Who Is 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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Photo:  Choon Sung Jun shields the all from Zebras' Mattias Toghill and Jacon Clamp [PlessPix]

(Victory League, Lightwood Park, Sunday, 28 April 2013)

Kingborough Lions United 2 (J Schuth 63, M Marchioli 67)

Tilford Zebras 3 (A McKeown 64, J Ladic 70, A Cairns 90+6)

HT:  0-0   Att:  276   Ref:  B Kopra

Kingborough Lions United:  Leamey  -  Hawkins, Hill, Cuthbertson, D Pearce  -  Marchioli, M Palmer, Collins  -  Choon Sung Jun (T Pearce 72), Farquhar (J Davis 66), Schuth  (Subs not used:  W Davis, Bilson, Di Falco)

Tilford Zebras:  Kay  -  Clark, Telega, Clamp, Toghill  -  Ladic, Cairns, P Palmer (Page 85)  -  Self, Leszczynski, McKeown  (Subs not used:  Dand, Malcolm, Smith,Welch)


Photo:  Lions' Marcello Marchioli tries to get to the ball as Aaron Cairns controls it and other players look on [PlessPix]

Tilford Zebras scored a goal in the 6th minute of stoppage time at the end of the game to grab a most unlikely 3-2 win over Kingborough Lions United in Sunday’s Victory League fixture at Lightwood Park.

The Lions must have been exhausted and shattered after this unsuccessful hunt, which saw the Zebras escape with a last-ditch kick in the teeth of the predators.

Zebras began strongly and should have scored several goals in the opening 45 minutes.  That they didn’t must have rekindled the doubts in many supporters’ minds about the team’s ability to do well this season.

Zebras should have scored in the 19th minute when an attempted clearance by Nick Hill ricocheted off Adam McKeown.  The ball was about to cross the line when Hill recovered, made up the ground and threw himself at it and cleared off the line with keeper David Leamey stranded.


Photo:  Zebras' Alex Leszczynski (left) and Lions' Nick Cuthbertson in a heading duel [PlessPix]

Joel Schuth almost found a goal for the home side in the 29th minute when his shot was not cleanly taken by Rob Kay, but the Zebras keeper somehow turned the ball wide for a corner.  From the corner, Hill headed wide when unmarked.

Two minutes later, Alex Leszczynski went close for Zebras when he floated a cross-cum shot narrowly wide of the far top left-hand corner of the goal.  He has scored from an identical move against Devonport City on the opening day of the league season.

Martin Farquhar shot wide for the Lions in the 35th minute, while Kay did well to get down for Schuth’s low drive from Farquhar’s pass in the 40th minute.

Hill saw the first yellow card of the game when he upended Aaron Cairns just outside the left side of the penalty area just before the half-time break as the Scotsman threatened to break through on goal.  From the resultant free-kick, Leszczynski forced an acrobatic save by Leamey, who tipped the ball over the bar for a corner.

From the corner, Cairns hammered a shot at goal, but Marcello Marchioli saved the day by blocking it.

In the 45th minute, Jonathon Ladic robbed Michael Palmer of possession in midfield and fed Leszczynski, whose low drive flew narrowly past the wrong side of the far left-hand post.


Photo:  A Lion brings down a Zebra.  Cormac Collins and Aaron Cairns take a tumble. [PlessPix]

Kingborough took the lead in the 63rd minute when Marchioli found Schuth on the left and he rounded the keeper before slotting home from an acute angle.

Zebras were level within a minute when Ricky Self’s cross from the right was chested down by McKeown, who beat the advancing Leamey.

In the 67th minute, Kay did well to save from Schuth, but the ball rebounded to Marchioli, who drilled a marvellous shot from the edge of the box into the far left-hand corner of the net to restore the Lions’ lead.

In the 70th minute, Zebras equalised for the second time.  Self cut in the from the left and, when he was tackled by a defender, the ball ran loose to Ladic, whose scuffed shot deceived Leamey and rolled into the net to make it 2-2.

Trent Pearce replaced Kingborough’s new Korean signing Choon Sung Jun in the 72nd minute.  He had made a quiet debut, starting on the right flank and then moving to the left before running out of steam with 20 or so minutes left.

In the 84th minute, a casual back-pass by Hill almost caught Leamey out.  The keeper scampered back and just managed to scoop the ball away before McKeown could pounce.

This was the signal for a period of sustained Kingborough pressure on the visitors.


Photo:  A Lion and a Zebra have a tussle at The Den...Cormac Collins (left) crashes into Aaron Cairns [PlessPix]

Three minutes from the end of normal time, Schuth squandered a great chance for the Lions when he was left unmarked but could only nod Joe Davis’s cross from the left wide of the target.

