Sunday, September 21, 2014

Muammer Ozdemir happy with performance !

Ankaragucu coach Muammer Ozdemir was happy with the way his team performed in the 0-0 draw with Hatayspor at home last night. Now if i hadn't watched the highlights i would have maybe thought Damon and Jim were being a bit harsh on the team. However they are both usually spot on and from what i saw of the match we were rubbish.

The coach spoke of the game saying we only have 4 experienced players in Serhat Gulpinar, Selim Teber, Levent Kale and Mehmet Erdem. That part of course is true. Ozdemir believed the team played at a high tempo and had 8 good chances to win the game. Of course he forgot to mention the chances Hatayspor had.

The good news is that Levent is getting closer to match fitness which will be a massive boost to the team, whilst Hasan Ayaroglu is back in training after a hernia operation. Hasan is an interesting player, when he first broke onto the scene big things were expected of him. Injuries have held him back, but if he can get back to full fitness and play consistently then he could fill the void left by Emre Tasdemir.

Ankaragucu host Golcukspor on Wednesday at the 19 Mayis Stadium. We will have more details on that later. .

No idea how Gencler pulled that one off

Until Ankaragucu or Hacettepe get back into the top flight, hopefully sometime soon, the closest us Genclerbirligi fans get to a derby is when we play Es-Es. They even have the same colours as us (how's that for superficiality). So in order to get Gencler fans to go to the away match, the TFF put the match on a Friday night with the match finishing after the final train has left Eskisehir for Ankara. So even if I had a Passolig card it would still be one heck of a pain to go to the footy. Thanks TFF.

Eskisehir 0 - 2 Genclerbirligi

The weather has turned a bit cold in the last few days and faced with watching with the Alkaralar crowd at the Beer Bus or joining KaraKizil at the Su'dem pub I went with the sitting inside without cigarette smoke option, thus abandoning my Alkaralar comrades. KaraKizil had also abandoned their boycott of Lig TV. It seems that last week's decision to listen to the radio broadcast of the match in protest at the industrialisation of football was made by one drunken fan with access to the @karakizil twitter account. He was certainly given a lot of stick for the tweet... but ... One out, all out!

Last week: After listening to the match on the radio, KaraKizil came
over to the Beer Bus at half time to berate us splittists who wanted
to watch the match on the telly. Note Genclerbirligi's new manager
on the telly. (Archive photo)
Get to the pub to find Spine and to find that Eskisehir were all over us. This was a team possessed and for the first 15 minutes of the match I wasn't sure if we had the ball for more than 10 seconds at a go. Our keeper Thomas Dahlin was forced to make some very good saves and on one occasion we had the post to thank. Scary stuff, especially for a number of youngsters who had come through the ranks at Gencler and were playing their first match.

We had a sort of attacking run at about the 30 minute mark which an Eskisehir defender seemed to have got control of. He attempted to blast it out of the box only to whack the ball straight into Ugur Ciftci. The ball bounced off Ugur and looped over towards the goal where their keeper seemed to keep it out. The goalline referee then called it as having gone over the line. It was the correct decision and one that silenced the small crowd.

Second half and it was again all Eskisehir. Attack after attack, desperate defence from us and great goalkeeping by Dahlin, oh, and another ball hit the post.

Then, right towards the end, an Eskisehir player made a rare mistake and had the ball stolen by Ugur Ciftci. He threaded it through to Stancu who somehow managed to lose the ball, get it back and then make what was probably Genclerbirligi's only shot at goal all night. Goal!!!

Totally and utterly unfair for Eskisehir, but for us... quite a laugh.

It was one hell of a good match. Really nice football. We were outgunned but still somehow managed to get the win. How, I have no idea.

At the pub, Orcan explained KaraKizil's new political stance towards the club: "We don't like the chairman, but we like the manager."                


ANKARAGUCU   19          Hatayspor    14

Greeting Kankas and Kankies.

This was the type of Headline used by he now defunct News of the World to attract punters to their newspaper.   My question is ......... did it work for me ?    Oh, errrrrmmmm ...... I don’t mean the phone hacking, I mean as ‘an attention getter’ ?!!

OK, enough bullshit.   Now to the boring stuff ............

ANKARAGUCU   0     Hatayspor    0

The High Flying refers to the number of hoofs out of defence to nowhere by both teams.   The High Scoring is high on my ‘wish list’.   Exciting is obviously sarcasm which I will mention further later in this report.   The Fog refers to what it seemed like the players were playing in on a clear, cool, Septermber evening in perfect football conditions.

We welcomed a new kanka to our group yesterday.   Tony joins us from Weegieland (sometimes referred to as Glasgow) and I’m sure he will become a regular if there are more ‘exciting’ games like this one !!

Also, there were Naaarich Kankie Lucy, Cider Kanka John and your headline grabbing reporter.

Another disappointing turnout with Gecikondu three quarters full, Maraton only a quarter full and about 50 brave souls in the away end.

With Levent back in the starting line-up alongside Umut we were full of expectation, however, it proved to be a false dawn – perhaps he is not yet 100% fit, or perhaps we are expecting too many miracles from him ?!

To be fair, both teams came out of the traps in attacking mode but the match slowly petered out into a yawn with only a header from Umut past the post on the 22nd minute mark and a shot on goal near half time from our No30 which went past.

My comment at half time was ..... an easily forgettable 1st half, but thankfully Gecikondu was there to entertain us !

