Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

As most of you know by now, The Round Ball in Ankara will be celebrating One and Half Years in existence on 16 June 2007 in The Red Lion Club in Ankara where the End of Season Bar-B-Q will be held.

With all the footie and trophy questions all done and dusted, it is now time to relax and celebrate the end of another season.

This is an opportunity for all kankas to come together in one place at the same time to contemplate last season and look forward to next season. Will the Ankara Big 2 be chasing domestic honours, aiming for YooRo footie qualification, or will they be fighting another backs against the wall fight at the end of the season. A good time to put your views forward. It is also a good opportunity for our wives and girlfriends to have a moan to each other about how much we neglect them !! We don't have a creche for the children but I will bring handcuffs, red cards (Eski Kanka's fav colour !!), and whips to punish them if they are naughty !!!

The Club will be open at about 4.30pm for pre-Bar-B-Q `refreshments` and the Bar-B-Q will be served when you feel hunger pains. Assuming it will be a warm summer evening, we will be using the garden and balcony. Later in the evening there will be music and dancing - I heard that Oz Kanka performs a passable pasodoble. He may not be twinkle toed on the footie field but on the dance floor he is natural Old Pro !!!

Footie colours should be worn which should give our roving cameraman (Flying Dutchman Kanka) lots of opportunities for those `kodak moments` !

Lanky Kanka Jorg informed us that we may have some guest footie players from ANKARAGUCU and Gencler attending, but more on that later if it transpires that they are available.

If you haven't done so already, please tell Oz Kanka or myself if you are coming.

Look forward to seeing you there for a fun afternoon and evening.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Breaking news which has not been reported by the Turkish press yet !!! You hear it first in The Round Ball in Ankara !!!

This will be of special interest to kankas planning their summer holidays in Germany this year !

ANKARAGUCU will play Watford (recently relegated from the English Premiership - but now of the English Championship League) in Munich on Tuesday 24 July.

It might be an opportunity for Lanky Kanka Jorg to turn up in his Gencler top which I'm sure will be acceptable to the thousands of ANKARAGUCU fanatiks who will make the trip to Munich !!!

Watch this space for more on pre-season `friendlies`.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sun, sea, beer and football

"Oh I do like to be besides the seaside,
Oh I like to be beside the sea.
Oh I do like to be beside the seaside,
To see a Genclerbirligi victoreee."

It was about time I got myself to a Genclerbirligi away match (playing away to Ankaragucu and Ankaraspor don't really count) and so with the TFF setting up our last match of season in Antalya it wasn't too difficult to convince Mrs. Oz Kanka to join me down by the Mediterranean.

Unfortunately Antalya decided not to have any section for Genclerbirligi supporters and at first I thought I'd have to watch the game with "the enemy" all around. In the end though I managed to get into the Protokol section thanks to the second in charge at Genclerbirligi Oftas getting me a ticket. Thanks Suphi.

The stadium was full. 13,000 Antalya fans singing away while I was the only non-employed by the club Genclerbirligi fan.

Antalyaspor 1 - 3 Genclerbirligi

The atmosphere was great. Antalya needed a win to stay in the top flight and the way they were playing, or perhaps that should be, the way we were playing looked very likely to achieve it.

Gencler were playing like they had their minds already on their summer holidays while the Antalya players were playing for their careers.

The first half ended nil-nil but Antalyaspor should have been about 3-0 up. They had so many shots, some very easy chances as well and it was only thanks to the heroics of Jesus in goal that stopped them.

The crowd was getting restless and it was on the 53rd minute that things started to turn nasty. Isaac Promise sent in a cross which an Antalyaspor player tried to send behind for a corner. Instead he managed to find the net. 0-1.

Time for all out attack from Antalya who were missing sitters left, right and centre. At this stage they seemed to have completely lost any composure and were playing purely with fear inside them.

This of course gave Gencler huge gaps and great counter-attacking opportunities. It was in this situation that Sandro exploited to score. 0-2.

As the teams lined up for the restart the Antalya fans had decided they had had enough. Flares and smoke bombs were lit and chairs were smashed up. All of which were thrown onto the pitch. The calls for the management to resign went up and their was real anger out their on the terraces. At this point the Antalya governor who was a few seats in front of me decided to leave and I thought it might get very ugly indeed. Luckily it didn't.

The referee held play up for a few minutes to get the field cleared of foreign objects and it was back on.

Same as before, Antalya would go full on attack, we would counter attack. This was exciting, if not especially brilliant football as we got a shot on goal every minute or so.

It wasn't over though and Antalya managed to get one back. 1-2.

Edge of the seat stuff. Antalya needed two goals in about 15 minutes of play when Draman Haminu capped off what was a great day for him with a wonderful shot from outside the box. 1-3.

Just a few minutes left and the Antalyaspor supporters knew they were going down. The anger was clear. Even some of the Protokol fans were shouting at the chairman of their club. I felt sorry for them, and for me as next year I won't have the opportunity to mix sun, sea, beer and football.

England take down Turkey 4-0

In the first of two “friendly” amputee internationals played on Sunday evening at the ‘Aktepe Stadi’ in Ankara a resolute England team, in front of Her Majesty’s Ambassador, Nick Baird, defeated an energetic Turkish side 4-0. The score line belied a tough, uncompromising game in which both teams exhibited impressive skills and combined to provide the crowd with end-to-end entertainment. Indeed, at half time England edged their opponents by a solitary, well-taken goal, fortunate to be ahead perhaps as Turkey had hit the woodwork twice in the period.

However, in the second half the experience and stamina of the England team marked the difference between the two sides and a trio of well-executed goals secured a hard-earned win. Strong and confident in all facets of the game the English squad nonetheless expect an even tougher challenge in the follow-up game on Monday night.

These matches form part of the preparations for the Amputee Football World Championships to be held in Antalya in November 2007 and in which up to 12 teams are expected to participate with Russia and Brazil the favourites.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Greeting Kankas and Kankies.

Stop press......... breaking news...............

I have just received a phone call from Maniac Kanka Harun to inform me that Hikmet Karaman, the ANKARAGUCU coach, has resigned.

We have no further details at the moment, however, I'm sure Oz Kanka will tap into his journalist sources tonight and give more details when they become available.

On a personal note, this is a tragedy ! He is the best coach this club has had in recent times since the unfortunate departure of Ersun Yanal. You can sure that if Cemal Aydin is responsible for this then he will suffer the fury of the fans !

Better news coming out of the Genclerbirligi camp............... the Erciyes coach (name ?) has replaced Mesut Bakkal. More on that too from Oz Kanka tomorrow.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Well, as expected, the Hibernian Ladies did the double and retained their Premier League title.

Having won the Ladies Scottish FA Cup final last week in Perth, it was all eyes on retaining their league title which they did in style yesterday.

Last Tuesday they went to Forfar and won 6-0 with Suzanne Grant scoring 4. With Eski Kanka's heroine, Kim Little, being rested for this match, it was an opportunity to give her strike partners a chance to grab some of the glory.

Yesterday, the Ladies went to Kilmarnock and wrapped up the league title with a convincing 5-0 win.

Three trophies in the Easter Road Stadium cabinet is not a bad day's work me thinks !!

Congratulations to the Hibernian Ladies from The Round Ball in Ankara and we will be watching you again next season to see if you can do the treble !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 27, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Last night in Istanbul it was all about Fenerbahce, with ANKARAGUCU there `to make up the numbers` !!

