Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The team numbers for this season have just been released by ANKARAGUCU and it was interesting to note that Serkan has retained the No1 shirt ahead of `olde boy` Zafer who took the No22 shirt.

Some of you may recall the `glory days` of Zafer playing for ANKARAGUCU in the UEFA Cup 2000/2001 when Ersun Yanal was coach. He was also the 3rd choice goalkeeper with the Turkish National team who did so well in the World Cup in Japan/S Korea a few years ago.

Most of the `resident` players in the squad have retained last season's numbers, eg,

Emre No2, Hakan Kutlu (Club Captain) No4, Bebbe No9, Da Silva No8 and Mustafa Ozkan No10.

Lots of `new boys` in the squad as I reported a few days ago, and their numbers are -

Abdullah El Yasa No3, Fatih Akyel No5, Ahmet Dursun No7, Krita No11, Muhammed No13, Augustine No15, Tevfik No17, Murat Duruer No18, Sarper No19, Mert No20, Onur No21, Jiri No23, Murat Erdogan No33, Burak No38, Ilkem No39, Can No41, Yasin No42, Abdulkadir No58 and Yunus Balaban No67.

OK, so now we have the numbers....... let's see the action !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, July 30, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The Ingallish were sent scuttling back across the Scottish border last week with their tails between their legs. They should have learned by now that it is a hopeless cause to challenge Scottish teams of Hibernian's calibre ! Even with the presence of the great Tuncay Sanli (ex-Fenerbahce) they were no match for the Hibees !

The following report was sent by Hibbie Kanka Athole who could not access the Blog today....


Hibs completed a double over English Premiership opposition on Saturday after they defeated Middlesburgh 1-0. The previous Wednesday Bolton were put to the sword by three goals to nil.

Having fielded a potential first-choice line-up against Bolton, Collins opted to leave out skipper Rob Jones, Abdessalam Benjelloun, Merouane Zemmama and Guillaume Beuzelin for the start against Middlesbrough.
All were introduced after the break, adding a fresh impetus, which eventually led to Campbell's late winner when he bundled in Benjelloun's precise left-footed cross with his knee from four yards.

With Steven Fletcher and David Murphy having come within inches of an opener in a first half where Hibs recovered well from a shaky start, Benjelloun was twice denied by Middlesbrough goalkeeper Brad Jones after the interval.

At the other end, Yves Ma-Kalambay provided a solid defence with a new-found confidence and youngsters Lewis Stevenson, Kevin McCann and Ross Chisholm showed they will all be key components in Collins' new-look squad this season.

To be fair to Middlesborough they started the match very well and had Hibs chasing shadows for the opening quarter of an hour. There were a few new faces on show for both teams, Tuncay of Middlesborough was one who looked very solid and showed some nice touches.

Hibs: Ma-Kalambay; McCann (Lynch 75), Joneleit, Hogg, Murphy (Jones 68); Shiels (Zemmama 57), Kerr (Gathuessi 46), Chisholm (Beuzelin 57), Stevenson (Morais 61); Fletcher (Benjelloun 46), Donaldson (Campbell 75). Subs not used: McNeil, McCormack.

Middlesbrough: Jones, Young (Hines 61), Davies, Wheater, Taylor; Tuncay, Morrison (Euell 61), Boateng (Kennedy 87), Arca, Downing (Cattermole 84); Yakubu (Grounds 84). Subs not used: Craddock, Knight


Well done you Hibees. Let's hope ANKARAGUCU can emmulate their achievements this season !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, July 29, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With so many new faces in the ANKARAGUCU line up, the Austrian summer camp has obviously been good for the players and coach to get to know each other. Their return to Ankara is imminent.

Having disposed of Greek 1st division side Panionios by 1-0 they couldn't repeat the task against the more well known Olympiakos, going down 0-2.

The players return to Ankara for preparations for Konya Sportwriters Cup next Friday and Saturday, but they will not be joined by Sedat Bayrak and Abdurrahman Dereli who have been transferred to Sivas. As you know, I have always been a great admirer of Dereli and his presence in the team will be missed. I am sure he will go on to even greater things in the future.

So, for your information, the following new players have joined the club recently -

Zafer Ozgultegin from Eskisehir
Ibrahim Ege from Denizli
Ahmet Dursun from Antalya
Habib Muhammed from Molde
Fatih Akyel from Gencler
Stelian Krita from Antep
Yunus Balaban from Aachen
Ilkem Ozkaynak from Erciyes
Augustine (our `old boy` returning from Ghana)
Murat Erdogan from Sakaryaspor
Jiri Masek from Tirol
Cem Can from Sivas

So, as I said, lots of new faces, and all that remains now is to see them perform well as a team.

Hopefully I will be able to give you a report from Konya next weekend if ANKARAGUCU make it into the final on Saturday.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cavcav has another shot

Shock news today from Genclerbirligi who have announced that they will sell season tickets this year but only for Gecekondu and Kapalı, nothing for where we normally sit. As a statement on the Alkaralar website points out. "The aim is clear".

