Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Genclerbirligi into the semis

Genclerbirligi 2 - 2 Adana Demirspor

A draw last night at home was enough for Genclerbirligi to book themselves into the semi finals of the "Better off putting it under the bed" Turkish Cup. Having won 0-1 away in the first leg, a goal from Traore in the 83rd minute to tie up the scores was enough for Gencler.

I had to play darts last night so I had to rely on Vedat the barman at the Red Lion to give me updates via every time I ordered a beer ie. about every five minutes.

So all I know is the score and today was looking forward to reading the match report in Hurriyet, my favourite Turkish newspaper. So, let me translate the entire report.

"After winning 1-0, Genclerbirligi in their return match came back from being behind twice to reach the semi-final of the "Our queues are shorter because we charge you more" Turkish Cup."

Yep. That's it. Hurriyet had five pages of sport today and managed a single sentence for the only match that was played last night. Well done Hurriyet.

So all I know is that Kahe and Traore scored and we are through. Fingers crossed Genclerbirligi Oftas wins today and that the two Genclerbirligis meet in the final.

EDIT: Oftas lost unfortunately. The other semi-finalists: Galatasaray, Kayseri and Rize .

Monday, February 25, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

You are probably all wondering what is happening to the `giants` of Ladies footie in Scotland, ie, Hibernian Ladies ??!!

So, to keep you all happy, he is the latest update.....

Having won the Ladies Scottish League Cup before the winter break, it has not been all plain sailing since the resumption of footie.

A league defeat to Celtic Ladies and a draw against Aberdeen Ladies has seen Hibernian Ladies slip 2 points behind `olde` rivals Glasgow City Ladies. However, there is still time to make up lost ground in the weeks ahead.

The Ladies Scottish FA Cup campaign is still on track with wins against Aberdeen University Ladies and Forfar Farmington Ladies.

Hibs Scottish international, Pauline Hamill, with 104 Caps for her country, has been transferred to Blackburn Rovers Ladies, but this should not affect the team with a strong pool of players ready to take up the slack.

So, the `Treble` is still a possibility and still on track !

Watch this space for more on the run-in to the end of the season.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

ANKARAGUCU provided a platform for recovery yesterday with a much needed and welcome win.


True to form, Maniac Kanka Harun lived up to his reputation as a `fanatik` and made the journey to Istanbul by overnight bus and returned by Turkish Airlines in time to celebrate with the kankas in The Lacivert Pub in Ankara.

I raise the subject of `supporter` again, and without wishing embarrass him, can truly say that Maniac Kanka is an inspiration to us all and a `supporter` in the true sense of the word !

Anyway, after I managed to extricate myself from School, I met up with Maniac Kanka in The Lacivert for some Anti-X and Kankalar celebrations for our first WIN in 12 Matches. It was also ANKARAGUCU's first win outside Ankara this season !! Has the corner been turned ? Mmmmmmm.... we will see !!

Back to the match, and Maniac reported that overall he was well pleased with ANKARAGUCU's performance.

The Olympic Stadium in Istanbul was all ANKARAGUCU supporters with about 3,000 fanatiks making the trip to the `outlands` of Istanbul. He counted 39 Istanbul BBS supporters which still leaves Gencler two fans behind in the quest for Guinness Book of Records recognition !!!

Istanbul BBS took an early lead in the 10th minute before ANKARAGUCU had time to settle, but the 39 `souls` were soon silenced on the half hour mark when Bebbe fulfilled his potential at last and equalised.

A few minutes later, ANKARAGUCU was awarded a penalty (obviously the referee was not from Istanbul !!) and Kirita made amends for his penalty miss a few weeks ago and ANKARAGUCU went in at half time 2-1 ahead. Can't remember when we were in this situation and looking like winners !!

In some respects, it was just like being in the 19 Mayis Stadium. A 20,000 capacity Stadium with 4 ANKARAGUCU groups, but a `slightly` different scenario in the Olympic Stadium with 3,039 supporters `squeezed` into a Stadium with a 60,000 capacity !! However, the 3,000 gave the 39 some lessons in singing and fervour !!

