Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Ankaragucu vs Kayserispor match preview!



Before we look ahead to this weekends home match with Kayserispor, there are a couple of bits of transfer news to bring you up to date with. As you know, Ankaragucu still have a transfer ban and it will unlikely be lifted in time to register any new players for this weekends match. The club are confident that it will be lifted before transfer deadline day which would give the team a much needed boost.

Adama Traore who was released by Goztepe and had spells with Basel and Vitoria Guiamaraes has been training with the squad for the last 4 weeks and will be offered a deal if the ban is removed. The 29 year old Left back has been capped 13 times for the Ivory Coast and can also play at center half and left midfield. Kevin Bemanga is another who has been training with the team, the 21 year old Frenchman has been playing in the 3rd tier in Spain and is also hoping to win a deal with the club.

Journalist Ertan Guler also today claimed that Aminu Umar and Emrah Bassan are both close to signing with the club. Umar is a winger from Osmanlispor who had a successful loan spell with Rizespor last year and would be an excellent signing for the club. Emrah is a midfielder who plays with Erzerumspor and previously Galatasaray.

Moving onto the weekends game, and Ankragucu will host Kayserispor at Eryaman stadium this Saturday night. The club today announced season ticket prices much to the anger of the Ankaragucu support as despite all the problems off field and no new transfers, the management have decided to introduce the most expensive season ticket prices. They range from 600 Lira in Gecekondu to 3000 Lira in VIP. A massive own goal by management as the stadium will likely now be half full at best with many fans boycotting due to price, and also against management.

Ankaragucu produced a fantastic performance last weekend in Konya where they gave everything and defended magnificently for 90 minutes. It will be a tough ask for the team to repeat that performance again as even the top teams would struggle to keep a clean sheet with that type of pressure on their goal for the full game.

Thiago Pinto may be available this weekend as he has another week of training under his belt and will be a big boost when he returns. The team at the moment picks itself for obvious reasons, but they need more from Aydin and Ilhan if they are to take anything from the game. Its hard to criticise anyone after last weekends performance, but Ilhan in particular gave the ball away too often and provided nothing for Orgill up top. Aydin was really disappointing with his final ball and flattered to deceive which he so often does despite his talent.

Orgill looked a frustrated figure up front on his own, and even when he had brief opportunities he was wasteful with his final ball and link up play. A lot of that can be down to the amount of defensive work he had to do off the ball.

Kayserispor are looking for their first win of the season too after a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home against Alanyaspor last weekend. They have had a big turnaround in players this summer with the likes of Chery, Deniz Turuc, Kana Biyik and Varela leaving, while former Ankaragucu player Djedje, Paulo Henrique, and Aymen Abdenour have joined the club.

Losing Deniz Turuc was a big blow for the club after he joined Galatasaray, but that allowed them to sign Bernard Mensah from Atletico Madrid and he will be their key player this season. Mensah has the ability to play at a higher level if he can stay fit and find consistency.

Ankaragucu duo Michal Pazdan and Korcan Celikay have been receiving praise all week after their performance against Konyaspor and they will again have to be at their best and will be key to any success for Ankaragucu against Kayserispor.

Lets hope for a positive result!

The Round Ball in Ankara would also like to send our condolences to Coskun Basak who is the Social Media guy for Ankaragucu. His father Ahmet has sadly passed away.

Monday, August 19, 2019

GENCLERBIRLIGI – NO WELCOME BACK TO THE SUPER LEAGUE !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Genclerbirligi was brought back down to earth after dominating the Championship League last season.   There was no welcome back to the Super League for them after a poor show last Friday night in Ankara.

GENCLERBIRLIGI       0           Rizespor         1

I didn’t watch the match, but Gencler fan, Orcan, did and his description of the match from a Gencler perspective was summed up in one word, ie, .........SHIT  !!

He also said that Gencler’s play was similar to that of 2 years ago when they were relegated from the Super League.   So, it is to be hoped that this was just a blip in their preparation for the long season ahead.

Gencler’s cause wasn’t helped by the fact that last season’s stalwart, Metin Cetin, has been sold to Roma.   Also, one of the new signings was stupidly red carded in the 1st half on Friday !!

Next up is an away match next Monday 30 August at fellow newbies to the Super League, Gazisehir, and an opportunity to get the show back on the road !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Konyaspor 0-0 Ankaragücü match report!



Ankaragücü restorer some pride within the club tonight with a spirited performance in Konya that gave the team a share of the points in a 0-0 draw. I did say midweek in the match preview that we could sneak a 0-0 draw as our defence is the strongest part of the squad, while Konya struggle to score goals.

Team - Korcan, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Pazdan, Mehmet Sak, Moke, Sedat, Canteros, Aydin, Ilhan, Orgill

Subs - Belkovic, Yalcin, Alihan, Pinto, Faty, Ender, Cebrail, Ahmet, Hasan, Zaur

Before the game had even kicked off there was more controversy for Ankaragücü to deal with as caretaker manager Aykan Atik was refused permission to manage the team as he didn’t have the required coaching badges and license. This meant that sporting director Adnan Erkan took control. Never a dull moment with this club.

Ankaragücü started the game well for the first 10 minutes but Konya started to look dangerous down the right hand side with Ilhan and Mehmet caught out a few times. The first chance came after 14 minutes when Omer Ali Sahiner saw his header come back off the post much to the relief of the Ankaragücü support.

Six minutes later Milosevic played a nice one two on the edge of the box but shot straight at Korcan. It took until the 25th minute for Ankaragücü to get a shot on goal as Canteros played through Orgill but his shot went well wide.

On the 31st minute Skubic saw his shot well saved by Korcan, while Milosevic saw his effort go wide of the post a minute later.

Just before half time it looked like Konya were about to take the lead but for an outstanding challenge in the box from Polish International Michal Pazdan. He really had a terrific game and was the best player on the park.

Ankaragücü did have a shout for a penalty in the first half but the referee didn’t even look at VAR. It certainly could have been given. 

Half Time 

Ankaragücü had the first chance of the 2nd half as Aydin saw his shot easily saved by former Ankaragücü keeper Serkan Kirintil. A couple of minutes later Milosevic had 2 Long distance efforts brilliantly saved by Korcan.

