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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Photos (Top to Bottom): Max Clarkem Jackson Nugent and Nick Morton with Manchester United and England star Wayne Rooney; Some of the Tasmanian youngsters with Wayne Rooney outside Old Trafford; Wayne Rooney and Nick Morton [Photos courtesy of Victoria Woods]; Seven of the players who went on the tour (L-R), Max Clarke, Charlie Wilkes, Jackson Nugent, Josh Quigley, Sam Ross, Nick Morton and Nick Becker at South Hobart after their return; Ken Morton and seven of the players who went on tour at a South Hobart pitch that certainly does not resemble the Carrington training pitches of Manchester United [PlessPix]

Ken Morton and his academy boys have returned home after a very successful trip to Manchester.

The boys played three matches against local youth sides and won all three.

They beat Stockport Youth 3-0, Irlam 4-2 and Denton 4-1.

They also trained at The Cliff and at Carrington, which are Manchester United’s training grounds.

The youngsters attended Manchester United’s home game against West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford, which ended in a 2-2 draw.

One of the highlights for the boys was meeting Wayne Rooney and having a chat to the England international.

“The trip was good and it was a great learning experience,” said Max Clarke.

“There were lots of highlights, including our training at Carrington, watching the game at Old Trafford and meeting Wayne Rooney.”

Twelve-year-old Charlie Wilkes said the trip was a learning experience and it was also a lot of fun.

“Watching the game against West Brom and seeing Wayne Rooney were the highlights for me,” Wilkes said.

“The academy was pretty good, too. I liked the good grounds, which were good to play on, and the coach we had [Paul Gray] was good, too.”

Centre-back Jackson Nugent, 14, was also impressed with what he learned on the trip.

“Meeting Wayne Rooney was a highlight for me, and also training at Carrington,” Nugent said.

“I didn’t ask Wayne Rooney any questions as I was too scared, but he seemed friendly enough and looked very fit, but small.

“He was much smaller than I expected him to be. He was smaller than me.”

Josh Quigley, 15, who plays as a central defensive midfielder, said the game at Old Trafford was one of the highlights of his trip.

“Just being there for such a high-intensity game and the crowd was great,” said Quigley. “It was pretty cool, and so different to South Hobart.”

Sam Ross said it was a wonderful trip and it was great to train at Carrington.

“There were many pitches at Carrington for different age groups and the surfaces were good,” said Ross.

“The coaching was good, too, and I enjoyed it. I learned lots of new stuff.

“It was very different in how we put things into one v one and two v two situations, and the coaches were very experienced.”

Nick Morton, 14, thought the trip was very good and he said he had learned a great deal.

“It was a good experience,” Morton said. “The pitches were so much better than we have here.

“It would be magnificent to try and get to play at a professional level.

“The coach, Paul Gray, was really nice and helped us a lot.

“We worked on passing, finishing, heading, fitness and lots of other basic stuff.”

Goalkeeper Nick Becker, 14, said the trip was very good.

“I enjoyed it and one of the highlights for me was the game,” Becker said. “But, everything was good, really.

“I didn’t get to meet Edwin van der Sar.

“When we did shooting, I got a lot out of that.”

This exercise by Morton Soccer Schools seems like becoming an annual event, but other links have also been established with the likes of Newcastle United.

It can only get bigger and better for some Tasmanian youngsters.

Photos (Top to Bottom): Nick Harrison, Glenorchy Knights coach, in conversation with South Hobart coach Ken Morton last Sunday; Anthony Grundy is Glenorchy Knights' new assistant coach; Romeo Frediani is back at the helm of Tilford Zebras; Andrew Brown has been retained by Clarence United; George Krambousanos will be in charge of New Town Eagles for a third year in a row, ignoring the famous Bela Guttman's advice that 'a third year is fatal'; Chris Hey will be seeking to consolidate at Olympia Warriors; Brett Pullen (left) is in charge at Beachside after Nathan Robinson (right) relinquished the position [PlessPix]

It seems as if Kingborough Lions United are the only Premier League side still to name their senior coach for the 2011 season.

The club are expected to name their supremo soon, so watch this space.

Champions South Hobart will again be coached by Ken Morton, the Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League coach-of-the-year for 2010.

Morton has just returned from the UK, where he introduced a party of youngsters to life at Manchester United and also established links with other clubs such as Newcastle United.

Some of the boys even met Wayne Rooney in the car park at one of United’s training grounds.

There will be more on this story later.

Runners-up Tilford Zebras have reappointed Romeo Frediani, a former ex-player who cut his teeth as a coach in the Premier League last season.

The club has also appointed former senior coach Nick Lapolla as its coaching director.

Glenorchy Knights’ coach in 2011 will be Nick Harrison, and his assistant will be senior player Anthony Grundy.

