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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Division One Summer Cup Semi-Final (North Chigwell, Sunday, 14 March 2010)

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Tasmanian Institute of Sport 1 (J Walker 44)

Beachside 1 (C Shepherd 58)


HT: 1-0 FT: 1-1 Penalty Shoot-out: 8-7 Att: 100 Ref: C Ware


Tasmanian Institute of Sport: Prendergast; Luttmer, Hill, Abbott, McClung, D Foley, Walker, De Smit, Cronk, H Foley, Devine [Interchange: Ince, Green, Mearns, Kenyi] [Coach: Dean May]


Beachside: Soszynski; Atkin, Chadwick, Dunne, Grzinic, Klasen, Reason, Robinson, Howarth, Lowe, Ortuso [Interchange: Direen, Shepherd, Tarros] [Player-Coach: Nathan Robinson]


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The Tasmanian Institute of Sport players easily mixed it with the more experienced Beachside outfit.


The TIS players were up to the task physically, and their technical skills were probably better than those of Beachside.


TIS dominated the first half-hour with Beachside launching only rare counter-attacks that were nipped in the bud before they could spell danger.


The blond-headed Will Abbott held his back-line together well and distributed the ball intelligently after winning possession.


As early as the 2nd minute, TIS defender Eli Luttmer attacked down the right flank and floated over a cross that clipped the top of the crossbar.


Luttmer was also unlucky five minutes later when he rose to head Jeremy Walker’s corner from the right just over the bar.


Beachside’s first real chance did not come until the 25th minute when Adam Direen struck a left-wing cross just wide of an upright.


A minute before the break, TIS were rewarded for their efforts.


They attacked down the left and Nicholas Green played the ball back for David McClung to send over a deep cross from the left towards the far post, where Walker headed home despite the presence of the tall keeper Michael Soszynski and the towering defender Nathan Robinson.


Beachside’s Colin Shepherd arrived at the ground at half-time and he came on within four minutes of the resumption and had an immediate impact.


In fact, his presence changed the balance of the game.


Shepherd’s physical presence and his ball skills, vision and tactical awareness swung the game in Beachside’s favour.


He wanted the ball and used it intelligently when he received it, which was often.


Only some brilliant goalkeeping by TIS custodian Tristan Prendergast kept his side in the game as the Shepherd-inspired Beachside turned the screw.


Two minutes into the second period, Prendergast produced two great double-saves from Bernhard Klasen, who seemed certain to score.


In the 51st minute, Prendergast again denied Klasen twice in quick succession.


The pressure had to produce a result, however, and predictably it came from Shepherd.


Andrew Reason cut the ball back from the right byline and Shepherd hammered a superb shot from the edge of the box inside the far post to make it 1-1.


Beachside’s legs soon began to tire, however, and TIS again gained the upper hand, with Jamie de Smit heading just wide in the 73rd minute and Walker striking the base of the near post after an attack down the right.


Neither side could break the deadlock before the end of normal time, and the same applied in half an hour of extra-time, which meant a penalty shoot-out.


TIS won the penalty shoot-out 8-7 and progressed to the final against Hobart United, who downed Metro 3-2 in the other semi-final.


[I am told that Howarth, Robinson, Shepherd, Aitken, Grzinic and Reason netted for Beachside, while Klasen, Dunne, Soszynski and Chadwick missed.


I have no details about the TIS penalty takers.]










Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League (KGV Park, Saturday, 13 March 2010)


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Tilford Zebras 1 (B Crosswell 22)

South Hobart 1 (J Lo 32)


HT: 1-1 Att: 120 Ref: K Barker


Tilford Zebras: Kaden - Fagg, Smith, Telega, K Engels - D Cox, Self (D Lapolla 82), Crosswell (L Engels 85), Hall - Walsh (Young 71), Welch [Substitute not used: Voss] [Coach: Romeo Frediani]


South Hobart: Kruijver - Heerey (Roach 54), Ludford, D Brown, Scott - Pennicott, Upton (Abbott 67), Ladic (Downes 71), Beecroft - Kanakaris, Lo [Substitute not used: M Brown] [Coach: Ken Morton]


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A minute's silence was observed before the start of this match in memory of the late Luciano Longo, a former captain of Juventus in the early 1960s and father of former Joey, Young Socceroo and Olyroo Dominic Longo.


South Hobart played their usual game of possession football and were unlucky on a couple of occasions not to score.