The 2nd half produced no goals but Maniac Kanka was pleased with the almost constant ANKARAGUCU pressure even if it didn't produce any more goals.

For our Egyptian friends, `Sait` replaced Gokhan near the end, but I'm not 100% sure if this is our Ibrahim Said and Hurriyet got the spelling wrong (AGAIN) !!

Back at The Lacivert, we witnessed Chelsinski's multi-million squad capitulate to Tottenham Hotspur in the English League Cup Final after extra time 2-1. A well deserved win, but one which Eski Kanka may rue, having bet Maniac Kanka on Favourites Chelsea winning it !!

I mentioned a temporary reprieve in the headline because of some of the `surprise` results over the weekend. Fener losing at home to Bursaspor, Galatasaray losing at home to bottom team Kasimpasa, and Rize claiming a point away to Sivas.

Therefore, looking at the `big picture` it was a valuable and welcome 3 points for ANKARAGUCU.

Looking ahead at ANKARAGUCU's upcoming matches at home to Fener and away to Sivas, the 3 points won yesterday is only a respite. There is still much work to be done to climb out of the `danger zone`.

I expect the Fener match to be on Sunday. Watch this space for futher details.

All the best from a relieved Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Genclerbirligi hit Konya for six

Grand old man Okan and El Saka celebrate (photo nicked from Milliyet)

The week started with snow and freezing temperatures, it ended in lovely sunshine and one hell of a beating for Konya as Genclerbirligi gave us a feast fit for a king.

Genclerbirligi 6 - 1 Konya

I have no idea what else was happening in Ankara today but it must have been good as we only had a small turnout of Kankas at the Chopin, just me, Flying Dutchman and Spine. A couple of beers, koftes and discussions on the operation in Iraq, a virus hitting a blog about someone wanting to commit suicide and Spine trying to find out where to get a lamp, and then off to the match.

We cut it pretty fine and thanks to Cavcav putting his pennies above the interests of Gencler fans we missed the all-important singing of the national anthem. Found Alpine Kanka and his two boys who are conveniently both named Chris (sort of), took our seats and within seconds Burhan Eser made a break down the right, sent in a pass, defence balls up the clearance and the ball falls to Mehmet Nas on the edge of the box and goal!!!

Four minutes in. 1-0. Not a bad start.

While Gencler were definitely playing better football, Konya were pretty crap, it took all of 16 minutes before we saw the next goal. Engin Baytar sent in a lovely weighted ball from a corner right onto the bald spot of Grandfather Okan Ozturk. 2-0

Us Gencler fans were cheering away. We were playing some excellent football, treating the Konya players like the hopeless jokes they were. At some stages it seemed as if every trick was working, we were winning 90 per cent of the one-on-ones, our defenders were stopping everything and Burhan was running riot down the right wing.

Then the ball goes in front of Isaac Promise on a run down the right and heading towards goal. At this point I say out loud, "send it in to Okan", which Isaac obvious heard as he did and Okan scored. 3-0

"Dort, dort, dort," screamed the crowd who by this stage were enjoying themselves as if at a Sunday fair. In fact the crowd was a bit subdued considering we were three ahead, perhaps they were stunned by the fact that we were even ahead. It has after all been a long time.

Almost half time and Konya score, but all up we were bloody happy. 3-1

For those of you who haven't been to the 19 Mayis Stadium recently let me tell you the pitch at the moment couldn't be worse if they had held a rodeo before the match. So at half time they brought out a guy on a tractor pulling a roller. What I liked is that the roller only seemed to do one part of the pitch, that which our man Burhan would be running down in the second half. Hats off to that tractor driver.

Second half had hardly started and we get a free kick not far from the corner flag. Engin Baytar steps up and attempts to hit Okan's bald patch once again. He stuffed it up though and instead the ball goes high, past the keeper and into the far top corner of the net. We started laughing, as did Engin who looked almost embarrassed to have scored. It was a great goal which the keeper had no chance of saving but Sir Eski Kanka has a better chance of picking up Hulya Avsar than Engin will ever have a repeating such a feat. 4-1

At this stage the hard-core Konyaspor fans left the stadium.

