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:  Tasmania's Liam Scott tries to stop Melbourne Victory's Julius Davies [PlessPix]

(Friendly fixture, KGV Park, Glenorchy, Tasmania, Tuesday, 21 August 2012)

Tasmania 0

Melbourne Victory 4 (T Markelis 19, J Davies 30, M Milligan 78 pen, D Allsopp 80)

HT: 0-2   Att: 4,071   Ref: S Evans

Tasmania: Ferguson  -  Luttmer, Ludford, Stevens, Williams  -  Feral (Hingston 62), De Smit, Scott  -  Mann, Leszczynski (Hickey 73), Brennan (McKeown 62)  (Subs not used:  McCarragher, Prendergast)

Melbourne Victory: Thomas  -  Dilevski (Milligan 70), Foschini, Ansell, Gallagher  -  Broxham, Jeggo (Bru 46)  -  Markelis (Thompson 46), Finkler (Franjic 46), Davies  -  Flores (Allsopp 46)  (Subs not used:  Velaphi, Traore)


Photo:  Tasmania's Jamie De Smit, supported by Andy Brennan (right) have the Melbourne Victory defence on the run [PlessPix]

Melbourne Victory dominated possession in this match and should probably have scored more than four goals.  Their emphasis was on passing and retaining possession and building up play from the back.  At times they strung together 20 or more passes.

Tasmania were always under pressure, but to their credit, they did manage a handful of dangerous attacks and should have scored at least one goal.

In the end, however, it was a game between professionals and amateurs and there was only one possible outcome.

It’s a pity that Todd Hingston and Adam McKeown were not brought on much earlier.  They revitalised an exhausted Tasmanian team when they came on and might have tested the Victory defence on some occasions at least.


Photo:  Tasmania's Brayden Mann gets the ball away before Victory's Marcos Flores can tackle him [PlessPix]

Alex Leszcsynski did all that was asked of him.  His powerful physique stood him in good stead as a target man up front and he battled bravely against the odds.

Paul Stevens had a difficult game at the centre of defence.  His passes often went astray and this put his team under pressure.  He brought down Matt Foschini to concede a penalty 12 minutes from the end and received a yellow card.

Hugh Ludford was solid in defence and Liam Scott in midfield was one of Tasmania’s better players.  Brayden Mann played well on the flanks and Jamie De Smit handled himself with poise and was quite creative in initiating attacks.

Shae Hickey should probably also have been introduced much earlier.  When he did come on, he played simply and effectively and with some class.


Photo:  Melbourne Victory captain Marcos Flores shields the ball from Tasmania's 15-year-old defender Paul Stevens [PlessPix]

Andy Brennan was clearly carrying an injury and it was surprising that he stayed on for as long as he did.

For Victory, Marcos Flores was creative up front, while Leigh Broxham and Guilherme Finkler stamped their authority in midfield.  Julius Davies and Theo Markelis were tricky and effective on their respective flanks and often managed to get behind the home team’s defence and create scoring opportunities.

Mark Milligan, Archie Thompson and Danny Allsopp were among five substitutes that made appearances in the second half and Milligan and Allsopp netted the two second-half goals.

Finkler was unlucky not to score in the 7th minute when he smashed a tremendous shot against the left-hand post as Victory pulled the Tasmanian defenders this way and that.

In the 19th minute, Markelis put Victory in front after Davies intercepted a pass out from the back by Tasmania and set up his team-mate for an accurate strike at goal.


Photo:  Melbourne Victory have just scored to take the lead against Tasmania  [PlessPix]

On the half-hour, Davies made it 2-0 when Victory again intercepted a pass out of defence and punished the error.  Davies was left to roll the ball into an unguarded net.

Tasmania’s first corner came in the 40th minute.  Two minutes later, Brennan was presented with the home side’s first real chance when he broke clear down the right, but he blazed high and wide of the target.

Tasmania’s best chance of the match came 10 minutes into the second half when Mann broke through on the right, but Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas pulled off a fine save to deny the Tasmanian.

Milligan made it 3-0 from the penalty spot in the 78th minute, shooting low and to the right of Matthew Ferguson.   Stevens had brought down Foschini from behind and interstate referee Shaun Evans produced the yellow card.


Photo:  Tasmania's Paul Stevens controls the ball as Melbourne Victory's Theo Markelis moves in [PlessPix]

With 10 minutes remaining, Victory scored an easy fourth when Tasmania failed to clear the ball and gave possession to Davies, who cut the ball inside for Allsopp to net the easiest of goals.

Tasmania produced a brief flurry of chances near the end as De Smit got in a header from Mann’s right-wing cross, and then when Mann fired straight at the goalkeeper.

The attendance of just over 4,000 was excellent and a credit to Football Federation Tasmania.  But, there was a distinct lack of vocal support for the home side, which may have been a reflection of the one-sided contest on the pitch.

The attendance outstripped that for the Tasmania versus Central Coast Mariners game in 2010 and indicated that there is definitely a place for such games in the Tasmanian football calendar, especially if the visitors spend a few days here and engage in activities involving the local community before the actual match, which is exactly what Melbourne Victory did.  Their partnership with Football Federation Tasmania and Tasmanian football has definitely got off on the right foot.


Photo:  Tasmania's Eli Luttmer gets in a cross despite the efforts of Melbourne Victory's Sam Gallagher [PlessPix]

Tasmania coach, Kurt Reynolds, said:

“Given the limited time we had to prepare for this game, I’m very proud of the players and, most importantly, how we played football this evening and how we tried to play football against a professional A-League side.  Very pleased with how we put ourselves on the park.

“I didn’t have a score-line in mind, to be honest.  That’s a little bit academic what the score-line is.  But, we kept a respectable score-line this evening.


