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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Gold Coast United went 585 minutes in the A-League without scoring at home, but the drought was broken when former Manchester United player John Curtis, who came on as a 71st-minute substitute, scored in the last minute to beat Newcastle Jets 1-0 at Skilled Park tonight.

The win lifted Gold Coast from 8th to 5th on the ladder, while the Jets dropped a place to 10th and second-last spot.

The Jets, who changed ownership today - Con Constantine gave way to coal millionaire Nathan Tinkler - were outplayed in the opening half, but came back strongly in the second before conceding the late goal.

Jason Culina was in fine form for Gold Coast. His ball distribution was mostly accurate and imaginative. He was sharp off the mark and always sprinted away after passing the ball and looked for the return.

The overall technical quality on view was disappointing, however, with players often failing to control the ball and conceding possession or allowing the ball to roll out of play.

Gold Coast launched a clever attack in the 13th minute, with Robson and Steve Fitzsimmons combining to set up Andrew Barisic, but his shot was easy meat for Newcastle goalkeeper Ben Kennedy.

The only other chances of the first half fell to Culina, who volleyed wide in the 24th minute and shot high and wide 5 minutes before the interval after Bruce Djite set him up.

Barisic shot straight at Kennedy seconds after the resumption as Gold Coast got straight into the action.

In the 51st minute, Barisic fired into the side-netting following a pass from Robson, the Brazilian import who played for Flamengo in 2007, when they finished third in the Brazilian Carioca league.

Newcastle had their first genuine chance after 66 minutes when Ruben Zadkovic powered a shot on target and forced keeper Glen Moss to turn the ball over the bar for a corner.

A minute later, Zadkovic missed a wonderful chance when he was clear on the right, placing his effort wide of the near post.

Culina fired straight at Kennedy in the 80th minute, but the home side clinched the three points in the last minute when substitute full-back Curtis went on a long run down the right before cutting inside and scoring with a left-foot shot from the edge of the box that flew in off the under-side of the bar.

The Newcastle central pairing of Ljubo Milicevic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley were excellent and Milicevic earned the man-of-the-match award, with Topor-Stanley a close second.

Gold Coast had 14 shots on goal, 5 of which were on target, while the Jets had 8 shots on goal, only one of which was on target.

For Gold Coast, Barisic had 5 shots on goal, 2 of which were on target; Culina had 4 shots on goal, one of which was on target; Robson had two shots on goal, none of which were on target; Zenon Caravella had one shot, which was not on target; Chris Broadfoot had one shot which was on target, and Curtis had one shot, which resulted in the goal.

For Newcastle, Labinot Haliti had 2 shots with neither on target; Milicevic had two shots, neither of which were on target; Topor-Stanley had one shot, which was off target; Zadkovic had three shots, one of which was on target.

Gold Coast had 55 per cent of the possession compared to the Jets’ 45 per cent.

Gold Coast had 5 corners and Newcastle 2, while Gold Coast committed 15 fouls and Newcastle 13.

Newcastle were off-side twice and Gold Coast not once.

Gold Coast received two yellow cards (Robson and Bas van den Brink) and Newcastle none.

A friend recently showed me some old rosters covering the seasons 1963, 1971 and 1972.

They were printed on cardboard, which could be folded and conveniently carried in a pocket or wallet.

It’s a pity the present-day rosters aren’t printed in this way, as they were even as recently as ten years ago.

Sponsors got value for money and the rosters could be distributed in shops and businesses and sent to schools.

Those who don’t have computers are at a disadvantage these days, when the rosters can only be accessed on-line or printed from a computer.

There is often talk nowadays about clubs amalgamating to form one stronger club. This season we have seen the disappearance of Kingston Cannons and Christian United to form a new club called Southern FC.

This has happened in the past, too, but it usually resulted in one of the clubs completely losing its identity.

The classic case occurred in 1969 when Rangers were swallowed up by Caledonians, who ultimately joined Kingborough to become Kingborough Lions United.

Other clubs have simply lost supporters and players and ceased to exist.

A look at these old rosters reveals some notable names from the past, many of which no longer exist.

In 1963, the top flight in the south consisted of 10 teams: Rapid, Inter, Croatia, Calies, Olympia, Rangers, Wayatinah, Juventus, South Hobart, Metro

Rapid became Kingston Cannons and now no longer exists. It was one of the great clubs of the past and Ken Morton coached them to the leading titles in Tasmania.

Inter eventually became Hobart City and much later merged with Juventus, which is now Tilford Zebras.

Croatia is, of course, Glenorchy Knights, while Calies (Caledonians) merged with Kingborough and they are now Kingborough Lions United.

Olympia are still here as Olympia warriors, while Rangers are gone, as are Wayatinah. South Hobart is celebrating its centenary this year and Metro are more than 60 years old.

The 1971 Cambridge League (the top flight) roster shows White Eagles, who are now New Town Eagles, and Northern Suburbs, which is what Caledonians were then known as.

The second tier in 1971, or Division 2, was known as Metropolitan Division 1 and contained teams such as Dnipro, who represented the Ukrainian community.

The Cambridge League sides also had teams in this second tier competition, so there were also Croatia and Juventus in this roster.

Others were Malaysian Tigers, comprising Malaysian students studying at the university. Their reserves were known as Harimau.

Buckingham was Caledonians’ reserves and Dynamos were South Hobart’s reserves, as I recall.

University were also in this league.

