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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The holders of the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy, Clarence United, will meet Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League champions, South Hobart, in this year’s final of this state-wide competition.

Clarence made it two successive appearances in the final when they scored a late penalty to down Burnie United 4-3 away at Montello.

In the other semi-final, South Hobart beat New Town Eagles 2-1 away at Clare Street.

Clarence led 3-0 after just a quarter of an hour, but Burnie pulled a goal back through Chris Smith before the break.

Goals for the home side by Kayron Johnson and Mark Ambrose made it 3-3 near the end, but a late disputed penalty converted by Ben Hamlett gave the southerners and cup-holders the win and a ticket into the final.

New Town Eagles shocked South Hobart by taking a 4th-minute lead. Ben Whitehall’s excellent cross from the right found Alex Leszczynski at the far post and he kept the ball in play and headed it back across goal, where Adam McKeown nodded it home at the other post.

South were level within two minutes when poor defending by Eagles failed to cut out Liam Scott’s deep cross from the left and Jonathon Lo was unmarked as he headed the ball into the net from 12 metres.

South Hobart goalkeeper Sam Kruijver produced a marvellous save from Simon Strang in the 10th minute, but as the ball fell to McKeown, a desperate tackle by Daniel Brown prevented the Eagles striker from scoring.

In the 15th minute, Eagles again went close when Whitehall’s corner from the right found Strand on the far side of the box, but his shot across the face of goal went centimetres wide of the far post.

Eagles’ Michael Anderson received a yellow card from referee Ivan Jozeljic after just 17 minutes after an overly boisterous tackle.

South squandered a good chance in the 28th minute when Eagles goalkeeper Nathan Pitchford failed to deal with a Shae Hickey cross from the right. Under pressure from Lo, Pitchford could not gain possession, but when the ball fell to Kostas Kanakaris, he blazed over an open goal.

South were denied in stoppage time when Andrew Clark cleared off the line after a superb counter-attack by the visitors.

Strang gave the ball away needlessly in midfield and a fine passage of play involving Andy Brennan, Hickey and Lo almost resulted in a South Hobart goal.

South Hobart gradually got the measure of Eagles in the second half and learned to deal with the home-side’s long-ball style of play.

Ten minutes after the resumption, a fumble by Pitchford following a low cross from the left by Kanakaris almost allowed Lo in, but the keeper recovered and managed to propel the ball clear of danger with his fist.

South’s winner came in the 78th minute after Whitehall conceded a free-kick by fouling Scott wide on South’s left flank.

Scott floated the ball towards the far post, where Kanakaris materialised and was untroubled in shooting past Pitchford.

Eagles had to make a couple of last-minute changes to their line-up in this game and this may have unsettled them.

Midfielder Blayne Hudson was dropped from the side in the dressing rooms after a difference of opinion with coach George Krambousanos, while defender Shane Kent was a last-minute inclusion after earlier being told he was suspended because he had accumulated five yellow cards.

Eagles claimed that they had not been given the required three days’ notice by FFT of Kent’s suspension and so he played.

Milan Lakoseljac Memorial trophy Semi-Finals

New Town Eagles 1 (A McKeown 4) lost to South Hobart 2 (J Lo 6, K Kanakaris 78)

Burnie United 3 (C Smith, K Johnson, M Ambrose) lost to Clarence United 4 (B Hamlett 2 (1 pen), ?, ?)

Women's Statewide Cup

Taroona 5-2 Ulverstone

Launceston City 2-5 TIS/FFT

In latest news in regard to the semi-finals of the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy competition today, Burnie United will play the same line-up they have used for the past six or seven weeks when they entertain Clarence United at Montello this afternoon.

The line-up is: Brad Ryan, Adrian Scolyer, Peter Van Ek, Michael Woolfert, Kaymen Johnson, Kyrone Johnson, Mark Ambrose, Jeremy De Bomford, Chris Smith, Sam Cocks, Astyn Johnson (Subs: Ben Agar, Shaun Arnol, Tyler Johnstone, A J Johnstone).

“I think we’ve got a chance,” said Burnie player-coach, Sam Cocks. “We’re six from our last seven, so the boys are in high spirits after our mid-season slump.

“At home, we’ve always got the advantage.

“Clarence are in the same sort of position as us. They’re seven and six, sort of, but we’re full of confidence and looking forward to having a shot at this final in a couple of months.

“Riverside beat us 2-0 last time and then to go and beat the same side 5-1 last weekend with the same squad has given us confidence. It’s totally boosted the confidence in the camp.

“It’s actually pleasing to get a few wins again.”

Meanwhile, New Town Eagles will be without Shane Kent for their semi-final against South Hobart at Clare Street today.

Kent had been included in the line-up as a defender but the club has been informed that Kent is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards.

Coach George Krambousanos said he thought Kent had served his suspension but this was not the case and he would now have to re-jig his line-up.

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Saturday will be a big day for four of Tasmania’s Premier League clubs.

The semi-finals of the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy pits league champions South Hobart against fifth-placed New Town Eagles at Clare Street at 2pm, while in the north, third-placed Burnie United host fourth-placed southerners Clarence United at Montello at 2pm.

These will be big occasions for Eagles and Burnie United, in particular, both of who are on the verge of their greatest success in recent years. A win will give them a chance of picking up some scarce silverware.

It will be a notable day for South Hobart and Clarence, too.

South are in line for a clean sweep of trophies, while Clarence are in with a chance of repeating their successes of last season when they came from fourth spot to take out the State-wide Cup and the State premiership.

If they can beat Burnie, it could be a case of déjà vu for the Eastern Shore outfit.

South Hobart will field their strongest eleven and the away venue should not trouble them too much.

“Our side will consist of the 12 players I nominated for the State squad, together with Mark Moncur, Wok Bum Heo and Cam Williams,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton.

“The team is playing consistent football and, because it’s a knock-out, I think we’ll be ready and up for the game.

“We have to go in and win it if we are to be in the final so I think the players will be focussed on doing that.

“We are well aware of White Eagles, who have been playing well lately. We’re well aware of their strengths and we need to work towards combating their strengths as much as we possibly can and play to our strengths, which is keeping the ball better.

“The pitch is the same for both sides, but they may handle it better than us because they sue the long ball better than us, but when you’re kicking uphill, over the half-way line it’s all football pitch and there’s no cricket wicket there, so we’ve got to capitalise on that.

“It’ll be two footballing sides, both playing with a lot of confidence and not afraid to have a go. We’re obviously the league champions and we’re been playing well all year, so we’ve just got to get our act together for the final stages.

“I’ve told the players we’ve still got a long journey. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got a long journey to go. It’s only a semi-final and then you’ve got three league games and the top-four after that.”

Eagles will be without midfielder Blayne Hudson, who has conjunctivitis.

The line-up is likely to be: Nathan Pitchford - Andy Clark, Shane Kent, Michael Anderson, Chris Wass - Ben Whitehall, Ethan Menzie, Mark Page - Jake Clamp, Alex Leszczynski, Adam McKeown.

“The players are hungry for this as they’ve never won silverware as a team before,” said Eagles coach. George Krambousanos.

“We’re having a light lunch at the club rooms at 11.30 and then walking to the ground as a group just to relax.”

Burnie will have to be at their best to stop the visiting Clarence United, despite the fact the southerners have drawn their past two games.

Clarence will have visions of repeating last year’s fantastic finish to the season and will be inspired by the possibility of a repeat.

Burnie scored an impressive 5-1 win over Riverside Olympic last weekend and, with Chris Smith and Jeremy De Bomford in scoring form, the home side should give a good account of themselves.