Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Genclerbirligi stun Antep and Oz Kanka

I hadn't told our mates down at the pub but I wasn't expecting all that much from Genclerbirligi on Sunday evening. Talk about being happily surprised when Gencler came out the blocks and went full on into attack mode. This was fun football!

Genclerbirligi 2 - 0 Gaziantep

A nice little crowd down at the Alerta Pub on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Spine and me and Kevin and Joe. It had been more than a decade since Joe first saw Gencler but he is back in town and already has his season ticket.

To the stadium where we were joined by Little Oz Kanka. There was a moment of remembering for those died in stopping the ateempted coup but no moment for the victims of Saturday nights suicide bomb attack in Gaziantep. The Gencler though fans did "sing" a few chants of support for the Gaziantep fans.  

Kick-off and bam! Gencler were creating chances and playing fun footy. It was great and a huge surprise to me as we hadn't played anything like this in the "Turkish Sports Writers Assosiation Ankara Branch 15 July Democracy Cup".

It was absolutely no surprise when Stancu scored after about 15 minutes. It was a classic short cross in to a striker in the right place and kick it home goal.

At this moment I predicted 3-0. But then Gencler went back into the habit that has undone us so often in the past... we sat back and let Antep back in it.

We were still playing nice football but all urgency had gone...

Bulent Uzulmez obviously put a boot up their arses at half-time and Gencler did come out a bit bitter but then again they let Antep take over. Hopf ended up having to make a few routine saves and then two magnificent ones.

It was starting to get a bit nail biting. Our frustration was summed up when our new signing Mattai was free in front with the keeper miles out of position. He proceeded to kick the ball with less power that an Under 7s kiddie could muster... and still miss.  

Uzulmez brought on a couple of substitutions and bang, we were back in it. And it was two of those subs who sealed the match for us. Aydin Karabulut on the right wing sent a wonderful long pass right onto the feet of Vedat Muriqi, our new Albanian striker, from just outside the box he seemed to toe poke it perfectly past the keeper.

And that's that. A good start to the season.

Spine told me later that Uzulmez told the media that he was also worried about the way we let Antep to control long periods of play after we took the lead. I look forward to that being ironed out by next week in what will be a very difficult match against Osmanlispor.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Timur Kosovali signs for Keciorengucu!

Some surprising news today on the transfer front at Ankaragucu striker Timur Kosovali left the club as he signed for Keciorengucu. It now leaves Ankaragucu with the problem of having only 1 recognised striker at the club in Murat Yilmaz. The club will now pursue a replacement before the transfer deadline day.

Timur came to the club last season with high hopes after impressive scoring records at Bandirmaspor and Goztepe. The striker however failed to live up to expectations and had a disappointing campaign last season leading to criticism from the management. It was believed Timur was challenged to prove himself over the pre season period but now looks like Ismet Tasdemir decided that he wouldn't feature in his plans.

Good luck to Timur with his new club but I'm sure we will replace him with better quality if we want to challenge for the title.

In other news, if Ankaragucu reach the final of the TSYD Mini cup final on Saturday then TRT are believed to be showing it live on TV. That will be for folk like myself who will be watching and cheering from abroad while the rest of you are filling te stadium. The Ankaragucu fans are hoping to have a sold out stadium also on Friday night for the game vs Etimesgut.


Greetings Kankas.

Well, after Genclerbirligi stole all the headlines last week by winning the ‘Mega’ TSYD Cup, otherwise known as the Democracy Cup, or .......... as the kankas call it ...... The Coup Cup, it is now time for the ‘Mini’ TSYD Cup !!!

It will take place at The 19 Mayis Stadium 26/27 August and the draw was made today.

Friday 26 August KO 8pm – Ankaragucu v Etimesgutspor
Also, on Friday 26 August, but KO time unkown at the moment – Hacettepe v Bugsas
The 3rd v 4th and final will obviously be played on Saturday 27 August but more details of that when I have KO times.