The best chance of the game for Ankaragücü came on the 84th minute as Canteros played a nice through ball for Orgill but the Jamaican shot just wide from a tight angle. It was a frustrating night for Orgill who didn’t have much service from the likes of Ilhan and Aydin and spent a lot of energy chasing the ball and tracking back.

Konyaspor had time for 1 more chance with 2 minutes remaining but another outstanding save from Korcan gave Ankaragücü a clean sheet and a share of the points. A terrific result and fighting performance from the team. Special mention must go to Michal Pazdan and Korcan Celikay who were both outstanding.

Hopefully the club can now lift the transfer ban and give the team the help required to go and have a successful season. 

Next up is Kayserispor at home next Saturday night!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Konyaspor vs Ankaragucu match preview!



The Turkish Super Lig 2019/20 season kicks off this weekend, and Ankaragucu face a difficult away trip against Konyaspor on Sunday afternoon. To be honest, at this point any game will be difficult for Ankaragucu as Mehmet Yiginer and his management team have failed to lift the transfer ban which leaves the current team no where near good enough to compete at this level.

Last weekend Ankaragucu lost 2-0 against Genclerbirligi in the TSYD Cup and there was a severe lack of quality all over the pitch. Yiginer has also failed to appoint a manager which means Aykan Atik will be in charge as the season starts.

Yiginer talks a good game, as this week he again spoke of the team finishing in the Top 10 of the league if he can lift the transfer ban. He also said there is no guarantee we will lift the transfer ban due to interest rates with the bank, only 2 weeks after promising to lift the ban at the clubs elections.

So no Manager, no new transfers, no proper pre season preparations and the team have lost some of their key players including Altay Bayindir, Tyler Boyd, Hadi Sacko and Djedje from last season without any of them being replaced.

Instead Aykan Atik is left with ageing players, and players who severely lack the quality required to play in the Super Lig such as Zaur Sadaev, Ilhan Parlak, Aydin Karabulut, Mehmet Sak, Mahmut Akan, Sedat Agcay, Alihan Kubalas and Yalcin Ayhan.

The one area of the team that the club has managed to retain is the back 4 of Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic and Pinto. Worryingly they are way behind in pre season training, especially Pinto who only joined last week and hasnt played a single pre season game.

Dever Orgill and Tito Canteros will be  key players if Ankaragucu are to take anything from Konyaspor. The defence will need to be at their best and hope Canteros or Orgill will have the quality to create something special against the odds.

Konyaspor haven't made many changes in their squad over the summer from last seasons team. Key departures include Moryke Fofana and Adis Jahovic who both signed for Yeni Malatyaspor. While coming into the club is Riad Bajic who had a successful spell with the club 2 years ago and returns on loan from Udinese. Alper Uludug also signed on a free transfer from Genclerbirligi.

Konya under Kocaman will be a solid team difficult to beat, but again they lack quality in the final 3rd apart from Omer Ali Sahiner and Riad Bajic. The longer Ankaragucu can keep the score level and frustrate them, they may have a chance of returning to Ankara with a point, but it will be a massive ask.

An example of those struggles in attack for Konya is the 5 pre season games played scoring only 1 goal. At the other end they conceded 3 goals in those 5 games against the likes of Alanyaspor, FC Twente, Go Ahead Eagles and Eskisehirspor.

Konyaspor won the head to head last season between the two clubs winning 2-0 in Konya and a 0-0 draw in Ankara. Hopefully we can grab a 0-0 on Sunday night. We will have all the updates on our twitter page as the game kicks off at 15:15pm Turkish time.

Monday, August 05, 2019

10 years following Ankaragücü Turkeys most chaotic club!




Ten years, where does the time even go? Seems like yesterday that I decided to take my interest in Turkish football to the next level by chosing a team to follow. I’ve always had an interest in Turkish football, from the days of Welcome to Hell when Galatasaray took on Man Utd at the old Al Sami Yen stadium and Jay Jay Okocha was staring for Fenerbahce. The flares, pyro displays and incredible atmosphere had me hooked.

People always ask why Ankaragücü? How does a guy from Scotland become and Ankaragücü fan? Even people from Ankara don’t support the club.





Well the picture above played its part, this guy just had Scotland ripping right out of him. I had a look at every Super Lig team on the internet and most clubs never had an English site, plus I didn’t want to chose one of the Istanbul sides. When I typed in Ankaragücü his blog came up and the picture above was one of the first posts at the top of the page. A Scotsman in Ankara who follows Ankaragücü!! Sent him a message and a few months later I arrived in Ankara for my first ever trip as we took on Fenerbahce at home.

That was the start of an amazing friendship with the Kanka Group, made up of foreign ex pats from Britain, American, Australia, Holland, Romania, Portugal and many more countries including local Turks.

I still remember my first night in Ankara with my Mrs who had been dragged along to see one of the
most violent teams in Europe for her first every football match. The Kanka Group had arranged a dinner for us at Beyzade restaurant. People who I had never met before turned up to make us feel welcome and was the start of a friendship that we still have to this day.

The match itself was as expected, eventful off the field with fights breaking out and smoke bombs an Flares been set off throughout the stadium. Brilliant, this is exactly why I had travelled to Ankara! The videos I watched on YouTube of Ankaragücü fans had certainly lived up to expectations.

That was me officially and Ankaragücü supporter, from then on in I would make it an annual trip to watch the team. The following year I took in the match at home with Bursaspor who are friends of Ankaragücü but we lost 5-1 and having lost 3-0 to Fenerbahce in my first trip I was beginning to think I was a curse.

The curse was broken the following year after we were relegated to Lig 1 I took in the match with Kartalspor. Timur Ozgoz scored the only goal of the game and I finally got to see the team win.


 



During that trip I got to meet with the leader of one of Turkeys most famous ultra groups Gecekondu. One of their group members Bugra Mete took me to the Slums in Ankara, a place that has a tough reputation and one in which your safety can’t be guaranteed as you are an outsider. I had read stories of Ali and seen many videos and decided to take the chance with Bugra as we entered Dernegi his home town. 