And if it isn't clear to you let me explain. Cavcav is pissed off. He is pissed off that at every single match we shout out our anti-Cavcav slogans. The whole idea of not selling season tickets was aimed at us true Gencler supporters. Now he has decided to single us out. The bloke is a fool. He has guaranteed that he will be barracked for as long as he stays at the club.

So, it looks like we will be buying season tickets for Gecekondu. The price will be 60 lira. For some of those matches when they sell tickets for 1 lira we might make our way over to Marathon. The tickets aren't on sale yet and I'll get in touch when they are.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Just read in the Weekly Telegraph today that Robbie Fowler (Liverpool's finest) is in Oz speaking terms with Australia's most famous sons............ FC Sydney.

Do I detect a smile forming on Oz Kanka's handsome features ???

Watch this space for more on this momentous sporting occurrence.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Those in glass houses...

Considering we don't really have the easiest to spell or pronounce team name in the world you think that Genclerbirligi would at least try to spell other teams' names correctly. Not only that, you would think they would learn from which country our opposition is from. The bit below is taken from the Genclerbirligi web site describing our 1-1 draw yesterday with English team Plymouth Argyle.

Polymout son dakikada kurtuldu: 1-1
Takımımız Avusturya'daki 4. hazırlık maçında İskoç ekibi Playmout Argyle karşısında 2. dakakada Okan ile 1-0 öne geçmesine karşın 88. dakikada Reid'in golüne engel olamadı ve sahadan beraberlikle ayrıldı.


Plymouth Argyle meanwhile not only managed to spell Genclerbirligi correctly but also posted a rather extensive report on the match including a brilliant comment on haircuts.

An extract:

Genclerbirligi burst out of the blocks with an early goal from Okan Ozturk and their wonderful fluency in the opening 20 minutes threatened to overwhelm the Pilgrims.

Argyle gradually worked their way into the game and a number of changes in the second period saw a young side create countless chances against their tiring opponents.

Reid's equaliser took a long time in coming but was still fully deserved when it did arrive...

The black skies were matched by a depressing start. Genclerbirligi cut through the Argyle defence with worrying ease in the second minute to take the lead.

A chipped past from Mehmet Cakir found his strike-partner Okan, who wrong-footed Marcel Seip with his first touch and nonchalantly threaded the ball past the advancing Luke McCormick with the outside of his right boot.

Mother Nature's response was to unleash a monsoon of English proportions and the Turkish team did not take kindly to having their lavish hair-do's greased up even more than normal as Cakir was rightly booked for a late lunge on Gary Sawyer...

The side from Ankara moved the ball with impressive speed on the soggy surface and it was already clear that the Pilgrims were in for a real test. The Green Army response to this worrying start: 'I would rather be a Janner than a Turk'. Good work Mr Loud.

ARGYLE: 1 Luke McCormick; 2 Paul Connolly (6 Ashley Barnes 69), 3 Gary Sawyer (3 Scott Laird 69), 4 Lilian Nalis (14 Lee Hodges half-time), 5 Mathias Kouo-Doumbe (19 Krisztián Timár half-time), 6 Marcel Seip (15 Luke Summerfield 69), 7 David Norris (18 Dan Gosling half-time), 8 Ákos Buzsáky (20 Ryan Dickson 69), 9 Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (17 Nick Chadwick half-time), 10 Barry Hayles (16 Rory Fallon half-time), 11 Péter Halmosi (2 Reuben Reid 69)

Booked: Doumbe 8

GENCLERBIRLIGI: 99 Gokhan Tokgoz; 2 Marko Zoric, 22 Engin Baytar, 6 Erkan Ozbey, 17 Ferhat Kiraz (11 Nikola Petkovic 55), 5 Lamine Traore, 10 Mehmet Cakir (12 Keram Seras 84), 7 Mehmet Nas (16 Hakan Aslantas 84), 9 Okan Ozturk, 24 Sandro (25 Aleksandar 65), 20 Sedat Yesilkaya

Booked: Cakir 7

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Sad news. The ANKARAGUCU v Bursaspor pre-season friendly match has been kicked into touch !

ANKARAGUCU will instead play in the Konya Sportswriters Cup Competition in Konya on 3/4 August.

Sad news, which means that Eski Kanka's first visit to Bursa has been put on-hold. Perhaps we can arrange a trip to Bursa for the league match there on the weekend of 3/4 November ? If it is on 4 November, then I'm sure Maniac Kanka will be up for it !!! Watch this space nearer the time.

No offence against Konyaspor, who incidentally wear the same team top as the Mighty Hibernian, but we will not be going there to watch this competition. Comparing Konya to Bursa is like comparing Glasgow to Edinburgh or Mogadishu to Monte Carlo !!!

All the best from a disappointed Eski Kanka Jim

EDIT: Oz Kanka here as Sir Eski Kanka clearly hasn't figured out how to edit posts yet. In the comments section Sir Eski has said that he is going to this tournament along with Maniac Kanka Harun. The other teams in the tournament are:
Erciyes of Kayseri

FURTHER EDIT - Don't faint with shock Oz Kanka at Eski Kanka's first EDIT !!!

