What a wonderful day for football. Nice and sunny but not too hot. Perfect for pre-match beers as well. Spine and Flying Dutchman were already at the Beer Bus as was David and his old man Arch.
Poor old Arch had been in the country for just a few days and wanted to go to a top flight match while in town. Sorry about that Arch. We don't want your kind at the footy.
So 4 pm came along and Spine and Flying Dutchman headed off to the stadium (see previous story)
and at about the same time the Alkaralar crew started to fill up the Beer Bus. Alkaralar are, like me and many football groups around the country, boycotting the new Passolig system.
At the pub it was like the beginning of every season as we greeted our long-lost friends, including Tanju, the head of SBS Australia's Turkish language section.
It was strange though to be watching Gencler playing at home and not being there. The last time I remember being at a pub watching Gencler at a home game was six years ago when we boycotted a Turkish Cup match because Cavcav set an exorbitantly high price for the tickets.
The match started and there was a certain smugness from the fans at the club as we saw the empty tribunes.
Genclerbirligi 1 – 2 Bursaspor
The footy started and while Bursa attacking but with not much danger and then Gencler started playing nice footy, especially down the left-hand side. Tosic was coming up often and sending in nice crosses or setting up something else. It was nice footy and we were looking dangerous. It was only fair that it was from the left side. A corner was taken, Mervan used his head to send the ball into the box where Stancu made no mistake heading it in.
Cheers went up at the Beer Bus. A few moments later cheers went up at the Eski Yeni pub a few doors down. The Karakizil group were not only boycotting the Passolig system but they were boycotting Lig TV as well – both being members of the industrial football complex - and so they decided to listen to the match on the radio in a pub that refuses to have Digiturk.
You have to admire their principles and Spine has offered to help them out in the future if need be.
“If they ever fall out with TRT radio or whatever, I can live tweet the game or sms them,” Spine said.
One-nil up, sun shining, beers in hand – life ain't bad.
We were still looking good for the rest of the first half but the second half was a disaster as Bursa finally decided to play some decent stuff. The first goal we “ate”, as the Turks say, was thanks to a passing mistake. The second was just from the pressure, the number of attacks. One of them had to go in and eventually it did. We just wanted it to end. It did and we had lost. Not a great first home match of the season for Genclerbirligi.
We retired to the Araf pub for post-match drinks and at some stage during our first beer news came in that Cavcav had sacked our coach! Just two matches into the season. Mustafa Kaplan can feel pretty hard done by. The club hasn't bought any big players and sold off a couple of pretty decent players like Jimmy Durmaz. Gencler had drawn their first match away and lost on Saturday... not really sackable figures. It certainly wasn't fan pressure to sack him, there were no fans at the match to put any pressure on. Not only that but Kaplan was the coach of our sister club Hacettepe last year and earned them promotion.
But that's Cavcav.