We will meet in Yeni Sedir Pub in Kizilay between 5pm and 6pm on Friday and go to the Stadium at 7pm.

Looking forward to seeing a ‘live’ footie match for the first time in ............ a long time !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Gencler dazzle in season opener

Genclerbirligi 2 - 0 Gaziantepspor

Well. That was a nice start to the season. A well-deserved victory and one hell of a bunch of happy players and fans. More to come soon. (although it may be a day or so as I've got a few other things I have to attend to).

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gençler News Round-Up

A splurge of interesting news on the Cavcav-Gençler front. Some of these deserve much closer scrutiny, but here's a quick summary.

1) Cavcav says at the age of 81 he is seriously considering calling a congress and installing his son Murat as the next chairman. Link here. Thoughts on the rights and wrongs of dynastic succession in the comments please.

2) Cavcav is already falling out with his coach, and it's over money, you'll be surprised to hear. More, including the Üzülmez "worships money" quote, here. Thoughts on pots, kettles and how to prepare the ground for a firing in the comments please.

3) Cavcav says Gökcek offered a stadium-upgrade-for-star-defender-deal. Details here. Thoughts on innovative use of public funds in soccer below please.

4) Skulason has left. Sparse club statement here. Speculation on why and what it means in comments please.


Further to 2) Cavcav has released a statement saying he didn't want to say anything negative about the coach when he called him money-grabbing. Rather, the intention was to provide suggestions and guidance, like a big brother would. Cavcav remains completely supportive of the coach, the statement says.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ankaragucu pre season update!

Ismet Tasdemir will be a bit closer to finding out all about his squad as the team played 2 friendlies yesterday and today down in Kizilcaham training camp.

The team drew 2-2 with Bingolspor yesterday with the goals coming from Murat Yilmaz and Timur Kosovali, while today's team won 2-1 against Golcukspor thanks to goals from Onur Atasayer and Erhan Senturk.

Team vs Bingolspor - Altay, Sercan, Metin, Adem, Mehmet, Muhammed, Ahmet Can, Ahmet Yazur, Murat, Timur, Mustafa

Subs Used - Ali Sinan, Hasan Kaya

Team vs Golcukspor - Emrah, Orhan, Cenk, Onur, Alihan, Hurun, Ferhat, Enes, Omer, Erhan, Emre

Subs Used - Mehmet, Serkan, Murat, Hasan

Monday, August 15, 2016

Ankaragucu sign Onur Bayramoglu!

Ankaragucu today completed the signing of Eskisehirspor midfielder Onur Bayramoglu on a free transfer. The 26 year old former Turkish youth international was highly rated as a youngster which saw him sign for Besiktas as a teenager before moving onto Genclerbirligi.

He hasn't quite reached the heights of what was expected but it's still a good signing for the club who will be hoping he can get his career back on track. Onur can play either in central midfield or on the left wing which will give Ismet Tasdemir more options to chose from. Welcome to Ankaragucu Onur.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Genclerbirligi wins, Democracy wins

Genclerbirligi have won the World's Longest Title Cup! It wasn't the prettiest of matches but we scored two cracker goals and are now the inaugural winners of the "Turkish Sportswriters' Association Ankara Branch 15 July Democracy Cup" or as Peter Stout named it yesterday, the "Coup Cup" .

Genclerbirligi 2 - 1 Konyaspor

Video taken by Little Oz Kanka

Genclerbirligi tweeted yesterday that they had 1,000 free tickets to hand out to today's match, so Little Oz Kanka and myself went off to the club headquarters this morning and blagged six. In the end we gave away the extra ones at the gate. The Gencler ticket guy also gave us a free Anadolu Agency photograpic book of the 15 July attempted coup. This wasn't to do with the fact that we were playing in the Coup Cup, merely because I was browsing through it. Very kind of him.

