Saturday, January 31, 2009

Kocaeli v Genclerbirligi

Join me here from about 1:30 pm for me blogging the Kocaelispor - Genclerbirligi match. (I might be a touch late as I've been ordered to go shopping)

Pre-match: Last week was a big win for Gencler, 3-1 away to Kayserispor, but Kocaeli had an even bigger win, 4-0 away to Hacettepe. Having said that Hacettepe have been a bit of a joke this year whilst Kayseri had only conceded seven goals in their first 16 matches of the season... that was until Troisi came along and put three past them last week.

My predicition is that Gencler should win it as long as they don't concede an early goal. Last week they were rubbish in the first 20 minutes or so and were lucky not have been behind. Let's see.

2:00 pm National anthem done and we are about to kick off. Not sure of the teams yet.

2:41 pm Troisi misses a good chance. Not sure exactly what happened.

2:01 pm And they are off.

Gencler team: Isailovich, Mehmet Nas, Troisi, Momha, Koray, Ilhan, Burhan, Jedinak, Kahe, Hakan Aslantas, and Soner not sure.

2:08 pm Seems like we are attacking. Get a corner, bugger it up but the attack goes on. Sounds like we are playing okay.

2:10 pm Another corner for us, six in the box, but the keeper whacks it out. Attack continues... we lose the ball.

2:12 pm Commentator says that both teams have decided to actually play today. Whatever that means.

2:13 pm Kocaeli are attacking down the left and are creating a few chances. Attendance today at the Izmit stadium is about 9,000, says our Lig radyo man.

2:15 pm Kocaeli have a shot from six metres, which gets the commentator shouting, Isailovich sends it out for a corner which results in nothing. Sounds like we should be down.

2:23 pm No idea what is happening. My radio stream has collapsed. Will try to get back soon.

2:30 pm I'm back. No goals during that radio collapse.

2:31 pm Lots of midfield passing from us but no one taking real control and creating chances.

2:33 pm Free kick on the right after Aslantas was taken down. Crowd whistling away in protest. Ball out for a corner. And Goal.

2:34 pm It was Ilhan with a header. Kocaeli 0 - 1 Genclerbirligi

2:37 pm Commentator says Momha is having a great match and that Gencler in the last 10 minutes have stepped up their attacks. Good stuff.

2:40 pm Gencler are attacking and attacking... they just need to get a couple more shots off.

2:43 pm Kocaeli have their first touch of the ball for ages and then they send off a "cok kotu" shot. And Gencler go straight back onto the attack.

2:45 pm Jedinak is sending through fast balls in counterattacks. Sounds nice.

2:46 pm Momha is everywhere, pressing in defence and setting up great attacks.

2:48 pm Ahhh. Mehmet Nas gets one-on-one with the keeper but sends it out. "peep peep peep" Half-time.

Half-time stuff
Kocaeli 0 - 1 Genclerbirligi
Kayserispor 0 - 0 Sivasspor

Admittedly I missed a bit of the first half thanks to the radio stream dying... but I think my match preview thoughts were pretty much spot on. Survive the first 15 minutes, which we only just did after Kocaeli had a great shot saved by Isailovich, and then press on. The only problem I can see is that we aren't getting a lot of shots on goal. Midfield-wise, we are all over them. Time for a cigarette break. Back soon.

3:07 pm And we are off for the second half.

3:08 pm Kocaeli almost score in the first seconds of the second half. Phew!

3:09 pm Troisi goes through a whole heap and then buggers up the shot. Arggh.

3:15 pm Burhan sends a pass through to Troisi who shoots well but the Kocaeli keeper makes a good save.

3:17 pm Troisi has another shot saved. Ohhh boy.

3:19 pm Kocaeli have a wonderful attack but end up sending it out.

3:20 pm Despite the couple of shots from Troisi it sounds as if Kocaeli are starting to control the game.

3:23 pm Gencler get a corner and headed at goal but saved and then Soner hits it out.