The 2nd half was also one big yawn, but we were awoken from our slumber and yawning on 4 occasions.

On the 60th minute, a Hatay attacker was clean through in the box but a timely tackle came in to save the situation.   15 minutes later Hatay’s tall No9 missed a great chance when his header sailed over when it looked easier to score.   Hatay should have sealed the points 2 minutes from the end when a header was sent over the bar from a great postion.

The only time Ankaragucu came close was on the 81st minute mark when a great goal bound shot was acrobatically saved by Hatay’s goalkeeper.

Turning to the sarcasm mentioned earlier, and with 5 minutes to go, Gecikondu and Maraton began sarcastically applauding every touch of the ball by Ankaragucu players.   It’s the first time I’ve witnessed this and it was something I hope we will not see again !

Then with 1 minute to go the main talking point of the match.   Apparently, Mehmet Yigner (Chairman of Ankaragucu) had criticised a section of the Ankaragucu supporters last week by calling them ‘idiots’.   So, Gecikondu and Maraton took their revenge and loudly shouted ‘idiots’ to the Directors sitting in Protocol.   We may hear more of this in the coming weeks, but not a good sign for the Club on top of all the other problems we have had to endure over the past 2 years.

A hasty retreat was made back to The Chopin Bar where at least we were cheered with the sight of newly promoted Balikesir beating Galatasaray 2-0 ..... ho ho ho hee hee hee !

What next ?   Hmmmm ...... a difficult away match against Altay beckons next weekend.   Will Ankaragucu lose their unbeaten record or will they go for 4 draws in a row ?    The excitment is hard to suppress !!!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Hatayspor match preview !

Ankaragucu host Hatayspor tonight at the 19 Mayis stadium in Ankara as they look to get their title challenge back on track. Both teams are considered amongst the teams who will be up their challenging for the playoffs and the league title. Ankaragucu have started the season with 1 win and 2 draws whilst Hatayspor have the same record.

According to the Ankaragucu fans who travelled to Sariyer last week for the 1-1 draw, there were some positives to take from the game. Ankaragucu dominated the match but for poor finishing would have won quite comfortably. The one criticism i had of the coach for that match was playing Umut Nayir on his own with only Mehmet Erdem as the other attacking player in the starting line up.

Levent Kale continues his battle for full fitness, as the likes of Gokhan Erdogan and Teoman Erkan push for a place in the first team. Hasan Ayaroglu is back in training but this match will come to early with the youngster missing over 6 months due to injury. Emir Ozbey can count himself unlucky not to have featured so far after his impressive showings in pre season.

Tonights match will see our new Kanka Tony take in his first game. Tony for his sins is a Celtic fan from Scotland who has moved to Ankara with his partner. Hopefully the team take all 3 points and give Tony a winning debut. Im sure he will enjoy the atmosphere created by the Gecekondu and other tribunes.

Hatayspor are a decent side but this is a match Ankaragucu should win quite comfortably. They drew 2-2 at home against Pazarspor last week so they are there for the taking. As me and Jim say, the only way to win this one is by attacking !!!

My predictions are a 2-1 win for Ankaragucu !!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ankaragucu news roundup!

First of all the Turkish Cup 2nd Round draw was made today and Ankaragucu were handed a home tie against Golcukspor who are an amateur side form Kocaeli. The game will be played on 24th September and no doubt it will be one of those ridiculous day time kick offs when everyone is at work.

In other news, Sol Kapali fan group leader Ramazan Kaya has been banned by the club much to the anger of the fans. We reported last week about the fall out between Mehmet Yiginer and Sol Kapali after the Inegolspor match. We didnt expect it to go this far.

Another day in the circuis that is called Ankaragucu.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Gencler window shop for coach

Genclerbirligi's next coach, the sixth in four years, may be Sergen Yalcin, according to media reports. 

Club owner Ilhan Cavcav (78 and running the club since 1977) has invited Yalcin to Ankara for talks after Ersun Yanal rejected an offer to return to the club he left in 2004. 

Sergen, best known for being the first of only two players to have worked for all of the four "big clubs", was most recently trainer at Gaziantep. He also does a lot of TV commentary and has an unhealthy friendship with TV presenter and reality-show millionaire Acun Ilicali. 

All this talk of (by our standards) famous coaches may well prove to be hot air. Past experience suggests Cavcav will flirt with a number of high-profile candidates before settling on someone cheaper and more malleable. Lurking in the background of many of the media reports is the name of Irfan Buz, who worked as a deputy to Christoph Daum at Bursaspor.

Meanwhile, former coach Mustafa Kaplan, fired after two games in charge, is also sticking to the script for times like these. He's "not angry with anyone," according to the same Turkish reports. "I love the chairman and this community.

Signing off on my first solo posting for this blog...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sariyer 1-1 Ankaragucu match report !

However we have all to often saw their are no straight forward games with Ankaragucu. That was the statement that i made in the match preview and unfortunately i was proven correct. Ankaragucu travelled to Istanbul in which should have been a routine 3 points against Sariyer, instead they came home with a share of the points after squandering countless chances.

