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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a_Hunt_on_a_run

Photo:  South Hobart's Chris Hunt (centre) will face his former club [PlessPix]

Victory League leaders South Hobart take on second-placed Northern Rangers at South Hobart Oval at 2pm on Saturday in what promises to be a fascinating top-of-the-table showdown.

South Hobart currently have a 6-point lead over four teams locked together on 16 points  -  Rangers, Tilford Zebras, Devonport City and Olympia Warriors.

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Photo:  South Hobart will want goals from Chris Hunt [PlessPix]

A win for South Hobart is essential if they are to retain their advantage as Zebras and Devonport are both expected to win.

South Hobart will be without defender Matt Lewis, who injured a hamstring on his comeback last weekend, while goalkeeper Mark Moncur, the understudy to first-choice Matthew Ferguson, has a back injury and is doubtful.

Uros Merkuzic has suffered a setback, too, and is out for another six weeks with a recurring ankle injury.

South’s Brazilian striker, Mizael, is back into full training and is likely to be on the bench.

“Rangers are an impressive team with a great work ethic and quality players in key areas,” said South Hobart coach, Ken Morton, who was named as State coach this week.

“South Hobart need to bounce back from last week’s defeat with a good footballing performance.

“South will need to be back to their best to beat a well-coached Rangers outfit.

“I have picked an attacking line-up to have a go at Rangers and we look forward to hosting them.”

Northern Rangers have a couple of players suffering influenza, but the entire 20-man Victory League squad will be travelling to Hobart for the match.

“A call will be made on the fitness of those players prior to kick-off,” said Rangers’ spokesman, Brendan Lichtendonk.

“We are confident we can get a result against South Hobart, regardless of our result against Glenorchy at home.”

Rangers coach Peter Savill coached South Hobart’s under-19s last season and will be familiar with South’s players, tactics and methods.

The two sides drew in the Summer Cup this season, while South Hobart won the first league meeting between the sides 2-1 in Launceston.

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Photo:  South Hobart's Sahe Hickey (left) will need to lead by example on Saturday [PlessPix]

Warrior Park is the venue for the 7 o’clock Saturday night game between Olympia Warriors and Tilford Zebras.

Olympia have little chance of repeating their 5-1 drubbing of the Zebras from the previous meeting.

Things have changed dramatically since then, with Olympia on the decline and Zebras on the rise.

“This week, we welcome an in-form Zebras side to Warrior Park,” said Olympia coach, Glen McNeill.  “Zebras have been transformed under Tommy [Fotak] and the challenge for our young team is immense.

“It is interesting how both teams’ fortunes have changed compared to the last time we played each other.

“Our side will need to lift considerably from last week’s performance if they are to have any chance of getting a good result.

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Photo:  Ben Phillips will play his 100th senior match for Olympia [PlessPix]

“We still have club captain Janko Begovic missing, as well as keeper Juan Cale.”

Alex Leszczynski is an unlikely starter for Zebras and he will be replaced by one of Jayden Welch, Sam McIntyre, Grant Malcolm or Nick MacDonald.

“This week we head to Warrior Park for a challenging match against a somewhat wounded Olympia side,” said Zebras’ supremo, Tommy Fotak.

“We are mindful of their ability, but we will be looking to impose our own intentions on the match.

“The lads have kept their feet on the ground after an excellent win last week against South Hobart and have focussed intently on this week looking to atone for our first-round loss to Olympia.

“These two clubs are traditional rivals, and both have rich histories and passionate supporters, so the atmosphere should be great and both sides will be keen to put on some entertaining football for the fans.”

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Photo:  Tilford Zebras' Adam McKeown (left) will be seeking revenge against Olympia [PlessPix]

Second-last Glenorchy Knights entertain third-last Kingborough Lions United at KGV Park at 8pm on Friday in an important game for both sides.

Knights have trained under assistant coach Matthew Rhodes this week while senior coach Chris Hey has been in Queensland.

“This week, we have only have a 5-day turnaround between games, having played a hard game on Sunday in Launceston and backing up to play this Friday,” said Rhodes.

“This is a tough turnaround and we will be seeking to have FFT have breaks of at least six days in future seasons.