There has been a change of plan for the Konya Sportswriters Cup. The teams taking part now are -



ANKARAGUCU play Sivas tonight (3 August)
Konya play Kasimpasa

The final is tomorrow. If ANKARAGUCU beat Sivas tonight then there is a strong possibility that Maniac Kanka, Yankee Kanka and I will be going to the final. Watch this space.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Just a quick post to give you the latest from Austria.

Panionios of Greece 0 ANKARAGUCU 1

Bebbe (Eski Kanka's new hero !) on target in the first half. No more details at the moment.

Watch this space for more.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Carle on his way back to Ankara

A pretty miserable tournament for Australia ended today with the Shielaroos going down 4-3 to Japan on penalties after extra time saw the scores equal on one each.

So let's have a look at our great record in a tournament that defender Lucas Neill had before hand predicted we would win without suffering a single loss.

Four played, one win, one draw and two losses.

Pathetic and I'm almost certain coach Graham Arnold will be replaced pretty damn quickly.

I tried to watch the match on Vietnamese state television but the reception was very bad indeed. In the end I followed a bit of it on a minute-by-minute report but that got boring and so instead decided to take Little Oz Kanka to the park.

So no report to give but I will mention that Genclerbirligi's Nick Carle finally got a bit of a run today. He came on in the 82nd minute and played through to the penalties where he scored from the spot. At least he got a bit of time on the pitch.

So pretty hopeless stuff and by the odd reports I've seen so far it looks like Japan deserved to win it, but at least Carle will now definitely be back for the start of Genclerbirligi's season.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Now it is Genclerbirligi's turn

The German ambassador certainly manages to get around. Earlier we had Mr. Cuntz wearing an Ankaragucu jersey given to him by our very own Maniac Kanka and now Genclerbirligi's Suphi Yalcinkaya has upped the ante by giving him an Genclerbirligi top and dinner by the pool.

I'm not complaining, this is all good introducing a new ambassador to the great clubs of Ankara. Be warned though Mr. Cuntz, if you go anywhere near a Gokcekspor shirt I will personally ensure that the German embassy football team never win another match. Well... at least I'll never report on the team ever again.

Genclerbirligi go down to Arsenal

You may have guessed it before, but normally before I write reports for Genclerbirligi matches I try to check the Turkish news agencies to make sure I get the major facts right, i.e. was I really in Ankara for the match.

Tonight though it seems as if the Turkish press has decided not to bother with what was surely the match of the evening. I notice that the Anatolian news agency has run a report on Fenerbahce versus .... never heard of them before ... Admira Wacker.

So first up I'd like to say well done to the Turkish press. You truly are arseholes.

Back home after a wonderful evening with the Kankas and not a single bloody report to help me out.

But bugger that.

It was a great turnout at the Capadokia Bar. For Gencler we had Spine, French Kanka Hande, Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo and myself. Ankaragucu supporters were also out in force with Battle Hardened Kanka Damon, Maniac Kanka Harun, Sir Eski Kanka, Yanki Kanka and Doctor Kanka.

Genclerbirligi 0 - 3 Arsenal

A quick look at the score and you would assume that we were smashed. I do not think this was the case.

Especially in the first half we played very fast football. The passes were fast and they were sticking. If not for the heroics of the keeper we could have been two-nil up after about 15 minutes.

This was pretty much our top side while Arsenal were mucking around with their squad.

One thing I did notice was that up front we don't have that much... this would have been the perfect game for Isaac Promise but he seems to have got himself into trouble with the management and has been sent to play with our Under 16s team. (have fun Christoph).

Forget about the score, this is a friendly match after all, and look at the way we played. It was fast, much much faster than we played last season. Sandro, who was hardly given a chance last season, had a great game. So did many others. In goal Jesus disproved the moral of the tale of an old testament story concerning a haircut by pulling off a number of good saves in spite of having a hair cut.

As I said, the result was crap but really I don't give a damn. Tonight we played like we used to do under the coaching of Ersun Yanal. If we play like this during the season we will definitely be a team to be reckoned with.

After the match the Ankaragucu fans sang their songs and laughed at us for having Cavcav as a chairman.

I'm sure he doesn't give a shit, but Cavcav has truely become a laughing stock and in becoming one has made all of us Genclerbirligi fans into a laughing stock. Let me state it clearly. Cavcav has done great things for the club in the past but today he is sticking a poker up our arse. RESIGN. And get Cem Onuk to resign with you. We don't want you. We don't like you. I can promise that at every single match this season we will be singing anti-Cavcav chants. So Mr. Cavcav, What does it feel like to be hated by all Genclerbirligi fans? Just retire...

Having said that I thought we played well tonight... did I mention that?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Genclerbirligi versus Arsenal

As we seem to be getting a lot of hits at the moment from people seemingly trying to figure out how to watch tonight's Genclerbirligi - Arsenal match, let me post some details.

Kick-off is at 8 pm (1700 GMT) and the game will be shown on Fox in Turkey (Digiturk channel 26).

We are going to watch the game on the big screen down in Kizilay at the Capadokia Bar.

For those of you not in Turkey you can watch the match by going to Arsenal's official site.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

News just in from ANKARAGUCU's summer camp in Austria...............

SV Axams (Austrian team I think) 2 ANKARAGUCU 2

No details of the match except that Bebbe and Yunus Balaban scored the goals. Great to see Bebbe back on target and I'm sure he will plunder more during the season with assists from Augustine.

Perhaps Alpine Kanka in Austria can add more details if he can tear himself away from his `downhill racing` ??!!

More news of other matches as they occur.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Cavcav says "up yours" to Genclerbirligi fans

As Ertank pointed out in a comment on Tuesday Genclerbirligi are not selling kombine (season) tickets this year. This is now pretty much official. In a clear "up yours" statement aimed at us, the fans of Genclerbirligi, Genclerbirligi Chairman Ilhan Cavcav is reported by the Ilhas news agency as saying it is because we said some nasty things about him. Diddums

So one week he complains that no one in Ankara supports Genclerbirligi, but doesn't think this has anything to do with year-after-year selling our best players, and now he goes and makes it more difficult for us real fans to get the matches.

So we will have to line up every match to get tickets. Thanks a lot Cavcav.

That IHA article:

Angry at the jeering by supporters of the red and black fans Genclerbirligi Club Chairman Ilhan Cavcav has stopped the sale of season tickets.

With the season starting soon there is an interesting development at Genclerbirligi. While Genclerbirligi supporters were waiting for the sale of season tickets to begin it has been learnt that Ilhan Cavcav decided to not sell season tickets this season.

Even if the recommendation from the Police Headquarters that season tickets should be used to prevent stadium violence it has been stated that Genclerbirligi will not sell season tickets.

It has been learnt that the reason for not selling season tickets is because Cavcav got angry at the jeering against him by the fans.

The red and black fans showed reactions against Cavcav following the sale of important players Ayman and Risp to Trabzonspor.

The red and black fans, led by the Alkaralar Fans Group, jeered Cavcav saying "Cavcav, kefenin cebi yok ki*".

It is awaited with interest how the fans will react after this decision...

* The shroud has no pockets: ie you can't take your money to the grave


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

For your information, ANKARAGUCU will travel to Bursa to take part in a pre-season friendly on Saturday 4th of August. You will notice that I omitted the parenthesis from the word ..... friendly, because as Bursaspor is ANKARAGUCU's `brother` team, it really WILL be a friendly !

Maniac Kanka, Yankee Kanka and I will be going through to Bursa for this match in a private car and I will give a report on my return.

If any other kankas or friends of The Round Ball are planning to be there, then we can be located prior to the match in the Public Park near the Bursa Stadium inside the only pub in the Park ! Not sure of the KO time yet, but I guess it will be in the early evening. I will post details when known.

I am ashamed to say that this is my first ever visit to Bursa, so as you can imagine, I'm looking forward to seeing this great city. Oz Kanka has been there not long ago and he was spotted flying expertly down the slopes of Uludag in his skis towards Bursa !! However, he forgot to have his photo taken at the top of the mountain in his Gencler scarf ..... tut tut tut !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, July 16, 2007

Hanging by a thread

Full time
Thailand 0 - 4 Australia
Oman 0 - 0 Iraq

So Iraq top the group and will face Vietnam in the next round while our stuffing around in previous matches means we get to face defending champions Japan.

I didn't actually get to see the match as my internet connection was rubbish today. Don't worry though I will wait for the reports to come in and then steal their ideas and pass them off as my own. Might take me a while though I'm rather busy this evening.

EDIT: Monday evening: I've decided I can't be bothered to report on the match but it does seem that the scoreline was rather flattering. Expect us to be thrashed by Japan on Saturday in the quarterfinal.

A letter in this evening's Guardian football e-mail. Obviously written before today's match:

"The current Asian Football Championships have shown that Fifa needs to crack down on countries bending the rules to qualify for World Cups. Thrashing easy beats might make you look good but it humiliates the weak and embarrasses the game. Shame on you Oman, Iraq and the rest of the Asian powerhouses for picking on Australia!" - Nicholas Hartley


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankara's `Big Two` are off to Austria for their summer camp and some pre-season `friendlies`.

Genclerbirligi flew out of Ankara yesterday (15 July) for a 12 day camp. They will play Cek Republic team Boleslav, Ingallind's Arsenal (never heard of them !!!), Germany's FC Koln (CimBom drew 0-0 with them last night) and Ingallind's Plymouth Argyle (never heard of them either !!!).

ANKARAGUCU will fly out today, also for a 12 day camp. They will play Olimpiakos and Panionios of Greece, Brasov of Slovakia and Brasov of Austria.

I reported in a previous post that ANKARAGUCU was scheduled to play Watford, but it seems that match has been kicked into touch.

Further details and scores from the above matches will be posted when known.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

EDIT: The Genclerbirligi - Arsenal match will be shown on Fox TV (Digiturk channel 26) on Thursday night 8pm.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

On the campaign trail perhaps?

