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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Newcastle Jets registered their first win of the current A-League season when they downed the visiting Perth Glory 2-0 at home at EnergyAustralia Stadium last night.

The three points moved the Jets from second-last to seventh on the ladder, while the Glory dropped to third.

Newcastle dominated the match and Glory had very few real chances. Striker Robbie Fowler missed one good chance, but was substituted in the second half after taking a knock and falling heavily.

The crowd of 6,977 was disappointing, given the appeal by Jets coach Branco Culina earlier in the week for supporters to come to the game to bolster the ailing club.

Captain Michael Bridges put the Jets ahead in the 10th minute following a corner from the right by Kasey Wehrman. Nikolai Topor-Stanley failed to get a head to the ball, which came off team-mate Jeremy Brockie and fell for Bridges to volley home.

The Jets corners were proving dangerous and, despite obviously being aimed for Topor-Stanley each time, Perth were unable to counter the threat.

In the 13th minute, another corner found Topor-Stanley and his header was turned against a post by Glory keeper Tando Velaphi and then cleared in a mad scramble by the Glory defenders.

A minute later, Velaphi almost came unstuck with his positioning, but he managed to palm away Ruben Zadkovich’s powerful shot from wide on the right.

Glory finally managed a chance in the 21st minute when Mile Sterjovski crossed from the right and Fowler squeezed past Ljube Milicevic, but his tame shot was straight at goalkeeper Ben Kennedy.

Topor-Stanley had another chance from a corner in the 25th minute, but Velaphi produced a good save to deny the persistent Jets defender.

Chinese import Zhang Shuo fired wide of the right-hand post from the left for Newcastle after Brockie picked him out with a pass.

Velaphi produced another fine save in the 33rd minute, this time from Zadkovich.

The first half ended with bad miss from Fowler, who should have scored rather than place his shot wide of Kennedy’s left-hand post.

Newcastle almost went further ahead 6 minutes after the resumption when Brockie fed Zadkovich, but his shot hit the crossbar.

Two minutes later, Velaphi was at his best as he foiled Ali Abbas from a free-kick.

Glory were rarely able to build attacks, but when they did in the 69th minute, Steven McGarry fired straight at Jets keeper Ben Kennedy.

Velaphi was the stumbling block for Newcastle and the keeper again proved his worth in the 70th minute when he saved an effort from Brockie.

With a minute remaining, substitute Labinot Haliti made the game safe for the home side when he scored their second goal with a fine strike from the edge of the penalty area.

Women’s State-wide Grand Final

Taroona 3 (A Tolman 14, 61, S Cretu 47) beat Clarence United 2 (M Gillbee 17, M Dixon 21)

[More photos and detailed match report to follow]

Clarence United meet Taroona at KGV Park on Saturday at 2.30pm in the State-wide Women’s football grand final.

Clarence reached the final with a 3-2 win over Olympia Warriors, while Taroona downed Launceston City by the same score-line.

Paris Crowe and Erin Hall will be missing from the Clarence line-up for tomorrow’s grand final. Everyone else is fit.

“Our players have recovered well from what was a bruising encounter in the semi-final against the benchmark team over the last eight to ten seasons, Olympia Warriors/Nelson,” said Clarence coach, Ronnie Bolton.

“We have a very healthy respect for our opponents, Taroona, and I am sure it will be an entertaining encounter as both teams play attacking football.

“The previous games that we played this season have been played in the right spirit and I see both Clarence United Football Club and Taroona having strong years ahead in women’s football.

“Hopefully, supporters of both clubs and neutrals alike come along on Saturday and see how women’s football has progressed.”

