Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Avrupalı Eses, Ankaralı kanka

European Eses, Ankaralı Kanka

By Tanıl Bora
Radikal newspaper

Original article in Turkish here

Translation by Oz Kanka (with a little help from Mrs. Oz Kanka)

Behind a sign saying "European Esesler-Erasmus students" there was a group of many young blondes. They were students from various European countries who came to Anadolu University via the Erasmus exchange programme. They first watched the Eskisehirspor-Galatasaray match and later take their place on the terraces for every match. What do they shout: "Es es es ki ki ki, eski eski es!"

I received this information from a university friend, Emre Gokalp and through his mediation we wrote to two students who where the originators of this organisation, Osman Gumuşgul and Selim Songun who are both fourth year students at Anadolu University's Physical Education department.

Their aim is to "increase sympathy and enlarge the number of Eskisehirspor fans both outside the city and outside the country".

This aim turned into a course project.

In cooperation with the Anadolu University Erasmus Club and the Eskisehirspor 1965 Asssociation, They are working towards getting 117 Erasmus students to the Eses matches. The red and blacks reputation in the city and the renown of its fans has already created an attraction (for the foreign students).

They organised to have breakfast in the morning before the Galatasaray match. From there they went to a bar. Having fun, talking, they copied and learnt from each other singing English and Turkish football songs. In this way they went to the stadium. A full stadium and chanting... plus Eses managing to beat their famous opponent... They liked it. They have been there for the following matches. The Red and Black scarves, the club shirts and of course the memories; "They will remember Eskisehirspor with a smile when they return to their home countries," so think Osman and Selim with pride.

The ball is round in Ankara

Two Lithuanian students who are in fact basketball fans wrote (to me) of their observations, again through Osman and Selim. Renata Braziulyte started to become interested in football thanks to the 2008 European Championships. She says that she was shocked that during the match (against) Ankaragucu the supporters sang continously.

She stopped watching the match and started singing "Es es es ki ki ki eski, eski, es".

Joana Cesnakaite loves match day with "the whole city going crazy" and the supporters singing altogether. For her the phrase "Es es es ki ki ki eski eski es" has turned into something like a greeting.

I know a more senior and "engaged" "foreign" football fans group: "The Round Ball in Ankara" (Ankara'da Top Yuvarlak) "Kanka Group". They have members who are mainly English, Irish, Scottish and Australian but also have Germans, Croatians, Americans, French, Danish, Finnish and Turkish.

They are at the address http://ankarafootball.blogspot.com which publishes in English. They introduce themselves as "a blog for football lovers in Ankara", followed by a note stating "except for those who like Ankaraspor"!

Their user names must have the word "Kanka" in them. In their messages they address (their readers) "Dear Kankas and kankies" (sevgili kankalar ve kankiler).

There are Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi kankas and you can see them wearing scarves and uniforms in Maraton at every one of their teams' matches. In contrast to the "Erasmus Eses", most of them are middle-aged and work in the professions. They found their way to Ankara due to work or love. If not, they are football lovers who have settled in Ankara for a couple of years.

Similar to a British person who has football culture, in the same way as it is natural to buy bread and water from the local market, it is natural for them to support the football team where they live.

Citizens of the world

The Ankaragucu kankas discussed the club's management crisis under the heading "Goodbye Cemal Aydin". Eski Kanka Jim talks about his hope that one day a rich Russian, African or American will buy Ankaragucu and will take the club high in the league.

The Genclerbirligi kankas shared their joyful comments on Jedinak's transfer to Genclerbirligi which strengthened the Australian "colonisation" of the club.

In response to a kanka who wrote that he wasn't surprised at the TFF decision not to punish Samet Aybaba for his statement "They prefer an Arab to me", another kanka said "Shame on you TFF. We will never forget what you have done".

This conversation is a state of world citizenship. The stadium embraces everybody everywhere as a local. The stadium makes them feel that everyone is a local. This is the human and international face of football. This is a lesson to football personalities who keep complaining about "foreigners" and who display racism as naturally as they buy bread and water from the market. Have a good year.

In the papers today...

Got quite a shock this morning as I was reading through the papers when I discovered a Tanil Bora piece in Radikal about foreigners supporting Eskisehirspor. Seems as if a bunch of Turks and Erasmus students from various European countries meet up for breakfast, head off to a bar and then make their way to the stadium. How very much like us, I thought (without the breakfast bit obviously).

Then came the shock. The sub-heading was "Ankara'da top yuvarlak" (which translates as "The ball is round in Ankara").

A small quote from the article (which I shall translate in full when I get the time).

I know a more organised and engaged "foreigners" football group. The Round Ball in Ankara Kanka group. Mainly English, Irish, Scottish and Australians, there are also German, Croatian, American, French, Danish, Finnish and Turkish members...

The article continues:

"A blog for football lovers in Ankara", is how they introduce themselves, then warning, "except for those who like Ankaraspor obviously...

The article continues at some length and as I said before I'll translate it later on. In the meantime if you know Turkish check out Tanil Bey's article.

Monday, December 29, 2008

No Xmas Cheers for Hibs

Two defeats so far this Christmas for Hibs, first a 1-0 defeat to Rangers followed by a 4-2 home defeat to Kilmarnock.

Hibs went through to Glasgow with another negative formation and frustrated Rangers for over an hour before Kris Boyd pulled out something a bit special to unlock Hibs defence. Boyd met a cross with a overhead kick leaving Makalamby with no chance.

Towards the end of the game Hibs became a bit more adventurous and created a couple of half chances but to be honest they did not deserve anything from the game.

Next up was Kilmarnock at home and we all expected to see a more entertaining game. I even brought along all four mini Hibbee Kankas in anticipation of a goal feast. Unfortunately four of the six goals ended up in the Hibs net.

Hibs had found themselves two down after 10 minutes before rallying back to 2-2 with two penalties. The second penalty resulted in the Kilmarnock keeper being sent off. All this before half time.

We all expected to see Hibs pressurise the Killie defence but they never seemed to have a clue how to deliver the killer pass. In the end Killie hit Hibs on the break and actually deserved the points.

Hibs will have to be better next Saturday when the first of two derbies takes place.

Merry Christmas

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Aussie connection

I found an interesting post about the "Australian invasion" of Turkey at http://vliegendenederlander.blogspot.com, some sort of blog (in Turkish) about sport in general. The post, titled "Cevher Kangurular" (Precious Kangaroos - I think) I was interested in was written by someone whose tagline Flying Dutchman (no relation to our own Flying Dutchman Kanka) and talks about how Genclerbirligi have changed their sights when it comes to recruiting up-and-coming players.

Taking the news earlier this week that Mile Jedinak had signed for Gencler, Flying Dutchman points out that in the past Gencler used to source its promising players from Africa, then Belgium and later on South America and that it is now the Australian A-League that is the pool from which Ilhan Cavcav finds his new players.

The article points out that Nick Carle joined the team last year, only to move on to England after short-lived coach Bulent Korkmaz decided he didn't like him (the decision to let Carle go is one that Cavcav has since publicly regretted). This year we signed up Bruce Djite and James Troisi (unfortunately for the arguement's purposes, Troisi came from England's Newcastle and not the A-League) and now Jedinak.

The article then takes a look at why and answers its own question with a list of a number players who came from Australia and at what age they went over to Europe. I'll leave this quote in Turkish, it is self explanatory.

Brett Emerton'ı Feyenoord Sydney Olympic'ten 21 yaşında iken transfer etti, Harry Kewell Leeds United'a geldiğinde 17 yaşında bir Marconi Stallions oyuncusuydu, Mark Bresciano 19 yaşında iken Carlton FC'den Empoli'ye katıldı, Mark Viduka Melbourne Knights'dan Dinamo Zagreb'e transfer olduğunda 20 yaşındaydı, John Aloisi Avrupa'ya geldiğinde 17 yaşında Adelaide City'den ayrılmıştı

The point? Aussies are cheap if you get 'em young. My question is, for how long is Genclerbirligi prepared to actually hold onto its Aussies?

Friday, December 26, 2008

No surprises as Aybaba let off the hook

I wonder just how long the discussion went for but the league's discipline committee today found Aybaba not guilty of racism. No surprise really and exactly what we predicted. Below I put the Turkish text of the decision:

4- GENÇLERBİRLİĞİ Kulübü teknik sorumlusu SAMET AYBABA hakkında, 21.12.2008 tarihinde oynanan GENÇLERBİRLİĞİ - SİVASSPOR Turkcell Süper Lig futbol müsabakasında, düzenlenen basın toplantısında hakarette bulunmasından dolayı isnat olunan eylemin unsurları oluşmadığından CEZA TAYİNİNE YER OLMADIĞINA,

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas

Father Christmas brought Little Oz Kanka a PSP this morning. Ahhh... the joy on the little fellow's face.

