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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Giovanni Francesconi 2015 - Copy

Photo:  John Francesconi at a Zebras game at Grove Road in 2015 [PlessPix]

Giovanni (John) Battista Francesconi, one of the founding members of Hobart Juventus (now Hobart Zebras), has passed away while on holiday in Italy, aged 82.

Francesconi came to Australian in 1956 from Lucca, near Florence, in Italy, and moved to Tasmania the following year.

Karl Schwesinger and John Francesconi 24 March 2018 - Copy

Photo:  John Francesconi holding the umbrella for friend Kark Schwesinger as they watgch a South Hobart versus Hobart Zebras game at South Hobart on 24 March this year [PlessPix]

He usually returned to Italy on holiday each year. During his latest trip, he suffered a fatal heart attack two days after arriving in the country of his birth.

Francesconi attended Hobart Zebras games as often as his work allowed. He owned a catering business which supplied companies in remote areas of the Outback.

After retiring, he regularly went to watch Hobart Zebras and was a well-known figure amongst the club’s supporters.

John Francesconi in 1963

Photo:  John Francesconi in the Juventus strip in 1963

A tall, versatile players with Juventus in the late 1950s and 1960s, he was one of the game’s fairest players.

In seven seasons with the club, he was never cautioned by the referees.

In his second year with Juventus, he was the second-highest goal-scorer in the league.

He notched up his 100th game for the club in August 1963 in a match against Rangers. He was presented with a bouquet before kick-off.

He represented Southern Tasmania against the North-West in the intrastate representative series.

He was being considered for the Tasmanian representative team for the match against English First Division side Blackpool on their tour of Australia in 1959, but the game was cancelled because of unusually wet conditions that year.


+8 #7 Juice 2018-10-16 02:34
Condolences to the family. A lovely read Walter, it's a great thing to share some insight like this on our football greats in Hobart - Walter, people like yourself and George Mamacas in particular do this so well, please continue
+4 #6 Brian 2018-10-15 23:26
I shall miss our chats each Saturday at Washington Street.RIP.
+9 #5 Robi Baric 2018-10-15 20:35
Condolences to the Francesconi family. A true soccer supporter he would watch his son Paolo play at Croatia never missed a game. RIP Mr Francesconi.
+7 #4 Matthew Gasparin 2018-10-14 22:32
A lovely person, a true gentleman.
Sincerest condolences to the Francesconi family - from Arnold, Matthew and the whole Gasparin family.
+11 #3 God bless 2018-10-14 02:06
Rip john
+12 #2 Anon 2018-10-13 21:16
A true gentleman who was humble , sincere and a friend.
Will be missed by his lovely family and many others.
RIP Battista.
+14 #1 Zebra 2018-10-13 13:02
Nicest guy you would ever meet , such a loss to all that knew him

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