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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DSC 0943

Photo:  New Town Eagles sank without a trace against University on Saturday [Photo courtesy of University SC]

What on earth is happening in the Southern Premier League?

It is, in effect, a four-team competition, with Nelson Eastern Suburbs and New Town Eagles arguably already out of the running.

luke

Photo:  Luke Huigsloot leads the charge for University against New Town Eagles [Photo courtesy of University SC]

There have been some massive score-lines, which do not enhance the status of the competition.

Last Saturday, Taroona thrashed Nelson Eastern Suburbs 10-0, while University demolished New Town Eagles 12-3.

A couple of weekends ago, Beachside downed Nelson Eastern Suburbs 7-0.

Such score-lines do nothing to raise the credibility of the competition.

Mind you, one has to wonder at times about the top-flight Victory League, too.

With each club having named a 20-man squad, how does one explain the fact that Devonport City travelled south on Saturday to face champions South Hobart with just 12 players, an acting coach [Bobby Eaves], and no technical director?

They had to make a substitution in the first half when Callum Moore tweaked a hamstring in sending a long pass to the right for Mitchell Blake to run onto and almost score.

That substitute was the only one they had and it was no surprise when the players ran out of legs near the end and, with no replacements available, conceded three goals in the last 10 minutes.

The Devonport bench

Photo:  The depleted Devonport City bench at South Hobart Oval on Saturday [PlessPix]

Bobby Eaves did an excellent job in the situation he found himself in and he summed up his thoughts candidly after Saturday’s game.

“We came into the game undermanned,” he said.  “We’ve had a tough week at the club with players out injured and we brought down a bare minimum squad and we stuck it to them [South Hobart] for the majority of the match.

“We had a game plan set for the first half of the match, which was probably pretty obvious, which was to shut them out, and I think it worked.

“A couple of little mistakes cost us the first goal, but we were pretty happy with our first half and how we held them out.

“It was only in the last 10 or 15 minutes when we tried to gamble and snatch a result that they got on top.

“We could have got a couple, too, but Kane Pierce is an excellent keeper.  The chances he had to save, he did save.

K Pierce lets it go

Photo:  Kane Pierce (orange top) was in top form in goal for South Hobart against Devonport [PlessPix]

“Casey [Eaves] kept us in the game when we tried to push on and tried to move forward.

“We’re super proud of the boys.  They did really well, especially with the team that we brought down and the injuries we’ve got.”

How does one explain the fact that Kingborough Lions United did not have a recognised goalkeeper for two weeks and on Sunday played a 15-year-old on his debut and lost 7-1?

Illness, injury, weddings and overseas holidays are legitimate excuses for an amateur league, and I’m afraid that’s how I am beginning to view the Victory League.

I guess I take it all too seriously and set my sights too high.  I don’t want to be seen as a merchant of doom and gloom.

I desperately want football in Tasmania to succeed, and with modern technology and the filming of games, the audio broadcasting of games via the Internet, and the coverage currently provided by the mainstream media, great strides have been made and the foundations are there.

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Photo:  Northern Rangers' Harry Thannhauser in possession in the 7-1 drubbing of Kingborough Lions United on Sunday [Photo by Julie Pearce]

I am seriously wondering, however, whether I should forget about football in Tasmania becoming a semi-professional sport, as it once was.

Perhaps our population is against us?  Perhaps players have to leave to get anywhere?  There is certainly evidence for this.

One can have all the media conferences, spin and hype one likes, but if there is a lack of substance to it all, we’re in trouble.

I don’t want to blame any individuals or any club.  Everyone has a cross to bear and things don’t always turn out as expected, but let’s beware of false spin and view the situation realistically.

As it is at present, clubs are having trouble filling the buses for away matches and I reckon you could count the number of travelling supporters on the fingers of two hands.

Let’s accept the fact that the Victory League promised much in its first year but is now in danger of losing momentum.

This must not be allowed to happen because great progress has been made and it must not be allowed to stall.

As for the leagues underneath, there is a crisis.  The grassroots of the game needs to be looked at and nurtured, not abandoned and allowed to decline and wither away.

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Photo:  Action for the University versus New Town Eagles game [Photo courtesy of University SC]

SOUTHERN PREMIER LEAGUE (After Round 5 as at 26 April 2014)

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

University

5

5

0

0

29

7

15

Clarence United

5

3

1

1

20

6

10

Taroona

5

3

0

2

18

9

9

Beachside

5

2

1

2

22

10

7

Nelson Eastern Suburbs

5

1

0

4

3

30

3

New Town Eagles

5

0

0

5

6

36

0

ronald

Photo:  Ronald John is proving a genuine goalscorer for University [Photo courtesy of University SC]

University caused the shock of the round in the Women's Premier League competition when they drew 5-5 with leaders Olympia Warriors on Sunday.

Kai Gear, the American player in the University ranks, scored a hat-trick.

She is proving to be a sensation in the women's competition and her free-kicks are particularly dangerous.

Tilford Zebras and Clarence United played out a scoreless draw at KGV Park on Sunday, but there were some close calls for both sides which made for an entertaining match.

Just as in the men's Southern Premier League, it seems like a four-horse race, with University and Glenorchy Knights stranded below the leading four sides.

WOMEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE (As at 27 April 2014) 

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Olympia Warriors

4

2

2

0

19

10

8

Clarence United

4

2

2

0

8

4

8

Tilford Zebras

4

2

1

1

10

3

7

Taroona

4

2

0

2

10

15

6

University

4

0

2

2

12

14

2

Glenorchy Knights

4

0

1

3

5

18

1

 

 

Comments   

0 #108 Anon 2014-05-05 20:48
Quoting Anonymous:
Quote:

Beats only have 3 or 4 teams in the over 35 competition!!

