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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Lee and Kemp - Copy

Photo:  South Hobart's Kobe Kemp (right) tries to keep up with Brisbane Strikers' Michael Lee [PlessPix]

(PS4 NPL Finals Series Elimination Match, South Hobart Oval, Sunday, 17 September 2017)

South Hobart 2 (J Turner 72’, 79’)

Brisbane Strikers 4 (R Palmer 8’, J McLean 10’, 90+1’, J Stewart 62’)

HT: 0-2   Att: 900   Ref: B Kopra (Tasmania)

South Hobart: K Brown - Gorrie, Thomas, D Brown (Ludford 85’), Quaile - Hall, Kemp, Turner, Morton, Walter - Hamlett (Leszczynski 87’) (Subs not used: Moncur, Feral, Kass)

Brisbane Strikers: Thorn - Knight, Henslee (Weier 64’), Marshall, Omori - Palmer, Docherty, Angus, Lee (Steele 90+3’) - Stewart (Marsh 72’), McLean (Subs not used: Mesaric, Eller)

McLean scores his first - Copy

Photo:  Brisbane's Jake McLean (partly obscured) makes it 2-0 for the visitors [PlessPix]

Brisbane Strikers progressed to the next round of the NPL Finals Series with a 4-2 away win over South Hobart on Sunday.

The Queenslanders demonstrated a high level of technical skill and their team-work was dazzling as they strung together up to a dozen consecutive passes as they attacked.

Every player provided passing options to team-mates and the moves were almost telepathic at times. The Brisbane repertoire included disguised passes, short passes, long passes, short and sharp sprints to receive the ball, one-touch passing and intelligent distribution.

The Strikers’ work-rate was high and they fought hard to regain possession when the ball was lost. They were not afraid to challenge for the ball and, at times, even getting a toe to the ball was enough to prod it to a team-mate and initiate an attack.

South Hobart tried to outmuscle the visitors at times, but even when they won possession their distribution was often inaccurate and wasteful.

Walter Lee and Quaile - Copy

Photo:  South Hobart's Alex Walter and Liam Quaile have the numbers over Brisbane's Michael Lee [PlessPix]

There was no doubting South Hobart’s effort, but particularly in the first half, they were eclipsed by Brisbane’s speed of thought and action and superior technical skills.

Brisbane almost took the lead in the 3rd minute, but South Hobart goalkeeper Kieran Brown did very well to get down and block a shot by Jeremy Stewart.

The visitors continued their high-tempo play and scored twice in the opening ten minutes and the writing seemed to be on the wall for the home side. In the 8th minute, Ryan Palmer gained possession on the left of the box after a quick counter-attack and scored with a shot off the inside of the far right-hand post.

Two minutes later, Stewart crossed low from the right and Jake McLean powered home a shot from inside the box that gave Kieran Brown no chance.

Brown holds McLean - Copy

Photo:  Brisbane's Jake McLean gets past South Hobart's Daniel Brown [PlessPix]

With McLean and captain Michael Angus orchestrating play in midfield, Brisbane always looked dangerous but they surprisingly failed to increase their lead before half-time. The closest they came was when McLean hit the right-hand post and the ball rebounded across the face of goal before being cleared, and when McLean’s back-header just cleared the bar.

South Hobart’s chances had been limited, but Darcy Hall and Ben Hamlett might have done better when chances came their way.

Brisbane’s Stewart was brought down by Daniel Brown in the 62nd minute and converted the penalty himself to make it 3-0 for the visitors.

Turner heads his first goal - Copy

Photo:  Jack Turner stoops to head home Adam Gorrie's corner and give South Hobart some hope [PLessPix]

To South Hobart’s credit, they refused to give in and two set-pieces in 7 minutes put them back in the hunt.

In the 72nd minute, Jack Turner steered Adam Gorrie’s corner past goalkeeper Mitchell Thorn, who was in goal following an injury a couple of weeks ago to first-choice custodian Zac Speedy.

That gave the home side hope and, in the 79th minute, it was game on as Turner repeated his earlier effort by again heading a Gorrie corner home to make it 3-2 and with everything to play for.

Turner heads goal against Brisbane - Copy

Photo:  South Hobart's Jack Turner this time leaps into the air to head home Adam Gorrie's corner and make it 3-2 [PlessPix]

Brisbane’s replacement of excellent centre-back Greig Henslee after their third goal was starting to look a bad move.