Team - Gokhan Akkan, Aytac Oden, Gurkan Alver, Mehmet Tasci, Harun Aydin, Serhat Gulpinar, Selim Teber, Orhan Evci, Mehmet Erdem, Umut Nayir

Subs - Ishan Kirveli, Metin Aydin, Ilhan Metin, Teoman Erkan, Gokhan Erdogan, Muhammed Gonulacar, Levent Kale

The team surprisingly only made 1 change from last weekends disappointing performance at home to Inegolspor. Orhan Evci replaced Gokhan Erdogan in midfield while Levent Kale was left on the bench. With the team already having 3 defensive played in midfield it was surprising to see Orhan another defines minded player introduced into the starting line up. It was up to him and Mehmet Erdem to support Umut Nayir who would play up front on his own.

The Ankaragucu fans were banned by the Sariyer council from attending the match as they thought it would be dangerous, and that was the only explanation given. The utter contempt that the Turkish fans are treated with is really starting to piss me off. There were still some Ankaragucu fans who managed to take in the match buying tickets in the home end though.

The first half was all Ankaragucu with Umut Nayir wasting to excellent chances, Mehmet Erdem having a couple of efforts and Orhan Evci also blowing an excellent chance.

The new coach Muammer Ozdemir seems to have brought some stability to the defence, but up top and in midfield there are some issues that need to be addressed. The team is to slow and doesn't create enough chances. Losing Mehmet Cakir and Emre Tasdemir was a massive blow, but we need to move on. There must be some attacking players in the youth team who can provide that cutting edge in attack and that creative spark thats missing.

Half time ended Sariyer 0-0 Ankaragucu

It took only 3 minutes into the second half for Ankaragucu to take the lead through Umut Nayir. Ankaragucu were awarded a penalty and the big forward made no mistake by slotting it past the keeper who dived the wrong way.

From then on you would be expecting Ankaragucu to go on and extend their lead. Instead Eser Yayla equalised for the home side 10 minutes later.

Ankaragucu had more chances to win the match with substitute Levent Kale missing two good chances. The game finished 1-1 and its another 2 points dropped for Ankaragucu in a match they should be winning. In the leagues big match of the day Inegolspor and Goztepe drew 3-3 in a 6 goal thriller.

Next up for Ankaragucu is the home match with Hatayspor next weekend. Unfortunately i don't see us taking any points from that match. Its also worth noting that the Sariyer squad and Ankaragucu squad are both worth the same amount in value. Both estimated around 2.5 Million Euros. The question we must ask, are we expecting to much from this team and just going by the name? We have lost the majority of our players with the ones remaining either coming from the youth team or coming to the end of their careers.

Muammer Ozdemir will come in for some criticism, but that should be aimed at the management team. They hired him after him being out of work for a number of years, and they didn't lift the transfer ban either. Unfortunately this Ankaragucu team isn't capable of mounting a title challenge this season. Only Hasan Ayaroglu has to come back from injury and it isn't enough to ask one 20 year old to change the many problems the club have at the moment.

SHOCK! Genclerbirligi off to an average start to season, coach sacked

What a wonderful day for football. Nice and sunny but not too hot. Perfect for pre-match beers as well. Spine and Flying Dutchman were already at the Beer Bus as was David and his old man Arch.

Poor old Arch had been in the country for just a few days and wanted to go to a top flight match while in town. Sorry about that Arch. We don't want your kind at the footy.

So 4 pm came along and Spine and Flying Dutchman headed off to the stadium (see previous story)
and at about the same time the Alkaralar crew started to fill up the Beer Bus. Alkaralar are, like me and many football groups around the country, boycotting the new Passolig system.

At the pub it was like the beginning of every season as we greeted our long-lost friends, including Tanju, the head of SBS Australia's Turkish language section.

It was strange though to be watching Gencler playing at home and not being there. The last time I remember being at a pub watching Gencler at a home game was six years ago when we boycotted a Turkish Cup match because Cavcav set an exorbitantly high price for the tickets.

The match started and there was a certain smugness from the fans at the club as we saw the empty tribunes.

Genclerbirligi 1 – 2 Bursaspor

The footy started and while Bursa attacking but with not much danger and then Gencler started playing nice footy, especially down the left-hand side. Tosic was coming up often and sending in nice crosses or setting up something else. It was nice footy and we were looking dangerous. It was only fair that it was from the left side. A corner was taken, Mervan used his head to send the ball into the box where Stancu made no mistake heading it in.

Cheers went up at the Beer Bus. A few moments later cheers went up at the Eski Yeni pub a few doors down. The Karakizil group were not only boycotting the Passolig system but they were boycotting Lig TV as well – both being members of the industrial football complex - and so they decided to listen to the match on the radio in a pub that refuses to have Digiturk. 

You have to admire their principles and Spine has offered to help them out in the future if need be.

“If they ever fall out with TRT radio or whatever, I can live tweet the game or sms them,” Spine said.

One-nil up, sun shining, beers in hand – life ain't bad.

We were still looking good for the rest of the first half but the second half was a disaster as Bursa finally decided to play some decent stuff. The first goal we “ate”, as the Turks say, was thanks to a passing mistake. The second was just from the pressure, the number of attacks. One of them had to go in and eventually it did. We just wanted it to end. It did and we had lost. Not a great first home match of the season for Genclerbirligi.

We retired to the Araf pub for post-match drinks and at some stage during our first beer news came in that Cavcav had sacked our coach! Just two matches into the season. Mustafa Kaplan can feel pretty hard done by. The club hasn't bought any big players and sold off a couple of pretty decent players like Jimmy Durmaz. Gencler had drawn their first match away and lost on Saturday... not really sackable figures. It certainly wasn't fan pressure to sack him, there were no fans at the match to put any pressure on. Not only that but Kaplan was the coach of our sister club Hacettepe last year and earned them promotion.