In the 20th minute, Kostas Kanakaris beat Zebras goalkeeper Troy Kaden to Jim Pennicott’s cross but knocked the ball narrowly wide.


A minute later, Pennicott scooped an effort over the crossbar.


Zebras relied on largely ineffectual counter-attacks and South Hobart goalkeeper Sam Kruijver was having a quiet match.


The cat was set amongst the pigeons in the 22nd minute, however, when Garry Upton was adjudged to have clipped the heels of Jayden Welch and Mr Barker awarded a penalty.


Kruijver beat out Ben Crosswell’s spot-kick, but the ball came back to Crosswell, who scored to give the Zebras the lead.


South Hobart were level in the 32nd minute when Kanakaris knocked a long ball from the left to the right wing and the advancing Josh Heerey.


Heerey played the ball inside to Jonathon Lo, who found a way around his marker and shot into the roof of the net from just inside the box.


Four minutes later, Kaden produced an excellent save to turn a Kanakaris shot over the bar.


Eight minutes after the resumption, Kruijver saved at the feet of Welch, who had broken clear down the inside-right channel.


Tom Roach replaced Heerey in the 54th minute. Heerey had been excellent and one of South Hobart’s best performers, but he was injured in a crunching tackle. He played on for a while, but when engaged in another fierce challenge, had to go off with a leg injury.


Zebras created a great opening in the 65th minute when three attackers faced just two defenders, but the resultant shot was blocked and, when the ball rebounded to Welch he put his shot over the bar.


David Abbott came on for Garry Upton in the 67th minute and showed some fine skills and clever touches.


In the 75th minute, Greg Downes found Abbott on the right and he cut inside and forced Kaden to produce an excellent save down low at his near post to concede a corner.


Crosswell showed some skilful touches but was wasted in midfield. He showed what he was capable of in one move where he toyed with the ball before slipping between two defenders and accelerating away. If he did that in the final third rather than in midfield, he might have been rewarded.


Liam Scott had to be helped off in stoppage time, having suffered a broken elbow when he fell awkwardly after a tackle.


Another interesting incident occurred midway through the first half when Mr Barker held up play as South Hobart goalkeeper Sam Kruijver left the field for a toilet break.


Zebras were probably more satisfied with the point than South Hobart, but there is a long way to go and the draw did neither side irreparable damage.


_______________________________________________________


· Tilford Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani, said:


“I’m happy. I think the boys played well.


“Like I said to Kenny, it was a good slog-out between two sides which I, personally, think so far, will be at the top.


“Very happy with a one-all result.”


· South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:


“I’m disappointed because we had enough possession to win the football match.


“We should have won the football match but we didn’t create enough chances and weren’t positive enough in the front third.


“We took too long to make the passes that would have split the defence.


“I thought Zebras battled well and, as always, with Crosswell, Ricky Self, Walsh, Welch and them in the side, they’re always going to be dangerous on the break and that’s the way the game was.”








Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League (Kelvedon Park, Saturday, 13 March 2010)


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Taroona 3 (D Carey 21, H Luttmer 27, T Dove 41)

Olympia Warriors 1 (F Tracy 11)


HT: 3-1 Att: 120 Ref: I Jozeljic


Taroona: Nettlefold - Tubb, Schaap, Johnson, Wyatt - Duncan Carey (Darragh Carey 88), Elliott, Atkinson, Dove - Luttmer (Wright 79), Hamilton (Macgregor 68) [Substitute not used: Hortle] [Coach: Ben Horgan]


Olympia Warriors: Nester - Wiggins, P Tsakiris, Powell (Percy 69), Hey - Lebski (Grillas 46), Phillips, Richardson, Meredith - E Tsakiris (Vafakos 90), Tracy [Substitute not used: Farrugia] [Coach: Chris Hey]


______________________________________________________


This was Taroona’s first league game back in the top flight and they showed a remarkable form reversal compared to their Summer Cup performances, where they failed to score in three games.


Their supporters on ‘the Hill’ were in full voice and they satisfied their demands by winning against an Olympia Warriors side that has revamped its image with a new strip, new sponsor and new ethos.


The situation in regard to match officials sent a warning to Football Federation Tasmania in terms of appointments and numbers. But, has anything really been different in recent years?


To appoint a Taroona under-19 player as one of the assistants, even though he is a qualified referee, appeared to an outside observer to be harsh on the young man, both physically and mentally.


He had just played in an under-19 match, and was also on the line in the reserves before taking a flag for the senior match.


He had to put up with some derisory comments from spectators every time he raised his flag, and this was a good way to lose him as an official.


To his credit, I think he survived the experience intact, but it does raise questions about referee numbers and appointment protocols.


Late in the second half, when assistant referee Michael Thain was injured and had to go off, Taroona president John Meehan had to take over.


John Meehan can be relied on to be impartial. There is no question about that, and he did an excellent job. There were no complaints from anyone, but as a neutral observer, I think it shows a serious failing in our game, especially when another referee was in attendance at the venue and in full kit, but then again, perhaps he had left by that stage of the proceedings.


I may be accused of taking things too seriously and of elevating the local game to a status it does not deserve.


Perhaps I do, but I would hate to see the day when Premier League games have club assistant referees, and this game was verging on that.


Olympia looked dangerous from the start, but several of their moves were brought to a halt by the off-side flag.


Nevertheless, in the 11th minute they took the lead when Adam Powell unlocked the Taroona defence with a superb raking pass out to the right to Nick Meredith.


Meredith’s cross was not cleared by the home-side’s defence and Fletcher Tracy fired past Richard Nettlefold to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.


Taroona stuck to their task, however, and were level 10 minutes later when Duncan Carey cut in from the right and fired into the far top corner of the net.


Taroona had unsettled Olympia with this equaliser and panic set in at the back for the visitors.


With their supporters baying for increased effort, Olympia fell behind in the 27th minute when Taroona strikers Hugo Luttmer and Garry Hamilton combined to work their way into the penalty area.


Hamilton went down under a challenge, but the ball fell for Luttmer to stroke home and give Taroona a 2-1 advantage.


Four minutes before the interval, Olympia’s first-half collapse was complete as Toby Dove made the most of sloppy defending to score Taroona’s third goal.


Chris Hey brought on Kosta Grillas for the second half and he had an immediate impact.


Within seconds of the kick-off, Grillas sent in a low shot that flashed past on the wrong side of the far left-hand post.


Two minutes later, Grillas tested Nettlefold with a well-executed free-kick that saw the keeper turn the ball over the crossbar in style.


In the 78th minute, Grillas hit the post with a shot from the left and Jack Elliott was on hand to turn the ball out and to safety and concede a corner.


One was left to ponder what might have happened if Grillas had been on from the start.


Olympia tried to be too fancy and were ineffective. The back-heels and overhead kicks were failing on a ground where space was tight.


Taroona, on the other hand, defended resolutely, refused to be rattled when under pressure, and made the most of Olympia’s uncertainty at the back.


In stark contrast to their Summer Cup campaign, Taroona took their chances, and that was a major difference between the sides in this game.


Olympia had other problems. Adam Hedge, who was due to make his debut for the season, was injured and not even included in the squad.


Matthew Hedge was also unavailable because of injury, while Powell came off in the 69th minute after falling awkwardly and striking his head on the ground.


This is the second head injury he has sustained in a month and his future this season must be increasingly doubtful.


It was a great start to the league season for Taroona, and an extremely disappointing one for Olympia.


But, to make any long-term predictions from this game would be foolish.


_____________________________________________________


· Taroona coach, Ben Horgan, said:


“It was pretty good.


“A shaky start to both halves, and then, I thought, probably the last half-hour of the first half was probably where we won it.


“We got our game going and found the back of the net, which was nice.


“Yeah, I was pretty happy.


“The second half was a bit of a battle, but we sort of expected that. We knew Olympic would come out hard, but the boys just dug in and it was nice to finally get a win.”


· Olympia coach, Chris Hey, said:


“It was well-deserved from Taroona’s perspective.


“I knew it wouldn’t be easy and that they could beat us here.


“We started off well, but things then got a bit emotional and in terms of tactics we didn’t really use the width to best effect.


“We began well but somehow lost our way.”



Division One Summer Cup Semi-finals (North Chigwell)


Tasmanian Institute of Sport 1 (J Walker 44) dw Beachside 1 (C Shepherd 58) aet


[TIS won penalty shoot-out 8-7.]


Metro 2 (J Dawes, J Morris) lt Hobart United 3 (A Guot, P Otto, G Lotiko)


Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League


Kingborough Lions United 3-2 New Town Eagles


Reserves


Kingborough Lions United 2-5 New Town Eagles


Under-19s


Kingborough Lions United 5-1 New Town Eagles


Steve Hudson Cup Final (Launceston)


South Hobart 6 (T Roach 2, J Pennicott 2, D Abbott, J Lo) b Ulverstone 1 (B Mann)