3:25 pm This time Burhan its it out after a bad shot. Come on!!!!

3:29 pm Isailovich playing well to stop a good chance from Kocaeli. Sounds as if we need a substitution or two. Things are starting to slow down too much. I'd bring Djite on for Kahe.

3:30 pm Soner controls a ball, should have sent it to Troisi but goes for himself. Corner. Meanwhile Djite is brought on for Burhan. Corner comes to nothing.

3:33 pm Hakan Aslantas gets a graphic. Silly boy. Free-kick for Kocaeli in a dangerous position. Defence saves the boy from embarrassment.

3:35 pm Kocaeli are really going for the equaliser, a few shots coming in now but our defence is holding firm... for the moment. We need to put this beyond doubt.

3:37 pm Aussie Bruce in the box, is taken down... but no penalty. Gencler coach Aybaba goes wild in rage.

3:40 pm Sounds like Gencler are playing for time now. Medics on for someone who is probably perfectly fine. Kocaeli fans are whistling in protest. It is Kahe who is being treated.

3:41 pm Momha send one in and Aussie Bruce sends a header just out.

3:44 pm Both teams are making bad passes. Mistakes creeping in. This is getting scary. About eight minutes of normal time left.

3:45 pm I can't stand this. I'm off for a very quick fag.

3:48 pm And while I was having a fag, Aussie Bruce scored. Woooooooow. Kocaeli 0 - 2 Genclerbirligi

3:52 pm Three minutes of extra time. Surely we have this. Mustafa Pektemek is on for us, not sure who went off. Pektemek has been out injured for a while and its good to seem him back on.

3:56 pm And that's it. A good win. Two on the trot.

Kocaelispor 0 - 2 Genclerbirligi
Kayserispor 0 - 0 Sivasspor

Post match Well, that takes a bit of heat off us (just a bit). Not as great a win as last week but it seems that we are starting to get our act together. The midfield is looking good and Momha is a real find. We missed a few shots today but in the end 2-0 is a good result. Also great to see Aussie Bruce get a goal and in the sort of professionalism you have come to expect from "The round ball in Ankara" I was out having a cigarette when it was scored and so I have no idea what exactly happened. Tomorrow Ankaragucu are at home against Konyaspor. We are meeting up at the usual place at midday and Battle Damaged Kanka Damon will be writing up a post-match report. Farewell from Ankara.

Post-post match Seems as if Troisi got the yellow card, not Hakan, and Aussie Bruce's goal came from a pass from Kahe.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Troisi almost bags the big one

When it comes to sports awards the coveted "Round Ball in Ankara Player of the Year Award" is renowned as one of the most difficult to win, mainly because in the three years we have been running this blog we haven't actually given one out yet, but in the prestige stakes breathing down the neck of our as yet unwinnable award has to be the " Soccer Player of the Week".

Now is the first port of call for all sports mad North Americans who need minute-by-minute updates on everything sports eh. Although for me it is just a touch top heavy with the madness that is ice hockey (before you Canadians start complaining I'd like to point out that the game is mad for the players but a brilliant game to watch and laugh at - in fact your faithful writer should have checked out the site before he covered his first, and so far only, international ice hockey tournament - the embarrassing tale of which you can find here).

Anyway, all of that is irrelevant as to the story we know that you need to know. This is from the site:

"With the transfer drama behind him, Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite or Kaka as he is better known can get back to doing what he does best, scoring goals and capturing awards. The latest is the Soccer Player of the Week."

Kaka must be over the moon and will no doubt be on the line to his carpenter to get the trophy cabinet extended.

But it the last line of the article that sent us in Ankara reeling:

"Others up for consideration this week included Liverpool's Steven Gerrard, Getafe's Roberto Soldado and Genclerbirligi's James Triosi (sic)."

I had no idea that followed the Turkish league so closely but I'm almost certain that this is the first time that Troisi and Kaka have been mentioned in the same article (with this blog post being the second time).