But that's Cavcav.


Spine reports:

"Later, as he sat on his balcony eating the dog, Dr Robert Laing reflected on the unusual events that had taken place within this huge apartment building during the previous three months.” ­ JG Ballard, High Rise (1975) 


While we may like to deplore Gated Communities, there is something in the idea of a perfect suburban retreat – safe, friendly and clean – that attracts many. Settlements like Ankara's ParkOran, with its guards, security cameras, convenient mall and private gym, are popular in Turkey and globally. Built on the site of the housing estate for parliamentarians (which may have been Turkey's first, certainly premier, Gated Community), ParkOran reflects the way this mode of living has spread. Once only the elite elected representatives of the people could expect (or need?) to sleep behind walls of protection. Now, the Gated Community experience is available to wider and wider sections of the middle classes.

PassoWorld, it seemed to me after three and a half beers at the Beer Bus on Saturday afternoon, represents a land­-grab on behalf of those who value safety and security over life and its inevitable vicissitudes. It is a new system that regulates and commercialises Turkish football supporters in ways you can read about elsewhere on this blog. On another level, PassoWorld is the answer to the following question: "If we can sleep, bathe, holiday, exercise and stroll in regulated security and comfort with no alarms and no surprises, why should we be anxious when we step outside our Gated Communities and into our national culture?"

The questions that will be posed in a few years, of course, will be: "Why does my national culture seem to run from me, receding off into nastier, more dangerous places? And why do those places seem so fascinating?"

Entering PassoWorld

 “No longer will it be Orwell’s vision of a boot stamping on a human face. We’ll have something highly subservient and ingratiating, where the tyranny is imposed for our own good . . . The New Totalitarians come forward, smiling obsequiously like head-waiters in third-­rate Indian restaurants, and assuring us that everything is for our benefit . . . So one gets this smiling tyranny, which is something my characters rebel against.” ­ JG Ballard, interview with Independent on Sunday, 2003

The process of entering PassoWorld begins many weeks and miles from the match. Turks who have visited Europe understand immediately: this is a footballing Schengen visa and the canny traveler will assemble forms and identification months before kick-­off. Applying for a UK visa involves sending money to a faceless bureaucracy that won't answer your phonecalls and won't promise to get back to you on time, if at all. So it is with PassoWorld. They take your money smoothly enough. Everything else is hassle.

On matchday the less­-than­-canny supporters were immediately obvious. The five banks of PassoWorld booths were ten-­deep with queues of the naïve, the confused and the increasingly annoyed. Many people thought they could still buy a ticket for a football game from a booth at the gate on matchday. Such innocence in an era of internet-­enabled ease and comfort!

Flying Dutchman Kanka made a new German friend as he waited to load a ticket onto his card. PassoWorld says the electronic process “enables a more speedy entrance to games, without waiting in queues”. When he finally joined us in the stand in the 34th minute, I forgot to ask the Dutchman if he could confirm this. He mumbled something about useless Window­s-based systems on crappy laptops.

But with a season ticket and a few beers already pre­-loaded, I can say that my own experience of entering PassoWorld was a delight. I'm probably the kind of person it was made for. There don't seem to be many of us though. Even with five minutes to kick off, there was no one, and no lines for anything. Security was so feather­-soft I even got a lighter into the game for the first time in years. There's a quick frisk at the main gate by police before you walk the concourse to the stadium.

In this empty and silent zone there are guys with handheld Motorola card readers who will sidle up to you and ask to see your card. They check it against their machines, but for what I am not sure. If anyone is wondering about the future transferability of PassoCards, I don't think these guys looked closely enough to check the picture ID.

Then it's on to the newly­ expanded turnstiles, painted a garish yellow. At the turnstile, the card­dude has gone. It used to be that ordinary punters couldn't be trusted to swipe and push, because the gate would jam. The guy who knew the foibles of the system is out of a job now, thanks to smoothly revolving new gates.

Show your barcode to the laser, and you're in. Again, no photo ID check that I saw. A message pops up saying “Iyi Seyirler” (Enjoy the Match).

Yes, I've obscured my seat number. I didn't use it anyway. Also, if I had more mental energy, here I would insert a section on the way this pop­up phrase stresses non­participation, spectacle, and passivity, but it's Sunday morning and none of you are reading this far anyway. So. We're in the stadium, and here's what we saw:

Experiencing PassoWorld 

“I would sum up my fear about the future in one word: boring. And that's my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again... the future is just going to be a vast, conforming suburb of the soul.” ­ JG Ballard

One way to explain PassoWorld brings is to list what is missing.

People. I'm told Gencler have sold about eight hundred season tickets this year, compared to about five thousand last year. And I reckon the crowd was indeed about a fifth of what it was last season. Sparse is the word.

Police. The weight of policing at Gencler matches has been steadily dropping over the years, as the orange-­bibbed stewards took over. Calling them stewards is probably wrong. These aren't supporters who have taken on roles given out by the club. They're members of the army of professional security guards that has grown so fast in Turkey in the last decade. Still, there were far fewer police. And my eyes may have deceived me, but I'm pretty sure the 20 or so cops sitting by the away team dugout on the far side were women.

