well have been concussed at that stage. He certainly had a bleeding and broken nose after Shane Smeltz kicked him in the face earlier in the match while lunging for a through-ball.


James Brown made it 2-0 from Culina’s pass in the 38th minute.


A disappointing crowd of 4,853 was in attendance.


Gold Coast meet Sydney FC on the weekend.