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....