Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tasmanian goalkeepers have always been a good crop

Photos (Top to Bottom): Rangers' goalkeeper Ray Johnson (centre) organises a goalkick in the game against Olympic at South Hobart in 1963...Johnson moved to Melbourne that season; Eddie Puclin in action at South Hobar for Croatia; Steve Darby catches a cross for University against Olympia's Peter Sherman at KGV Park, while David Forshaw looks on; Steve Darby of University is beaten at South Hobart by Olympia's Keith Broadhouse; Rapid's Phil Kannegiesser takes a goalkick at KGV Park; Olympia's Martin Burden at South Hobart; Olympia's Martin Burden makes a save at KGV Park against University as Dominic O'Brien (University No. 7) is set to pounce; White Eagles' star keeper Peter Groenewoud; John Michniewski (second from left) after he joined Croatia-Glenorchy from White Eagles...his pre-match warm-ups were worth the price of admission; The victorious Southern Tasmania team on the bus heading home from a clash with the North...Steve Craven is second from the left at the back, and Phil Kannegieser is at his left, while John Charlton, son of Jackie Charlton, is at Craven's right; Harry Alexiadis saves a penalty for Olympia against Rangers at South Hobart in 1963 [Photos by Ralph Dymond and Walter Pless]

There has been a lot of discussion on this blog about goalkeepers following the North versus South match last weekend.

Good goalkeepers have been abundant in Tasmania in years past.

Harry Wise, the Metro keeper, was selected for the Australian Olympic team in 1954.

Harry Alexiadis, of Olympia, was selected in the national squad in the 1960s but was forced out through injury.

A shoulder injury ended his goalkeeping career, but he was reincarnated as a brilliant centre-forward and scored numerous goals for Olympia.

His place in goal at Olympia was taken by Mick Roussos, who turned out to be one of the best keepers the State has seen.

Eddie Puclin and Joe Udovicic were two of the best keepers to have played in Tasmania.

Both played for Croatia Glenorchy and coaches always found it difficult to choose between the two.

Puclin eventually moved to Metro, while Udovicic transferred to Devonport City, paving the way for the talented young Rodney Tattam to take over.

Let’s look at more recent times, when the crop was even more widely recognised.

Anthony Breaden, now 30 and who hailed from Somerset, went to the Australian Institute of Sport, played for the Australian under-20s - the Young Socceroos - and eventually joined Adelaide City in the National Soccer League.

“The Gorilla”, as he was known, later played NSL for Brisbane City, I believe.

Corey Baldock, who is in his early 30s now and who is related to the Darryl Baldock of Australian Rules fame, also hailed from the North-West and found some fame in South America in the mid-1990s.

He was with Bolivian first division club, Bolivar, which had regular home attendances of 70,000.

Baldock was understudy at Bolivar to Cameroon’s World Cup goalkeeper Thomas N’Kono.

Baldock returned to Tasmania in 1997 and was cleared by Bolivar to play for Devonport City.

White Eagles frequently had good keepers and some that spring to mind are Robbie Groenewoud, who trialled in England and eventually went to New South Wales.

The late David Siggins was one of their most spectacular keepers, and they also had a Polish keeper called John Michniewski, who played professionally in the US before coming to Tasmania.

His warm-ups were magnificent pre-match entertainment.

The late Matthew Calvert, who was with Olympia, had a trial with Arsenal in 1997, while Robert Harrison of University and Caledonians did well in NSW.

Martin Burden was one of Olympia’s finer keepers in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Brett Williams of Juventus and Croatia-Glenorchy was with Notts County in the UK for a term.

Zlatko Belanic was also a decent keeper here with Croatia and Rapid before he returned to South Australia.

He suffered a serious head injury in a game at KGV Park and later played with protective headgear, well before Petr Chech of Chelsea made it fashionable.

Steve Craven, who came from England to join Rapid in the late 1970s, was a marvellous keeper and a fine centre-forward.

As a keeper, he once scored a goal with a mighty clearance against Steve Darby (pace Steve) at South Hobart.

We’ve had a few keepers in Tassie who were also good as outfield players.

Bruno Cengia was another. He was with Juventus and Rapid and could stop goals as well as score them.

Phil Kannegiesser is another Rapid keeper who springs to mind and who was good enough to play interstate.

Simon Miotto, from Launceston, remains our only English Premier League keeper, although he did not get to play a single league game for his club, West Bromwich Albion.

Miotto also played in Scotland for Raith Rovers and other clubs, and he was also active in Denmark.

In Tasmania, he played for Launceston City.

Alex Cisak, the former South Hobart junior keeper, is now with Leicester City in the UK, of course, and is a member of the Young Socceroos.

In the days that some of these later keepers played, Neil Connell, himself an accomplished keeper with Caledonians and Juventus, and a man who played professionally in South Africa and England, ran a ‘goalkeepers’ club’ at KGV one night a week.

As many as a couple of dozen keepers would attend and they would receive specialised training.

Where do we have such a scheme now?

I am sure to have left out some fine keepers in this overview, and I apologise to them.

Now, fellow bloggers, given that the scene has been set, let’s talk about our current crop and see where they rank.


Dick Adams said...

no one on the blog quite appreciates the lack of support and training for keepers.

best in state is mckenna without a doubt, followed by sam kruijver and dmitri nester

Unknown said...

Walter, I don't know if you remember Damien Smith, He lives up near me. We played together for byron bay over 35s Still an excellent keeper and a handy centre fwd

Walter said...

madmcglone, of course I remember Damien Smith. When I was a teacher, he was dating one of my students. I still see some of his family around on occasions and say hello to them. Say hi to him for me.