Fenerbahce 3 ANKARAGUCU 1

The Stadium was filled to capacity (approximately 55,000) to celebrate the presentation of the League Championship Trophy to Fener prior to the kick-off.

The Cappadokia Bar was also filled to capacity with traitorous Fener `supporters` who come from Ankara ! However, at least there were 6 ANKARAGUCU supporters to celebrate ANKARAGUCU scoring first and silencing the Pub (for a while at least) !!

Maniac Kanka Harun, his friend (can't remember his name), Harun's beautiful wife Asuman and gorgeous daughter Hazal, Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo and yours truly were all there in The Cappadokia Bar.

All the TFF VIPs were there at the Stadium kissing each other and trying to pretend that they weren't Fener supporters ! Tears of joy flowed from some of the players eyes which almost made me throw-up with excruiciating embarrassment !! Oh yes, and while all this bullshit was taking place, the ANKARAGUCU players were waiting in the tunnel to be called on as `bit players` in the Fenerbahce Show !!!

Flying Dutchman Kanka commented that it would have been more appropriate to make the presentation AFTER the match as happens in `normal countries` ! Agreed !!!

Anyway, after all the eyes were dried and the confetti cleared away, it was kick off time, and all credit to ANKARAGUCU for going straight into the attack. Hikmet Karaman has obviously heeded my advice about making attack the best form of defence !!!

Our `old` captain, Hakan Kutlu, was in the starting line up for the first time this season, obviously to add stability and experience to the defence.

It was pretty much end-to-end stuff with ANKARAGUCU looking the more likely to score, and the goal duly arrived on the half hour mark. A great ball in from the left to the far post where Bebbe was lurking unmarked, and a well placed header wrong footed the goalkeeper to silence the crowd in the Stadium. Meanwhile, back at the Cappadokia, the 6 ANKARAGUCU fanatics burst into song...... Bebbe, Bebbe, Bebbe, etc, for what would be the only time in the match !

Fener came out for the 2nd half and started to step on the gas. Tuncay and Kezman in particular were beginning to cause all sorts of problems for the ANKARAGUCU defence with the speed of their running on and off the ball.

The Fener goal arrived 10 minutes into the 2nd half when a free kick floated in to the near post was met by Umit Ozat with a glancing header that left Serkan rooted to the spot. Cheers all round and more tears from Umit who was playing his last match for Fener. Yours truly had to go to the toilet again to throw up !!!

All credit to ANKARAGUCU for continuing to press forward in search of a winning goal and it almost came from Mustafa and Bebbe who both went close on several occasions before Kezman knocked in the 2nd from another fast break away.

ANKARAGUCU's heads did not go down as they continued to press forward looking to salvage something from the match. However, it was from another break away that Kezman looked to have wrapped it up. But Serkan made an instictive save with the rebound landing at Emre's feet. Uncharacteristically for him, he became disorientated with body and ball and the ball was nicked by Kezman to score at the near post with a tight angled shot.

So, a disappointing defeat perhaps, but it has to be said that ANKARAGUCU were not disgraced in defeat. Their fighting spirit was there for all to see. Hikmet Bey must surely be aware of what is required to strengthen the team for next season. At the risk of repeating myself, and at the very least, we definitely need quality support for Bebbe up front and a class midfield player in the mould of Ceyhun.

Elsewhere, I am sorry to report that Gencler consigned Antalya to the 2nd league. Oz Kanka was there in Antalya to see the match and he will post his report on his return to Ankara on Tuesday.

Joining Antalya in the 2nd league will be Erciyes and Sakarya.

So ends another footie season in Turkey. However, rest assured there will be lots of reporting going on in the summer season on reflections of this and other seasons footie . We also look forward to the opening competition of next season at the end of July when The Sportswriters Cup will take place in Ankara.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, May 25, 2007

FC Stiefel fall 8-3 to Genclerbirligi

There is a parallel world out there where people actually try to make to contact with the heroes who we report about week in, week out.

Today I had a little taste of that world when the stout men of the German embassy team FC Stiefel took on the trainers, coaches and administrators of Genclerbirligi.

I'm afraid I can't really give you much of a match report (for most of the match I was on the sidelines talking to Gencler forward Okan Ozturk and Erkan Ozbey). I'm not sure how but these guys know about us. They said they know about this English-language site. Creepy really, considering how much we criticsie them.

Back to Stiefel v Gencler. As far as I saw it was all pretty even for a while. Goals where being scored left and centre but I must say that Alpine Kanka Chrisoph did some damn good work in goal. He also buggered up once or twice but we shant mention that. :)

The other Kanka playing today was the legendary Lanky Kanka Jorg. This bloke is not only a true Gencler supporter who stands at about about 10 foot tall but he is the man with all the contacts. Lanky Kanka is leaving Ankara soon, thus the cake at the end of the match today, and even though I hardly know him I already feel as if we have lost one of Gencler's best supporters.

But back to the match that I hardly saw.

The final score 8-3 (well... that was what we agreed upon post-match). The pitch at the Genclerbirligi training ground was brilliant. The spirit in which the game was played was brilliant. The skills, while perhaps being a bit rusty, was brilliant.

Hats off to everyone who played today and I hope that this sort of thing can continue.

PS: I didn't mention Zargreb Kanka's name to Hasan Bey! Should I have?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

News Flash: Bakkal resigns

Genclerbirligi coach Mesut Bakkal resigned an hour or so ago. I'll update at some stage when I actually have some time but it seems that Cavcav wanted to change his assistant and Bakkal refused to back down.

Bloody hell. I was going to interview the bloke on Thursday!

UPDATE: Yes it is true. Bakkal announced at a press conference today that he was resigning, along with three of his assistants, rather than accept Cavcav's proposed changes to the training team.

I've been critical of some of Bakkal's decisions in the past year but on this one I'm on Bakkal's side.

The man took up the coaching position last season after we sacked an idiot who had us in the relegation zone within about eight weeks. Bakkal brought stability to the club and we almost made it into the UEFA Cup until Cavcav decided to completely upset everything with his rigging of the chairman election on the morning of the last game of the season.

This year we started off well and at the winter break there was talk that we might even make it into second place. Then Cavcav took the backbone out of the team when he sold Risp and Ayman to one of the teams that we desperately had to finish above in order to get into Europe.

Since then it has been downhill and if it wasn't for the last couple of wins we could easily have been relegated.

So once again, thanks Cavcav. You've stuffed us up yet again.

The Curse of the Round Ball in Ankara

Some of you may remember how this blog tried very very hard to get an interview with Vlado Bozinoski, the then coach of Ankaragucu at the beginning of the season. We tried and tried and just when I got a hold of his mobile phone number (I won't tell you how I managed that one) and was about to ring him directly... Bang. He was sacked!

Fast forward to now and thanks to some help from Lanky Kanka Jorg I was getting ready to interview Bakkal tomorrow night. Lanky Kanka sent me an e-mail confirming all was on and then bang! Within an hour Bakkal was out.

Anyone have any requests on whom we should try and interview next?

Oftaş in the top flight

Genc Kanka Eddie and Ahmet (the bloke who used to have a really cool moustache) from TurkishSoccer both asked for my opinions on the promotion of Genclerbirligi Oftaş into the Ripoff Mobile Phone Company Super Lig.

No, it didn't slip under my radar what was happening in the second division (or as it is officially called - The Ripoff Landline Phone Company Lig A). Genclerbirligi Oftaş won the league and Istanbul Greater Municipality Spor came in second thus meaning that both get promoted. The third team to be promoted will be decided next week after a knockout tournament.

