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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E_Gavalas_and_Martineau

Photo:  Tasmania's Ellie Gavalas looks for a way past Victoria's Natalie Martineau [PlessPix]

(Bass Strait Cup, KGV Park, Glenorchy, Sunday, 27 October 2013)

Tasmania All Stars 1 (R Cavarretta 13)

Victoria All Stars 0

HT:  1-0   Att:  470   Ref:  J Hortle

Tasmania:  Van Der Niet  -  Gee, Manuela (O’Brien 64), Storay, Marmion (Walsh 69)  -  Gavalas (Norton 69), Williams, L Foote  -  Bremner (Hutchinson 56), Cavarretta (G Foote 56), Michael

Victoria:  Johansen (Eyar 76)  -  Missailidis (Jensen 58), Cheal, Parton, Brennan  -  Tanti, Martineau, Fogarty (Pfeiffer 58), Hussein (Papadopoulos 32)  -  Gray (Tay 64), Dudley-Smith

L_Johansen_saves

Photo:  You can just see the young girl watching hoping that she can become a goalkeeper when she grows up as she marvels at Victoria's Line Johansen pulling off a fine save [PlessPix]

If games were won on chances, Victoria’s women would have won the Bass Strait Cup easily.

They squandered numerous chances, including a penalty and several one-on-ones with the goalkeeper.

But, games are won on goals and Tasmania took one of their few opportunities and then played heroically to keep out the visitors and lift the Cup.

Tasmanian goalkeeper Amelia Van Der Niet showed her experience and class.  She saved the penalty and denied Victoria several scoring opportunities when she was left in one-on-one situations against attackers.

Her distribution was suspect on occasion, but she redeemed herself with superb saves from situations where she had given the ball straight to the opposition.

Tasmania were dangerous on the counter-attack, whereas Victoria retained possession for long periods and built up their attacks methodically, only to fall down in terms of finishing.

L_Foote_and_Martineau

Photo:  Victoria's Natalie Martineau (left) fights for possession with Tasmanian captain Lucy Foote [PlessPix]

Both sides demonstrated good technique, tactical astuteness and awareness of positional play in terms of the formations they deployed.

The Victorians looked confident from the start against the nervous locals and they retained possession as they probed for weaknesses, but the Tasmanians quickly grew braver and more adventurous.

In the 5th minute, Tasmania created their first chance when Ellie Gavalas released Innocent Michael down the left and her accurate cross found Jessie Williams, whose shot was well saved by Line Johansen in the Victorian goal.

A minute later, Louisa Marmion blazed high over the bar for Tasmania as the home side grew in confidence.

The Victorians were very mobile up front, with Brittany Dudley-Smith and Leigh Gray particularly elusive and dangerous, although Tasmania’s back-four of Isabella Gee, Hanna Manuela, Caitlin Storay and Louisa Marmion were up to the challenge and defended cleverly and solidly.

Leigh_Gray_and_Storay

Photo:  Victoria's Leigh Gray (left) in pursuit of Tasmania's Caitlin Storay [PlessPix]

In the 12th minute, Van Der Niet turned a shot by Dudley-Smith wide for a corner.

Tasmania dealt with the corner and Van Der Niet immediately turned defence into attack.  The ball was at the other end in an instant and the result was a goal as Rani Cavarretta left Alex Cheal sprawled on the ground and took on Johansen.  The keeper parried Cavarretta’s initial shot, but Cavarretta rolled the rebound into the unguarded net to put the home side ahead.

It was almost 2-0 in the 17th minute when a terrible misunderstanding at the back by Victoria almost let Williams in to score.

The Victorians knew they were in a game by now and increased the tempo.  In the 18th minute, Dudley-Smith should have scored when she got onto the end of a magnificent cross from the right, but she headed over the bar.

Gee_and_Vict

Photo:  A battle for possession in today's game [PlessPix]

On the half-hour, Natalie Martineau’s dangerous shot took a deflection and looped over Van Der Niet’s bar.

Tasmania’s Cavarretta blazed high over the bar in the 41st minute after Williams had set her up beautifully following a corner.