When Bugra explained I had come from Scotland to see Ankaragücü, Ali went out of his way to make sure I had a good time. He took us for dinner, presented me with a gift and the next day at the match invited me up to sit next to him with my Scotland’s flag as he led a chorus of chants. The atmosphere was incredible.

Over the years I have met some great people following Ankaragücü who always go out of their way to make sure I have a good time in their City. Their home is the Capital of Turkey and the centre of politics and the military. It’s like a ticking  time bomb at times but the people are the most generous you could meet, including Ankaragücü fans (if you are on their side). 

I remember one of the trips, I met with the Akyildiz family. I met them after the match and they invited me to their home the next day for dinner. After making me a 5 course meal and buying me they new Ankaragücü strip they became Rangers fans and still to this day follow our results.



Last season I decided to take in my first away trip with the club. An away match to Bursa which was 7 hours there and 7 hours back by bus. Again we lost 1-0 but what an away Support. Just over 5,000 Ankaragücü fans made the trip and another incredible atmosphere. Taking in the game with the Kanka Group including Harun, Ahmet, Tansu and all of the others ticks off another must do as an Ankaragücü fan. 

Next up will be taking in a game at the new Eryaman Stadium and then a trip to Istanbul for an away match. Hopefully in the Super Lig as it looks like we are heading for another difficult season.

The best memory of them all following Ankaragücü was just over 3 years ago as the team clinched promotion back to Lig 1 from the 3rd tier. We were 1-0 down win 10 minutes remaining against Tuzlaspor before 2 late goals from Kenan Özer and Enes Kubat sealed the victory. The scenes were incredible, I saw grown men cry after watching their team suffer for years, promotion to Lig 1 was complete.







Ankaragücü pre season update!



With only two weeks remaining until the 2019/20 Turkish Super Lig season starts, Ankaragücü still haven’t appointed a Manager, the transfer ban is still in place, no sponsorships have been confirmed, under 500 season tickets have been sold and no proper pre season training has taken place.

The preparations for the season ahead are a major concern for Ankaragücü fans with a difficult away match against Konyaspor coming up next Sunday. Caretaker manager Aykan Atik is expected to be in charge for the start of the season as Yiginer has failed to appoint a permanent manager all summer.

Before we take a look back at the two friendlies the team played last week, we take a look at some of the off field events that have made the headlines in the last couple of days. Mehmet Yiginer went up against Murat Agcabag in the presidential elections for the club last week. As Murat made his way to the congress he was banned from entering due to not being a member of the club. Gecekondu leader Ali Imdat was then attacked by the Police as he was prevented from making a statement on behalf of the fans.

Murat Agcabag claims that Yiginer was aware that he wasn’t a member of the club for months and was informed that it wouldn’t be a problem, Yiginer however denies this. It meant Yiginer was the only candidate and was again the winner of the elections.

Ankaragücü fans clashed with the police as they chanted for Yiginer to resign, although it must be added that Yiginer still has a following of Ankaragücü fans who back him. 

After winning the elections Yiginer spoke of lifting the transfer ban, hiring a new manager and asked for the fans to sell out season ticket sales. So far none of them have been achieved. Instead fans are boycotting season ticket sales in protest against the prices especially with no manager or transfers and all the chaos that hangs over the club at the minute.

On the playing front, Ricardo Faty and Thiago Pinto could be set to return to the club in the next couple of days. The team played 2 friendly matches in Erzerum last weekend against Altinordu which ended 2-2 and a 2-2 win over Hatayspor a few days later. Dever Orill and Ilhan Parlak were the scorers against Altinordu in an overall decent performance from the team. Zaur Sadaev and an own goal from former Ankaragücü defender Yusuf Abdiouglu saw the team see of a spirited Hatayspor in the other game.

In other news, the club opened a new store in Ankara and the fans can now purchase all the new Nike merchandise which has some really nice products. Mehmet Yiginer also confirmed the club have received a couple of bids for Dever Orgill. Losing him would be another huge blow especially when this management lose our assets so cheaply. The team also take on Genclerbirligi in the TSYD cup on Friday and guess what?? Still no confirmation as to where the game will be played.

We will be back next week with the match preview for the Konyaspor match and all the latest news.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Ankaragücü Summer update!




It’s less than a month until the Turkish Super Lig season starts as the fixtures were announced yesterday and Ankaragücü still haven’t played a single pre season game. Some of the players returned to training this week but with no manager in place and elections coming up, the club are again the laughing stock of the Turkish Super Lig.

Murat Agcabag this week declared his plans if he gains control of the club, while its the same old shit from Yiginer whose only plan is to ask for other people to invest money in the club. It’s believed that Yiginer has taken out two loans totalling 8.5 million Euros from the Banks with huge interest rates. The bank will therefor withhold any prize and sponsored money from the club until it’s paid back.

This will then lead to the exact same problems the club has faced over the years with players not paid their salaries. This week the club announced new contracts for Korcan Celikay, Aydin Karabulut, Sedat Agcay, Ilhan Parlak, Mehmet Sak, Zaur Sadaev, ,Ante Kulusic, Alihan Kubalas and Michal Pazdan.

Wilfred Moke has today agreed to stay with Ankaragücü and will be announced later on.

Incredibly all of the players were deemed not good enough to play for the team last season with Aydin, Mehmet and Zaur playing less than 10 starts combined. Michal Pazdan and Ante Kulusic signing new deals is great news for the club as they formed a solid partnership last season, but you have to worry that they will be let down by the club again.

Tito Canteros, Dever Orgill and Stelios Kitsiou could all be set to stay at the club too and we hope to find out their futures in the next week or so. The transfer ban still hasn’t been lifted so there is no news to report on new signings.

Hadi Sacko has signed with newly promoted Denizlispor after a successful loan spell at Ankaragücü last season and Djedje has agreed a 1 year deal with Kayserispor.

Ankaragücü still hope to play at Eryaman Stadium this season but again we have no confirmation after the last request was rejected.

For a full list of the fixtures for 2019/20 season you can see them Here

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Ankaragucu summer update!




