Who Is Walter Pless?

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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Eli_Luttmer_header

Photo:  Under the light of an almost full moon, Taroona's Eli Luttmer heads a corner at the NTC goal [PlessPix]

(Southern Premier League, KGV park, Friday, 29 March 2013)

NTC 3 (A Wilson 14, L Quaile 44, V Kamano 71)

Taroona 4 (T Dove 70, 85, S James 89, E Luttmer 90+4)

HT: 1-0   Att: 80   Ref: A Barker

NTC: Prendergast  -  Schmidt, McClung, Thomas, Eyles  -  Kemp (Ortmann 87), Hope, Pizzirani  -  Quaile (Lesek 84), Kamano, Wilson  (Subs not used:  Castenada, Sculthorpe, Witte)

Taroona: Darragh Carey  -  Cherry, Schaap, Stevens, Tubb  -  Quigley (Haslewood 85), H Luttmer (F Kang 58)  -  E Luttmer, James, Abbott  -  Dove

David_Abbott_crossing

Photo:  Taroona's David Abbott (right) gets in a cross [PlessPix]

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  If you want to see football played the way it should be played, come and watch the NTC.

Coach Dean May has his new bunch of youngsters, whom he has had since January, playing beautiful football.  They are technically skilled and tactically astute.  The players work for each other and show great understanding.

Their passing and movement on and off the ball are superb and they use the full width of the pitch in attack.  This is a team that is being taught and coached, not just trained, and it shows.

This is not to take anything away from Taroona, who also produced some wonderful football.  They seemed down and out at 2-0 in arrears, but they fought back strongly and scored three goals in the last 5 minutes and in stoppage time to snatch the narrowest of wins.

NTC made two substitutions in the last 6 minutes of normal time, when they were leading 3-1.  Whether this unsettled them and led to the defeat is a moot point.  The aim for the NTC is development, however, and not necessarily winning.

What can be said is that this match was every bit as skilful and exciting as any Victory League match and credit for this must go to both sides.

Eli_Luttmer_and_Allira_Barker

Photo:  Referee Allira Barker watches as Taroona's Eli Luttmer presses home an attack [PlessPix]

Goalkeeper Tristan Prendergast produced a splendid performance for the NTC, while David McClung was outstanding at the heart of the defence.  Liam Quaile and Aaron Wilson were excellent in attack and constantly troubled Taroona down the flanks.

For Taroona, David Abbott gradually exercised an influence on the game and, by the second half, was providing plenty of ammunition from the flanks for Toby Dove, the lone out-and-out striker.  Felix Kang made a difference on the left flank when he came on just before the hour.

Fill-in goalkeeper Darragh Carey, who is normally a fullback but who filled in for John Burridge, could only be blamed for one goal, but when your team wins, any deficiencies are quickly forgotten.

Wilson gave NTC the lead in the 14th minute with a delightful chip from wide on the right, while Vincent Kamano almost got a second four minutes before the interval but his effort hit the side-netting.

Taroona should have levelled seconds before half-time when Abbott raced clear down the left and sent over a dangerous low cross into the goalmouth, but Dove was unable to get a touch.

McClung_and_James

Photo:  The NTC's David McClung wins the ball against Taroona's Sam James [PlessPix]

Less than a minute after the resumption, Liam Quaile made it 2-0, finishing clinically after a fine attack by the NTC.

Prendergast did well in the 50th minute to beat out a powerful shot by Josh Quigley aimed at the near post, while in the 56th minute, at the other end, Carey was on tip-toes as he fielded a dangerous header from Wilson.

In the 61st minute, Dove could only prod another dangerous Abbott cross from the right wide of the far left-hand post as Taroona fought to get back into the game.

Four minutes later, Wilson frightened Taroona by curling a deliberate shot just wide of the far post.

With 20 minutes remaining, Eli Luttmer headed a corner centimetres wide, but within seconds, Taroona has the goal they were seeking.  Dove was put through in the inside-left channel and he outpaced the defence and fired past the unprotected Prendergast to make it one goal the difference.

