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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The match-of-the-round in Division One this weekend is at Sandown Park on Sunday when leaders Beachside host second-placed University.


Eight points separate the sides, so even a University win will do little to dent the title aspirations of Beachside.


University are starting to strike form, but it may be too late.


Beachside will include Ben Davis, Adam McGuire, Jason Harvey and David Chadwick in the squad after last week’s victory against DOSA.


“All of our players are looking forward to the challenge of playing University,” said Beachside player-coach, Nathan Robinson.


“Kevan Wright has them playing well and, in the last month, they have travelled to Metro and North Warrane scoring decisive victories.


“We know this will be a difficult game as they have established premier league players in their team.


“It should be a terrific contest and a test of our unbeaten home record.”


Saturday will see a bottom-of-the-table encounter at the Showgrounds when last-placed DOSA take on second-last FFT Under-15s, who have a 3-point lead over DOSA.


“It will be an interesting game,” said DOSA coach, Pedro Ramirez. “I rate the FFT Under-15s as being capable of playing a good game.


“It will be a game of psychological strength for us as we have been playing good football at times, but our problem has been consistency over 90 minutes.


“I have selected two or three older players for this game to give us the best opportunity of making a win.


“I am positive the team will play well together once they mature with the game structure I am trying to implement at the club.


“Patience is a must with a very young side at DOSA. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain out of this game, so we will go for a win.”


Third-placed Nelson Eastern Suburbs host fourth-ranked Metro at North Warrane on Saturday in a game that is important to both sides.


The winner can close the gap on the leading pair, so there is a lot riding on the outcome.


Nelson will be without midfielder Cody Flynn, who is unavailable. Midfielder Pat Lenck is on holiday and will be another absentee.


Cameron Rush has work commitments and Craig Stockdale is injured.


Recent signing Elliott Weitnauer will make his senior debut after coming up through Division 3 and the reserves.


Striker Tom Gordon, who withdrew from the squad last week at the last minute due to illness, will play, while Troy Hoppitt and Nick Roberts retain their places in the starting eleven.


Under-19 defenders and midfielders Ollie Ireland and Max Caulfield are on the bench again, as are reserve keeper Ollie Burdon and midfielder-cum-forward Richard Flood.


The remaining match of the round is at Pontville on Saturday when fifth-placed Hobart United entertain sixth-ranked Southern FC.


Hobart United should win this one at a canter.






South Hobart coach Ken Morton expects a hard, physical clash against Clarence United at South Hobart on Saturday at 2.30pm.


The reigning champions are almost assured of retaining their title and so the outcome of the match against fourth-placed Clarence is not all that important in terms of points.


Psychologically, the outcome is important for both sides. South Hobart want to keep their momentum going as they have not lost a game so far, while Clarence want to consolidate their place in the top-four. Last season, they came from fourth to win the State title and they also picked up the Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy.


South Hobart will probably play their highly-rated Korean, Kwun-Jun, who has returned after a trial with Gold Coast United.


He may play at centre-back if Hugh Ludford has not recovered from a stomach bug. If Ludford is fit, the Korean is likely to play in central midfield.


Striker Kostas Kanakaris has trained twice this week after a back injury restricted his participation in training and games in recent weeks and he may start in place of precocious youngster Andy Brennan. Morton is keen not to burn out Brennan, who has made a real name for himself with his goalscoring feats since being elevated to the senior side.


“We’re expecting a physical confrontation,’ said Morton. ‘We need to work extremely hard at getting the ball down and passing it through them and around them and trying to exploit space.


“We are expecting them to come at us strongly, with early balls in to Cripps and Hamlett, who has been looking very, very sharp. We’ll need to combat them in midfield and up top and try and exploit them in other areas and see if we can get the breakthrough we need.


“It’ll be a tough game, that’s for sure.”


New Town Eagles coach George Krambousanos must be pulling his hair out as a continuing run of injuries limits his team selection.


Third-last Eagles are away to second-placed Tilford Zebras at KGV Park at 6.30pm on Saturday and will be without captain and central defender Chris Wass yet again. He is still injured and may be three or four weeks away from a comeback.


Defender Andrew Clark and midfielder Ethan Menzie have exams and are also likely to miss this match, while midfielder Jamie Vernon has work commitments.


Midfielder Simon Strang is injured and has only a 50/50 chance of starting, while Mark Page tried to train on Thursday night but is clearly not recovered from a leg injury and may be out for another two weeks.


Josh Quan will start, while Shane Kent is also a likely inclusion. Striker Adam McKeown has exams but should be available.


Krambousanos said his players had trained well on Tuesday and Thursday and that he may try a radical new formation. If it does not work, he would return to the normal 4-4-2.


