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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Photo:  John Boulous, the FFT CEO, fronts the media at Saturday's presidents' meeting [PlessPix]

Glenorchy Knights and Devonport City are two of the inaugural Victory League clubs who will not be paying their players next year.

Both clubs’ presidents said they were looking forward to the Victory League and making preparations, but player payments were not part of their plans.


Photo:  Glenorchy Knights' Paul Woodham (left) and John Peter at Saturday's meeting [PlessPix]

“We’re really looking forward to it,” said Glenorchy Knights president Paul Woodham.

“We’re starting to put extra personnel around the players so that they’re supported next season.

“I think it’s going to be difficult in the first season.  We’re going to have to make sure that we’ve got extra people onboard to support the players, but also the recruiting of players from other clubs is going to be a big part of it.

“We want to make sure that our initial 20-man squad is extremely competitive and that we’ve got the best possible players in place.

“We’ve already named our two coaches, Chris Hey and Matthew Rhodes, who will be coaching our Victory League side.  We now need to just make sure that we can support them.

“We’re talking to a number of players from other clubs at the moment and then putting a package together to support them.

“We’re certainly making sure that we can provide pathways for them.

“I know for the younger players coming across, we want to make sure that if they want to go further with their soccer, we’ve got a way that we can further it by getting connections with Mainland clubs.

“We’ve got a strong connection through the Croatian-based clubs on the Mainland.

“We’re not into salaries.  We won’t be paying players.  Other clubs may, but that’s their business.

“At the moment, we won’t be paying players.  We’ll be paying our coaching staff, obviously, but we’re certainly not paying players at this stage.

“I don’t think that makes it hard to be competitive.  I think most of the clubs are in the same boat.

“Most clubs are in it for the soccer and most players are in it for the soccer.

“There may be some players who get paid, and there may be some sort of visa and import players that we bring across occasionally and, obviously, there’d have to be financial arrangements to be put into place for that.

“But, the majority of players in Tasmania play for the game and not for the money.”


Photo:  Devonport City president Andrew Groves [PlessPix]

Andrew Groves, the president of Devonport City, expressed optimism about the Victory League and his club’s preparations.

“Things are looking very good,” Groves said.  “Being the only North-West Coast club, we’ve tried to adopt a policy that will actually support and get support from the other Premier League clubs on the North-West Coast and try and promote all the juniors through the North-West Coast to come to our club and play Victory League.

“We’ve been lucky enough to get commitments from three Ulverstone players.

“Probably the best striker in the State in Brayden Mann has decided to come and play for us.  And, so have Joel Stone and Ben Foote.

“Our new assistant coach is Nick Owen, who was with Ulverstone last year.

“We will not pay any players.  We want players to come for the right reasons and that is to play for the Devonport Strikers.

“We’ll offer some incentives and try and help them and make sure that they’re not out of pocket because it’s a bigger commitment, but definitely no pay.

“[The matter of payment to players] is up to each club, if that’s what they want to do.

“We want to be financially secure in three years’ time.  We’re here for the long haul, not for a five-minute bit of glory.

“We want to make sure our juniors are looked after.  By bringing in and paying players, you don’t look after your juniors.

“We’ve got some junior boys from Somerset, and a couple of other junior boys from Ulverstone are coming along and, hopefully, a couple of boys from Burnie, plus we have the nucleus of our good under-18 side that won the premiership this year, plus our senior side.

“I think John and the FFT boys have done a good job.  I think it’s been done properly.

“I don’t think we should rush into anything.  I mean, we want to do this for the next 20 or 30 years rather than find a five-minute fix.”


Photo:  Saturday's meeting of club presidents, representatives and some club coaches [PlessPix]


+1 #38 Anonymous 2012-10-25 00:08
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Warrior:
In Season 2012 the Warrior senior squad got paid 50$ a win for each player on the team sheet. This seemed to work well and all of us were very happy to collect what we earned. I am hoping that this continues. I see it as a thank you for the players work and loyalty to the club.

if you had loyalty to the club you wouldnt accept the money

If your club had loyalty to you they wouldn't drop you ;)
+1 #37 KingB 2012-10-24 22:17
I'm on good word Knights have signed one Roona player and uni's barnyard, and hindmarsh so far - these guys probs wouldn't get a gig at any of the other hobart based clubs - it think this is where the Knights will get a fair few players from, that middle catagory just off the top. Good luck to them.
0 #36 Anonymous 2012-10-24 21:34
#32, I'd rather play for club pride and get paid no match payments than play for a team just because i can get paid. I suppose thats where loyalty/intrins ic motivation comes into it. If you need and extra $50-$100 a week, how about getting a better job
0 #35 Anonymous 2012-10-24 01:21
#30 you are right Knights will struggle in Hobart in a crowded sence and possibly will struggle to lure top players no disrepect intended.
South will still be the yard stick but i think that the 2 northern teams will be very solid. I trul;y think that there are only enough very good players for 3 teams in Hobart not 5.
+6 #34 Anonymous 2012-10-23 23:06
#32 and you are probably a player with little talent who believes people actually pay to watch him, rather than support their club.
+3 #33 Anonymous 2012-10-23 22:54
#31 So what you are saying is any sporting club in Tasmania that gives players some pocket money is a disgrace?
+2 #32 Anonymous 2012-10-23 12:14
# 31 If a club offers it why not, you are living in the past.
+4 #31 Anonymous 2012-10-23 10:26
If you need match payments to play for a club, you are a disgrace. Clubs covering rego fees for players and meal allowances or whatever to cover costs i can understand.
+10 #30 Anonymous 2012-10-23 10:10
The things Devonport are saying seem to make sense a lot more than the knights line.. They can offer the highest level of football up on the coast where as Knights might struggle to compete in a crowded scene.
+6 #29 Anonymous 2012-10-23 09:29
Quoting Charlie White:
I am dumbfounded by some of the people on here who assume that the only way that you will get players to play is to pay them. By the end of the last state league the money had well and truly gone, I never received a cent, nor did I expect it or want it. I too was a uni student who did not have much coin, but I loved running around with my mates, it just so happened that I did that at State League/Conference League (just for some of you older heads out there!) and Premier League. If had been at division 3 or 4 I still would have played and definately not have expected any coin. We will not get 500 to 1000 to each game, whoever came up with that is mind numbingly stupid, we got nearly 4000 to a Tas vs Victory game, why would a quarter of them come out to A vs B in the Victory League. Money will not make the standard any better, coaching and an emphasis on skills and ball retention at a very early age may mean better players later, while a desire to always improve will also help. If we expect a new league to suddenly make the standard better we are misguided, a close league is what we want, right to the last game, two or more teams in the mix, final four only resolved at the last whistle... hang on, deja vu!

Charlie white you've hit the nail on the head well said someone else who sees sense

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