Saturday, August 18, 2018

Ankaragücü complete double swoop!

It’s been a busy couple of days for Ankaragücü as they completed the double swoop of Alessio Cerci from Hellas Verona and Thibault Moulin who signs on a 1 year loan deal from Greek side PAOK Salonika. Mehmet Yiginer has also confirmed the club will look to sign 1-2 more players before the transfer deadline, with Verona defender Thomas Heurtaux set to sign in the next couple of days.

Alessio Cerci is arguably the biggest signing Ankaragücü have made, the 31 year old former Italian International has signed a 1 year deal and is looking forward to playing in front of the Ankaragücü fans. Cerci is a very gifted technical player who can play on either wing or as a playmaker just behind the striker. Spells with Roma, AC Milan, Fiorentina, and Atletico Madrid tell you the standard of player Ankaragucu are bringing to the club.

Thibault Moulin had a very successful spell in Poland with Legia Warsaw which saw him win a move to Greek side PAOK Salonica. Things haven’t quite worked out there and the Frenchmen will be looking to get his career back on track in Turkey. He also stated playing in front of the Ankaragücü fans played a big part in his move.

Ankaragücü travel to Alanyaspor tomorrow and Jim will have all the details of the match report at full time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Alanyaspor vs Ankaragucu match preview!

Ankaragucu face a difficult encounter at Alanyaspor on Sunday night in week 2 of the Turkish Super Lig. Both sides will be looking to record their first win of the season after defeats in week 1 where both were unlucky to come away with nothing.

Ismail Kartal will take plenty of positives from last Friday nights match at home against Galatasaray as the team were cheered on by 20,000 Ankaragucu fans who made a fantastic atmosphere at Yenikent Stadium. The team cant count on that same support on Sunday but as usual the Ankaragucu fans will make the trip to help cheer the team onto a positive outcome.

Ankaragucu played very well against Galatasaray, and were particularly impressive in attack with Thievy Bifouma, Younes Mokhtar and Mostapha El Kabir all showing glimpses of what they are capable of. In midfield Ricardo Faty produced a Man of the Match performance and showed why he will be a key player.

The areas of concern for Ankaragucu will be the likes of Ilhan Parlak and Arif not having the required quality to start every week at this level. Ilhan done a lot of running without anything of note on the ball. Arif played well but we need someone in the middle who is more creative. Hopefully Putsila can be that man, but he seems to be struggling with injury at the moment.

Alanyaspor were unlucky to lose at Sivasspor at the weekend after a narrow 1-0 defeat. They were the better side for large parts of the match and twice hit the woodwork. With the home advantage behind them they will be the favourites going into this one but Ankaragucu are more than capable of taking something from the match.

Its the first time the two sides will have ever met in the top flight of Turkish football, and the first time they have played against each other in over 3 years when Alanyaspor knocked Ankaragucu out of the Playoffs when both sides were in Lig 2. They have both come a long way since then and will be looking this season to cement their place in the Turkish Super Lig.

They key players for Alanyaspor will be Djalma, Emre Akbaba (If he is still there as Galatasaray want to sign him) and Efecan Karaca. Junior Fernandes is out injured and they also have former Ankaragucu duo Kaan Kanak and Hasan Ayaroglu in their squad.

The game kicks off at 21:45pm Turkish time and Jim will be taking care of the match report as i will be in Rome on holiday. For anyone wanting to watch the game with the Kanka Group please get in touch with Jim for meeting details.

Genclerbirligi 1-0 Hatayspor

Genclerbirligi started their Lig 1 campaign with a 1-0 win over Hatayspor at an empty Yenikent stadium. There was less than 1,000 in attendance which was the case in most Lig 1 matches at the weekend.

Mert Nobre scored the only goal of the game as the 37 year old got on the score sheet on his debut to give Gencler an important win.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Ankaragücü 1-3 Galatasaray match report!

Ankaragücü put in a brave performance against champions Galatasaray but it wasn’t enough as they lost 3-1 in front of a crowd of 20,000 for the 2018/19 Turkish Super Lig season opener. Usually defeat against an Istanbul club is met with jeers and anger from the Ankaragücü support, but tonight they applauded the team off the pitch and showed their appreciation for the effort and commitment for the players.

Team - Hopf, Erdem, Yalcin, Kone, Tiago, Arif, Faty, Ilhan, Bifouma, Mokhtar, El Kabir
Subs - Korcan, Altay, Mehmet, Lukasz, Kenan, Mahmut, Nduka, Kehinde, Kaan

Only Ilhan, Erdem and Arif started the game from last seasons team with 8 new players making their debut. For Galatasaray Bafetimbi Gomes was dropped to the bench for Eren Derdeyok.

The Ankaragücü fans turned up in their numbers and the game was sold out. As usual they created an unbelievable atmosphere that will play a big part in the fight against relegation this season for Ankaragucu.

The first chance of the game came for Galatasaray from a free kick. Eren Derdeyok stepped up from about 25 yards and blasted the ball well over.

Moestafa El Kabir took some stick when he signed for Ankaragücü due to being well over weight and out of shape. He has since then worked very hard in training and lost some of that weight as he looks close to the weight required for a footballer. He shut those critics up today with a fantastic performance and gave Ankaragücü the lead after 7 minutes. Youness Mokhtar beat his man before playing a pin point pass to El Kabir who brilliantly finished past Muslera to send the Ankaragücü fans wild.

Seven minutes later Galatasaray almost equalised. A brilliant free kick from Maicon went into the side netting from 30 yards.

Galatasaray were starting to work their way into the match and Serdar almost got the equaliser but Pinto blocked the ball for a corner. From the resulting corner Maicon nodded the ball on for Serdar who was unmarked at the back post and headed the ball past Hopf to make it 1-1.

Ricardo Faty was the best player on the park and showed what an important player he is going to be, but he almost gifted Galatasaray a goal until Kone and Yalcin managed to clear the ball. A minute later Rodrigues curled a shot from the edge of the area just over the bar.

On the 30th minute Bakary Kone scored one of the best own goals you will see. A cross into the box was met with the diving header from Kone and the ball went into the top corner to make it 1-2.

Ankaragücü were struggling at this point to contain Galatasaray and Henry Onyerku went past his man in the box before shooting into the side netting.

Ankaragücü then had the ball in the back of the net a minute later with a carbon copy of their first goal. Another through ball for El Kabir who finished into the top corner but the goal was ruled out for offside by the first ever VAR decision in Turkish football.

