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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Premier League Reserves (KGV Park, Wednesday, 12 May 2010)


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Tasmanian Institute of Sport 2 (J Curran 23, H Foley 75)

Tilford Zebras 0


HT: 1-0 Att: 43 Ref: M Thain


Tasmanian Institute of Sport: Prendergast - Luttmer, Hill, Abbott, Mearns (McClung 60) - D Foley, Curran (Ince 90), De Smit - Green, H Foley, Hamilton [Substitutes not used: Kenyi, Devine] [Coach: Dean May]


Tilford Zebras: Voss - Macgregor (Jarvie 87), Cox, S Hall, Fisher - Bird (Laird 60), Thorpe, M Hall, M Cairns (Luttrell 45+1) - Young, L Engels [Substitute not used: Smith] [Coach: Rodney Bones]


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This was one of the finest games of football I have seen all year. I went home after a cold, drizzly evening feeling warm. I felt optimistic about the future of the game. I felt inspired because I had seen young players who were technically good, who had tactical understanding, and who knew what team-work is all about. I saw a side that could keep its shape but was flexible according to the requirements of the game at any given moment.


It was easy to see that the Tasmanian Institute of Sport players were well coached. They are a credit to senior coach Dean May and to his assistant Scott Gallagher.


Their training regimen is paying dividends and I urge all those football supporters who love the game to come and watch this TIS side in action on Wednesday evenings against Premier League reserve sides. They can more than hold their own in terms of the physical aspects of the game, and the quality of their football is admirable and shows great maturity.


Playing a 4-3-3 system, the TIS were both efficient and entertaining. The latter quality is so important in this day if we are to attract fans.


The goalkeeper, Tristan Prendergast, is a very capable player. He is agile, brave, and a good distributor of the ball, both by kicking and throwing. He made a brilliant save in the first half, but he toyed with the opposing forwards once too often in the second half and was injured as a frustrated opponent slid in to try and win the ball. He had started to delay picking up the ball and invited opponents to try and win it before picking it up just in the nick of time. He should probably desist from this behaviour in future.


The back-four of Eli Luttmer, Will Abbott, Lucas Hill and Nicholas Mearns were a very effective unit. Not only did they defend well, but the way in which they inter-passed and worked the ball out of defence was a lesson to all local teams. They have an understanding that comes from training regularly as a unit.


The midfield trio of Jamie De Smit, Declan Foley and Jesse Curran worked well together and proved expert at bringing the wide players, Nicholas Green and Sam Hamilton, into play. De Smit and Declan Foley are powerful, skilful players and were always ready to shoot at goal or provide opportunities for team-mates. They were also very good at helping out their defence by adopting the role of holding midfielders when the side was under pressure.


De Smit is a delight to watch when he is full flight. He switches the ball instantly from foot to foot when on the move and about to be tackled. In this way, he is able to evade tackles that would halt a lesser player.


Green and Hamilton hugged the touch-line and always provided width and passing options, and their crosses were usually dangerous.


Hugh Foley was a class striker. His first touch was excellent, his shooting powerful, and he often dropped deep and allowed Curran to move forward, a ploy that frequently caught out the Zebras defence.


In fact, that is how the TIS scored their first goal in the 23rd minute. Hugh Foley suddenly disappeared and Curran materialised as the spearhead. While the Zebras defenders were adjusting to this new threat, Hugh Foley threaded a pass through to the 13-year-old Curran, who turned and shot low past Jason Voss to put the TIS in front.


The second goal, 15 minutes from the end, came from Green’s cross from the right. Hugh Foley moved in like lightning and beat Voss to the ball and clipped it home to complete the victory.


Not everything came out smelling of roses as far as the TIS were concerned, though. They sometimes lived dangerously. Zebras had two early chances, but Adam Young fired into the side-netting after rounding the advancing Prendergast on the right of the box, and the same player then shot wide after a flick-on by Luke Engels.


It was the turn of the TIS after that, and Hugh Foley should have done better from De Smit’s pass through the middle in the 19th minute, while Declan Foley’s low cross into the goalmouth from the right in the 21st minute was just begging to be prodded home, but two TIS players were unable to get a touch.


