Who Is 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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B Lakoseljac today

Photo:  Brendan Lakoseljac (left) today, with son Bradley.  Lakoseljac was man-of-the-match in the 1999 Grand Final [PlessPix]

Some comments recently have referred to Ivan Zilic, a brilliant winger with Hobart Olympic in 1999. They have compared him to current Olympia Warriors star Eduardo Cabello.

Here is my match report of the 1999 Grand Final between Hobart Olympic and Glenorchy Knights, in which Zilic starred, just for old time’s sake.

BrendonLak  on bike

Photo:  Brendan Lakoseljac leaving KGV Park last Saturday after watching two of his former teams, Glenorchy Knights and Zebras, playing in the Victory League [PlessPix]

Glenorchy Knights versus Hobart Olympic (State League Top Five Series Grand Final, KGV Soccer Park, Friday, 24 September 1999)

By Walter Pless

Glenorchy Knights 4 (Lakoseljac 30, 47 pen, Corno 89, Pullen 115)

Hobart Olympic 3 (Benson 35, Zilic 40, Vukosavljevic 53)

HT: 1-2. (After 90 min 3-3) Att: 1,000. Ref: B Mackay

Glenorchy Knights (4-4-2): Munro - Begovic, Grundy, Vucica, J Brown (Joiner 83) - Anis, A Brown, Hadley, Davis - Pullen, Lakoseljac.

Hobart Olympic (1-3-4-2): Ioannou - P Tsakiris - C Tsakiris, McCallum, McNeill - Benson, Powell, Kalis, Vukosavljevic - Earley (Cano 73), Zilic.

Cautions: Davis, Lakoseljac (Glenorchy Knights); P Tsakiris, Powell, Vukosavljevic, Cano (Hobart Olympic).

Send-offs: P Tsakiris (Hobart Olympic) [Second yellow card]

The atmosphere was electric and showed again the drawing power of a grand final featuring teams with strong support, plenty of tradition and intense inter-club rivalry.

The Glenorchy Knights scored first, through Brendan Lakoseljac, but then the brilliance of Olympic striker Ivan Zilic came into play and it was Olympic which led 2-1 at the break. Zilic set up the equaliser for Raymond Benson and then scored a magnificent goal himself.

The Knights equalised through a penalty from Lakoseljac, but when Nebojsa Vukosavljevic volleyed Olympic into the lead following a corner, it seemed all over.

But, Knights substitute Guido Corno’s goal with a minute remaining, took the game into ‘sudden death’ extra-time.

A poor goalkick by John Ioannou and Glen McNeill’s inability to control the ball as it came to him, enabled Pullen to gain possession and race towards goal. He chipped the advancing Ioannou and it was the Knights’ trophy.

Zilic and Vukosavljevic probably played their last games in Tasmania. Both said they would move to Melbourne in an effort to break into the national league.


9 George Kalis fires straight at goalkeeper Leon Munro from long range.

11 Olympic win free-kick on edge of Knights penalty area and Adam Powell forces a fine save from Munro.

16 Brett Pullen passes to Scott Hadley, but he shoots straight at goalkeeper John Ioannou from an acute angle.

19 Pullen takes a short corner and plays the ball to Hadley, who shoots wide.

21 Gerard Davis is cautioned.

23 Lakoselajac fouled by Peter Tsakiris after the striker made a powerful run down the left. Janko Begovic takes the free-kick, which comes to nothing.

25 Tyrone Earley signals his presence, in place of the suspended Trevor Carson, by shooting low and narrowly wide of the far, right-hand post. Anthony Grundy is cautioned for a foul committed in the centre-circle on Nebojsa Vukosavljevic.

29 Lakoseljac in a dangerous position and forces a corner off Peter Tsakiris.

30 Lakoseljac scored (1-0 to the Knights). Davis began the move, his pass deflecting off the unfortunate Matthew McCallum and the ball running to Pullen. He almost loses possession but manages to cross the ball to Lakoseljac, whose shot rebounds off McNeill and Lakoseljac snaps up the rebound.

