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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Clay and Nkoso

Photo:  Olympia's Joffrey N'Koso wins a header against the Knights' Jade Clay and Sam James [PlessPix]

(League Cup Semi-Final, Warrior Park, Saturday, 2 September 2017)

Olympia Warriors 6 (T Bellini 28’, L Hill 42’, H Undy 45’+2, J N’Koso 63’, K Vincent 80’, 90’+4)

Glenorchy Knights 2 (C Brown 47’, 57’)

HT: 3-0   Att: 307   Ref: C White

Olympia Warriors: Cole - Ortmann, Vandemey, Hill, Sammut - Mearns, Hickey, Undy - Wadawu, T Bellini, N’Koso (Subs: Alexander, Leaman, Mulungula, Stalker, Vincent)

Glenorchy Knights: Nester - Clay, Harrison, Phillips, Nandan - James, A Bellini, Sherman, D Brown - C Brown, Heggie (Subs: Colrain, Dingjan, Moore, Woodham, K Engels)

Mearns and Nkoso - Copy

Photo:  Nick Mearns was excellent for Olympia and had three assists [PlessPix]

Olympia Warriors easily accounted for Glenorchy Knights 6-2 at Warrior Park on Saturday night to qualify for the League Cup final, in which they will meet South Hobart at KGV Park next Saturday.

The Warriors were without their leading marksman, Jakub Sklenar, who was in Sydney, and midfielder Shane Cartwright, who was injured. Shae Hickey made a rare starting appearance, while defender Paul Stevens was out because of a knee ligament injury that will not, after all, require surgery.

The Knights were missing centre-forward Mathew Nowicki, striker Ethan Engels, and midfielders Hugh and Declan Foley. Nowicki has now missed both cup games against Olympia and so we’ll never know whether he could have caused them problems at the back with his speed and aggressive style of play.

Undy on a run on wing - Copy

Photo:  Hugh Undy covered every area of the pitch at speed [PlessPix]

Olympia’s first two goals were disputed by the Knights defenders, who claimed off-side. But, the goals stood. Thomas Bellini hit the first after 28 minutes, finishing in excellent fashion past Dimitri Nester following a curling pass from his own half by Warren Wadawu and outpacing Sam James and Ben Phillips, who quickly gave up the chase and looked forlornly at the linesman.

Lucas Hill slotted home at the far left-hand post in the 42nd minute following a low cross from the right by Nick Mearns, who literally walked past three Knights defenders to get into the box before squaring the ball across the face of goal.

A Nick Mearns pass from very deep inside his own half put Hugh Undy through for the third in stoppage time, Nester completely missing his kick as he attempted to clear. Phillips, the nearest defender, was aghast as Nester missed his kick as he probably could have got the ball first and dealt with the pass.

Heggie and Hill - Copy

Photo:  The Knights' Rowan Heggie controls the ball while under pressure from Olympia's Lucas Hill [PlessPix]

The feeling that the game was over at the break was illusory. To the Knights’ credit, they hit back and netted twice in the opening 12 minutes of the second half, both goals coming from Callum Brown, whose blistering pace left the Olympia defenders wallowing in his wake.

In the 47th minute, Brown outpaced Mark Ortmann down the left and easily got past a half-hearted, and indeed, almost non-existent tackle from Jake Vandermey before sending a low left-footed shot past keeper Jakob Cole.

Ten minutes later, James Sherman dispossessed Mearns in midfield and fed Callum Brown, who raced into the box and had his first shot saved by Cole. But, Brown got to the rebound and scored at the second attempt to make it 3-2 and with everything to play for.

Hill out - Copy

Photo:  Olympia's Lucas Hill receives treatment after falling awkwardly [PlessPix]

The different fitness requirements in the NPL and Southern Championship may have told at this point as Olympia went on to score three more goals, while the Knights seemed a spent force.

In the 63rd minute, Mearns set up Joffrey N’Koso for a well-executed goal. Mearns’s clever outside-of-the-foot flick was not dealt with by Tyler Harrison and Nester was sold short as the ball fell to N’Koso, who prodded it past the keeper, who had gone down at his feet, and inside the far right-hand post to give the home side a two-goal buffer.

Substitute Kyle Vincent then stole the show for Olympia with two well-executed goals in the 80th minute and the 4th minute of stoppage time.

Ten minutes from the end, he collected a pass from the right wing by of all people, Vandermey, who was joining in the attack, and fired home from an acute angle to give Olympia a 5-2 lead. Nester seemed not to be expecting such a quick shot and was left flat-footed.

Sherman and Nkoso - Copy

Photo:  The Knights' James Sherman in an aggressive pose over Olympia's Joffrey N'Koso [PlessPix]

Four minutes into stoppage time, Olympia substitute Jacob Leaman crossed from the left and Nester flapped at the ball and missed. It carried on to Vincent, who headed home unopposed to complete the scoring at 6-2.

Those last three goals put huge questions marks over the performances of the Knights defence and, indeed, goalkeeper Nester. They may have won the Southern Championship, but they were shown the difference in standard between the top flight and the second tier in this contest.

