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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Jake French and winers medal 30 May 2018 - Copy

Photo:  Jake French with his World Cup winners' medal [PlessPix]

Jake French, 17, returned to Hobart today as a Futsal Under-20 World Cup winner.

He was the only Tasmanian in the Australian Under-20 Futsal team, representing The Australian Futsal Association, which competed in the world championship of the International Futsal Alliance in Blanes, Spain, last week.

Pam and Jake French 30 May 2018 - Copy

Photo:  Jake French's Mum, Pam, was at Hobart Airport today to greet her son [PlessPix]

The Australians beat Catalonia 5-3 in the final.

The head of the Australian Futsal Association in Tasmania, Romeo Frediani, said there were 55 countries and regions in the International Futsal Alliance and Australia competed against 5 of these in the Under-20 World Cup Finals.

“There were eight countries originally expected to compete in this championship, but two pulled out at the last minute,” Frediani said. “That was a bit of a shame.

“Spain, Catalonia, Basque, Scotland, USA and Australia eventually competed and Australia won, beating Catalonia 5-3 in the final.

“Australian had one group stage win and two draws before winning the semi-final and the final.”

French, who is a goalkeeper with the senior Hobart Zebras NPL Tasmania squad, enjoys both the indoor and outside versions of football.

“It’s quite an unreal feeling to be honest,” said French in regard to winning this world championship.

“We went over there quite confident as a team, but we knew we shouldn’t be over confident.

“We played quite well, though, and to be undefeated in the competition was really good.

“The facilities were good, but on the first day of the tournament, the court was quite slippery.

“They ended up getting a machine on it to clean it and it got better throughout the tournament.

“We went to nearby Barcelona and went around the city and it was a very nice place to be in. It was a good experience.”

French was one of two goalkeepers in the Australian squad and they usually played one half each game.

He said this tournament was the highest level at which he has competed.

“It was different to the nationals back here in Australia, but I felt quite comfortable with my performances,” he said.

The other Australian players came from Western Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales.

French said there were Spanish Futsal coaches watching the tournament and an opportunity to play overseas could come up.

He said he was looking forward to rejoining the Zebras’ NPL squad this weekend for the outdoor game.

“We haven’t been in the best of shape, but it’s going to come,” he said.

“We know it will.”

French said there was some adjustment that had to be made by goalkeepers for Futsal after playing on grass outdoors.

“I felt a bit uncomfortable over there at the first training session because I’d had so long off,” he said.

“But, once I’d had a couple of training sessions, I felt fine and went straight into it.”

French said he was ready for a call-up to the senior Zebras squad this weekend if required.

“I’m always ready for it,” he said. “I’m ready to play if needed.”

Comments   

+2 #14 Anon 2018-06-08 03:31
[quote name="Selfish as usual"]Wasn’t it a shame that FFT media or zebras were not invited to cover Jake’s return to the country after his exceptional performance in Spain. Is there a possibility that futsal Tas and Walter etc kept this one to themselves rather than sharing Jakes success for the sake of the player and so that every organisation could be proud of him? Shame.[/quote
Aren't FFT and Zebras media site run by the same people no conflict there LOL!
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+5 #13 Pan dodge 2018-06-04 02:57
thank you for your kind words Dalai Lama I am Jake's mum and I'm very very proud of his achievements he has come such a long way for his age and has chosen the right path in life
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+10 #12 Dalai Lama 2018-06-01 10:44
Jake seems like a fine young man and is a credit to his family. I really appreciated his interview after the Devenport game at Valley Road where he played very, very well- his modesty impressed me. Still plenty of years of development to come, will be great to see him continue to improve and grow in the league. As a football community in Tasmania, we are often quick to focus on negatives- credit where credit is due.
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+5 #11 anon 2018-06-01 05:36
Quoting Selfish as usual:
Wasn’t it a shame that FFT media or zebras were not invited to cover Jake’s return to the country after his exceptional performance in Spain. Is there a possibility that futsal Tas and Walter etc kept this one to themselves rather than sharing Jakes success for the sake of the player and so that every organisation could be proud of him? Shame.

Are you new to Football"
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+5 #10 Wow... 2018-06-01 02:22
‘Selfish as Usual’

what a ridiculous immature nasty comment. If you are associated with the Zebras you should be ashamed.
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+14 #9 Anonymous 2018-05-31 14:48
#7 Selfish as usual, you're ill informed. Jake's success was covered by WIN and Southern Cross as well as this blog. Zebras media fell down badly as they should have known one of their club players was returning from overseas, while FFT's own futsal is in opposition to the group Jake plays for and therefore they understandably wouldn't cover it. You should be pointing the finger at Zebras media.
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+14 #8 Solon 2018-05-31 14:41
#7 Selfish as usual: you're talking through your arse. Why would FFT media cover it when their own futsal is the opposition to the group Jake plays for? And Zebras would know when one of their own players is returning so they could have covered it if they'd wanted to. Idiot.
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-27 #7 Selfish as usual 2018-05-31 10:15
Wasn’t it a shame that FFT media or zebras were not invited to cover Jake’s return to the country after his exceptional performance in Spain. Is there a possibility that futsal Tas and Walter etc kept this one to themselves rather than sharing Jakes success for the sake of the player and so that every organisation could be proud of him? Shame.
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+7 #6 fabio 2018-05-31 09:35
Quoting North west onlooker:
Why this kid isn’t in goal for zebras astounds me. Far better than Shek Kamara And is probably the best keeper zebras have had since Graham Wright (who I believe was his mentor). After his performance against Devonport he should be in the team. He also shows some heart unlike Kamara. Markaj or zebras board, if you’re reading this, get him in.

The goal is a bit larger in real football, lets be honest!!
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+5 #5 North west onlooker 2018-05-30 11:29
Why this kid isn’t in goal for zebras astounds me. Far better than Shek Kamara And is probably the best keeper zebras have had since Graham Wright (who I believe was his mentor). After his performance against Devonport he should be in the team. He also shows some heart unlike Kamara. Markaj or zebras board, if you’re reading this, get him in.
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