Half Time

The second half was a much better performance from the Ankaragücü defence as they managed to contain Galatasaray. Thievy Bifouma almost had an opportunity to put the ball into an empty net but Muslera came out of his box to clear the ball from danger.

On the 63rd minute Bifouma and Mokhtar set up El Kabir who shot wide of the post as Ankaragücü took control of the match. Ankaragücü continued to go forward without much end product. On the 86th minute a brilliant ball into the box for El Kabir who was unmarked but headed the ball horribly wide. What a chance it was.

That chance would come back to haunt El Kabir as five minutes later Galatasaray went on the attack, Belhanda played the ball througn for Eren who calmly finished past Hopf to make it 1-3.

Ankaragücü will be disappointed they came away from the match with no points but they can be proud of their performance. There are a lot of positives with the front 3 of Mokhtar, El Kabir and Bifouma having the quality to cause teams problems. Ricardo Faty also looks an excellent signing.

İsmail Kartal will need to look at bringing in another 3-4 players. Ilhan isn’t good enough to start a team this level. The reason he is in the team is because he covers the most distance but his quality on the ball isn’t good enough. Putsila is missed but we need another midfielder, a striker, centre half and wide player as back up. The bench lacks any quality and must be strengthened.

Next up is an away trip to Alanyaspor next week!

Monday, August 06, 2018

Ankaragücü vs Galatasaray match preview!

The long anticipated return of the Turkish Super Lig is on Friday night as Ankaragucu play centre stage, hosting champions Galatasaray in what should be a great game and a typical hostile atmosphere at the Yenikent Stadium in Ankara. Season tickets are now on sale, and match day tickets also went on sale today starting at 30 Turkish Lira which is fantastic value for money for a top flight game of football.

It’s been 6 years since Ankaragucu last played in the Super Lig back in the 2011/12 season when they lost 5-0 at home against Kayserispor. Since then there has been so many ups and downs with the lows being the two successive relegations, fans having to take food and water to the training ground for the players, unpaid wages of the players, and missing out on promotion in Lig 2 after losing to Alanyaspor.

Mehmet Yiginer has had a pretty tough journey as Ankaragucu President. His apparent friendship with Melih Gokcek was always called into question especially when things went wrong. He had a fall out with one of the Ankaragucu tribune groups who boycotted a few matches and then there were the fights with other chairman during matches which has led to a legnthy ban.

Yiginer has however won over the majority of the Ankaragucu support due to the performances on the park. Two successive promotions which see the club back in the Super Lig and also the work he has done in lifting the transfer ban which has allowed the club to strengthen the squad. Yiginer is also prepared to take on the likes of Gokcek and other powerful businessmen and politicians when it comes to the future of Ankaragucu. He has managed to reduce the debt, close all the files that went to UEFA for unpaid wages, and has also brought outside investment which has been vital to the clubs promotions.

Ankaragucu haven’t had the best preparations when it has come to this pre season. The club were without a home up until 2 weeks ago with the 19 Mayis Stadium being demolished, and the temporary stadium Eryaman not ready until September. Ankaragucu will play the first few games at Yenikent until that is ready. The clubs pre season games in the TSYD Cup were cancelled due to issues with the stadium, and this has resulted in only two pre season games being played. A 2-2 draw with Erzerumspor and a fantastic 2-0 win at Bursaspor.

Up until Saturday most Ankaragucu fans would have said we don’t have much chance of getting anything from the game on Friday night. But after a stunning performance at Bursaspor where the front trio of Mostapha El Kabir, Younes Mokhtar and Thievy Bifouma started and played some of the best football the team has played in years, it’s given the fans a bit of hope.

In midfield Ricardo Faty looks to be the perfect defensive midfielder that will do all the dirty work that will allow the more creative players do all their work in the attacking area of the pitch. Bakary Kone and Yalcin Ayhan have already formed a solid partnership which will give the fans confidence that we have enough to stay up this season.

Galatasaray lost on penalties against Akhisar last night in the Super Cup and it should give Ankaragucu encouragement and an idea as to how they should play. Galatasaray are dangerous in the wide areas with Rodrigues in particular a danger with his pace, he links up well with Nagatomo, and then you have Bafetimbi Gomes who was top scorer last season. Ankaragucu will need to be at their best defensively and not give them any space in the wide areas and cut off the supply of the more creative players.

Where you can hurt Galatasaray is on the counter attack. With Nagatomo being very attacking and Linnes on the other side it leaves room for Ankaragucu wide players to attack on the counter. Elvis Manu and Miguel Lopes had joy numerous times in last nighs match and the likes of Bifouma and Mokhtar can do the same.

The game kicks off at 2145 Turkish Time, we recommend anyone that is going to get to the stadium early as we are expecting a big crowd.

In other news, Enes Kubat has agreed to have his contract terminated and we would like to wish him all the best in the future.

Sunday, August 05, 2018

Bursaspor 0-2 Ankaragücü match report!

Ankaragucu warmed up for the season opener next Friday night with a brilliant 2-0 win at Bursaspor. Goals from Younes Mokhtar and Ilhan Parlak gave Ankaragucu the win but it will be the overall performance that will have please İsmail Kartal most with some breathtaking football on display.

Team - Hopf, Erdem, Yalcin, Kone, Tiago, Arif, Faty, Bifouma, Mokhtar, Ilhan, El Kabir
Subs - Altay, Korcan, Sedat, Kenan, Lukasz. Mehmet, Mahmut, Enes, Kaan, Nduka

It was Bursaspor who started the game better as Ankaragucu struggled to keep hold of the Ball for the first 5 minutes as they looked rusty. Only playing 2 pre season games hasn’t been the ideal preparation but it doesn’t seem to have done Ankaragucu any harm.

The first goal came after 12 minutes and what a goal it was. Ricardo Faty won the ball in the middle of the park and released El Kabir who beat his man before playing an inch perfect ball for Younes Mokhtar who calmly slotted the ball past Harun to make it 0-1.

Eight minutes later Ankaragucu doubled their lead. This time assist king Erdem put a great ball into the box for Ilhan who headed past Harun to make it 0-2.

Ankaragucu were playing some great football and nearly made it 3 after brilliant play from Bifouma and Younes but Bursa managed to clear. Those two caused problems all night and had another chance  10 minutes later this time involving Ilhan who set up El Kabir but his chip went wide.

Bursaspor only had one chance in the half and it was a Yusuf Erdogan free kick that went well over the bar.

Half Time

It was more of the same in the second half and Bifouma and Mokhtar again causing problems. On the 55th minute Bifouma set up Mokhtar but his shot went wide of the post. Five minutes later some brilliant skill from Bifouma and Mokhtar almost resulted in a goal but Bursa cleared for a corner. From the resulting corner Ilhan Parlak saw his effort saved by Harun.

