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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Warrener pulled down - Copy

Photo:  Zebras' Luke Warrener has his shirt pulled but the free-kick was given against him [PlessPix]

[Pre-season Friendly, South Hobart Oval, Saturday, 27 January 2018]

Hobart Zebras 0

Bentleigh Greens 8 (C Lucas 27’, 32’ pen, J Hicks 37’, D Hatzimoratis 42’, 43’, 64’, L Huigsloot 50’ og, J Xydias 84’)

HT: 0-5   Ref: I Jozeljic

Hobart Zebras: Wilson - Bloomfield, Walsh, Huigsloot, Warrener - Pullen, Muller, Sanders - Ackerley, Sklenar, Burt (Subs: Kamara, Statella, Bighin, Watson, Sadath)

Bentleigh Greens: P Clark; Fry, Webster, Jancovic - Hicks, Holmes, Kelly, Cavallo - Dillon, Lucas, Hatzimoratis (Subs: Scott, Duncan, Xydias, Thurtell, Doyle)

Huigsloot pulled down - Copy

Photo:  Zebras' Luke Huigsloot in a tangle with a Bentleigh Greens opponent [PlessPix]

I know this was only a pre-season friendly and it was oppressively hot, but I’d say Hobart Zebras are in crisis.

This was the third game in a row in which they have not scored, despite having a formidable strike force of Jakub Sklenar, Mathew Sanders, Luke Huigsloot and Dwayne Walsh. Add the name of Adam McKeown, who was not in the team, and you have the sort of attack that other teams would die for.

Mattia Statella, the Italian import, was on the bench and coach Gabriel Markaj chose to play Huigsloot and Walsh as the centre-backs. Youngster Luke Bighin, a defender, came on at the back late in the game, but by then the horse (or should that be the zebra?) had well and truly bolted.

If the idea was to add steel at the back to a makeshift defence, it backfired dramatically. Not only did it reduce the Zebras’ firepower up front, Huigsloot and Walsh were unable to contain the visitors’ attack.

Ackerley tackles - Copy

Photo:  Zebras' James Ackerley tries to dispossess Bentleigh Greens midfielder Tyson Holmes [PlessPix]

The midfield struggled. Jordan Muller and Sanders have experience, but the youngsters around them and out on the wings were out of their depth against the class of the Victorians. Matthew Pace was also missing from the squad.

I’m told Zebras are awaiting the arrival of two imports. They’d better hurry and get here.

If you can’t pass, you can’t play football, and that was a serious deficiency in the Zebras’ performance.

Jozeljic and Sanders - Copy

Photo:  A frustrated Mathew Sanders hasyet another heated discussion with referee Ivan Jozeljic [PlessPix]

Bentleigh Greens were generally excellent with their passing. Their goals were well taken, but the score could easily have reached double figures had there not been some glaring misses.

It was an all-round impressive display of passing, making space and team-work by Bentleigh Greens, with Tyson Homes and James Kelly elusive and clever at the heart of the engine room.

Zebras had the first chance of the game as it turned out when Sklenar was through in the 6th minute, but Bentleigh keeper Pierce Clark produced a marvellous save.

The visitors were switching play beautifully with long raking passes out to the wings and pulling the Zebras defence from side to side.

Warrener tries to block shot - Copy

Photo:  Zebras' Luke Warrener tries to block a shot by Bentleigh Greens' Dimi Hatzimoratis [PlessPix]

They hit the front in the 27th minute when Chris Lucas attacked down the right and chipped the advancing keeper James Wilson.

A twice-taken penalty by Lucas in the 32nd minute made it 2-0 [the penalty was awarded for short pulling by Luke Warrener at a corner], while a goal by Jason Hicks and two by Dimi Hatzimoratis before the interval gave the Greens a commanding 5-0 lead at half-time.

The second half started badly for Zebras as Huigsloot put a cross from the right into his own net to make it 6-0.

Further goals by Hatzimoratis in the 64th minute - he smashed home a blocked effort by Lucas - and James Xydias, with a powerful left-footed drive 6 minutes from the end, completed the rout.

Zebras must be relieved that they won’t be facing Victorian side Pascoe Vale next weekend. That task falls to South Hobart.

Hatzimoratis nets another - Copy

Photo:  Dimi Hatzimoratis nets his second goal of the game and Bentleigh Greens' fifth [PlessPix]

not goalside - Copy

Photo:  An example of how easily Bentleigh Greens carved open the Zebras defence.  Luke Huigsloot tries to cut out a ball from a Bentleigh attacker but the Zebras fullback on the far side is not goalside of his Bentleigh opponent. [PlessPix]

Comments   

+6 #47 Frequent Flyer 2018-02-02 02:40
Yes, but they aren’t Juve anymore so why call them that. Living in the past i guess as premierships haven’t been too recent...
Well if it’s return flights to Tas the cost of the investment as a minimal, it’s a waste of money.
If he is training at a club better than the Zebras, than why would he fly over here and play? $$ He is a Metro boy after all isn’t he so no real alliance to fake Juve
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-7 #46 Anon 2018-02-02 01:49
#45.Sanders'val ue should not be questioned.He is a much better player than he shows at present.He stood out like a sore thumb early last year but then began to struggle when we was starved of the ball due to opposition teams being able to win the ball back from his team mates early and/or mark him tightly waiting fro the long ball forward . Zebs need to improve his surroundings with players who can play and retain the ball.Then you will see his value. So #37Frequent Flyer really does have a valid point in a way.
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-2 #45 Peanut 2018-02-01 11:01
#frequent flyer
Clearly you’re 13 years old. They were Juve long before they had to change their name the Zebras.
Secondly he trains with a squad far better than Zebras and until their coaches settles on a formation there’s no point him training with the squad anyway and his form last season shows it’s a solid investment. Do you actually know how much is invested in him?
Even if he is only here for game day he can pass on valuable lessons from over a decade of experience in the VPL.
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+4 #44 Frequent Flyer 2018-02-01 09:09
Quoting anonymous:
#43 YOU TOSSER


Can’t argue with his statement though as he is right!
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-6 #43 anonymous 2018-02-01 03:40
#43 YOU TOSSER
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+6 #42 Anonymous 2018-02-01 02:40
Quoting Anon:
So was ok that south were flying a player in last season to play reserves????


Yep. South actually win things.
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+2 #41 Anon 2018-01-31 22:25
So was ok that south were flying a player in last season to play reserves????
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+3 #40 Frequent Flyer 2018-01-31 22:25
Quoting Peanut:
Quoting Frequent Flyer:
Surely Zebras still aren’t paying for Sanders to fly back and play? Now that is a waste of money! Surely it would be better spent with someone who can training every night with your team mates?


The blokes a striker coach and trains with a VPL team.
What he can teach the young ones at Juve is worth it alone!
Rubbish comment


Ahhh firstly, Juve play in Italy. Hobart Zebras you mean?
Secondly, yes he trains with a VPL team - my point exactly.
Thirdly, don’t get me wrong, he is still a good player on his day
Lastly, hard to teach kids at Zebras training in Melb
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+7 #39 Polli 2018-01-31 21:23
#38 no where else in the world would this happen(not training with the side) and playing. Its never worked here and wont work.
What would players be learning?
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-9 #38 Peanut 2018-01-31 08:57
Quoting Frequent Flyer:
Surely Zebras still aren’t paying for Sanders to fly back and play? Now that is a waste of money! Surely it would be better spent with someone who can training every night with your team mates?


The blokes a striker coach and trains with a VPL team.
What he can teach the young ones at Juve is worth it alone!
Rubbish comment
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