What is happening at the Turkish Daily News? Not since Keith Dearn passed away a few years ago have we had any decent reports about football that doesn't involve the Istanbul teams. Recently though things are definitely getting better and I enjoyed a rather strange report today concerning everyone's favourite big-boned, big eared, big gambling, extremely lazy midfielder Sergen Yalcin.

The unfortunately un-bylined TDN article (was it you Ozgur Korkmaz?) talks about how the very charasmatic, but also just a bit dodgy ("allegedly", according to lawyers for the "The round ball in Ankara"), finance minister Kemal Unakitan has personally stepped in to secure Yalcin for Eskisehirspor who ply their trade in the "Sorry, the number you have phoned is not connected" League A.

Exactly what Unakitan's connection in the transfer of Yalcin from Sekerspor to Eskisehirspor is not exactly spelt out, neither is Yalcin's brief spell on the Ankaragucu books this summer, but the numbers involved are impressive. 1 million TL for Sekerspor, 900,000 TL a year wage for Yalcin and on top of that a 15,000 TL match appearance fee.

These are big figues for a team not in the top flight.

The TDN goes on to explain that the fans of Eskisehir are known for their left-wing tendencies and the interesting sight of all these left-wingers cheering Yalcin and the AKP's Unakitan.

Weird, weird, weird.

And all this for a player who probably should have retired about three years ago. He hardly got a game at Sekerspor last year thanks to all sorts of reasons.

Good luck Eskisehirspor, but don't be surprised when it all ends in tears in about three months time. By the way, are there direct flight links between Eskisehir and Ercan Airport?

So thanks TDN for opening my eyes a little on what is a very strange story and also thank you for not printing a report on the disaster that was yesterday's Australia - Iraq match, unlike Udo Steven Bassey over at Today's Zaman who no doubt had me in mind when he decided to run a piece.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With footie still at the pre-season `friendlies` stage....... (well, apart from the Aussies playing the footie giants of Asia - Oman, Iraq and Thailand !!!), I thought it would be an opportune time to have another look back into ANKARAGUCU's past.

You will recall that in a previous post (A European Adventure from the 1970s) I mentioned that ANKARAGUCU was the first Turkish team to play a Scottish team (Rangers) in YooRo footie.

The 1st Round, 1st Leg of The European Cup-Winners Cup was played at The 19 Mayis Stadium in Ankara on 19 September 1973 in front of a capacity crowd of 30,000.

The following report of the match was nicked from the Rangers match programme which was printed for the 2nd Leg in Glasgow .......... QUOTE............


Strike first - that's the classic answer to the problem of tackling virtually an unknown team in conditions which are awkward and demanding. And that's just what Rangers did in the first meeting with ANKARAGUCU in Turkey.

The conditions were to say the least, testing - a hard, rutted pitch, a light ball and blazing heat with the kick-off advanced unexpectedly by several hours to the hottest part of the afternoon.

But despite all this, plus the absence of key players Johnstone because of injury and MacDonald because of suspension, the Ibrox men took control from the start.

Even a 1st minute tackle which laid low Alfie Conn and meant him going off for treatment for several minutes didn't upset the Light Blues who kept cool all the way.

And it was in a way only justice that Conn returned to put the Ibrox men into the lead in the 11th minute. Conn was on the spot to ram the ball home from close range after defender Ismail mis-kicked at a Young cross.

The Turks came on to a game for 10 minutes in the 2nd half, and it was then big Peter McCloy in goal turned on the style aided by skipper John Greig and Colin Jackson.

Then came the clincher - and a goal which was pure Turkish delight for Rangers. Wee Tommy McLean picked the ball up deep, moved past a couple of defenders, worked a 1-2 movement with Parlane then beat two more defenders before slamming in a left foot shot.

Even the partisan Ankara fans were on their feet cheering that one. That brilliant goal really deflated ANKARAGUCU and Rangers were never troubled after that...... UNQUOTE.

What we need now is more nights like this in Ankara !! With the obvious all round improvement that Turkish footie has made in the last 30 years since this match took place, there can be no more thoughts of Turkish teams being classed as `minnows`.

Recent results by Genclerbirligi and Kayseri in YooRo for example are clear indicators that Turkish footie has made giant strides since the 1970s.

So, here's hoping for a SERIOUS challenge in the league this season from ANKARAGUCU and Gencler for YooRoo qualification.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, July 13, 2007

Bunch of hopeless jokes

It seems I won't be having to rely on the flicking delights of Vietnamese state television for much longer as Australia's hopes of staying in the Asian Cup now rest on mathematics and miracles.

Iraq 3 - 1 Australia

Australia's coach Graham Arnold is surely going to be sacked after another listless display by the Socceroos. Before the match large changes were forecast, in the end just one change was made. Genclerbirligi's Nick Carle unfortunately was not played and will no doubt be flying back to Ankara soon and will be available for the first match of the season sometime in August.

