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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Griffiths tackling Walter - Copy

Photo:  Olympia's Jonathan Griffiths tackles South Hobart's Alex Walter [PlessPix]

South Hobart sent a clear warning to the rest of the NPL Tasmania sides that they mean business and are back in the hunt for the title after beating Olympia Warriors 2-1 with two late goals at South Hobart Oval on Sunday.

At the beginning of the sixth round, South Hobart were second-last, but after the win over Olympia, they are in fourth place and just 6 points adrift of leaders Launceston City.

Gurson scores for Olympia - Copy

Photo:  Gordon Gurson puts Olympia ahead against South Hobart [PlessPix]

Launceston City had moved top with an impressive 3-2 away win over Devonport City at Valley Road on Saturday, all the goals coming from either current or past Devonport players.

Launceston City earned the three points with two goals from Tyler Fischer and one from Lindsay Millington, while Devonport replied through Daniel Jackson and Beau Blizzard.

League-leaders Hobart Zebras came unstuck against bottom-side Clarence United at Wentworth Park on Saturday evening when they were held to a 1-1 draw.

Zebras coach Gabriel Markaj again showed his inexperience at the top level. He didn’t stay in the dressing room at half-time when the teams were locked together at 1-1 and paced the field instead, while at the end he didn’t shake many hands and also reportedly kicked a rubbish bin after going into the dressing room and berating his players for a poor performance.

Sanders has scored against Clarence - Copy

Photo:  Zebras' Mathew Sanders opens the scoring against Clarence [PlessPix]

Why he replaced the tall and powerful Luke Huigsloot with 25 minutes to go while his team continued to loft balls into the box is a puzzle. And, he brought on his brother, Paolo, as a replacement at centre-back after he had trained only once since arriving at the club.

If Markaj thinks he cuts somewhat of a Napoleonic figure with his behaviour and attitude, he would do well to remember Napoleon’s ill-fated invasion of Russia and also the battle of Waterloo.

Zebras are on the precipice at the moment. They are second, a point behind leaders Launceston City, their sister Italian-backed club from the north of the State, who they will meet at KGV Park next weekend. It is a game they must win.

At Wentworth Park, they were frustrated by desperate Clarence defending, with one of their former players, Paul Palmer, proving a constant stumbling block.

Huigsloot and ONeill - Copy

Photo:  Clarence's Jonathon O'Neill eyes the ball as Zebras' Luke Huigsloot bears down on him [PlessPix]

They finally took the lead in the 27th minute when Adam McKeown nodded a cross back across goal for Mathew Sanders to score.

Five minutes later, Clarence equalised when Zebras keeper Sheku Kamara was caught way out of his goal by a chip from the right by Sam Reibel.

Zebras attacked strongly in the second half but Clarence keeper Matthew Dyson was unbeatable.

Jake Stuart almost snatched a late winner for the home side when in a one-on-one with the keeper, but the angle was difficult and Kamara was able to block the shot.

Northern Rangers came away from Lightwood Park with the three points when they downed Kingborough Lions United 1-0 through a splendid goal by Nick Lanau-Atkinson after 32 minutes. William Humphrey’s long diagonal cross from the right found his team-mate unmarked at the far post and he hammered the ball home.

Cano in line - Copy

Photo:  Northern rangers' Argentine import Federico Cano in possession against Kingborough [PlessPix]

Kingborough had their chances, but inexperience told and they were unable to find the target despite some mobile and speedy attacking play involving Jacob Calvert, Tim Baker and James Hall.

The gale-force winds made conditions difficult and the goalkeepers were in all sorts of trouble when trying to clear the ball upfield against the wind.

The most notable thing about this game was the excellent referring of Brisbane visitor Michael Burlone. He left Tasmania five years ago and is refereeing in Queensland now. He was down in Tasmania for a week and was asked to referee this game. His display was impeccable. He showed authority, common sense, knowledge, fitness and good decision making and his performance was something for our local referees to aspire to.

Michael Burlone - Copy

Photo:  Visiting referee Mike Burlone with the two captains, both wearing Number 11, Nick Lanau-Atkinson of Rangers (left) and Joel Schuth of Kingborough [PlessPix]

It took Olympia Warriors 20 minutes or more to get into their rhythm against South Hobart. They barely entered the South Hobart half in that initial period, but once they did, they created some good scoring chances.

Olympia’s new American striker, the diminutive Gordon Gurson, had at least four scoring chances, but he either shot tamely or had his effort saved by South Hobart keeper Kieran Brown.

After a goalless opening half, Gurson, the shortest man on the pitch, put Olympia ahead in the 67th minute with a spectacular leaping volley after Warren Wadawu had nodded Eduardo Castaneda’s free kick down to him on the left of the six-yard box. How the tall timber at the centre of the South Hobart defence allowed that to happen is beyond comprehension.