First up I'm bloody pissed off Istanbul got up. Not because they are from Istanbul but what the hell is the Istanbul municipality doing funding a football team. How many pitches has the municipality built for the kids of Istanbul in the past few years? I don't know the answer but I bet it is none. This message applies just as equally to this blog's favourite "honourary" chairman Melih Gokcek.

Stop wasting money on football and start spending money on the people of your city. And while your at it Gokcek. Give us our pub back!

The issue of Genclerbirligi Oftaş is a bit more nuanced, if only because it tears me in two. There was a sort of background article in the Turkish Daily News the other day which looked at the situation.

I haven't been following these guys too closely but it seems they have done very well, moving up two leagues in two seasons. Thing is they are owned 100 percent by Genclerbirligi. Genclerbirligi Oftaş has been regarded as Genclerbirligi reserves for two years now - not that that is totally true as players have to be registered and we can't just move in an Oftaş player if one of the senior guys is injured for example. But the Genclerbirligi club has definitely taken the best off Oftaş. For example, Mehmet Cakir, even if he has been a passenger for the last few matches, was an Oftaş player.

So what happens now. Next year we are going to have two Genclerbirligis (or should that be "two Genclerbirligiler") in the top flight.

Should my loyalties be divided? I don't think they will be. I'll be supporting the senior team and I think that the vast majority of Gencler fans will be doing the same as me. So therefore just how many supporters will Oftaş have? My guess, bugger all.

Then there is the potential massive conflict of interest when it comes to next year's matches between Genclerbirligi and Genclerbirligi Oftaş. It doesn't matter how clean the matches are there will no doubt accusations that one or the other threw the match. Can you imagine what might happen if this is a match that might decide who gets a UEFA Cup spot, or who gets relegated?

My other concern is not about Oftaş per se but about the league in general. Next year we will have four Ankara teams, four Istanbul teams and depending on results in the next week or so potentially none from Antalya, Adana or Izmir, three of the biggest cities in the country. This cannot be healthy.

The great success of Oftaş must certainly be applauded and I wish them well next year. Genclerbirligi Chairman Ilhan Cavcav has clearly done a good job. Does make me wonder though how it is that he can get two teams into the top league but still be an utter failure in getting any further.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The second piece of silverware duly arrived back at Easter Road Stadium on Sunday when Hibernian Ladies defeated Glasgow City 5-1 in the Ladies Scottish FA Cup Final in Perth. Surprise surprise, Kim Little scored 2 in what was one way traffic in the 2nd half with Glasgow City a well beaten team at the end.

I don't recall if I mentioned the first piece of silverware which Hibs won 2 months ago against Kilmarnock (coincidentally by the same scoreline !) when the CIS Scottish League Cup returned to Easter Road after an absence of 16 years ?? I did ! Ooooops ....... my apologies for repeating myself !!

So, the Ladies are now on to a possible League and Cup double. With only 3 matches left in the league, and 5 points ahead of Glasgow City, it is well within their grasp.

Well done girls. Any more room left in the Trophy Cabinet ??

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

ANKARAGUCU and Genclerbirligi - WE DID IT FIRST !

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

I almost choked on my toast and marmalade this morning at breakfast as I was reading the sports section of Hurriyet.

We all know only too well that Hurriyet nick ideas and information from our Blog, but now we have Fenerbahce at it !!!

Imagine my shock when I saw the Fenerbahce Flag (celebrating their 100th birthday !) on top of Mount Everest !

Remember the inspiration we all had last year from Oz Kanka when he scaled the dangerous Bolu Mountain and planted the Gencler Flag at the top ??!!

This famous act inspired Mountaineering Kanka Robbie and Mountaineering Kankie Judy to even greater heights when they planted the ANKARAGUCU Flag on the summit of Mount Killimenjaro (spelling ?).

Well, I suppose copying our idea is a form of flattery and we will accept gratitude from Fenerbahce for taking our idea and showing the Fenerbahce Flag on the summit of the world's great mountains !

As a matter of interest, Marash Kanka Hakan mentioned to me last Sunday that we should have sent Robbie and Judy's photo to Hurriyet and Sabah. What do you think Oz Kanka ? Worth a try for some well deserved publicity, ie, we were first !! It's never too late to score smartie points me thinks ?!

So, as you all know, it will be ANKARAGUCU's 100th birthday in 2010 and that gives Robbie and Judy just over 2 years to make their preparations for the assault on Everest. Go to it kankas !!

By the way, when I go home next year to see Hibernian retain the CIS Scottish League Cup I will be making an assault on The North Berwick Law (700 feet all the way up !!) to plant an ANKARAGUCU Flag on Scotland's finest (not highest !) !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, May 21, 2007


Well, it went to the last game of the season for Pompey to try and get into Europe, but in the end we were denied our first ever foray into the Continent by some inept refereeing - anyone heard of Graham Poll perchance? He of the 3 bookings for one player in last year's World Cup finals. He ruled out a perfectly good goal, on his last game before retirement, meaning we can concentrate on the league next season already! I'm not going to mention all the games in which we played like total clowns prior to that; I'd much rather blame it on a dodgy ref!

Anyway, we still managed to post our best season in over 50 years, beating Man Utd (3rd time in 4 seasons) and Liverpool at home, but once again failed to take anything off Chelsea - maybe next season. We now have a pre-season tour to Hong Kong to look forward to in July, our first overseas tour that didn't involve the Isle of Wight. (Any of you that haven't heard of the Isle of Wight, don't worry, you haven't missed much!). In fact, my wife was asking me what I wanted to do for my 40th birthday in August, and I suggested that she buy me a return ticket to Hong Kong so that i could watch the games. After a moments hesitation to take it in, she thought it would be a good idea to come with me! I politely informed her that that wouldn't be part of the deal - bang goes my return ticket!

I am actually hoping to pay a visit to the land of the Turks in August (as I've mentioned previously, my parents now live in Koycegiz), so hopefully Eski Kanka Jimmy can show me the proper sights, not all that boring touristy stuff. Don't know if the wife and kids will like the bar though!

Now looking forward to all the pre-season hype surrounding transfers. Some big names are being mentioned as potential signings for us. Fingers-crossed for a big season next time round.

All the best,

Pompey Kanka

Turkey v England: International amputee football in Ankara

PLEASE NOTE: There has been a change in venue. I have updated all details and added a link to a map.

The Turkish Football Federation has seemingly forgotten that that we actually live in the capital of Turkey, the city that Ataturk chose as the place from which this country should be run. But when was the last time there was a full blown international football match here? I can't remember.

And so this week we finally have a chance to see some international footy. And not just any match but Turkey versus England in two friendly? matches of amputee football.

Let me give you a run down of the game (and please if any of the players read this and find that I get all my terms confused please don't take offence. I've been checking out a few Youtube clips of the way you guys play and I don't want to be in line for a crutch to the head).

So, assuming the apologies have been accepted, it seems players in the outfield must be missing a leg, or part of a leg, and the goalkeeper has to be missing an arm. Or something like that.

Besides that it looks like it is 100 percent football. As I said, I don't know the rules completely... ie I haven't checked out Wikipedia (I have now and wikipedia has bugger all about the game), but having taken a look at a few videos this doesn't seem like a bad spectator sport at all.