“This week, we will get a number of players back into the squad who were not available last weekend, including Declan Foley, Sam Johnson, Will Roberts and Blayne Hudson, but we also look like losing at least another two or three players this week due to injury and soreness.

“Last week, we tried some different things with Callen Griffin scoring a good goal up front and Jal David holding down the centre-back position.

“With the return of players this week, we will look to further change some things around in an attempt to create more positive scoring opportunities and hold the Lions out at the other end of the pitch.

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Photo:  Liam Scott (left) and Ken Morton of South Hobart at today's media conference at KGV Park [PlessPix]

“At times this year, we have played some good football and moved the ball around the park well.

“However, we have being letting ourselves down by having lapses during games and not being switched on at the start of games.

“Intensity for the whole 90 minutes will be needed if we are to get the three points.

“Last week, Kingborough had a good win in difficult conditions and appear to have been unlucky with a draw and two narrow losses in the previous three weeks.

“We expect a tough game this week as Lions will no doubt be very focused on a win as it will be crucial if they are to stay in touch with the top-4.”

Kingborough Lions United will be without captain Marcello Marchioli, who is still suspended.

Defender Nick Hill has been dropped from the Lions’ Victory League squad after he was sent off in the 4-1 win over Launceston City last weekend.

“We are expecting a close tussle this week against Knights at their home ground for the second time this season,” said Kingborough coach, Steve Adkins.

“It is a must-win game for us and the guys will need to show a lot of character and improved discipline to get over the line.

“Knights are coming off a good showing away last week and will be a tough nut to crack, but I am confident that our squad will step up a gear from the Launy game and take the points.

“We will be missing Marcello Marchioli and Nick Di Falco for another week.

“Nick Hill is also out for the season and will be replaced in the eleven by David Cooper for this week’s game.

“Tom McDonald will have his first hit out since the Summer Cup in the Southern Premier League game on Saturday.”

The remaining match of the round is at Mitsubishi Park in Launceston at 2pm on Sunday, when home-side Launceston City host fourth-placed Devonport City.

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Photo:  Olympia Warriors coach Glen McNeill (left) and vice-captain Ben Phillips at today's media conference at Football Federation Tasmania headquarters [PlessPix]

“It’s understandable that Devonport will be looking to back up last week’s solid performance against Olympia by taking all three points from this game,” said Launceston City coach, Mark Egan.

“Last week, against Kingborough, I believe we played well and at times we controlled the game, a game that was played in some of the most blustery conditions I have witnessed for a game of football.

“We strung more passes together in that game than we have all season, had more shots on target, and won more corners, so there are promising signs.

“The lads have put in a solid week at training, and even though we were beaten last weekend, there were a number of positives taken from that game and that positivity will be carried into this weekend’s game.

“Our captain, Shane Egan, returns this weekend, which will help strengthen our defence.

“Shane has a great presence both on and off the field, which helps our young group of players.”

Devonport City are expected to field much the same squad as last weekend for the game against Olympia, which Devonport won 5-0.

“Launceston City’s struggles this season have been well documented, but we have to turn a blind eye to that on the weekend and fully focus on our own game,” said Devonport City coach, Chris McKenna.

“City would’ve gained a bit of confidence in their performance away from home last weekend and this week, in their first home game under a new coach, I’m sure they’ll be wanting to impress.

“We saw some significant improvements in our performance against Olympia last weekend and we’ll look to continue on in the same fashion this weekend.

“Our front-three were superb last week and it was particularly good to see Brody Denehey step up and show what he could do at Victory League level.

“The challenge for him, along with the rest of the team, is to do it on a consistent basis.

“Joel Stone will go out of our squad due to accumulation of yellow cards and he’ll most likely be replaced by Bradley Chilcott.

“That may mean a reshuffle of a couple of positions in the team, but we’ll try to limit that as much as possible to avoid too much disruption.”