“We will come up with a formation that has not been seen before in Hobart because I need to do something to make the most of the players I have at my disposal,” said Krambousanos.


“We had a training session where we went through it and we also had a blackboard session. I just hope they can do it. If not, we’ll go back to our normal 4-4-2.”


Zebras should be at full strength, but they will need to play better than they did in drawing 1-1 with Glenorchy Knights last Friday night.


Third-placed Glenorchy Knights face a danger game against last-placed Olympia Warriors at KGV Park at 8pm on Friday.


Olympia must surely gain their first win soon and Knights coach Nick Harrison said last week that this game could be a ‘banana skin’ for his side.


Olympia had Kingborough Lions United just where they wanted them last week when the Lions were reduced to ten men, but they failed to finish them off.


They will need to be much more clinical in their finishing to dispose of the Knights, who may well bounce back as they are desperate to get a win after six games without picking up a three-pointer.


Fifth-placed Kingborough Lions United will be without suspended midfielder Brett Andrews when they host seventh-ranked Taroona at Lightwood Park at 2.30pm on Saturday.


Home-ground advantage may just tip the scales in Kingborough’s favour.




Tasmanian A-League fans will at last be able to see a pre-season friendly not involving Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United, who have met in this annual fixture for the past four years.


This year’s pre-season game at Launceston’s Aurora Stadium will be on Sunday, 25 July, and it will feature the Central Coast Mariners against Melbourne Victory.


The Mariners’ assistant coach is Tony Walmsley, who began his coaching career with Launceston City.


Walmsely’s father still lives in Launceston and father and son will be looking forward to catching up.


The change of opponents should lead to a bumper attendance straight after the World Cup.


Six thousand fans showed up last season, but after watching the cream of the world’s teams on TV in the World Cup, fans will be keen to see some live action involving the two A-League sides.


The game kicks off at 1pm.


*****


Football Federation Tasmania’s interim CEO, John Boulos, has issued guidelines to all clubs about the treatment of referees by players, club officials and coaching staff following a reported increase in incidents involving intimidation and abuse of match officials.


In his letter to clubs, Boulos reminds them of Football Federation Australia’s Code of Conduct, which specifically prohibits intimidation of match officials by derogatory or abusive words or gestures.


“For the betterment of football in Tasmania, we suggest that each club forward this letter to all your club officials, coaching staff and players and take the opportunity to address these people and make them aware of our expectations in relation to adhering to the Code of Conduct set out by Football Federation Australia,” Boulos wrote.


“Future reported incidents of intimidation and abuse against match officials will not be dealt with lightly and we ask that each club provides this warning to all club officials, coaching staff and players.


“It is our expectation that these people, put into these positions by your club, set the standard of good behaviour for the crowd to follow.


“The following guidelines will come into force immediately:


· Team officials, players and spectators are not to enter the referees’ change rooms unless invited to do so by the referee


· Intimidatory language and behaviour towards referees will not be tolerated. Offenders will be sanctioned according to the competition rules.


· Players may not touch the referee during the course of a match. Players touching a referee, other than in a clear accident, will be sent from the field of play and deemed to be guilty of using insulting or abusive gestures.


· Match managers are required to assist match officials. This includes escorting the match officials to and from the field of play and ensuring their safety in the event of crowd violence and intimidation.


· Match managers and club officials should be proactive in addressing any spectator abuse or intimidation of match officials.


“These guidelines will apply to all levels of competition under the control of Football Federation Tasmania and all clubs are asked to communicate this message to club officials, coaching staff and players.


“We look forward to working together to ensure reported incidents of intimidation and abuse directed towards match officials by club officials, coaching staff and players cease immediately.”


*****


South Hobart’s Brazilian youngster Mizael Linhares Caires is back in Tasmania, with a proper visa this time.


Mizael played for South Hobart’s reserves in the Summer Cup, but visa and clearance problems meant he had to leave Australia early in the league season.


I spoke to Mizael on the weekend and he is delighted to be back, but was non-committal in regard to which club he will play for.


I also spoke to Seth Otte about his future at South Hobart and he, too, was non-committal.


Otte is obviously keen to play first-team football and realises this will be difficult at South Hobart.


He had been away at a school wilderness experience camp and came back on Saturday and played in South Hobart’s reserves despite not having trained for more than a week.


He has been linked to the Glenorchy Knights, but he will surely be hard-pressed to earn a first-team place there, despite his considerable abilities.


Meanwhile, the South Korean player who had trials with Gold Coast United last week is set to return to South Hobart this weekend and may well make an appearance for the seniors against Clarence United.


He impressed Miron Bleiberg, coach of Gold Coast United, but they have a full squad at the moment.


There was talk of being ‘farmed’ out to a State League club for a while, but that has not eventuated.















Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League (South Hobart, Sunday, 6 June 2010)


____________________________________________________


Olympia Warriors 1 (B Phillips 9)

Kingborough Lions United 1 (M Marchioli 43)


HT: 1-1 Att: 100 Ref: S Collins


Olympia Warriors: Nester - J Hey (Howell 69), Mohamad, A Hedge, Wakefield (Richardson 50) - Phillips, Mason, Tracy, Nandan - Cronk, Grillas [Substitutes not used: Undy, Kay] [Coach: Chris Hey]


Kingborough Lions United: Leamey - Brown, Davies, Iseli, R Hinkley - McDonald, Andrews, T Pearce, Marchioli - Bremner, Greg Freeman (Schuth 87) [Substitutes not used: D Pearce, Chas Hughes, Colin Hughes] [Coach: Geoff Freeman]


______________________________________________________


There did not seem all that much difference between these sides, even though Olympia are last and Kingborough were fourth at the start of the match. Eleven points separated the teams, but it wasn’t showing.


Kingborough might have scored a couple of goals early on, but weak finishing saved Olympia as Tom McDonald and Marcus Bremner failed to make the most of good service from Greg Freeman.


Having spurned these chances, it was no surprise that Olympia took the lead when it was their turn to attack. In the 9th minute, an outside-of-the-foot pass from Mark Wakefield found Brady Cronk, who cut the ball back for Ben Phillips, who was untroubled in firing home from 12 metres.


Olympia might have added a second goal in the 23rd minute after a poor attempt at a clearance by Kingborough goalkeeper David Leamey, but Lee Mason’s shot was blocked.


Six minutes later, Marcello Marchioli fired over the Olympia bar from range as both sides took it in turn to attack.


Olympia goalkeeper Dmitri Nester saved his side’s bacon in the 32nd minute when he produced a brilliant save from McDonald’s header after a right-wing cross by Bremner.


Kingborough’s persistence paid dividends two minutes before the interval when McDonald went on a long run down the left flank. His speed and clever control enabled him to race past three opponents on the way before delivering the ball into the middle, where Greg Freeman was bundled off the ball and had a legitimate claim for a penalty. But, fortunately for the Lions, the ball ran loose to Marchioli, who stabbed it into the net to make it 1-1.


Kingborough were desperately unlucky two minutes after the resumption. Trent Pearce knocked a good free-kick into the box and Marc Iseli’s header came back into play off the under-side of the bar.


In the 64th minute came another one of those well-worked free-kicks that are Kingborough’s speciality (they work on them at training). Trent Pearce took it from the left this time and there was Iseli again, but this time he volleyed over the bar from inside the 6-yard box. It was a terrible miss.


With 15 minutes to go, Kingborough were stunned at the dismissal of key midfielder Brett Andrews. Earlier in the game, Andrews had yelled out an expletive which could be heard all over the ground and no action was taken by the officials. This time, the assistant referee called the referee over and, after a brief chat, Andrews was shown the red card for using offensive language.


Kingborough were also disappointed at two off-side decisions in the second half. Both times the flag went up incorrectly under the new interpretation of the off-side law because the player in an-off-side position made no attempt to chase the ball or interfere with play. He was not even near the ball. Yet, when a player on the flank arrived from deep and chased the ball, up went the flag.


Despite being a man down, Olympia could not take advantage of the situation and the agme petered out into a draw.


_______________________________________________________


· Olympia Warriors coach, Chris Hey, said:


“Once again, I went into the change room at half time and talked about that 30 to 35-minute period again. It seems to be the situation with us all year. We played good football and I thought we dominated and I thought we were well in control and then, for whatever reason, we start to panic, we don’t look for players’ feet, we overdo the ball in terms of the amount of touches we have, and they got back into the game.


“Someone called out to me there were five minutes to go and I thought, ‘I hope it’s a quick five minutes because they’re going to score’, and they did.


“In the second half there, obviously, towards the end there, we dominated. They were one [player] down. I don’t know what the send-off was for, to be quite honest. We dominated that period of time.


‘When we’re a man up, we’ve got to be disciplined in what we do. I don’t think we were disciplined as a unit. We had players wanting to go forward all the time and that sort of stuff. Now, we’re better than that.


“I suppose it was a fair result. It was a win we wanted. We move forward now to next week.”


· Kingborough Lions United assistant coach, Tim Dale, said:


“I thought we started poorly. We started slowly and for the first 15 minutes Olympia played pretty well. I thought for the latter part of the first half we were pretty good and worthy of going in [at half-time] at one-all.


“In the second half, we started slowly again and, then, obviously, once the sending-off came, we were happy to take a point. It was very hard to go at them with only ten players.


“At the end of the day, I suppose we’re happy to take just a point.”