Tristan_Prendergast_saves

Photo:  NTC goalkeeper Tristan Prendergast foils Taroona's Sam James [PlessPix]

A minute later, the NTC restored their two-goal buffer.  Quaile’s shot from the left was partially blocked, but the ball carried through and a misunderstanding between Carey and defender Jeremy Stevens saw the ball elude Carey and enable Vincent Kamano to score from close range.

With 5 minutes remaining, Abbott’s perfect low cross from the right found the advancing Dove, who was unmarked and hammered a blistering shot past a helpless Prendergast to make it 3-2.

A minute before the end of normal time, NTC lost possession deep in their defence and Sam James rifled home a low drive into the bottom corner of the net to make it 3-3 and complete a remarkable comeback by Taroona.

But, Taroona were not finished yet.  Four minutes into stoppage time, a corner from the left by Kanhg found Eli Luttmer beyond the far post and he smashed a perfect volley into the roof of the net to give Taroona a last-gasp 4-3 win.

And, I’ll say it again:  If you want to see good football, go and watch an NTC game.

Eli_Luttmer_charges

Photo:  NTC's Connor Schmidt (left) battels for possession with Taroona's Eli Luttmer [PlessPix]

NTC coach, Dean May, said:

“At the end of the day, I thought it was a great game.  For those supporters of either team, they saw two teams that tried to play football.

“Disappointing for the boys, but again, as we said, it’s all about development.

“A couple of little errors.  They’ll learn from that and continue to develop the way we want them to do.

“This year, they’re in the first year at this level and two results that could have been draws or wins, but at the end of the day, the boys are developing and learning and hopefully showing the Tasmanian football community that we can play football and we’ve got some good bright stars coming through.”

Dave_Abbott_trickery

Photo:  Taroona's David Abbott (right) tries to outfox the NTC's Connor Scmidt [PlessPix]

Taroona coach, Andy Tye, said:

“I didn’t think we’d win it, to be honest.  I thought we played well enough to create those chances, but it just wasn’t happening.

“The NTC defended well and were really cutting us up with their passes, which were very firm, and moving it quickly.

“I think it was just more a character win.  I think either team could have won it.  Obviously, they were ahead and we came back and we got it this time, but it could have been either way.

“So, very happy.”

David_McClung_beats_Sam_James

Photo:  The NTC's excellent David McClung stops Taroona's Sam James [PlessPix]

Eli_Luttmer_is_under_pressure

Photo:  Taroona's Eli Luttmer (right) is tackled by NTC's Connor Schmidt [PlessPix]

Comments   

-2 #7 Anonymous 2013-03-30 11:04
Kang definitely the hidden mom that night. Roona scored all 4 goals when he came on
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+5 #6 Anonymous 2013-03-30 11:02
The general consensus in our team is the pitch is far easier on the body than warrior. Much softer. As for the Ntcs boots, i heard they have been advised to wear turf boots, and most are.
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0 #5 Anonymous 2013-03-30 09:48
I see some NTC boys wearing different shoes?? any news on that front walter
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+5 #4 Anonymous 2013-03-30 03:48
What a contrast to last weeks game. From memory 2 or 3 free kicks for the whole night. 2 teams playing football and everybody seemed to be enjoying the game.
Well done to ntc and taroona
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+12 #3 Anonymous 2013-03-30 00:24
Last nights game was a great advertisement for tasmanian football. Both teams played exciting football and it was a pleasure to watch. Mclung was best for NTC for me. His strength and speed in the backline was vital. The boys on the wing were good although at times Wilson failed to notice the the middle had opened up. Eli was the quite achiever for Taroona. Nothing flashy but solid when it counted.
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+3 #2 Mitt 2013-03-29 23:35
any feedback on how the new surface plays, Walter?
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+7 #1 Anonymous 2013-03-29 22:29
Eli to the rescue !!!! ;)
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