Burhan then used the nice and rolled grass to send in a cross for Isaac Promise at the far post to tap in. 5-1

Almost at the end and Traore sends in a pass into the box, finds Burhan who puts it away. 6-1

At this stage the Gencler fans start singing "That's enough Gencler, enough".

Brilliant day. Three wins in a row. Bloody amazing. My oh my, haven't our fortunes changed in just a few weeks.

And then I have just read that our youth team beat Konya by the same massive score before the main match. It never rains, but it pours.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

American exceptionalism?

Sometimes you really have to admire Americans, well some of them. I've just read an excellent blog article in the Guardian on football supporters from Philadelphia. They are pretty fanatical and attended the 2007 MLS Final between Houston Dynamo and the New England Revolution. They got together a good crowd and proceeded to boo both teams. Impressive. What is even more impressive is this fan group, which goes by the name of "Sons of Ben" (SOB) doesn't even have a team.

An excerpt from the article:

These are the Sons of Ben. They are the hardcore supporters of Philadelphia's Major League Soccer team. Possibly their best chant is: "We've won as many cups as you, Metro, Metro. We've won as many cups as you, and we don't have a team."

Philadelphia doesn't have an MLS team yet. As the DC United fan website puts it, the Sons of Ben have "banded together to twist the Field of Dreams mantra from 'Build it and they will come' to 'They're already here, just build it'."

A truly surreal situation and one which has its benefits. At least they don't have to worry about relegation battles. Having said that, no clubs in America have to worry about that as they don't have promotion/relegation.

Still, good luck to the Sons of Ben. You lot already have more away support than Genclerbirligi and as many league titles as all the Ankara teams combined.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ozgur's road to nowhere

You may have read that I almost went to Manisa to watch Genclerbirligi's away match. In the end I had to work and lucky for that as the Alkaralar bus got stuck and had to return. Pretty annoying for most, but especially for one fellow who flew from Istanbul to Ankara in order to join the fun.

And that fellow was none other than a bloke who occasionally leaves comments on this blog (but he assures me he is a regular reader), Turkish Daily News Sports Editor Ozgur Korkmaz.

In today's TDN Ozgur gives an excellent "first person" account of the fateful trip to ... er, nowhere. An excerpt:

"We were only around 100 kilometers away from Ankara when the weather conditions got worse. We had a stopover in a gas station, drank tea, and decided to continue the trip."

"It was all joy and entertainment for another two hours, and none of us sitting at the back of the bus realized the tough conditions of the road, unlike the older ones sitting in front. That is why we were all surprised when the bus stopped at another gas station at around 3:00 a.m. Sunday morning. We all got out of the bus, some to smoke (yes, no one was allowed to smoke on the bus, another big surprise for traveling Turkish football fans), some to use the restrooms, and found out about the real reason of the stop: The driver refused to go any further."

"'I have a wife and children back at home,' said the semi-bald driver in his mid-40s. 'The road conditions are getting worse, I cannot rely on my bus on such an icy road, I will not risk my or your life.' It was only when the driver mentioned how we paid attention to the bus. The old, loud bus with flat tires had done a very good job just to get us that far."

Sorry about that Ozgur, but as you point out in your article, at least we got the win. And don't forget mate, next time you are in Ankara you should give us a shout.

Oh, and by the way, great to see that at least one sports editor in this country supports a non-Istanbul team.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hibees Fighting Back

After a miserable few months with only one win to show for their efforts, Hibs have finally started picking up the points again.

Defeats to just about everybody in the league mixed in with a few draws saw Hibs drop down the league to 8th position.

Motherwell are the only team who look capable of keeping a bit of form outwith the 'Old Firm' as all the other teams drop points to each other. Motherwell do have three games in hand due to postponments after the death of their captain Phil O'Donnell, this may prove their downfall in the league as a small squad will struggle with so many games to play. After the season they have had I don't think anyone would grudge them a taste of European football.