34 Pullen finds Lakoseljac on the left, but the striker mis-kicks.

35 Peter Tsakris sends Raymond Benson through the middle and Benson releases Zilic on the left. Zilic cuts inside and beats his defender before rolling the ball back from the byline for Benson to score (1-1).

40 Zilic’s speed and determination enables him to reach a ball he had no business to get and he holds off three defenders as he works his way infield and parallel to the penalty area before unleashing a magnificent shot from 20 metres that dips under the bar and inside the top left-hand corner of the net, giving Munro no chance (2-2 for Olympic).

44 Dangerous corner by Hadley. Pullen flicks ball on across goal and wins another corner, but it proves fruitless. The half ends with the Knights having had four free-kicks and five corners, compared with Olympic’s 11 free-kicks and one corner. Four of Olympic’s free-kicks were given for off-side (two against Nick Anis and one against Pullen).

46 Olympic should have increased their lead when Vukosavljevic chips the ball to the far post for Powell, who can only manage to knee the ball straight into the arms of Munro.

47 Ioannou needlessly concedes a penalty. He rushes from his goal and upends Lakoseljac, who was racing away from goal in the direction of the left corner flag. Lakoseljac takes the spot-kick himself and scores easily (2-2).

52 Zilic outfoxes Grundy on the left and crosses to the far post, where Powell shoots, but the ball is blocked on the line by Munro, who concedes a corner.

53 Munro can only punch the ball out and Vukosavljevic scores with a thunderous volley from the far corner of the penalty area (Olympic leads 3-2).

54 Guido Corno comes on in place of Gerard Davis. Corno partners Lakoseljac in attack and Pullen moves back into midfield.

55 Nick Anis is switched to left flank and hits side-netting with a good shot.

56 Corno shoots just wide of the far post.

65 Zilic again beats Grundy and crosses the ball dangerously, but Powell mis-kicks when he should have scored.

71 Hadley releases Jim Brown on the left and Andrew Brown heads his dangerous cross narrowly wide.

73 Elmer Cano replaces Olympic striker Tyrone Earley, but it is Lakoseljac who threatens Olympic by heading Corno’s right-wing cross just wide.

80 Lakoseljac challenges Ioannou but concedes a free-kick.

83 Dallas Joiner comes on in place of James Brown for the Knights.

87 Another splendid free-kick by Powell brings out the best in Munro as he dives to his left and turns the ball wide for a corner.

88 Pullen wins a corner on the right.

89 Pullen and Hadley combine with the short corner and Pullen crosses into the six-yard box, where McCallum is deceived by the bounce of the ball, which carries through to Corno, who volleys the equaliser from close range, to the utter despair of the Olympic players and supporters.

91 Powell finds Zilic with a great pass out to the left, but the normally deadly striker fires tamely at Munro.

92 Lakoseljac brings the curtain down on normal time with a shot that sails over the Olympic crossbar.

93 Hadley fires over the bar at one end, while at the other, Powell again sets up Zilic, whose shot is saved.

96 Powell swivels and fires straight at Munro from the edge of the penalty area.

100 Peter Tsakiris brings Lakoseljac down on the edge of the penalty area as the striker threatens to break through. Referee Brett Mackay shows Tsakiris his second yellow card, followed by the red, and Olympic are reduced to ten players as their captain takes the long walk to the dressing room, to the applause of the Olympic supporters, who acknowledge Tsakiris’s fine contribution on the night.

102 Lakoseljac finally hits the net with a thrice-taken free-kick which saw Vukosavljevic and Cano cautioned for encroachment. The ‘goal’ is disallowed, either because of off-side or pushing.

