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.