On the 70th minute substitute Kenan Özer saw his shot from distance saved by Harun. Seven minutes later Aytac saw his free kick saved by Hopf in the Ankaragucu goal.

Thievy Bifouma was causing problems with his pace and went past his man before his shot was well saved by Harun.

Full Time 0-2 and a brilliant performance from Ankaragucu. Bakary Kone and Yalcin Ayhan looked solid in defence. Ricardo Faty was outstanding in the middle of the park and won everything, while the front 4 of Ilhan, Bifouma. El Kabir and Mokhtar were a joy to watch.

Next up is the season opener next Friday at Yenikent as Ankaragucu host the champions Galatasaray. Kick off is 2145 and the match previews will be back midweek.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Ankaragücü sign African duo!

It was another busy day for the Ankaragücü management team as they completed the double signings of Muhammed Kehinde and Bakary Kone as the club prepare for the season opener next Friday night.

Bakary Kone is a big signing for the club who beat off competiton from Trabzonspor and other European clubs to sign the 30 year old centre half on a 2+1 year contract. Kone spent the bulk of his career in the French top flight playing over 200 games for Guingamp, Lyon and Strasbourg. The Burkina Faso International with 76 caps had an unsuccessful spell in Spain with Malaga after he was unable to settle moves to Ankaragucu on a free transfer.

Muhammed Kehinde is somewhat of a surprise signing after it was announced last month that he wouldn’t be returning after a loan spell last season. With the club losing out on the signing of Umut Nayir they have now moved to secure Kehinde on a 3 year deal. Kehinde scored 7 goals in 24 games last season and only showed flashes of his potential. He’s still only 24 and has a lot of improving to do especially now that the club are in the Super Lig, but he has all the attributes such as pace, power and he can score goals. Let’s hope that he repays the faith shown by İsmail Kartal.

In other news, the preparations for the Super Lig haven’t been ideal due to uncertainty of where the club would be playing their home games. That has now been confirmed as Yenikent Stadium until Eryaman is ready. However there was more bad news today as the TSYD Cup scheduled for this weekend was cancelled due to a Yenikent being unavailable. That means with less than 2 weeks until the season starts Ankaragücü have only played 1 pre season match.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Erzerumspor 2-2 Ankaragücü match report!

Ankaragucu kicked off their pre season schedule with a hard fought 2-2 draw at Erzerumspor. Their were plenty of positives to take from the match but also areas of concern in which İsmail Kartal and his coaching team will need to address before the season kicks off against champions Galatasaray.

Team - Korcan, Erdem, Alihan, Lukasz, Mehmet, Arif, Faty, Putsila, Enes, Nduka, Ilhan
Subs - Hopf, Sedat, Yalcin, Mokhtar, Alper, El Kabir, Mahmut

New signing Ricardo Faty impressed right from the very start of the game. The Senegalese International signed from Bursaspor is a big physical, imposing player who won the ball all over the pitch and will be key to protecting the Ankaragucu defence.

Erzerumspor started the better of the two sides and had the ball in the back of the net after 8 minutes but was ruled out for offside.

The major concern for Ankaragucu in this game was the performance from the defence. Two many times they were caught out in behind and lacked someone with a bit of pace. The defence gifted Erzerum the lead on the 30th minute when they gave a way a penalty. Özer Hurmaci stepped up from the spot and made it 1-0.

It took Ankaragucu only 5 minutes to find the equaliser, when a great cross into the box was met by the head of Alihan who put the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-1.

Five minutes later and Ankaragucu should have taken the lead. Another good cross into the box this time for Ricardo Faty who headed inches wide. Mehmet Sak had a shot from distance saved easily by Hakan a minute later.

Just when it looked like the two sides would be going in level at the break, Erzerumspor took the lead. Osman Sahin went past his man before shooting past Korcan from outside the box to make it 2-1.

Half Time - Erzerumspor 2-1 Ankaragucu

Into the 2nd half and Youness Mokhtar came on half way through, the Moroccan winger looked the part and is another Who I’ll be a big player for the club.

The first chance came for Erzerumspor who hit the bar on the 59th minute, Ankaragucu went straight up the other end and Enes should have scored with only Hakan to beat but the keeper made a good save.

A late goal for Ankaragucu spoiled the home fans hopes with only two minutes to go. El Kabir was brought down on the edge of the box. Up stepped Erdem who fired into the top corner but Hakan will  be disappointed he never done better.

So final scored 2-2 which İsmail Kartal will be happy with. The squad still needs more quality at the back, middle of the park and another striker before the season starts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Ankaragücü win race to sign Younes Mokhtar!

Ankaragücü have pulled off a major coup with the signing of Moroccan winger Younes Mokhtar on a 3 year deal from FC Zwolle. The 26 year old will team up with his fellow countryman Mostapha El Kabir.

Mokhtar was born in Holland to Moroccan parents and came through the PSV youth academy. The 26 year old has spent most of his career playing in the Super Lig but had a short spell with Al Nasr in Saudi. He scored 10 goals in 36 games last season and had 10 assists.

His preferred position is left wing and is known for his skill, dribbling and speed that will cause problems for defenders in the Super Lig.

Mokhtar turned down offers from Europe and Turkey to sign with Ankaragücü claiming that he heard good things about the club and it’s fans and was looking forward to playing in front of them.

The team is starting to shape up now with more signings expected in the coming weeks.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Ankaragücü sign Mostapha El Kabir!

 Mostapha El Kabir joins former Genclerbirligi teammate Johannes Hopf at Ankaragücü after signing a 1 year contract this afternoon. The Moroccan forward enjoyed a successful spell at Gencler scoring 12 goals in 43 games while playing a big part in assists helping the club avoiding relegation.

Since then, El Kabir has struggled and had a pretty unsuccessful spell at Antalyaspor scoring only 1 goal. There is no doubting the talent of El Kabir, but a lot of questions are being asked of his diet and attitude. He is carrying far to much weight and that is something İsmail Kartal will need to address when he joins the team for pre season training tomorro.

In other news it looks like Ankaragucu will also complete the signing of FC Zwolle forward Younes Mokhtar. We are awaiting confirmation from the club regarding that deal.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Tiago Pinto signs for Ankaragucu!

Ankaragucu last night completed the signing of Osmanlispor left back Tiago Pinto on a 3 year contract. The 30 year old former Rio Ave defender has spent the last 3 seasons at Osmanlispor but decided to move on after the teams relegation to Lig 1.