In true Ankaragucu summer fashion, the chaos continues at the Capital club with financial problems mounting, and the fight for ownership of the club between Mehmet Yiginer and Murat Agcabag. The club have no Sporting director, no manager, no sponsorship, no players and have yet to be granted permission to play at Eryaman Stadium. Any new manager that does eventually come in has there work cut out with no pre season schedule or preparations in place.

So firstly we take a look at whats been happening on the transfer front. Ankaragucu have already lost a number of key players who have now signed with other clubs due to all the uncertainty. Tyler Boyd has agreed a 2.4 Million Euros deal with Besiktas, Djedje has signed on a free transfer with Kayserispor, Altay Bayindir has signed with Fenerbahce for 1.5 million Euros, Alihan has signed with Erzerumspor on a free transfer and the likes of Moke, Cerci and Aydin have all left the club too.

On the management front, Mehmet Yiginer has agreed in principle with Adnan Erkan to become the clubs Sporting Director and Bulent Uygun to be the clubs next manager if he wins this months elections.

Onto the elections, and its a two way battle between Yiginer and Agcabag for ownership of the club. Yiginer has proved that he cant take the club forward as again none of the players have been paid for the last 6-9 months with Thomas Heartaux, Alessio Cerci and Thibault Moulin all asking the clubs official twitter page for their money. He is again relying on other people investing money in the club and cant give the fans an accurate figure of what the clubs debt is.

On the other had, you have Agcabag who has a plan in place and has promised to invest money, pay the players their salary, lift the transfer ban, open a club shop and online store, has agreed 7 sponsorship deals and has agreed in principle a new manager and sporting director. He also stated he is working with other businessmen who have agreed to put money into the club.

The problem for Ankaragucu fans, is trust. They have heard this all before in the past from other candidates who then came into the club and made an even bigger mess with all their lies and corruption. They know time is up for Yiginer, but is Agcabag the man and can he be trusted is the big question?

Finally, Altay Bayindir as we mentioned above, this week completed his 1.5 million euro move to Fenerbahce much to the anger of the Ankaragucu support. Not because he moved to Fenerbahce, but due to the fee the club have received for their prized asset. Altay is the youngest ever captain in Turkish Super Lig history. He is a Turkish U21 international who Senol Gunes has praised and will almost certainly call him up to the National team, and the club have agreed to such a feeble amount, which again shows how inept they are at managing a football club.

The Round Ball in Ankara would also like to send its condolences to our friend Murat Kaya and his family on the sad passing of his father. RIP

Monday, May 27, 2019

Goztepe 2-1 Ankaragücü

Ankaragücü lost 2-1 at Goztepe which means the Izmir side will stay in the Super Lig while Bursaspor are relegated.

Team - Korcan, Kitsiou, Alihan, Pazdan, Cebrail, Moke, Canteros, Scarione, Ilhan, Sacko, Orgill

Goztepe took the lead through an Alpastan header in the first half before Pazdan equalised for Ankaragücü.

It looked like we were heading for a draw which would have kept Bursaspor up who were leading at Malatyaspor. But Goztepe were awarded a penalty after Cebrail hand balled in the box. Up stepped Deniz Kadah to make it 2-1 and start the celebrations in Izmir.

Now we await what the summer transfer window brings for Ankaragücü and we will have all the latest news here.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

A season in the Turkish Capital with Ankaragücü!



It’s exactly 10 years since I started following Ankaragücü after deciding one night to make my casual interest in Turkish football more interesting by choosing a team to follow. Most people would have opted for one of the Istanbul or holiday resort teams but when I came across this blog and saw the reports from a fellow Scot and Brit I decided to get in touch, and that was that. 

Since then I have been over to Ankara 6 times, and I’m planning my next trip in September when the new Super Lig season starts. As a Rangers season ticket holder, I’ve like many of my fellow fans had to endure some tough times, with the club being demoted to the bottom tier of Scottish football, ripped apart by corrupt criminals and kicked from pillar to post by politicians and our enemies. 

Thankfully Rangers are back on the ascendence and things are starting to look  ore optimistic for the future. The same unfortunately can’t be said for Ankaragücü. The club has suffered a similar fate to Rangers, dropping down the leagues, the victims of corrupt and criminal activity that almost put the club out of business 6 years ago. Every player left the club, there was no electricity or water for the youth players who lived at the complex and had to sleep with 2 blankets just to keep warm.

After a spell of 5 years in the lower leagues, Ankaragücü finally made it back to the big League, clinching promotion from Lig 1 last season. For most clubs, the extra revenue would be a welcome opportunity for progression and signal the start of the end of some financial problems. This is Ankaragücü however, and we take a look at the 2018/19 season and the remarkable achievements of Mustafa Kaplan considering the adversity he faced on a daily basis.

İsmail Kartal guided the club to the Super Lig having finished 2nd in Lig 1 the following season. His preparations for the return to the Super Lig were what you would expect for an amateur club. Having played at the 19 Mayis Stadium for a large part of their history, it was announced that it was being knocked down and the club would move to a new stadium. The issue was that the new stadium still hadn’t been built which left the club homeless.

Ankaragücü also had a transfer ban which meant they couldn’t sign any new players until that was lifted. The club only played 2 pre season games due to not having enough players to compete in competitive matches. With only days remaining until the new season began, Ankaragücü announced that they lifted the transfer ban and would be playing at Yenikent Stadium which is in the outskirts of Ankara with dreadful public transport facilities. 

New signings such as Mustapha El Kabir, Youness Mokhtar, Thiago Pinto, Thievy Bifouma, Alessio Cerci, Ricardo Faty, Bakary Kone, Thomas Heurtaux, Yalcin Ayhan and Thievy Bifouma all signed on but their were major concerns with the club having no pre season and the first game of the season was against champions Galatasaray at home.

Ankaragücü put up a brave fight against Galatasaray in front of a sold out Yenikent Stadium. They took the lead through El Kabir but Galatasaray came back to win 3-1 after the home side ran out of steam and the match fitness started to show.