There are 6 this year . Down from 10 last year . Where the hell do you get 3 or 4 from ?
I'm not talking about this year.
My plan to re-structure the leagues is for 2015 if you'd bother to read.

So based on teams dropping out from last year to this year, there might end up only being 3 or 4 teams ;-)
No one playing over 35s wants to play Div4 . We like the fact you HAVE to be OVER 35 to play .
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0 #107 Anonymous 2014-05-04 22:07
Quote:

Beats only have 3 or 4 teams in the over 35 competition!!
There are 6 this year . Down from 10 last year . Where the hell do you get 3 or 4 from ?
I'm not talking about this year.
My plan to re-structure the leagues is for 2015 if you'd bother to read.

So based on teams dropping out from last year to this year, there might end up only being 3 or 4 teams ;-)
Quote
0 #106 CUFC 4 Life 2014-05-02 14:11
Quoting I guess:
I think the SPL is fine, of course Eagles and Clarence are going to be worse they lost practically a whole 1st team (the only reason why Clarence is still good because they have a better culture and a better young players). But if we actually look at the players who are currently playing in the SPL how many would actually be making a difference on a V league side? (especially one that isn't knights or boro) Uni= Hindmarsh, Huigsloot, Kamano? John? Beachside= Maybe Whitehall? Taroona= Foley Clarence have bunch of useful players Metro= Marney and Robb? thats probably it really. to be honest if these types of players want to play spl or have to because of the extra travel and time involved I can't blame them.



Bit of CUFC spirit tomorrow boys! We're stretched thin fight through the pain and get it done. CUFC 4 LIFE
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+4 #105 Clutch 2014-05-02 07:34
We all know what should have happened in the SPL this year but didnt. Metro, Southern, Hobart United and perhaps Derwent should all have beenl playing in it. Yes it may have had 4 strong sides and the rest being cannon fodder but someone has to come last.
The SPL should also have been a stand alone competition and played in the format that worked perviously of juniors (U18 or U20), ressies and seniors all at one venue on the one day, simplifying life for players, club officials and most importantly spectators.
To grow the SPL in the future, small clubs could apply to enter if they could field the required sides and meet any other mandated requirements. (eg Huonville or New Norfolk).
If a club went up or withdrew from the Victory League it would slot straight back in. The lower divisions would remain open to all clubs whether they be fielding 10 sides like University or 1 like the new boys Cygnet Town FC.
Stakeholders work out a plan to improve and grow the SPL.
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+2 #104 I guess 2014-05-02 07:23
I think the SPL is fine, of course Eagles and Clarence are going to be worse they lost practically a whole 1st team (the only reason why Clarence is still good because they have a better culture and a better young players). But if we actually look at the players who are currently playing in the SPL how many would actually be making a difference on a V league side? (especially one that isn't knights or boro) Uni= Hindmarsh, Huigsloot, Kamano? John? Beachside= Maybe Whitehall? Taroona= Foley Clarence have bunch of useful players Metro= Marney and Robb? thats probably it really. to be honest if these types of players want to play spl or have to because of the extra travel and time involved I can't blame them.
Quote
+4 #103 Anonymous 2014-05-02 05:04
Quoting Anonymous:
Beats only have 3 or 4 teams in the over 35 competition!!


there's 6 this season but there were 10 last season
Quote
+1 #102 Anon 2014-05-02 04:41
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Anon:
Quoting Anonymous:
Part 3 of 3



And all the other teams below can play in a social level and can go from Div 2 to 4 with Div 4 being the over 35’s but allow teams that are under 35 to still participate so the number of teams are there for the Div 4 competition. It just doesn’t contradict the league by calling it Div 4 instead of over 35’s and assume that you can only play in this division if you are 35 and over.

People play over 35s so they are not chasing around players younger than 35 .

Yes, but how many teams would nominate in the over 35's, maybe 3 or 4 teams.

So why not open it up to the other teams that play in Div 4 and make the division worthwhile by having 6 or 8 teams.

Beats only have 3 or 4 teams in the over 35 competition!!

There are 6 this year . Down from 10 last year . Where the hell do you get 3 or 4 from ?
Quote
+9 #101 #ideasman 2014-05-02 04:21
Has anyone considered allowing a "Loan" type system, where fringe V-League players can be loaned to SPL clubs for a period of time? Max amount of players at anyone club at anyone time etc... Train once a week and each club, say and early night at V-League club and a late eg: Thursday at SPL club ready for the weekend? the logistics would need to be nutted out, how long? When can they be recalled etc? are clubs aligned with one or 2 clubs or open slather? a few things to work out but just a thought.
Will boost the SPL level and give those players over 20 outside the 20 somewhere to play...
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+1 #100 anon 2014-05-02 01:28
Quoting 4 their own sake:
Newtown and Nelson should withdraw from SPL as they have been hammered week in week out. It is a hard call to stay when they aren't up to the standard. It might be better to focus on their youth and develop a side to come up to SPL standard later on.

I'd rather watch their youth play as they play a better brand of football that what's been produced at the top end.
Quote
+5 #99 anon 2014-05-02 01:25
Quoting 4 their own sake:
Newtown and Nelson should withdraw from SPL as they have been hammered week in week out. It is a hard call to stay when they aren't up to the standard. It might be better to focus on their youth and develop a side to come up to SPL standard later on.


I can just remember when Eagles went through a similar situation many years ago. They went through the pain and came back. I can't see why they can't do it again, it's just a matter of keeping their good Youth players together and have them progress to Senior level.
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