Having spoken with people who have watched Tiago on a regular basis, their opinion is that he has been one of the best Left backs in the Super Lig and will be an excellent signing for the club.

Tiago is an attacking wing back and the Ankaragucu fans can look forward to watching his performances as the left back position has been an area of concern since Onur Atasayer moved to Bursaspor 2 years ago.

There will be more signings to come in the coming weeks and we I’ll have all the latest news as it breaks.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Ankaragucu sign Johannes Hopf!

Johannes Hopf will remain in the Capital as he moves from Genclerbirligi to Ankaragucu on a 3 year contract. The Swedish keeper will join his new team mates at Erzerum training camp and will now fight it out with Korcan Celikay and Altay Bayindir for the number 1 jersey.

The move to sign Hopf has come as a bit of a surprise with both Korcan and Altay highly regarded by the Ankaragucu support. Having watched Hopf play on many occasions for Gencler, I believe Ankaragucu have signed a very good Goalkeeper who performed very well for Gencler after a shakey start.

After spending 3 years at Gencler it’s time for the next chapter in the 31 year olds career as he targets a place in the Sweden national team having been capped back in 2016.

In other news, Ankaragücü face Akhisar tomorrow in their first pre season friendly of the summer, we will have full details and the report tomorrow.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Ankaragucu 2018/19 Fixtures!

The Turkish Super Lig fixtures were announced on Monday afternoon and Ankaragucu couldnt have been handed a more difficult opening game. They will mark their return to the Super Lig after 5 years with a home match against champions Galatasaray. Unfortunately at this stage we dont know where the game will be played due to the current stadium situation.

The Kanka group will be planning an away trip to Bursaspor on Week 8 and will have more details nearer the time.

Week 1 - Galatasaray (H)
Week 2 - Alanyaspor (A)
Week 3 - Trabzonspor (H)
Week 4 - Kasimpasa (A)
Week 5 - Akhisar (H)
Week 6 - Erzerumspor (A)
Week 7 - Antalyaspor (H)
Week 8 - Bursaspor (A)
Week 9 - Yeni Malatyaspor (H)
Week 10 - Fenerbahce (A)
Week 11 - Kayserispor (H)
Week 12 - Konyaspor (A)
Week 13 - Besiktas (H)
Week 14 - Rizespor (A)
Week 15 - Basaksehir (H)
Week 16 - Sivasspor (A)
Week 17 - Goztepe (H)
Week 18 - Galatasaray (A)
Week 19 - Alanyaspor (H)
Week 20 - Trabzonspor (A)
Week 21 - Kasimpasa (H)
Week 22 - Akhisar (A)
Week 23 - Erzerumspor (H)
Week 24 - Antalyaspor (A)
Week 25 - Bursaspor (H)
Week 26 - Yeni Malatyaspor (A)
Week 27 - Fenerbahce (H)
Week 28 - Kayserispor (A)
Week 29 - Konyaspor (H)
Week 30 - Besiktas (A)
Week 31 - Rizespor (H)
Week 32 - Basaksehir (A)
Week 33 - Sivasspor (H)
Week 34 - Goztepe (A)

Ankaragucu sign Yalcin Ayhan!

Ankaragucu have completed the signing of Osmanlispor centre half Yalcin Ayhan on a free transfer. The 36 year old will join the team for pre season training in Erzerum.

The news was met with mixed reaction from the Ankaragucu fans, many who believe he is past his best at the age of 36, but some happy with his experience and look at Sedat Agcay his former team mate and also at the same age, who had an excellent season for the club just past.

Sedat is a towering no nonsense defender who at 6ft 3 is excellent in the air and who played a big role for Basaksehir where he spent 3 years helping the club back to the Super Lig and Europe.

Last season he signed with Yeni Malatyaspor but played only 13 games before moving onto Osmanlispor in January. Unfortunately for Yalcin he was part of the Osmanlispor team who was relegated and now has another chance at playing in the Turkish top flight.

In other news, Ankaragucu have been linked with moves for Kevin Monnet Paquet from St Etienne, Diumerci Mbokani from Dinamo Kiev and Maxi Lopez from Udinese. The club are expected to be busy in the next couple of weeks as they prepare to be ready for the start of the Super Lig.

Its still unclear where Ankaragucu will play their home games. It was announced yesterday that the team would play at Afyon which is 3 hours outside Ankara. That move has fallen through as the stadium doesnt meet Super Lig criteria. The team are now urging the Mayor of Ankara to help the club play at the 19 Mayis Stadium until Eryaman is ready.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Ankaragucu transfer news!

Its been a busy week for Ankaragucu on the transfer front with Ricardo Faty, Alper Onal and Thievy Bifouma all signing for the club. Faty has already joined the team for pre season training in Erzerum.

Tuna Yilmaz yesterday confirmed a number of players have been told they dont have futures at the club and have moved on. Gencer Cansev has moved to Altay while Ferhat Kiraz is in talks with Eskisehirspor. Kibong Mbamba, Tonia Tisdell, Lanre Kehinde, Yusuf Abdioglu and Abedelkadir Kayali have also left the club.

It looks like Ankaragucu have missed out on Umut Nayir after the surprising news yesterday that he has agreed a move to Besiktas after terminating his contract with Osmanlispor. Tuna Yilmaz also confirmed that more new players will arrive in the coming weeks, with Ismail Kartal expected to bring in a couple from his former club Fenerbahce.

In other news, it looks like Eryaman Stadium will not be ready until 6th of September at the earliest meaning there is uncertainty as to where Ankaragucu will play their first couple of home games. The team has asked to play at the 19 Mayis Stadium until Eryaman is ready and should find out in the next week or so.

Thursday, June 28, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

I finished reading this book today and I thoroughly enjoyed ‘the ride’ !

I first met John on the terraces of the 19 Mayis Stadium in Ankara when he came to watch an Ankaragucu match and I had no idea at that time he was writing a book about Turkish footie.   I assumed he was another one of us blinkered Ankaragucu fantics !!

It was therefore an honour and a privilege to be invited to his book launch on the 18th of June at The British Ambassador’s Residence in Ankara.   In his address to the audience he gave a few ‘tit-bits’ of the direction the book would take.

Unsurprisingly, the book centred mainly around the Istanbul clubs, with particular emphasis on John’s adopted team, Besiktas.   However, there were interesting chapters on footie in Ankara, Izmir, Trabzon, Antep and Diyarbakir in which I learned much.

I have been following Ankaragucu since 1988 and thought I knew most things about Turkish footie, but I was pleased to learn so much about its history which I didn’t know !

The book was well researched and pulled no punches in its use of ‘terracing language’ when necessary.

An excellent read, most enjoyable, and I highly recommend you obtain a copy whether you are a footie fanatic or not.

Thanks for ‘the journey’ John, and look forward to seeing you again soon on the terraces and socially.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Ankaragucu sign Ricardo Faty!

Ankaragucu this afternoon completed the signing of Bursaspor midfielder Ricardo Faty on a 2 year deal with the option of another 1 year. The Senegalese international becomes the clubs 3rd signing of the summer as the team prepare to leave for Erzerum today where the team will spend pre season.

Faty at 31 brings a wealth of experience having played in France with Strasbourg where he impressed enough for Italian giants Roma to sign him as a replacement for Olivier Dacourt. He played 19 games with the club before moving to Germany on loan with Leverkusen but only managed 2 games. Successful spells with Aris, Ajaccio and Standard Liege followed before signing with Bursaspor in 2015.

At 6ft 4 Faty adds physical presence in the middle of the park and experience. Faty said that he turned down offers from Europe to sign with Ankaragucu and is very excited to be part of the project.

Mehmet Yiginer was delighted to announce the signing of Faty, and also stated that the transfer ban should be sorted in the next couple of days as the last two files to close are Aydin Toscali and Hakan Kutlu who they will look to negotiate a deal with.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Ankaragucu sign Alper Onal on 5 year deal!

Ankaragucu completed their 2nd signing of the summer after Alper Onal agreed a 5 year deal with the club today. The 22 year old was available on a free transfer after leaving Manisaspor who he has been with his whole career.

In a somewhat surprising length of contract, İsmail Kartal is said to be a long time admirer of the forward who scored only 1 goal in his 18 games last season. Ismail believes in his potential and will have taken on board that Alper was playing in a team who had severe financial problems where players weren’t paid wages and the team losing heavily every week.

Ankaragucu also today revealed the clubs new strips which will be made by Puma this coming season for the return to the Super Lig.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

I attended the book launch of Welcome to Hell ? – In Search of the Real Turkish Football last night written by a friend of the Kanka Group, John McManus.   The function was held in the British Ambassador’s Residence and it was well attended by ‘friends of footie’.   The Kanka Group was represented by Oz Kanka Chris, Oz Kanka Junior Mathew, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Spine Kanka Steve, Paddy Kanka Paul and Kloggy Kanka Carlo.

I mentioned to John during the course of the evening that I thought he was being kind to Turkish footie fans by putting a question mark after ‘Welcome to Hell’ !!    And, as an example, I reminded him and the audience of the stabbings in Eskisehir to 2 Ankaragucu supporters prior to the match about 7 years ago, and us guys dodging missiles directed to the away end during the match.   In particular, a large stone/small rock which landed two rows in front of us just missing a girl who was sitting two seats from its final destination as it punctured a hole in the seat !     I also mentioned The Battle of Kayseri briefly in which Damon’s ‘hard head’ withstood a barrage of missiles thrown by Kayseri ‘fans’ !!

The British Ambassador mentioned that he has already read the book and was full of praise for its contents and style.   I’ve started reading it (now on Page 100 of 384), no doubt along with the other kankas I’ve mentioned above, so you can expect to see our comments/opinions in the Blog soon.

In the meantime, we wish John success with this book and perhaps he has a follow-up under consideration when he finds time in his busy life ??!!

We all poured ourselves into the Red Lion Club after the book launch to see Ingallind grind out a 2-1 win against the Mighty Tunisia !     They will certainly have to up their game against Belgium if they intend to finish top of their Group.    Also, they can’t always rely on ‘Arry Boy to bail them out – the TEAM is a squad of players !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Ankaragucu sign Thievy Bifouma!

Ankaragucu have made their first signing of the season after securing Sivasspor winger Thievy Bifouma on a 3 year deal.

The Congo International played 31 games last season scoring 6 goals and had an overall impressive campaign. Having watched Sivas on many occasions last season, Thievy is a fantastic signing for the club. He brings much needed pace to the wide areas, something the team has been lacking over the last couple of years.

Having had previous spells with Espanyol, West Brom, Osmanlispor, Strasbourg and Las Palmas to name a few, Thievy will be hoping Ankara can become his home for at least the next 3 years and bring some stability to his career.

Ankaragucu have also agreed a new 1 year contract with Sedat Agcay after the captain had an impressive season last year and played a huge part in the clubs promotion.

The club have also been linked with numerous players both from Turkey and abroad. We will bring you all the latest news as it happens.

Sunday, June 17, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It’s not ‘goodbye’, it’s only ‘au revoir’ !

Our webmaster, Oz Kanka Chris, is keading Down-Under with his son, Oz Kanka Junior (we can’t call him Little Oz Kanka anymore !!!) next week.    Mathew is ready to begin a new episode in his life at a High School in Canberra and dad will be there for a few years to ‘bed him in’ to the Aussie Way of life and help steer him in the right direction with his studies.

Mathew ........ errrrrmmm ..... a few years ago !!!

Mathew ........ today !!!

The good news is that Oz Kanka will remain our Webmaster from afar, and although he can’t report on Gencler matches, he will still be a contributor here.   Bellshill Kanka Nadeem and I will do our best to keep Gencler scores and news going throughout the season, and we will all be hoping that they make a quick return to the Super League.

Of course, we will all miss Oz Kanka (especially his famous rants when Gencler ‘don’t turn up’) but we can at least look forward to the future when he eventually returns back to his 2nd home in Ankara.

Oz Kanka's mum (Carmen) made the trip all the way from Down-Under to watch the Mighty Genclerbirligi yessssssssss !!!     What a lady !!!

It seems that Oz Kanka and I have been buddies for ever so it will be strange not to see his cheery face around !

Going back in time, we first met way back in 2004 in The Sahil Restaurant in Genclik Park prior to an Ankaragucu match.   He waltzed in, introduced himself and was immediately named as Oz Kanka !    His heart is Gencler, but like all of us kankas we regard our TWO teams as brother teams in the same way as Ankaragucu and Bursaspor.

It didn’t take long for Oz Kanka to make his mark, and his brilliant idea of starting this Blog in December 2005 was a master stroke.   The ‘proof of the pudding is in the eating’ and that the Blog is still going strong after over 12 years of regular reports for both Ankara teams speaks volumes !

The joint Kanka BBQ in the Red Lion Club in 2006 was a great success which cemented the bond between the two groups and that bond remains as close as ever today.