Vandemey and Heggie - Copy

Photo:  Olympia's Jake Vandermey in possession while shadowed by the Knights' Rowan Heggie [PlessPix]

Bellini and Hickey

Photo:  Olympia's Shae Hickey (right) about to challenge the Knights' Alex Bellini [PlessPix]

DSC 0017 - Copy

Photo:  Olympia players celebrate a goal while the Knights' Alex Bellini appears to be wondering what happened [PlessPix]

Hill beats Heggie in air - Copy

Photo:  Olympia's Lucas Hill wins a header against the Knights' Rowan Heggie [PlessPix]

DSC 0005 - Copy

Photo:  The rival coaches watching the action [PlessPix]

Wadawu and Brown - Copy

Photo:  Knights' Alex Nandan appeals for a foul on team-mate Callum Brown by Olympia's Warren Wadawu [PlessPix]

Brown and Cole

Photo:  Olympia keeper Jakob Cole about to save Callum Brown's initial shot [PlessPix]

Brown rceives congrats

Photo:  Callum Brown is congratulated on his goal [PlessPix]

Comments   

+3 #26 Curious 2017-09-08 10:23
[quote name="Anon"]#24

We'll have to agree to disagree then. To a large degree what you've mentioned comes down to what is done at training with the coach rather than being purely the responsibility of players - something that takes time, smart practice and belief. Most good teams, yeah & in tassie, have a third centre back good enough to be starting for their respective teams, and fullbacks/winge rs who can develop into good wing backs. Examples cb/wb, South Hobart (O Thomas, brown, ludford / gorrie & Quaile), Olympia (Stevens, Hill, VDM / Wadawu & Samut), HJZ (2 imports + Hey / Walsh & Warraner), and Devenport played a back 3 this season getting the most out of a youthful squad. In the championship knights and uni both played a back three (knights 442/433 for the most part).

I for one am glad coaches and players are trying new things, it's kept it entertaining, even if it hasn't always worked. tas doesn't have to follow the crowd, push the boundaries guys & gals
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+4 #25 Anon 2017-09-08 04:37
#24.There isn't one team in Tassie that has what is required to play 3 at the back effectively and that includes:
3 good centre backs
2 good wing/backs ( if you like)
3 midfielders that know when to hold, push up and drop into back 4 when needed.

There may be teams that may have some of the above but not all.Chelsea and Juventus are possibly the best teams in the world that play with a back three but they have the required players to do so.I am not suggesting it is not a good system. So when I said that Tassie sides are not good enough to play that system , there isn't a team that has the players to do so and those that do try and play it without the right players look horrible and are not effective.
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-5 #24 Curious 2017-09-07 08:27
[quote name="Anon"]#22 . Clubs in Tassie not good enough to play a back three effectively.The Socceroos cant play it effectively and they have proved that.Coaches see things on TV and think they are the next Antonio Conte.

So, tassie football not good enough to play a back three effectively.. I disagree. Like you said, it depends on the players (ability/workra te) and the coach (training/buy-i n). This same thing is true of 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 etc.. Players and coaches will adapt to whatever can give them the edge to win. If coaches aren't trying to do whatever it takes to give their team the edge (from tv or otherwise) than they're not in it to win it.

And if you're right and tassie football isn't good enough, I'd say that bringing down something innovative and different whilst it's still developing is the reason.
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+14 #23 Anon 2017-09-07 05:05
#22. Clubs in Tassie not good enough to play a back three effectively.The Socceroos cant play it effectively and they have proved that.Coaches see things on TV and think they are the next Antonio Conte.You need the right players in the right roles and midfield must be very disciplined at certain moments of the game.It is not as simple as playing the formation and it works. It may work against weaker teams but when you come up against stronger opposition you must have the formation correct and players correct.
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-10 #22 Anonymous 2017-09-06 21:08
Quoting Baresi:
Quoting Oppo:
Quoting Anun:
If Nester doesn't make 3 howlers it tells a different Story. The score didn't reflect the game. A pretty entertaining match on what was a great night for football. Still think the better side went through.


So true - but in big games - against the better teams - This is the norm - A Nester mistake - and 1-2-3 goals. The players know it, the opposition know it. Nothing against the guy - but his time is up.

No id say back four been caught out on position & speed



Ummm. They played a back three. Suggest we need to look a little higher up the field. Slow midfield?
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+10 #21 Baresi 2017-09-06 10:55
Quoting Oppo:
Quoting Anun:
If Nester doesn't make 3 howlers it tells a different Story. The score didn't reflect the game. A pretty entertaining match on what was a great night for football. Still think the better side went through.


So true - but in big games - against the better teams - This is the norm - A Nester mistake - and 1-2-3 goals. The players know it, the opposition know it. Nothing against the guy - but his time is up.

No id say back four been caught out on position & speed
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+6 #20 Recount 2017-09-06 07:54
Apologies Walter, the attendance at Warrior Park for the Knights semi final was 309.
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+2 #19 Apples 2017-09-06 04:09
Oh its a funny world, this Baechside v Knights rivalry. History will say Knights had a great 2017. History will also say Beachside had a great 2017 after all they won the Championship reserves premiership. Well done to both clubs.
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-12 #18 Oppo 2017-09-06 03:58
Quoting Anun:
If Nester doesn't make 3 howlers it tells a different Story. The score didn't reflect the game. A pretty entertaining match on what was a great night for football. Still think the better side went through.


So true - but in big games - against the better teams - This is the norm - A Nester mistake - and 1-2-3 goals. The players know it, the opposition know it. Nothing against the guy - but his time is up.
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+3 #17 Beach loser 2017-09-05 23:19
Some names were impressive other names you put up bit of a joke never been top flight never will.
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