I have in the past seen a few news clips of amputee football on Turkish television from time-to-time. These would inevitably be footage of footy players showing great skills but the whole thing was ruined by violin music in the background which was designed to make us all feel so sorry for these poor people.

Bullshit. These blokes are bloody good athletes showing off some damn good skills and they certainly don't need to be patronised by the inclusion of some weepy music in order for us to respect them.

The friendly matches to be played this weekend are a warm up for the Amputee World Cup which will be played in Antalya in November.

Onto the details of the weekend matches. Two matches in fact.

Sunday May 27
Aktepe Stadium Kecioren
KO: 6 pm


Monday May 28
Aktepe Stadium Kecioren
KO: 6 pm

Bloody difficult to get to this place via public transport and it will cost a packet to go by taxi. So it looks like going by car is the only way to go. Directions-wise, drive as if you are going to the airport (via Ulus obviously and not on the ring road). Go through Ulus and on and on and at some stage you will have Altin park on your right. Just before the end of the park turn left onto 1. Caddesi (it is a major road). Follow 1st. Caddesi until it ends in a T-junction and take the right onto Kizlarpinari caddesi. Follow that for about 2 kms and then look out for another major intersection at which you will turn right onto Ozyurt Caddesi. About 500 metres later on your right will be 2. caddesi but by this stage you should have already seen the stadium itself.

You can probably get there a bit easier by checking out the map I've made (well, google made it) and printing it out.

Perhaps if people who are driving to the match could leave a comment here so that those who don't have a car can get a lift. I can help get people in touch until about Friday night. After that I will be unavailable.

So I urge all Kankas to get on down there and support Turkey. As far as I can see the English are pretty good at amputee football but hopefully our boys can put the boot up the Poms. I should also point out that according to the e-mails I've recieved these games are fully sanctioned by the English FA. The Turkish FA (The TFF) has put out a very small thing on their website but which gives no details.

From the e-mails that have been coming into my inbox it looks like the British Embassy will be getting their lot there. Time for us to make sure we outsing them.

My other suggestion is that considering the police will not be checking all supporters, take along a hip flask or two. I'd leave the flares though for the Galatasaray supporters.

And just top get you into the mood, check out the YouTube clip below.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

A horror show in Ankara last night from ANKARAGUCU saw the celebrations curtailed even though relegation was averted by results elsewhere.

ANKARAGUCU 1 Sivasspor 4

A disappointing turn-out at The Chopin Bar with lots of ANKARAGUCU kankas missing…. Tut tut tut ! Maniac Kanka Harun and Husso Kanka were first to show up, followed by yours truly, then Spine Kanka Steve and French Kankie Hande showed up minus their Gencler colours (very diplomtic of Steve to wear Sari/Lacivert and Hande in her Bond Girl T Shirt !!). Marash Kanka Hakan was next to show, and surprise surprise, he wasn’t drinking Fanta !!! Last up was Aynur Kankie just as we were about to leave for the Stadium.

Photo: Sir Eski Kanka

Into the Stadium on time for Kick-Off and it all started so optimistically with the Sadium almost full of ANKARAGUCU supporter groups. The `Olay Olay Olay` song featured again in the 1st half when ANKARAGUCU was doing all the attacking. Quadrophonic sound from Gecekondu, Maraton, Pegasus and Kapali kept us entertained even if they did distract us from the footie action sometimes !!

It was looking good for ANKARAGUCU with Bebbe and Tita going close and it was only a matter of time before they scored I was thinking. WRONG !!!

Some dithering and indecision in midfield from Da Silva on the half hour mark gifted the ball to Sivas and Cvetkov had the simplest of tasks to score with Serkan left exposed. Da Silva was to continue to have a nightmare match in midfield alongside the equally ineffective Aytekin. I have to ask the question (yet again !)…… how long must we wait for Aytekin to take control of midfield and string more than two passes together ??!!

Half time arrived and we were still optimistic that ANKARAGUCU would take at least one of the many chances which were being created by the impressive Yasin and Dereli. Spine Kanka mentioned that he was sure ANKARAGUCU would score attacking into the Gecikondu end in the 2nd half. Well………… he was right, but …….. he forgot to mention how may Sivas would score at the other end !!!

Photo: French Kanka

Unfortunately, Dereli failed to appear for the 2nd half having sustained a head injury in the opening minutes of the match. However, all credit to him for his typical tenacious display in the first half. It is a pity that some of his colleagues don’t have his spirit and `will to win` attitude !!

Then, disaster struck 5 minutes into the 2nd half. With ANKARAGUCU throwing caution to the wind and everyone forward, Sivas broke away at speed (how many goals have we conceded this season under these circumstances ?!) and Cvetkov again having the easiest of chances with Serkan left exposed yet again.

Two minutes later, with ANKARAGUCU reeling from conceding this `soft` goal, they were caught out yet again with another fast breakaway which Colosimo despatched with ease to put Sivas 3-0 ahead and ANKARAGUCU well punished for their schoolboy tactics !]

Photo: Spine and French Kanka

However, the tactics didn’t change and caution continued to be thrown to the wind, and even our full-back Sedat joined the attack to add height up front. The reward finally came with 10 minutes remaining when a fine piece of skill from Bebbe allowed him to elude his marker and calmly lob the ball over the out-rushing Petkovic for an excellent goal.

Too little too late I was wondering ? Then, 2 minutes later Petkovic had a sudden rush of blood to his head when he booted the ball away when it was going out of play. Having already received a yellow card for time wasting tactics, the referee had no option but to show him the red card (Eski Kanka’s fav colour !!). Not a problem under normal circumstances, but Sivas had already used their 3 substitutes ! So, one of their defender’s (the smallest on the field) took over in goal and I thought …….. hmmmmm, this game isn’t over yet with about 10 minutes remaining.

What an ideal opportunity to test him with some long range shots I was thinking. However, it was not to be with ANKARAGUCU huffing and puffing making one pass too many. So, their stand-in goalkeeper was never put to the test, except to scamble away a corner with the help of his defence.

Yet further disaster was about to unfold. With all the ANKARAGUCU players attacking it was left to Mehmet to score another break-away goal with Serkan again helpless stop it. So, relief at last when the final whistle arrived to save further embarassment. All the ANKARAGUCU tribunes called the Sivas team over at the end to applaud them, and although I didn’t join in, I have to say that they took their chances well and gave ANKARAGUCU a lesson in predatory striking tactics, ie, how to score goals !!!

Before closing, I have to mention one curious tactical facet of the match. After Aytekin has been replaced (much applause from Eski Kanka !) by Devran, he was playing as a left winger and all credit to him for his effort and his undoubted skill, but…………. what was painfully obvious was that he can’t kick a ball with his left foot !! Every time he attacked down the left wing he had to cut in to the right and fire a cross in with his right foot. This was bread and butter for the Sivas right full back who didn’t require a compass to know which way to defend !!! Hikmet Karaman ……… please note !!!

Oz Kanka had requested that Spine and I were to keep a look-out for an Aussie playing for Sivas – I think it was Colosimo ? No matter. It was impossible to tell who was who in the Sivas team due to the tiny writing on their shirts. We would have needed binnoculars and unfortuately none of us brought binnoculars with us !!! So, sorry we couldn’t oblige Oz !

Photo: Maniac Kanka and Aynur

There was no `after match activity` last night due to the depression suffered by Maniac and Eski Kankas. It was straight home with sullen faces !!