Clean shaven and handsome Oz Kanka !!!

Still handsome Oz Kanka, but with some fuzzy hair on his face !!!

The arrival of Bellshill Kanka Nadeem into the Ankaragucu camp further strengthened the success of the Blog and lots of supporters from other tribunes read it on a regular basis and make comments from time to time.    Nadeem’s pre-match and match reports have been invaluable in that respect.

The Au Revoir Party for Chris and Mathew was held in the Red Lion Club last night and it was a night to remember with a big turnout from kankas and all their other friends.

So, we all wish them both success Down-Under and look forward to Oz Kanka’s return to the fold in the future.   In the meantime, we can keep in touch with him here on the Blog.

Gule Gule Oz Kanka and Oz Kanka Junior !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

PS ....... Thanks for being a great friend for 14 years, and ............ here’s to the next 14 years plus !!!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Ankaragucu Round Ball in Ankara - Player of the year 2017/18!

We have spent the last week collecting the votes from Ankaragucu fans on our Twitter and Facebook pages on their 2017/18 Player of the year. After beating off competition from Sedat Agcay who came runner up in the voting, Erdem Ozgenc deservedly was the winner by quite a distance too.

Erdem joined the club last summer from Bursaspor, with some fans disappointed that the club had let Serkan Balci go with Erdem taking his place. After a slow start to his Ankaragucu career, where he looked unfit and carrying a few extra pounds, Erdem has been a start performer both defensively and also in attack where he has 16 assists to his name, which is an incredible achievement at any level.

At 33 years old, Erdem looks like he still has a few years left in him yet at the top level and will be one of the players Ankaragucu will look to keep for their Super Lig campaign.

Umut Nayir, Ilhan Parlak and Kehinde all have Erdem to thank for the amount of assists he created throughout the season, with some top quality crosses into the box from the right hand side. Along with Mehmet Sak they were both a key point in the Ankaragucu attack. Mehmet unfortunately lacked in the defensive part of his game, where as Erdem was key at both ends of the park.

We would like to congratulate Erdem on winning our award and hope he can carry on his excellent form into next season in the Super Lig.

Monday, May 14, 2018

... and that's that

I didn't see this weekend's match and quite frankly I probably didn't miss anything much.

Kasimpasa 3 - 1 Genclerbirligi

Genclerbirligi have now been officially relegated.

Thank you Umit Ozat. Thank you Murat Cavcav. Together you have truly stuffed a great club.

And that is my final Genclerbirligi report as I shall soon be leaving Turkey... heading back Down Under for the next few years at least.

Good luck Genclerbirligi and good luck Ankaragucu...


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

On behalf of all the kankas, our commiserations go out to Baggie Kanka, Dave Parker, and his beloved Baggies (West Bromwich Albion for those unfamiliar with nicknames !).

Dave was one of the 'orginals' from the early days of the kanka group in the early 21st Century and attended many Ankaragucu matches with me.   He even became an honourary Hibs Supporter (surprise surprise !!).

Dave still has connections with Turkey after he bought a house on the south coast and we stay in touch as much as possible, and I'm still hopeful that he can 'fix' a visit to Ankara next season to see Ankaragucu once more in the Super League.

It has been a tough season for the Baggies after a flying start.   Change of Board Members, Managers and comings and goings of players didn't help.   I hate to criticise previous manager Tony Pulis after the fine job he did at Stoke City, but he had a nightmare time during his stint and the Baggies slid down the league.

However, like Ankaragucu, they have a strong support and hopefully they can bounce back into the Premier League where they belong.   Of course, it didn't help matters that local rivals Wolverhampton were promoted this season !

Chin-up Dave and keep smiling that smile you have always been famous for !    We Ankaragucu kankas are programmed to take the highs and lows with smiles on our faces.   Aren't we ??!!

Look forward to a visit to Ankara next season Dave !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Q&A with Ankaragucu assistant manager Osman Zeki Korkmaz!

Ankaragucu return to the Super Lig after a 6 year absence and two men who have played a big part in that are the current Management team of İsmail Kartal and his assistant manager Osman Zeki Korkmaz.

Despite some criticism at the start of the year İsmail Kartal found a way of winning over the Ankaragucu fans and there were no better example of that when the fans sang his name after the Adana Demirspor match on Monday night.

Osman this week kindly agreed to give the Round Ball in Ankara an interview and some insight to the current campaign and what the future looks like. After spells at Eskisehirspor and Gaziantepspor with İsmail Kartal, Osman agreed to join him at Ankaragucu at the start of the season, and it’s been one to remember.

Nadeem -  How does it feel to be part of the team who have been successful in helping Ankaragucu winning promotion to the Super Lig?

Osman - It is very difficult to describe the feeling but I can say in the shortest way that it is the greatest honour I have ever experienced in my coaching career, this success will be one of the greatest memories I’ve ever had in my life!

Nadeem -  Was there a time in the season where you thought it may not be possible for Ankaragucu to win promotion back to the Super Lig?

Osman - I always believed we would actually be champions but that doesn’t mean we always felt comfortable. Although we have had some very difficult and stressful moments, the spirit of the club supported us to fight on in difficult conditions.

Nadeem -  What is your opinion on the Ankaragucu fans and how much influence did they have on winning promotion? 

Osman -  Ankaragucu fans are always the soccer players and our biggest and unique source of motivation and driving force.

Nadeem -  What are the future plans for Ankaragucu in the Super Lig? 

Osman -  As you know the club experienced very hard times both economically and sportively. If the future plans are not done carefully, the same problems can be repeated even more severely. Our priority for the first season must be to stay in the Super Lig with optimal expense.

Nadeem - Will the team look to sign many new players for the Super Lig? 

Osman -  It doesn’t matter how many players we buy or how much we spend. The most important thing for planning a new year with a new team in the Super Lig will be to find the right players and to manage the economy correctly.

Nadeem -  What kind of manager is İsmail Kartal and will this be his big chance in the Super Lig after spells with Fenerbahce and Gaziantepspor?

Osman -  Fenerbahce did not fail in the period, despite being first in many statistics, the league position they finished 2nd. They had not been able to transfer during the season, and there were some very unfortunate attacks. I have been working with coach for 3 years after Fenerbahce. In the last two years at Eskisehirspor and Gaziantepspor these clubs had big economic crisis so we could not do freely what we wanted. İsmail Kartal is a multi disciplinary coach, closely following world football. As you know Joachim Low is his friend and they are constantly talking every day for the last 11 months. I think there is no reason why such a hard working and disciplined person would not succeed.

Nadeem -  Who is the best player you have coached?

