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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The more things change, the more they stay the same. Brazil won the World Cup in 1970 and have done so twice since.

What was happening in Tasmania 40 years ago? A dip into the archives shows that in 1970, there was talk of the need for a club’s under-19s, reserves and seniors all to play at the same venue on match days.

It was noted by the game’s administrators that greater support needed to be given to the under-19 competition because that is where the players of the future would come.

Complaints were rife that some clubs were not fielding under-19 teams, despite the fact there was a provision for fines for those clubs not doing so.

There has been some progress in the past 40 years.

In 1970, floodlights were being considered for KGV Park and it was suggested that all grounds be enclosed.

A grandstand was also suggested for the creek side of the KGV ground. We are still waiting for that one.

The southern season commenced on 25 February in 1970, with the first round of the combined Association and Falkinder Cups competition.

Rapid beat Olympia 3 corners to one after the teams were level at 1-1 after normal time and went on to retain the trophy. Rapid had beaten White Eagles 4-2 in the previous season’s final.

In one of the early rounds, Caledonians downed South Hobart 4-1, with Bernard Siggins, Jim Mackinnon, Colin Godfrey and Tony Frankish netting for Calies and Alan Mackie for South Hobart.

The northern season began on 7 March, with Olympic beating Launceston Rovers 7-0.

Some of the coaches at the time were: Ismet Gjurbuzovic (Rapid), Graeme Smith (Northern Suburbs Caledonians), Ted Huddlestone (Metro), Peter Cagialis (Olympia) and Brian Foulkes (White Eagles).

Gjurbuzovic, who is currently retired and living in his native Croatia - former Olympia player Arthur Seymour told me he had run into him in Croatia only a few weeks ago - did not last long with Rapid and he was soon cleared back to Croatia-Glenorchy, the club with which he starred. Franz Fischer, a 23-year-old inside forward, took over as Rapid coach.

Graeme Smith still watches some University games. A fitness fanatic, he played well into his 60s.

Ted Huddlestone made his name with Olympia, of course, where he was a feared centre-forward in the 1960s.

Croatia-Glenorchy won the Ampol Cup in 1970 and collected prize money of $350. They beat Metro in the final and Metro collected $200.

One of the big events of 1970 occurred in January, when FIFA coach Dettmar Cramer visited Hobart and conducted coaching clinics.

Cramer was a brilliant coach and I recall attending one of his sessions at the University rugby/soccer ground near Sandy Bay Road.

His technical skills were outstanding and he demonstrated everything he expected the players to do. He was awe-inspiring and it was wonderful to watch a coach who didn’t just tell players what to do but showed them how to do it.

He went on to coach Bayern Munich to the 1975 and 1976 European Cups and in Japan he is regarded as the ‘father of Japanese football’. He also coached the United States. He is now 85 years old.

Caledonians played two friendly matches against visiting ships in 1970. They lost 6-0 to HMS Whitby, and beat a team from the Russian cargo ship Orsha 9-5 at the Domain Ground.

Caledonians were hoping to sign Metro’s sensational youngster Jim Mackinnon, who had impressed at the Australian youth carnival in Northern New South Wales that year. His brother, Hugh, was playing for Calies.

Here are some of the teams of the day:

South Hobart: Curson, Richardson, Crawford, Manson, West, Kirkpatrick (capt), Holloway, Murphy, Gibson, Mackie, Norman (Reserves: Sewell, Toppin, McCreadie).

White Eagles: Jefferson, D Siggins, Dora, Stewart, Stoddart, Hoyle, Lundin, Nelson, Kremzer, Foulkes, Rae (capt), Drelich, Rakowski, Prodanovic, Lozano, McCann.

Juventus: Cengia, Duthie, Schwesinger, Watson, Falzon, Hanna (capt), Owen, Genovesi, Rizzolo, Carnevale, Wood (Reserves: Jaegar, Tria, Palermo).

Metro: French, Cook, Allen, Hobbs, Poulter, Currie, J Mackinnon, Parums, Mills, Huddlestone, T Davis, Spaulding, Ring.

Northern Suburbs Caledonians: Jones, Fraser, Wallner, Smart, Cole, H Mackinnon, Stuart, Webb, G Smith (capt), B Siggins, Godfrey, Warwarek, McDougall.

Olympia: Roussos, Lynas, Cracknell, Quinn, Richards, Anastasiou, Shacklady, Stanton, Girling (capt), Ahearne, Manis, Petropoulos, MacKay, Madden, Kroustalis.

Rapid: Wood, Foster, Fischer (capt), Reid, Mathias, Zoetsch, Jack Dilba, John Dilba, Groenveld, S Stuetzel, Fuchs, Gerven.