103 Counter-attack by Olympic sees Zilic cross for Vukosavljevic to head over.

104 Zilic crosses again, but Cano slips just when he should have tested the goalkeeper by shooting.

107 Powell receives the yellow card.

108 Hadley’s free-kick turned over the bar by Ioannou.

110 Corno shoots across the face of goal and Lakoseljac is shown the yellow card.

113 Hadley’s shot turned out for a corner by Ioannou.

114 Corno is through with a great chance but chips over the goalkeeper and crossbar.

115 A poor goalkick by Ioannou as the ball travels low and hard to McNeill, who is unable to trap the ball. As the ball bounces away from him, Pullen gains possession and races towards goal and beats the advancing goalkeeper to score the ‘golden goal’ winner (It is 4-3 for the Knights and they have come from third place to win the grand final. After the trophy and medals have been presented, Lakoseljac is named man-of-the-match.)


Ken Morton (Glenorchy Knights): “It was a good game. It was a great game for the crowd. I’m sure they would have got their money’s worth and that they would have thoroughly enjoyed it. There were some cracking goals and some good inter-passing moves, and some good counter-attacking, so I think everybody would have thoroughly enjoyed the game.

“Nicky Anis did exceptionally well when he went to the left-hand side. He started to get a little more space and was causing problems. We thought Guido Corno could do it for us if we brought him on. He was a big threat to them aerially and he got the equaliser. He’s got a strong presence in the penalty area. Everything worked well for us but we were just a little bit long in getting the final goal. We should have had it finished before then.

“Everybody played well, even Olympic themselves. They created chances. Zilic is quick and gets past people and puts in good crosses. Our keeper had a good game and brought off two or three good saves.

“The further the game went, the more I thought we were the more likely team to win it because of the fitness levels. Obviously, I thought they faded a little bit. At 2-1, there’s always the chance of getting back. The goalkeeper was probably a bit immature in the way he conceded the penalty.”

Peter Vafakos (Hobart Olympic): “I’m very proud of our performance. Unfortunately, there has to be a loser in one of these games and it happened to be us on the day.

“We did really well to come back after being a goal down and hit the front to lead 2-1 at half-time. We went in on a high at half-time. Unfortunately, we came out straight after half-time and conceded a penalty, which took it back to 2-all, and then, with the game even, we scored a lovely field goal and were back in front and playing well. Unfortunately, defensive mistakes cost us in the end.

“We went in 3-all after 90 minutes and then it was a ‘golden goal’ lottery-type situation. Once we lost Peter Tsakiris and went down to ten men, I knew, deep down, that we were going to struggle to hold them out. That was proved when we gifted them that last goal and they scored the winner.

“Powell could have scored a hat-trick. We could have gone 4-2 up. At 2-2 we could have gone 3-2 up and then 4-2 when Tyrone Earley had a great header, but the keeper pulled off a great reflex save. That could have been the end of the game if we’d gone to 4-2.

“As for the penalty, the keeper probably didn’t have to challenge. Whether it was a penalty is up to each individual, but there didn’t seem to be much in it. He shouldn’t have challenged and should have stayed on his feet and just forced him wide.

“It was a great advertisement for the game. If this doesn’t bring the crowd back, nothing will. It was a great sporting event.”


Ivan Zilic (Hobart Olympic): “It was a super game, but we made too many mistakes. I think we deserved to win because I think we were the better team.”

Trevor Carson (Hobart Olympic’s suspended striker, who missed the game): “I don’t know why I got the yellow card last week. I don’t think I made any obscene gestures or remarks. I was gesticulating to the Knights supporters behind the University goal to bring the Knights on, bring them on. I only went to the referees’ rooms after the game to talk to the referee because our team manager thought I could and should go and clarify why I got the yellow card.”


-2 #31 Gossip munger 2014-07-28 00:20
Quoting Bobby:
Pretty sure this was a post about the 1999 grand final between Olympia and Croatia...not a story about the politics of FFT...