Unknown said...

I recognise a few others in that bus trip pic. nick cook , parker, banagan, ?steve kannageisser, big huigi Who are the others

Ben P said...

About a year back i was running a goalkeepers clinic on a weekly basis with FFT's backing, with young boys and girls from 10yo to my age doing different skills depending on age difference etc. At some sessions i had close to 30 keepers which was quite a handfull. When i was younger I went to Neils clinic with Pitchy and the like, and aslo Zlatco had a specilist clinic prior to that. They had a max number of 10. I found it makes it hard when you have these sorts of numbers, because you don't really get the one on one time to really help them fully. It was great seeing them develop bit by bit but eventually it outgrew what i was able able to coach in terms of numbers etc. Add to that i was coaching the TIS keepers at the time as well.
Maybe the new TIS coach who is paid and is also a specilist keepers coach could spare his time, even once a month for a start to help promising youngsters progress.

Unknown said...

best keepers I remember in tassie were mark moncur, neil connell and peter greenwood. Mark was a gymnast from memory. Neil had natural ability and greenwood was a freak and could have made the big time.

Anonymous said...

Bob Smith - Ulverstone, Devonport City, etc

Chris McKenna said...

I agree Smithy. Bob was a fantastic goalkeeper

Tommy said...

Gorilla was our state keeper. Even at that age he was pretty impressive, not many 16 yr olds could hold down a place as first choice keeper at senior and or state league level. He had it all, he was a shot stopper, he commanded his area and he was fantastic on crosses and corners.

Since then the best I've played with is Frank Mainella hands down.


walter, what ever happened to breadon? he seemed to fall off the face of the earth after leaving or being dropped by adelaide city.

puclin and roussos were both great keepers.

Brian Roberts said...

Do any of you remember Hardman , played with South Hobart for 1/2 a season , picked for Tasmania then returned to Manchester . Came out here as a wicket keeper for STh Hbt Cricket Club .

Played for Union Mills in a local Manchester League prior to his fleeting visit.

Shouldnt Moncur rate a mentiuon as a long term servant .

Tommy said...

Pretty sure Breadon is around somewhere playing still.

Unknown said...

Brian, good to see souths up at the top. I suppose Morton would have a bit to do with that. Say hi to geevesy for me. I mentioned Mark before. I think he could have made an A league keeper. Fantastic reflexes. He was/is maybe too sane to be the keeper he could have been, given the best ones are complete looneys.

Sir Mix a Lot said...

Great photos and comments Walter.
Doesnt look like KGV has changed at all in the last 30 years, will sadly probably still be the same in another 30 years!
Would be interesting to see a best 11 that ever played in Tas. Or the best foreign 11 and best local 11.

Rod Andrews said...

1. Greenwood
and then a long gap to
Joe Udovic and Bob Smith for mine

Greewood was the complete Keeper - dominated his box like no other, acrobatic and great distribution

Joe was an ispiration to me, and the reason why I took up goalkeeping in the 1st instance, and Bob Smith, well he was just Bob Smith - Hey Kenny - I remember him treading on your dad's ribs in a night series game at Valley Road in the early 80's - you should ask him about that!


madglone? are you serious about moncur? surely you gest!

Brian, agreed, mark has been a great servant of souths, but has perhaps lacked the 'quality' that the others listed had.

I want to know how Chisak got to play with Leicester City, as surely there must be some pathway for juniors going across given his success.

Unknown said...

Capitan, I played with Mark in 95, and then he stood out as being a fantastic goalie, not the finished article, but he had masses of potential.
I never saw him play after that, so I can't really comment on how he has progressed from then. I'm not a goalie, so my opinion probably doesn't hold as much water as another keeper's would.


fair enough madmcglone.

Steve Johnson, plenty of doubts on your call there - does mckenna even play anymore, other than futsal?

the lad from rangers, dimi tatnell mogs sos pitchy all rate higher than sam and mckenna.

who are the young up and comers walter? at junior state team level? who will we see coming into senior football in the near future?

J vernon said...

liam ferral is a young keeper to watch out for only 15-16 but already showing hes a "looney".

Stripes said...

Over the past decade you'd have to say Mainella. Never anything pretty but you try getting a goal past him. Was always consistant as ever. Help us the titles the years he's played. From a players and spectators view Match winning performers on numerous occasions over the last few years, Pitchford, Peter, Mckenna, has to rate along with Kruijer and nester if not better i'd say of late.

Walter said...

madmcglone, the players in the photo of the bus trip are (left to right): Chester Willcock, Peter Huigsloot (partly obscured), Ibro Cahut, Bruce Ward, unknown, Steve Kannegiesser, Nick Di Martino, Ian Parker, Nick Cook, John Charlton (standing), John Broadhouse, David Crosson, John Fletcher, Perry Forster, and at back right, unknown, Steve Craven and Phil Kannegiesser.

Brian Roberts said...

Matthew Rhodes was the other keeper I forgot to mention .

May have been a bit short of technical skills but a great shot stopper.

Unknown said...

Cheers walter, isn't that terry banagan in the back right hs of the bus? Thought I saw dale blake there too, never mind, you have a well trained mind for remembering faces from watching games. So you are a as reliable a source as any I will pass your regards onto Damo when I see him

Anonymous said...

Hi Walter,

Just arrived back from PNG after spending over 6 years there.

Interesting comments regarding keepers,certainly a rare bread,growing up and playing with for a short time i thought Rodney Tattam had plenty of potential, for a hairdresser anyway !!!!!

Cheers Ibro