Another stinking hot August day when little Oz Kanka and me headed off to walk down to the Alerta, met Spine on the way and enjoyed some beers, some food and watched Jak Ali Harvey of Turkey qualify for the semi-final of the 100 metres running event.

Spine wussed out at this point so it was just father and son who jumped into the metro and headed to the stadium.

Oz Kanka and Spine. Oz Kanka is wearing Harun.
Then it started raining and raining and raining and raining and then a bit of wind. It was all rather pleasent of course after such a scorcher but it kept on raining and then it started getting cold and all of us in shorts and t-shirts started to shiver. Little Oz Kanka wanted to go home at half-time. The last time he asked that he was only three-and-a-half years old.

The rain probably buggered up some of the quality of play. There weren't too many goal opportunities for either team and no real stand out players.

That was until Selcuk Sahin had a shot from some 30 yards out. It was a belter hit the crossbar and in. What a great shot. Besides that though the first half wasn't the best advertisement for the game.

Hooray, the rain has stopped.
Things got a bit better in the second half. We had a few chances but blew them. Hopf saved a few easy ones but wasn't really tested. It all seemed as if we would win one-nil when everything buggered up and Konya got one back with two minutes left on the clock.

It was surely going to go to penalties but then another wonderful goal from a set piece. Aydin Karabulut, who had come on at half-time and had a decent game, was fouled with a cynical from behind tackle. Thirty yards out and Irfan takes a wonderful shot, curves in and hits the goal post and in. The Konyaspor keeper didn't even move. Time on the clock: 90 minutes.

Referee blows it up and the Coup Cup stays in Ankara.

Konya were definitely better than Adanaspor but Genclerbirligi have a long way to go to find the flair that we saw in the second half of last season.


Ankaragucu 0-1 Zonguldakspor!

Ankaragucu lost 1-0 in their latest pre season game today against Zonguldakspor. I managed to catch the game on Periscope again and was disappointed the way we lost the match. Ankaragucu controlled most of the match and looked pretty solid at the back, but again the same problems that haunted the side last season were on show today. Poor Goalkeeping and lack of quality in the final 3rd of the pitch.

With Ankaragucu controlling the match, Zonguldakspor put the ball into the box, where it was met by Tuna Yilmaz who fired the ball past Emrah Tuncel in the Ankaragucu goal. It was a poor goal to lose with Mehmet Tasci nowhere to be seen tracking his man, and Emrah beaten at his front post by a weak shot from Yilmaz.

Ankaragucu tried in vain to get the equaliser but to often a poor cross, weak shot off target or poor finish prevented them from getting back on level terms.

The club will continue to bring in new players and the fans will be hoping they will be attacking players with a bit of quality. It's still pre season so we can't read to much into today's performance but Ismet Tasdemir will know that he needs to strengthen that attack if he wants to mount a challenge this season.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Gencler win a match. We win a new pub!

As I have said in other media commitments this week - this is not the time for football! It is the time for laughing at another English batting collapse. It is the time for laughing at countries which can't make a pool stay blue. It is time to get interested in Women's Sevens Rugby. But it is not the time of year for football. So it was with deep reluctance that Little Oz Kanka and myself trudged off in the 34 degree heat of the capital to watch a pre-season match.

Turkish Sportswriters Ankara 15 July Democracy Cup First Round Match  
Genclerbirligi 2 - 1 Adanaspor

The most important thing about today was taking a recky for what will be our new pre- and post-match pub for the season. As you know it is often quite difficult to find a pub in Ankara showing a Genclerbirligi match if it clashes with any match involving the Istanbul teams.

A solution has finally been found with Orcan of the Karakizil fan group going into management with a couple of others to take over a pub on Olgunlar Sokak (next to Soul Pub and near the book sellers market) and to open the Alerta Pub.