The Strikers then stepped up a gear and McLean was desperately unlucky not to score 10 minutes from the end when his shot hit the right-hand post and rebounded into play.

South may have breathed a sigh of relief, but they were still up against it as skipper Daniel Brown went off injured, to be replaced by Hugh Ludford. Alex Leszczynski was also brought on in place of the speedy and hard-working Hamlett in an endeavour to introduce a bit of muscle into play up front.

But, the chances did not materialise and, in the first minute of stoppage time, with South throwing caution to the wind and attacking, a lightning counter-attack down the right by Brisbane saw the ball switched to the unmarked McLean wide on the left. He controlled the ball beautifully and fired between recovering defender Oscar Thomas and keeper Kieran Brown to give the Queensland outfit a deserved 4-2 win.

This was the first competitive meeting between a Tasmanian club side and a Queensland club side.

McLean scores fourth goal - Copy

Photo:  Jake McLean squeezes home his second and Brisbane's fourth goal in stoppage time to seal the 4-2 win [PlessPix]

South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, said:

“I thought we worked very hard to get back into the game. Obviously, in the first half we were a bit loose and we weren’t compact in the middle of the aprk and they were playing neat little combinations in there and playing through to the strikers who were again worked well in combination.

“They got a couple of goals up on us, but that’s happened before and I think it was great character in the second half for us to show a bit of spirit and come back and we earned a couple of goals and then we gave one away just when we were in a good position. We got caught and they broke through and scored.

“A little bit disappointing because I thought the last half hour we worked them really hard.”

Owen Baker 17 September 2017 - Copy

Photo:  Owen Baker, who has been coach of Brisbane Strikers for less than a month, knew it would be a tough match [PlessPix]

Brisbane Strikers coach, Owen Baker, said:

“I was definitely worried [when it was 3-2]. It was a good game. We were really pleased to get ourselves 3-0 ahead and then when those two goals went in we knew it was going to be a tough last 20 minutes of the gamed. Credit to South Hobart. That second goal was an excellent header and we had to dig deep and we had to go out and do it.

“I was really pleased how the boys did that and obviously relieved when that fourth goal went in. We were delighted to get through that.

“We had lots of chances today. We knew at half-time at 2-0 that the next goal would be the key so we were really happy to get that third goal. We could have scored a couple more today. Four or five would have been nice.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game. These games are never easy. Two confident teams, who won their competitions, so it was never going to be easy.”

Brown rises for ball - Copy

Photo:  South Hobart goalkeeper Kieran Brown goes for a cross in a crowded goalmouth [PlessPix]

Alex Walter and Michael Lee - Copy

Photo:  South Hobart's Alex Walter tries to outwit Brisbane Strikers' Michael Lee [PlessPix]

Quaile tackled by Lee - Copy

Photo:  South Hobart's Liam Quaile (on ground) tangles with Brisbane Strikers' Michael Lee as Alex Walter (left) and Sam Knight (right) await the outcome [PlessPix]

South Hobart 17 September 2017 - Copy

Photo:  South Hobart [PlessPix]

Brisbane Strikers 17 September 2017 - Copy

Photo:  Brisbane Strikers [PlessPix]

Officials and captains - Copy

Photo:  Brisbane captain Michael Angus (left) and South Hobart captain Daniel Brown at the toss with officals [L-R] assistant referee Josh McInerney, fourth official Stratos Plomaritis, referee Brenton Kopra and assistant referee Lauren Hargrave [PlessPix]

Comments   

+8 #49 Anon 2017-09-23 12:10
#47. It's the present that really matters. I was involved in that win against South Melbourne but that is now history. There are not many still at Olympia from that year. It's the present that counts and the present at Olympia is light years away from the results of 2015. They have a long long way to go to get anywhere near that level.
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+7 #48 Ex tasmanian 2017-09-22 13:32
Quoting Anonymous:
This is pure South Hobart spin. Nothing more nothing less. They still are in denial that the greatest win by a Tasmanian club team ever was in 2015 when Olympia beat Victorian Champions South Melbourne in Victoria in the NPL Finals Series. Can anyone point to a better win by a Tasmanian club team?