Who knows, if Kahe during the match against Kayseri on the weekend had allowed Troisi to take the penalty (which Kahe subsequently missed) the Aussie midfielder could well have ended up with four goals for the match. Our man Troisi could have won the " soccer player of the week"! To come so close ... it's the sort of stuff that will be giving Troisi nightmares for the rest of his life.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The goals from Saturday

If anyone wants to check out Troisi's three goals take a look at these youtube links.

Goal 1
Goal 2
Goal 3


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

There are some adjectives (and nouns) to describe Ankaragucu’s performance yesterday which were voiced by the Kankas at the end of the match, eg, pathetic, pitiful, woeful, inept, inadequate, diarrhoea, etc. Get the picture ?!

Also, Kaleci Kanka was even quoted after the match as saying it was the worst Ankaragucu performance he had ever witnessed !

So, we were not very happy bunnies when we left the Stadium at 4pm on a cold, wet and windy Ankara winter’s day !

ANKARAGUCU 0 Antalyaspor 1

As usual, it all started out on an optimistic note, and why not. We were playing at home against one of the bottom clubs which had a history of not producing results ‘on the road’. So spirits were high !

I was first into The Chopin (as usual), to be joined soon after by Ema and Mike (exchange students from the USA). Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and Kaleci Kanka Tansu were next, followed by the 3 stalwart Ankaragucu Bilkent Yanks.

Off to the Stadium then where we were met by Yankee Kanka and his brother Huso. Also there was one of the original kankas from 2000, Desert Kanka Murat and his son Bora. By the way, Murat turned his back on the Libyan Desert a few years ago so we may have to rename him ?! Also, Bora is a Fener supporter (his Grandfather, Engin, taught him well me thinks ??!!).

We weren’t the only ones in an optimistic frame of mind. Gecikondu and Maraton were their normal boisterous selves and they gave us a new chant. We will call it the …… Oooooooooooo …………… Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh chant ! True, not many lyrics to learn, but with a few thousand chanting, it brought some humour to the proceedings, and, God, did we need that !!

The first half was a non-event as far as footie purists were concerned. The gusting wind did play a factor in the shabby footie on offer, but that should not be used as an excuse for the garbage which we witnessed. Nor should the weird decisions given by the referee, Hakan Ozkan, (mostly in favour of Antalya !!).

The Antalya Coach obviously told his players at the half time ‘team talk’ that Ankaragucu was there for the taking and they came out in the 2nd half the more determined team. Having told Ema that we always score attacking the Gecikondu end in the 2nd half, I was made to eat my words !

There were only two serious efforts from Ankaragucu in the match (both in the 2nd half). The first from a goalmouth scramble when Omer managed to claw the ball away from crossing the line – from my advantageous position I thought the ball was over the line before he clawed it away, but the linesman thought otherwise !

The second was a rocket from Mehmet (his only valuable contribution in the entire match in what was a poor performance from him) which went screaming past the post with Omer stationary.

It was mostly all Antalya in the 2nd half and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring following a fast breakaway from midfield. Tita slotted it home on 70 minutes with the Ankaragucu defence nowhere and Serkan totally exposed and helpless.

The fight back never materialised, with Ankaragucu continuing to give the ball away and pass the ball to Antalya players. Frustration was creeping in on the field and in the terraces !

Jaba came on shortly after the goal (why wasn’t he on from the start ??!!) and tried to motivate the front runners and midfield, but it was like pissing into the wind !

Apart from Jaba, the only player with his ‘head up’ was the impressive Hasan Ucuncu and Abdulaziz who came on for the last 5 minutes.

All credit to Antalya for a great 2nd half performance and a fully deserved win which was rewarded at the end with a standing ovation from Gecikondu and Maraton.

As for Ankaragucu, more performances like this and they will be heading in a southwards direction as indicated in my headline !

So, at the halfway point in the league, Ankaragucu sit in 3rd bottom position in the league and after 17 matches their goal tally of 14 scored speaks volumes about their problems !