De Smit forced a fine save from Voss in the 26th minute, the keeper conceding a fruitless corner. Curran also brought out a fine save from Voss in the 35th minute.


Hamilton’s low cross four minutes after the resumption gave Declan Foley a chance, but he lifted his shot over the bar when he should have worked the keeper. A minute later, Voss got down to Curran’s low shot and saved comfortably.


On the hour mark, the tide turned slightly as Zebras imposed their authority for a 10-minute period as the TIS seemed to tire. Josh Thorpe blazed over the bar from the edge of the box after Luke Engels’s left-wing cross in the 65th minute, while three minutes later, Young fired just wide of Prendergast’s right-hand post.


Thorpe had a go from range in the 69th minute, but it was more of a token effort than a genuine threat. Within seconds, however, Thorpe fed Matt Hall, but he fired wide.


The TIS recovered their composure after that and Hugh Foley killed off the game with his side’s second goal in the 75th minute.


It was an absolute pleasure to watch this well-drilled and talented side play wonderful football. Their first touch was masterful, and they knew when to play one-touch and when to retain possession and carry the ball or dribble. They found their team-mates with accurate passing and their vision and reading of the game was precocious.


It was no disgrace for the Zebras to lose this match. The sides drew 2-2 in the first round and the TIS have improved considerably since then.


I, for one, can hardly wait to see The TIS in action again.


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· Tilford Zebras coach, Rodney Bones, said:


“We knocked the ball around a bit better this week. I believe that the kids are playing a man’s game, but the ref was probably a bit soft towards their way. They’re playing in a men’s competition and they’ve got to be able to take it like a man.


“But, to their credit, they knocked the ball around really well. We had them under pressure in the first half. It was a disappointing result, two nil. We should probably have had goals ourselves.


“But, credit to the young lads. I took some of them when they were twelve. They’ve come a long way, but it disappoints you when they get a few favours. It’s a man’s game. To play against boys is not fair to our blokes."

Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors of South Korea qualified for the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League when they beat Adelaide United 3-2 away in extra-time at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide on Wednesday night.


It was a thrilling match and one full of drama. It was also very physical, with 53 fouls (22 committed by Adelaide and 31 by Jeonbuk) and nine yellow cards (six to the Koreans and three to Adelaide). The one red card went to Adelaide in the closing seconds of the game.


The South Koreans led twice through their Brazilian striker Eninho, but Adelaide drew level both times to take the game into extra-time.


Eninho gave the visitors a 1-0 lead at the break when he swept the ball into the roof of the net from 10 metres after a leftwing cross and a cut-back from the goal-line beyond the far post by Choi Tae-Uk.


Robbie Cornthwaite equalised in the 78th minute when he headed home Cassio’s corner from the right.


Eninho restored Jeonbuk’s lead in the 88th minute with a marvellous strike from the left-hand corner of the penalty area.


In what could be called a ‘Rafa Benitez moment’, the Koreans’ manager, Choi Kang-Hee, then substituted Eninho with a minute remaining and brought on a defender to shore up the visitors’ rearguard.


But, the move backfired badly as Adelaide equalised in the 6th minute of stoppage time to take the match into extra-time.


Adelaide won a corner and even goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic came into the opposing penalty area. Cassio floated the ball over from the right and as Galekovic clashed with his opposite number Kwon Sun-Tae just outside the 6-yard box, the ball fell invitingly in the packed goal-mouth.


Sergio Van Dijk fell over, but, while lying on his back, stretched out his leg and knocked the ball into the net with his left foot to make it 2-2, to the relief of the 12,000 home fans and the Adelaide bench.


The 30-minute period of extra-time was dramatic.


Adelaide were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when Adam Hughes was brought down on the line at the edge of the box, while both sides hit the woodwork.


Six minutes into the first half of extra-time, Cassio hit the crossbar with a splendid free-kick, while in the 114th minute, a cross from Choi Tae-Uk was smacked against the underside of the Adelaide crossbar by Park Won-Jae, the ball bouncing down and back into play without crossing the line.


Adelaide’s Travis Dodd was fortunate not to receive a red card when his forearm made contact with Kang Seung-Jo’s face and the player went down, his head striking the ground in a whiplash-type reaction. The Korean was bleeding from the nose and required treatment before he could continue.