The following week Ankaragücü won their first Super Lig game since relegation 6 years previous with a fantastic 2-0 win at Alanyaspor. They followed that up with a 2-2 draw at home against a good Trabzonspor side, before losing 2-0 at Kasimpasa. The team would then go on a run winning 4 out of their next 7 games taking them up into the Top 5 and even had some fans dreaming of Europe.  
The run included a fantastic 3-1 win at Fenerbahce with İsmail Kartal receiving  standing ovation from the Fenerbahce fans having previously managed the Istanbul side.

Sadly, that would be the end of the run for the club, as in typical Ankaragücü fashion, when the good times come, the bad times are just around the corner.

Yenikent Stadium is owner by Ankara municipal and it’s their responsibility to keep the stadium and pitch maintained. The pitch was neglected and they refused to fix it which meant the TFF decided it wasn’t acceptable to play on and Ankaragücü would have to play their home games somewhere else. Those locations were decided a couple of days before each game and were in Kayseri and Afyon which are 4-5 hours outside of Ankara.

On top of being homeless as the clubs new stadium wouldn’t be ready till January, players were starting to terminate their contracts due to unpaid wages. The club would go on to lose their next 9 league games and were kicked out of the Turkish Cup by Lig 3 side Bordumspor.

Expensive signings such as Alessio Cerci who was a former Italian International and Atletico Madrid winger didn’t work out, and then there was the fall out between the management team and Ismail Kartal.

After another Ankaragücü defeat, Ismail Kartal had a go publicly at the Ankaragücü board, saying if they can’t  pay the players then go. Kartal was held in high regard by the clubs fans as he refused to take a house paid by the club and instead stayed at the club facility to save money. He also guided the club back to the Super Lig in his first season in charge. Sadly that was to be the end of Kartal as he was fired and replaced by Mustafa Kaplan who was back for his 3rd spell as manager.

I took a trip over to Ankara just before all the unrest and met with the club who gave me some insite into the financial problems they have. Ankaragücü weren’t receiving any of their prize money for winning and drawing matches as it wasn’t withheld by the TFF who were paying off old debts left by Melih Gokcek the clubs former president and main culprit for all the financial issues at the club.

Things would get bad to worse as another rift, this time between start player and top scorer Mustapha El Kabir and management took place after one of the games, where it was claimed El Kabir punched one of the staff members and refused to play for the club. El Kabir has all the talent in the world, but his attitude will see him move from club to club and see him in trouble more often than not.

The January transfer window summed up Ankaragücü, 12 players in with 12 moving out and all new signings were made on the last day of the transfer window.

Mustafa Kaplan wasn’t faced with the impossible task of bringing a full new team together fighting relegation and make them a team who were up for the fight for survival. Tyler Boyd, Michal Pazdan, Stelios Kitsiou, Hadi Sacko, Dever Orgill, Ante Kulusic, Tito Canteros, Moke and Zaur Sadaev were some of the players the club signed and they made an impact right from the start. 

The club finally moved into the new Eryaman Stadium which holds just over 20,000 and is very close to the pitch which makes for an excellent atmosphere.

A brilliant 3-0 win over Kasimpasa on the opening night where both Orgill and Sacko opened their account saw the club go on a 5 match unbeaten run and move clear of the danger zone. Tyler Boyd and Orgill in particular formed a fantastic partnership scoring and creating in each match. Boyd a 24 year old winger with an end product, and Orgill a quick and powerful striker who led the line well fighting for every ball.

Important draws against Fenerbahce and Rizespor and a brilliant 2-0 win at Kayserispor took Ankaragücü closer to safety and the team was playing and exciting brand of football along the way. 

The problem for Ankaragücü, was that other teams at the bottom such a season Goztepe, Bursaspor and Erzerumspor were all winning too which meant the team weren’t out of danger from the drop. Some of the results and performances had started to drop and again the team suffered some bad news when key duo Thiago Pinto and Djedje terminated their contracts due to unpaid wages. Both players were big assists for the club with Besiktas and Trabzonspor both interested in signing them. Both players left and Ankaragücü weren’t entitled to anything.

Ankaragücü would face Sivasspor a time home with 2 games remaining knowing a point would guarantee survival. A defeat however would send the team closer to the drop zone and with Djedje and Pinto both leaving it meant others would need to step up.

In came Cebrail for his first start and Moke came back into the starting line up too. The fans created the usual intimidating atmosphere for the last home game of the season and kept their undefeated record at the stadium with a 3-1 victory thanks to goals from Sacko, Boyd and Canteros.

It was an emotional ending to the season for Ankaragücü manager Mustafa Kaplan who had tears in his eyes. After the game he spoke of the sacrifices he and his team had made in the most difficult conditions. The players hadn’t been paid their wages in the last 3-6 months but still fought for the jersey and gave their all. They sacrificed getting injured and having no contract at the end of the season, and no income for their families. All for Ankaragücü, and they were thanked by the fans who saw their heroes clinch their place in the Super Lig for next season.

It wasn’t all positive at the Sivasspor match. One of the clubs fan groups chanted for the resignation of the clubs President due to a fall out. The club should fan groups are funded by the club and apparently they asked for more money that was turned down.

The club today also confirmed they have paid the outstanding wages to the players and will now look to strength for next season. The clubs main Sponsor MKE failed to pay their sponsorship money and the Municipal also failed to support the club. As usual, Ankaragücü are a club supported by the fans from the slums and will be on their own again.

Finally, Altay Bayindir who came through the clubs youth academy, became the youngest ever captain in the Super Lig at the age of 20. He look s to have played his last game for the club as Galatasaray and Trabzonspor are set to fight it out for the Turkish U21 International.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

ANKARAGUCU PRESERVE SUPER LEAGUE STATUS !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu swept Sivas aside last night in Ankara with a sustained attacking performance throughout which secured their status as a Super League team for next season.

Despite being without three key players (Djedje, Faty and Pinto) who left the Club last week for financial reasons, it didn’t seem to affect the team as much as anticipated.   It was a controlled performance from start to finish and a consolation goal by Sivas half way through the 2nd half didn’t have any bearing on the final outcome.