Next weekend (probably Saturday) ANKARAGUCU will be playing Fener in Istanbul. There will be no cavalier attacking there I presume. Backs against the wall and keep the scoreline respectable ??!! We will probably be watching this match in The Cappadokia Bar so watch your in box for details.

All the best from a depressed Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Police checks at the footy

Most of you have probably now seen TV footage from Saturday night's Galatasaray-Fenerbahce match. They weren't very nice. The match had to be delayed for ages to clear the field of various objects. Flares were lit and thrown onto the field. Have a look at someone's mobile phone video from the match to get an idea.

How the hell did this happen? I'm not going to go into a sociological study of Galatasaray fans but instead concentrate on the basics of policing football. Or why on earth are the Istanbul police so careless while the Ankara police are overzealous.

I've never seen any violence at a Genclerbirligi match. Things are never thrown at the field or opposition supporters. But yet the police here certainly take their job seriously. Quite a few of us, if not all of us, have had pens, coins and lighters taken off us. It took me all of my persuasive skills for the police to allow me to take a camera into a match. The cops wanted to take out the batteries. I don't try any more and have to rely on Spine's mobile phone for the pictures.

All this for a club that has no history of violence.

Then we have one of the most spiteful derbies anywhere in the world, Galatasaray v Fenerbahce, and the police somehow fail to intercept hundreds of flares.

It wasn't as if yesterday's violence in the stands wasn't predicted. Just take a look at Mehmet Ali Birand's prediction in Saturday's TDN.

At 6:45 p.m., the Fenerbahçe (FB) Soccer Team will take its place on Ali Sami Yen Stadium, Galatasaray (GS) Soccer Team's home field. At once, all hell will break loose.

Various objects, from water bottles to lighters, even clubs will be thrown to the field from the stands. The spectators will unite in insulting the players. The FB team will not be able to tell what hit them.

The point of my rant? The police don't have a clue and treat us small club supporters as potential criminals and then leave to their own devices the fans of Istanbul clubs that have proven to be violent. Hopeless, just hopeless.

The fight for eighth

I was checking in for my flight from Berlin to Istanbul on Friday evening when the bloke asked me in English if I was heading that way in order to get to the Athens to support Liverpool in the Champion's League Final.

A weird question to ask considering that A) I was flying to Istanbul, not Athens and B) I had shown him an Australian passport not a Pommie one.

Having already heard him speaking to the headscarfed woman in front of me I replied in Turkish, "No, I live in Ankara".

"So what team do you support?" he asked me, this time in Turkish. Obviously I told him I was a Genclerbirigi fan.

"Truely?" he asked. I then pulled out not one but four season tickets from my wallet and also showed him my key ring.

"I'm a Fenerbahce fan," said the bloke. I just gave a hrrmmph. What I should have said was "Hepiniz Istanbul cocugusunuz".

I finally got into Ankara and after saying hello to Mrs. Oz Kanka I went off to the match.

There was plenty of competition today. The English FA Cup final was on as was the Galatasaray-Fenerbahce match.

But the true fans made it along. And so it was that myself, Spine and Flying Dutchman Kanka met up at the Chopin.

The pubs in Kizilay were starting to fill up with the Istanbul yalakas (yes men) and quite frankly Spine and myself felt quite self-conscious wearing the Genclerbirligi strip. But stuff em all and on we went to the stadium.

Genclerbirligi 1-0 Sakaryaspor

PHOTO: L-R Flying Dutchman Kanka, Spine and Oz Kanka.

It was most probably the least attended match I've ever been too. At tops I'd say 2,000 supporters. But those who did come were true, true fans. Not for us watching on telly the Galatasaray-Fenerbahce match. Nope, we were there to see our team, having already safely escaped relegation, play a team who were already definitely relegated.

It was also the last home match of the season and for this reason we sang our hearts out. We sang out the names of all our players and we also sang in praise of our opponents.

The match itself and we started off fairly strongly but not all that well.

It wasn't brilliant stuff but Draman Haminu did nicely to get a ball to Erhan Guven who got a shot on only to see the ball sent away by the keeper. From the corner, or maybe it was another corner, Okan Amça got his head to the bladder and sent it into the top post.

After that we got a load of rubbish. Spine said he was just sitting back enjoying the late evening sun and quite frankly that was all there was that was good about the day.

After our keeper Recep Ozturk was taken off for what appeared to be a case of groin-knack, Jesus came on and made a couple of good saves. Well... bloody lucky saves really as he dived and the ball hit his legs on at least two occasions.

Half-time 0-0 and the crowd, small as it was, was finally getting into the mood.

And Genclerbirligi finally came out to play. We were all over Sakarya. The first chance though fell to them and Gokhan stuck his legs out again.

After that though it was pretty much all Gencler. Draman in particular was getting through the opposition and Hakan Aslantaş was giving the opposition worries, even if he was pretty hopeless when it came to defending.

It was on the counter attack that the goal came. Draman was just over the half-way line. He had people in front of him but kept the ball to himself, moving it forward all along. Another player might have passed earlier but Draman kept going until he saw that Isaac Promise was ready to run. The pass went through, Isaac got to it and hit it past the keeper. 1-0.

Jumping up and down in the stands as the fans sang, "We love you Isaac" in English.

After that it was total control but we still couldn't find another goal.

As I said before the crowd tonight were core fans and thus it was inevitable that the anti-Cavcav chants started up at this point.

"Except for Cavcav we love you all," was one. "Take your money back Cavcav," was another. In yet another dig at Cavcav was the chant "we want a champion team next year" (this one is not nearly so bad in Turkish as it sounds in English - ie it is an anti-Cavcav chant and not anti the the team).

But my favourite for tonight:

"No one can stop us from fınishing eighth." (in the league that is)

I know it is rare for this blog to ever give tactical advice... well, sort of... but I really do wonder about the way Gencler plays. Why do we insist on the slow Okan Amca up front and Isaac just behind him. Isaac inevitably stuffs up when he gets the ball with a couple of defenders around but scores when he is up front on the run.

Maybe I'm changing my views on Isaac. Perhaps the problem has been the coach Messut Bakkal and the fact he insists on playing Okan up front when instead he should have Sandro playing in the position Isaac now plays in, and with Isaac up front ready to use his speed to exploit the through balls.

Post match and it was off to engage in our other love, darts. Not playing tonight but watching some girls in the 10,000 lira Ankara championships. I appreciated the darts, Spine and Flying Dutchman appreciated the girls.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With Oz Kanka in Germany, and perhaps out of touch with what's going on here, I can give a heads-up for this weekend.

According to TRT, the matches will be as follows -

Saturday KO 7pm - Gencler v Sakarya

Sunday KO 7pm - ANKARAGUCU v Sivas

If anything changes then I'll put comments on this post. Also, I am sure Oz Kanka will be sending out a meeting schedule for Saturday.

As for Sunday, I will definitely be going and will be in The Chopin Bar at about 5pm.

Look forward to seeing you if you can make it.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

You will recall Oz Kanka's stinging criticism of The Hurriyet in a recent post `Always Quote Your Sources` when he accused The Hurriyet of nicking things from our Blog.

Well.......... surprise surprise........... I think they are at it again !

You will also recall my complimentary remarks about Promising Isaac in Oz Kanka's recent post `Finally` when I urged Hikmet Bey to buy him for ANKARAGUCU, put him alongside Bebbe up front, and then go on and be World Club Champions (well......... something along the lines like that anyway !!!).