This was yet another performance where the Aussies were just too bloody slow and showed no real threat. The Iraqis seemed to play above themselves and the team comprised of a bunch of journeymen who ply their trade in various Middle Eastern leagues clearly outclassed our European-based so-called stars.

Dear oh dear.

The Iraqis went ahead first in about the 22nd and had a few more chances in the first half. We hardly had any.

Second half started off well with Mark Viduka scoring a header off a freekick taken by Brett Emerton but then we went behind again on the one hour mark. Then came the sucker-punch with five minutes left in the match.

So now we have to beat Thailand by plenty of goals on Monday to get through the group but going by the last two matches I reckon our only chances of recording a victory would be if we re-apply to join the Oceania region, or perhaps Antartica.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


EDIT: Oz Kanka here... just answer Malatya and claim your beer off Sir Eski.

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

As promised in a previous post (A European Adventure from the 1970s`), another chance to win an EFES beer from Eski Kanka, or……………. for you to buy him one ??!!

First up, an easy one…………..

There are only two teams in Super League history to have recorded wins against the Big Four (ie, Fener, CimBom, Besiktas and Trabzon) in the same season. Name the FIRST team ever to do this !

Remembering, of course, that if you get the wrong answer, then you must buy Eski Kanka a luvvilly yummy EFES !!

And the answer is…………………………

Make your decision before you scroll down further………………..

Remembering that honesty is the best policy, so no cheating…………………

The answer is……………………………………………….

Wait for it……………………………………………..

Do you want to change your mind ? ………………………………

OK………….. here it is………………………

It was…………………………………….


Did I fool you ? I’m waiting with impatience for my EFES !!!

OK, the 2nd team to do it was……………

ANKARAGUCU yesssssssssssssssssssss. They did the deed 5 years ago during the reign of Ersun Yanal.

Trabzon 4-2 at home. Fener 3-2 at home. CimBom 2-1 away. Besiktas 2-1 away.

Keep watching this space for another quiz coming your way soon.

All the best from a thirsty Eski Kanka Jim

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bloody hopeless

Genclerbirligi's Nick Carle in training in Bangkok. Has anyone told Gencler that it appears we have signed a rugby player? (Photo nicked from the SMH)

Only four days late this time with the latest news concerning the Socceroos, the stupid name that we give to our national football team (why can't we just call them something revolutionary like "Australia").

We would have been much quicker with the news had it been slightly more positive. Instead it was almost a total disaster.

Australia 1 - 1 Oman

It was the first round of the Asian Cup (no doubt you have all been overwhelmed by the press coverage the tournament is receiving both here in Turkey and all over Europe) and Australia were not only overwhelming favourites to win the first match but are also, along with Japan, favourites to win the Cup. If we do go all the way it will be the first meaningful trophy we have ever won.

So Australia are ranked 48th according to Fifa. Oman are 74th. Should have been a breeze. We have footballers playing at some of the best clubs in Europe, well, Harry Kewell is contracted to Liverpool but I'm not sure just how much playing he has been doing lately.

Having failed to find any Kankas with the Hotbird satellite system I spent Sunday afternoon searching all over the internet for a feed of the game... any sort of feed, radio would have been fine. I even rang my Mum to get her to turn on the computer and have her Skype the TV commentary (with no pictures) through to me only to discover that since my brother moved out they had cancelled their subscription to Fox Sports.

After hours of tearing my hair out I finally found a site with a feed of Vietnamese state TV. Sure I had a little trouble understanding the finer points of the match analysis but at least I got to watch a bit of the football. Although half the time the video feed stuffed up and I really did have to rely on trying to understand the commentary.

Have to admit though that the half-time entertainment from the Vietnamese TV studio was top class. Think of Turkey's entries to the Eurovision song contest in the early 1980s and you've got an idea.

Unlike the flamin' galah Sheilaroos. What a load of absolute rubbish.

Defence, crap. If it wasn't for Mark Schwarzer in goal we could have had four more goals scored against us.

Midfield. Non existent.

Up Front. Mark Viduka has clearly not adjusted to the conditions. Or perhaps he has been eating too many pies recently.

It was getting very desperate when Tim Cahill finally allowed me to calm down just a tad when he scored an equaliser in injury time.

The only good thing to come out the match is that there will probably be some changes to our match against Thailand on Friday with Australian newspapers speculating that Genclerbirligi's new signing Nick Carle could get a run.

But it was all very depressing and I wasn't going to bother with a report at all until I read a letter in The Guardian's daily football e-mail, from where I steal most of the ideas for my so-called humour - the rest of the humourous ideas come from Private Eye and the sports pages of the Turkish Daily News.

"Keep bagging the Socceroos mate. We love it. If my life depended on Australia winning the Asian Cup and yours on England winning Euro 2008, guess who'd be first to shake hands with Elvis?" wrote Endre Iberer.

And with that bit of Pom bashing I'm a much happier man. Victory over Thailand on Friday and then the powerhouse that is Iraq next week and we are into the next round. Bring it on.

