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: The Caledonian match program from 1979 for the Calies and Tasmanian games against the visiting Newcastle KB United [Courtesy of the Rodney Tattam Collection]

Forgive me for saying I’ve seen it all before.

But, it’s true.

Others who have had a long involvement in Tasmanian football are probably saying the same thing.

After the recent matches involving local clubs against South Melbourne and Melbourne Knights, there has been some discussion about the sort of teams that should have been selected to play these Victorian Premier League sides.

The representative team that played against Melbourne Knights on the Sunday, for example, came up for some criticism in regard to team selection and playing style.

Some said a Tasmanian side should have been selected, as was the case for the game against Central Coast Mariners in July last year.

Well, such visits by interstate sides are not new.

Shown above are pages from a program produced by the Caledonian club in February 1979.

Calies, as they were commonly known, absorbed Hobart Rangers a decade earlier, before themselves merging with Kingborough to form Kingborough Lions United.

Ken Morton was Calies coach at the time, so he is also probably saying he’s seen it all before.

Morton has retained the fire and the drive to still be organising such matches today - as coach of South Hobart.

Morton didn’t stay with Calies for long. In fact he didn’t see the season out and took over the player-coach role at Rapid shortly after arriving in Tasmania from Western Australia.

Calies played Newcastle KB United on the Saturday and a State squad - actually a southern Tasmanian selection - played Newcastle KB United again on the Sunday.

Two games in two days. No problem in those days.

The Calies side and the State squad listed are interesting.

Which players are still involved in some capacity nowadays?

Chris Hey is one who has seen it all, so all those who criticise Chris, even on this blog, should think again. Just like Morton, Hey has seen it all and has been involved as a player and a coach and I reckon he knows what he’s talking about and is trying to improve the local game.

Alister Hales still has some involvement with Beachside, while Paul Jones was refereeing not so long ago.

Eamonn Kelly was, until relatively recently, coaching Glenorchy Knights and the Tasmanian side.

David Smith is, of course, the Northern NSW coaching director, while Rodney Tattam coaches women’s football these days.

Neil Thomas played with Kingston Cannons until recently, while Willie Peters catches the occasional local game.

So, there you have it. Nothing new under the sun, but I wish we’d learn something from the past. We’d be better prepared for today - and tomorrow.