Constable hand­held Camera. Has gone. There were no policemen on the touchline filming the crowd to record their misbehaviour. I guess PassoWorld doesn't have misbehaviour. In fact, the cameras have reversed direction. For the first time I saw LigTV cameras on the Maraton touchline, facing the match, not the crowd. Was this a LigTV attempt to show the match with a full crowd in the background? If so, it failed because the protocol area looked pretty sparse too. Or was it that LigTV feels safe enough in PassoWorld to put their cameras near the public?

Hipster beards and dreadlocks. The absence of Karakizil and Alkaralar deprives the stands of many things, not least of which is a kind of sartorial diversity. The crowd was older, more soberly dressed, and generally more sedate. Where were the carefully­-sourced shirts from obscure community­-run Ugandan football clubs? Where were the new group T­-Shirts or scarves this year? Who was giving out slightly ranty fliers campaigning about something or other important? Had no one thought to locate and bring an Ivory Coast flag to make Jean­-Jacques Grousseau feel at home? Nope, those kind of people have gone. Their influence lives on in odd ways. The half­-time music is still The Clash and Ais Ezhel, for now.

Drums and shouty people. Yes, those slightly unruly-­looking young men have gone. Your mobile phone is safe, people! (Not that I've ever had anything lifted at a Gencler match, but you do wonder sometimes.) Those guys used to love to sing and jump and take off their tops and hug each other. Sometimes they'd run around the whole of Maraton doing peculiar moves in response to the crowd behind the goal, singing all the while. They'll have to do that elsewhere now. Oh, and tubby male cheerleader Nedim, who loves the club so much he'd spend the game with his back to the match, yelling at the crowd, he's gone too. His perch is a climbing frame for kids.

Wonderfully convenient PassoWorld payment systems. They're missing too. I didn't ask the guy selling sunflower seeds if I could pay with my card, but I saw no sign of a POS machine. Same story at the teastand: cash only please.

In short, Gencler matches under the Passo system are less colourful, less weird, less noisy and less fun. My first impression of the 2014 team was similarly underwhelming. But ­ Kaloo Kalay ­ the ref now uses shaving foam to mark free kicks!

Exiting PassoWorld easily done. Very quickly I was back in the OtherWorld, and soon I was in Kizilay. I saw a car crash, and a beggar with no arms on the pedestrian bridge. I saw leftist students folding up red flags on their stalls as they wrapped up a campaign for something or other.

Within minutes I was in a bar where a bearded hipster in a carefully-­sourced St. Pauli top came up to me and said: “Hello, Passolig.”

I smiled, and replied with as much certainty as I could muster: “My name is Spine.”

“The twentieth century ended with its dreams in ruins. The notion of the community as a voluntary association of enlightened citizens has died forever. We realize how suffocatingly humane we've become, dedicated to moderation and the middle way. The suburbanization of the soul has overrun our planet like the plague.”  ― J.G. Ballard, Super­Cannes (2000)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Sariyer match preview !

Ankaragucu will be looking to improve on last weeks performance at home against Inegolspor with the 3 points at Sariyer. The team travel to Istanbul for Sundays match against newly promoted Sariyer in which should be a comfortable win for Ankaragucu. However we have all too often saw that there are no straight forward games with Ankaragucu.

Last Sundays match with Inegolspor should have been a full stadium with the fans cheering the team off the pitch at the end of 90 minutes, instead it was half full and things turned ugly with the fan groups protesting against the management. After the match president Mehmet Yiginer spoke of his disappointment at Sol kapali who he claimed had asked for ticket prices to go up in order to help the club.

Sol Kapali denied this was the case with fans claiming management have put the ticket prices up in Sol Kapali in order to keep them away from the stadium.

There wasnt much to cheer about during the game either as both teams huffed their way to a 0-0 draw. Ankaragucu had goalkeeper Gokhan Akkan to thank after he saved a second half penalty.

Since Muammer Ozdemir has taken over he has improved the defence which was so often the cause of dropped points in the last couple of seasons. He has reunited Volkan Geyik and Gurkan Alver who have formed a good partnership since youth level. Both Aytac and Mehmet are solid defenders who wont cause their opponents mutch concern going forward.

If Ankaragucu are to mount a title or playoff challenge this season they must address the lack of goals and chances created from the midfield and attack. Losing Emre Tasdemir and Mehmet Cakir has been a big blow for the team and with Hasan Ayaroglu out injured it leaves only Umut Nayir and Levent Kale in attack.

The coach has already said Levent Kale isnt ready to start a game which leaves me asking why Emir Ozbey has been left out the squad? The young  striker was in fine form during pre season but hasnt even made the bench in the opening 2 games.

Sariyer have the potential to cause Ankaragucu problems, they have former Ankaragucu duo Muhammed Turkmen and Serhat Aykuz in their squad. They also have former Diyarbakir BB forward Mert Somay who will need to be watched.

The game kicks off at 5pm on Sunday and we will have live updates on our facebook page so tune in. Im off to catch my flight back home to Glasgow after another great holiday in Turkey. :-)

Monday, September 08, 2014


 Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Cider Kanka John and Eski Kanka Jim collecting their Kombine Tickets from the Ankaragucu HQ in Tandogan last Saturday.

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Apart from the last 10 minutes of the match, this was one of the most boring matches I have ever witnessed and it never really ignited until Levent came on to a standing ovation in the 80th minute.    We can wonder why Levent did not come on sooner, but the fact that he didn’t warm-up with the rest of the team pre-match should give a clue to his lack of fitness or perhaps he is still in recovery mode from his injury last season.

