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.