EDIT: It's Australia v Iraq on Friady, not Thailand as I just saw that Thailand beat Oman 2-0. That really puts our draw into perspective.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It has often been said that pre-season `friendlies` are boring affairs with very little action and lots of stoppages for making substitutions. Last night's `friendly` between ANKARAGUCU and Sekerspor fell very neatly into that category !

ANKARAGUCU 2 Sekerspor 1

Maniac Kanka Harun attended the match and was loathe to give me any details except to say that he was `bored` for 90 minutes !

In fact, the tactics used by Hans Peter Briegel were similar to those used by John Collins of Hibernian when they played in Vocklabruck, Austria last week, ie, 2 different teams played in both halves !

Maniac Kanka was reasonably happy with the performances by last night's scorers Augustine and Krita. Also, Mohammed, Emre and Fatih Akyel. There was also a good performance from a new player from Angola but we don't know his name at the moment.

Of course, as I said in a previous post, this is a new team and they need time to become acquainted with each other and build up to peak match fitness, so we must be patient and see how it goes in Austria where the team will have their summer camp.

Watch this space for more results from Austria.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The draw for the group stages of the Ladies European Champions League has been made and it has seen Hibernian Ladies paired with teams from Austria, Poland and Ireland. There are 10 groups of 4 teams each and the competition will begin in early August.

Another chance for Eski Kanka to have a bet with Alpine Kanka and Paddy Kanka perhaps ???

The 3 other teams in the group are - SV Neulengbach of Austria, Uczniowski Klub Sportowy of Poland (a free beer to anyone who can pronounce that one !!!) and FC Mayo from Eyeirrrrrrlind.

The winner of the group will have the distinction of playing the reigning Ladies European Champions, Arsenal, in the next round.

Questions to be answered......... can the Hibs Ladies convert their fast attacking style of play to the YooRo stage ? Will Alpine Kanka and Paddy Kanka have the courage to accept Eski Kanka's challenge of a bet ? I can taste that mmmmmmmm yummmy EFES already !!!

Watch this space for more in August.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, July 09, 2007

Farewell Lanky Kanka Pt. II

At Lanky Kanka's goodbye reception on Friday night at Budakaltı restaurant. Left to right: Sir Eski Kanka, Lanky Kanka, Genclerbirlgi Oftas Vice President Suphi Yalcinkaya and Oz Kanka.

By the way, Budakaltı is owned by a life-long Genclerbirligi supporter who has in the past served on the club's board. In other words, go there and show your support.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Goings...... and it is with sadness that I announce the imminent departure of one of the stalwarts of the Kanka Group....... Lanky Kanka Jorg Fuerstenau. Jorg has been an ever-present at Gencler matches, but he has also been involved with Ankaragucu and forging ties between the two clubs. He has also organised football matches between the two clubs and his German/Austrian Embassy footie team. On behalf of all kankas, thanks for your friendship Jorg, and we wish you and your family well for the future and hope you will stay in touch with us through the medium of the Round Ball in Ankara Blog.

EDIT: Oz Kanka here. Just like to second Sir Eski's sentiments and wish Lanky Kanka the best of luck back in Berlin. We are going to miss a true ambassador.

Comings.......Brat Kankie Laura and Paddy Kanka Paul will be visiting Ankara from 21 to 30 July and we hope to share a few `refreshments` with them. Also, perhaps Paddy Kanka can tell us about Cork City's progress in the Inter Toto Cup ?!

Comings........ Belgeek Kanka Kurt will be visiting Ankara from 21 July to 14 August and we hope he will be able to join us for a league match or two. Kurt is still famous at the 19 Mayis Stadium for waving his huge ANKARAGUCU flag during the 90 minutes of a match (and at half-time) about 2 years ago !! Unfortunately, his singing voice is not up to the required standard !!

Comings........ Pompey Kanka Darren will be visiting Ankara from 5 to 10 August. This is his first visit to Ankara but unfortunately there are no matches scheduled during his visit. However, we can do a `dry run` to the 19 Mayis Stadium and then we might end up with a `wet run` at the Chopin !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

You will recall our discussions on this Blog about Football Hooliganism during the past year, and in particular when members of The Football Factory visited Ankara last year and were met by Oz Kanka. More recently, this subject was also discussed in Nathan's Fenerbahce Blog.

I don't think I need remind you that the subject of hooliganism is somewhat glorified in the Football Factory programmes when all the emphasis is about a gang warfare culture and totally neglects to mention the majority of footie fans like you and me who abhor this senseless behaviour.

So, it was heartening to read a report in The Weekly Telegraph by an Ingallish Pom, James Wilson, who now lives in Oz. He was giving his opinion about fans behaviour at an Australian Rules Football match when he went to see Western Bulldogs play at The Telstra Dome in Melbourne. He said.......

QUOTE....... the atmosphere at the ground is very different to football in England. Violence between fans is unheard of and attending a game is very much a family day out. We saw many families dining on picnics. I can also speak from experience in saying that a home-made picnic is a better option than the dubious tradition of munching on a meat pie with sauce during the game.