Zebras were fortunate to survive seconds later when Davis was put through on the left by Marchioli.  He cut inside and was desperately unlucky to see his shot rebound off the base of the near left-hand post.  The ball rebounded to Michael Palmer, who only had to pick his spot, but the midfielder blazed high over the bar.

The excellent Cormac Collins, who was one of the best players on view in this match, was unlucky not to score in the 89th minute, Jacob Clamp blocking the ball on the line with his head.

Five minutes into stoppage time, Michael Palmer was shown a yellow card for cynically fouling the mobile Cairns as he again threatened to break through.

It may have been cynical, but Cairns was certainly a potent weapon for the visitors and he scored the last-gasp winner.  Leszczynski found the unmarked Ladic wide on the left and his low cross inside went to Cairns, who netted with ease to give the visitors a 3-2 win when everyone expected the match to end in a 2-2 stalemate.

The win lifted Zebras a place to fifth on the standings and dumped the Lions to sixth spot.


Photo:  Former New Town Eagles team-mates Cormac Collins (left) and Adam McKeown tangle in different colours [PlessPix]

Kingborough Lions United’s coach, Steve Adkins, said:

“There were probably a couple of minutes [of stoppage time] for injury, but seven is wrong.

“They guys tried very hard today and they really made a game of it.  We had some good chances.  Second half against the wind I thought we played really well to stay in the game and then I thought we had good chances to win it in the end.

“Today, in the wind, it was probably not so much a short-passing game but more long knocks from the back because of the conditions.  But, I thought the backs for both teams played pretty well.  We gave them a couple of soft goals.

“At least it showed we’re competitive against the top teams.  Zebras [haven’t been above us but] are probably in front of us now on goal-difference, but they’re certainly a good team.


Photo:  Zebras' Jonathan Ladic (left) gets to the ball ahead of Lions' Cormac Collins and Zebras' Alex Leszczynski [PlessPix]

Kingborough Lions United captain, Marcello Marchioli, said:

“It’s a tough one for us to take.  We were playing a team in Zebras and knowing their quality you know you always have to work hard.

“We did the hard work but just couldn’t put it in the back of the net when it mattered and that just kept the pressure on us in injury time.

“I was happy to get a goal.  It’s nice to score goals.  It was an important one for the team, so that made it feel pretty good, but I guess in the end it wasn’t enough.

“I just like to see the ball in the back of the net.  Sometimes two is enough and sometimes it isn’t [like today].”


Photo:  The Lions' Martin Farquhar (left) crosses as Zebras' Andrew Telega moves in [PlessPix]

Tilford Zebras coach, Tommy Fotak, said:

“They made it tense for me today.  Look, I’m all for ‘Fergie time’.

“We’ve spoken about how we want to finish off games and if there’s extra-time at the end I’m generally not afraid of it.  Today it could have gone either way, to be honest.

“I mean, they had a chance there at the end which they skied over, so we were lucky.

“Games always tend to open up towards the end and that’s something we’re aware of, but in terms of our own performance, they’re the things we spoke about.  We took three touches to get the ball under control [and] we were running with it when we should have been passing it.

“I don’t know what it was, whether we were a bit flat, whether it was the conditions.  I just think we just made bad decisions on the ball today and that led to the game opening up.

“First half, kicking into the wind, and the way we played in the first half, I thought we probably should have had a lead.  But, we probably didn’t striker at goal very well.

“Second half, we just didn’t get behind them.  We were playing too narrow an dour wingers were drifting in and we carried the ball too much.”


Photo:  Zebras' Mattias Toghill (right) pressures the Lions' Choong Sun Jun [PlessPix]

Tilford Zebras captain, Jonathon Ladic, said:

“It’s really good to get three points down here.  Kingborough are always tough at home and, yeah, we’ll take the three points today.

“My goal, well, I didn’t really hit it that well.  It was more half a fluff, but it was nice to set up Cairnsy at the end there for three points.

“We were relieved more than anything.  Tommy’s doing great at training.  He’s put down the philosophy of how we want to play and we certainly did that last week.  We were a bit flat today, I think.


Photo:  Zebras' Paul Palmer gets to the ball ahead of Lions' striker Martin Farquhar [PlessPix]


0 #75 Anonymous 2013-05-05 08:25
Quoting Anonymous:
Hi Walter
On another subject. This weekend the Hobart Cup is on. A massive feast of football at KGV, Showgrounds and WWP. This is worth while to get along and see some of Tassies junior talent

This tournament was worth watching. One particlar standout was a keeper from Launceston, this young lad was Amazing.
There was two very small young blonde headed boys playing for central who just turned it on wow.
I will be back to watch next year as some of these teams play better football than some of the senior mens teams getting around.
Well done to all
0 #74 Anonymous 2013-05-02 01:18
Quoting Anonymous:
A couple of Zebra's players are wearing black skins, isn't the rule same colour as shorts.
Aren't the referee's suppose to check this?