Anyway back to Hibs, a 4-2 midweek win over Gretna followed by a 3-1 win over Aberdeen on Sunday moved Hibs up to 5th position. Hibs now have three of their next four games at home and hopefully will comtinue to push up the table.

Mixu is still bringing in his own players to the sqaud and even if we are not playing with the same flair we are beginning to look a tougher team.

Hibs striker Steven Fletcher is another reason results are looking better, a return from injury has seen a few goals come his way as well as a link to Real Madrid. Rumours have it a £4M bid will be placed in the summer.

Hopefully Steven will have helped Hibs up to a UEFA cup spot by then.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It was a very bitterly cold snowy day yesterday in Ankara and I was half expecting the match to be postponed. After all, the Konya v Cimbom match didn’t make it later in the evening. However, well done the 19 Mayis ground staff for pulling out the stops and making the pitch reasonably playable.

It was bucketing down with the `white stuff` all morning and all day, and when I arrived at the Stadium direct from school the ground staff were still trying to clear the snow. They were like `ants` on the pitch and the players had a hard time finding space to warm up. The red marking machine was being trundled around all the lines and the snow was swirling around us all with the gusting wind. Brrrrrrrrr ….. get the picture ?

Maniac Kanka joined me inside the Stadium having been for his pre-match refreshment in The Lacivert, but not for the first time this season, I was stone cold sober !

Not a happy report I’m afraid……

ANKARAGUCU 0 Trabzonspor 2

So, the statistics don’t read well….. 4 consecutive matches without scoring a goal and ANKARAGUCU’s league position is heading `southwards` with a crisis looming !

So, as I said, it was only Maniac Kanka and I there yesterday and we kept looking for some kankas to keep us company. Where were they we were wondering ???

My comment was …… Bloody fair weather supporters !!
Maniac Kanka had stronger words….. he suggested we call them effin HALF KANKAS !!!

We can excuse Battle Damaged Kanka who was out of town and returned too late to attend, however, I’m sure there will be comments from the others ??!!

To the match then, and it started well enough for ANKARAGUCU who attacked throughout the 1st half and went close a few times. Lots of sliding and slipping made for goalmouth melees with the ball being scrambled away by the Trabzon defence several times. When confidence is down, usually Lady Luck is absent !!

There was also a fair penalty claim turned down by a `blind` referee when Gokhan was upended in the box.

It was still all ANKARAGUCU at the half hour mark when Trabzon made one of their few breakaways of the half. The ball was played through the centre to `old boy` Umut, but Kirita had it covered and was about to tackle Umut and clear when he slipped on the snow. Umut doesn’t pass up those type of gifts and coolly despatched the ball past a helpless Serkan.

So, Trabzon went in at half time one up and totally against the run of play. Life is cruel sometimes !! Out came the red marking machine again. Also the `ants` were beavering around with the snow clearing tools. In fact, the referee had to stop the match twice to allow the `ants` to keep the lines clear !

Trabzon came out in the 2nd half and started to play a bit. ANKARAGUCU reverted to their old bad habit to pumping high balls forward to the diminutive Jaba who didn’t win one header all afternoon against the tall defenders of Trabzon. Bebe was his usual self ….. chasing back into defence and midfield to find the ball and he wins my man of the match award for his `never say die` efforts.

ANKARAGUCU continued to press forward but I could feel the confidence of the players ousing away as the clock ticked onwards. Then with 20 minutes remaining, a stunning goal from Ayman who picked the ball up about 30 yards out on the left and sent in an angled screamer which had Serkan clawing thin air (and falling snow) !

Diawara and Murat Duruer were brought on and it was all out attack from ANKARAGUCU now. Another clear penalty was turned down by that ibne of a referee when Bebbe was brought to ground by THREE defenders. Bebbe also had a great over-head kick well saved by the Trabzon keeper who palmed the ball out for a corner.

It was just not ANKARAGUCU’s day and Lady Luck stayed absent. Even the Gecikondu Boys decided enough was enough and they all disappeared out of the Stadium with 15 minutes remaining. First time I’ve ever seen that !!

So, back to The Cappadokia Bar to thaw out and put some fire down our throats, or in other words….. drown our sorrows !!

