The Ankaragucu Family !
This was my fourth trip to the Turkish Capital to watch Ankaragucu play this time against Pazarspor who had traveled from the City of Rize. The first two matches i traveled for we lost 3-0 to Fenerbahce and 5-1 against Bursaspor. Last season i saw my first victory as Ankaragucu won 1-0 against Kartalspor. Its now 2 defeats and 2 victorys as Ankaragucu won 5-0 as Pazarspor were blown away with Ankaragucu just to strong.
The weekend started off with a trip to Tandogan where i met Coskun who is the clubs media man, he is responsible for the clubs Official Website, facebook and twitter pages. He wanted to meet up after finding out i had travelled from Scotland for the match. I met respected coaches Cengiz Paca and Murat Tuksoy before meeting the clubs vice president Tamer Acar who presented me with an Ankaragucu scarf.
President Mehmet Yiginer has done a fantastic job at the club and has branded this season Ankaragucu Dirilis which means resurrection, so i decided to do my bit buy purchasing a season ticket and buying some merchandise from the club shop. At Tandogan i would watch the reserve team train which included Samil Yagci, Emir Ozbey and Oguzhan Bicer. After lunch and some Turkish Tea it was time to head off and meet the Kanka Group.
The Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi Kankas would meet at Beyzade for another excellent night which included Turkish Food and traditional Turkish entertainment. Harun took the place of Chris this year by drinking the most Raki. He also made sure Paul was to become an Ankaragucu fan and taught him some Ankaragucu songs.
Saturday afternoon was the day of the match, the Kankas met at the Hilton hotel before heading off to the stadium. Upon entering the stadium we met President Mehmet Yiginer who stopped for a photo with the Kankas after hearing Ankaragucu has a couple of Scotland fans. The game itself was excellent , with all the fan groups singing to each other, and the team responding with a fantastic 5-0 win.
At full time i met up with the Aykildiz family who after hearing that i had traveled from Scotland wanted to meet up after the match. We stopped for a couple of photos before they invited us for dinner at their house the next night. We continued our night watching the El Classico in the Red Lion as Bugra and his Friend joined us. Damon was delighted as his Barcelona won 2-1 to make it a good day all around.
As i checked the latest news on my phone back at the hotel, i received a message from Coskun to say that he had done an article on the Ankaragucu official website and Facebook page of my journey from Scotland. Article Here ! I was delighted to see i had made it onto the official page as well as Turkish Sports websites SporYolu and Sporanki. That was followed by facebook requests from many Ankaragucu fans who sent messages thanking me for my support.
Sunday, myself, John and Basak met up with Ozan who took us to his parents house for dinner. Having only met the Aykildiz family the day before they put on a fantastic dinner for us and presented me with the new Ankaragucu home strip. It was that night i realised that supporting Ankaragucu is like a family. The fans are so happy that a foreigner supports their club and i started to understand why they turned up in their numbers to welcome Darius Vassell at the airport when he signed for the club. The happiness in the familys face that i had came to meet them and have dinner with them is something i will never forget and cant thank them enough.
Monday night i met up with Jim, Damon, Harun, John and his friend to say goodbye and thank them for another fantastic trip. Hopefully if we win the league i will be there for the title party !