The important stuff first. An Efes 500ml draught is 10 lira. They also have Becks and Bomonti on tap. They have a kitchen which sells the normal Ankara Gourmet Pub stuff (hamburgers with toothpicks in them etc) and the toilets are very clean.

Orcan has decorated the inside with various scarves of football teams and he is particularly proud of having a scarf from teams from both capitals of Macedonia, the country and the province. He says he can't wait to get his first Greek customer.

Most importantly the pub will be showing each and every Genclerbirligi match. No exceptions.  

Then we showed up to the footy.

With no Passolig needed for this match a whole heap of fans who are now into their third year of boycotting the e-ticket system showed up and they were clearly having a ball.

Unfortunately the same can't be said for our first 11 out on the field. With both Campos and El Kabir having left over the summer it just looked like we didn't have anyone who could bring a spark to the game. We also missed Hleb who was so good last year at providing balls to players in good positions. We dominated but still looked rubbish. Adanaspor had the first chance of the match but fluffed it and it wasn't until the dying seconds of the first half that we got onto the scoreboard.

It was a freekick on the right, outside the box. We all assumed Irfan would try to put it onto Stancu's head but instead he placed it perfectly, arced it over the keeper and into the top corner.

Second half was a bit more fun as Adanaspor came forward a bit more and we made half a dozen substitutions (it was a pre-season friendly). The man who particularly impressed me was a fellow who we signed just a couple of days ago, a Romanian by the name of Cosmin Gabriel Matei. He played on the left wing and made a number of good runs which could have led to goals if not for rubbish finishing by others.

Our second goal also came from a free kick. I think it was Selcuk Sahin who took it from outside the box and forced the keeper to make a one handed parry at the ball. With the keeper on the ground after his impressive save, the ball popped up nicely for one of our players who was on the spot to head it in.

Two goals, both from set pieces.

Adanaspor got one back a bit later after some rubbish defending by us.

All up... to be brutally honest I think it may well be a long season ahead for us Gencler fans.  

So, with that win we are in the final of the TSYD 15 Temmuz Demokrasi Kupası which will be on Saturday night at 8 pm against whichever team won the match that I wasn't paying attention to (either Konya or Karabuk). See you at the Alerta Pub at 6pm!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Ankaragucu sign Ahmet Yazur!

Ankaragucu continue to add to the squad with the signing of 21 year old defender Ahmet Yazur. The youngster has signed from Canakkale Dardanelspor.

Ankaragucu 2-1 Umraniyespor!

I managed to catch most of the match on Periscope as Ankaragucu took on PTT Lig side Umraniyespor. I have to say I was very impressed with the performance and it gives me some optimism that we can challenge for the title this season.

Team - Emrah, Orhan, Alihan, Cenk, Onur, Ferhat, Harun, Emre, Erhan, Hursut, Enes

Subs - Metin Aydin, Mehmet Tasci, Timur, Mustafa, Adem, Muhammed, Can, Hasan Kaya

The goals came from Enes early in the first half and then Muhammed Gonulacar in the second half. Man of the Match was Cenk Kaplan at the back. The team looked very solid at the back and it was also interesting that Orhan Evci was named captain.

Let's hope this is the start of something good at the club!

Ankaragucu sell 20 Million shares!

Their seems to be an endless wave of good news coming from the Ankaragucu camp in recent weeks. The club have assembled an impressive squad which they hope can win promotion to the PTT Lig this season after 3 years of failure in Lig 2.

Today it was announced that the club have sold 20 Million Turkish Lira worth of shares which has been used to help lift the transfer ban meaning the new players are now free to start their Ankaragucu careers.

Mehmet Yiginer has been instrumental in bringing in this much needed investment to the club and must take credit when due. It's been an rocky ride for Yiginer since he arrived at the club. The dirilis season was his most successful season to date having just missed out on promotion through the playoffs and the stadium full every second weekend. The last two seasons have been disappointing but hopefully this is the start of a bright future for the club.