Glenorchy Croatia: Udovicic, Zapatocki, Cahut, Nadinic, Fiamengo (capt), Prodan, Skaro, Leung, Lakoseljac, Letec, Plazonic, Krizanovic, Payne.

Here is some background worth mentioning of some of the above players.

John Kirkpatrick of South Hobart won the inaugural Rothmans Gold Medal in 1971.

Kurt Lundin, of White Eagles, was later known by his real name of Kurt Olson and became an artist of some note in Hobart. His works were regularly exhibited. He also played for Rapid. I think he may be in his native Denmark now.

Keith Spaulding, of Metro, played into his 40s and I still see him in Claremont sometimes, but he never attends Metro games.

‘Noddy’ Quinn, of Olympia, returned to his native Scotland and later died tragically of appendicitis.

Wally Foster, of Rapid, is now a noted heart surgeon in Queensland.

Milan Lakoseljac, of Glenorchy Croatia, had a cup named after him, of course, while team-mate Tony Skaro, who now lives in Melbourne, also played for and coached White Eagles and South Hobart.

The 10 best players in Southern Tasmanian in 1970 according to a paper of the day were:

1. Frank Letec (Croatia)

2. Joe Fiamengo (Croatia)

3. Joe Hanna (Juventus)

4. Joe Udovicic (Croatia)

5. John Kirkpatrick (South Hobart)

6. Mike Richards (Olympia)

7. Bernard Siggins (Caledonians)

8. Philip Owen (Juventus)

9. Tommy Harper (Olympia)

10. Tony Wallner (Caledonians)

Hobart United 4-1 Nelson Eastern Suburbs


Hobart United remain fifth and Nelson Eastern Suburbs fourth on goal-difference after this encounter at Thompson Oval at Pontville.

Hobart United had all the initial play and they went close to scoring through Akuel Guot, George Lotiko and Jai David.

But, Nelson hit the front with virtually their first attack of the game.

A long clearance by Nelson keeper Tom Clamp in the 13th minute was flicked on for Ryan Mills, who beat Alex Dand with a low shot into the corner of the net.

It took United until the 23rd minute to draw level, Guot heading home Peter Otto’s cross from the right.

Guot gave United a 2-1 advantage at half-time when he netted again in the 42nd minute from a pass by Lotiko, slotting the ball low past the helpless keeper.

Substitute Isaac Gwolo made it 3-1 midway through the second half, but Nelson, with Tom Gordon playing a deep midfield role, still caused the home side problems with long-range shooting.

Ryan Mills, in particular, had several shots from range that were not far off target.

An error by Clamp four minutes from the end killed off the match. Clamp failed to hold Gwolo’s low cross from the right and, when the ball spun from the keeper’s grasp, substitute Niyongabo Omery Zola was on hand to sweep it into the net.


Hobart United coach, Mark Broadbent, said:

“A very hard-fought game. Both sides were physically strong and I think it came down to just taking your chances.

“If you don’t take them, you don’t score and you don’t win.

“I think we took ours today.”

Nelson Eastern Suburbs coach, Michael Roach, said:

“Too many mistakes, in a nutshell. Too many mistakes.

“Soft goals and pretty disappointing. It could have been a decent performance, but mistake-riddled again.”


Hobart United: Dand - Thon, J Otto, Walker, Hazikimana - Lotiko, Yemby, David, P Otto (Gwolo 46) - Guot (Omery Zola 74), Letiko (Ngor 80)

Goals: Guot 23, 42, Gwolo 65, Omery Zola 86

Booked: Thon

Nelson Eastern Suburbs: Clamp - Gaskell, Rush, Stockdale (Caulfield 74), Stalker - A Mills, Lencke, Gordon (Hoppitt 80) - Hanley, R Mills, Flynn (Ireland 65)

Goals: R Mills 13

Booked: Hanley, R Mills, Flynn

Att: 50

Ref: B Kopra

Beachside 9-1 FFT Under-15s


Initially, Beachside needed just a point from this game to snare the Division One title and earn promotion to next year’s Premier League.

In fact, they didn’t really need a point because by the time they kicked off after 6pm, second-placed Metro had drawn 3-3 with Southern FC earlier in the afternoon and, therefore, were out of the running.

There could only be one winner in this contest and that was Beachside. It would be tempting to say that the combined ages of the FFT Under-15s wouldn’t add up to the age of some of their individual opponents, but that would be exaggerating a little. I joke.

Seriously, though, the Under-15s could never match the experience of Beachside. And, Beachside displayed the sort of technique, skills and team-work that made many of their players such a delight to watch in their heydays with other big clubs.

There was Colin Shepherd, of course, who had played for Tasmania against New South Wales in that memorable match at South Hobart when the locals led 4-1 with 20 minutes to go, only to lose 5-4.