In one game I played this season, the referee and Lino were more concerned with this stupid rule than whether it was subs or interchange, seeing as they couldn't remember which one it was. Seems every official has a different ruling on skins, it's just a joke, I stopped wearing them a long time ago to avoid the hassle. Oh and plus the fact they're just for show and don't do anything.
+1 #73 Anonymous 2013-05-01 10:38
Quoting Anonymous:
A couple of Zebra's players are wearing black skins, isn't the rule same colour as shorts.
Aren't the referee's suppose to check this?

I am sure that some Boro boys were sent from the park against south for this issue. Time now for refs to be jerked into gear and do what they are paid for...........b eing impartial and fair. Clubs have had to raise their bar.... Now time for the green boys.
0 #72 Anonymous 2013-05-01 08:58
Quoting Anon:
So 3 V League games in the south with a total crowd of 736 . Not quite the numbers we were promised

maybe get out to a game then. the crowds were fine especially out at south hobart. full grandstand + more, there isn't the infrastructure for big crowds (state game at KGV for e.g) or the interest yet. its doing well though so if you complain about attendance actually go to the games.
+8 #71 In perspective 2013-05-01 05:36
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Mark Jablonski:
It's certainly been the weekend for last minute winners!

Sammy for CUFC in the SPL, Hammers for South and Aaron for Zebras.

Elation and pain. Good stuff.

Nobody likes you!

If nobody likes him, why don't you put a name to your comment and we'll see who likes you
+3 #70 Dallas 2013-05-01 05:16
Walter, just thought you may consider doing a photo shoot of the Men & Women of Tassie Football Calendar for 2014 ( tongue in cheek or maybe not). Who knows where it might lead you could be the next Larry Flynt of the world, great work Walter with your pics and stories.
-6 #69 Anonymous 2013-05-01 04:20
A couple of Zebra's players are wearing black skins, isn't the rule same colour as shorts.
Aren't the referee's suppose to check this?
+13 #68 Player 2013-05-01 03:57
Hi Walter, I must admit. I did not think twice before adding one of your pictures to Facebook(almost instinctively). With technology now, actual hard copies are almost done for. The majority of people share pictures with family and friends online(quicker, easier etc). However If for a second I knew it would cause an issue, I wouldn't have done so.
In my opinion, everyone who sees a decent picture of Tasmanian soccer, knows it has come from Walter Pless, straight away. Its simply showcasing your pictures to a wider audience.
+6 #67 Anonymous 2013-05-01 03:01
City did not pick up any big name players because of the players they have kept are egotistical and play as individuals. Hard to get along with on and off the field. Hence why they lack discipline and do not look at what the team needs but let rash decisions get the better of them. They have players who are a great standard (for NPL reserves) but struggle big time and look content just to be able to say they are a state league player. They have good leadership in their captain and coach. Both would be better suited at other clubs who are willing to have a crack as a unit. On a sidenote, Cabello is a gun. Between himself, Cairns, Hickey, Schuth, Foley, Mann and Brassington each team has a creative drawcard to each game (these aren't the only great players of course - marchioli, hey, holden, kosta, nichols etc). City need to pick one up and should have done so before pre-season and secured a Hingston, McCarragher or a Hughes brother. Throw a bit of money in and give yourself a chance. Maybe even get Ray Heald on board as a coach and do a zebras with pitchford to draw over another crop of players doing well in the NPL. The way city carry themselves I hope they get slaughtered every game. For the sake of the league, I hope they don't.
+5 #66 jerry kruijver 2013-05-01 02:32
just as a matter of interest does anyone know how vicleague spectator numbers compare to the numbers that afl stateleague is getting?
I like to congratulate fft again on the success sofar that the vic league is,the huge turn around in media coverage is close to being a miracle and it is raising the profile of the sport in the state.
The contribution walter has made and is making can never be overestimated and this blog has become invalueable in finding out how people percieve where the sport is going and could be a fantastic way for fft to find out where they are going right or wrong.I just hope that fft finds the right balance between what ffa wants and what is good for tassie football.there are great things happening and to see clubs organise youth tournaments that are well supported by other clubs is fantastic.Yes i still think it is a shame we got rid of promotion and relegation,the locked in 20 men squad will become a handicap and at 18 one should be a senior player competing with other senior players for a spot in highest team and if you are not quite good enough yet for the highest team you will just have to bide your time in one of the lower sides your club has.however every club should be totally free to select any player to its topsides if circumstances demand it even if because of injuries they have to pluck one from their over 35 potbellie brigade.Clubs will always be the lifeblood of the sport and will allways be the maindevelopers of youth.

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