Who Is Walter Pless?

Walter_Pless

A teacher by profession, but is now in his 37th 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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Lucas_Hill_and_Brayden_Mann_in_action

Photo:  South Hobart's Lucas Hill (left) will be tested by the Warriors [PlessPix]

Victory League leaders South Hobart face a tricky game away to third-placed Olympia Warriors at 7pm on Saturday at Warrior Park.

But, South Hobart have points to play with and, even if they do go down, it would only be a minor hiccup in their road to the title.

Eaves_breaks_clear_with_ball

Photo:  Devonport will expect big things from Bobby Eaves (shown here with the ball) against Northern Rangers [PlessPix]

Olympia are certain to be fired up for this clash and they may well introduce their new secret weapon  -  a Mexican import who is pals with their injured Mexican striker, Eduardo Cabello.

Nothing much is known about the newcomer, but ‘Zorro’ (let’s call him that for now) is reported to have looked sharp at training.

Olympia will also welcome back midfielder-cum-striker Nick Meredith, who has returned from overseas and trained well during the week.

It’s been an emotional week for the Warriors following the retirement of skipper Janko Begovic, but emotion is what often fuels Olympia and so they will be difficult to beat on their home pitch.

a_McNeill_and_Holmes

Photo:  Olympia coach Glen McNeill (left) and cehtre-back Alex Holmes at today's media conference at Warrior Park [PlessPix]

“South are obviously the benchmark of the competition and when we play them we look at it as a grand final,” said Olympia supremo, Glen McNeill.

“The previous encounter was a nail-biter and we anticipate an evenly matched contest this week.”

“We lost our Captain Janko Begovic this week through retirement due to injury.  He is an ornament of the game and will be missed.  He will retain the club captain role and will be giving input behind the scenes.

“Warren Wadawu returns from suspension as well as Nick Meredith from overseas.  He has trained with us all week and looks in good shape and he will play a part in the match on Saturday.

“We hope we get a lot of supporters along as we anticipate it will be an entertaining match.”

South Hobart will be primed for this match and eager to maintain their 8-point lead over the chasing pack.

They will be without influential midfielder Shae Hickey, who is unavailable for personal reasons and who will play for the club’s Southern Premier League side on Sunday.

b_Ludlow_and_Morton

Photo:  South Hobart's Caleb Ludlow (left) and South Hobart coach Ken Morton at today's media conference at Warrior Park [PlessPix]

Central defenders Hugh Ludford and Matt Lewis will be available after injury, while Mark Ambrose is finally over his injury but will not be risked.  He will also play in the Southern Premier League side the following day.

“We take on an Olympia side who have also started to get back to full strength,” said South Hobart and Tasmania coach, Ken Morton.

“What a great captain and leader Janko Begovic has been. He will be missed by his team mates and opponents and I hope Janko gets involved in the coaching scene.

“It has been great working with Janko in the past.  He is a very competitive, honest and skilful player and I wish him well in retirement.”

This game should be a classic and a draw may well be the outcome.

Joel_Stone_and_Page

Photo:  Tilford Zebras' Mark Page (right) makes way for Paul Palmer for the match against Kingborough [PlessPix]

Second-ranked Tilford Zebras face a danger game against sixth-placed Kingborough Lions United at home at KGV Park at 8pm on Friday.

The Lions came good last weekend and beat Northern Rangers 2-1 away in Launceston.

KGV Park has usually been to the Lions’ liking and they will be eager for the zebra hunt on this artificial veldt at night.

The Zebras will have Sydney FC’s Ryan Norval back in goal after suspension, while Andrew Clark will replace the injured Henry Fagg.

Paul Palmer comes into midfield in place of Mark Page.

Ryan Smith, Grant Malcolm, David Cox and Jayden Welch had their training interrupted during the week for various reasons.

This all indicates an upset could be on the cards and Kingborough could well collect another three points.

“After a performance that was well below the standards set by the players and expected by the club, I have reviewed the way we prepared through last week and have implemented some changes,” said Tilford Zebras coach, Tommy Fotak.

“Our defensive intensity was low and our combination play in the forward third lacklustre.

“I am looking for a sharp turnaround when we host Kingbrough on Friday night at KGV.

“I want to see us playing passing, combination football with high intensity for ninety minutes.  This group is certainly capable of that and this club expects that type of performance.”

Kingborough Lions United coach, Steve Adkins, kept his cards close to his chest and will delay his team selection for as long as possible.

“It should be another tough encounter for the squad this week away to Zebras,” Adkins said.

“Zebras have been playing some great football during the season and have risen to be a title contender over the last few weeks.