In other good news, Ankaragucu have also announced that all fans groups will come together and their will be a United fans group with representatives from each group heading up the coming together with help from the club.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Ankaragucu complete signing of Serkan Balci!

Ankaragucu have completed the signing of experienced right back Serkan Balci on a free transfer from Mersin. The signing is a major coup for the club having spent most of his career in the Super Lig with Genclerbirligi, Fenerbahce, Trabzonspor and Antalyaspor.

Balci is also a former Turkish International having been capped 22 teams for the national side. He will take the place of Gokhan Alhas who moved onto Manisaspor in the summer after a successful loan spell last season.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Ankaragucu latest news!

Some developing news firstly on the transfer front. Ankaragucu are reported to have agreed terms with 27 year old Altinordu striker Murat Yilmaz. The much travelled journeyman was on the books of Ankaragucu back in the 2009/10 season. Looking at his goalscoring record won't fill the Ankaragucu fans with much confidence having only scored 22 goals in his career.

In other news Adem Saglam was this week named Ankaragucu captain much to the displeasure of the fans. They have asked for Orhan Evci to be given the captains armband instead. The fans made the point that Adem refused to pay for the club last season due to unpaid wages, where as Orhan has stood buy the club through the tough times and showed real leadership. We will await to see if management change their decision.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Pre-Season Traditions

We are at that stage of pre-season preparations at which it is traditional to become anxious about the future of the 19 May Stadium.

Gençler Chairman İlhan Cavcav has duly obliged, and respected this long tradition by speaking to Anadolu Agency to express worry over the uncertainty surrounding The Old Girl and have a dig at Mr. Melih Gökçek at the same time.

Mr. Cavcav's remarks provide us with a "news hook" on which we can hang a round-up of some of the 19 Mayis news over the last few weeks.

On July 14, Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kiliç announced that, after consultation with the President and Prime Minister, the government has decided to construct a new stadium, "one that befits a capital city," on the site of the old one.

Subsequent events in the capital may have prevented his announcement from receiving the coverage it deserved. Nevertheless, official rejection of the out-of-town option is a significant step in the 86-year history of the 19 May.

Mr. Kiliç noted that the decision reflects the general tone of the wishes of the people of Ankara. In this I am sure he is correct. It certainly reflects the wishes of these bloggers. And those of İlhan Cavcav.

...Who is never happy. And came out moaning yesterday, with some fine ironic usage of honourifics as insults. He also nicely conflates Gençler's reputation with that of the entire city. Who could argue with that?

Highlights of the Cavcav remarks as reported here are:

- No one knows when the demolition of 19 Mayis will start. The uncertainly must end.

- It has been suggested that Gençler could play at the OSTIM Stadium during any construction. "The people of Ankara know the state of the OSTIM stadium," says Cavcav. Our Ankaragücü brothers on this blog know it well too. Comments are most welcome.

- If it comes to a demolition, Gençler should play at Osmanlı Stadium, not OSTIM, says Cavcav. Osmanlı, aka Yenikent, aka The Stadium from Hell is also well known to the Kankas.

- Quoth Cavcav:

"It used to be Yenikent, now it's Osmanlı. This stadium is not just the property of Osmanlıspor, it is Ankara's stadium. Our honourable Metropolitan City Mayor Melih Gökçek is the Mayor of Ankara, not of Besiktaş. Last year that fine Istanbul team Besiktaş played at Yenikent while their stadium was being built. It is only fair that we too should play at Osmanlı. It can't be one rule for Besiktaş and another for us. It would not be appropriate for the capital Ankara to play at OSTIM while Osmanlı Stadium is there. We've been using 19 May for long years alongside Ankaragücü. Until the new ground is built, we could use Yenikent alongside Osmanlıspor. I don't think the powers that be will victimise us when they make their decision."