I know this is a blog and people are entitled to their own opinions but at least make them relevant to the post

It's Walters blog, if he doesn't like the post or think its not appropriate I'm sure he won't post it.
Walter how about a story on the politics of FFT? It would Give us all a chance to vent.
+4 #30 Bobby 2014-07-27 06:24
Pretty sure this was a post about the 1999 grand final between Olympia and Croatia...not a story about the politics of FFT...

I know this is a blog and people are entitled to their own opinions but at least make them relevant to the post
+2 #29 Corey Smith 2014-07-26 02:54
Laka the best striker I've ever seen at his best in Tasmania. Cracking bloke off the pitch too.

Ivan Zilic is still running around in Melbourne tearing up local Futsal competitions Walter, has lost his explosiveness but still got his touch.
0 #28 anonymous 2014-07-26 01:08
#26 you tosser u/12 not a pre requisite , and they are actually u/12 but playing 13s as they are too dam good for an under 12 competition and if you want to look at the ladder they are on top of u/13 black so how silly and one sided games would they have had demoralizing opposition teams 12-0 each week. Not good for the sport or for opposing teams. As always another blogger with no idea but putting 2 bobs worth in.
+3 #27 observer 2014-07-25 14:28
No 24 you are not robinson crusoe it happens in the mens league as well just look at premier league criteria it is a shambles
+3 #26 anon 2014-07-25 13:08
#22, you can add Clarence and Zebras to that. Clarence no 20s and Zebras no u/12 boys
+5 #25 Anonymous 2014-07-25 12:04
Quoting No Transparency !!:
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Anon:
[quote name="Anonymous"]All I remember about the lead up to this game was Olympia crying foul over Carson suspension.

Nothing much has changed though. Trying to bend the rules. Now hear that their SWPL team is in breach and they still want the title.

Breach ??? Explain

Read something on Facebook last night about this also.

Funny how this is being kept very quiet.

I think its in an article McKenna wrote. Hard to keep up with all his websites

All clubs were told that they would not be admitted into the women's premier league if they did not have at least one female youth team in 2014. Olympia do not

Really good article actually. We need to be more aware of these type of things to hold FFT accountable.
Funny some of the stuff that is swept under the carpet
+8 #24 concerned 2014-07-25 10:00
If #18,20 & 22 are on the money ,then I am concerned about the heirachy running the game in this State. If Olympia are allowed to fill a Womens Premier League team without meeting ALL the qualifying criteria then FFT must be held accountable for this major indiscretion. You can't have one club not obeying the rules(& getting away with it) whilst all others have clearly understood their responsibilitie s & commitment when intending to field teams in the Womens Premier League. I'm hoping there is a simple explanation for this major oversight & accordingly FFT can ease everyones growing concerns with this matter by issuing an immediate statement.
0 #23 Tommy 2014-07-25 05:49
Quoting LUKA:
Hi Walter, is it true that Brendon Lakoseljak is assistant coach in the state U/14 team this year ! From what I hear, he is assisting Mark Broadbent. Brendan would be a fantastic asset for our juniors and he is well over due as a coach. Broadbent is a good coach and Brendan will learn lots. Good luck to Brendans future coaching dreams. It would be nice to see him coach the knights in the Lakoseljac cup.

Laka had been coaching at Zebras before that for years with the juniors.
+3 #22 Anonymous 2014-07-25 05:39
Quoting No Transparency !!:
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Anon:
Quoting Anonymous:
All I remember about the lead up to this game was Olympia crying foul over Carson suspension.

Nothing much has changed though. Trying to bend the rules. Now hear that their SWPL team is in breach and they still want the title.

Breach ??? Explain

Read something on Facebook last night about this also.

Funny how this is being kept very quiet.

I think its in an article McKenna wrote. Hard to keep up with all his websites

All clubs were told that they would not be admitted into the women's premier league if they did not have at least one female youth team in 2014. Olympia do not have one. FFT seem to be turning a blind eye to it. If that's not it then what?

Does anyone have a link?

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