Hakan Kutlu now has a major problem on his hands. How is he (a defender) going to show his team how to score goals again ? Also, does he have the necessary attributes to motivate the team for next week’s tricky visit to Istanbul BBS ?

Well, there is no alternative. He has to find the answer. Time is running out and being sucked into the end of season `dog fight` is not something which I would recommend !!

Eski Kanka is running out of optimism !!

All the best from down in the dumps Eski Kanka Jim

Photo nicked from Milliyet website.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Have Gencler saved themselves from the drop?

During the week I was asked by the Alkaralar lot whether I was going to join them for a bus trip for Genclerbirligi's away match to Manisa. I was tempted to rearrange my work commitments but in the end I couldn't be bothered.

Lucky really as it is bucketing snow here, roads across the country are cut and I wouldn't be surprised if those Alkaralar won't be getting back from Manisa for quite a long while, that's if they actually survive the match as the away section in Manisa is open to the elements.

Meanwhile its just me in front of my computer listening to TRT over the internet.

Ah, seems like there is no snow in Manisa but that it is very windy, but still cold.

Now this is one we have to win. It is a real relegation battle with Manisa in 17th place and us in 15th. A loss will see us back in the bottom three... scary stuff.

TRT are going around the grounds which is probably a good thing as the Manisa-Gencler match sounds very very boring.

It's all Manisa in the first 20 minutes and they probably should be ahead. Our new keeper Recep is being kept busy and has managed to save at least one-on-one.

What is wrong with this radio announcer. Is my Turkish really so bad that I can't understand when a goal is scored?

But why get upset because it seems as if Genclerbirligi have gone ahead. I'm not all that sure how correct this description is but it is possible that Okan Ozturk went in on his own against the keeper, the shot was saved and then Burhan hit the ball into an empty net. 25th minute: Manisa 0 - 1 Gencler.

Rest of the half all Manisa. Hold on Gencler!

Half-time and the TRT don't bother with any analysis of any of the games but instead give us some folk music. Hopeless.

Damn it. Manisa have scored. 50th minute: Manisa 1 - 1 Gencler.

I'm being pulled away from the computer. Mrs. Oz Kanka has only gone and invited a bunch of her girlfriends over today. Doesn't she know the footy is on! So afraid I don't really know what is happening (nothing new then).

Isaac Promise has scored!!!! Amazing. No idea what happened though, the house is now full of women and kids. I should have gone to the match. ?? minute: Manisa 1 - 2 Gencler.

Isaac Promise in a position that the announcer describes as "a 99 per cent chance", and he fluffs it. Back to normal.

I notice the Ankaragucu - Trabzon match has just started (3pm). I wonder if our fellow Kankas, Maniac, Sir Eski, Rip-off and possibly others, will survive the freezing cold.

The announcer says that we have now had three very good chances to score again. Get on with it Gencler! 88th minute.

Four minutes of extra time.... eeek... I hate these last minutes.

Phew. Match over. Pretty pathetic report I admit but hey, who cares, we have won.

Manisa 1 - 2 Genclerbirligi

I wonder if the Alkaralar bus will make it back to Ankara tonight.

Just saw an Anatolian news story with the headline "Lots of cars stranded on Izmir-Ankara highway". Manisa is of course, just outside Izmir.

EDIT: Just read that the bus didn't even make to the match.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A question on our Egyptian link

Just received our first question via the new contact us page (Sir Eski Kanka sending me a message doesn't count). Ahmad asked: "How is Abdelzaher el Saka doing at Genclerbirligi?"

Simple answer Ahmad is that he is doing very well since he left Konyaspor at the end of last year. During the derby on Saturday El Saka wore the captain's armband and put in a very good performance. It was the first match that I've seen El Saka play for Genclerbirligi (not counting a few years ago when he was a regular starter during our UEFA Cup run) and I think us buying him again is a very good move.

Traore and he were rock solid at the back and Hurriyet newspaper gave El Saka a seven out of 10 for his performance.

Seems like he has already settled in and fingers crossed he will be putting in plenty more similar performances as we fight our way out of the relegation zone.