ANKARAGUCU       3                 Sivasspor       1

Team – Korcan, Kitsiou, Kulusic, Pazdan, Cebrail, Moke, Canteros, Boyd, Ilhan, Sacko and Orgill

Substitutes – Moulin, Sedat and Sadev

Maniac Kanka Harun, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I met-up at the Sumer Cafe in Kizilay full of optimism, but I was wondering yesterday if we would end up like this photo from yesteryear ??!!



My quote last night pre-match was (with all due respect to Sivas)  ............’if we cant’ beat Sivas we don’t deserve to be in the Super League !!’          Harun’s quote was more measured ............’I’ll settle for one point’ !!



Ankaragucu went straight into attack from the kick-off when Orgill was put through on the left channel, but with two Ankaragucu attackers free on the right he decided to shoot, but his shot was blocked for a corner.

Not long after that, Boyd was put through but he got tangled-up with defenders and the ball was cleared.   Then we witnessed some great skill from Sacko on the right, but he couldn’t get his cross in due the close attention of defenders.

The break through came in the 23rd minute when Man of the Match, Sacko, picked up a pass just outside the box in the centre and sent in a left foot shot to the right corner with the goalkeeper helpless.    Smiles all round and sighs of relief.    I said prior to KO that to go in 1-0 up at HT would be imperative to give them the impetus in the 2nd half !!

Ilhan and Boyd had other ideas !      On the half hour mark a sweeping attack on the right when Ilhan chased the ball down to the touch line and played the cut-back expertly for the inrushing and unmarked Boyd to sweep the ball in for No2.

Approaching half time and Korcan had to be smart to cut-out a dangerous Sivas attack which could have proved costly.

On the half time whistle and Canteros had a free kick just outside the box but his shot was sent over.



Ankaragucu started the 2nd half as they had in the 1st half on full out attack.   It was only 2 minutes old when Ilhan almost scored from a deft flick on the right at a difficult angle, but his attempt found the side netting.

However, 3 minutes later and Ankaragucu put the match to bed.    It was a sweeping move which saw Boyd’s shot saved, but Canteros was in the right place to pick up the rebound from the save and send in a well controlled side-foot shot to the left with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

At this point, the cameraman zoomed in on our Coach, Mustafa Kaplan, who was shedding tears on the touchline.    Tears of happiness yes, but probably also tears of relief that he would not be the man to take Ankaragucu back down to The Championship League !!!

Half way through the 2nd half and Sivas grabbed a consolation goal which was down to Ankaragucu’s defenders day-dreaming.   A cross came in from the left to the far post where 2 attackers were lurking unmarked with the Ankaragucu defence oblivious to their presence.   All credit to Braz who headed in with the unprotected Korcan flapping at air.

Ankaragucu didn’t allow that goal to alter the pattern of play.    It could almost have been 4 when Moulin’s shot hit the post with the goalkeeper beaten.   The rebound was picked up by Sacko who’s shot was miraculously saved and tipped over for a corner.

15 minutes to go and the referee made his one big mistake of the evening when he waved play on after Sacko was unceremoniously brought down inside the box.   He really should have consulted his VAR for that incident !!!

10 minutes to go and Korcan saved a certain goal when he got down smartly to save in the centre.

Ankaragucu was running the clock down in the last few minutes but Orgill almost made it 4 when his shot went just past the post.

So, Ankaragucu travel to Izmir next weekend for the final match against Goztepe and can relax in the knowledge that Super League footie is preserved for next season.   However, the result of that match will have a bearing on the relegation issue.

Akhisar and Erzurum look certain to go down, but it is still unclear if Goztepe or Bursa will join them.   If Ankaragucu can beat Goztepe and Bursa can beat Malatya then Goztepe will go down, but if not, then it may be curtains for our brother team Bursa.

I guess lots of the Bursa Teksas Group will travel to Izmir to support Ankaragucu !!!

Well done Ankaragucu and let’s hope that the Management Team solve the present financial problems before the resumption of League action next season !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 19, 2019

GENCLERBIRLIGI FALL AT THE LAST HURDLE !




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It has been a two horse race for most of the season in the Spor Toto Championship League between Gencler and Denizli, and unfortunately Gencler fell at the last obstacle to hand the Championship Winners Medals to Denizli.   However, as I said last week, both teams secured promotion back into the Super League, and congratulations to both teams.

Saturday -   Genclerbirligi       1          Adana Demirspor      2

                    Istanbulspor       2             Denizlispor            5

In mitigation of Gencler’s defeat, and as I said last week, Adana Demirspor was still in the hunt for a play-off place and came to Ankara to attack and win the match.   However, they needed Altinordu to lose, which they did against Giresun, and so secured 6th place and the last play-off slot.

The other 3 teams in the play-off mix will be Hatay, Osman.....spit....li and Gazisehir.

So, we still don’t know if there will be an Ankara Derby next season, but that may be known tomorrow night (Monday) when Ankaragucu will be at home to Sivas.   Hopefully Ankaragucu can take all 3 points without having to travel to Goztepe for the last match the following weekend needing any points.

It will surely be a tense match tomorrow and I’ll have that report up here on Tuesday.

Well done Gencler for a quick return to the Super League.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Ankaragücü vs Sivasspor match preview!



Ankaragücü have prepared for this weeks vital match with Sivasspor with a week of chaos and again its due to the clubs financial situation. Key duo Brice Dja Djedje and Thiago Pinto have both terminated their contracts with the club due to unpaid wages, and former player Michael Klukowski has reported the club to FIFA due to unpaid wages from 2011.

If the club don’t pay Klukowski his 160K Euros plus 500K compensation then they will face a 6 point deduction next season. Mehmet Yiginer has stated that the club will pay the money immediately. Djedje and Pinto who are two of the clubs biggest assets are now free to sign with other clubs and both have reportedly held talks with Besiktas.

It’s a huge blow for the club losing two players of their quality, but also means they won’t receive any income from player sales with both valued at 3 million Euros by the club.

Ankaragücü are also putting themselves in a dangerous situation of making it difficult to sign new players with the reputation of failing to pay players their wages. Top scorer Dever Orgill has also reported the club to FIFA as he is also waiting on his wages to be paid. 

The club only need 1 point from their last two games, but with all the turnmoil going on, you wouldn’t put any money on them achieving it. It now means Mehmet Sak will come in at Left back, while Sedat, Moke, Moulin and Canteros will take up the midfield positions.