Pro Evolution Soccer 2009, however, is a slightly difficult game and so Daddy had to take over, at least for a couple of minutes.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

El Saka speaks

We have heard from the fans and from the coach and today I tracked down the first statement from El Saka. This was on filgol.com an Egyptian football website who must have got hold of El Saka some time today. I wonder just how big this story is in Egypt.

Here are the quotes:

"Since taking over the team, I could see that Aybaba is a racist man, especially against Arabs and Muslims," Al-Saqqa told FilGoal.com.

"He didn't even want me to stay on as club captain. He only surrendered to that after he was pressured by the board."

"He [Aybaba] was always angry with me whenever I gathered my teammates for praying. He used to tell me that the club is a place for training not praying.

"Once I saluted the players with Islam's greeting alsalamualaikum, he got angry and asked me to say marhaba instead."

You can check out the rest of the story here

Australian colonisation of Genclerbirligi continues

(photo from wikipedia commons)

Shares in Anadolu Efes Biracilik Ve Malt Sanayii A.S. were up on Wednesday as news hit the markets that another Australian was headed for Genclerbirligi.

Klassspor.com reported that Genclerbirligi had signed Central Coast Mariners midfielder Mile Jedinak continuing the Australian take-over of the Anatolian club which now has three Aussie players on the books.

Investigative reporting from "The round ball in Ankara" discovered that Jedinak is 24 years-old and made his debut for Australia earlier this year in a friendly match against Singapore, the same match at which Aussie Bruce made his Aussie debut.

Klassspor.com also did their own investigative reporting, saying that due to Jedinak's performances for Central Coast, the fans call him "God". Call it a coincidence if you want, but that happens to be exactly what Wikipedia says about the bloke.

"The round ball in Ankara" however prefers to believe that Klasspor.com actually rang random Central Coast phone numbers to find out what the locals think of him.

Klasspor.com: "Do you think Jedinak will be good for Genclerbirligi?"
Random Central Coast person: "God knows?"
Klasspor.com editors: "Let's just selectively quote that sentence."

Welcome to Ankara Mile!

A picture waiting for a story

You can edit this post to add in your story Sir Eski Kanka.

Update on racism at Genclerbirligi saga

Time to let Samet Aybaba have his say:

"In my job I have won the club the Turkish Cup. We defeated Fenerbahce in the final, as well as earlier defeating Besiktas," Aybaba said according to news reports late on Tuesday.

"If I was a racist I wouldn't have transfered a Serbian (to Gencler) three days ago", he said, referring to what we hope is a decent goalkeeper. "I've brought (to Turkey) Jaba, Tita, Wederson, Petkovic and tens of other foreigners. Where is the racism?

Where indeed. I suggest he looks closer as unfortunately Aybaba did not at all apologise for his comments regarding El Saka.

As for the club, well Cem Onuk the general manager has been downright... well... totally predictable: "We think the coach was at his end or his words were a reflex," Cem Onuk was quoted by the Anatolian news agency on Tuesday. The exact quote is as follows and I'm putting it here because it is very late at night that I'm writing this and therefore acknowledge that I may have got the translation wrong (Hocanın onu bir anlık sinirle veya refleks ile söylediğini düşünüyor)

Conclusion: So Aybaba has done exactly what many have done in the past, i.e. transfered players from various countries whom he thinks will do well. I seem to remember that this is exactly what Mehmet Ali Yilmaz did.

I also seem to remember that Yilmaz's excuse over a clearly racist remark was pretty much the same as Onuk has given for Aybaba.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We don't want a racist coach

I touched on the subject of Genclerbirligi's coach Samet Aybaba getting into hot water over racist comments he made after our loss to Sivas on Sunday.

It was his comments on the fact that us fans were shouting "Samet gitsin. El Saka kalsin" ("Samet go, El Saka stay") towards the end of the match.

"They prefer an Arab to me?" Aybaba asked.

Immediately the Alkaralar Gencler fans forum started a campaign to have Aybaba sacked. The headline on the site reads "We don't want a racist coach".

The story is all over the newspapers today and I've just seen a report that the matter is to be looked into by the football discipline board which has the power to issue fines and possibly ban him from the sidelines for a number of matches.

The background to the story as I pointed out yesterday is that Aybaba for some reason doesn't like El Saka. El Saka was captain until a little while ago and many supporters, including a few of us Kankas, think he deserves a first team place. Not only has he been dropped from the team but when he showed up to training midweek Aybaba refused to let him train.

Aybaba's mysterious refusal to make key changes during the match against Sivas (he only used one substitute) led the fans to vent their frustration by getting behind El Saka.

Whilst I must praise the quick decision to refer the matter to the discipline board I have my fears that nothing much will be done. They washed their hands of this incident a few years ago. An article from the Guardian in 1999:

Take this Kevin Campbell incident for example... not many football chairman would have responded to Campbell's current goal drought as Trabzonspor boss Mehmet Ali Yilmaz did. Yilmaz told the Turkish press that he had bought a "cannibal who calls himself a striker" and then proceeded to describe Campbell as "discoloured".

Yilmaz has since done the usual, declaring himself to be racism-free and blaming all the kerfuffle on the media. "If a microphone is shoved in your face when you are gutted after a 3-0 loss it is natural for it all to spill out," he said. Spill out like the overflow from a cistern presumably.

I'm not so sure that Yilmaz called him "discoloured", I seem to remember that he merely called him "coloured", either way, it was a pretty racist comment. Yilmaz, by the way, is still chairman of Trabzon.

No football for a few weeks but if Aybaba is still coach of Genclerbirligi when we restart the season he is in for one hell of a bollocking from the fans.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Lucky, lucky Sivas

How is it that Gencler can completely outplay league leaders Sivas and yet still lose 2-1. Depressing stuff.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Sivasspor

Due to Mrs. Oz Kanka preparing for a dinner party I was ordered to take Little Oz Kanka Matthew along to the match yesterday. It was lucky really as Matthew was the only person to show up at the Chopin at anywhere near the appointed midday meet up. So I got to discuss Father Christmas and debated which transformer is the best at fighting... until Dan the Man showed up late in the show. A few minutes later Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo waltzed in and just as we were about to leave Alpine Kanka Wolfgang, his son Chris and a mate of theirs, Mustafa.

A decent crowd for a wet Sunday and Genclerbirligi came out well. Aussie Bruce and Kahe up front were both looking good and Troisi seems to be getting better each game. Ignore the "scores" given to the players in Hurriyet today, the team played well, even after we went behind in the 37th minute.

The team ignored the referee and linesman who certainly seemed to be on Sivas' side, we were denied what looked like a fairly clear cut penalty and were being constantly pinged for off side when it was pretty clear that Aussie Bruce was nowhere near offside.

So we kept on pushing and it was a great pass from Mehmet Nas which Aussie Bruce headed in just before the half time break. The fans were cheering and we were definitely happy with what we had seen.

Second half and things weren't as good as the first but yet again we dominated. Then in what was Sivas' second chance of the match, they scored. Argghhh.

Gencler kept going for the eqauliser but it just wouln't come. Shots came off the post, others were saved, others were cleared by desperate Sivas defenders.

Not sure what the coach Samet Aybaba was doing as he only made one substitution for the whole match when it was pretty clear that replacing some tiring legs would have been a good idea. Towards the end the Genclerbirligi fans turned on him singing "Samet gitsin. El Saka kalsin" in reference to the mind-boggling fact that Aybaba not only refuses to play the man who was our captain a couple of weeks ago but also refused to let him even train with the team last week. He has also now been condemned for racist comments concerning the fact that El Saka is an Arab. Not nice, and he should have been sacked on the spot.

A few weeks off now. Happy Christmas all and fingers crossed Father Christmas sends us a present of a couple of decent footballers.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Nobody can deny the fighting qualities of Ankaragucu which was obviously demonstrated again in Denizli yesterday. It could best be described as a ‘banana skin’ of a match for Ankaragucu, but at least they did not return to Ankara empty-handed !

Denizlispor 1 ANKARAGUCU 1

I did say last week that it was a ‘must win’ match, but with Kocaeli, Hacettepe and Antalya all dropping points we can keep our finger off the panic button …… for now !

A surprise line-up in the team included Gokhan and Mehmet who were probably playing their ‘farewell’ match before the league winter shut-down.

An inspired decision to include Gokhan who opened the scoring on the half hour mark.

This despite a penalty miss by Kratochvil of Denizli after 5 minutes which was probably down to my new ‘hero figure’ Serkan in goal ?!