I don’t have the statistics to hand, but my guess is that most of these goals came from Gokhan (since departed ...... boo hoo hoo !), Captain Murat Erdogan and Jaba. So, my question to Hakan Kutlu is ………. why are you persisting to play Mehmet and Iglesias up front ??!!

The sooner De Negris dons the Ankaragucu top the better I say !

Next weekend is another home match against Konya. Details from Oz Kanka in a kanka mail soon.

All the best from a frustrated and worried Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Live radio blogging: Kayserispor v Genclerbirligi

They don't like it up 'em: Handbags after Troisi's third goal.

Good afternoon and welcome to me listening to the radio.

Preview stuff: Winter break is over, although we could easily have played here in Ankara each and every weekend, but we still have one last match to go to finish off what has been a pretty wretched first half of the season for Gencler.

Transfer news: I have no idea what these guys are like but these are the people we brought in over the break. Boja Isailovic (gk) from Serbia, Mile Jedinak from Australia, Vitoria Guimares from Cameroon, Cem Can from Ankaragucu, Eren Aydin returns to Gencler after a stint at Gokcekspor, Hursit Meric from Holland (although he qualifies as a local player) and finally Mehmet Polat from Gaziantep.

That's quite a list. Fingers crossed one or two of them turn out okay because today we have a pretty hard match against Kayserispor, the team that beat us in the Cup final last season. The match is being played in Adana due to work being carried out at Kayseri's home stadium.

I'll be back here at about 1:30 pm for the match itself.

Kayserispor v Genclerbirligi
Kick-off 2pm (1200 GMT)

1:32 pm As Galatasaray and Sivas are playing at the same time as this match I'm not sure if I'll be able to get a "clean" radio feed. This could well be a very short radio report.

The Teams Taken from the Alkaralar forum, so I'm not 100 percent sure they are right. EDIT: In fact they are wrong. Hopefully I can put up the right teams a bit later. EDIT (2) the team for Gencler is now correct.

KAYSERİSPOR: Souleymanou, Mehmet Eren, Eren Güngör, Ali Turan, Bilal Aziz, Mehmet Topuz, Saidou, Ragıp, Olembe, Cangele, Turgay (Aghahowa)

GENÇLERBİRLİĞİ: Bojan, Hakan, Momha, Koray, İlhan, Soner, Jedinak, Mehmet Nas, Troisi, Burhan, Kahe

1:39 pm Found a clean feed :) on the Lig Radyo site.

2:01 pm National anthem played and then "Peep peep" and we are on our way. By the way there are three other matches on at the same time, Ankaragucu - Antalyaspor; Eskisehirspor - Gaziantepspor; and Sivasspor - Galatasaray. Temp in Adana, 10 degrees C.

2:03 pm Working off a free kick Gencler go onto the attack... Keep this up boys.

2:06 pm Goal... No... phew. Off a corner the ball was put in but the referee rules there was a foul on Koray Avci... lucky, lucky, lucky.

2:11 pm Combined with the fact that we have many new players whose names I'm not used to and the fact that this commentator is going for an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest speaker in Turkish football, I'm having a bloody difficult time understanding what is going on.

2:14 pm Bojan saves a shot, then Kayseri attack and attack but can't get it through. This sounds like it might be a long day for us.

2:18 pm The teams listed before are not right. As far as I can tell Aussie Bruce is not on the field. Gencler's two other Aussies, Mile Jedinak and James Troisi, are playing though, with Troisi seeming to be getting in amongst it.

2:22 pm Kayseri appeal for a penalty. Ref turns it down.

2:25 pm Goool!!!! Aussie James Troisi scores!!!! Love ya mate. Kayserispor 0 - 1 Genclerbirligi.

2:27 pm Commentator says Kayseri are playing the better football. Still, we are ahead.

2:32 pm The goal seems to have woken us up and we appear to be controlling possession. Get another chaps!

2:34 pm A million passes, commentator getting louder and faster and then Jedinak sent it out. Still, Gencler are sounding dangerous. Of course, this being Gencler this is the point when we will probably give a way a soft goal.