That win was the best win by a Tasmanian club by far.
But don't get carried away unless you achieve what South has in the past 10 years.
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-5 #47 Anonymous 2017-09-22 06:01
This is pure South Hobart spin. Nothing more nothing less. They still are in denial that the greatest win by a Tasmanian club team ever was in 2015 when Olympia beat Victorian Champions South Melbourne in Victoria in the NPL Finals Series. Can anyone point to a better win by a Tasmanian club team?
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+5 #46 Keeper 2017-09-20 04:35
It is a stretch because:

a) They finished 16 points behind the Home
and away winner

b) Regardless of who is crowned champion by some default Aussie only instituted final series it accepted and recognised globally that the champion team of a football season is the team that finishes on top of the Home and Away season.

I suspect that Campbell Town City would openly admit that finishing 16 points behind the Ladder leader is a big distance off being the champion team in that year. To argue otherwise is as I stated stretching the reality of the situation.
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0 #45 Anon 2017-09-20 02:43
Ok boys . You are all correct in what you say to some extent.Lets leave this alone now.
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+9 #44 Luis Figo 2017-09-20 02:42
One thing that has crystallised for me after watching the Strikers and APIA play Tasmanian teams this year, and seeing the likes of Bentleigh Greens and Sydney United on TV, is that A League Division 2 would be good to watch regularly if we were to establish a team here.

A League 2 would be a good option for Tasmania. I was only keen on a Tassie A League 1 team.

Given some of the fickle attitudes of supposed football fans on this website, I'm not sure who would attend A League games on a regular basis in Hobart?

If any of South, Zebras or Olympia succeeded in gaining a team, or a new team was set up for A League 2, I'd watch them at every home game and become a member. There would be less pressure on crowds with an A League 2 team.

APIA and Brisbane Strikers have played some good football in Tasmania this year. I want to see more of it live on a regular basis. I'm sure I'm not alone.
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+3 #43 Hunty 2017-09-20 00:10
Bit harsh 36 and 40, It's not South Hobart's (nor there statistician's) fault that SA decided to have a play-off series to decide their 'Champion' rather than using the league table, like most other states. Nor that WA, NNSW and VIC held out on introducing the NPL until 2014 so that only 5 states were involved.

How is it a long stretch to say that SH beat SA's champion when all the records show that in 2013, Campbell Town City were champions. Now I agree that League Table should be the deciding factor, but it will go down in the record books that this was not the case in SA and that Campbell Town were champions in 2013. It's all over FFA/FFSA records that this is the case.

To say that Keith mis-interpreted the facts regarding his post/stats are simply incorrect.
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+3 #42 Soccer Ball 2017-09-19 22:04
Quoting Ronnie Bolton:
For me as an neutral football was the winner on the day.Strikers were just simply better technically and their movement on and off the ball was superior.South can be proud of their efforts as they were gallant in defeat.They didn't get the time on the ball like they usually do playing against the other Tassie sides.I also thought that the timing of the tackling especially in the defensive third by the Strikers was first class.All in all the game was a good example of where the best in Tassie are at compared to mainland teams.


Good post, Ronnie.
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+13 #41 Ex tasmanian 2017-09-19 19:05
Keeper.
Your facts are right but no matter how you read them the first thing to recognize is that any Tasmanian team that plays a mainland top 1-4 side is under the pump to win.
South Devonport and Olympia have had victories against decent mainland clubs.
The biggest shock was Olympia's win against South Melbourne Hellas in Victoria.
Tasmanian football has come a long way and as past results have shown our clubs can perform on the big stage the only problem is that our clubs can not do it on a regular basis.
All three clubs deserve credit for what they have achieved and we should not try to single out or have preferential stats.
Let's hope this trend continues for the good of football in Tasmania.
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+6 #40 Keeper 2017-09-19 13:54
Keith,I cannot let your post go unchallenged. As unfortunately you have misrepresented the opposition that South Hobart beat. Campbell town city finished fourth on their table by about 15 points. So no where near the home and away champion winner. Now I understand that they may have used a final four system to decide the representative in the final series which is not South Hobart's fault. But to claim they beat the title winners is a bit of a stretch. No make that a long stretch. But never the less a win is a win. Just also for the record the competition was not fully participated by all of the federations. It was in it infancy and not all the states were on board. That is why South Hobart played one game and got into the final. It was a 5 team Final series and by default South Hobart jumped into the semi final immediately. CheersLink provided:https: //en.wikipedia. org/wiki/2013_N ational_Premier _Leagues#Finals _6
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