So, what did I see in The Hurriyet this morning ? There for the first time this season (or perhaps any season ?!!) was Isaac's name in Team of the Weekend !!!

Now isn't that too much of coincidence I ask ??!! Mmmmmm, or am I being too paranoid ??! Or is Hurriyet sport editors reading our Blog before making any report about the Ankara teams ???!!!

Who's next to follow in Hurriyet's footsteps me asks ?? Could it be Oz Kanka's fav `tabloid` and oracle.............. The Guardian ............... me wonders ???!!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, May 14, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It was all singing and dancing in Ankara yesterday (an unusual occurrence I can hear you say !) when both Ankara team allowed their long suffering supporters an exhalation of relief.

Antalyaspor 0 ANKARAGUCU 1

There was also singing and dancing in Kadikoy, but we will NOT be mentioning it in this Blog !

Not much I can say about the match (thank you Hurriyet for your in-depth report ?!) except that Bebbe (who else ??) scored the winner 15 minutes from the end of the match.

Burak received a red card 2 minutes after the goal which must surely have put pressure on the defence in the last quarter of the match. However, there are only 2 teams in the league who have conceded fewer goals than ANKARAGUCU (Fener and Besiktas) and this is surely down to Hikmet Bey after last season's poor defensive showing.

Now a message for Hikmet Bey, who I am sure reads our Blog !!!............ The defence is looking good, but we need a high calibre player to do what Ceyhun did for us, ie, create opportunities for scoring. Tita needs help in that area of the field. Also, and equally important, we need a `foil` for Bebbe. Mustafa is getting-on in years and is injury prone. The nucleus is there, but the weaknesses are there for all to see, so, corrective action is essential in the summer break if we are serious about challenging for YooRo footie next season. End of message !!

It is still mathematically possible that the Ankara teams can be dragged back into the relegation zone, but looking at it realistically, it is unlikely.

Sakarya is down, and it looks like a fight between Erciyes, Rize, Denizli and Antalya to see who joins them in the 2nd League.

Looking to next weekend, and ANKARAGUCU will play their last home match against Sivas in what will surely be a `carnival atmosphere` with the Stadium FULL at the ANKARAGUCU sections.

Oz Kanka will be sending out an email when we know the date and timings of the ANKARAGUCU and Gencler matches.

Ready for a celebration ? See you next weekend in The Chopin Bar first and then ....... who knows where after the match !!

All the best from Relieved Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Never Mind the Hibees

A bad weekend for Hibs getting beaten by our local rivals 2-0. Another goalkeeping howler, the amount of points we have lost due to our goalkeepers is unbelievable.

Anyway I'm not going to dwell on Hibs this week as I can not even say we played well and were twarted by the opposing goalkeeper, this week we were well beaten.

My weekend got off to a good start when Mini Red Card Hooligan Kanka Liam's school team played in a Edinburgh tournament. They won 5 matches and drew 1, a very good performance from the boys. A stat worth mentioning is that Mini Red Card Hooligan Kanka managed to play all these matches and only got pulled up by a referee once. It was a good foul as the other boy took a while to recover and then the hooter went so Oxgangs won that match 1-0.

As previously mentioned the game of the weekend was between AC Oxgangs and North Berwick. Mini Red Card Kankas brother Ciaran was playing in this game and contributed to a 2-0 victory to AC Oxgangs. This victory should at least secure second spot in the league and if other results go their way, maybe a league title.

It was an entertaining game played in a good spirit, special mention must go to the North berwick boys on remaining sporting throughout.

Hibbee Kanka


Eight league matches and two Cup games later and Genclerbirligi finally registered a win which keeps us in the top flight for next season. Phew!

Genclerbirligi 2 - 1 Rize Teamen

Not the biggest turnout today, even though the weather was perfect. Was it due to it being Mother's Day? Alpine Kanka Wolfgang and his son Chris (not sure if it was Christian or Christoph so I'll just stick to Chris) are now definite Maraton boys (they used to watch the matches from the safe confines of Kapalı). Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo, Legal Kanka Saadet and Big Al also joined us for pre-match drinks but then they buggered off for some birthday party. Wimps.

With all matches this weekend being played at the same time I wasn't expecting a large crowd but the fact that the away team almost outnumbered us was quite dispiriting. Still the couple of thousand who were there for Gencler sang loud and long. Amazingly, for the first time in quite a while there were no anti-Cavcav songs. Although there were a few as we walked out of the stadium.

First half and not a lot happening. As seems to be usual we were dominating but couldn't get the shots in. Had a few though with the best chance falling to Okan Ozturk who took a pass from Isaac Promise but weakly hit it straight at the keeper.

There were many shaking heads at halftime. The questions being asked were why did coach Mesut Bakkal bring Okan back on for Sandro who seemed to have been quite good recently. The other question was why was Mehmet Cakir sitting on the bench.

Not long into the second half and we had a shot come off the post. A few minutes later another good chance went begging. Not quite as it was a very good effort by Engin but their keeper saved it. Almost immediately their keeper sent through a long, long ball. A Teaman picked it up and made Mr. Fish look like a complete fool, the ball was then slotted in past Jesus. Teamen, one-nil up.

I could not believe it. Here we were not that long ago looking forward to the prospect of getting beaten up by Italian police next year in the UEFA Cup and now we were seriously looking at the prospect of playing in the second division.

The call went up in the stands for Cakir to be brought on. Bakkal finally heard us and got the bloke onto the pitch. The Teamen supporters were singing their hearts out at the hope that they wouldn't get relegated and then we struck.

ON about the 80th minute Mehmet Nas made a brilliant run down the left, getting past a few defenders and then passed it on to Isaac who struck it well and bang, GOAL. 1-1

We started jumping up and down. As far as the mathematics went a draw would have probably been good enough for us to stay up.

Three minutes of extra time and for some reason or another one the Teamen was sent off. We think it was for elbowing but I'm not sure. A minute left and a foul was committed by a Teaman about 40 yards out. Mehmet Cakir struck it with might and the ball came back off the post. I thought that was it but then Isaac managed to get hold of it and whacked it into the net.

And so we finally got ourselves a win. I came back home and told Mrs. Oz Kanka the good news. "Is that why all the people are in the streets blowing their horns?" she asked sarcastically. Hepiniz Istanbul cocugusunuz!

Friday, May 11, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Last week the Hibernian Ladies took a giant stride to retaining their Scottish Premier League Trophy.

They made the difficult journey to play 2nd top Glasgow City who had not been beaten at home for 2 years !

Hibs Ladies opened the scoring in the 1st half and then conceded a penalty shortly before half time to tie things up at the interval.

It was all Hibs in the 2nd half and Super Star Kim Little bagged the winner half way through the half to secure the 3 points.

Hibs Ladies now move 5 points clear at the top. However, with 3 or 4 games left, the Champagne must still remain on ice !

Look forward to seeing another piece of silverware in the Easter Road Trophy Cabinet soon !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The Turkish Cup Final was played in The Ataturk Stadium, Izmir last night and ended 0-0.

After extra time......

Besiktas 1 Erciyesspor 0

A great goal from Bobo on the 100 minute mark sealed it for the cup favourites. However, it has to be said that Erciyes should have had the game wrapped up on 80 minutes when Lazarov missed a great chance to win the cup. An excellent cross from the left from Ergun was met on the half volley by Lazarov, and with Runje rooted to the spot, it slid agonisingly past the far post.

Erciyes had another great chance in extra time when Djalivic had the ball in the net, but the Referee ruled it offside (dubious decision I thought !). Was he another `Istanbul Referee` I was thinking ??!!