ANKARAGUCU   0      Inegolspor    0

The Kankas met-up at The Chopin Bar for pre-match ‘refreshments’ – Cider Kanka John, Paddy Kanka Paul, Ahmet Bey, yours truly, and we met Apple Kanka Erman inside the Stadium.

Not the attendance I expected for the 1st home match of the season with Maraton only half full, Kapali barely a quarter full and about 100 in the away end who tried unsuccessfully to make themselves heard.   A full Gecikondu put paid to that idea !

With Levent on the bench, it was left to Umut to play The Lone Ranger with all of his knock-downs and foraging coming to nothing.   Consequently, most of the play was in midfield with both teams cancelling each other out and getting in each others way.   You coulld say they were like headless chickens !
It took until the 32nd minute for the first genuine chance of the match when an Ankaragucu attack down the right produced a right wing cross which was scuffed past the post.

So the half time whistle came as a welcome relief and the only excitement I had experienced at this stage of the match was the sight of the introduction of the new swish double turnstiles at the old Gate 7 and 8 which have been re-numbered 11, 12, 13 and 14.   Snake like queues may now be consigned to history ?!

The 2nd half opened up with more purpose from both teams and the first chance came to Umut 5 minutes in.   A break down the left and the early cross, but Umut couldn’t direct his header downwards and the ball subsequently sailed over the bar.

2 minutes later at the other end it was almost Inegol taking the lead when Gokhan palmed the ball out at the edge of the box from a cross.   However, the ball only landed at the feet of an Inegol attacker who sent the ball past the stranded Gokhan for a certain goal.   Fortunately, there was an Ankaragucu defender (couldn’t see who) guarding the goal line and he hoofed the ball clear.   Phew !   Close call !

Inegol’s 2nd chance of the match arrived 8 minutes later when they broke away down the left and as the attacker approached the goal line he made to shoot but was felled by an Ankaragucu defender.   The referee was well positioned and pointed immediately for a penalty.   The penalty was placed to Gokhan’s right and was on target, but he guessed correct to make a great save at full stretch.

The match then resumed its midfield mediocrity until the 80th minute when fans favourite Levent came on, but despite some feverish attacking, Ankaragucu couldn’t make the breakthrough.

So, in the final analysis, it wasn’t enough in the 2nd half from Ankaragucu.   However, if they continue to play next week where they left off last night, then we can still be optimistic of picking up 3 points in Sariyer.

Back to The Chopin Bar we went to watch the Germany v Scotland match, but that’s another story !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Inegolspor match preview !

After an excellent opening 2-1 win at Kahramanmarasspor on Sunday past, Ankaragucu take on Inegolspor at home this coming Sunday at a packed 19 Mayis Stadium. It is expected that there will be a crowd of over 20,000 for the first home game of the new season. This will be a much tougher test for Ankaragucu against a very good Inegolspor side who won 3-1 at home against Pazarspor in their first game of the season.

Home advantage should spur Ankaragucu on as the Ankara crowd can be like the 12th man for the team as they  so often have been through the clubs 105 year history.

New coach Muammer Ozdemir got off to a winning start to his Ankaragucu career last week. He made a big decision to go with 5 in midfield and leaving Levent Kale on the bench. His decision was justified as Ankaragucu returned to the capital with the 3 points.

With the team being at home this time, will Muammer go with the same team or bring Levent into the starting lineup? I think he will go with the same team as Inegolspor are a tough side and the match could be won in the midfield battle. With both Serhat and Selim at the tale end of their careers and short of pace, another body in the middle of the park makes sense. Young Harun Aydin filled that role on Sunday.

In the wide areas both Mehmet Erdem and Gokhan Erdogan should continue as Hasan Ayaroglu continues his recovery to full fitness. In defence Gurkan Alver and Volkan Geyik have struck up a good partnership over the years and look more solid than last years duos.

Young Gokhan Akkan returned to the number 1 position in goal after Bayram transferred to Manisaspor. He looked comfortable on Sunday and knows he needs to show consistency this season with backup Turgut Kirveli waiting for his chance.

Im sure the Kankas will be attending the stadium nice and early to avoid the Queues. Jim will have his first match report of the new season and hopefully it will be full of goals and good news.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Kahramanmarasspor 1-2 Ankaragucu match report !

I sometimes wonder what was going through my head when i chose Ankaragucu as my team. As im currently on holiday in Belek i look around the hotel with young Turks wearing the shirts of the Istanbul 3, Real Madrid, Barcelona etc while i walk around with my Ankaragucu shirt on, even the locals think im nuts. Tonight i followed our match on twitter and celebrated our victory at full time reminding me why i love the club so much :-)

Team - Gokhan Akkan, Orhan Evci, Gurkan Alver, Volkan Geyik, Mehmet Tasci, Serhat Gulpinar, Selim Teber, Harun Aydin, Gokhan Erdogan, Mehmet Erdem, Umut Nayir

Subs - Turgut Kirveli, Metin Aydin, Muhammed Gonulacar, Levent Kale, Orhan Evci, Teoman Erkan

New coach Muammer Ozdemir raised a few eyebrowes by lewving Levent Kale out of the starting line up and instead playing 5 in midfield. His decisiom would be justified after 90 minutes.

