Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Mersin Idman Yurdu (Gencler won 4-3 on penalties)
Still summer here but amazingly we had clouds in Ankara on Friday afternoon which meant that conditions weren't too bad for football.
But first up we met at the Red Lion to watch Australia committing suicide. Just a small group including Spine, Flying Dutchman, me, Little Oz Kanka and a new bloke from Denmark who seemed to know more about the Genclerbirligi players then we did.
Off to the stadium where we found Dan the man and his son Efe. A small crowd, as expected, but lots of the usual faces where there.
As is usual for pre-season matches the main debating point for the fans was about
The main arguments being put forwa
rd were all fairly obvious. By not coming we are punishing ourselves. We are hurting the club and the team by not having home supporters at the matches, especially as every other club still get crowds. The boycott isn't working in so much as the system doesn't look like changing.
So for these reasons the decision was sort of collectively taken to get season tickets this year. We even had Nedim the amigo give us a speech during the actual match. Luckily the match was quite boring at this point and we all listened in as the Haydi Gencler leader explained the new position.
Anyway, we boycotted the whole season last year and crowds at Gencler matches were 90 percent down. The solidarity of the Gencler fans was impressive, especially when you look at how the boycotts by other clubs' fan groups all collapsed a few matches in.
The court case against the Passolig system continues on but there won't be a decision for months yet.
So... we will be back in the stadium this year.
There was also some football on last night. That wasn't very interesting though. It was a typical pre-season match - a bit slow, a bit crap.
Mersin went ahead early on after there players made it through some truely inept defence.
Gencler came back though through another brilliant goal from El Kabir who looks just as good this year as he did last year. Finished 1-1 and straight to penalties where ferhat in goal was the Gencler champion, manging to save two shots. For Gencler the penalties were scored by Guido, Taylan, Berat and Martin with our new Romanian player Latovlevici showing why he should have stuck to rugby.
Back to the Red Lion Club for Friday evening drinks and all was good with the world. (except at Trent Bridge obviously)
On to the final on Sunday. An 8 pm KO against Gokcekspor.