Anyway, the fact remains that Besiktas scored, and unfortunately for Erciyes, Bobo was left unmarked to head in an excellent goal. Jabi, who had defended well all night was at fault for not picking him up as he ran into the box ......tut tut !

One thing that still bugs me, (and I've mentioned this before), is why do the TFF persist in playing their Cup Final on a Wednesday night before the end of the league season ??!!

Both teams are still locked in tustles at opposite ends of the league and should not have had to think about a Cup Final with league business still very much on their mind !

Also, when will the TFF fall into line with most YooRo countries and make their Final a showpiece event at the end of the season ?!

Back to league business then at the weekend, and good luck to Erciyes in their fight for survival. They certainly didn't play like a 2nd division team last night !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Eight in a Row for Hibs

Unfortunately that is eight games without a win.

Hibs lost at home to Kilmarnock in the battle for fifth place in the SPL. A goal early in the second half sealed the win for Kilmarnock however we were all left wondering how they did it. john Collins stuck with his young stars for this game and for most of the game they dominated but could not turn it into goals.

That was a combination of great goalkeeping and poor finishing. God I know I have read that statement somewhere before.

The season is finishing on a bit of a low for Hibs results wise, but for me they are playing good attractive football and with a bit more guile we will be back to our winning ways soon.

One post I have never got round to publishing is about Sir Eski Kankas home town team who beat AC Oxgangs Under 14s in a League cup match. The result was 2-1, AC would have won but for a combination.......maybe not.

Anyway, the two go head to head again on Sunday morning, AC are in with an outside chance of winning the league but a win is imperitive. I will give a detailed report and a picture of sunny North Berwick for those of you who have never cast eyes on Sir Eski Kankas home town.

Hibbee Kanka

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Always quote your sources!

I sent the following e-mail to Sir Eski Kanka yesterday:

Just checking on how people get to the blog and saw that someone had put the words - ankaragucu kenan evren - into Google. We are number two in Google UK for that search. I then looked a bit deeper at the person doing the search and found that their ISP was Hurriyet Gazetecilik Ve Matbaacilik A.s - Istanbul. Mmmm. Checked a bit deeper and saw that the person read the "Real reason we should be scared of a President Erdogan" post. The person also checked out the "For Turkish Journalists" story and the "English in Gecekondu" post. So keep your eyes open, we might be getting a mention in Hurriyet soon.

That soon was in fact today, although in a slightly different form than what I was expecting.

Reading the article "Fortis Cup seeks its new owner" by Ozgur Korkmaz in the Turkish Daily News today I was particularly interested by the follıowing:

In the 1980-1981 season, Ankaragücü was fighting to get promoted from the second division while Ankara's other professional team Gençlerbirliği was in the third division. Kenan Evren, who headed the National Security Council consisting of five generals formed after the September 12, 1980 coup d'état, said the capital of the Turkish Republic should be represented in the first division with at least one team.

The opportunity arrived when Ankaragücü advanced to the final of the domestic cup, called the Federation Cup at the time. After Ankaragücü clinched the cup with scores of 2-1 and 0-0, The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) made a change to the regulations allowing the cup winner to play in the first division regardless of which league it plays in and Ankaragücü was automatically promoted to the first division.

Most of the above is true. It is in the mistake that Mr. Korkmaz gives himself away as the person who googled "kenan evren ankaragucu". The give away being that he names Genclerbirligi as being in the third division.

If you look at our story named "Real reason we should be scared of a President Erdogan" you will see the following line:

Genclerbirligi were down in the 3rd division or somewhere or other.

The "somewhere or other" was of course my way of showing I didn't bother to actually check where exactly Gencler were in those days. Today I decided to do some checking and looked up Tanil Bora's excellent book "Ankara rüzgarı", a history of Genclerbirligi. By the way, we see Tanil quite often at Gencler matches.

In the statistics section of the book it clearly shows that Genclerbirligi were in the second division in the 1980-1981 season.

So it seems that Mr. Korkmaz took our blog as being gospel. Sure is flattering but one thing that all good journalists should have banged into them is that you should say where you got your information from. Mr. Korkmaz didn't mention our blog in his story today. If he had it would have been us that looked stupid.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

An interesting article nicked from The Weekly Telegraph to set alarm bells sounding perhaps ?!

QUOTE........... British bloggers said that free speech on the internet is under threat from draconian new laws, which could see them jailed for up to 3 years.

Europe's justice ministers have agreed genocide denial and race hatred legislation that will outlaw remarks on the internet `carried out in a manner likely to incite violence or hatred`.

The measures are contained in the European Union's Racism and Xenophobia Directive and could hit European bloggers, even if their websites are hosted in America.

Chris Mounsey, the 29 year old behind The Devil's Kitchen blog, said - `there is potenital for this to have worldwide application. Free speech is at the centre of blogging`. UNQUOTE.

So, 2 questions spring to mind.............

1. Does Turkey really want to join the EU, or, rather, should they join the EU ???

2. Will Melih Gokcek, CavCav and Cemal Aydin hold us to account for `hate` posts and send us all to prison ......... boo hoo hoo !!????

Any comments ?

All the best from Fearless Eski Kanka Jim


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Lots of wailing and knashing of teeth going on recently in Ankara, and not without good cause some would say !

So, I think it time to bring out the optimism pills and look ahead to Sunday's matches in a positive way.

Looking at ANKARAGUCU's visit to Antalya, it has all the hallmarks of a 0-0 draw. Antalya are just behind Melih Gokcek Spor as the league's draws specialists with 14. Slightly more than ANKARAGUCU's 9 draws.

After 31 matches, ANKARAGUCU has scored 29 goals and conceded 32. Antalya, on the other hand, has scored 31 goals and also conceded 32. Pretty even statistics, and with both teams looking for points, it is sure to be a dour defensive battle.

The Rize Teamen are coming to play Gencler and are also in need of points. So, I don't think either match will be attractive or exciting to watch.

It is all about survival now and only points matter ! One point apiece for ANKARAGUCU and Gencler will calm the nerves for the run-in to the end of the season me thinks !

Maniac Kanka plays IDDAA (the football pools) and so I say to him.............. put your money on the two matches ending 0-0.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim (ever the optimist)

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Well at least one kanka has something positive to say this weekend !

ANKARAGUCU 1 Sakaryaspor 0

So, ANKARAGUCU delivered the goods, ie, 3 valuable points. However, I'm sure it must have been nail-biting stuff for the supporters.

0-0 with 15 minutes to go, and then............. Eski Kanka's new hero, Bebbe, grabbed the winner to settle the nerves.

Unfortunately, I was not able to be there, but according to the Foto Mac Newspaper it was pretty even in the 1st half. ANKARAGUCU stepped up a gear in the 2nd half (I wonder if Hikmet Bey had something to do with that ??!!) and produced the better footie and goal scoring opportunities.

Breathing space has been achieved, but......... it is not a time for complacency yet ! With 3 matches left it is still all to play for down at the bottom.

Sakaryaspor is definitely going down. The situation for the remainder looks like this -

Gencler 39 points
Ankaragucu 39
Bursa 39
Antalya 37
Rize 36
Denizli 36
Antep 36
Erciyes 33

Antalya play Galatasaray tonight, so we are looking to Gulay's boys to put the sword in !!