Izzet of Denizli equalised half way through the 2nd half and that’s as much information as I have on the match I’m afraid.

So, that’s it for league action until weekend of 24/25 January when 3rd bottom club Antalya come visiting.

With Ankaragucu only two places above Antalya and 2 points better off, that match most definitely falls into the category of …… must win !

However, with the planned departure of Gokhan and Mehmet, I am still feeling pessimistic, unless …… there are plans afoot to bring players in during the January transfer window. Watch this space.

More Turkish Cup action coming up in early January. Details later.

For now, all the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

More bad news I'm afraid ! Especially for Battle Damaged Kanka Damon who will no doubt be crying into his Efes tonight !

Gokhan (our only shining star) has been transferred to effin Fener !

I have to say that I don't blame Gokhan for being ambitious, but his timing was rather ... off, taking into account our precarious league position. I was hoping that he would stay with the Club who gave him his 'big chance' until the end of the season at least. Dreaming again ???

His departure makes me wonder how many more of the players will be offski before the January transfer window closes ??!!

Grrrrrrrrr and shittttttttttttttt from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, December 15, 2008

Hibs 2-0 Hamilton

Another good performance from Hibs against a spirited Hamilton team looking to improve on a 7-1 hammering from Rangers last weekend.

A goal in each half was enough to secure the three points, Riordan and Jones got the goals. Riordan who came off the bench after Fletcher was crudely slammed on the half way line, tapped in an Ian Murry cross on about 40 minutes. Jones headed Hibs second just before the end.

It was a game Hibs made much harder than it should have been, the old combination of posts and bad finishing meant Hamilton always had something to chase.

Hamilton actually came out in the second half in a much more determined mood after spending the first half happy to allow Hibs the majority of possession. Ironically Hibs first goal came after Hamilton dared to go forward and apply a bit of pressure. A corner from Hamilton was cleared by the Hibs defence and within seconds Hibs had turned defence into attack and gone one up.

A long range effort from Hamilton that cracked of the underside was the closest they came to scoring.

Hibs missed a few chances near the end, the Derek Riordan of old would have walked away with a hatrick.

Still another good three points that helps to stretch the league a little bit more. A trip through to Glasgow to play the blue half of Scotlands shame next on the agenda for Hibs.

Aussie Bruce in the Aussie press

Just saw this from yesterday's Sydney Morning Herald. Shame they got the pronunciation of Gencler wrong. Not sure about "the gods" bit either. Makes the author look like he thinks the sacrifice is some sort of voodoo ceremony. But anyway, nice to see Bruce get a run. Article by Matthew Hall.

The full article can be found here.

Six months after quitting the A-League for Turkey, Socceroo Bruce Djite is still not sure what's surprised him most about playing football overseas.

Sure, there's added professionalism, the five-star training facilities at his club Genclerbirligi (pronounced Gench-Lair-Beer-Ligi) that include the pick of several pitches, a sauna, steam room and swimming pool.

Off the pitch, there's the Muslim call to prayer five times a day and Ankara traffic where drivers think nothing of brazenly reversing down a four-lane freeway if they miss their exit.

If pushed, the former Adelaide United striker nominates a unique pre-season ritual as the greatest divide between football in Australia and Turkey. Djite had been warned what to expect by fellow Socceroo Mile Sterjovski, a former Genclerbirligi player, but was still unprepared for the reality.

"Mile said to wait until they bring out the goat," Djite said. "I thought he was joking. Then, the day of the first game of the season, we'd just eaten lunch, got told to go to the training fields. It was time. They were going to sacrifice a goat."

In many European countries, preseason prep is crowned by visiting a local church but, in Turkey, things go up a few gears. Djite confessed he baulked - along with several other foreign players - at the slaughter of a goat but the ceremony went ahead as it does every season.

The gods must have been unimpressed. Genclerbirligi's season began poorly. A coach was sacked but a few other adjustments were made....

Continues here

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Just read last week’s report and then subtract 2 goals !!

Besiktas 1 ANKARAGUCU 0

Yes, full of optimism before the match – as usual. Who was there in The Chopin ?

Oz Kanka Chris, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo, and yours truly. Ooooops …… almost forgot …….. the return of the prodigals ….. Maniac Kanka Harun and Yankee Kanka !

Ankaragucu’s line-up was similar to last week with the exception of Jaba who had accumulated too many yellow cards. He was replaced by Murat Duruer who was ‘absent’ for 90 minutes ….. as usual !

The match started at a furious pace (as usual) with end to end play, but Ankaragucu’s attacks were usually breaking down with their final pass.

Besiktas was looking dangerous with their fast breaks and it was one such breakaway which led to the first goal after 25 minutes.

The goal was a combination of errors by all concerned, except Serkan.

The ball was swung in from the right to the Besiktas front runners with the Ankaragucu defence back-pedalling. The ball went over the Besiktas strikers and it was met by Tolga who got his head to the ball with the intention of knocking it out for a corner. However, he didn’t connect properly and it fell nicely for Holosko who was coming in on the blind side. He brought the ball onto his left foot intending to shoot and Serkan had it covered at the near post. However, Holosko mis-hit the shot and the ball’s direction deceived everyone by squirming to the far post and trickling into the goal. It was a lucky goal, but ….. it was a goal !

Ankaragucu continued to press forward but their passing was woeful, play becoming ragged and they were giving possession away all too often........ dare I say ..... as usual ?!

The one big positive was that Serkan was in good form again and kept the score down with some fine goalkeeping. The defence was working overtime and Santos and Tolga were happy to clear the ball anywhere.

Gokhan reprised his shooting ability. Another thunderbolt was heading for a goal with Rustu clawing air, the kankas on their feet, and ……….. that bloody post got in the way again ! When things are not going well it is always difficult to grab a piece of luck !

Gokhan had another effort in the 2nd half when well placed but sliced it out of play when the goal beckoned.

Mehmet huffed and puffed but didn’t cause any danger to the Besiktas defence.

Captain Murat Erdogan was substituted in the 2nd half again – why ? I just don’t understand the logic of this. He is the only attacking midfielder in the team worth a mention !!

So, it’s all doom and gloom again with Ankaragucu’s problem there for all to see. 15 matches played and 13 goals scored ! A miserable tally which has to be rectified in the 2nd half of the season.

Back down into the relegation zone then with next week’s match away to Denizli taking on added significance. Nothing less than a win will suffice to take Ankaragucu into the winter shut-down. Let’s hope new Coach Mesut Bakkal can motivate the players to make their passes stick and to put the bloody ball where it should go …….. ie ……….. between the effin sticks !!!

All the best from a worried Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, December 12, 2008

Yet again Genclerbirligi fail in the last third

Temperatures around the zero mark here in Ankara meant it was time to find the old pair of tights I bought years ago when I was trekking through the mountains on the Black Sea. Only hassle was that I must have been a bit thinner in those days as the damn things wouldn't stay up properly. By half time the tights were somewhere below my bum and the crowded toilets at the 19 Mayis stadium are probably not the best place to drop one's trousers and pull up a pair of purple tights.

Oh yes, there was some football tonight but I'm not sure I really want to talk about that.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 3 Galatasaray

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a bunch of Gencler season tickets shall get phone calls on the day of a match against Galatasaray. And so it came to pass. Orcan and Ertan both got onto me today and I was only too pleased to help out with the spares. I'm not even sure who actually owns the eight season tickets I have in my possesion, but hey, it all helps.

So at the Chopin Bar Orcan and his mate Can showed up, as did Recovering Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo, Guclu is always there, and Ian and his lovely eight-year-old daughter made up the crew.

Road works in Kizilay made the trip to the stadium a bit of a pain, but we got there in time to not sing the national anthem.

Onto the match itself and Gencler weren't too bad. We dominated possession but at the same time didn't look too dangerous. That was until the 26th minute when Burhan managed to get in on goal (I'm not exactly sure how as the play was just after I thought we had stuffed a chance and so I looked away saying "oooffff"). Next thing I looked up and Burhan had slipped it home. 1-0 up and much cheering.

At this stage a whole heap of Galatasaray fans who were sitting in Maraton moved over to the side of the stand wanting police protection. I have no idea why but I do ask why weren't they kicked out of the stadium. Most people are not stupid enough to sit in the home section of an away match. The police should have frog marched them out.

All up we had about two minutes of joy before Galatasaray got back into it. Then not long later they went ahead, and then not long later they went further ahead.

In all three goals the defence made mistakes and to give Galatasaray credit all three goals were clinically taken. None of them were 35-yard screamers, they were nice stuff getting behind defenders and shooting on goal. It is something we must learn how to do.

Ian, a bloke who doesn't go to many matches reckoned we played allright, but as I've said a million times on this blog we fail with the last pass.

