Tuesday, June 19, 2018

WELCOME TO HELL ? – IN SEARCH OF THE REAL TURKISH FOOTBALL




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

I attended the book launch of Welcome to Hell ? – In Search of the Real Turkish Football last night written by a friend of the Kanka Group, John McManus.   The function was held in the British Ambassador’s Residence and it was well attended by ‘friends of footie’.   The Kanka Group was represented by Oz Kanka Chris, Oz Kanka Junior Mathew, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Spine Kanka Steve, Paddy Kanka Paul and Kloggy Kanka Carlo.

I mentioned to John during the course of the evening that I thought he was being kind to Turkish footie fans by putting a question mark after ‘Welcome to Hell’ !!    And, as an example, I reminded him and the audience of the stabbings in Eskisehir to 2 Ankaragucu supporters prior to the match about 7 years ago, and us guys dodging missiles directed to the away end during the match.   In particular, a large stone/small rock which landed two rows in front of us just missing a girl who was sitting two seats from its final destination as it punctured a hole in the seat !     I also mentioned The Battle of Kayseri briefly in which Damon’s ‘hard head’ withstood a barrage of missiles thrown by Kayseri ‘fans’ !!

The British Ambassador mentioned that he has already read the book and was full of praise for its contents and style.   I’ve started reading it (now on Page 100 of 384), no doubt along with the other kankas I’ve mentioned above, so you can expect to see our comments/opinions in the Blog soon.

In the meantime, we wish John success with this book and perhaps he has a follow-up under consideration when he finds time in his busy life ??!!

We all poured ourselves into the Red Lion Club after the book launch to see Ingallind grind out a 2-1 win against the Mighty Tunisia !     They will certainly have to up their game against Belgium if they intend to finish top of their Group.    Also, they can’t always rely on ‘Arry Boy to bail them out – the TEAM is a squad of players !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Ankaragucu sign Thievy Bifouma!



Ankaragucu have made their first signing of the season after securing Sivasspor winger Thievy Bifouma on a 3 year deal.

The Congo International played 31 games last season scoring 6 goals and had an overall impressive campaign. Having watched Sivas on many occasions last season, Thievy is a fantastic signing for the club. He brings much needed pace to the wide areas, something the team has been lacking over the last couple of years.

Having had previous spells with Espanyol, West Brom, Osmanlispor, Strasbourg and Las Palmas to name a few, Thievy will be hoping Ankara can become his home for at least the next 3 years and bring some stability to his career.

Ankaragucu have also agreed a new 1 year contract with Sedat Agcay after the captain had an impressive season last year and played a huge part in the clubs promotion.

The club have also been linked with numerous players both from Turkey and abroad. We will bring you all the latest news as it happens.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

AU REVOIR OZ KANKA CHRIS AND SON





Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It’s not ‘goodbye’, it’s only ‘au revoir’ !

Our webmaster, Oz Kanka Chris, is keading Down-Under with his son, Oz Kanka Junior (we can’t call him Little Oz Kanka anymore !!!) next week.    Mathew is ready to begin a new episode in his life at a High School in Canberra and dad will be there for a few years to ‘bed him in’ to the Aussie Way of life and help steer him in the right direction with his studies.

Mathew ........ errrrrmmm ..... a few years ago !!!

Mathew ........ today !!!

The good news is that Oz Kanka will remain our Webmaster from afar, and although he can’t report on Gencler matches, he will still be a contributor here.   Bellshill Kanka Nadeem and I will do our best to keep Gencler scores and news going throughout the season, and we will all be hoping that they make a quick return to the Super League.

Of course, we will all miss Oz Kanka (especially his famous rants when Gencler ‘don’t turn up’) but we can at least look forward to the future when he eventually returns back to his 2nd home in Ankara.

Oz Kanka's mum (Carmen) made the trip all the way from Down-Under to watch the Mighty Genclerbirligi yessssssssss !!!     What a lady !!!

It seems that Oz Kanka and I have been buddies for ever so it will be strange not to see his cheery face around !

Going back in time, we first met way back in 2004 in The Sahil Restaurant in Genclik Park prior to an Ankaragucu match.   He waltzed in, introduced himself and was immediately named as Oz Kanka !    His heart is Gencler, but like all of us kankas we regard our TWO teams as brother teams in the same way as Ankaragucu and Bursaspor.

It didn’t take long for Oz Kanka to make his mark, and his brilliant idea of starting this Blog in December 2005 was a master stroke.   The ‘proof of the pudding is in the eating’ and that the Blog is still going strong after over 12 years of regular reports for both Ankara teams speaks volumes !

The joint Kanka BBQ in the Red Lion Club in 2006 was a great success which cemented the bond between the two groups and that bond remains as close as ever today.

Clean shaven and handsome Oz Kanka !!!

Still handsome Oz Kanka, but with some fuzzy hair on his face !!!

The arrival of Bellshill Kanka Nadeem into the Ankaragucu camp further strengthened the success of the Blog and lots of supporters from other tribunes read it on a regular basis and make comments from time to time.    Nadeem’s pre-match and match reports have been invaluable in that respect.

The Au Revoir Party for Chris and Mathew was held in the Red Lion Club last night and it was a night to remember with a big turnout from kankas and all their other friends.





So, we all wish them both success Down-Under and look forward to Oz Kanka’s return to the fold in the future.   In the meantime, we can keep in touch with him here on the Blog.

Gule Gule Oz Kanka and Oz Kanka Junior !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

PS ....... Thanks for being a great friend for 14 years, and ............ here’s to the next 14 years plus !!!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ankaragucu Round Ball in Ankara - Player of the year 2017/18!



We have spent the last week collecting the votes from Ankaragucu fans on our Twitter and Facebook pages on their 2017/18 Player of the year. After beating off competition from Sedat Agcay who came runner up in the voting, Erdem Ozgenc deservedly was the winner by quite a distance too.

Erdem joined the club last summer from Bursaspor, with some fans disappointed that the club had let Serkan Balci go with Erdem taking his place. After a slow start to his Ankaragucu career, where he looked unfit and carrying a few extra pounds, Erdem has been a start performer both defensively and also in attack where he has 16 assists to his name, which is an incredible achievement at any level.

At 33 years old, Erdem looks like he still has a few years left in him yet at the top level and will be one of the players Ankaragucu will look to keep for their Super Lig campaign.

Umut Nayir, Ilhan Parlak and Kehinde all have Erdem to thank for the amount of assists he created throughout the season, with some top quality crosses into the box from the right hand side. Along with Mehmet Sak they were both a key point in the Ankaragucu attack. Mehmet unfortunately lacked in the defensive part of his game, where as Erdem was key at both ends of the park.

We would like to congratulate Erdem on winning our award and hope he can carry on his excellent form into next season in the Super Lig.

Monday, May 14, 2018

... and that's that

I didn't see this weekend's match and quite frankly I probably didn't miss anything much.

Kasimpasa 3 - 1 Genclerbirligi

Genclerbirligi have now been officially relegated.

Thank you Umit Ozat. Thank you Murat Cavcav. Together you have truly stuffed a great club.

And that is my final Genclerbirligi report as I shall soon be leaving Turkey... heading back Down Under for the next few years at least.

Good luck Genclerbirligi and good luck Ankaragucu...

SAD DAYS FOR BAGGIE KANKA

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

On behalf of all the kankas, our commiserations go out to Baggie Kanka, Dave Parker, and his beloved Baggies (West Bromwich Albion for those unfamiliar with nicknames !).

Dave was one of the 'orginals' from the early days of the kanka group in the early 21st Century and attended many Ankaragucu matches with me.   He even became an honourary Hibs Supporter (surprise surprise !!).

Dave still has connections with Turkey after he bought a house on the south coast and we stay in touch as much as possible, and I'm still hopeful that he can 'fix' a visit to Ankara next season to see Ankaragucu once more in the Super League.

It has been a tough season for the Baggies after a flying start.   Change of Board Members, Managers and comings and goings of players didn't help.   I hate to criticise previous manager Tony Pulis after the fine job he did at Stoke City, but he had a nightmare time during his stint and the Baggies slid down the league.

However, like Ankaragucu, they have a strong support and hopefully they can bounce back into the Premier League where they belong.   Of course, it didn't help matters that local rivals Wolverhampton were promoted this season !

Chin-up Dave and keep smiling that smile you have always been famous for !    We Ankaragucu kankas are programmed to take the highs and lows with smiles on our faces.   Aren't we ??!!

Look forward to a visit to Ankara next season Dave !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Q&A with Ankaragucu assistant manager Osman Zeki Korkmaz!



Ankaragucu return to the Super Lig after a 6 year absence and two men who have played a big part in that are the current Management team of İsmail Kartal and his assistant manager Osman Zeki Korkmaz.

Despite some criticism at the start of the year İsmail Kartal found a way of winning over the Ankaragucu fans and there were no better example of that when the fans sang his name after the Adana Demirspor match on Monday night.

Osman this week kindly agreed to give the Round Ball in Ankara an interview and some insight to the current campaign and what the future looks like. After spells at Eskisehirspor and Gaziantepspor with İsmail Kartal, Osman agreed to join him at Ankaragucu at the start of the season, and it’s been one to remember.

Nadeem -  How does it feel to be part of the team who have been successful in helping Ankaragucu winning promotion to the Super Lig?

Osman - It is very difficult to describe the feeling but I can say in the shortest way that it is the greatest honour I have ever experienced in my coaching career, this success will be one of the greatest memories I’ve ever had in my life!

Nadeem -  Was there a time in the season where you thought it may not be possible for Ankaragucu to win promotion back to the Super Lig?

Osman - I always believed we would actually be champions but that doesn’t mean we always felt comfortable. Although we have had some very difficult and stressful moments, the spirit of the club supported us to fight on in difficult conditions.

Nadeem -  What is your opinion on the Ankaragucu fans and how much influence did they have on winning promotion? 

Osman -  Ankaragucu fans are always the soccer players and our biggest and unique source of motivation and driving force.

Nadeem -  What are the future plans for Ankaragucu in the Super Lig? 

Osman -  As you know the club experienced very hard times both economically and sportively. If the future plans are not done carefully, the same problems can be repeated even more severely. Our priority for the first season must be to stay in the Super Lig with optimal expense.

Nadeem - Will the team look to sign many new players for the Super Lig? 

Osman -  It doesn’t matter how many players we buy or how much we spend. The most important thing for planning a new year with a new team in the Super Lig will be to find the right players and to manage the economy correctly.

Nadeem -  What kind of manager is İsmail Kartal and will this be his big chance in the Super Lig after spells with Fenerbahce and Gaziantepspor?

Osman -  Fenerbahce did not fail in the period, despite being first in many statistics, the league position they finished 2nd. They had not been able to transfer during the season, and there were some very unfortunate attacks. I have been working with coach for 3 years after Fenerbahce. In the last two years at Eskisehirspor and Gaziantepspor these clubs had big economic crisis so we could not do freely what we wanted. İsmail Kartal is a multi disciplinary coach, closely following world football. As you know Joachim Low is his friend and they are constantly talking every day for the last 11 months. I think there is no reason why such a hard working and disciplined person would not succeed.

Nadeem -  Who is the best player you have coached?

Osman -  All of the Ankaragucu players who won promotion to the Super Lig

Nadeem -  Do you see potential of Ankaragucu challenging for Europe in the next couple of years? 

Osman -  I see beyond that but the club still priority must be managing the economy correctly.

Nadeem -  Why do you think this Ankaragucu team were so successful this season?

Osman - During the season we struggled and had many different conditions against us, but we never lost our belief, respect for each other and togetherness. And as I said before the struggle under difficult circumstances is in the spirit of the club.

Nadeem - Finally do you have any message for the Ankaragucu fans?

Osman - They should continue to be different which forces us to be different from other clubs!

We would like to thank Osman for taking time out and give us an interview and wish him and İsmail all the best for the future with Ankaragucu.