Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Who could have predicted at the end of last season’s catastrophic ending that Gencler would be off to a flying start in the Spor Toto League ?

Five matches in and Gencler have pulled clear of the chasing pack.   Last Monday night.   Gencler won their 5th consecutive match to go 2 points clear at the top.

GENCLERBIRLIGI    3    Elazigspor     1

Second placed Boluspor could only play out a no-scoring draw against Altay.

The ‘born again’ Nobre was on the score sheet again and he seems to have found a new lease of life back with his old Club.

Gencler has scored 12 and conceded only 2 and there is no reason why this can’t continue with confidence obviously sky-high at the Club.    btw, I was going to mention the FOUR  goals which Gencler conceded to Ankaragucu in a ‘friendly’ a few weeks ago, BUT I decided not to !!!

Next Saturday Gencler is away against Umraniye who are stuck in mid-table (KO 2pm).

Let’s keep it going Gencler !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Erzerumspor vs Ankaragücü match preview!

It’s Friday night football for Ankaragücü this week as they travel to another promoted side Erzerumspor who are still searching for their first win in the Turkish Super Lig this season. Despite their poor start to the season Erzerumspor have been performing better than their results show and it will be a tough place to go with a full stadium expected.

Ankaragücü put in another good performance last weekend with a 1-0 win over Akhisar thanks to a fantastic goal from El Kabir. The Moroccan forward has formed an impressive partnership with Youness Mokhtar who added another assist to his account and is one the teams key players.

İsmail Kartal has in the past come in for a bit of criticism from the Ankaragücü fans but he has won them over with the style of football he has the team playing. Ankaragücü top the league in total amount of passes made this season and dribbles per game. While they sit 2nd behind Trabzonspor in pass completion. That is all down to the hard work of İsmail Kartal and the management team who are showing what can be achieved when you bring in the right type of player.

Brice Dja Djede came into the team last week and played centre mid despite his favoured position being right back. He put in an excellent performance and was an example of the attitude of this Ankaragücü team where the players are giving everything and putting the team first.

Thomas Heurtaux who had an impressive debut is set to miss the next couple of games due to an injury he has picked up. Alessio Cerci will come into the team when he is ready according to İsmail Kartal with the player still not 100 percent fit.

Erzerumspor sit 2nd from bottom with 2 points taken from their first 5 games. Last weekend saw them draw 2-2 at Sivasspor. Like Ankaragucu they have a fantastic support who will make quite an atmosphere and they have enough quality in their squad including South African midfielder Siphiwe Tshabalala to cause problems for Ankaragücü if they aren’t at their best.

Despite Erzerum being a difficult place to travel too, Ankaragücü still have enough quality to come away with the 3 points. The pace of El Kabir, Mokhtar and Bifouma in attack allow Ankaragücü to play and exciting counter attacking system away from home. We just need to make sure we stay solid at the back with Heaurtux being a big loss due to injury.

Sunday, September 16, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

As I mentioned yesterday on fb, Ankaragucu had to travel all the way to Afyon last night (350 kilometres) to play their HOME match !

As most of you know, the 19 Mayis Stadium is being demolished at the moment.   The new stadium in Eryman which was to be a temporary home is not ready yet, and the 3rd option was The Stadium from Hell in Yenikent which is not fit for purpose !   So, Afyon Stadium was chosen by the TFF as the venue for Ankaragucu’s home matches until Eryman is ready.

Having said that, I must praise the stadium in Afyon which is a well constructed and compact stadium which has a capacity of 15,000 and the Ankaragucu fans who made the journey yesterday certainly made their presence felt !

As for the match itself, Ankaragucu dug deep and scored a memorable goal against a well drilled and organised Akhisar side who probably felt that they deserved a share of the spoils.

ANKARAGUCU    1             Akhisar    0

The Kanka Group met-up at The Anasonn Bar in Kizilay – Maniac Kanka Harun, his beautiful daughter Hazal, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Posh Kanka Ahmet and Nurer Kanka.   We also welcomed 2 new members to the group, Kenan and Oguz.

Team – Hopf, Pinto, Alihan, Heurtaux, Djedje, Erdem O, Faty, Mokhtar, Bifouma, Ilhan and El Kabir

Substitutes – Sedat, Putsila and Cerci

The first 10 minutes of the match was played in the midfield area with both teams sizing each other up and trying to keep possession.   However, the match exploded into action in the 11th minute with a sweeping move on the left.   The ball was played into Mokhtar just inside the box on the left and with the cheekiest of back-heels, the ball was passed to the inrushing El Kabir who sent his shot just inside the left post to send us all up celebrating and high fiving !   Definitely a candidate for goal of the season !

Ankaragucu tails were up and they surged forward looking for No2, but shots were blocked and the Akhisar goalkeeper was in fine form.

Approaching the half hour mark and Akhisar was searching for a way back into the match and it almost came, but a timely interception by Alihan prevented the equaliser.

Almost on the half time whistle and another let off when a cross came in from the left but Alihan to the rescue again when he skied his clearance into the arms of Hopf !