In the first half we made many very good runs down the left touchline, with one resulting in the goal, but then the coach replaced Aussie Bruce, who was playing on the left this evening, with another Aussie, James Troisi. Troisi is probably better in that position so I didn't complain but then Gencler decided to focus on making breaks down the right on the second half. Useless.

Mehmet Nas had a good game, being denied a goal from a brilliant acrobatic effort by the Galatasaray keeper and Kahe played a good first half only to hardly be seen in the second.

And what the hell was with the referee? We were being given yellow cards left, right and centre whilst nothing was being given against Galatasaray for very similar challenges.

Oh dear. I'm rambling.

Point of my rambling? Gencler have to learn to use the last third of the park. This is the second time in the last few weeks I've heard from a relative newbie to Turkish football that Gencler played fairly well. In those two matches we have won just one point. Time to convert playing fairly well into points, otherwise it is back to the relegation zone... as we may well be depending on the results of the other matches this weekend.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Well, it looks like it has eventually happened !

Hurriyet reported this morning that Cemal Aydin has resigned, and along with him, Coach Unal Karaman.

Deputy Chairman, Serdar Ozersin, will take control of the Club until a permanent Chairman has been elected.

So, the power of the Tribunes seem to have won the day and there will be much celebrating in Ankara tonight, especially in The Lacivert !

As for the position of Coach, two names have been muted, ie, Ex Gencler Coach Mesut Bakkal and the other, Ziya Dogan.

I have to admit that I have never joined the Cemal Aydin 'Hate Club' because I was waiting and 'hoping' that a rich benefactor would appear from Russia, Africa or the USA to take control and put Ankaragucu 'up there' in the same way as Chelsea and Man City were turned around. However, I wasn't a member of the 'Love Club' either, especially after he sold some of our star players over the past few years.

I await more details from Oz Kanka, our Webmaster, before commenting further.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


Greetings Kankas.

Two big league matches coming up this weekend.

Friday 12 December KO 8pm - Genclerbirligi v Galatasaray (Oz Kanka will give meeting details in a kanka email).

Saturday 13 December KO 7pm - Besiktas v Ankaragucu (meeting in The Chopin Bar at about 6pm to watch this one on Lig TV).

The Turkish Cup has been pushed onto the back burner due to Ankaragucu's failure to beat Fener and Bursa. However, if you believe in miracles then it is mathematically possible for Ankaragucu to qualify ............ if ......... Tokat can beat Bursa in Bursa !! Ankaragucu supporters (like me) have sometimes been accused of being ........ dreamers !!!

Anyway, the original fixtures which I posted a few weeks ago have been changed by the TFF.

The revised fixtures are -

Wednesday 7 January - Ankaragucu v Tokat
Sunday 11 January - Eskisehir v Ankaragucu

KO times to be given when known.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, December 08, 2008

Hibs 2-0 Celtic

A great three points for Hibs on Sunday when they scored two second half goals to beat Celtic two nil at Easter Road.

I don't think many Hibs fans dared hope for more than a point against Celtic as Hibs results so far have failed to instill confidence. Also Celtic had won twelve straight league games and were seven points clear at the top of the SPL.

Hibs had a pretty defensive set up and were happy to let Celtic have the bulk of the play. The tactic worked very well as Celtic failed to create many opportunities, in fact Hibs had the best chance of the first half after Fletcher rounded Boruc in the Celtic goal only to blast high and wide.

Hibs took the lead early in the second half when Rankin shot from about 40 yards. The ball swerved a bit but was straight at Boruc however a lack of concentration saw the ball hit the back of the net. It was a real howler and matched the one last year in this fixture that let Hibs win 3-2.

This stunned Celtic into a better period where they started carving out some half chances but it was Hibs who increased their lead on 70 mins.

Some wonderful inter play between O'Brian, Fletcher and Nish saw O'Brian sent through on the keeper. O'Brian rounded Boruc, crossed for Rankin whose shot was directed into the net by Nish.

Celtic continued to press looking for a way back into the game but Hibs held onto their two goal lead quite comfortably.

That is two wins and two draws in the last four games for Hibs. Time to try and build on the good form and pick up more points against Hamilton next week.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

(Headline nicked from this morning’s Hurriyet !).

Well, CimBom came, they saw what Ankaragucu had for 45 minutes, and then they conquered !

ANKARAGUCU 0 Galatasaray 3

As usual it all started out on a high note of optimism, especially after last week’s away win in ‘Hell’.

As reported by Oz Kanka, two previous post ago, the kankas decided to watch the match in The Chopin Bar to avoid the fans protests at the Stadium and the possibility of confrontation with the Police.

Oz Kanka Chris, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I were the only kankas present and we reserved the biggest cheer of the night for Hibs defeating Celtic when it came through on the TV ‘ticker-tape’.

The Ankaragucu line-up was unchanged again and the match started at a furious pace with both teams seeking the early goal. Serkan was in great form again and only spilled one high ball in the entire match which he gathered at the second attempt.

The best chance of the 1st half fell to Gokhan when he received a cut-back about 20 metres out and thundered in a shot with De Sanctis rooted to the spot. We were up on our feet shouting ……. GOAAAAL ! However, the ball hit the inside of the post and instead of deflecting into the goal it flew across towards De Sanctis who ducked and the ball was cleared to safety.

Half time came and we were fairly satisfied with Ankaragucu’s efforts.

My tactics are well known on this Blog, but only Skibbe took notice of my suggestions when he sent Galatasaray out in the 2nd half to up-the-pace of attack. Some of the kankas felt that Karaman’s tactics were to play defensive in the 2nd half and hold out for a 0-0. I’m not so sure.

Galatasaray stepped on the gas and they were beginning to look more dangerous as the 2nd half unfolded. No doubting their fitness level which is something that the Ankaragucu defence have a problem with as I have mentioned before !

Then the storm arrived half-way through the 2nd half. Firstly, our Captain Courageous, Murat, was substituted with Tolga taking the armband. I’m at a loss to understand Karaman’s reason for taking off the captain when there is still all to play for. Murat is an inspirational player and at the heart of Ankaragucu’s midfield engine room. I’m not suggesting that this was the reason for the Ankaragucu collapse. Perhaps it was a coincidence, but it is something Karaman should ponder for future matches !

Anyway, no sooner had the game restarted than the storm began. A quick break down the right, the ball swung over, and there was predator Baros rushing in ahead of the Ankaragucu defenders to give Serkan no chance.

Looks of shock all round as Ankaragucu lost possession (again) from the re-start. Another break down the right and the ball cut back to Kewell who was in a similar position to that of Gokhan’s effort in the 1st half.

His volley was expertly placed in the top right hand corner of the net with Serkan again blameless.

Two minutes later it was 3 when Baros struck again with Ankaragucu still reeling from the initial blast of the storm !

Exasperated looks all round from the kankas, much head shaking and looks of disbelief.

Jaba had a chance to score a consolation goal when he was put through one-on-one with the goalkeeper but the ball was well blocked by De Sanctis and scrambled away to safety.

That was it. Lessons to be learned here me thinks ! I recommend that Karaman shows all 3 Galatasaray goals in slow motion to the team this week. Also, I noticed that the Galatasary midfielders are usually ‘up there’ supporting the strikers on those fast breakaways !

I don’t have any details of the result of the fans protest as I write. Perhaps Oz Kanka can comment if he has the details.

No respite then for Ankaragucu’s attempts to climb out of the bottom reaches of the league. Another difficult one next weekend in Istanbul against Besiktas (mustn’t say Sekiztrash because it upsets some of our readers !!) who will be anxious to rectify losing 3 points to Ankaraspor this weekend.

It doesn’t get any easier does it ?!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Live radio blogging: Hacetepe v Genclerbirligi

(One of the weirder ways to celebrate agoal. Photo nicked from Milliyet)

I couldn't get out to the stadium today and so I'm at home where I shall be live radio blogging (the reason why Web 2.0 was invented) Hacetepe v Genclerbirligi.

Kick-off is at 2 p.m.

Preamble: Well this one is clearly the match of the round. Forget your Istanbul derbies this is the "Tandogan Derby" between two teams which are pretty much owned by the same man. Not only that, this match is 16th versus 17th and you can't get more exciting than that!

Last year I spoke to former Hacetepe (they were then called Genclerbirligi Oftas) player Miles Sterjovski and he said that Cavcav gave a talk to both teams before the derby. He certainly didn't tell either team to roll over, but he did say to the players not to make any stupid tackles that might result in injuries.

2:03 pm Kick off and I'm a bit late. A couple of minutes in and Hacetepe are playing the attacking stuff. Let's see. I'm not sure what the teams are but Engin seems to be back for Gencler and Kahe and Bruce Djite are up front.