Osman -  All of the Ankaragucu players who won promotion to the Super Lig

Nadeem -  Do you see potential of Ankaragucu challenging for Europe in the next couple of years? 

Osman -  I see beyond that but the club still priority must be managing the economy correctly.

Nadeem -  Why do you think this Ankaragucu team were so successful this season?

Osman - During the season we struggled and had many different conditions against us, but we never lost our belief, respect for each other and togetherness. And as I said before the struggle under difficult circumstances is in the spirit of the club.

Nadeem - Finally do you have any message for the Ankaragucu fans?

Osman - They should continue to be different which forces us to be different from other clubs!

We would like to thank Osman for taking time out and give us an interview and wish him and İsmail all the best for the future with Ankaragucu.

Tuesday, May 08, 2018


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It was strange having the last match of the season on a Monday evening but that didn’t deter the tribunes from turning up in force to salute the players who had achieved the impossible and returned our great Club to their rightful position in the Super League !

If I am to be honest (and yes, I know, that’s unusual for me !) I would have been content to consolidate our position in the PTT League at the beginning of the season after last season’s euphoria of winning the 2nd League.    However, thanks to Mehmet Yigner and Ismail Kartal the impossible became reality after a sluggish beginning to the season.

The away victory in Rize last year was probably the turning point and it has been a roller-coaster of a ride all the way, culminating in securing promotion in Manisa last weekend.

So, it was carnival time last night in the last match of the season.

ANKARAGUCU    1         Adana Demirspor      1

Posh Kanka Ahmet and I met-up in the garden of the TSDY Restaurant for our pre-match ‘refreshments’ and a singsong with our Maraton buddies.   Then we joined the remainder of the kankas in the Stadium – Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Maniac Kanka Harun, Nurer Kanka, Horseman Kanka, Kaleci Kanka Tansu and Vittoria Kanka Miguel.

It was non-stop singing from start to finish and the carnival atmosphere was maintained throughout, including the customary Mexican Wave in the 2nd half.

To footie then, and the match sprang to life in the 14th minute when Enes constructed and scored a great goal.   A piece of quick thinking and football skill from Enes on the right when he back heeled the ball to the overlapping runner, Erdem.   The cross came in which was knocked down to Enes, who had anticipated the cross, and he thundered in an unstoppable shot.

The Bursa Song was next and then on the half our mark Kehinde had a great chance, but with only the goalkeeper to beat, he scuffed his shot which was easily saved.   In his defence, the ball didn’t sit-up for him !

From that point in the 1st half it was all Demirspor as they searched for the equaliser.   They made it abundantly clear that they were not here to celebrate Ankaragucu’s promotion !

On FIVE occasions leading up the the half time whistle Demirspor had opportunities to level it, but Altay came to Ankaragucu’s rescue with some crucial saves.   The Demirspor forward Theo Mendy was a constant thorn in the side of Ankaragucu’s defence and he crafted out some chances for himself and others.   So, I thought Ankaragucu was rather fortunate to go in 1-0 up at half time !

Half time entertainment was provided by the professional Misket Dance Group together with some young boys in the group who put on a great show as always.

Into the 2nd half and play was held-up for 5 minutes when the scoreboard tribune let-off lots of flares which caused a smokescreen across the playing area.   Play resumed with a screamer of a shot (I think it was Kehinde) which was instinctively an acrobatically saved.

Play was fast and furious from both sides, but then in the 77th minute, Demirspor decided rather fortunately, to become party-poopers !   A weak shot (or was it a cross ?!) on the right was well covered by Altay, but somehow he contrived to let the ball go between his legs and in.   A schoolboy error which he may not easily forget !!   However, an immediate response came from all the tribunes when they shouted his name in support.   A fine sporting gesture !

Demirspor had two more opportunities to try and spoil the party, but for the first attempt 6 minutes before the end, M’bamba made a saving tackle to halt a Demirspor breakaway.   Then in time added on, a Demirspor shot went just over the bar.

So, I suppose it would be fair to say that a draw was a fair reflection of the mach in which both team were intent on attack and giving us entertainment on the pitch to match the entertainment off the pitch !!

It was then time to head to The Bira Park to celebrate and we were fortunate to witness the open top bus parade along GMK Boulevard with the players receiving the plaudits they richly deserved.

The Police closed the city centre in Kizilay to traffic and it was taken over by thousands of Ankaragucu supporters, many with coloured flares.   A stage was erected in Guven Park and live music was played.   It was an unbelievable sight and an evening which will live long in our memories.

Now it is over to Mehmet Yigner and Ismail Kartal to start work on recruiting and preparing the team for the coming season in the Super League.

Watch this space for news as it unfolds !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, May 07, 2018

... and Genclerbirligi go down

It was a very sad and very angry day for Gencler fans and players alike. Normally there would have been some pride in Sunday's loss, Gencler played with a lot of spirit, but in the end there was just a feeling that everything was falling apart. There still is a mathematical chance of staying up, we need to win our last two matches and Konya and Osmanli have to lose both of theirs ... but that is just wishful thinking.

Genclerbirligi 0 - 1 Antalyaspor

A wet Sunday but it was Gencler's biggest crowd of the season thanks to hundreds of Ankaragucu supporters at the stadium, including our own Maniac Kanka Harun, who came to support us. well done all.

With the Fenerbahce - Bursa match on at the same time, we (Sir Eski, Flying Dutchman, Little Oz and me) watched the match at the only pub in Ankara to be showing an actual match being played in Ankara - the Alerta.

Right from the get go this was a psyched-up Gencler team. Just 90 seconds in and we almost had a fight on our hands after Ugur Ciftci smashed a ball into an Antalya player. theses guys were going for it.

At the traditional six minutes in the Ankaragucu fans start singing their Ankaragucu chants but for the rest of the match they were firmly behind Gencler.

We dominated possession but just couldn't get many shots on goal. We should have had more but for some woeful crossing by both Zeki from the right and Aydin on the left.


It was nil-nil at half time and I was still confident that we could get it. But as the minutes passed by the tension rose and when Antalya went ahead in the 78th things were desperate.

The boys out there kept fighting but some simple mistakes cost us chances. With just two minutes left of normal time Pogba walked off hobbling and took off his shirt. Ahmet Oguz went off to remonstrate with him and the two had to be separated by security.

What the fuck was going on? Your team is behind, relegation beckons, three substitutes have already been used and you decide to simply walk off the field. In my opinion, Pogba, not of the best of footballers anyway, deserves to be sacked for that simple act alone. For the next few minutes of normal time and six minutes of extra time, Genclerbirligi were down to 10 men.