In the 115th minute, Galekovic produced a magnificent save against Kang Seung-Jo, but the ball remained in play beyond the keeper’s right-hand post. Choi Tae-Uk played it back to a team-mate, whose cross to the far post was headed home by Lee Dong-Gook for the winner.


Van Dijk glanced a header centimetres wide in the final minute, while Cassio was sent off in the last seconds after a professional foul on an opponent earned the Brazilian a second yellow card.


Adelaide had 51 per cent of possession and both sides were in the opposing half 50 per cent of the time.


Adelaide were ahead in the corner count 8 to 3, while Jeonbuk were caught off-side four times and Adelaide not once.


“Obviously, we’re disappointed, but I couldn’t be any prouder of the boys,” said Adelaide coach, Aurelio Vidmar.


“They were fantastic tonight. Right at the end there they were on their last legs and some of our boys started to cramp up, but their boys did as well.


“It was a massive effort, but unfortunately, we fell just a bit short.”






Asian Champions League


Adelaide United 2 (Cornthwaite, Van Dijk) lost to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 3 (Eninho 2, Lee Dong-Gook) after extra time.


Friendly (Sandown Park)


Beachside 0-5 South Hobart (Brennan 2, Bladel, King, Jae Woong Lee)


Premier League Reserves


Tasmanian Institute of Sport 2 (J Curran 23, H Foley 75) b Tilford Zebras 0


[Match report to follow.]

Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has named a 31-man preliminary squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Socceroos 31-man preliminary squad is:

Goalkeepers: Adam Federici, Eugene Galekovic, Brad Jones, Mark Schwarzer

Defenders: Michael Beauchamp, David Carney, Scott Chipperfield, Shane Lowry, Mark Milligan, Craig Moore, Lucas Neill, Jade North, Luke Wilkshire, Rhys Williams

Midfielders: Mark Bresciano, Tim Cahill, Nicky Carle, Jason Culina, Brett Emerton, Richard Garcia, Vincenzo Grella, James Holland, Brett Holman, Mile Jedinak, Tommy Oar, Carl Valeri, Dario Vidosic

Forwards: Joshua Kennedy, Harry Kewell, Scott McDonald, Nikita Rukavytsya

England coach, Fabio Capello, has selected a 30-man preliminary squad.


The England squad is:

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), David James (Portsmouth), Robert Green (West Ham United)

Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton), Jamie Carragher (Liverpool), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Michael Dawson (Tottenham Hotspur), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Glen Johnson (Liverpool), Ledley King (Tottenham Hotspur), John Terry (Chelsea), Matthew Upson (West Ham United), Stephen Warnock (Aston Villa)

Midfielders: Gareth Barry (Manchester City), Michael Carrick (Manchester United), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Johnson (Manchester City), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Aaron Lennon (Tottenham Hotspur), James Milner (Aston Villa), Scott Parker (West Ham United), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Manchester City)

Forwards: Darren Bent (Sunderland), Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham Hotspur), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

German national team coach Jurgen Low has caused a few surprises with his preliminary squad.

Preliminary Germany squad:

Goalkeepers: Manuel Neuer (Schalke 04), Tim Wiese (Werder Bremen), Hans-Joerg Butt (Bayern Munich)

Defenders: Dennis Aogo (Hamburg) Jerome Boateng (Hamburg), Arne Friedrich (Hertha Berlin), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Werder Bremen), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Serdar Tasci (VfB Stuttgart), Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich), Heiko Westermann (Schalke 04), Andreas Beck (Hoffenheim)

Midfielders: Michael Ballack (Chelsea/ENG), Marko Marin, Mesut Oezil (both Werder Bremen), Piotr Trochowski (Hamburg), Sami Khedira, Christian Traesch (both VfB Stuttgart), Toni Kroos (Bayer Leverkusen), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich)

Forwards: Cacau (VfB Stuttgart), Mario Gomez, Miroslav Klose, Thomas Mueller (all Bayern Munich), Stefan Kiessling (Bayer Leverkusen), Lukas Podolski (Cologne)