2:10 pm Hacetepe are getting shots on goal. Gencler seem to be trying to attack but just aren't controlling the ball.

2:12 pm From a free kick in a dangerous position Kaha hits it into the wall.

2:17 pm Seems as if Cavcav isn't at the match. He hasn't been well recently. The fact that I even bothered to report this shows how exciting Gencler's play is.

2:20 pm Hacetepe have a shot just out, possibly off the post... The Gencler supporters already seem as if they have given up the ghost.

2:22 pm One annoying thing about this match is that both keepers are called Recep, and the damn commentator won't refer to them just by their surnames. I'm getting confused!

2:23 pm Argh! Kahe has a shot as he is going down and the Hacetepe keeper saves. No foul.

2:28 pm Why am I not surprised that the commentator has just said that the "last passes for both sides are just not making it". At the same time it seems that Engin Baytar (who was dropped last week) is making dangerous moves.

2:31 pm Someone from Galatasaray is watching the match as next week they are away to Gencler. Somehow I doubt he is worried.

2:37 pm A yellow card to a Hacetepe player. Do you like the graphics. This is Web 2.0!

2:39 pm Gencler stuff up. Either Mehmet Nas or Engin miss a fantastic chance after what sounded like a great build up.

2:40 pm Gooool! Burhan scores! It was from a great pass from Engin which left Burhan one-on-one with the keeper. Hacetepe 0 - 1 Genclerbirligi.

2:42 pm Another graphic, er sorry, yellow card for a Hacetepe player. In the meantime Burhan almost got one through for Kahe. Looking better.

2:44 pm Kahe has a shot which the commentator describes as "unbelievably bad".

2:44 pm Murat Kalkan for Hacetepe gets a second yellow. More graphics.

2:46 pm Half time And with that red card the half ends. After a crap start Gencler started to get their act together. Yet again though they don't seem to be able to finish properly. Except for Burhan that is. But as most of the Gencler fans know, Burhan is the sort of player who one week is brilliant and the next is about as much use as a craving for steak at a Hindu restaurant.

3:09 pm A few minutes into the second half and another yellow card for Hacetepe. They really ought to calm down.

3:10 pm Kahe misses another "unbelievable chance". The commentator is saying that if we lose points out of this match it is Kahe who should take the blame.

3:12 pm Taking advantage of being a man up Gencler are really putting on the pressure. Time to convert that pressure!

3:14 pm Goool! Aussie Bruce scores! Burhan sends in an excellent cross and Djite heads it in. Hacetepe 0 - 2 Genclerbirligi.

3:18 pm Seems as if the Galatasaray bloke in the stands watching this is actually their coach Skibbe.

3:19 pm Engin is given a yellow.

3:21 pm Engin is taken off and James Troisi comes on.

3:25 pm Kahe is coming off... not sure who is coming on. I should make a graphic for these things... maybe not.

3:28 pm Goal! The fellow who came on for Kahe, Kemal Akbaba scores! Troisi sent a great pass to Nas who sent another on for Akbaba. This is only the second time Akbaba has come on for Gencler. Hacetepe 0 - 3 Genclerbirligi

3:34 pm Burhan is taken off. He has had a great game. Again, I have no idea who came on. Seems like his name is Caner.

3:40 pm Not long to go and both teams have used up all their substitutes.

3:45 pm Silly, silly, silly. A Hacetepe player gets a direct red. They are down to nine men with just a minute or two left.

3:49 pm Peep, peep, peep. And that's it. Gencler are out of the relegation zone, at least until the results of other matches are known. As for Hacetepe, they may well be doomed.

Final Score
Hacetepe 0 - 3 Genclerbirligi

Results of the other matches played at the same time.
Antalyaspor 0 - 0 Eskisehirspor
Gaziantepspor 0 - 0 Kayserispor

So, Gencler are officially out of the relegation zone... just.

Friday, December 05, 2008

This is serious

Seems as if things are getting nasty at Ankaragucu.

Sir Eski Kanka sent me an e-mail this evening, quoting a message he had received from the Anti-X supporters group. Basically the e-mail said that Ankaragucu had cancelled all kombine (season) tickets that were given to Anti-X at the beginning of the season for this Sunday's Ankaragucu-Galatasaray match.

Those people who bought tickets through the club (at double the price) will be able to get in.

Since receiving that message I've checked out the Anti-X forum and news of the cancellation was first posted yesterday.

Responses were at first those of disbelief and confusion. A bit of swearing (and then a comic reminder that women are also members of Anti-X and could everyone obey the rules and stop swearing) and then pure anger, anger at Cemal Aydin.

There is nothing on the official Ankaragucu website that I can see.

As far as I can tell from the dozens and dozens of messages and announcements on the Anti-X site the cancellation is only for this match, although I cannot be totally sure.

Seems as if the very vocal protests against Aydin by the Ankaragucu fans, especially during the televised game against Fenerbahce a couple of weeks ago, has pissed him off big time.

Anti-X are calling all Ankaragucu fans to go to the match. Sir Eski Kanka, however, is advising that the Kankas watch at the Chopin. I have to agree. Not only is it going to be chaos with enormous lines to get tickets, it is almost certainly going to get nasty on Sunday night.

So, the plan is to meet up at the Chopin at 4:45 pm on Sunday and a final decision will be made there whether to go to the match. My advice to my Ankaragucu friends... watch it at the pub.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Falkirk 1-1 Hibs

Just the one point for Hibs this weekend, a one all draw away to Falkirk was probably as much as Hibs deserved after being outplayed for the first hour of this game.

Falkirk took the lead on 65 mins when the Hibs keeper totally missed a cross and left a Falkirk player a relatively simple task of heading into an empty net. Makalamby had been having a solid game but still has a tendancy to gift goals away.

Hibs responded in a positive manner and equalised with 9 minutes to go, Rob Jones won a header from a Hibs corner and Colin Nish headed in from two yards. The Falkirk keeper had claimed for a foul but to no avail.

Hibs were on the up and up now and finished the stronger of the two teams, a couple of half chances came Hibs way but they could not convert. By all accounts a draw was a fair result.

The 4th round Scottish cup draw was made this afternoon and Hibs have pulled a cracker. A home draw against our capital rivals Hearts is the pick of the round and is scheduled to be played on the 10th January.

We may not have won the Scottish cup for over a hundred years but what better time to do it than 2009 and knocking out the Jambos will make it all the sweeter.

Smelling relegation

Ankara weather is weird. I dressed up on Sunday expecting to half freeze in the 19 Mayis stadium and instead ended up getting a suntan. At least the weather was great, unlike the footy.

Genclerbirligi 0 - 0 Istanbul BBS

Spine, Guclu, Dan the Man and myself rocked up to the Chopin for pre-match beers stuffed ourselves with chewing gum and got into the stadium just in time for the national anthem. We were soon joined by Ertank and Alpine Kanka Wolfgang, whilst Young Alpine Kanka Chris had to stay at home studying for a school exam. Lucky kid.

Two halves of play in which we dominated, A few good shots and others that were pretty ordinary. As Hurriyet newspaper reported on Monday, "Gencler have forgotten how to win."

In fact we probably should have lost as Istanbul had a couple of clear cut chances that were only snuffed out thanks to great positional play by our keeper Recep.

After the match I went for a beer with an old friend Orcan and his mate Lars who had just finished watching his first match in Turkey. Lars reckoned we weren't too bad. For us though, it was just frustrating.

"You can smell relegation," said Guclu after the match. You certainly can.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The kankas made the difficult decision to make the journey to Hell yesterday. For those of you who have been to the Ankaraspor Stadium in Yenikent then you will understand my meaning !

We met in The Chopin Bar as usual pre-midday to make the decision on how to get there. Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Mountaineering Kanka Robbie, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Philly Kanka Jamie, Connect Kanka Steve and I were the brave ones !

There was a massive CHP Political Rally going on in Kizilay all the way up to Ulus as we made our way along Ataturk Bulvari to try and find the Yenikent bus. However, we under-estimated the size of the Rally and got as far as Sihhiye before we realised that it would be impossible to find a bus.

Kaleci Kanka then came up with the idea of going by Banliyo (Commuter) train to Sincan. So, we negotiated our way across the Bulvari and waited for the train.

In conversation at the station it transpired that this would be a FIRST for us all. Having been in and out of Ankara for almost 30 years this would be Eski Kanka’s first journey on the famous Banliyo !

The 30 minutes journey saw us passing through the picturesque suburbs and Ankara countryside of such luvvlie places as Gazi, Ostim, Eryaman and Elvankent. Never to be forgotten …… ooops ….. should read ………. remembered …… scenery !