And there was Brett Pullen, who played in the old NSL with Adelaide Hellas before returning to Tasmania and Caledonians to set the local league on fire.

Player-coach Nathan Robinson, who played in midfield, has coached South Hobart to a Premier League title, while goalkeeper Michael Soszynski has won a local league title and also played professionally in England.

Bernhard Klasen once terrified Premier League goalkeepers with his shooting before a dicky knee ruled him out of top-flight action.

The list goes on, but suffice to say that the young brigade had no chance. It was to Beachside’s credit that their players showed a professional concern for the youngsters and, if ever one of them went down, there were always helping hands nearby to offer assistance. It was sporting behaviour at its best.

They certainly gave the Under-15s a lesson in how to play an entertaining game. There were cheeky back-heels and other audacious tricks, as well as slick team-work and precise passing.

Pullen headed Beachside in front from Jason Harvey’s right-wing cross in the 10th minute, while 4 minutes later, Robinson headed against a post from Klasen’s corner.

In the 18th minute, Tom Ottavi saved well from a Ben Davis header after another Klasen corner.

Beachside scored their second in the 23rd minute after some good approach work by Shepherd was capped by a goal from Pat Dunne’s low drive.

Shepherd set up Klasen for the third on the half-hour, the former South Hobart striker finishing in style.

A Davis pass enabled Klasen to make it 4-0 two minutes later with a powerful shot from 20 metres that might have carried Ottavi into the net had he got a touch on the ball.

Pullen closed the first-half scoring with his second goal of the match, volleying home from the right, the ball going in off the left-hand post, after Harvey’s left-wing cross.

Pullen almost snared a hat-trick early in the second period after he rounded the keeper, only to see his shot come back off the post.

The Under-15s were battling bravely and, in the 49th minute, Liam Johnston forced Soszynski to tip his shot over the bar for a corner.

Two minutes later, the youngsters went one better when Chris McDonald scored with a long-range low drive through a crowded penalty area.

Beachside were stung by the impudence of the junior side and struck back immediately with a goal by Klasen to restore their five-goal buffer.

Klasen struck again in the 74th minute when Shepherd’s square pass across the box was dummied by Luke Atkin, which put the defenders on the wrong foot.

A well-worked goal in the 82nd minute, involving a build-up by Robinson and Shepherd and a cool finish by Andrew Reason, took the score to 8-1.

An outrageously impudent goal a minute from the end completed the scoring, Klasen flicking the ball up in the air and teeing it up for Davis to volley home.

The kids weren’t finished yet, however, and in stoppage time at the end of the match, Harry Woolley ghosted past Shepherd and Pullen in midfield and made for goal. It was only a brilliant save by Soszynski, who, seeing the danger, raced off his line and blocked at the youngster’s feet on the edge of the box to avert a goal.

Beachside produced a marvellous display to confirm their league title with one round remaining, but they should be warned that life in the Premier League will not be so easy. The showboating they engaged in will be difficult to re-produce in the top flight.


Beachside player-coach, Nathan Robinson, said:

“They’ve improved and I think it’s a good exercise for them. I can see the benefits for them as they’re going away and I wish them the best of luck.

“They have improved and the rigours of playing men every week will hold them in good stead for those five games in four days that they have, so well done to them.

“The season as a whole, well there were several key factors. Michael Soszynski, a premiership-winning goalkeeper in goal, and the least goals conceded in the division was the big difference there.

“Brett Pullen, Bernhard Klasen and Colin Shepherd up front. Sixty goals between them this year.

"I think at both ends of the field, and in midfield, we’ve got a very strong team and we’ve beaten our rivals, Metro, home and away, and Hobart United away and University away, so I think we’ve ticked every box to go up next season and challenge the guys in the SPL.”

FFT Under-15s coach, Gary Spicer, said:

“To be quite honest with you, that was the best football that we’ve seen from these boys today.

“I mean, this is Beachside, champions of Division One, and these boys came out today and I tell you what, the score does not reflect the way the game went.

“They had to work for every one of those goals.

“I’m very, very proud of the boys and very impressed with them.”


Beachside: Soszynski - Atkin, Lowe, Henderson (Driver 55) - Harvey (Reason 55), Robinson, Pullen, Dunne, Davis - Klasen, Shepherd

Goals: Pullen 10, 45, Dunne 23, Klasen 30, 32, 53, 74, Reason 82, Davis 89

FFT Under-15s: Ottavi - Johnston (Street 60), Woolley, Page, Geeves (G McDonald 55) - Gaggin, Piesse, C McDonald, Collins - Ochoya, D’Amico [Substitute not used: Paradisis]

Goals: C McDonald 51

Att: 120

Ref: C Ware

Tilford Zebras 1-3 Burnie United


Tilford Zebras had no answer to Burnie United’s fast, physical and direct style of play. The visitors also had skill and their three goals were delightfully created and finished in style.