Martineau was foiled at point-blank range by Van Der Niet, whose poor clearance in the 43rd minute, had only found substitute Stacey Papadopolous, who slipped the ball through to Martineau for a clear run at goal.

Victoria were awarded a penalty in stoppage time at the end of the first half when Gee fouled Dudley-Smith, but Van Der Niet saved Steph Tanti’s spot-kick.

Both sides made several substitutions during the second half in order to give their entire squads a run.

Nine minutes after the interval, Martineau again threw away the chance of an equaliser when she shot wide when facing only the goalkeeper.

In the 57th minute, Victoria won a corner, from which Christie Parton volleyed wide.

E_Gavalas_and_Dudley_Smith

Photo:  Tasmani's Ellie Gavalas (left) about to be challenged by Victoria's Brittany Dudley-Smith [PlessPix]

The Victorian back-four of Melissa Missailidis, Cheal, Parton and Erin Brennan were in control, but their midfielders and strikers were unable to penetrate the home side’s resolute defence.  The Tasmanian midfielders, Williams, Gavalas and Lucy Foote were a match for their Victorian counterparts and made them work for possession.

Van Der Niet was called on again in the 62nd minute as she denied the irrepressible Dudley-Smith yet again.

Both sides had chances in the closing minutes, Sky Jensen shooting wide for Victoria and Michael hitting the side-netting in a rare Tasmanian attack.

But, it was the Tasmanians who lifted the Seasol Bass Strait Cup in the end after an entertaining and magnificent advertisement for the women’s game.

It is certainly to be hoped that this becomes an annual event.

R_Cavarretta_scores

Photo:  Tasmania's Rani Cavarretta (No.8) about to score the only goal of the game [PlessPix]

Tasmania’s goalscorer, Rani Cavarretta, said:

“It was really exciting to win that game.  We fought hard.

“We didn’t know what to expect and we’re so happy to come away with the win.

“Having the crowd behind us really helped as well.

“The girls came out and played their game, which is really important.  We tried to play the ball around and, in the end, we came out on top and we’re really, really happy with that.”

Michael_Foote_27_10_13

Photo:  Tasmanian co-coach Michael Foote [PlessPix]

Tasmania’s co-coach, Michael Foote, said:

“We couldn’t be happier.  We said before the game they’re a totally unknown quantity.

“We didn’t know what to expect and we’re over the moon.  We matched it well with them.

“We knew it wasn’t the absolute cream of their crop, but we knew they were still going to be strong and with a lot more depth than we have here.

“We’re just happy that we were competitive to start with and to come away with a win was even better.

“There’s talk of it being an annual event, and we hope it is.  We told our girls we hope it’s the start of something and it’ll go for a long time.”

Shaun_Parton_27_10_13

Photo:  Victoria's coach, Shaun Parton [PlessPix]

Victoria’s coach, Shaun Parton, said:

“If I was a spectator and had nothing to do with either team, I would have honestly thought that the yellows [Victoria] deserved at least a draw.

“A penalty miss, multiple one-on-ones, but credit to Tasmania.  They did very well.

“Their goalie was exceptional.  Didn’t do anything wrong for the whole game.  The shots were in and around a good area for her, but I thought they defended very well and we finished poorly.

“The whole second half we were camped in their half but just couldn’t score.  That happens in soccer matches.

“It’s three o’clock now.  At 5 o’clock I don’t think we would have scored.”

Georgia_Foote_ball

Photo:  Tasmania's Georgia Foote (right) gets a pass away [PlessPix]

Victoria_attacks

Photo:  Victoria on the attack against Tasmania [PlessPix]

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Comments   

+5 #9 Anonymous 2013-10-30 07:15
I thought that number 8 from Vic would be good enough for the W-League!

Great technique!
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+2 #8 Glen Hoddle 2013-10-30 00:57
For the record I highly respect Walter's opinion, even if different from mine on occasions.

Not many in the Aussie soccer print media have his background in playing and coaching. When one adds his excellent writing skills, historical knowledge and superb photography, we have a genuine treasure in Tas soccer.
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+3 #7 Anonymous 2013-10-29 06:45
Tassie looked WAY more dangerous on the attack than Vic...
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+2 #6 Anonymous 2013-10-28 22:02
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Glen Hoddle:
Van Der Niet pulled of some superb saves!!!!! She was easily Tassie's most outstanding player. I don't think it is fair to single her distribution out as being problematic though, Walter.
I thought many Tasmanian players passing accuracy over longer distances were not as good as I would've hoped. I've seen the NTC play better football against inferior opposition in the women's SPL. Also, the Tassie handling speed against less time and space from Victoria was an issue too.