We arrived safely in Sincan, and then due to time constraints, it was into 2 taxis to the Stadium.

We made it there and entered the Stadium as the National Anthem was playing still smarting from the exorbitant entry price ….. 50 kurus (2 pence) !! Also, we were given 4 `free` tickets by some Gecikondu boys !

Anyway, almost forgot about footie after our travel adventures !

Ankaraspor 0 ANKARAGUCU 1

The match got underway in the winter sunshine with Ankaragucu in the familiar line up of Serkan in goal, back 4 of El-Yasa, Tolga, Santos and Ilkem. Midfield of Gokhan, Cem, Ibrahim and Captain Murat. Up front was Mehmet and Jaba.

It was a close first half with Ankaragucu shading the opening period, but Ankaraspor coming more into the match before half time. No real worries with Serkan in outstanding form and Santos in commanding form – both qualifying for my ‘Man of the Match’ award.

The 2nd half was mostly all Ankaragucu with Gokhan and Murat taking on a more attacking role from midfield.

Jaba obviously reads this Blog and must have been working on his neck muscles in midweek. He won 2 headers again, one of which brought out a great save from Senecky with the kankas on their feet anticipating a goal.

However, the goal duly arrived half way through the 2nd half after a period of concerted attacking. Gokhan fired in a rocket which rebounded (luckily) from Seneckey into the path of the in-rushing Mehmet and he made no mistake.

Cue ….. up the volume from the kankas and the impressive gathering of Ankaragucu tribunes.

Ankaraspor spent the last 10 minutes in the Ankaragucu half but it was all panic stuff from them. Serkan was never really tested, but when anything came his way it was being dealt with.

Jaba left the field near the end to a standing ovation and chants of …. Jaaaaaaba Jaba Jaba ….. He led the line well yesterday and the ovation was well deserved.

At the end of the match the players responded to the fans and came over to applaud the fans and throw their shirts into the crowd. With the surge of supporters, the ‘barriers’ collapsed and fans spilled onto the pitch with the stewards trying to restore order. A comical sight which could have been dangerous had Ankaragucu lost !! Interestingly, the Gendarma stood their ground and didn’t lift a finger to help the stewards !

We left the Stadium in high spirits but then were left with the perplexing question of ……. how do we get out of Hell and back to the safety of Ankara ??!!

Off we trudged down the ‘road’ to try and find some mode of transport. I was only wearing trainers and wondering why we didn’t wear our hiking boots ! Anyway, after 30 minutes of hiking we piled into a passing dolmus (mini bus) which took us back to Sincan.

Into the Banliyo and then the Metro from Sihhiye to Sakarya Caddesi and …. back into The Chopin for celebrations. Where was Maniac Kanka Harun ? Why didn’t he join us ? Awaiting the answer !!

We watched the first half of the Fener v Besiktas match and there was a lesson here for us from Besiktas on how to attack teams like Fener, ie, on breakaways, take the ball to the by-line and cut it back for the in-rushing strikers to attack it. We know Jaba reads our Blog, so please give this priceless piece of advice to Unal Karaman !

Third win of the season then and climbing out of the danger zone to 13th position after a disastrous start to the season. An important win therefore, but not just for the 3 points. With Galatasaray visiting next weekend confidence is high and Ankaragucu has no reason to fear any team in the league on yesterday’s performance.

Watch this space for match day and KO time.

Incidentally, you will recall that Battle Damaged Kanka won The Best Dressed Kanka Award in 2007/2008. Who can forget the day he entered the Stadium in his Cashmere coat, silver buckled shoes, Italian silk tie and his luvvlie black mittens ??!!

Well, we now have a real challenger for the 2008/2009 award. Phillie Kanka turned up yesterday in an exquisite pair of Michael Jackson look-a-like gloves which really set his ensemble off to the delight of all.

My advice for Battle Damaged …… better bring out ‘that coat’ again soon !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, November 24, 2008

Motherwell 1-4 Hibs

At last three points and a top performance, the question now is can Hibs do it again?

Hibs could and should have been four up by half time but instead found themselves level at 1-1 after Motherwell scored a free kick just before the break. John Rankin had given Hibs the lead after five minutes with an excellant shot from twenty yards.

Hibs then missed four or five good chances to kill the game off before letting Motherwell back in.

Hibs started the second half the same way as the first and regained their lead on 49 mins through Dean sheils again with a shot from the edge of the box.

Hibs third through Stephen Fletcher was the pick of the bunch.
A 30 yard volley that left the keeper no chance.

Hibs passed up a few more opportunities before Derek Riorden finished off the scoring in the last minute.

Hibs are now back up to fifth in the league but with three points seperating six teams more wins will be required.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The headline belongs to Mountaineering Kanka Robbie, but it was ONE header he said. I disagreed and made it two !

The first one was a header on goal, which if he had neck muscles like his thigh muscles, would have gone in, but …. it didn’t. The second was a cross which he headed back into the ‘danger area’ but was saved by Volkan.

Anyway, the point is made. Jaba is putting himself about more and getting into scoring positions. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out tonight ….

ANKARAGUCU 0 Fenerbahce 0

As usual, it started out on a high note in The Chopin Bar with high hopes after the 3-1 win away to Eskisehir last week.

In attendance, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Rip Off Kanka Erman, Casenova Kanka Gokhan, Mountaineering Kanka with his entourage from the Yoo-Ess-ov-Ai, Erin, Angela, Jamie and Steve. Well, most of them are Yanks, but Steve hails from Conneticut which may still be under British or Canadian rule ….. I’m not sure which !! Almost forgot Selami who was a peripheral supporter – was he an Ankaragucu or Fener supporter I ask ??!!

Off to the Stadium and Yankee Kanka was there to meet us. Unfortunately, Maniac Kanka Harun was absent today due to work commitments.

The match underway, Fener were first out of the starting blocks attacking Ankaragucu. My ‘Man of the Match’, Santos, saved the early goal after 2 minutes with a headed clearance off the line. A wake up call if ever it was needed ! Santos is going to be a key element in Karaman’s team and has made a significant start to his career here.

After that early scare, the match settled down into an end-to-end contest with Fener creating most of the openings. The Ankaragucu defence was working overtime and Serkan was in fine form.

There were few openings at the other end apart from a Gokhan free kick which went narrowly wide.

Ankaragucu was playing with ‘fire in their bellies’ and not giving Fener time to settle on the ball. This is what we, as supporters, have missed in previous matches. There was a ‘hunger’ for the ball and lots of movement from Ankaragucu. Great stuff !

I was happy enough to go in at half time 0-0 with optimism of things to come.

Into the second half then and Ankaragucu took control. It was mostly one way traffic leading to Volkan’s goal, and in all honesty the pressure exerted should have produced the winning goal.

I mentioned Jaba’s headed effort, but there were so many other near misses that I lost count.

Gokhan’s free kick which went inches wide. Jaba, El-Yasa, Ilkem and Gokhan (again) all went close with serious chances with Volkan beaten, but the side netting came to Fener’s rescue and poor finishing summed up Ankaragucu’s night when they really should have wrapped the match up.

The referee came in for criticism from the kankas for denying a penalty to Ankaragucu, but with ‘hand on heart’ I have to say that it was a situation of ‘ball to hand’ and not ‘hand to ball’. In the final analysis it is the referee’s opinion which counts !!

Near the end of the match with Ankaragucu still pressing forward we saw another stupid idiot running onto the field and ‘missiles’ from Maraton being thrown onto the pitch, one of which hit the referee in the leg (they were probably meant for Wederson who is a f...... in .... wan....r if ever there was one). Gecikondu joined in and started to throw bits of chairs at the police. Surely another punishment from the TFF for Ankaragucu which may well affect the Galatasaray match in 2 weeks time me thinks ?!

So, a good night’s work from Ankaragucu, but it could so easily have been a famous victory with some cool heads up front.

Back we went to The Chopin Bar where we were met by Maniac Kanka and time to celebrate Hibs victory in Motherwell !!

Next weekend Ankaragucu is away to Ankaraspor in the ‘Stadium from Hell’. Not sure if we are going, but it is a possibility. As always, watch this space.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Genclerbirligi slip into the relegation zone

I guess I could have stayed at home to do some radio blogging of today's match but decided instead to take Little Oz Kanka to a pantomine where Smart Arse Yankee Kanka Dave gave a much better performance as Major Domo in Aladdin then Genclerbirligi have been performing as a football team in the Turkish Super Lig.

Gaziantep 2 - 0 Genclerbirligi

So all I've got is the Anadolu news agency very short report.