There is no segregation of opposing fans and the atmosphere is highly charged but friendly. Both sets of fans reserve their hostility instead for the game's hapless umpires, who are held in almost universal contempt. UNQUOTE.

As an ex-Class 1 referee I can confirm that hostility to referees is probably a world wide pastime !!

Perhaps the English (and Turkish !!) FAs should send a fact finding mission to Oz and try to find the answer to preventing hooliganism at footie matches ?!

Actually, I have watched Essendon Bombers a few times on TV a few years ago and can confirm that most of the `physical stuff` was on the field of play. Not a game for wimps me thinks !!!

Well done you Aussies. You are in the news for all the right reasons !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Oh dear..... Melih and Cemal have thrown their toys out of the cot and nobody is picking them up !!!

I'm afraid the outcome means that ANKARAGUCU will not be playing in this season's Sportswriters Cup Competition. This is bad (and sad) news for the life-blood of the Club, ie, we the punters !

When did this `baby fight` begin ? Well, we have to go back to last season when Cemal Aydin stated that he was refusing to play the away match with Ankaraspor at the Yenikent ASAS Stadium, which is about 30 Kilometres outside Ankara in the district of Sincan. Melih Gokcek was ordered to play the match at the `normal venue`, ie, 19 Mayis Stadium by the TFF and for that match he hiked the prices up to between YTL 150 to 250, which meant that the ordinary supporters like you and me were excluded from the match. This has already been reported in a previous post by Oz Kanka.

Silly me was thinking (and hoping) that the two grown up men who are the `mouthpieces` of their respective clubs would come to a sensible agreement and pick up their toys. However, using logic when it comes to a certain Mr Gokcek is not recommended !

In fact, he is quoted in today's Hurriyet as saying....... that if ANKARAGUCU will play then we will not !! It is beyond my comprehension that they can't (or won't) resolve this problem, at least for the sake of the fans.

Gentlemen (and I use the term loosely !!) - it is time to pick up your toys !!!

Back to the Sportswriters Cup, and it will be held on 2 and 4 of August In the Yenikent Stadium. Geclerbirligi, OFTAS, Ankara....spit....spor and Rize will take part.

More details nearer the time.

All the best from a very disappointed Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, July 02, 2007


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

There has been much activity in the corridors of ANKARAGUCU this summer with lots of comings and goings. Consequently, you could say that we have a brand new ANKARAGUCU.


Aytekin has gone to Antalya.
Petkov, Yordanov, Devran and Tita are going to Ankaraspor.
Sedat Yesilkaya is returning to Gencler after his loan period.

We may also be losing Dereli and Sedat Bayrak. Apparently, they are having `words` with Cemal Aydin and if their problems are not resolved we may lose them to Sivasspor. Watch this space for more on this subject.


Fatih Akyel is coming from Gencler.
Ahmet Dursun is coming from Antalya.
Ibrahim Ege is coming from Denizli.
Ilkem Ozkaynak is coming from Kayseri.
Mohammad Habis is coming from Antep (He originates from Ghana).
Ozgur Bayer is coming from Erciyes.

Also, Augustine is coming back from Trabzon. Great news, but he should never have been allowed to leave ANKARAGUCU in the first place !!!

It is also likely that Martin Kamburov will join us from one of the Sofia teams of Bulgaria and he is expected to sign a contract in the next few days.

I’m not sure what the present situation is with Sergen or Alpay. More information when I have it.

So, as you can appreciate, it will not be easy to assess the potential of the team at this stage. However, with Hans Peter Briegel at the helm to knock them into shape we should at least be quietly optimistic !! They are in their training camp in Austria at the moment.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

On the internet today

Good old Tolga Ozek from NTVSpor interviewed Sir Eski and myself yesterday and has already put his piece up on the NTVspor website. Below I have translated the introduction to the article which then continues with a question and answer session. I can't really be bothered to translate all that as it would mean I gave the interview in English, Tolga translated it to Turkish and then I would be translating my own comments back from Turkish to English.

But if you want to take a look then check out Tolga's piece here.

At the end of the league I received an e-mail. I was on the receiving end of a rebellion saying that in my last two articles of the season "you mentioned all the fan groups but you forgot about us". This rebellion was from the Kankas of Ankara. I used to see some of them at the stadium from time to time but I had no idea that they were organised in this way. Yes, the Kankas of Ankara are foreigners but they are also our fans.

They invited me to an end of season BBQ. I had the opportunity to talk to both foreigner and local fans and also to Mr. Suphi Yalcinkaya from Oftaş. At the BBQ there were also friends who sell Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi merchandise and there was even a small raffle. It was a very enjoyable atmosphere. Almost all European Kankas came with their families and children. One of these children was a 15 year-old Austrian goalkeeper Christoph who attends the Genclerbirligi sports school. Good luck Christoph with your football career.

If you wonder about who these Kankas are and would like to see some pictures from the BBQ I recomend you click on http://ankarafootball.blogspot.com . It is very good to look at our football from a different perspective. The Kankas who go by the names of Oz and Eski agreed to give an interview.