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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Fourth-placed Melbourne Victory drew 0-0 with fifth-ranked Wellington Phoenix before 11,513 fans at AAMI Park in Melbourne this evening.

The draw left both sides in the same ladder positions as before the match.

Wellington’s Nick Ward, a former Melbourne Victory player, was man of the match and received a warm reception on a chilly evening from the home fans.

Ward and Melbourne’s Adrian Leijer were both making their 100th A-League appearances.

Melbourne were without their injured captain, Kevin Muscat, so Leijer partnered Roddy Vargas in the centre of defence and it worked well.

The game was not a classic, with both sides giving the ball away in midfield and far too often failing to find their strikers in the final third of the pitch.

Ward had the first chance of the match when he fired a cross from the right against the outside of Michael Petkovic’s left-hand post.

Victory hit back in the 16th minute when Diogo Ferreira, making his first start, fired wide after a pass from Carlos Hernandez on the right.

A minute before the break, Wellington missed the chance of the match. Paul Ifill crossed from the left and Chris Greenacre missed the ball when it got stuck under his boot and the chance to sweep the ball home went begging. He somehow recovered his composure and, despite the close attentions of Vargas and Leijer, managed to toe the ball at goal, but Petkovic turned it wide for a corner.

In the 63rd minute, Hernandez ran onto a pass from substitute Mate Dugandzic but fired straight at Wellington keeper Daniel Vukovic from an angle on the right.

Wellington’s Tim Brown did well 6 minutes later to get in a shot from outside the box, but it curled wide of the right-hand post.

The save of the match came from Vukovic in the 70th minute. Billy Celeski slipped the ball down the inside-left channel to put Ricardinho in and he cut inside and managed to get in a shot which the keeper did well to palm wide for a corner.

Substitute Mirjan Pavlovic beat Vargas 6 minutes from the end but finished with a shot that drifted wide of the target.

The final chance of the match fell to Victory in the 89th minute as Hernandez fed substitute Geoff Kellaway through the middle, but Vukovic was off his line in a flash and blocked at the striker’s feet.

Diogo Ferreira and Matthew Foschini of Melbourne Victory were booked by referee Ben Williams, as were Wellington’s Ben Sigmund, Chris Greenacre and Paul Ifill.

Victory had 7 shots, two of which were on target, while Wellington managed a total of 9, five of which were on target.

Both sides committed 17 fouls, while Melbourne earned two corners and Wellington three.

Melbourne were off-side 6 times and Wellington saw the assistant referee’s flag raised 4 times for the same offence.

Goran Jozeljic, another young Tasmanian playing interstate, celebrated success when his team, St Albans Dinamo, won the Victorian State League Division One title recently.

Jozeljic, 20, who played with Metro and Glenorchy Knights, is brother of Tasmanian Premier League referee, Ivan Jozeljic.

St Albans will be promoted to the Victorian Premier League next season and Jozeljc is looking forward to locking horns with another Tasmanian, Green Gully’s Mathew Sanders.

Jozeljic had a chat to Sanders recently and he is looking forward to catching up with him on the field.

Sanders followed the same path to the Victorian top flight as Jozeljic - via Metro and the Glenorchy Knights - and they played against each other in Tasmania.

“My season started off pretty slowly this year,” said Jozeljic, who is studying tourism at college.

“I didn’t get much time on the field initially, but half-way through the season the coach made some tactical changes which enable me to get a starting position up front.

“That ended up being very good as I finished as the club’s leading scorer with 10 goals.

“I’m really looking forward to playing in Premier League next season, which is the next step up, as it gives me another opportunity to play at a higher level.

“I think we’ll do pretty well and we’ll be aiming to finish in the top half of the table, of course.”

Jozeljic said that the game in Victoria was faster and more physical than in Tasmania.

“But, there is potential in Tassie with some of the boys that are playing there,” he said. “I’m sure some of the boys back home could easily make it here.

“Training is important, though. At St Albans, we’ve got a reasonable squad and everyone is fighting for their position.

“We’ve got a big squad and that means you really have to fight for your position and attend every training session.

“If you miss training, it’s very hard to get into the team, especially when you’re only training twice a week. If you miss one training session, it’s very hard to keep your spot on the field on the Saturday or Sunday when you play.”

A whole-page team photo of St Albans Dinamo, including Jozeljic, is in this week’s edition of “Goal!Weekly”, the Melbourne newspaper that is available at Ellison Hawker in Liverpool Street, the Mall Newsagency in the Hobart Mall, and at the newsagency in Northgate, Glenorchy.

This week’s edition also features a whole-page colour photo of the South Hobart team which beat Northern Rangers in the State Top-Four Final last Saturday, as well as a large photo of South Hobart’s victory celebration after the match.

There is also a whole-page colour photo of Mathew Sanders’s Green Gully team, as well as a match report of Green Gully’s 3-0 win over Richmond in the Victorian Premier League grand final. There are action photos from that match, including one of Sanders netting the opening goal.