“We will aim to limit the influence of their midfield players and stop the flow to the forwards and the goal-scoring opportunities that they create.

“It was a good effort by our squad away last round to get the points against Rangers and, once, again we will be looking for a similar disciplined, committed effort for this week’s encounter.

“We will be hoping to field the same squad as last week, with the inclusion of our back-up keeper Andrew Duncan, who returns from a long-term injury.

“We have a couple of illness and injury concerns where a decision will be made closer to kick off.”

Brayden_Mann_shoots

Photo:  Brayden Mann (right), the Victory League's leading marksman, will seek to add to his tally against Northern Rangers [PlessPix]

Fifth-placed Northern Rangers have fallen off the pace in recent weeks and are 6 points adrift of fourth-placed Devonport City.

Rangers visit Valley Road for a 7pm kick-off on Saturday and must win to keep alive their top-four aspirations.

Devonport coach Chris McKenna will leave his team selection until the last moment.

“We are unsure of the makeup of our team for Saturday night’s game against Northern Rangers, with another three players struggling with injury,” McKenna said.

“Two of them, Bobby Eaves and Nathan Gratton, got a heavy knocks last weekend and have been unable to train so far this week.

“We’ll test their fitness to ensure they’re ready to go.  If they don’t come through that, we’ll replace them with either Simon Wilson, Bradley Chilcott or both.

“We have a number of other injured players in our squad but, hopefully, we can get together more than the 13 players that we had fit in Hobart last week.

“We were disappointed with our performance against South Hobart last weekend.  It wasn’t so much the result, but the way we went about the game.

“We thought we were more than competitive for the opening 30 minutes, but dropped away significantly from there on.

“One of the main points we’d emphasised prior to that game was for the lads to put in a collective effort and be prepared to work hard for each other.

“We don’t feel that we were able to achieve that goal and that’s one of the main reasons we struggled, especially in the second half.

“This week, we’ll have to be much better in that regard against a good team in Rangers.

“Their recent run of results wouldn’t be to their liking and I’m sure they’ll come to Valley Road hungry for the points.

“Our recent home form has been excellent and we’ll look to continue on in the same vein.”

Shane_Brassington_of_Northern_Rangers_1_June_2013

Photo:  Northern Rangers' Shane Brassington will be striving to catch up to Brayden Mann in the goalscoring charts [PlessPix]

Rangers will have defenders Ryan McCarragher and Luke Tuma available after injury.

“It’s been a tough run of results for us, but we are confident that we can turn it around, and work to getting our season back on track,” said Rangers spokesman, Brendan Lichtendonk.

“On a disappointing note, Derek Schipper is out this week due to an ongoing knee complaint, and an appointment with his doctor will decide his future.

“Devonport are possibly the hardest team in this competition to play on their home turf so we know it will be hard work.

“They have quality across the park, so we will need to be at our best.”

Nick_Morton_and_Schipper

Photo:  Derek Schipper (left) will be missing for Rangers against Devonport [PlessPix]

The remaining match of the round is the bottom-of-the-tale clash between last-placed Launceston City and second-last Glenorchy Knights at 2pm on Saturday at Mitsubishi Park.

The Glenorchy Knights squad is:  Michael McKenna, Ben Robinson, Jade Clay, Jal David, Harry Booth, Blayne Hudson, Jeremy Marshall, Jayden Hey, George Kamano, Callen Griffin, Phineas Aldridge, Sam Cornish, Aaron Marney and Andrew Robb.

The Knights are still missing Declan Foley, who is in England, Mynonge Kamba, who has commitments with the local African community, Justin Letiko, who will play in the club’s Southern Premier League side, and Matthew Robb, who has a broken hand and has been replaced in the Victory League squad by Saed Kirri.

“This will be a tough game for us, given the enthusiasm and vigour Launceston City are playing with at the moment,” said Glenorchy Knights coach, Chris Hey.

“We seem to be plateauing at the moment and have struggled on the training park over the last couple of weeks, which is a concern.”

Launceston City were encouraged by their performance against Tilford Zebras last weekend and will test the visitors.

Against Tilford Zebras, we displayed a vastly improved performance from the previous week,” said Launceston City coach, Mark Egan.

“Our passing improved, our structure improved and our work rate was outstanding.

“The lads are looking forward to playing Knights this weekend in our second game at home on the bounce and we will be naming an unchanged squad.

“It was great to see Saeed named in the V-League Team-of-the-Week once again.  It’s a shame he didn’t get a call up for the State squad.

“I am hopeful that we will start to see more City FC players named in the V-League Team-of-the-Week on a more regular basis.”

