Thursday, June 28, 2018

WELCOME TO HELL ? – IN SEARCH OF THE REAL TURKISH FOOTBALL BY JOHN McMANUS




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, ─░smail 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

WELCOME TO HELL ? – IN SEARCH OF THE REAL TURKISH FOOTBALL




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

AU REVOIR OZ KANKA CHRIS AND SON





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 !!!