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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A_Foote_and_A_Leszczynski

Photo:  Zebras' Alex Leszczynski (right) slides in on Devonport's Adrian Foote [PlessPix]

(Victory League, Mitsubishi Park, Saturday, 23 March 2013)

Devonport City 5 (B Mann 51, 71, B Eaves 65, D McGinn 84, K Mulraney 92)

Tilford Zebras 2 (A Leszczynski 3, 53)

HT: 0-1   Att: 500   Ref: P Galloway

Devonport City: C Eaves  -  Gorrie, Mulraney, Gratton, A Foote  -  B Foote, Stone (Simon Wilson 87), B Eaves, Holden (C McKenna 78)  -  D McGinn (Denehey 90), B Mann (Subs not used:  Ashdown, Scott Wilson)

Tilford Zebras: Kay  -  Fagg, Cox, Palmer, Page (Toghill 86)  -  Clark, Ladic, Self  -  Leszczynski, Clamp (Cairns 72), McKeown (Subs not used:  Dand, Welch)

The_Devonport_City_squad_Prospect_Saturday_23_March_2013

Photo:  Devonport City registered the first win of the inaugural Victory League season [PlessPix]

Devonport City registered the first win of the inaugural Victory League season with a 5-2 success over Tilford Zebras at Mitsubishi Park on Saturday, while Zebras’ Alex Leszczynski netted the first goal of this new competition with a cross-cum shot from the right after just 3 minutes.

Zebras should have had a winning lead of three or four goals by the interval, which would probably have killed off any Devonport revival.  But, they were guilty of some glaring misses from close range.

The Hobart side led only by that solitary goal at the interval, and it was to cost them.

Leszczynski may have scored the opening goal of the Victory League, but he, Jacob Clamp and Adam McKeown also missed chances they should have converted with their eyes closed.

Tilford_Zebras_squad_Prospect_Saturday_23_March_2013

Photo:  Tilford Zebras threw away three points with poor finishing [PlessPix]

Devonport came out a different team after the break and they were assisted by some atrocious defensive errors by the Zebras.

In the 51st minute, an error by David Cox enabled Brayden Mann to gain possession and he rounded keeper Rob Kay and slotted home the equaliser.

Two minutes later, Leszczysnki showed skill and cool nerves on the left of the box and left Kieran Mulraney on the ground before scoring off the far post with a low shot from an acute angle to restore the Zebras’ lead.

Just short of the hour mark, Joel Stone caught Kay off his line and chipped the ball onto the crossbar, but Zebras survived.

In the 65th minute, Bobby Eaves equalised for Devonport for a second time with a low drive from 20 metres.

Devonport took the lead for the first time in the 71st minute when Zebras were caught on the back foot by a quick counter-attack and Mann dived low to head into the net.

David_Cox_drops_Mann

Photo:  Zebras' David Cox (left) ensures that Devonport's Brayden Mann is going nowhere [PlessPix]

Zebras introduced Aaron Cairns a minute later, replacing Clamp, and he started to make things a little more lively by getting behind the Devonport defence on the right and sending in some dangerous crosses.

But, Devonport had the scent of victory and, in the 74th minute, Mann forced Kay to produce an excellent save.

Devonport coach Chris McKenna came on in the 78th minute for Michael Holden in an effort to provide more leadership on the park and consolidate his side’s lead.

It paid off and Devonport increased their lead to 4-2 in the 84th minute.  Mark Page gave the ball away to Daniel McGinn just inside the Zebras’ half and McGinn released Bobby Eaves down the right.  McGinn raced for the return unimpeded and, when the cross inevitably came, he was left unmarked to hammer the ball into the net.

With two minutes remaining, McKeown let Devonport off the hook with a glaring miss from close range, his mis-timed shot lacking power and lobbing gently into the arms of goalkeeper Casey Eaves.

Ben_Foote_gets_past_Self

Photo:  Devonport's Ben Foote (right) sends Zebras' Ricky Self the wrong way [PlessPix]

In the first minute of stoppage time, a Cairns cross from the right found Paul Palmer, but the defender ballooned his shot high over the bar.

In the 92nd minute, Devonport cleared a corner and attacked upfield, with central defender Mulraney leading the charge.  He sent Mann away on the right with a pass and got onto the end of the return cross to head past Kay and make it 5-2 for the North-West Coast side.

It was an emphatic victory in the end, but it could have been so different if Zebras knew how to score.

Henry_Fagg_and_Stone

Photo:  Devonport's Joel Stone (right) is confronted by an alert Henry Fagg [PlessPix]

Devonport City player-coach, Chris McKenna, said:

“In the first half, the intensity just wasn’t there.  Too often we just conceded possession and we couldn’t build up any pressure on them because we just continually turned it over.