Thanks for the question Ahmad. Keep 'em coming.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Using another famous cliché…….. Cemal Aydin (Chairman of Ankaragucu) has fallen on his sword !

He resigned last night at 9.30pm much to the relief of the majority of the `real` Ankaragucu supporters.

This great Club is bigger than Cemal Aydin’s ego !

He has been Chairman of this Club for about 40,000 years and his achievements are legendary, ie, ZERO !!

So, the message from The Round Ball in Ankara is….. thank you for doing the honourable thing Mr Aydin and I hope the sword wound was not too painful !

What now ? There will be a meeting next month to choose the next Chairman and some names have been mentioned already. Interestingly, the name of Melih Gokcek’s son, Ahmet, has been mooted. Now, doesn’t that conjure up lots of possibilities ??!!

The future is beginning to look a wee bit rosier me thinks !

Watch this space for more news as it unfolds.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A happier man than I tonight is a happy man indeed

Genclerbirligi 1 - 0 Ankaragucu

This has been by far the worse season Genclerbirligi have had since I started watching them in about 1998. So it was with trepidation that I went off to the match today. A loss and morale in the team would hit rock bottom and our chances of getting out of the relegation zone dashed.

But my wishes were granted.

Instead of the usual dross we have seen this season we saw a Genclerbirligi team come out attacking. We were stringing passes together and while there weren't all that many shots on goal we were definitely looking good.

But I'm getting ahead of myself a little. The Chopin Bar was were we met and it was good to see the regular Gencler Kankas in attendance. I think I counted 12 of us, and one lone Ankaragucu fan, Goalkeeper Tansu. Really, I took my hat off to the Ankaragucu Kankas last week who managed to get 30-odd people together but supporting a team is not about one offs, it is about going to all the matches, week in, week out.

Off to the stadium and Tansu made the lonely trek off to the away end and we found our places in Maraton.

Kick off and Genclerbirligi were all over the Ankaragucu lot. The singing from the Ankaragucu away end was impressive but we also tried to make some noise. That noise got a whole lot louder in about the 20th minute when Burhan took a pass down the right (it looked offside to me), he passed it into the penalty area where Isaac Promise had a go, Ankaragucu's keeper Serkan managed to stop the shot but it fell once again to Mr. Promise who this time made no mistake. It was a goal mouth scramble which was probably set up from an offside position, but were we complaining. No way.

The Ankaragucu fans immediately started singing even louder to try and lift their team but it was to no avail. The rest of the half was ours and our new keeper Recep is clearly a lot better than Jesus.

Half time and 1-0 up and we were pretty happy. Second half though was a different matter.

Ankaragucu were clearly told to go on the attack (and our lot were clearly looking to save the lead). A few times we put together some lovely strings of passes but I'm not sure we tested their keeper much at all.

Then things got really scary towards the end. In the 76th minute our defender Traore was sent off for what to me looked like absolutely nothing. Afterwards Maniac Kanka Harun told me he reckoned it was a clear red. But the point was we were down a man for the last 15 minutes or so. A quick substitution as Okan Ozturk came off so that defender Mr. Fish Grape could come on. It was hearts in mouths times. Ankaragucu played full on attack. Our keeper was kept as busy as a human rights lawyer and the referee continued to make stupid mistakes.

When I say mistakes, these weren't absolute match-turners but they were as clear as day stuff: mistakes on throw ins, offsides, and much earlier in the match he probably should have sent off Our No. 38, Engin, for a kick on Kirita.

It was scary stuff, especially when an Ankaragucu player was about five metres from the goal and still managed to send his shot over the bar.

The last 10 minutes seemed like an eternity but the referee finally blew his whistle. Phew!

Match over and things started getting interesting. Us Genclerbirligi fans were singing away and applauding our team when we noticed that fights had broken out in the away section.

The vast majority of the Ankaragucu fans were chanting for Chairman Cemal Aydin to resign, punches were being thrown, chairs were being smashed and thrown onto the pitch and one bloke got stretchered off to hospital.