Let's just put it this way, five of the Gencler players (and this includes the two subs used) were given two stars out of three. The rest got just a single star. My guess is that if Anadolu gave "no stars" then quite a few of our players would have got them.

Looking at the comments on the Alkaralar fan site this was quite a boring game, spiced up only by a couple of decent shots from Kahe and Nas.

Then, just towards the end Gaziantep scored. Then a few minutes later, they scored again.

Dear oh dear. This is looking pretty scary.

There has been a thread on the Alkaralar site wishing the best to a few fans who are off to do their military service. Quite frankly, the way we are going this might be the best time to disappear from the scene for 12 months.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hard Times for Hibs

Hibs have found it hard to put points on the board over the last few weeks. Hard fought draws or defeats have seen Hibs drop down the table to ninth place.

Only a month ago we were looking to secure third place but so tight is the SPL outwith Rangers and Celtic that anyone who strings a few wins together can shoot up the table.

Stephen Fletcher rescued a point last week deep into injury time against Aberdeen at Easter Road. This followed close on the heels of defeats to Inverness and Dundee Utd.

Tomorrows opponents are Motherwell who are not having the best of seasons either. Three points would be most welcome but I will not be betting much money on a Hibs win.

The latest rumour around Easter Road that Stephen Fletcher is off to the English Premiership, Blackburn are said to be interested. I would imagine £2 to £3 milllion will be required to prise him from Easter Road.

Just another in a long line of players to leave Hibs for pastures new, at least Hibs bank balance is looking good.

I hope to be posting good news tomorrow.

Good luck to the Ankara teams as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Kankas celebrate

Times haven't been so great on the pitch recently for the kankas but last week we were able to raise our glasses at the wedding of Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo and Legal Kanka Saadet. Lots of fun and dancing at the Ankara Devlet Palas just down the road from the 19 Mayis.

And here are all the kankas at the wedding (except for Imposter Kanka Jools on the far left who has yet to go to a footy match)

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

With bottom club, Kocaeli, winning their first match of the season against Denizli yesterday it was imperative for Ankaragucu to take something from Eskisehir today ………. and they did.

Eskisehir 1 ANKARAGUCU 3

Sighs of relief all round !

When you are down it is always difficult to get up again, so this may prove to be the turning point in a season which got off on the wrong foot for Ankaragucu.

Winning is a sure tonic for building players confidence which we will need in the weeks ahead for 4 difficult matches. The first point in question ?? Fener come visiting on Saturday !

Not much I can tell you about today’s match at this stage, except that there will be lots of singing and dancing in The Lacivert Pub tonight ……. and I’m celebrating at the moment as I write this with luvvlie yummy Efes !!

Gokhan (remember …. Battle Damaged Kanka’s hero figure !) opened the scoring on 23 minutes. Eskisehir equalised on 58 minutes and I’m sure there were lots of …… ‘oh no, here we go again’ ….. from the Ankaragucu faithful.

However, all credit to Ankaragucu’s never-say-die spirit when Moine made it 2-1 from the penalty spot.

Gokhan scored his 2nd to make it 3 and put the smiles back on our faces.

So, not wishing to get carried away with the euphoria of our 2nd league win of the season, I still say …… bring on Fener !

Ankaragucu always seem to be able to raise their game for the ‘Big Ones’ and, as I said, the players confidence will be high on the back of a fine away win.

Not sure of the KO time for the Fener match yet. Probably 4pm or 7pm. Oz Kanka will send a kanka mail during the week with the details.

All the best from a happier Eski Kanka Jim

Gencler go down fighting

Genclerbirligi 0 - 1 Trabzonspor

Friday night started out okay. Just myself, Dan the Man, Guclu and a new man in town, James, at the Chopin but we got the beers in and in what should have been an omen for the evening I got pulled over by the cops at the first of the two police checkpoints and was accused of being "alkollu" for having had three beers.

Immediately understanding the situation I went "dumb" and let Guclu do all the talking. A minute or so later they let me through. At the second police check, the one just inside the stadium, I got through no worries but this time it was James' camera that was the problem... not the camera itself but the battery which the cops thought James was planning at throwing at the linesman (who probably deserved it).

Guclu was on hand to save the day the day once more.

Finally in and we get to watch Genclerbirligi finally play some decent football. We were all over Trabzon. Pretty much completely controlled the midfield and James Troisi was constantly getting past his man (he was subsequently given the highest rating out of the Gencler players by Hurriyet newspaper).

First half over and no goals though. I was feeling pretty up beat, as were most of the gencler supporters.

Second half and a simple breakaway by Trabzon led to old Ankaragucu boy Umit Bulut scoring...

Time for full on attack and Gencler went for it.

Shots were being sent wide though and one from a free kick hit the crossbar. Match over and it was with disappointment that we left the stadium.

The match had started with Gencler fans making the now familiar "management resign" chants. It ended, even though we had lost with calls for the players to take a bow. Heads held high, even if the result was disappointing.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Last night in the Cappadokia Bar, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and I witnessed the sad demise of Ankaragucu's season.

Second bottom of the League with 5 difficult matches coming up and now elimination from the Cup with a whimper.

Bursaspor 1 ANKARAGUCU 0

Bursa P2 W2 D0 L0 F3 A0 Points 6
Fener P1 W1 D0 L0 F1 A0 Points 3
Tokat P1 W0 D1 L0 F1 A1 Points 1
Esehir P2 W0 D1 L1 F1 A3 Points 1
A'gucu P2 W0 D0 L2 F0 A2 Points 0

With Bursa and Fener still to play Tokat we can safely assume that Bursa and Fener will qualify for the next stage of the Cup. Therefore, the Ankaragucu v Tokat match takes on little significance and only die-hard supporters are likely to attend this match.

We are now accustomed to seeing Ankaragucu at the bottom of the League and the Cup Group this season and it will be no surprise if Tokat come to Ankara with an attacking formation and a surprise could well be on the cards !

Ankaragucu started with a strange line-up last night. No Serkan, Erdogan and Jaba. Regulars, Gokhan, Cem and Mehmet came on in the 2nd half, but apart from some nice touches from Gokhan, there was little change in the kick and rush tactics.

Zafer and Metin started a match for the first time this season and can take some credit for their efforts, but apart from them, it was a sorry performance.

The match was effectively over after 25 minutes when Zuniga latched onto a superb through ball which left 3 defenders trailing in his wake. He angled his shot out of the reach of Zafer and that was it. No criticism of Zafer who had a few excellent saves to keep the scoreline down.

Ankaragucu had only one clear-cut chance just before the final whistle when a rocket from Gokhan came off the post, but the player following up (the cameraman was too slow to pick him out !) blasted over when all it needed was a deft touch.

So, sad to say, it was the old story of huff and puff from Ankaragucu. No doubting their effort, but there was no cohesion from midfield to attack which gave the Bursa defence an easy night.

League business resumes in Eskisehir on Sunday, and it goes without saying that I am not looking forward to reporting that match !

All the best from a sad Eski Kanka Jim

PS ...... Unfortunately, due to illness, Maniac Kanka Harun couldn't be with us last night and so we wish him ....... gecmisolsen from us all.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Gencler pull off a draw at the death

Konyaspor 2 - 2 Genclerbirligi

Genclerbirligi pulled off their second away draw in a row on Sunday, coming from 2-0 behind to snatch a draw in extra time.

With new coach Samet Aybaba in charge, Gencler started off with a fairly attacking line up but that didn't seem to bother Konya with almost all of the few chances for a goal belonging to the home side.

Looking at the very brief summary posted by the Anatolian news agency, Konya went ahead on the 59th minute and stretched their lead to 2-0 on the 68th.

The Aussie connection almost got one back for Gencler in the 77th minute when Bruce Djite got onto the end of a pass from James Troisi. The shot was hard but the Konya keeper managed to save.

Light at the end of the tunnel came five minutes later when Troisi sent a pass through to Mustafa Pektemek who was one-on-one with the keeper. Unlike two weeks ago when we stuffed up so many one-on-ones, Pektemek made sure. 2-1

Three minutes into extra time and Koray sends in a free kick, Pektemek gets his head to it and the ball falls for Burhan who scores... Phew.

All credit to Gencler for refusing to say die.

Next week we have Trabzon at home. Friday night 8pm KO. See you all at the Chopin Bar.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

As reported in midweek, Ankaragucu was punished by the TFF for the behaviour of some of their `fans` at the end of the Kayseri match 2 weeks ago.

You will recall that I mentioned in the match report the throwing of `missiles` and chairs on to the pitch after Kayeri’s 3rd goal. There was also another incident when 2 `fans` ran onto the pitch and shouted some `choice words` to Protokol, ie, Mr Cemal Aydin. In incidents such as these the TFF show no mercy, therefore all are punished for the stupidity of a few !