The 2nd half was all end-to-end with some excellent football played by both teams.    Akhisar came out with all guns blazing, but all credit to the Ankaragucu defence for holding firm.

Heurtaux made a saving tackle as an attacker was about to shoot and  Pinto hooked away a dangerous cross.

Ankaragucu also went close when a sweeping move resulted in the shot going into the side netting.   Bifouma should have scored when he rounded the goalkeeper and sent his shot wide and high.    El Kabir also had a chance but was well tackled as he was about to shoot.

At the other end, Hopf pulled off 3 saves from goalbound efforts and on this form it will be difficult for Korcan to win back his place between the sticks !

Sedat sent in a screamer of a shot which went just past the post.

Into time added on and it was constant Akhisar pressure searching for the equaliser, but all credit to the Ankaragucu defence for holding out and weathering the storm.

This was an excellent team performance from Ankaragucu against a very good Akhisar side.   So, 3 points brought back to Ankara and consolidation in mid-table which is probably more than we could have hoped for at the end of last season.

Ankaragucu is now playing football and no more hoofing the ball anywhere more in hope than anything else.

Next Friday Ankaragucu will be away to bottom of the league Erzurum KO 8pm, so we will be back at The Anasonn to hopefully celebrate another win and see Ankaragucu move into the top half of the league.

Can we start thinking about qualification for next season’s Europa Cup I wonder ??!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, September 10, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With International footie dominating the scene for the past week and this week, the Ankara ‘Big 2’ decided to play a ‘friendly’ yesterday.

After Gencler’s excellent opening 4 league matches, they were given a reality check yesterday by the ‘new’ Ankaragucu.

ANKARAGUCU    4          Genclerbirligi     0

The match was played at the Ilhan Cavcav Training Arena in Bestepe, Ankara.

Ilhan Parlak opened the scoring in the 1st half.   However, Ankaragucu had to wait until 10 minutes before the end to make the match safe when Kehinde scored Nadeem’s words ......... a belter !

2  late goals followed near the end from Erdem Sen and Kenan.

The result must have put a smile on the face of Ismail Bey as he continues to ease all the new signing into the team.

Gencler Coach, Erkan Sozeri, will have received a warning that there is still a long way to go before they can be sure of returning to the Super League at the first time of asking.

League action resumes on Saturday when Ankaragucu will be at home in ‘The Stadium from Hell’ against last season’s Turkish Cup Winners Akhisar.

More of the same please Ankaragucu !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, September 03, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

A blast from the past for Bellshill Kanka Nadeem to enjoy !!!

Ankaragucu is learning week by week that playing in the Super League is going to be a long hard slog of a journey !

Last night Ankaragucu played some neat football but they found the door locked by a strong and well organised Kasimpasa defence.   Ankaragucu had the lion’s share of possession, especially in the 2nd half, but as we all know, possession doesn’t necessarily win matches, as Ankaragucu discovered.

We also have to accept that this is a ‘new’ Ankaragucu team and they will need a few more weeks to gel together and build their confidence.   Also, they must find their killer touch in the final third which was missing last night.

Kasimpasa     2                       ANKARAGUCU     1

Team – Hopf, Erdem, Kubalas, Kone, Pinto, Moulin, Faty, Bifouma, Parlak, Mokhtar and El Kabir

The kankas, Maniac Kanka Harun, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Posh Kanka Ahmet and I, met up at The Anasonn Bar to watch the match in the company of lots of Ankaragucu fans.

The match was only 5 minutes old when the danger men of Kasimpasa, Trezeguet and Diagne, made their presence felt.   Trezeguet almost scored with a bullet of a header from a right wing cross, but the ball went just past.

3 minutes later and Ankaragucu were handed a lifeline when the referee awarded a dubious penalty.   I’m not sure if I would have given it !!   Anyway, up stepped El Kabir who sent a tame shot to the left which Ramazan read and easily saved.   A golden opportunity spurned which could have moved the match in a different direction !

3 minutes later and Ankaragucu paid the price of their profligacy.    Kasimpasa broke on the right and a cross was sent in where Diayne was ideally positioned to leap between two defenders and power a header in to open the scoring.   An excellent piece of opportunism.

Kasimpasa had the ball in the net 4 minutes later but the referee had spotted a push on an Ankaragucu defender and the goal was disallowed.   A lucky escape ?!

On the half hour mark and a Kasimpasa screamer of a shot was just over and Kasimpasa was looking the more likely team at this stage.

Kasimpasa’s Veysel was lucky to only receive a yellow card after mouthing off to the referee, and then Bifouma was given a yellow for ‘diving’ in the box with all the players and fans screaming for another penalty !

Into the 2nd half and Ankaragucu started as they had in the 1st half with all out attack.   New striker Kubilay replaced Parlak.

A chance for Ankaragucu arose in the 51st minute with a one-on-one (I think it was Kubilay) and Ramazan who stuck out a foot from the shot and the ball was cleared.

There was no doubting Ankaragucu’s endeavours at this stage, but the Kasimpasa defence was soaking up all the attacks and frustrating Ankaragucu’s ability to find that killer touch in the final third.

Half way through the 2nd half and Pinto went off injured and was replaced by Djedje.

The match became more of an end-to-end contest with 15 minutes remaining.   Both teams had shots on goal with El Kabir having two attempts well saved by Ramazan.  

With 10 minutes to go, one last throw of the dice was made with Cerci relacing Mokhtar, but there was to be no equaliser.

5 minutes to go to the end and Ankaragucu was still pressing forward, but the 2nd Kasimpasa goal came at the other end with a mix-up in the Ankaragucu defence allowing Trezeguet to make the game safe or Kasimpasa.

With the match well into time added-on, and with Kasimpasa seemingly thinking it was all over, Bifouma found space on the left.   The defence backed-off and he fired in a great shot to the near post to put some respectability on the scoreline.

So, Ankaragucu find themselves in mid-table with 4 points form 4 matches.   Kasimpasa go 3 points clear at the top of the league with their win yesterday.

There will be international footie next weekend, so some respite for Ismail Bey to work with the new signings and prepare for the next match at home to Akhisar.

Akhisar is currently 2nd bottom of the league on 2 points but we can not read too much into that statistic.   Last season’s Turkish Cup Winners will be no pushovers and we should also bear in mind that they are also in the Europa Cup Group Stage.

A win against Akhisar will cement the mid-table position, so let’s look on the positives and await Nadeem’s pre-match assessment.

In other news, Genclerbirligi defeated Osman...spit....lispor 1-0 at The Stadium from Hell on Friday night to stay top of the Spor Toto League.   Gencler and Bolu are both on 12 points at the top, but Gencler has a superior goal difference.

As I said above, there is international footie next weekend so Gencler will be at home against bottom of the league Elazig in 2 weeks time.   Bolu will be home to much improved and undefeated Altay and we will be looking for Altay to take points off Bolu !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, August 31, 2018

Ankaragucu complete double swoop!

Ankaragucu have beaten the transfer deadline to sign Kubilay Kanatsizkus and Erdem Sen with both signings announced on the clubs official Twitter page.

Kubilay is a highly rated 21 year old striker from Bursaspor who signs a 1 year loan deal, while Erdem has signed from Portuguese side Maratimo. That takes the Ankaragucu signing spree to 15 new players this summer.

The signing of Kubilay is seen as a major coup for the club with the big 6ft 3ins Striker seen as one of the top young prospects in Turkey. He has been capped at all Turkish national squads apart from the First team and has scored 8 goals in 41 appearances for Bursa with a large proportion of them coming off the bench.

Erdem Sen is a former Gaziantepspor and Samsunspor midfielder who was player of the season for Maratimo in 2017 and adds experience to the middle of the park.

Overall its been a fantastic transfer window for Ankaragucu and manager Ismail Kartal will be delighted with the support he has received from the Board. We can now look forward to a successful
 season back in the Super Lig.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Kasimpasa vs Ankaragücü match preview!

Ankaragücü travel to surprise leaders Kasimpasa on Sunday full of confidence after another fine performance in the 2-2 draw with Trabzonspor. Thievy Bifouma returns to the squad and all the new signings will also be available for selection. Alihan Kubalas and Anton Putsila continue their recovery from injury and should be available soon.

Just to put into perspective how good a start it’s  been for Ankaragücü, the team only played two Pre season games and have a full new squad of players. Despite a tough start to the season the team have picked up 4 points from their opening 3 games. They are only going to get better and fitter with the more games they play and once the squad gels together.

It’s never easy trying to intergrate a large number of new players into a squad but İsmail Kartal must take huge credit for the job he and his management team have done. I know personally that he is an extremely hard working coach and as it stands it’s really paying off for him.

Kasimpasa have had a fine start to the season with impressive wins over Rizespor, Basaksehir and Sivasspor along the way. Star man Mbaye Diagne has 5 goals in those opening 3 games and has been subject to interest from clubs in England and Turkey. Trezeguet and Eduek are also dangerous players in attack for the team from Istanbul. Ankaragücü will need to find a way to prevent those 3 and reduce them to minimum opportunities. Trezeguet is a fast attacking wide player who can score and also create, while Diagne is a typical big and strong Áfrican forward who is an excellent finisher.

The defensive side of the game is where Ankaragücü need to work on most, individually the players have done well, but as a team when we attack, it leaves to much room and makes the team vulnerable to the counter attack, especially in the wide areas.

Ricardo Faty again will be key in the middle of the park for Ankaragücü, he has been outstanding breaking up play and doing all the dirty work which allows the forward players to do their work. Thievy Bifouma will come back into the team and partner Youness Mokhtar and El Kabir who have been so impressive. Mokhtar has 2 assists and a goal in his opening 3 Super Lig games.

With this being an away match, Jim will have the details of where the Kanka Group will be watching the match and anyone is welcome to joining them.