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Photo:  South Hobart's Nick Morton (left) and Tilford Zebras' Jacob Clamp in action in Round 9 of the Victory League ]PlessPix]

 

VICTORY LEAGUE (After Round 9 as at 26 May 2013)

 

TEAM

P

W

D

L

F

A

Pts

South Hobart

9

7

1

1

37

13

22

Northern Rangers

9

4

4

1

27

10

16

Tilford Zebras

9

5

1

3

33

21

16

Devonport City

9

5

1

3

26

17

16

Olympia Warriors

9

5

1

3

19

14

16

Kingborough Lions United

9

3

2

4

18

20

11

Glenorchy Knights

9

1

2

6

15

28

5

Launceston City

9

0

0

9

2

55

0

 

My predictions, with winners in capitals, are:

GLENORCHY KNIGHTS v Kingborough Lions United (8pm, KGV Park, Friday, 31 May 2013)

SOUTH HOBART v Northern Rangers (2pm, South Hobart Oval, Saturday, 1 June 2013)

Olympia Warriors v TILFORD ZEBRAS (7pm, Warrior Park, Saturday, 1 June 2013)

Launceston City v DEVONPORT CITY (2pm, Mitsubishi Park, Sunday, 2 June 2013)

Comments   

0 #34 Anonymous 2013-06-03 00:48
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Anonymous:
The Warriorss demise coincided with Harry Woolley deciding to play SPL. He wasn't playing but it appears to have unsettled the squad...!


ummmm. janko hasn't played since South game. maybe that's had a bit to do with it + all the other injuries (cabello, jon, nichols, meredith) and players coming back are not 100% straight away.
Harry should have hung in there. Too many young kids nowadays want to be starting every week. love him to stay at olympia.


Not sure Harry wanted to start every week, just being given a fair go would have been sufficient. He did hang in there, he also likes playing the game, rather than getting splinters in his backside...!
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+2 #33 Anonymous 2013-06-01 09:05
Meredith doesn't have an injury, he is away on holiday
Quote
0 #32 Anonymous 2013-05-31 21:52
Quoting Anonymous:
The Warriorss demise coincided with Harry Woolley deciding to play SPL. He wasn't playing but it appears to have unsettled the squad...!


ummmm. janko hasn't played since South game. maybe that's had a bit to do with it + all the other injuries (cabello, jon, nichols, meredith) and players coming back are not 100% straight away.
Harry should have hung in there. Too many young kids nowadays want to be starting every week. love him to stay at olympia.
Quote
-2 #31 Anon 2013-05-31 21:19
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Anon:
South
Zebras by bucket loads ( No keeper no good )
Port by a mile and then some
Lions to get within 2 of soon to be 6th place Warriors


Pretty sure Olympia will have a keeper for the game. I doubt that is where the game will be won!!!


Sorry let me put it this way . I think Cale is an outstanding keeper and with him out are in serious trouble between the sticks .
Quote
0 #30 Anonymous 2013-05-31 09:48
Quoting Anonymous:
Who is the young assisstant referee in the first photo and the last? I have seen him doing plenty of v-league games? he seems to be promising young talent.


His name is Ben Cornish promising young talent
Quote
+3 #29 Anonymous 2013-05-31 08:25
olympia may play better this week with a different keeper. as that's oneless injury on the park
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+1 #28 Rick Stein 2013-05-31 07:42
Anon #27 I think it maybe Basil Masters nephew.
Quote
+3 #27 Anonymous 2013-05-31 07:27
Who is the young assisstant referee in the first photo and the last? I have seen him doing plenty of v-league games? he seems to be promising young talent.
Quote
+1 #26 Tshabalala 2013-05-31 06:38
Quoting Anonymous:
Quoting Anonymous:
The Warriorss demise coincided with Harry Woolley deciding to play SPL. He wasn't playing but it appears to have unsettled the squad...!



you're drawing a verry, very long bow there, bub.

Woolley was in ordinary form at the time and accordingly wasn't getting much game time so opted out.

Nothing to do with Warriors current slump.

I kind of understand what the original post was trying to say. Personally I can see why players would lose faith when a player who deserves to be playing is overlooked for lesser players.
Quote
+4 #25 Anonymous 2013-05-31 04:58
Quoting Anon:
South
Zebras by bucket loads ( No keeper no good )
Port by a mile and then some
Lions to get within 2 of soon to be 6th place Warriors


Pretty sure Olympia will have a keeper for the game. I doubt that is where the game will be won!!!
Quote

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