The Metropolitan Division 2, or third tier competition, had teams such as Dnipro Lions, Clarence 1 and 2, Eastern Suburbs, Taroona, University Graduates and University Gold, as well as Southern Cross, who were Rapid’s reserves.

Names such as Southern Cross, Buckingham and Dynamos were originally introduced because Tasmanian results were used in the English Pools and you couldn’t have Rapid playing Rapid, for example.

In some of the State-wide Cup competitions, there are some interesting names from the north of the State, such as Spartan, South Launceston and Launceston Rovers, who also either merged or fell by the wayside.

Photos (Top to Bottom): Bernhard Klasen; Brett Pullen (centre) and friends; Michael Soszynski [PlessPix]

2010 Coaches Award

Div 1 Women

Amanda Watkins

2010 Best & Fairest

Div 1 Women

Rebecca Dorgelo

Div 1 Men’s – Premiers

2010 Players Player

Div 1 Men

Bernie Klasen

2010 Coaches Award

Div 1 Men

Patrick Dunne

2010 Most Improved

Div 1 Men

Jamon Pennicott

2010 Most Consistent

Div 1 Men

Michael Soszynski

2010 Best & Fairest – Ali Hales Trophy

Div 1 Men

Brett Pullen

Div 1 Reserves Men’s – Runners Up

2010 Most Consistent

Div 1 Reserves Men

Daniel McCarthy

2010 Best & Fairest

Div 1 Reserves Men

David Ikin & Adam Smee

Under 19’s Men’s – Premiers

2010 Players Player

Under 19’s

Leigh Ellis

2010 Goal of the Year

Under 19’s

Ben Auton

2010 Coaches Award

Under 19’s

Trent Cornish

2010 Most Improved

Under 19’s

Callum Crane

2010 Most Consistent

Under 19’s

Ben Gaskell

2010 Best & Fairest

Under 19’s

Leigh Ellis

Div 3 Men’s –

2010 Players Player

Div 3 Men

Mike Linacre

2010 Most Improved

Div 3 Men

James Andrews

2010 Best & Fairest

Div 3 Men

Phyllis Kerr

Div 4 Men’s –

2010 Players Player

Div 4 Men

Chris Knight

2010 Best & Fairest

Div 4 Men

Troy Melville

Misc –

2010 Club Leading Goal Scorer

Bernie Klasen

2010 Clubman of the Year

Will O’Farrell

Goalkeeper Ben Peter was named as Glenorchy Knights’ best-and-fairest Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier Player for the 2010 season at the club's trophy presentation dinner held at the Australian-Croatian Club last Friday.

Central-defender Anthony Grundy, 35, was the players’ player of the year, while Corey Smith was the top scorer with 8 goals, despite playing only 7 games this season because of suspensions.

In the Premier Reserves, Chris Mrzyk was the best and fairest, while Callen Griffiths was the players’ player of the year and Mathew Nowicki, with 10 goals, the leading scorer.

The under-19s best-and-fairest award went to Harrison Thomas and the leading scorer was Jack Harrison with 10 goals. The coach's award went to Trent Le Rossignol and the players' player of the year was Yosef Kolelo.

Shelley Cook scooped the pool in the Women’s Premier League awards, winning the top scorer award with 16 goals and also being named as the best and fairest and the players’ player of the year. In the absence of Les Richardson, the trophies were presented by Rose Wells.

In Women’s Division One, Jemma Dacy also won everything on offer. She was the top scorer with 10 goals and also the best and fairest and the players’ player of the season and received her trophy from Rose Wells.

Dacy leaves for France shortly to take up a teaching appointment.

The Joe Udovicic Under-16 Encouragement Award went to Yosef Kolelo, who also took out the Vikings Futsal Junior Encouragement Award.

Joe Udovicic, who passed away in 1985, was one of the club’s greatest goalkeepers and a State representative. He also played for Devonport City.

His daughter, Elena Udovicic, presented the award to Kolelo.

The Billy Krawczyk Encouragement Award went to Brendan Garth and the trophy was presented by Paul Woodham. The award is named after the Knights defender who drowned in tragic circumstances while scuba diving at Gordon, in southern Tasmania, in December 1981.

The Milan Lakoseljac Top Goalscorer Award, named in honour of one of the club’s leading strikers and former coach, who passed away in 1999, went to Corey Smith and was presented by Mrs Nerridene Lakoseljac.

The Women’s Outstanding Achievement Award was presented to Gemma Dacy.

The Peter Huigsloot Most Dedicated Player Award, named in honour of one of the club’s most famous defenders, who passed away in 2001, went to senior-team defender Alex Holmes.

The Patrons’ Award went to Anthony Grundy and the Vin McKay Best Club Person Award went to Ray Green, whose son, Brodie Green, collected the award for him.

The Knights men’s Division Two side won the league title for the second year in a row, with Tom Huigsloot as their top scorer and Ben Finn as the best and fairest and the players’ player of the year.

Knights have advertised their coaching positions for next season and there is plenty of work going on in the area of junior development.

The club has five junior sides ranging from under-12s to two under-16 sides, while it will have two girls’ teams next season. The club has 38 registered women players.

Committee member John Peter has been working with Rosetta Primary School and Glenorchy Primary School in the area of junior development.

John Peter and vice president Craig Garland hosted the evening and presented reports on the season in the absence of president Zac Baltic, who is on holiday in Croatia.