Ankaragucu looked to have got off to a great start when Selim Teber put them in front, but the referee ruled it out for offside. Instead Volkan scored a 30 yard screamer for the home side to put Kahramanmarasspor 1-0 up.

Ankaragucu have a poor record on the opening day of the season and it looked to be an uphill task after the goal. However the team dug in and goals from Umut Nayir and Aytac Oden put Ankaragucu 2-1 up at half time.

Into the second half both Erdem and Umut Nayir had chances to extemd the lead for Ankaragucu but for good goalkeeping. A great start to the season for Ankaragucu and new coach Muammer Ozdemir. Next up is a home match next weekend, lets hope their is a good crowd at the 19 Mayis stadium.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Thanks Passolig

Genclerbirligi kick off slightly better than last year!

It is pretty much obligatory for me to start each report of the first match of the league with the statement, "Aren't we supposed to be playing cricket at this time of year?"

I didn't last year as I was on holiday, but I did state it in the first line a couple of years ago... which makes it sort of traditional.

So this Friday evening I found myself giving a "recharge" talk to Turkish cricket umpires. I really admire our Turkish umpires. They are becoming as pedantic as any 70-year-old with an MCC Law book watching Middlesex versus Somerset.

"Hoçam*. The batsman hits the ball and it hits a bird in the air, flying west, or possibly south-west, and is then caught by a fielder who is falling over the boundary but he/she manages to throw it back to another fielder, while the first fielder has not made contact with the ground outside of the boundary, and the ball then lodges in the pocket of the second fielder... Is the batsman out? If not how many runs should be awarded. What signal should be given?"**

I then reply.

"That's an interesting question Ayşe, and one I'd love to address, bur we don't have quite enough time at the moment. Keep that question in your head and I shall address it after our session this evening. At the same time though, please note that we all junior umpire candidates and so can we get back to the idea that if a batsman hits the ball, and the ball is caught, the batsman is out? Any questions? No? Good! Lets get onto to the much more important point of how to umpire sledging."

But this is a football blog and occasionally we talk about football here. Well, the Ankaragucu lot on this blog talk a lot about it.

Rizespor 1 - 1 Genclerbirligi

So I missed the first half completely thanks to the time it took to explain what and why are the restrictions on leg side fielding (thanks Douglas Jardine). I then showed up at Su'dem Pub to find that no one was there. I rang Orcan to find that he was watching the match on a dodgy webstream and that various people were down at the Beer Bus. Good news was that Gencler were winning 0-1.

A 15-minute walk down to the Beer Bus and it was great to see the old faces of Maksut, Halil, Erdem, Cengiz, Bulent etc etc. It was the usual small crowd of Alkaralar fans and it was great to see them all again.

"So how are we playing?", I asked.

"Better than we expected," was the reply and with that reassurance it was time to order beer.

We should have gone two ahead but a header from ????? hit the post... and then hit the other post... EVIL

Arr... We seemed to be okay. We were definitely attacking but Rize seemed to be pretty crap. We had a goal disallowed for absolutely NO REASON!!!!!!. And then we gave away the easiest of goals. Hakan Aslantaş must be having nightmares tonight after making the world's worst ever pass back to a teammate.

Okay. We looked okay in the second half and the referee was completely stupid in not allowing us a second goal. At the same time though we were not penetrating properly. Our first half goal only came because our new guy Guido Koçer hadn't heard that Gencler players are by law not allowed to shoot from outside the box. He will learn.

A point away. Last year we lost the first match of the season, again away to Rizespor. So I guess this year couldv'e benn worse.

There is no "top flight" football next week, probably due to Turkish cricket matches, but we will be back the week after with a home match against Bursaspor. The circumstances around the match could be interesting. Many people are boycotting the new Passolig system (me included).

During the week I had better post an explanation as to why I won't be getting a Passolig Card and therefore won't be going to Gencler matches this season... My old post here pretty much sums it up though

My guess is that this year is going to be pretty bad for atmosphere at football games. Maybe not for Ankaragucu though... the new rules don't apply for them.

* It is bloody cool to be called "hoçam".

** Not out. The fielding side didn't appeal. No signal needed. The batting team scores as many runs as they ran. (or something like that... I think!) 

Gencler come home with a point... should've been more

Rizespor 1 - 1 Genclerbirligi

We should have won. But we didn't... and going by tonight's performance I reckon no one come stop us from coming ninth yet again. I'll be back tomorrow with a more comprehensive summing up of a match that I saw bits of...

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Ankaragucu 3-1 Cankirspor

Ankaragucu maintained their unbeaten pre season run with a 3-1 win over Cankirspor at Bestepe facilities today. Goals from Gokhan Erdogan, Selim Teber and Levent Kale were enough to give Ankaragucu a good win going into the new season.

With the news yesterday than Kaan Kanak singed for Eskisehirspor the victory gives the Ankaragucu some hope that the team still have enough to put up a title challenge this season. The big concern is that if the team get a few injuries to key players there isn't enough quality to replace them.

Next sunday the season begins with a tough away match at Kahramanmarasspor, can Ankaragucu take all 3 points?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Kaan Kanak signs with Eskisehirspor !

Ankaragucu were dealt another blow with the news that long serving midfielder Kaan Kanak today signed a 4 year deal with Eskisehirspor. Kaan has been with the club through the youth academy then winning promotion to the first team. Although he has never really found consistency there is no doubting his technical ability. A fantastic left foot and always dangerous at set pieces.