The Clarence United squad is:

1 Amelia Van der Niet 2 Alice Herbert 3 Clare Goss 4 Michaela Brighella 5 Casey Pagano 6 Monique Undy 7 Danielle Kannegiesser 8 Rachel Ridler 9 Kate Bolton 10 Marluga Dixon 11 Laura Edwards 12 Harkana Dixon 13 Madaline Gillbee 14 Teegan Roy 15 Jane Archer 16 Kathryn Mcleod [Coach: Ronnie Bolton; Manager: Anthony Hall; Trainer: Maree Edwards]

The Taroona squad is expected to be:

1 Savannah Catheral 2 Holly Ayton 4 Karina Tarbath 5 Emma Fyfe 6 Lisa Bremner 7 Ashlee Tolman 8 Daisy Parsell 9 Sabella Ormandy-Neale 10 Sarah Cretu 11 Danielle Raymond 12 Kellie Konings 13 Hanna Manuela 18 Laura Prescott, Leesa Collet, Laura Wilsdon, Claire Farquhar [Coach Gadd: Dirk; Trainer: John Meehan]

The match was played on an appalling pitch.

How the Asian Football Confederation, or the referee from Qatar, could allow the match to be played on such a surface is simply amazing.

The pitch resembled a patchwork quilt. Areas of smooth green grass were interspersed with large brown areas of stubble which resembled village wasteland. When the ball was stationary in these latter areas, it was perfectly camouflaged.

Indeed, when Seongnam’s highly-gifted Colombian striker, Mauricio Molina, took a corner in the second half, the pitch gave way on his non-kicking foot and, to his horror, he clipped the ball high into the stand instead of swinging it towards the goalmouth.

Former Adelaide United defender Sasa Ognenovski and Cho Byung-Kuk were excellent at the back for the home side, especially in the air. But, Ognenovski should probably have had a penalty awarded against him in the second half when he pushed Suwon’s Brazilian striker Jose Mota inside the box, but the referee ignored the appeal.

Near the end, Suwon had another penalty appeal denied as they fought strongly to reduce the deficit.

Seongnam took the lead in the 8th minute after their Montenegro striker Dzenan Radonic broke down the left and cut inside before having his shot deflected slightly and beating the goalkeeper at his near post.

Suwon were level in the 17th minute when Yeom Ki-Hun scored with a fine left-footed free-kick from just outside the box on the right.

They almost took the lead two minutes later when Ki-Hun’s shot was parried by the keeper straight to Ha Tae-Goon, but he fired over the bar when he should have scored.

In the 28th minute, Radonic was denied by a last-ditch tackle from a Suwon defender.

Molina gave the home side a 2-1 lead in the 33rd minute following an Ognenovski free-kick from midfield. Radonic’s header was diverted wide to the right by a defender and, when Kim Cheol-Ho cut the ball back across the face of goal, the Colombian smashed it into the net from close range.

Seven minutes after the interval, a long ball from the half-way line by Suwon found Lee Sang-Ho on the right-side of the box. He cut it inside to Ha Tae-Goon, who placed his shot wide.

Four minutes later, Radonic missed a great chance for the home side when Song Ho-Young found him with a pass from the right, but the Montenegro striker shot wide of the target.

Seongnam missed an excellent chance in the 59th minute when Molina’s shot was parried by the keeper straight to the unmarked Song Ho-Young, who somehow headed over the bar with the goal at his mercy.

The Bluewings were far from grounded, however, and in the 64th minute, substitute Shin Young-Rok nodded the ball just wide.

Their profligacy was punished three minutes later when Song Ho-Young’s deflected cross from the left flew to the limping Radonic. He recovered instantly as he saw the cross coming and powered a header into the net from 12 metres to give the home side a 3-1 lead.

The visitors struck back almost immediately and, in the 72nd minute, substitute Shin Young-Rok had another chance, but his shot hit the outside of the left-hand upright and went out for a goal-kick.

It was end-to-end play now and 8 minutes from the final whistle Seongnam substitute Cho Dong-Geon had a marvellous shot saved by the Bluewings keeper.

Seongnam hit back again and made it 4-1 in the 84th minute, although it was courtesy of an own-goal. Kim Cheol-Ho threaded the ball through to the right of the box and Yang Sang-Min, under pressure from Song Ho-Young, diverted the ball past his own keeper.

The game ended with Suwon on the attack and Yeom Ki-Hun had a great shot turned wide for a corner in the 87th minute, while in the 90th minute, Mota fired just wide with an excellent shot.

The sides meet again next week, but a 4-1 lead will be difficult to overtake.