So. Mr. Cavcav is hoping to be able to play at a ground we dislike that is half-way to nowhere, rather than a ground that is small, grotty and hard to find. Still, at least OSTIM is inside the ring-road. I am not entirely certain I share Mr. Cavcav's preferences. Comments most welcome.

But rest assured, dear reader. We have all been here before. This time round it may be that The Old Girl is a few steps closer to her end than she was this time last year, or the year before that. But my gut tells me there's a little more football to be squeezed out of her yet. Ankara is in upheaval. Financing costs are rising. The legal process of demolishing and rebuilding the entire 19 May Stadium and the surrounding fencing, tennis and sports-writers' boozing facilities is sure to be complex. The Honourable Mayor is under a larger and darker cloud than usual.

We might even get another full season in.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ankaragucu 0-0 Erzerumspor!

Firstly some news on the transfer front, Ankaragucu duo Gurkan Alver and Volkan Geyik have left the club after both giving 15 years service having come through the youth academy before playing for the first team. Gurkan has signed for Kastamunuspor while Volkan has signed for Tuzlaspor. We wish both of them all the best.

Ankaragucu were held to a 0-0 draw today with Erzerumspor in their latest pre season match. The issue of finding the back of the net seems to still be there and is something new coach Ismet Tasdemir will be no doubt looking to address before the season starts. Again there was run outs for a host of players all looking to get match fit.

Team 1st half - Emre Koyuncu, Orhan Evci, Onur Atasayer, Alihan Kubalas, Mehmet Tasci, Muhammed Gonulacar, Harun Aydin, Erhan Senturk, Emre Sahin, Omer Bozan, Timur Kosovali

Team 2nd half - Emre Koyuncu, Orhan Evci, Onur Atasayer (Hursit Tasci), Alihan Kubalas, Mehmet Tasci, Muhammed Gonulacar, Harun Aydin (Ahmet Can), Erhan Senturk (Hasan Kaya), Emre Sahin (Mustafa Ozturk), Omer Bozan (Mashun Kara), Timur Kosovali (Enes Kubat)

Gençler Season Tickets on Sale Friday July 29

Gençler season tickets go on sale this Friday.

According to this statement on the Club website, the prices are as follows:

Maraton (our usual spot): 200 TL plus 10 TL Passolig handling charge
Kapalı (opposite us:): 300 TL plus 15 TL
VIP A (too posh for us): 750 TL plus 20 TL

So the price for Maraton is the same in lira terms as last year. In terms of foreign currency it must be considerably cheaper, even for Sterling (?)

Anyway, whatever the quality of football they will present for us this year, it is hard to deny that a season ticket represents good value for money.

If you have a valid Passokart, you can buy the season ticket online, or possibly from the kiosks by the ground. If you don't have one, you face the deep moral conundrum many of us dealt with last year.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ankaragucu 1-2 FC Batumi

Ankaragucu lost 2-1 to Georgian Premier League side FC Batumi today in their second pre season game in Erzerum.

It was another good workout with all players getting some playing time again. Timur Kosovali scored the goal for Ankaragucu to put them 1-0 up. After both sides made a host of changes the Georgian side came back to win 2-1.

Team 1st Half - Turgut Kirveli, Metin Aydin, Alihan Kubalas, Orhan Evci, Onur Atasayer, Muhammed Gonulacar, Ferhat Culcuoglu, Erhan Senturk, Emre Sahin, Omer Bozan, Timur Kosovali

Team 2nd Half - Turgut Kirveli (Emre Koyuncu), Metin Aydin (Metin Ilhan), Alihan Kubalas (Mehmet Tasci), Orhan Evci (Batuhan Yilmaz), Onur Atasayer, Muhammed Gonulacar (Arda Karademir), Ferhat Culcuoglu (Ahmet Can), Erhan Senturk (Enes Kubat), Emre Sahin (Mustafa Ozturk), Omer Bozan ( Ali Sinan Gayla), Timur Kosovali (Batuhan Aslan)