Clarence have stuck with Andrew Brown, but the club’s director of coaching Franco Previdi is taking a break until January before making a decision about whether he will continue in the role next season.

George Krambousanos will again be in charge of New Town Eagles. It will be his third straight year with the club.

Olympia, who survived in the Premier League by the skin of their teeth in 2010, will have Chris Hey at the helm again as they continue his program of rejuvenation.

Their new headquarters and artificial pitch will be a huge talking point in 2011 and it will be fascinating to see how the club performs.

Newcomers Beachside will be coached by Brett Pullen, who has vast playing experience.

Life in the top flight is always tough for promoted teams and this assignment will test Pullen’s mettle.

There will be a Gala Day at Herdsman’s Cove Primary School on Thursday, 28 October.

This initiative is a partnership between Football Federation Tasmania, Young people in Action (YPIA) and the Red Cross.

The Gala Day will involve students from years 2 and 3 from Herdsman’s Cove Primary, Gagebrook Primary and East Derwent Primary schools.

The focus of the Gala Day will be on participation in, and learning the basic skills of, football and the involvement of students from the Bridgewater area.

Anthony Alexander, the FFT southern development officer, and Marie Bennett, from Red Cross, will coordinate the day.

Photo: John Boulous, CEO of FFT, has sent a proposed league structure for 2011 to all club presidents [PlessPix]

Football Federation Tasmania has sent a league structure proposal for the 2011 season to all southern club presidents.

The presidents will meet with FFT tonight to discuss the proposal. FFT have allowed me to publish the letter in advance of tonight's meeting.

The proposed structure is outlined below in the FFT letter to all presidents:

As you would be aware over the last few months a competition working group has come together on several occasions to discuss the structure of the Southern senior competitions. Based on the discussion within this group and subsequent recommendation, the Board has approved the following competition structure effective for the 2011 season.

Forestry Tasmania Men’s Southern Premier League – 2 tiers (8 Premier Clubs)

Premier League

Premier Reserve (open age)

Men’s Southern League 1 – 2 tiers (6 clubs minimum)

Southern League 1

Southern League 1 Reserves (open age)

Automatic promotion and relegation between Premier League and Southern League 1

Premier Under 19 – (Compulsory for the 8 Premier Clubs – to be fixtured in line with Premier League home matches)

Premier Under 19

Women’s Premier League – 2 tiers

Premier League

Premier Reserve

Social Football

Southern Women’s League 1 – Women’s

Southern Women’s League 2 – Women’s

Southern League 2 – Men’s

Southern League 3 – Men’s

Southern League 4 – Men’s

Southern League Over 35’s – Men’s

Under 19 (Open to all clubs)

Division 1

Division 2


Under 17 – as many divisions as required

Under 15 – as many divisions as required

Under 14 – as many divisions as required

Under 13 – as many divisions as required

Under 16 (girls) - as many divisions as required

Under 14 (girls) - as many divisions as required

Under 13 (girls) - as many divisions as required

In summary club team entry requirements are outlined below;

The minimum team entry requirements for a Forestry Tasmania Premier League Club;

Premier League

Premier League Reserves

Premier League Under 19’s

A minimum of three teams entered within the Youth Under 13 and 17 age groups. There can be multiple teams entered in the same age group. FFT development staff will work with any clubs that require assistance in establishing or increasing the number of youth teams.

The minimum team entry requirements for Southern League 1 clubs;

Southern League 1

Southern League Reserves

Southern League 1 clubs will produce and discuss with FFT their plan detailing youth development and team entry for 2011 and what assistance from FFT development staff is required. Southern League 1 clubs will need to meet the youth team entry requirements for the commencement of the 2012 season for promotion to the Premier League. It is vitally important that Southern League 1 clubs are proactive in the area of youth development.

The minimum team entry requirements for Womens Premier League Clubs;

Premier League

Premier League Reserves

A minimum of one team entered with the Girls Youth Under 13 – 15 age groups.

Under this structure, Premier League and Southern League 1 male and female clubs will be asked to demonstrate a strong commitment to youth development. Whilst in 2011 the demands on youth structure for Premier League clubs is much increased that that of Southern league 1 clubs, it is envisaged that FFT will be able to work with all clubs to grow their youth development and develop strong relationships to ensure a complete pathway.

These youth teams will underpin the club’s senior teams and clubs will be assisted and encouraged to form effective relationships with junior association schools and clubs to form a pathway from Under 6 to senior age groups. Many clubs are at different stages of development; however both Premier and Southern League Clubs through positive relationships with Junior association Under 12 schools and clubs, should be establishing Under 13 teams that with their progression will be the senior players of the future.

With the above structure in place we will now commence the upgrade of the Competition rules with your consultation, to reflect this structure.

If you have any questions or require clarification don’t hesitate to contact Mike McKenna, Competitions Manager or myself.


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John Boulous

Chief Executive Officer

Football Federation Tasmania