 

VICTORY LEAGUE (as at 22 June 2013)

 

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

South Hobart

12

10

1

1

45

17

31

Tilford Zebras

12

7

2

3

40

25

23

Olympia Warriors

12

7

2

3

30

15

23

Devonport City

12

7

1

4

34

22

22

Northern Rangers

12

4

4

4

31

17

16

Kingborough Lions Utd

12

4

2

6

23

26

14

Glenorchy Knights

12

2

2

8

17

34

8

Launceston City

12

0

0

12

5

70

0

 

My predictions (winners in capitals) are:

Tilford Zebras v KINGBOROUGH LIONS UNITED (KGV Park, 8pm, Friday, 28 June 2013)

OLYMPIA WARRIORS v SOUTH HOBART  [Draw] (Warrior Park, 7pm, Saturday, 29 June 2013)

DEVONPORT CITY v NORTHERN RANGERS [Draw] (Valley Road, 7pm, Saturday, 29 June 2013)

LAUNCESTON CITY v GLENORCHY KNIGHTS [Draw] (Mitsubishi Park, 2pm, Saturday, 29 June 2013)

 

Comments   

+2 #42 Two Bobs Worth 2013-07-01 02:45
Quoting Anonymous:
South actually are looking better now. They have obviously been winning, but have not always looked convincing. Last night they were great. They sub well; Ken uses his bench to great effect, and South have strong players on the bench. Was actually surprised to see that McNeil only made one sub, when it was clear he needed to make more.


They did play well. I think the pre match antics with the music & banners etc fired a few of them up. Probably worth a couple of red bulls each. The coaching staff didn't look real happy about it either. They were a bit dark & had the royal "we are not amused" look about them.
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+2 #41 Anonymous 2013-06-30 07:03
No hiccups but a bit of indigestion around the ground I fear.
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+8 #40 Anonymous 2013-06-30 02:24
South actually are looking better now. They have obviously been winning, but have not always looked convincing. Last night they were great. They sub well; Ken uses his bench to great effect, and South have strong players on the bench. Was actually surprised to see that McNeil only made one sub, when it was clear he needed to make more.
Quote
-1 #39 Two Bobs Worth 2013-06-29 22:59
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Anon:
Quoting Anonymous:
# 10 you make a good point. I think that South will lose three games, as they have had a few close shaves this round. The difference will be that Zebras, Olympia and Devonport need to keep winning to topple south, and will take poins from each other.

Who will they lose to ?


I'm #10. I think South, Zebras and Devonport *could* beat South, and one of them may well do, but with 7 rounds after this one, South suddenly losing three of those? Not happening.


No sure I understand this:- South *could* beat South. Are you saying that South are their own worst enemy?
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0 #38 Anon 2013-06-29 22:45
#37 , you may be right with zebras and Port but knights and Olympia are no chance to beat South I'm afraid although knights could well hold them to a draw .
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0 #37 Anonymous 2013-06-29 12:16
# 34
I think Zebras, Devonport, outside chance Knights, and Olympia next round, if Olympia need to get second spot. They have to plat Devonport at Valley Road, and Olympia at Darcy Street. Olympia actually play better on a bigger ground, so it could be a boil over?
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+3 #36 Anonymous 2013-06-29 12:10
#35 I agree. Olympia needed to win tonight for South to feel any pressure. It may well be a slog fest for second. Still think South will drop a few games tho'. Suspect it will be not necessarily against one of the top four, although, I will be in the stands for the Zebras v South match in three weeks time. Hope both teams are on top of their game: if so, it will be a cracker of a game!
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+3 #35 Anonymous 2013-06-29 04:57
Quoting Anon:
Quoting Anonymous:
# 10 you make a good point. I think that South will lose three games, as they have had a few close shaves this round. The difference will be that Zebras, Olympia and Devonport need to keep winning to topple south, and will take poins from each other.

Who will they lose to ?


I'm #10. I think South, Zebras and Devonport *could* beat South, and one of them may well do, but with 7 rounds after this one, South suddenly losing three of those? Not happening.
Quote
+1 #34 Anon 2013-06-29 02:50
Quoting Anonymous:
# 10 you make a good point. I think that South will lose three games, as they have had a few close shaves this round. The difference will be that Zebras, Olympia and Devonport need to keep winning to topple south, and will take poins from each other.

Who will they lose to ?
Quote
+3 #33 Anonymous 2013-06-29 00:47
# 10 you make a good point. I think that South will lose three games, as they have had a few close shaves this round. The difference will be that Zebras, Olympia and Devonport need to keep winning to topple south, and will take poins from each other.
Quote

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