After heading off to the Capadokia Bar to say "gecmis olsun" to Maniac Kanka Harun, Rip Off Kanka Erman and Goalkeeper Tansu we found out that the fight was actually between supporters of Aydin and the true fans of the club.

Coming for the next few weeks Ankaragucu have got matches against Trabzon, Fener and Sivas. Not looking good.

As for Genclerbirligi, today's win could well be a turning point. We played well, got the three points and showed we are not the sort of team that should be relegated. Just how important was today's match? The players at the end celebrated as if we had won the league itself... and I have to admit, I was pretty damn happy too.

PS: I have subsequently found that I'm not as happy as Spine who today saw Gencler win and then shouted to the moon as Manchester City beat United and then watched England beat Italy in the rugby. As opposed to Sir Eski Kanka who lost 2-0 to Sarah in the darts on Thursday, watched Scotland lose to Wales in the rugby and then suffered Genclerbirligi's defeat of his beloved Ankaragucu. There is a great German word for what I'm feeling, but I have no idea how to spell it.

EDIT: News reports of the post match press conferences are in. Mesut Baykal of Genclerbirligi said all the cliches that you would expect and then Ankaragucu's Hakan Kutlu gave a 30-second press conference in which he said nothing much except to apologize to the fans.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The Ankaragucu-Bursaspor connection is now rooted into Eski Kanka’s family.

My wife’s cousin, Zeynep, recently married Sadik, and guess where he comes from ? Right first time……. Bursa, and he is also a member of Bursaspor Football Club.

They visited my house last night, and as you can see from the photograph above, we are now `brother kankas`. He is a true `Anatolian Boy`, ie, he hates the Istanbul Big 3 !!

Zeynep and Sadik have promised to make the trip to Bursa next season for the Bursaspor v Ankaragucu match, and I too have promised to be there.

A promise, once made, must never be broken !!

Zeynep and Sadik live in Izmir at the moment but they managed to go to Manisa recently when Bursaspor came visiting. However, I told them that `they ain’t seen anything yet` until they attend a Bursaspor v Ankaragucu match !!

Glory to the great Bursaspor and Ankaragucu !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Gencler take first leg advantage in Cup quarterfinal

Stuck at work today (ie at home) and unable to get out to a bar to watch the match. Oh well, guess I'll just have to listen to the radio... Except no one is broadcasting the match. Argh. I should be angry, but I'm so used to being stuffed around by those who organise football in this country that all I do is shrug my shoulders. I'm also quietly blaming myself for letting my Lig TV subscription lapse.

Turkish Cup
Quarterfinal first leg
Adana Demirspor 0 - 1 Genclerbirligi

We are certainly in the drivers seat for this one. The return leg is to be played sometime later this month.

More details soon once the Anatolian news agency gets around to giving a three-line report.

EDIT: Sunday.

Well the reports are in the Sunday papers and, as I guessed, they are less than exhaustive. Let me translate the entire Hurriyet report.

Genclerbirligi away defeated Adana Demirspor in the first leg of the (insert sponsor's name) Turkish Cup quarterfinal. In the 67th minute in an attack down the right Burhan found Mehmet Cakir in the penalty box who placed his shot: 1-0. In the 88th minute Levent took good control of a ball that the Genclerbirligi defence had failed to clear, he kicked it hard onto the post and the ball went out.

That was it. The entire report. Meanwhile for the other quarterfinal match that took place on Saturday namely the Besiktas - Rize match Hurriyet gave us the following.

1 match report
2 columnists musing
3 stories based on comments from players/officials
1 how did the referees go report
1 story on Rize hosts lunch for a Besiktas official
1 story on Besiktas' Bobo sporting a new hair cut
1 report on how there were lots of cards in the second half
1 story on how the team doctor had to look after a kid who had been hit in the head with the ball from a wayward kick
1 backgrounder on how Besiktas haven't done well recently against Rize
1 story on why Rize goalkeeper Leandro didn't play (his dad died).
1 report on how Trabzon fans came to support Rize

This list of stories is longer than the bloody report they gave of the only other match that was played on Saturday. Bloody pathetic.

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