So, yesterday’s match was played in the Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, but there were no gold medals to be won there.

ANKARAGUCU 1 Bursaspor 1

Captain Courageous, Murat Erdogan, opened the scoring in the 2nd half and Romashenko equalised 15 minutes from the end.

A shortage of strikers and a shortage of goals is a familiar story with only Istanbul BBS and Hacettepe scoring fewer goals in the league than Ankaragucu. We have to say ….. thank God for our captain staving off defeat this week and last week.

So, Ankaragucu is still rooted in 3rd bottom position in the league, but that could be 2nd bottom today if Antalyaspor beat Sivas in Antalya !

Woe woe ………. doom and gloom !

Turkish Cup business resumes in Bursa on Wednesday evening and a last chance for the players to keep their season alive. It is fairly certain that the match will be on Lig TV KO 8pm and perhaps we can meet in The Cappadokia to watch it.

Next league match is away to Eskisehir next Sunday.

All the best from despondent Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, November 06, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Most of you regular readers are well aware of my attitude to footie tactics, but for those of you who aren’t, then it is quite simple …… saldir saldir …… attack attack !

My Primary School Coach in North Berwick instilled this into us long before it was quoted by the late great Jock Stein.

Jock Stein was manager of Hibs, Celtic and The Scottish National Team and his philosophy was to build a team starting with a good goalkeeper right through to the strikers. Then he was quoted as saying ….. the only successful way to defend is to …… attack !

All well and good if you have the wherewithal to build a `dream team` which unfortunately we don’t have in Ankara. Jock Stein was fortunate in that respect and he built a team at Celtic with Scottish born players that went on to win The European Cup.

The same might be said of the present Hibs manager, Mixu Paatelainen, who in a similar situation to the Ankara teams, also has a limited budget. However, I had to `take my hat off to him` when Hibs travelled through to Glasgow to play Celtic recently and he was quoted as saying …..

“It’s one of those things where if I play a very negative game, with nine men defending and one up front, I would be criticised for being defensive. If however I am positive, and really want to take the game to our opponents, trying to win the game and putting goalscorers out there, have creative midfielders out there, I will be criticised again for only having a three-man midfield. “But this is part of the job, and one thing that will not change is I will remain being positive, I believe that playing negative football takes you nowhere – if you are positive, if you are brave and go to places like Parkhead with a positive frame of mind and have a good go then at the end of the day you win. “We always expect to do well - we have the confidence and belief that we can do well no matter where we are playing. There was much talk about our away form but I think we’ve slightly corrected that and started to produce results away from home. We want to keep that going, it’s all about your mentality and how you approach the game. Do you approach it in the same manner as you would at home? Regardless of who you are playing or where, you have to maintain concentration an focus on doing your job, every individual player needs to concentrate on their own job and collectively they will be fine.”

Not many team in Scotland have `the balls` to play away against Celtic or Rangers with THREE strikers in their line-up !

I’m encouraged that more teams are using this strategy these days in Turkey when they play away from home – Bursa, Kayseri and Sivas spring to mind.

It’s still early days for Unal Karaman of Ankaragucu, but perhaps he might come around to this way of thinking in the future when he finds a `young` midfield general and some `young` strikers to fire the bullets up front !

We Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi fanatics always live in hope of better times to come !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Sir Eski Kanka gets attacked

A few weeks ago Little Carlo and Matthew decided that Sir Eski Kanka ought to become a Genclerbirligi fan. No wonder he showed up to the bar on Sunday wearing an Antalyaspor shirt. Thanks to Orcan for the photos.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Bakkal resigns

As we predicted yesterday Mesut Bakkal has resigned as coach of Genclerbirligi.

"Meeting today with my assistants we decided to resign," Bakkal said in a statement released this afternoon. "We believe for the club to succeed changes are necessary."

The club accepted Bakkal's resignation and are now on the look out for someone else. Anyone want to apply?


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Not much I can say about the stalemate in Kocaeli. Suffice to say ...... another bloody frustrating weekend for Ankaragucu and Gencler.

Kocaeli 1 ANKARAGUCU 1

Maniac Kanka Harun, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Marash Kanka Hakan and I were enjoying the sun in The Chopin Bar with lottsa luvvlie Efes for company. Off went the Gencler Kankas to the Stadium and I was sure that I had put the kiss of death on Antalya by wearing my Antalyaspor Top. Wrong .............. oooops sorry kankas !!!

News came through that Ankaragucu had opened the scoring through Murat Erdogan after 10 minutes. Cheers all round and cue ............ let's open the bottle of Glenkinchie Single Malt which Battle Damaged was kind enough to bring from the Duty Free Shop. Mmmmmm yummy, although Maniac was not too sure about it !!

Oooops tilt ...... Kocaeli equalised with a penalty 3 minutes later after Moine brought down Taner. cue ..... cork the bottle and wait for the next Ankaragucu goal. Wrong ...... that was it !! However, we did open the bottle again when Kayseri scored against (better not say Sekiztrash again !!!) Besiktas !!

So, Ankaragucu remain in 3rd bottom place in the League with Antalya moving up to within just one point behind. On the upside, Ankaragucu is only 7 points behind Fener in 9th position !!

So to next Saturday, and the match against Bursa takes on added significance. Brotherly love will be maintained by the Tribunes, but I doubt if we will see any brotherly love on the pitch when the match kicks off ! Every point is vital now, and the players know it !

It will probably be a 2pm KO, and if so, we will be meeting at The Chopin Bar at midday.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Bloody frustrating!

Is there another word for frustrating. I'm sure there is but right now I can't be bothered to find it.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 2 Antalyaspor

The Indian summer continues and we found ourselves in the sun at the Chopin. Sir Eski Kanka being his annoying self showed up wearing an Antalyaspor shirt but beside that all was good with the world. Scouser Kanka Steve, myself and the two Alpine Kankas (Wolfgang and Chris) showed up and we were joined by Ertank Kanka and Dan the Man at the match itself.

First half. Bloody hopeless. No need to expand. Two-nil down.

Then something exploded. Gencler came out for the second half on fire. A lot of it had to do with taking Mustafa Pektemek off and bringing Kahe on... My God. The first half ended with us Gencler supporters calling on the management to resign and the second half we were on our feet.

A few minutes into the half and Hakan Aslantas on the left sent in a low cross which Aussie Bruce got a hold of and slided it in. 1-2 down but the way we were playing it was almost certain we were going to do something special.

On the 53rd Troisi sent in a pass but Burhan couldn't finish it. Two minutes later and Troisi again got a lovely pass in but Kahe's header was sent around the post.

Arrrgghhh. After that it was all rubbish and again at the end our supporters were calling for coach Mesut Bakkal to resign. As Scouser Kanka Steve said... "This is going to be a long season for you Gencler boys". What do you mean "us" Gencler boys, you are a bloody Gencler boy yourself!

As for Bakkal, the bloke is under a damn lot of pressure and I wouldn't be surprised if he resigns in the next 24 hours.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The details have been announced for the 2nd Round matches in the Group Stage for the Turkish Cup.

Wednesday - 12 November - KO 8pm

Bursaspor v ANKARAGUCU

All the other group matches that day will be played at 2pm and 4pm so there is a good chance that the Bursa v Ankaragucu match will be shown live on Digiturk Lig TV.

This is a MUST WIN match for Ankaragucu to keep their Cup aspirations alive so I guess we will be watching it in The Chopin or The Cappadokia.

Watch this space for `the plan` nearer the time.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu’s quest for Cup glory was put on-hold last night when they fired blanks at Fener.

ANKARAGUCU 0 Fenerbahce 1

Maniac Kanka Harun watched the match on TV in The Cappadokia Bar and reported an overall improvement in Ankaragucu’s play in comparison to last weekend’s disaster against Kayseri.

Fener created 2 goal scoring positions throughout the match and one was converted by Semih in the 5th minute when he fired in a rocket from 25 metres out.

Ankaragucu, on the other hand, had the lion’s share of play and created 6 goal scoring positions. They also had 54% of possession over the 90 minutes.

However, putting the round ball into the goal past the goalkeeper is the name of the game. Playing attractive and exciting footie is all well and good, but history only remembers WINNERS !

In the other match in this group, Eskisehir surprisingly lost at home 0-2 to Bursa. Perhaps Bursa will feel sorry for Ankaragucu’s plight on 12 November and give us some charity, or …………. perhaps brotherly love will be forgotten on a temporary basis for 90 minutes ??!!

So, still all to play for, but with only one home match against Tokat coming up, the onus is now on Bursa to qualify for the Quarter Finals with Fener.

However, sometimes miracles do happen !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim