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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A friend recently showed me some old rosters covering the seasons 1963, 1971 and 1972.

They were printed on cardboard, which could be folded and conveniently carried in a pocket or wallet.

It’s a pity the present-day rosters aren’t printed in this way, as they were even as recently as ten years ago.

Sponsors got value for money and the rosters could be distributed in shops and businesses and sent to schools.

Those who don’t have computers are at a disadvantage these days, when the rosters can only be accessed on-line or printed from a computer.

There is often talk nowadays about clubs amalgamating to form one stronger club. This season we have seen the disappearance of Kingston Cannons and Christian United to form a new club called Southern FC.

This has happened in the past, too, but it usually resulted in one of the clubs completely losing its identity.

The classic case occurred in 1969 when Rangers were swallowed up by Caledonians, who ultimately joined Kingborough to become Kingborough Lions United.

Other clubs have simply lost supporters and players and ceased to exist.

A look at these old rosters reveals some notable names from the past, many of which no longer exist.

In 1963, the top flight in the south consisted of 10 teams: Rapid, Inter, Croatia, Calies, Olympia, Rangers, Wayatinah, Juventus, South Hobart, Metro

Rapid became Kingston Cannons and now no longer exists. It was one of the great clubs of the past and Ken Morton coached them to the leading titles in Tasmania.

Inter eventually became Hobart City and much later merged with Juventus, which is now Tilford Zebras.

Croatia is, of course, Glenorchy Knights, while Calies (Caledonians) merged with Kingborough and they are now Kingborough Lions United.

Olympia are still here as Olympia warriors, while Rangers are gone, as are Wayatinah. South Hobart is celebrating its centenary this year and Metro are more than 60 years old.

The 1971 Cambridge League (the top flight) roster shows White Eagles, who are now New Town Eagles, and Northern Suburbs, which is what Caledonians were then known as.

The second tier in 1971, or Division 2, was known as Metropolitan Division 1 and contained teams such as Dnipro, who represented the Ukrainian community.

The Cambridge League sides also had teams in this second tier competition, so there were also Croatia and Juventus in this roster.

Others were Malaysian Tigers, comprising Malaysian students studying at the university. Their reserves were known as Harimau.

Buckingham was Caledonians’ reserves and Dynamos were South Hobart’s reserves, as I recall.

University were also in this league.

The Metropolitan Division 2, or third tier competition, had teams such as Dnipro Lions, Clarence 1 and 2, Eastern Suburbs, Taroona, University Graduates and University Gold, as well as Southern Cross, who were Rapid’s reserves.

Names such as Southern Cross, Buckingham and Dynamos were originally introduced because Tasmanian results were used in the English Pools and you couldn’t have Rapid playing Rapid, for example.

In some of the State-wide Cup competitions, there are some interesting names from the north of the State, such as Spartan, South Launceston and Launceston Rovers, who also either merged or fell by the wayside.