Were we watching the same game, Walter?

I thought Tassie was well on top for the first 15-20 minutes. Then, agreeing with you, as the first half progressed, the Victorians gained the ascendancy with more methodical build-ups, followed by profligate finishing. Thankfully their conversion to goals was abysmal.

Congrats to Tasmania. Great win, big scalp!!!!!!!!

Does anyone know many of the Victorians have been in W League squads?


I'm guessing you were watching the same but just have differing views of events. I'm also guessing Walter's are more accurate than your own.


Just because Walter has a blog doesn't make his opinoins more accurate.

Football is a game of opinoins mate!
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+18 #5 Anonymous 2013-10-28 09:28
Quoting Glen Hoddle:
Van Der Niet pulled of some superb saves!!!!! She was easily Tassie's most outstanding player. I don't think it is fair to single her distribution out as being problematic though, Walter.
I thought many Tasmanian players passing accuracy over longer distances were not as good as I would've hoped. I've seen the NTC play better football against inferior opposition in the women's SPL. Also, the Tassie handling speed against less time and space from Victoria was an issue too.

Were we watching the same game, Walter?

I thought Tassie was well on top for the first 15-20 minutes. Then, agreeing with you, as the first half progressed, the Victorians gained the ascendancy with more methodical build-ups, followed by profligate finishing. Thankfully their conversion to goals was abysmal.

Congrats to Tasmania. Great win, big scalp!!!!!!!!

Does anyone know many of the Victorians have been in W League squads?

The Vic WPL Allstars squad was not allowed to have any players who represent W League clubs or players that play with the Vic NTC Women's Team. The squad had at least two players from each Vic Women's Premier League Clubs. Well done to all players from both teams. A great exhibition of women's football.
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-4 #4 Anonymous 2013-10-28 07:45
Quoting Glen Hoddle:
Van Der Niet pulled of some superb saves!!!!! She was easily Tassie's most outstanding player. I don't think it is fair to single her distribution out as being problematic though, Walter.
I thought many Tasmanian players passing accuracy over longer distances were not as good as I would've hoped. I've seen the NTC play better football against inferior opposition in the women's SPL. Also, the Tassie handling speed against less time and space from Victoria was an issue too.

Were we watching the same game, Walter?

I thought Tassie was well on top for the first 15-20 minutes. Then, agreeing with you, as the first half progressed, the Victorians gained the ascendancy with more methodical build-ups, followed by profligate finishing. Thankfully their conversion to goals was abysmal.

Congrats to Tasmania. Great win, big scalp!!!!!!!!

Does anyone know many of the Victorians have been in W League squads?


I'm guessing you were watching the same but just have differing views of events. I'm also guessing Walter's are more accurate than your own.
Quote
+4 #3 Glen Hoddle 2013-10-28 06:47
Van Der Niet pulled of some superb saves!!!!! She was easily Tassie's most outstanding player. I don't think it is fair to single her distribution out as being problematic though, Walter.
I thought many Tasmanian players passing accuracy over longer distances were not as good as I would've hoped. I've seen the NTC play better football against inferior opposition in the women's SPL. Also, the Tassie handling speed against less time and space from Victoria was an issue too.

Were we watching the same game, Walter?

I thought Tassie was well on top for the first 15-20 minutes. Then, agreeing with you, as the first half progressed, the Victorians gained the ascendancy with more methodical build-ups, followed by profligate finishing. Thankfully their conversion to goals was abysmal.

Congrats to Tasmania. Great win, big scalp!!!!!!!!

Does anyone know many of the Victorians have been in W League squads?
Quote
+3 #2 Anonymous 2013-10-28 01:16
What did you think if the Jemsz kits Walter?
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+8 #1 Anonymous 2013-10-28 00:33
I was very impressed with the whole thing... Weldone all involved.
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