“Thankfully, in the second half, we came out with a different attitude and put them under pressure and started asking some questions of them.

“Once we got that lead, they started pushing forward and, obviously, we got a few goals on the break.

“Very, very happy.

“I think the boys performed really well.  We’ve got a long way to go, though.  We’re not silly.  We don’t think we’ve got the perfect package by any means, but we know that if we can turn it on we can be competitive with any team in the league.  It’s just a matter of trying to string 90 minutes together.”

Coaches_Tommy_Fotak_Chris_McKenna_and_Stephen_Pitchford_23_March_2013

Photo (L-R):  Zebras' assistant coach Tommy Fotak, Devonport player-coach Chris McKenna, and Zebras' coach Stephen Pitchford before yesterday's match [PlessPix]

Tilford Zebras coach, Stephen Pitchford, said:

“We certainly created enough in the first half to have scored two or three more goals and that would have put a lot more pressure on them.

“But, once you haven’t done that you’ve still got the game to go.  I thought once we let them back in with a mistake for their first goal, and then regained the lead fairly quickly afterwards, that we’d be able to kick on and continue to go, but we did turn the ball over from our possession to their possession in their attacking zone and they punished us and they’re good at that.

“The fifth goal obviously came because we pressed to try and chase the game a bit and that’s not so much of a concern, but obviously our finishing is an issue even though we scored two good goals.  There were a number in the second half that we really should have put away and we didn’t put those away, so that’s still a concern for us.”

Adam_McKeown_and_Gorrie

Photo:  Zebras' Adam McKeown (front) is pressured by Devonport defender Adam Gorrie [PlessPix]

Comments   

+1 #36 Anonymous 2013-03-27 20:56
Joel born in 1993
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+3 #35 Nicks boy 2013-03-27 08:45
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Nick Owen:
Number 10 is Joel Stone. He is very talented, only just turned 20,and should be looked at very closely by Melb Victory. He is currently being coached by the 2 best coaches in Tasmania (1. Nick Owen 2. Chris McKenna) but I'm sure a stint training at a higher level would give him a shot at being ready for A-League.

You make me laugh. Last time i watched you coach in Hobart you had one of your field players take the goal kicks, you make me laugh

How is it a coaches fault if your number 1 keeper is injured and the stand in keeper can't kick off the ground.....obvi ously you found it harder than i did to see the sarcam in the post.
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-2 #34 Anonymous 2013-03-27 06:56
Quoting Nick Owen:
Number 10 is Joel Stone. He is very talented, only just turned 20,and should be looked at very closely by Melb Victory. He is currently being coached by the 2 best coaches in Tasmania (1. Nick Owen 2. Chris McKenna) but I'm sure a stint training at a higher level would give him a shot at being ready for A-League.

You make me laugh. Last time i watched you coach in Hobart you had one of your field players take the goal kicks, you make me laugh
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+1 #33 Anonymous 2013-03-27 01:11
there would be players if i was a scout from Melbourne victory that i would rather look at then joel. joel is at that age where he needs to make a decision, most scouts these days look for players that are born in 94 or 93.
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+1 #32 Darren Anderton 2013-03-27 01:09
#27 (1. Nick Owen 2. Chris McKenna)
What's going on Nick you've found an ego, good to see.
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+4 #31 Anonymous 2013-03-26 13:58
Northern Tasmanian coach of the season lol woohoo
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-4 #30 Anonymous 2013-03-26 09:30
Quoting coffee mug in stands:
No disrespect Nick but do you realize how big a step from Tasmanian Football to A-League is? Joel is a class player locally but it is a huge step.


As the northern coach of the season last year and a huge football fan im sure nick knows exactly how big the gap is between tasmanian football and the a league and as he has coached joel for the past three years and made him captain for two of those im think he would be the best judge of whether he can make it or not
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-10 #29 coffee mug in stands 2013-03-25 23:59
No disrespect Nick but do you realize how big a step from Tasmanian Football to A-League is? Joel is a class player locally but it is a huge step.

Mind you there is the argument that is Walker is playing at Heart and continually being caught out of position and praised that there is a chance for others yet.

How bad is that Zebras line up? What is Pitchford doing?
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-8 #28 Anonymous 2013-03-25 11:05
Talega & Smith are premiership players , maybe the experience can win games , and yes defending as a team would be better.But I do believe-4-4-2 will win the premiership for Zebras !!!!!
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-3 #27 Nick Owen 2013-03-25 05:25
Number 10 is Joel Stone. He is very talented, only just turned 20,and should be looked at very closely by Melb Victory. He is currently being coached by the 2 best coaches in Tasmania (1. Nick Owen 2. Chris McKenna) but I'm sure a stint training at a higher level would give him a shot at being ready for A-League.
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