Photo:  Tasmania's Paul Stevens (left) and coach Kurt Reynolds at the post-game media conference [PlessPix]

“When you look through the four goals, the first one was an error from playing out from the back, which is part of our football philosophy, and the second one was from a poor pass, again trying to play out from the back.

“The third one a penalty.  Then the final goal, I actually thought our goalkeeper may have taken care of the initial pass forward into the box.

“Apart from that, pleased with how we put ourselves on the football park.”


Photo:  Melbourne Victory's James Jeggo (left) and coach Ange Postecoglu at the media conference after the game [PlessPix]

Melbourne Victory coach, Ange Postecoglu, said:

“It was okay.  We’re kind of working on a few things, so it’s nice to see some progression in the areas we’ve been working on.

“Particularly in the first half, I was pretty pleased with the way we went about things.  In the second half it got scrappy and we weren’t as fluent.

“Overall, a decent exercise for us and I guess a little more progression on what we’re working on.

“You’re always looking for more and you’re never satisfied, but I think for where we are, in terms of pre-season preparation, it was a decent hit-out.  It wasn’t fantastic, but it was okay.”


Photo:  Melbourne Victory's Julius Davies tries to outwit Tasmania's Eli Luttmer [PlessPix]


Photo:  Tasmania's Eli Luttmer (right) jockeying Melbourne Victory's Julius Davies [PlessPix]


Photo:  Melbourne Victory's Nick Ansell directs a header at goal [PlessPix]


Photo:  Tasmania's Jamie De Smit launches a counter-attack [PlessPix]


Photo:  Melbourne Victory's Sam Gallagher shadowing Tasmania's Brayden Mann [PlessPix]


Photo:  Melbourne Victory's Sam Gallagher plays the ball inside [PlessPix]


Photo:  Melbourne Victory's Theo Markellis (left) wheels away after scoring his side's opening goal [PlessPix]


0 #101 in the onion bag 2012-08-25 09:43
further to my post # 9; MV were using "Tetris" formation. Mostly the rectangle with square attached. Pressing 2 4 4 toward Tasmania's goal. If the ball was on MV's left side everything slid across to a rectangle on the left side with square attached in midfield. variations? MV's right side under attack 2 at the back became 3. Sometimes their "between the lines" player would be wide of where the ball, not in the middle as is often seen.
0 #100 Anonymous 2012-08-25 05:24
Why on earth you wouldnt give all the Tassie boys a run is beyond me. Its a freindly game for godsake and the experience to at least get on the park would had last a lifetime for some of these young lads....
0 #99 Yoda 2012-08-24 10:10
George. Neil connoll (spelling) played for alex ferguson at aberdeen. He never sprouted that fact about did he, and what a wolly that man was. So stop biting at comments made on here its just punching at shadows.
0 #98 Dalles Hayes 2012-08-24 09:05
Not many put their name up on here George, a whole stack of anons and a bunch of pseudonyms. Looking forward to seeing you and your boys at Weily Park tomorrow, you're in with a late chance to get off the bottom.
-1 #97 Corey Smith 2012-08-24 08:39
Wow negative comments flowing. Surely it can only be positive that we have had a Tasmanian team play now two years in a row.

Selections will always divide opinion and maybe the structure is not right but atleast players have something to aim for now above and beyond club level matches.
-1 #96 Anonymous 2012-08-24 07:32
Quoting G . Krambousanos:
Just for the record my coaching days have just started at Metro and yes we do sit on the bottom ,is that a problem ?? Others sit on top and can't win anything we sit on the bottom and slowly building just like many other clubs have done . At list we have a ground and club rooms to be able to have a drink ,food and a game of 8 ball and on top of that we have great people doing their best to keep the club going in the right direction .84. 60. 46 .you 3 must not have any respect if you did you would put your name up . .... These are for you no 60 ...........

Yupz your days at Mets just started..and it'll be in the lower divisions. We have club rooms and grounds too..oh and we're in the Premiership.
0 #95 Anonymous 2012-08-24 04:19
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Tim:
I would love to know how many Senior teams up north & down South have been playing a 4-3-3. Anyone???

South play that system

Rangers play it

Down South all teams bar Eagles and Uni play it.
+5 #94 BJT 2012-08-24 01:56
Quoting Anonymous:
If you thimk Dean May had nothing to do with this you are kidding yourself.Ntc kids struggle against younger Ntc kids at the Ntc challenge what the hell did you think was going to happen. Not one present Ntc player has had experience playing against men.All these people saying Eli was in wrong position this one is only 15 blah blah they should not of been playing. The MV youth team would of won 4 nil.

I am from interstate and was at the NTC challenge. The Tassie team did very well against top class opposition, including beating the SA team who had not lost for some time.

The truth is they are a competitive team from a small population base (where there seems to be some ridiculous expectations)
+1 #93 G . Krambousanos 2012-08-24 01:55
Just for the record my coaching days have just started at Metro and yes we do sit on the bottom ,is that a problem ?? Others sit on top and can't win anything we sit on the bottom and slowly building just like many other clubs have done . At list we have a ground and club rooms to be able to have a drink ,food and a game of 8 ball and on top of that we have great people doing their best to keep the club going in the right direction .84. 60. 46 .you 3 must not have any respect if you did you would put your name up . .... These are for you no 60 ...........
+1 #92 Anonymous 2012-08-24 00:27
Quoting FromMelbs:
How about a loud round of applause for the football fans of Hobart.. 4,000 plus turning up to a practice game on a Tuesday night, in August is pretty damn good.

Its all we have though, a preseason game on a tuesday or not its the only chance we have to see such quality without going to Launceston... the problem we'd have with our own A-League team is consistently getting good numbers week in week out unless they were winning.

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