The news has been met with the anger of the Ankaragucu fans with Gecekondu leader Ali Imdat releasing a statement slamming the Ankaragucu board for allowing another key player leave. The fee is believed to be in the region of 200,000 TL. After loosing Bayram last week for 140,000 TL and Emre Tasdemir for 1.5Million TL the fans believe Ankaragucu are allowing their players to leave on the cheap.

In other news it is also believed that Gokhan Akkan is in talks with Gaziantepspor which would be an even bigger blow. Having lost number 1 Bayram Olgun to Manisaspor, if Gokhan left it would leave Cihan Bal and Turgut Kirveli to fight it our for the number 1 spot with both players having little experience.

There was some good news as youngster Altay Bayindir was called up to the Turkish U17 national team. The young goalkeeper has caught the eye with his performances for the youth team.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Kahramanmarasspor match preview !

Its a bit early for the match preview but I'm off to Belek next week so I'm going to be pretty busy in the run up to my annual trip to Turkey. The season eagerly awaited kick off is nearly upon us with Ankaragucu travelling to Kahramanmarasspor on the 30th August with a 2000 kick off. The home side were relegated from the PTT Lig last season and will be looking to go straight back up at first time of asking.

You have to go back to 14th December since the last time Kahramanmarasspor won a game after finishing bottom of the PTT Lig last season. They won promotion the previous season so are fully aware of what is required to get out to the Turkish Lig 2. A lot has changed since then with players leaving and new players coming in as they look set for a title challenge this season.

Former Ankaragucu duo Veli Torun and Sinan Kurumus are both on the books of Kahramanmarass. Its difficult to tell which teams will be challenging and who will be fighting for survival. The first couple of weeks of the season will be about who has had the best pre season preparations and some teams will take a while to get going. Last season Ankaragucu lost 1-0 against Gungorenspor on the opening day before going on an excellent winning run.

The Ankaragucu team has weakened since last season. Bayram Olgun has signed for Manisaspor, Emre Tasdemir to Bursasspor, Mehmet Cakir to Elazigspor while the likes of Aydin Toscali, Ibrahim Sahin, Volkan Yilmaz, Artun Kutucku, Omer Yalcin, Serhat Aykuz, Erhan Guven and Mert Pamukkaya have all been released.

Although the team has lost a lot of players the only ones who will be missed will be Emre Tasdemir, Mehmet Cakir and Bayram Olgun. Emre was the outstanding player last season and it was no surprise he won himself a move to the Super Lig with Bursaspor. Mehmet Cakir had a good season with his goals and assists, while Bayram has been a fantastic servant to the club.

The club do however have one of Turkeys best young Goalkeepers in Gokhan Akkan who didn't have the best of seasons last year. He will be hoping to make the number 1 jersey his own and find more consistency. Both Mehmet Tasci and Onur Atasayer are capable replacements for Emre although don't posses the same attacking strengths. Hasan Ayaroglu could provide that spark but their are again questions over his fitness, he has been working with the fitness coaches but has missed a lot of pre season which is a big blow.

The key to Ankaragucu success this season will be the defence and attack. Gurkan Alver and Volkan Geyik are set to partner each other again at the heart of defence. Both were dropped last season for Serhat and Erhan and many argued that it was a big mistake. In attack the Ankaragucu fans will be hoping that Levent Kale and Umut Nayir can both stay fit and fire Ankaragucu to the PTT Lig.

The coach Muammer Ozdemir stated he was delighted with the Ankaragucu defence during pre season and its something they really worked on. Its something that has haunted Ankaragucu for many years is the inability to defend. Ozdemir said the team will now work on the attack in the coming weeks as he looks to make Ankaragucu a solid all round team.

Kaan Kanak spoke today claiming he is happy with how pre season went and believes that the team are in better shape than they were last season. Lets hope he is right.

The team also knocked back a bid from Adana Demirspor for Umut Nayir, the big forward is wanted by a host of clubs including Kayserispor. If Ankaragucu were to lose him it could have serious implications towards their promotion hopes.

The game is impossible to predicts, so lets just hope for an Ankaragucu win and that i am celebrating in Belek next Sunday with some Turkish Tea !

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ankaragucu 1-0 Adana Demirspor !

Before we discuss todays friendly against Adana Demirspor, i would like to wish Bayram Olgun all the best with his move to Manisaspor. The 24 year old Ankaragucu completed his move to Manisa yesterday after 7 years with the club.

Ankaragucu took on Adana Demirspor today at Bestepe and put in a good performance with a solid 1-0 win. The goal game in the 87th minute through Serhat Gulpinar. The Turkish FA today announced the first game of the season at Kahramanmarasspor will kick off at 2000 on the 31st August.

Team - Gokhan Akkan, Aytac Oden, Gurkan Alver, Volkan Geyik, Mehmet Tasci, Serhat Gulpinar, Selim Teber, Gokhan Erdogan, Mehmet Erdem Ugurlu, Bilal Gundogdu, Umut Nayir

The club have yet to lift the current transfer ban and it looks like they will go with the players remaining at the club. In pre season the team have remained unbeaten looking solid enough at the back but not scoring many goals.

Its evident that the club needs to bring in another couple of forward players. With Levent Kale injured and Umut Nayir the only other fit striker, it would leave only Emir Ozbey who hasn't featured much for the first team.

Remember Kankas you can get your season tickets from Tandogan as they are now on sale.