The thing is, it wasn't yesterday's performance that let us down, it was the crap served up to us throughout the season. Where to look first... look at the great players we let go, Irfan Kahveci, Ahmet Calik, Serdar Guler. With the exception of Sessignon who came midway through the season, we brought in some very average stuff. Look at the way Umit Ozat didn't have a clue who his starting 11 should be. How many matches this season did he make an unnecessary change just 20 minutes in? Look at club chairman Murat Cavcav who clearly learnt nothing from the 30-plus years that his father was in charge. What sort of a chairman makes the decision to sack a coach after five matches and then re-hire that same coach not that long later?

Just pathetic.

And so... Genclerbirligi are relegated in the season following the death of long-term chairman Ilhan Cavcav. Relegated in the Ilhan Cavcav Memorial Season. Fucking pathetic.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Ankaragucu featured in These football times article!

A few months ago i spoke with Jamie Kelly from These football times after i saw an article that he wrote about Goztepe. Jamie specialises on Turkish football and has done a great job on the articles he has worked on.

We had a chat about him doing one on Ankaragucu which he agreed would be a great idea. The article was released yesterday and you can read it here  The destruction and recovery of Ankaragucu!

Its nice to see Ankaragucu get some positive publicity and long may it continue when we are back in the Super Lig next season!

Ankaragucu secure their place back in the Super Lig!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Ankaragucu clinch promotion back to Super Lig!

Manisaspor 0-3 Ankaragucu

Six years after relegation from the Turkish Super Lig, Ankaragücü claimed their rightful place back in the top flight with a comfortable 3-0 win at Manisaspor. A late come back for Eskisehirspor as they drew 2-2 against Boluspor, and a 1-0 win for Rizespor at Umraniyespor sent the large travelling Ankaragucu away sport wild in celebrations at full time.

Team - Korcan, Erdem, Gencer, Alihan, Ferhat, Arif, Mbamba, Kenan, Ilhan, Umut, Kehinde
Subs - Altay, Enes, Sedat, Mahmut, Abdulkadir, Mehmet, Nduka, Ahmet, Lukasz

Manisaspor can count themselves lucky that the Ankaragücü players seemed to have left their shooting boots at home today as they missed so many chances during the match. It was a Manisaspor who had the first chance of the game after good play down the right hand side, Omer got on the end of a cross but his header was deflected over.

Two minutes later Kenan almost got lucky from a cross but Zafer tipped the ball over for a corner. A minute later Kehinde had a shot from the edge of the box which was again saved by Zafer for another corner.

Ankaragucu continued to pile on the pressure and a well worked free kick found Ilhan but his shot was straight at Zafer. Next up was a chance for Umut who was put through by Mbamba but his shot from the edge of the box was comfortably saved.

The best chance of the half fell for Umut Nayir from a great cross into the box, but the big striker somehow headed wide of the post. Just before half time Kehinde saw his header brilliantly saved by Zafer. Ankaragucu were winning every ball in the air and another ball into the box was met by Umut who headed wide again.

Half Time 0-0

Into the second half and it only took 2 minute to open the scoring. A corner into the box for Kehinde who rose above his marker to head the ball into the bottom corner giving Zafer no chance, 1-0 Ankaragucu.

Five minutes later and Ankaragucu scored their 2nd after Ferhat was fouled in the box and the referee awarded a penalty. Up stepped Umut Nayir to blast the ball into the roof of the net to make it 2-0.

Umut wasn’t having the best of games and saw another header go wide after a good ball from Ferhat on the 70th minute. Some great play from Kehinde as he powered past two defenders before seeing his shot saved by Zafer. A minute later Kehinde went close again after a good ball from Ferhat.

Umut had another couple of chances but it just wasn’t his day. With the news gathering in the stadium  that Eskisehirspor had equalised against Boluspor, Enes went through on goal and made it 3-0 Ankaragücü. A great end to a great day as Ankaragücü can again look forward to rubbing shoulders with the elite in Turkey.

Well done Mehmet Yiginer and his management team, well done İsmail Kartal, well done the Ankaragücü team and staff, but most importantly well done the fans who have stuck with the team through the darkest of days!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ankaragucu vs Manisaspor match preview!

Only 2 games remaining as Ankaragucu seek their place back amongst Turkeys elite, with the club from the Capital in pole position ahead of promotion rivals Umraniyespor and Boluspor. Two wins will seal the deal for Ankaragucu after 6 years away from top flight football and they are in control of their own destiny. The two matches come against Manisaspor who sit 2nd bottom of the table losing their last 7 games and conceding 31 goals. The other comes against 4th bottom Adana Demirspor at home next weekend.

If someone had offered you to be in that position before the season started you would have bitten their hand off. This is Ankaragucu though and we all know how unpredictable they can be, letting you down when you get your hopes up, or winning against the odds.

Some credit must go to Ismail Kartal who had come under a lot of criticism since the start of the year, some of which was deserved due to awful performances and results. Since the Boluspor defeat, the team has won 5, drawn 1 and lost 1 of their last 7 games. Umraniyespor on the way have dropped points which Ankaragucu have managed to take advantage of and now sit 1 point above with 2 games remaining. Boluspor arent out of the race yet as they are only 3 points behind Ankaragucu.

Ankaragucu will travel to Manisa this Saturday knowing a victory will take them one big step closer to the Super Lig. Mehmet Yiginer has already stated they will build a team that will compete for a Top 5 place in the Super Lig if we win promotion.

Manisaspor as mentioned earlier are 2nd bottom and already relegated to Lig 1. Thea team is made up of mostly youth players as the club are in a bad way financially. There shouldn't be too much problems in this one for Ankargucu but as we have seen all to often in football, especially with Ankaragucu upsets can happen.

Slavko Perovic is the key player for Manisaspor and has had a respectable season scoring 8 goals despite all the problems Manisa have had.

Ankaragucu will again be without Anton Putsila who is suspended, and will likely again go with the same team that produced a fantastic 4-0 win over Gazisehir last weekend. Lanre Kehinde, Ilhan Parlak and Umut Nayir all impressed in attack, while Mbamba Kibong had his best performance in an Ankaragucu shirt. Mbamba has had a disappointing season due to injury which has prevented any real consistency, but he showed his key qualities last weekend and will be an important player again.

Another large contingent of Ankaragucu fans are expected for the trip to Manisa as a win for Ankaragucu could see them promoted this weekend if Bolu and Umraniyespor both drop points. Come on Ankaragucu lets get back to where we belong.