Sivasspor themselves are on a run of poor form with only 1 win in their last 11 games. Since Robinho moved to Basaksehir in January they have found it difficult but still have players such as Diabate and Emre Kilinc who are capable of hurting you if you aren’t on your game. 

Ankaragücü will be looking for a bit of revenge from the last time the two sides met when a Robinho inspired Sivas won 4-0 comfortably at home. Only 1 point separates the two sides when they meet in Ankara on Monday night. A defeat for Ankaragücü would be unthinkable, let’s hope they don’t let us down and a packed home crown can spur them onto victory!

Monday, May 13, 2019

GENCLERBIRLIGI SECURE PROMOTION !!!




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With only one more match to play, Gencler and Denizli confirmed their promotions to the Super League on Saturday.     Congratulations to both teams.

Gazisehir      0         GENCLERBIRLIGI      2

Denizlispor      6          Karabuk       0

However, who will be crowned champions has still to be decided.    Gencler is one point ahead of Denizli, but have an inferior goal difference of 9, so next weekend’s matches will be crucial for both as they fight for these bragging rights.

Gencler will be at home against Adana Demirspor who are still in the hunt for a play-off place, so it will not be an easy match for Gencler.

Denizli is away to Istanbul who are in mid-table and nothing to play for, except their pride.

The date and KO time has still to be announced, but I will put them in the comments section of this report when it is known.

As always, watch this space for the outcome of this intriguing climax to the season.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Başakşehir 2-1 Ankaragücü match report!



Ankaragücü dropped further into the danger zone this weekend after a disappointing 2-1 defeat at joint top Başakşehir. The team were dealt a blow earlier in the day when Altay was ruled out due to a shoulder injury and would be replaced with Korcan.

Team - Korcan, Kitsiou, Pazdan, Kulusic, Pinto, Sedat, Moulin, Canteros, Sakho, Boyd, Orgill

Subs - Altay, Furkan, Mehmet, Alihan, Ilhan, Oscar, Ender, Aydin, Zaur, Kaan

Başakşehir started the game strongly and almost took the lead after 6 minutes but for a brilliant save from Korcan. 

It was all Başakşehir, but Ankaragücü took the lead against the run of play with a fantastic counter attack. Sakho broke free down the left hand side, before playing the ball infield for Orgill, the Jamaican picked out Boyd in the box who cut inside before firing past Mert to make it 1-0 Ankaragücü much to the delight of the travelling fans.

Most of the game was being played in the middle of the pitch without either side creating anything of note. Napoleoni went closest for the home side as he cut infield before firing over the bar. Ankaragücü were defending very well and breaking up all the Başakşehir attacks.

Into the second half and a disastrous start for Ankaragücü as Bajic made it 1-1. It did look offside but the referee checked with VAR and awarded the goal.

Fifteen minutes later Başakşehir went in front after Korcan could only spill Visca’s shot but Robinho was on hand to make it 2-1 for the home side.

There were a couple of half chances for both sides before the full time whistle but in the end Başakşehir held on for the 3 points and it now leaves Ankaragücü 4 points ahead of the relegation zone with 2 games remaining.

Up next is a home match with Sivasspor next Monday night in what will the biggest game of the season for the club. A win or possibly a draw can secure the teams place in the Super Lig next season.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Basaksehir vs Ankaragücü match preview!



Two teams out of form at different ends of the table meet tomorrow in Istanbul as Ankaragücü travel to Basaksehir. The hosts who are 3 points behind leaders Galatasaray haven’t won in their last 4 games, while Ankaragücü who are fighting relegation have only won 1 of their last 7.

Başakşehir were so far ahead of the rest of the pack last month, that it looked like it was going to be 3rd time lucky as they bid to win their first ever Super Lig title. Like the last two seasons they have completely capitulated and are in danger of missing out for a third successive season.

At the other end of the table, Bursaspor, Erzerumspor and Goztepe have all started winning games and Ankaragücü are now only 4 points clear of the relegation zone with 3 games running. A win tomorrow would almost certainly secure the clubs place in the Super Lig next season.

Some good news for Mustafa Kaplan ahead of tomorrow’s match as both Thiago Pinto and Stelios Kitsiou are fit and will replace Mehmet Sak and Cebrail Karayel. Djedje is still out with injury and is set to miss out.

Ankaragücü were unlucky last week not to take all 3 points against Rizespor after a disgraceful refereeing decision late on wrongly gifted them a penalty which saw them share the points. If the team are to take anything from the match they will need a repeat of the second half performance which saw a higher intensity and better use of the ball in the final 3rd of the field.

Tyler Boyd and Dever Orgill will again be key for Ankaragücü with both having a quiet couple of games as teams have started paying more attention to the duo.

Basaksehir have a host of talent in their side with the likes of Edin Visca, Robinho, Elia, Adebayor, Emre, Arda Turan all experienced quality players. However it looks like either age is starting to take its toal, or they are lacking the mentality to get the team over the finishing line. With an ageing squad, this could be the last ever chance of winning the Super Lig for many of the squad.

The Istanbul side have always been solid at the back, and have had a lot of success in attack at periods of this season. But only 2 goals in their last 4 games gives Abdullah Avci some concern for the final 3rd of the pitch.

With a crowd of less than 4,000 expected it could give Ankaragücü a much needed boost as the travelling support have sold out their allocation again which takes away the usual home advantage in Turkish football.

Good luck to Ankaragücü and our brothers from Scotland Rangers in the derby tomorrow. A win for both teams will be a great Sunday.

Monday, May 06, 2019

GENCLERBIRLIGI – IS IT TIME TO HIT THE PANIC BUTTON ???




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Last week it was Denizlispor feeling the pressure, now it is Gencler feeling it as they totally lost the plot yesterday and spurned the opportunity of clinching promotion to the Super League.

GENCLERBIRLIGI     0         Denizlispor       3

With only 2 matches left, Gencler have put themselves under needless pressure by requiring ONE more point to be sure of promotion.

