Saturday, December 21, 2019

South Hobart aim to rise to the occasion again, and vale Otto Klaus

Photo:  Alex Walter (left) in action for South Hobart [PlessPix]

South Hobart duo Alex Walter and Jack Bowman are the latest South Hobart players to join Glenorchy Knights for the 2020 NPL Tasmania season.

In addition, South Hobart have lost Loic Feral and Adam Gorrie to Olympia, and Oscar Thomas and Connor Schmidt to the Knights.

South Hobart have retained rising stars Bradley Lakoseljac, Kasper Hallam, Sam Berezansky and Ewan Larby, as well as the experienced Kobe Kemp.

Photo:  South Hobart's Jack Bowman (right) tangles with Hobart Zebras' Nicky Edwards [PlessPix]

There is no doubt, however, that coach Ken Morton will have to rebuild and rely on youngsters for 2020.

“We’re remaining positive,” Morton said.  “We have good youngsters staying with the club and things will be good.

“We’ll be aiming to get them to a competitive level and work hard to achieve that.

“Many of the youngsters have played in the senior team so it won’t be entirely new to them.”

Photo:  South Hobart stalwart, Life Member and goalkeeper Mark Moncur [PlessPix]

South Hobart had an inter-club practice game at Cornelian Bay on today and veteran goalkeeper Mark Moncur addressed the players before the match.

Moncur, who is a Life Member of  South Hobart, recalled the good times and the bad times at the cub since he joined them as an under-13s team player in 1987.

He was thrust into the senior side aged just 15 in 1990 and has stayed with the club through thick and thin.

The club finished second-last that year in what was the equivalent of today’s Southern Championship.

Moncur said the club had many promising youngsters in succeeding years (Ben Harbinson, Nick Owen, Bernhard Klasen are names that spring to mind) and in 2002 won the Southern title under coach Nathan Robinson.

He said that team broke up but the club reached new heights when Ken Morton took over as coach in 2008 and inherited youngsters such as Daniel Brown, Bart Beecroft, Hugh Ludford, Tom Roach, Jonathon Lo, and Jesse and Bill Gasparinatos.

South Hobart won the title in 2008 and went on to win seven successive titles (2008-2014) under Morton.

The club’s only league success after that was in 2017, but at one point they strung together a run of 63 games without defeat.

Photo:  Mark Moncur (right) with Joe Gorman, football writer for The Guardian (Australia) [PlessPix]

“2020 will see South Hobart once again turn to our youth to rebuild the club,” Moncur said.

“I am confident we have the players and team capable of beating any team in the league.

“It will require us to play for each other and play with passion for the club, which is something that money cannot buy.

“It won’t be easy and we may not win the title, but I will be proud and honoured if I have the opportunity to play with this team.”


Photo:  Otto Klaus (right) with Ken Morton during a visit to Hobart in 2009 [PlessPix]

I learned today that Otto Klaus, one of the most controversial coaches ever to have worked in Tasmania, passed away on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland almost three years ago, aged 85.

I maintained regular contact with Otto, who was German, after he left Tasmania in the 1990s and sometimes met up with him and his wife, Roslyn, when they visited Tasmania.

After Roslyn passed away five years ago, contact with Otto became less frequent and finally petered out.

I knew he was still coaching in his 80s at the University of the Sunshine Coast, but was shocked today to learn of his passing in February 2017.

Photo:  Otto Klaus (second from left in back row) as coach of the North-West representative side [PlessPix]

He first came to Tasmania from New South Wales to coach Ulverstone in the early 1980s before moving south to coach Rapid, Olympia and Hobart City and, briefly, Hobart Juventus.

His tenures were always controversial, both in terms of his coaching methods and his media exposure, and he was coach of Hobart City when they famously walked off in a game against Caledonians at KGV Park.

The club was suspended and fined, as indeed was Klaus.

I was writing for The Mercury at the time, but he refused to talk to me and insisted that another Mercury reporter cover the case.  He felt I was biased against him and the club.

Photo:  Otto Klaus (left) with some of his Olympia players [PlessPix]

We re-established the relationship later and stayed in touch after he left Tasmania.

He coached international students in soccer at the University of the Sunshine Coast and was also involved with juniors in the region.

There must be many former players who wondered what happened to Otto after he left Tasmania.  Now we know.

Photo:  Otto Klaus (extreme left, back row) with his Olympia team at South Hobart [Photo by Ralph Dymond]

Photo:  Otto Klaus (left) with Olympia centre-forward Peter Sherman [Photo by Ralph Dymond]

Photo:  Olympia coach Otto Klaus shakes hands with a Rapid official after their game at South Hobart [PlessPix]


Anonymous said...

He's a beauty Mark Moncur

The Phoenix said...

I remember Otto well , vale you grumpy bugger. A truly interesting man.

Anonymous said...

The Phoenix.
Yes Ronnie.

Anonymous said...

Are you president yet Ronnie?

Anonymous said...

It's weird South get their own medicine and don't like it !

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.06 pm.
You are pathetic. Where does it say anywhere in Walters story
that South don’t like what’s happening to them?
I am not a South lover but give them credit for what they have achieved
in the past unlike many other clubs who spend money for quick fixes
yet still go backwards year after year.
Same will happen again this year even though there has been a major
change to the club/s.

The Phoenix said...


Anonymous said...

Well South have 3 years to rebuild under the new structure so no need for any NPL club to be worried about relegation until the third year but I bet if south or even zebras are relegation threat then they will spend.
I take it South will field kids in their champ and Champ 1 teams. Nurturing times ahead

Oxford said...

Sad to hear about Otto, I joined Hobart City for the opportunity to work under and with Otto. I will never forget running up hills with a tyre attached to my waist and trailing behind me during pre-season.
Otto was released by the club mid season that year in 1990 and I was devastated as he was so knowledgeable (and we were up the top end of the table), I left at seasons end with quite a few other disgruntled players. I think Hobart City only lasted another year after that prior to going under.
A great man, no nonsense and straight to the point.