Concussion test - Copy

Photo: One finger or two?  Olympia goalkeeper Brett Johnson is put through the concussion test after sustaining a kock to the head as referee Charles White looks on and Olympia defender Lucas Hill treats himself [PlessPix]

South Hobart’s reputation was at stake, however, and their renowned fighting spirit came to the fore. They were determined not to lose as it may have spelled the end of their quest to retain the title.

South Hobart’s Brazilian import, Renato De Vecchi Marins, was generally well contained, despite some impressive runs, individual trickery and dribbling skills. It was from one such run three minutes from the end that he was brought down by Olympia keeper Brett Johnson, who conceded the penalty and collected a yellow card. Adam Gorrie sent Johnson the wrong way with his spot-kick and it was 1-1.

Gorrie sends Johnson the wrong way - Copy

Photo:  Adam Gorrie (No.3) sends Brett Johnson the wrong way with his spot-kick and makes it 1-1 [PlessPix]

South were not content to earn just a point and they continued to attack. It paid dividends in the final minute when Nick Morton squared the ball inside for Alex Walter to prod home the winner. Walter said after the match he had expected Morton to shoot and not pass, but he was grateful for the opportunity to hit the winner and revitalise South Hobart’s title challenge.

South Hobart coach ken Morton praised his side's resilience, while Olympia coach Dale Itchins expressed anger at his side's loss.

Gurson takes on a defender - Copy

Photo:  Olympia's Gordon Gurson rounds a South Hobart opponent [PlessPix]

NPL Tasmania Round Six Results

Kingborough Lions United 0 lost to Northern Rangers 1 (N Lanau-Atkinson 32’)

Clarence United 1 (S Reibel 32’) drew with Hobart Zebras 1 (M Sanders 27’)

Devonport City 2-3 Launceston City

South Hobart 2 (A Gorrie 87’ pen, A Walter 90’) beat Olympia Warriors 1 (G Gurson 67’)

Repairing the net - Copy

Photo:  Referee Michael Burlone suspervises a net repair before the game at Lightwood Park [PlessPix]

NPL Tasmania Standings (As at Sunday, 6 May 2018)

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

Launceston City

6

4

2

0

11

4

14

Hobart Zebras

6

4

1

1

15

13

13

Devonport City

6

3

1

2

16

9

10

South Hobart

6

2

2

2

12

11

8

Northern Rangers

6

2

1

3

15

14

7

Olympia Warriors

6

2

1

3

10

11

7

Kingborough Lions

6

1

2

3

9

7

5

Clarence United

6

0

2

4

5

24

2

SH 10 outfield players celebrate - Copy

Photo:  South Hobart's ten outfield players celebrate the winning goal [PlessPix]

Comments   

-2 #48 kick the spud 2018-05-14 00:37
Quoting geez:
Poor Markaj, has to come from Europe to hear all these ignorant comments... if any of you would have had half of the exposure that Markaj had to the European football and if half of you would have the balls to coach the level of football in Tasmania would certainly be higher... and forget the FFA training, it is the experience that count

What European experience? 2 season in Hobart, 2 in Adelaide and he is how old? Ask him his quals or courses done!
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+10 #47 Huy 2018-05-11 10:59
Anyone with half a brain knows its Peter running city not jez. They look just like Devonport from 2016.
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+10 #46 anonymous 2018-05-11 05:25
#45 I would say City keeping Sav at a low profile , but we all know what's happening at City , you don't have to be Einstein to work out their games.
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+6 #45 anonymous 2018-05-11 03:30
#44 I thought Jezz was the coach ????
obviously not.
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+5 #44 Sparks fly 2018-05-11 02:41
Quoting Love it:
Gab .Gallo .Savile all going off .shame fans don’t give enough to quite at games that’s what I miss atmosphere

Whatched Savill on slice of cheese brilliant proper coach
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+4 #43 stay on track 2018-05-10 22:07
Quoting Anonymous:
[quote name="Anonymous"]If Olympia play like this every week not many teams will beat them.


What's Olympia got to do with this thread, I thought this thread and every other one is about Markaj.
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+1 #42 Anonymous 2018-05-10 07:26
Quoting Anonymous:
If Olympia play like this every week not many teams will beat them.


5?
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-5 #41 Solon 2018-05-10 06:53
#40 geez, well you'd better tell that to Markaj.
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+5 #40 geez 2018-05-10 06:35
#38 Solon, I dont know why Markaj doesn't talk to the media and I am not interested particularly; I like football not bitching
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-1 #39 anon 2018-05-10 06:19
#38. Rhetorical question ?
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