Gencler is still top of the league on 67 points, Denizli right on their tail now on 66, but it is ‘dark horses’ Hatay who Gencler need to be wary of.   They have been steadily closing the gap over the past few weeks and won 4-1 in Bolu on Friday night which puts them on 61 points.   They also have a superior goal difference to Gencler !!

Next weekend Gencler face a difficult away match against 4th placed Gazisehir who have consolidated their position in the play-off positions.  

Denizli, on the other hand, have an easy home match against bottom club Karabuk who are already relegated.

The good news for Gencler is that Hatay also have a difficult match away to Osman.....spit...li who are in the play-off positions, but will still need further points to be sure of making it.

What will Gencler do next weekend ?    Attack and go for it, or play for one point ??!!

Watch this space for the answer.

Haydi Gencler !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 05, 2019

ANKARAGUCU – ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE !





Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu almost won all three points, but a controversial decision by the referee in time added on in the 2nd half put paid to that.    So, despite a convincing 2nd half display by Ankaragucu they had to share the points with draw specialists Rize.

ANKARAGUCU     2           Rize       2

Team – Altay, Pazdan, Karayel, Kulusic, Mehmet Sak, Sedat, Moke, Canderos, Sacko, Boyd and Orgill

Substitues – Moulin, Ilhan and Sadaev

Maniac Kanka Harun, Hazal and I met-up at his shop, TShirmatik, and we then watched the match in The Anasson Bar where we were joined by Battle Damaged Kanka Damon.   We did attempt to obtain tickets for this match but unfortunately were unable to do so for reasons which I won’t bore you with.   However, we will definitely have tickets for our last home match of the season in 2 weeks time against Sivas.



Ankaragucu had little to offer in the 1st half as Rize gradually took control of the match and impressed with their speed and flowing attacks.    Ankaragucu’s only goal attempt was in the 4th minute but the shot was blocked by the Rize defence.   Shortly after that, Moke limped off injured and was replaced by Moulin.

Rize almost opened the scoring in the 8th minute when a cross from the left was met with a fiece shot which eluded Altay and was on its way to the back of the net until Pazdan managed to retrieve the situation by clearing off the line.

Not for the first time we saw Canderos dithering on the ball and being dispossessed which I imagine was frustrating for the Ankaragucu attackers.    With Rize in control of the match what was needed was cool heads.

15 minutes in and another Rize attack when a cross came in from the right but the goalbound header was saved by Altay.

It only took another 10 minutes for Rize to score the opening goal and it was probably a goal constructed on the training ground.    The move was started in the Rize half and was a free flowing move between 4 or 5 players with Ankaragucu players chasing shadows.    The ball finally ended up on the left and Meinjak fired it across Altay’s outstretched arm and into the net via the right post.

On the half hour mark and Altay had to look smart to smother the ball with a Rize attacker lurking.

5 minutes later and Rize increased their lead when they had a quick throw-in on the right and another flowing move when the ball was cut-back and crossed to the left.    Another cross into the centre and a bullet of a header with the Ankaragucu defence all at sea.      However, a let-off for Ankaragucu when the referee was advised to look at the VAR from an assistant through his earphone.     He then decided that a Rize player was offside before the goal was scored.    Phew .......... relief all round !

Approaching half time and a rare attack from Ankaragucu but, not for the first time, the final pass went astray in the final 3rd.

Into time added on and Rize almost scored again when a cross came in from the left, but the header went just past the post.

So, there was no argument from us concerning the scoreline with Ankaragucu lucky to go in only one goal down.    I was thinking, using the olde cliché, ........... I hope it’s a game of two halves !!!!       And so it transpired !!!

The 2nd half was only 3 minutes old when Boyd was brought down in the box and we were all up on our feet shouting .......... penalty !      Sacko made a run down the right, cut the ball back for Boyd and as he was about to shoot he was brought down.     The referee didn’t point to the spot immediately and ended up going to the VAR again.    He returned and took play back into the Ankaragucu half for a foul by Mehmet prior to Sacko’s run down the right.    Mehmet received a yellow and ............. no penalty ............ aaaargh !!!

Ankaragucu was in full attack mode now and 10 minutes later Orgill was brought down on the right near the corner flag.   The ball was flighted over but the header was over the bar.

However, we only had to wait another 5 minutes for the equaliser.    Ilhan had only been on for 2 minutes as a replacement for Mehmet when he received a pin point pass from Sacko on the right and stroked the ball in with the defender in attendance unable to clear.

Ankaragucu continued to attack, but so also did Rize, and with 20 minutes to go Rize almost regained the lead when a shot from outside the box hit the post with Altay beaten.    The rebound was won by Rize and another shot from outside the box went just over the bar.

10 minutes to go and Sadaev had a great chance to score after a sweeping move down the left but under no pressure he skied his shot over the bar.

5 minutes later and the goal of the match.    A corner on the right was sent over and the unmarked Pazdan arrived through a ruck of players to head powerfully in at the near post.

Yessssssssssss that’s it we all thought ............. 3 valuable points won after a great 2nd half fight back.     Wrong !!!!

Almost on the final whistle and a Rize attack down the middle.   The ball was sent into the box to a Rize attacker who was being shadowed by Sedat.   Both players went for the ball which was too high for either to reach and Sedat lost his balance, fell back and his arm made contact with the Rize player as they both fell.    No way was that intentional by Sedat as he made a genuine effort to reach the ball and with the Rize player behind him there was no way of knowing exactly where he was.
   
The referee consulted his VAR yet again and returned to point to the spot.     Suat Bey, you will never receive your FIFA badge with performances like this !!!!!

Up stepped Muriqi and coolly despatched the penalty to take the smiles off our faces ............. aaaaaargh !!       A cruel ending for Ankaragucu !

Ankaragucu has still not escaped from the relegation fight, although they are 7 points clear of 3rd bottom Goztepe with 3 matches left to play.      Antalya can do us a favour by beating them today and I’ll put that result up in the comments section tonight.

Next Sunday Ankaragucu face the difficult task of beating top of the league Basaksehir in Istanbul, but with Basak going off the boil in recent weeks it is not inconceivable that Ankaragucu could nick a point at least.

As always, watch this space !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim