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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Johnny_Genovesi_star_1973

Photo:  Johnny Genovesi today.  He was a star for Juvemtus in 1973 and was selected in an Australian Under-23 side to tour Indonesia [PlessPix]

Forty years ago, South Hobart decided to turn professional.

The year was 1973 and South Hobart were staring relegation from the Cambridge League in the face.


Gordon Burnett wrote in The Mercury on 19 June 1973:

“The South Hobart soccer club has decided after 63 years to leave the lily white amateur ranks and turn professional.

“It is a decision that will shock many of its former members and a number of its present supporters, but it is considered  a move with the times.

‘We realise that we will have to give our present players some inducement to remain with us  -  and we need two or three key players to build out team around,’ a club spokesman said.

‘ The result is the club’s treasurer (Mr Brian Roberts) has been told to have the club’s cheque book ready.

“ ‘ We are prepared to pay according to the ability of the player being sought and there are a couple in mind.’

“As a result of a poor goal average, South Hobart are occupying the bottom position in the Cambridge League standings, although they are on the same points as University.

We get so close and yet lose out.  It is time we were breaking through , and to do this we must have a couple of good key players to tighten up the side and lift it to greater efforts.’

“The expiry date for transfers is July 31.

"South Hobart, who are the State’s oldest soccer club, have their most important game on Saturday when they meet University at the Domain Crossroads ground.

“The winner of this game will probably escape relegation at the end of the season.  They drew 1-1 in their first encounter.

“South are now in the professional bloc consisting of Juventus, Croatia Glenorchy and White Eagles.

“Dnipro Hobart, Metro Claremont, Sandy Bay Olympia, Rapid, Caledonians and University are reportedly amateur clubs.

“Former South Hobart players such as Dudley Hall, John Kirkpatrick, Kevin Leung (Croatia), Colin West (Juventus), Roger Norman, Chris Hawes, Ernie Rawlings (Olympia), Karl Schwesinger (White Eagles) and Roy Chadwick (Caledonians) are now with six of the other clubs.”

What else made the news in 1973?

The Tasmanian Soccer Association was negotiating a visit by Sunshine City from Victoria.

Andy Collins scored the only goal of the game as Metro knocked Southern Juventus out of the Ampol Cup.

In the league, a brilliant performance by Johnny Genovesi inspired Juventus to beat Metro 4-1.

Three goals in nine minutes powered Juventus to a 4-3 win over Olympia, after Olympia had led 3-1.

Don Butler scored 7 goals in a reserves game for University as they demolished South Hobart 9-0, the other goals coming from a Mick Thompson penalty and a goal by Donovan.  (In 1972, Terry Young scored 7 goals for Caledonians against South Hobart in the top flight.)

Croatia Glenorchy signed Andy Collins and Willy Peters from Metro in a late bid to win the Cambridge League title.

Cambridge League leaders Juventus just beat Caledonians 2-1 through the magnificent efforts of goalkeeper Carl Jaeger, who denied George Arnott with a brilliant save and later turned a goal-bound shot from Bernard Siggins around the post.

Sandy Bay Olympia announced they would turn professional the following year (1974).

Juventus won the Cambridge League top-flight championship with a 2-1 win over University, the goals coming from Dominic Rizzolo and John Genovesi.  Nigel Sugden replied for the Students with a penalty.

The Juventus reserves also won the title, making it a double for the club.

Alister Hales was suspended for two games, while Robert Biggar of White Eagles and Phil Sumner of University were each given a one-week suspended sentence.  (In case you’re wondering why I mentioned this, all three are friends or acqaintances of mine.)

Bernard Siggins remained one game short of 400 appearances for Caledonians when a hand injury, caused by an accident with a planing machine, put him out for the season with three games remaining.

‘England’ beat ‘Scotland’ 1-0 through a Roger Norman goal in the local mini-World Cup series.

Goalkeeper Eddie Puclin was the hero for Croatia Glenorchy, saving two penalties as they beat Juventus 6-5 in the semi-finals of the Lloyd Triestino Cup competition.  Juventus trailed 2-0 but got back to 2-2 to force extra-time.  It was 3-3 after extra-time, necessitating a penalty shoot-out.

Malaysian Tigers walked off in their second division game against Eastern Suburbs after going behind 3-2 and having a player sent off.

The Lloyd Triestino Cup final between Croatia Glenorchy and White Eagles was delayed and the two semi-finals were ordered to be replayed after both clubs fielded ineligible players in the original semi-finals.  The semi-finals paired Sandy Bay Olympia with White Eagles, and Juventus with Croatia Glenorchy.  [Note:  Olympia and Juventus were not given automatic berths in the final because of the transgressions by Croatia and White Eagles.]

In the semi-final replays, Croatia beat Juventus 5-2 and Olympia downed White Eagles 4-2.

Sandy Bay Olympia’s Brian Mackay won the 1973 Rothmans Gold Medal, worth $800.

Robert Davis was South Hobart’s best-and-fairest player, while Alan Mackie was the club’s ‘most consistent’ award winner and Mark Oakes the ‘most improved’ player.

Twelve South Hobart players set an Australian record of 20 hours and 18 minutes of continuous five-a-side soccer, starting at 8am on a Saturday and finishing at 2.18am on the Sunday.  They raised $800 for the club’s building fund.  The players felt the world record of 38 hours and 5 minutes was beyond them without first-aid attendants and a doctor present.  They scored 297 goals (Mark Oakes 46, Chris Weitenauer 37, Cliff Morgan 35, Alan Mackie 34, Ken Barker 25, Ron Manson 23, Bob Davis 22, Jurgen Webb 20, John Kirkpatrick 19, Ian Aiken 15, David Holmes 13 and Bill Gates 8).  The organisers of the event were John Kirkpatrick, Jurgen Webb and David Holmes, while the referees who officiated were Howard Richardson, John Orr, Hugh Pillans, Jim Dolliver, Rodger Marlor and Ron Spence.  The South Hobart women’s committee supplied the players with food, drinks and tablets and the club committee arranged massages for the players during their time off the court.

Ken Worden was announced as the Juventus player-coach for the following season (1974).  The 30-year-old had played for Burnley and Preston North End in the UK.  He is currently still active as a coach in Myanmar (Burma).  He also coached White Eagles, Launceston Juventus and took Melbourne Knights to an NSL title.  He also coached the Malaysian national team.

Eamonn Kelly was Metro’s best-and-fairest player.

Sandy Bay Olympia beat Victorian club St Albans 3-1 in Melbourne on an end-of-season trip.

Victorian club Ringwood City Wilhelmina were due to play two games at Grove Road (now KGV Park).

Karl Schwesinger was reappointed as coach of White Eagles, while John Kirkpatrick returned to South Hobart.

John Grimsey was appointed coach of Southern Tasmania for the game against Sunshine City from Victoria.

South Hobart finished last in the Cambridge League with 7 points, 4 points adrift of second-last University.

Comments   

+1 #37 Bobby Biggar 2013-10-13 02:03
Walter
Phil Sumner and I were given suspended sentences 'cause we were totally innocent!! Keep up the great work.
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+2 #36 Dave Smith 2013-10-12 03:19
Idling my time away on leave in Bali , reading the article brought back great memories , of the time and players associated in 73 and the 70's era as a young 16 year old at Metro ! No play station , iPad mobile phone or blogs just the gordon Burnett reports esp in the SEM !

I hope all the guys from the bygone era are faring well , being part of a good football club /culture had a major impact in your life in my days. As I said life long memories thanks for the jolt Walter!

Came on the site to read about great achievement South Hobart have made in reaching the NPL final , after reading the article in the muckery online. Well done to all involved!
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+1 #35 Sam 2013-10-12 01:58
Zebra... Am I wrong or right? I think right..
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+2 #34 Anonymous 2013-10-12 01:17
Quoting Zebra:
# Sam you are an idiot

Sam makes a fair point. The V League clubs must keep their expenses with in reasonable realms.
This is set up now that no other club will be able to make the V League in the future.
You may find that South don't pay their players ??. As i am too believe the players who coach at the soccer school get payed, ie Kosta
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+5 #33 Zebra 2013-10-11 10:12
# Sam you are an idiot
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+4 #32 Sam 2013-10-11 06:11
Walter, any ideas which Victory League clubs had to meet with FFT to disclose how much they were playing players? I'm guessing South, Olympia and Zebras?
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+1 #31 Anonymous 2013-10-11 05:35
Quoting Two Bobs Worth:
Ref "An Essay on Blogging"
I agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion and they may express it as they consider appropriate. However I can?t for the life of me understand why some people expect Walter to publish anything they send to him just because they sent it. He has no obligation to post it & they have no right to expect him to do so. I appreciate that he is trying to be fair and does publish diverse opinion but I think he sometimes does himself a disservice by doing so. This site is not a blog, it?s an informative and well crafted journalistic service to the game. He invites comment but is under no obligation to publish everything he receives ...


As I see it, Walter doesn't view this site as "his" site but "ours".

He loves it and we love it too. We get to read his articles, view his photos and express our views (as long as they are not rude or offensive).

The Essay on Blogging says it all. If you don't get it read it again.

Anonymous
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+1 #30 jerry kruijver 2013-10-11 05:14
that is worth ten pounds two bob
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-1 #29 Jab 2013-10-11 04:05
Quoting Rod Andrews:
".....Somehow putting your name to it validates your point of view, whilst remaining Anonymous cheapens your word. This viewpoint is childish and also ridiculous.

Well, I guess Im childish and ridiculous then,(probably not suprising to those who know me!) cause I reckon putting your name to something does indeed validate your point of view.

Im applauding though - good post and does highlight the Catch 22 with Anonymous Comment


Rod Andrews = Absolute Legend. Whilst I agree with your opinion of yourself hotrod, dont put yourself down mate.

:)
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+6 #28 Two Bobs Worth 2013-10-11 02:42
Ref "An Essay on Blogging"
I agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion and they may express it as they consider appropriate. However I can?t for the life of me understand why some people expect Walter to publish anything they send to him just because they sent it. He has no obligation to post it & they have no right to expect him to do so. I appreciate that he is trying to be fair and does publish diverse opinion but I think he sometimes does himself a disservice by doing so. This site is not a blog, it?s an informative and well crafted journalistic service to the game. He invites comment but is under no obligation to publish everything he receives. Case in point the recent A league preseason game, 50% of site comments were negative or threats of boycott. If you read his site you?d wonder if anyone would attend. End of the day >5000 attendees ? so what affect did the trolls & negatives comments have ? a big fat zero, although it did portray a false negative sentiment on his site. In my opinion he should do himself & his site a favour & cull a lot more of the drivel and make the overall sentiment of comments reflect reality.
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