They might have had a fourth at the start of the second half, but the ball was adjudged not to have crossed the line.

Burnie’s first goal came in the 18th minute and demonstrated all of the above qualities. A good build-up through midfield, a first-time curling pass by Kyrone Johnson, and a neat finish by Chris Smith, who beat Jason Voss with a precise low drive inside the far left-hand post.

It was 2-0 for the visitors in the 23rd minute. An attack down the left had the Zebras defence stranded and in Chris Smith flicked the ball on for Mark Ambrose to cut inside his marker and beat Voss from just inside the box.

Zebras had several good chances to score, but their shots were either directed into the side-netting or over the goal. Burnie’s stout defending also made it difficult for the home side. Michael Wolfert was tidy at the back for Burnie, while goalkeeper Bradley Ryan was brave and efficient.

Matt Hall, Jonathon Ladic and Jayden Welch were all denied by Ryan and Wolfert, and when Zebras did get the ball in the net, an assistant referee’s flag ruled it out for off-side.

The second half began with a sensational burst of speed by Chris Smith to outpace youngster Jordan Muller down the inside-right channel, but Smith’s shot was blocked on the line and cleared, despite some appeals that the ball had crossed the line.

Toby Macgregor replaced Hall midway through the second half and he added some strength to the Zebras attack, that was badly missing Ben Crosswell.

In the 69th minute, Zebras finally found a goal, but it was a soft one for Burnie to concede, Ladic’s low drive through a crowded box catching Ryan unsighted and sneaking past him and into the net.

With 12 minutes remaining, Astyn Johnson killed off the game with Burnie’s third goal after a low left-wing cross from Mark Ambrose again revealing the deficiencies of the Zebras’ defence.

Welch had a penalty appeal turned down 10 minutes from the end, while Dwayne Walsh headed a good chance wide in the dying stages of the game.

Zebras were beaten by a better and more determined side in the end, and one which had disposed of Glenorchy Knights at the same venue earlier in the season in a Milan Lakoseljac Memorial Trophy match.

Burnie are now away to Northern Rangers in the semi-finals of this State-wide Top-Four Finals series.


Tilford Zebras coach, Romeo Frediani, said:

“A tough game. We knew it was always going to be tough. Any team that comes down on the road is going to want to take points back. And, they did.

“They scored two simple goals in the first half. We just gave them too much room. The last 20 minutes of the first half, I thought we put a lot of pressure on them.

“The same in the second half, but we just couldn’t hit the back of the net. We had enough chances.

“Yeah, it was touch and go [about getting a penalty or two]. Sean [Collins] is not going to give you anything if he’s not going to pull up a head-butt. He’s not going to give you a penalty. [The head-butt] was on Henry Fagg. I mean, the ball was out of play and a guy walked past and head-butted him. So, you know, if he’s not going to pull that up, he’s not going to give you a penalty. So, yeah, pretty poor refereeing. I can say that because it’s the last game of the season.

“I don’t know [about coaching next year]. It depends on what the committee wants me to do.”

Burnie United coach, Sam Cocks, said:

“I thought the boys lifted again. Zebras came out fighting pretty hard. We knew it was going to be a hard battle.

“The game plan we worked on during the week worked well. We thought the Zebras would attack and attack, so we went to a 4-4-2 set-up which we haven’t played all year.

“The boys stepped up and it was just a great win. I thought in the second half the Zebras came out fighting harder and we were a bit tired in the feet and legs. Credit to the boys. We did let an easy goal in, but we kept on fighting and fighting.

“Credit to the Zebras. They kept pushing and pushing, too. All in all, it was good game and, you know, we were probably, not lucky, but deserved it that little bit more, I thought.

“[As for the chance just after half-time], I was pretty sure the ball was over the line. Smithy knocked it in and I was sort of backing it up. It did look like it, but we’re not...the officials aren’t robots. It happens here, it happens in Premier League, so you just get on with the game.”


Tilford Zebras: Voss - Fagg, Telega, Muller, K Engels - Self, Ladic, Cairns, Welch - Walsh, Hall (Macgregor 68) [Substitute not used: L Engels]

Goals: Ladic 69

Booked: Fagg, Telega, Ladic, Cairns

Burnie United: Ryan - Scolyer, Van Ek, Kaimon Johnson (Tyler Johnstone 86), Wolfert - Kyrone Johnson, Ambrose, Ashley Smith, De Bomford (Astyn Johnson 35) - Chris Smith, Sam Cocks [Substitute not used: Scott Parke]

Goals: Chris Smith 18, Ambrose 23, Astyn Johnson 78

Booked: Astyn Johnson, Kaimon Johnson, Ashley Smith

Att: 150 (KGV Park)

Ref: S Collins