This past week, therefore, has been a marvellous one for our young Tasmanian players active in interstate leagues, with Mathew Sanders and Green Gully winning the Victorian Premier League title and the grand final, Aaron Brazendale’s Sunshine Coast Fire winning the league and grand final in the Queensland State League, and Goran Jozeljic’s St Albans Dinamo taking out the Victorian Division One State League title and earning promotion to the Victorian Premier League.

South Hobart’s Greg Downes leaves next week for trials in South Korea and he then moves on to the UK to try his luck there.

I’m sure all Tasmanian football fans will join me in congratulating Mathew Sanders, Aaron Brazendale and Goran Jozeljic on their successes, and in wishing Greg Downes the best of luck on his journey and in his trials.

Brett Pullen signed as coach of Beachside last night.

He will take over the coaching reins from Nathan Robinson, who coached the club for the past two seasons.

Pullen joined Beachside as a player this year and helped the club to the Division One title and promotion to next year’s Premier League competition.

He joined Beachside from Forestry Tasmania Southern Premier League outfit Tilford Zebras.

A three-time winner of the Vic Tuting Silver Medal as southern Tasmania’s best player, Pullen once played in the National Soccer League for West Adelaide Hellas before returning to Tasmania and joining Caledonians.

“My plan is to put together a coaching ‘team’, including current senior players, and some new introductions. The coaching team will be responsible for the seniors and reserves and will have assistants that will allow trainings to be broken down and specific areas targeted for work, if required.

“I am after any player from any club that believes they might not have been given the opportunity to express themselves on the field or the opportunity to play at the level they should and who is willing to take up the challenge in a newly structured Southern Premier League club.

“The club is also looking for people interested in being part of a newly formed junior and youth program, who are excited about starting something new and building it from the ground up, and people who are passionate about football but also understand the importance of fun.

“At the end of the day, my move is in no reason because of the club I have been associated with for numerous years, namely Tilford Zebras. I have taken on this appointment for the chance to sink or swim in the world of coaching and the chance to hopefully pass on what I have been able to pick up over the last 23 years of senior football on the Mainland and in this State.

“I hope to help a new club like Beachside to survive in the Southern Premier League and grow into a stronger club that can one day compete with the bigger clubs.

“Sandy Bay is a wonderful location for football and families, and the Sandown surface is great, except when full of water and mud, and the club has an open mind about moving forward.

“Northern Rangers showed what a new club can achieve in a short period of time in this State and I truly believe that, with the right people behind it, Beachside can achieve these sorts of things.”

Former Tilford Zebras midfielder Aaron Brazendale has had a terrific and successful season with Sunshine Coast Fire in the Queensland State League.

The 25-year-old left Tasmania in January to join the Fire and the club won this season’s league title.

On the weekend, they also won the grand final, beating Brisbane Strikers 1-0 to complete the double.

Brazendale, who has been playing as a right-midfielder, has scored 4 goals this season and he is an integral part of the senior line-up.

“Things are going pretty well up here and I’m working for an accounting firm,” Brazendale said. “And, I’m playing a bit of football.

“I’ve mainly been on the right side of midfield, but I have been playing up front sometimes, but not very often.

“My season has been pretty good, but I’ve had to adapt to the way this team plays. I think I’ve fitted in all right.

“I had a few niggling injuries mid-season, but it’s been a pretty solid year and I’m happy with it.

“I’ve been starting, and I started in the grand final on the weekend, too.”

Brazendale said the Fire played in the Queensland State League and that makes life and football a lot different to the set-up in Tasmania.

“The league has eight teams and ranges as far north as Cairns and as far south as Brisbane,” Brazendale said.

“We play every team three times and that can involve a lot of travel.

“We fly to Cairns, for example, and we do that over two days. They fly you all over the place. We always fly.

“The only bus trip is to Bundaberg, which is three hours to the north.

“Next year, they’re expanding the league and Gold Coast is coming in.

“I’ve also caught up with David Abela as he’s in charge of the Queensland Academy of Sport side, which plays in our league, and they also have a younger side as well. They’re based in Brisbane. We’ve beaten them every time we’ve played them, but they’re a good side.

“Obviously, they’re feeding into the Brisbane Roar Youth Academy.

“Other places we go to are Townsville, Rockhampton and Mackay.

“Hopefully, I’ll play for the Fire again next year.”

Brazendale decided to leave Tasmania and go to Queensland after returning from a European trip last year and his football career has flourished.

“It’s been an unbelievable year, and to do the double was just great,” he said. “Everyone is just over the moon.

“I scored four goals from out wide, so that’s okay.

“We’ve played some great teams this year outside the competition, too.

“We played the Brisbane Roar pre-season and we also played against the Japanese Under-21 national team when they came here.

“We also played the Football Superstars team from that television series.

“This coming weekend, we play the Northern New South Wales champions.”

Brazendale hopes to come home for Christmas to catch up with family and friends.

“I might come down before, though, as my sister has just had a baby,” he said.

The Sunshine Coast Fire website is at: