Sparrows and football
It's still July and already we are off to the footy. Today, it was Genclerbirligi versus Sekerspor for the right to play in the final of the TSYD Ankara Cup. I managed to convince the nanny to look after Little Oz Kanka and so headed down to the Chopin where I expected to meet Sir Eski Kanka.
What a lovely surprise to see that not only was Sir Eski Kanka enjoying the amber fluid but so was Paddy Kanka Paul, Kirkcaldy Kanka Martyn, Battle-hardened Kanka Damon, Finlandia Kanka Markus and Trainspotting Kanka Andrew. Maniac Kanka Harun wasn't there but I have to send out a big thank you to Harun as he passed on to me a very fetching Gencler top which I shall cherish. Harun has a shop where he sells Ankaragucu and Gencler shirts, scarves, underwear etc etc. Go and buy something from him people!
I was on my second beer when Brummy Kanka Amelia showed up in order to attend not only her first football match in Turkey but her first football match anywhere.
Brummy Kanka got just a little bit scared when we told her about Battle-hardened Kanka's introduction to football at the Battle of Kayseri, but being a brave Gencler supporter that she still came along to the match.
Beers in, and it was off to the stadium where the match was delayed for a few minutes by the freaks who play for the Turkish basketball side who decided to show up for no known reason. Unfortunately I wasn't able to ask any of them why don't they reduce basketball games to 10 minutes as the score always seem to be equal with 10 minutes to go.
Once the 12 Dev adam were kicked out we finally got underway. Well... the ref blew his whistle to start play but I'm not sure any of the players heard it. Lets just say that the most memorable part of the first 15 minutes was a bunch of sparrows who almost got killed when Gencler made a rare break down the right.
Sir Eski Kanka was calling for a card for the Gencler players on the grounds of inhumane treatment of annoying little birds. This was just the start of Sir Eski Kanka proving that he may have reached the age in which he ought to book himself into an old people's home, or else I should get some ear plugs so I don't have to listen to his inane utterings.
I'm not sure if any of you are familiar with a BBC television show called "The Office". In the final episode of season one, a certain David Brent is being interviewed for a local business magazine. In response to every question Brent would answer something like: "Brent knows the value of cooperation", or "Brent considers teamwork to be the key".
Just change that to Sir Eski Kanka and you get the idea.
"Oz Kanka!", Sir Eski Kanka would shout, "Sir Eski Kanka says the Sekerspor goalkeeper should stop sending the ball down the other end. Put that in the blog". Yeah yeah yeah. You and your damn birds.
Of course, my paying out on Sir Eski Kanka is merely a clever way to stop me from paying out on the quality of football. This was clearly pre-season stuff. Sergen Yalcin for Sekerspor may be reknowned for being lazy and unfit but surely even he could have got back onside on a few occasions.
On the positive side I thought Haminu Draman (or perhaps his last name is Dramani - check out the Wikipedia entry on the Ghanian international) played well for what in the end was a meaningless match despite Sir Eski Kanka saying: "Sir Eski Kanka says that of course this is a serious tournament."
Our defence was okay, Frederik Risp played well as usual but there were clearly some lapses, especially on corner kicks. Our goalkeeper Gokhan also need to calm down a bit but he did make a couple of important saves.
In particular though we still haven't seemed to shrug off the problems we had last year, ie everyone likes to make little passes in and around the box but no-one seems to have the guts to have a go at goal.
So the match ended up 0-0. No extra time and straight to penalties.
Gokhan saves the first. Yesssss
We score. cool
Sekerspor player sends it over the post. hahahahaha
Gencler player scores and we win it 4-3 on penalties.
Onto tomorrow evening when Genclerbirligi will take on either Ankaragucu or Ankaraspor, a game which is being played even as I write this report. Sir Eski is still at the stadium watching the match and I think I can just hear him now.
"Sir Eski Kanka says get on side you idiots."
So for Saturday afternoon we shall be meeting down at the Chopin Pub once again from about 3 pm onwards. Come and join us.
By the way, I took a couple of photos at the Chopin Bar before the match but left the camera at the pub so that the Turkish police couldn't confiscate the ballistic missiles that most of us call batteries. I'll be collecting the camera tomorrow and will then upload a shot or two.
EDIT: Ankaragucu lost their match 1-0. A report from Jim will hopefully be coming soon.
PHOTOCAPTION: At the Chopin before the match. From left to right Kirkcaldy Kanka Martyn, Trainspotting Kanka Andrew and Brummy Kanka Amelia.
A couple of other photos can be found here.