ANKARAGUCU travel to Antalya next week for what could be described as another `SIX POINTER` ! It is never EASY to win the tight compact Antalya Stadium, so another above average performance will be required to make sure of avoiding a nerve jangling end to the season.

Spare a thought for our `brother team`, Bursa. They have to play Trabzon, Galatasaray and Besiktas in their last 3 matches !!!

All the best from an upbeat Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, May 05, 2007

No Lig TV for us

I had a nostalgic sort of day today. I was stuck at work otherwise I would have got down to the 19 Mayis stadium to cheer on Ankaragucu. So I pulled out my little radio and tuned in to TRT Radio for their call of the day's matches.

I was on my own and decided to crack open a beer, never that difficult a decision, and the memories of my childhood came flooding back.

Those memories were of weekends playing around in the backyard with cousins while the women were stuck in the kitchen making salads and the men were standing around the BBQ drinking beers, listening to the rugby league and complaining about how the chairman of our beloved Balmain Tigers was an idiot.

Today all I had was the radio and beers. No BBQ and no wife making me a salad. But the nostalgia was definitely there.

Listening to football on the radio is an interesting experience, confusing but fun at the same time. The first thing that made it interesting was the fact that TRT had to cover five matches at the same time. This meant crossing from match to match to match. At most one match would get about one-and-a-half minutes coverage before off they went to another game. Then there was the fact that while I can understand Turkish pretty well, boy oh boy, these guys talk so bloody fast at times I hardly had a clue who was attacking.

As far as I can remember from the coverage of rugby league back in Sydney, when there were a few matches on at the same time they would give one match a few minutes coverage and then cross-over to the next match where quite often you would be told that a try or two had been scored.

Being football and not all that many goals scored in general they don't do it like that here. As soon as a goal is scored they cut someone off and head straight to the action. This wasn't all that difficult in the first half of today's matches, only two goals were scored in all five matches, but the second half had my head spinning.

This is all a very very long way for me to point out that Genclerbirligi lost their 234th match in a row today away to Konyaspor.

Konya 2 - Genclerbirligi 1

From the bits I picked up from the radio. Sandro again was up front in place of Okan Ozturk. Mehmet Cakir had a hard shot on goal in the 17th which came off the defence.

Blah, blah, blah about other matches.

Jesus makes a brilliant save.

Blah, blah, blah about other matches.

Cakir takes a free kick and whacks it into the post.

Half time and the commentator said it wasn't the fastest of matches. Most probably both sides were scared of a loss.

Second half and I understood even less of what was going on.

Another good save from Jesus... or was that by the Konya keeper?

Cakir takes a corner and Isaac Promise, this blog's favourite footballer in all of Anatolia, rises high at the far post to score. 0-1.

I lost it for a bit at this point and the next time they crossed to our match Konyaspor had scored. I have no idea how. 1-1.

Getting towards the end of all five matches and things were going crazy. Then Mrs. Oz Kanka walked in with Little Oz Kanka and I missed the fact that Koya had scored in the last minute.

When I was a kid the Balmain Tigers rarely won and so my nostalgia today was complete.

Anyway, the situation is getting a bit scary.

We are in 10th position but just three points ahead of the Gaziantepspor who are in the relegation zone. Three more matches to go and surely just one win would be enough to keep us up. Is it?

Friday, May 04, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Oz Kanka and Spine Kanka have spurred me into action with another set of statistics for you to ponder.

Having read Spine's ridiculous comments in `God speaks to Maniac Kanka` and Oz Kanka's remarks in `A Record Worth Trumpetting`, it is time to put a few matters into perspective.

As we all know, the present Super League was founded in 1959/1960 season with 2 points being awarded for a win. Later in 1987/1988 season it fell into line with other YooRo leagues and awarded 3 points for a win.

I am sure you will all be interested to know that from 1959/1960 season to 1994/1995 season Genclerbirligi have been relegated to the lower league on 10 occasions. During that period ANKARAGUCU have also been relegated, but only on 3 occasions.

So throughout the existence of the Super League Genclerbirligi amassed a points total of 699 points.

ANKARAGUCU, on the other hand, have amassed 1,009 points.

So, I ask the question. Does that tell us something ?????

Look forward to any comments. However, only sensible ones will be accepted !!!

All the best from The Stats Man, Eski Kanka Jim

FC Stiefel fall to Ankaragucu

Dear Kankas,

Yesterday the team of the German (and Austrian) Embassy, FC Stiefel, played a game against Ankaragücü.

The Gücü team was nominated by Hikmet Karaman and was built completely by ex-Süperlig players from different teams.

Their technic and the brilliant young goalie made the difference between our teams and at the end we finshed with a respectable loss 2-6. We exchanged flags, sports items and with lots of Efes after the game we had the possibility to talk with the perfect German-speaking Hikmet and his teammates.

We had a lot of fun and agreed to play once more very soon.

All the best,
Lanky Kanka Jörg

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

You may recall earlier in the season some ironic comments flashing back and forward between Gulay, Oz Kanka and I concerning which team was going to create a record for most draws this season.

I am now becoming more sure day by day that the Sports Team of Hurriyet actually do read our Blog !! Today it was a discussion point in the newspaper.

So far this season, with 30 league matches played, Melih Gokcek Spor (Ankaraspor for the uninformed !!) has amassed a total of 16 draws. With only 4 matches left they could well beat the League record - they need only 3 more draws to do it !

So which team holds the record then I can hear you asking ??

Trumpet fanfare...... de de de de .............. roll of drums........... brrrrr brrrrr brrrrrr (like the sound effects ??) -

It is .............. ANKARAGUCU !!! Back in season 1982/1983 (in another lifetime) they amassed an amazing 18 drawn matches.

Now then, is that a record worth trumpetting about ?? Impressive isn't it ???!!

All the best from the record seeker, Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

This is a milestone in The Round Ball in Ankara.

This is the 500th Post on this Blog in One and a Half Years of existence.

As it is the brainchild of Oz Kanka, I would like to congratulate him, on behalf of all the Kankas, Kankies and Vistors to the Blog for his sterling efforts and his leadership as our Chief Journalist.

Well done Oz, and here's to the next 500 posts and the 500 to follow !

Keep the posts and comments coming and, as always, be controversial and forthright !

Long live footie in Ankara ......... and elsewhere !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Hibs 3-3 Rangers

This match came on the back of a cup semi final defeat to Dunfermline and would normally have fallen into an 'end of season' category. The only thing that sparked a bit more interest was that Hibs again decided to field a number of up and coming stars.

All the kids played well but Ross Chisholm in the centre of midfield was outstanding. Three times Hibs took the lead only to be pegged back by a strong Rangers team. On another day Hibs would surely have won as Andy McNeil the Hibs keeper let in two very soft goals.

Fletcher opened the scoring for Hibs finishing of a nice move by shooting low past the keeper from 12 yards. Charlie Adam then equalised for Rangers when his cross went stright into the net. McCann then restored Hibs lead with a 25 yarder into the top corner right on the stroke of halftime. Rangers then equalised again through Hutton who finished of a superb move calmly chipping McNeil. Whitticker blasted another unstopable shot to send Hibs 3-2 up befoer McNeil left too much room at his near post and Charlie Adam obliged with his free kick.

Adam had one more free kick at the end when the ref red carded Boozy for a last man foul, personally I did not think it was a foul but then I am completely biased.

I must admit to not being keen on going down to Easter Road before the game but I am glad I went now. Six goals, plenty of chances, loads of bookings and a red card what more could you ask for?