2:38 pm Still no goals from the other three matches.

2:42 pm Ooocchh. Soner almost scores, ball just out. Commentator says Kayseri are not paying attention.

Half-time First half done. 1-0 up and Gencler are playing much much better after Troisi's goal. This is good stuff. Off for a fag and a beer. Back soon.

Half-time musings So Aybaba decided to play four of the new transfers today and it seems to be paying off. Going in with only one striker in Kahe suggests a defensive approach but listening to the commentary and what seems to be a very nice midfield work (multiple quick passes between Burhan, Mehmet Nas, Jedinak and Troisi) it seems to be working. By the way, who is the Melbourne person who is refreshing this page every two minutes? Reveal yourself! Send us an e-mail through the "Contact us" button on the right of the page and I'll publish it here.

Half-time edit update I've fixed the team line-up for Gencler. It is near the top of this report.

Other half-time scores
Ankaragucu 0 - 0 Antalyaspor
Eskisehirspor 0 - 1 Gaziantepspor
Sivasspor 0 - 0 Galatasaray

3:05 pm Kick-off and Troisi almost scores but is denied after a great tackle by a Kayseri defender, Kayserispor counter attack but it petres out (or should that be "peters out").

3:07 pm Kayseri are attacking hard. Get a corner... but we get it out of there... Hadi Cocuklar!

3:09 pm Oh dear

3:09 pm Kayseri score after a corner. Kayserispor have been full on attacking. Kayserispor 1 - 1 Genclerbirligi

3:11 pm My radio feed is fading... (like Gencler's performance). I might be a minute or two behind the action.

3:16 pm Yessssssss!!!!!! Jedinak sends in a cross and Troisi scores a "harika" goal. Lovin' it. Aussie assists Aussie. Kayserispor 1 - 2 Genclerbirligi.

3:20 pm My radio feed is really buggering up now. Bloody interwebs.

3:22 pm Radio back... I hope. Still one up. Sivas have gone ahead against Galatasaray. Good stuff. All we need now is for Ankaragucu to score against Antalya.

3:27 pm I'm going to kill my internet provider. My speed has collapsed and the radio is having to buffer every four seconds. I'm going to restart everything and hope things get better.

3:31 pm Penalty.... Kahe missed. A red card for someone. Radio is back... I think.

3:33 pm Burhan is going off. New signing Cem Can coming on. As for the penalty they should have let Troisi take it... give him a hat trick.

3:34 pm Kahe stuffs up again. A mistake from Kayseri and he misses. Then Troisi sends a shot in that is saved. In three minutes we have missed three goals. Get it together!

3:37 pm Sivas are 2-0 up while the bad news is that Ankaragucu are losing 0-1 to Antalyaspor.

3:38 pm Aussie Bruce is on for Kahe. I really don't know what is going on. this radio feed is pissing me off.

3:40 pm Kayseri should have scored but the shot was terrible. I hate this part of the game.... Why can't we put this one away, we are a goal and a man up. I need a cigarette. Back in a second.

3:48 pm Just missed another, this time from Mehmet Nas but the ball stays in play and Troisi gets his hat trick!!! Kayserispor 1 - 3 Genclerbirligi.

3:49 pm The match must be over by now but my radio feed is lagging by a couple of minutes.

3:51 pm Troisi has had a brilliant match. Aussie Bruce almost scores... Come on... rub it in, just a minute or so to go... make it four!

3:54 pm The commentator is praising Troisi to the sky. He is also praising the new transfers Jedinak and Momha.

3:55 pm "Peep, peep, peep" and that's it. What a great start. Just our fourth win of the year. I'm a happy man. Kayserispor 1 - 3 Genclerbirligi.

Post-match Well, well, well. A great result away from home and what a great match from Troisi, a hat trick against the team that beat us in the Turkish Cup final last season (where they played for a boring 0-0 draw right from the kick-off). Never did get an e-mail or comment from our Melbourne watcher who updated the site every two minutes. Oh well, at least he or she should be happy with what is probably a historic first - an Aussie scoring a hat trick in a Turkish league match. But Melbourne dude --- do send us a message, we would love to know who you are.

Other Results
Ankaragucu 0 - 1 Antalyaspor
Eskisehirspor 1 - 1 Gaziantepspor
Sivasspor 2 - 0 Galatasaray

Farewell all from a happy Oz Kanka and get prepared for a depressed Sir Eski Kanka to give us a report on Ankaragucu's defeat soonish.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mixed Fortunes for Hibs

Hibs got back to winning ways on Saturday with a hard fought 2-0 win over St Miren at Easter Road.

Rob Jones scored Hibs first heading in a corner in the first half and Derek Riordan curled in the second from 20 yards with ten minutes to go. The second goal calmed the nerves as St Mirren had laid seige to the Hibs goal for twenty minutes leading up to Riordans strike.

This game was an improvement from the two derbies played either side of new year, there was a bit more movement and confidence about Hibs play although all credit to St Mirren who came with no fear on the back of a six match unbeaten run.

Hibs created the better openings and should have been comfortable before St Mirren changed to a more attack minded formation midway through the second half.

These three points helped put a smile back on the Hibs fans faces following a 0-0 draw against Hearts in the SPL folowed by a 2-0 home defeat to Hearts in the cup. Both Derbies were very poor affairs with a distinct lack of quality on show.

In the cup defeat Steven Fletcher of Hibs was sent off for a late tackle after 30 minutes, it was a soft decision from the referee and one Hibs cuold not recover from. Hearts scored in each half to cruise home comfortably.

Next up for Hibs is Celtic away. Celtic suffered a 4-2 loss to Aberdeen this weekend so will be hurting, generally the worst time to play them.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

You will recall my post last week when I announced that two new singings had arrived from Trabzonspor, ie, Abdulaziz and Hasan Ucuncu.

Since then, there has been further activity in the right direction, ie, incoming !

It was announced yesterday that Ufukhan Bayraktar has arrived from Diyarbakirspor. He played previously for Trabzonspor and I understand he is an attacking midfielder.

A further three transfers were announced today –

Ismail Bouzid from Toulouse, who is a stopper.

Bora Kork from Sakaryaspor, who is a goalkeeper (he played for Besiktas previously).

Ozan from Bucaspor, who is a left winger.

There isn’t much I can say about these new singings at present. As always, ‘the proof of the pudding will be in the eating’ and time will tell if these moves prove to be a success !

I think the main point to make is that Hakan Kutlu recognises the need to strengthen the squad and correct the weaknesses which have been exposed in the first half of the season.

However, I still remain worried about our lack of firepower up front. Yes, it’s true that Jaba is a class act, but his lack of height puts him at a distinct disadvantage in aerial attacks. Mehmet and Iglesias haven’t done the biz and this is an area where we have suffered. Perhaps Hakan has something up his sleeve on this subject ?!

It will be interesting to see what the starting line-up will be next weekend against Antalyaspor.

In the meantime, it’s now a case of …….. wait and see !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Spits and spats on the Gold Coast

A lovely little spat in Queensland has seen the billionaire boss of Gold Coast United throwing his toys out of the pram over a reported bid by Genclerbirligi for Kiwi striker Shane Smeltz.

"Who cares if the Turks want him?" Clive Palmer told the Courier Mail in this article.

"He has signed up with us. He's our player legally - end of story. He doesn't want to go to play in Turkey."

According to the story Smeltz has signed with the Gold Coast for three years and, without him having kicked a ball in anger for the Gold Coast, Gencler have come in and offered him three times the salary he will be receiving.

Palmer though is adament his player will be staying.

"I don't know anyone in their right mind who would want to go to play in Turkey," Palmer said seemingly ignoring the quite large number of Aussie players in the Turkish league, let alone all the other foreigners in the league.

The Australian version of Four Four Two magazine also reported Gold Coast coach Miron Bleiberg as warning Genclerbirligi to be careful.

"They shouldn't upset Clive Palmer any further or he might decide to buy their club out," Bleiberg said in what may be our best hope of getting rid of Cavcav before the year 2020.

Then again, I'm not sure that swapping Cavcav for a Queensland bore is quite a good swap. Here's what one person said of Palmer on the Four Four Two article:

"What else would you expect from a man who bankrolls the Queensland Liberal-National Party (Banana Party)?"

Monday, January 12, 2009


or …….to use Hurriyet’s headline (again !) ….. ‘Ankaragucu Throw in the Towel’ !

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu’s weaknesses were exposed yet again yesterday in Eskisehir. No creation in midfield and a powder-puff attack.

Eskisehirspor 2 ANKARAGUCU 1

When the Cup Group stages were announced last year, and under normal circumstances, the betting man’s money would have been on Ankaragucu and Fener to qualify for the Quarter Finals. However, in these days they are not ‘normal circumstances’ as I have mentioned in my league posts recently.

Goals win matches, and yet again Ankaragucu failed in this department. In their 4 group matches against Fener, Bursa, Eskisehir and Tokat they scored a miserable 2 goals and conceded 4. Every picture tells a story !

I don’t have the gory details of yesterday’s match except the scorers.

Eskisehir opened the scoring in the first half. Jaba equalised 5 minutes into the 2nd Half, but Bulent did the damage 10 minutes later.

Ankaragucu’s ‘new boy’ from Trabzonspor, Hasan, started in his first match and excelled himself by receiving a red card half way through the 2nd Half !

So, we will follow Bursa’s progress in the Cup, and if they are eliminated, then we will no doubt lose interest !!

What’s to play for now ? Reluctant as I am to say it, but ….. Super League survival !

It will be a long hard slog on the run-in, and that kicks-in on weekend of 24/25 January against Antalyaspor at the 19 Mayis Stadium in a must win league match. Details of timings later.

All the best from ‘still optimistic, ……but only just’ Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Our blog in the Turkish press

1. The English in gecekondu

Besim Guctenkorkmaz from Sabah has a go at trying to explain who we are. He fails mainly.

2. Scottish Jim, a total Ankaragucu fanatic

Ovgu Dogan from Sabah interviews our very own Sir Eski Kanka.

3. Some publicity for us and "The Curse" Monday, June 11, 2007
Ozgur Korkmaz from the Turkish Daily News quotes us in a story about Genclerbirligi Chairman Ilhan Cavav.

4. On the Internet today , July 02, 2007

Now for an interview on the NTVSpor website by Tolga Ozek in which we were not only quoted properly but also one which got us a damn lot of hits on the blog.

5. Radikal newspaper gives us a run, December 30, 2008

Tanil Bora surprised us with this one where he reports on some foreign students supporting Eskisehir and also on us "orta yaşlı" Gencler supporters.

Follow the Yellow (and Blue) Brick Road: The Battle of the little people

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The following is a report on the Ankaragucu v Tokatspor Turkish Cup match last Wednesday in Ankara which was attended by Battle Damaged Kanka Damon. He had problems with his PC this week, hence the delay in this post. However, as they say ..... better late than never !

Ok, first the good news. We beat Tokatspor by a score of 1-0. Now the bad news. We very nearly lost to a third division club (although, to be fair, they do have the second highest number of points in that division). I don’t know how Tokatspor normally plays but playing us in 19 Mayis Stadium they looked nearly as good as we did overall and had no real weak links. Maybe they were so psyched up for the match that they were able to take their game up not one but two notches. For our sake, let us hope that was the case.

I even have a favorite Tokatspor player now: number 8 Samil Unal who is about Jaba’s height but with a shaven pate and a chin curtain (you know one of those beards that follows the jaw line). Given that the Ankaragucu management does not seem serious about winning maybe they would like to do something gimmicky like field the most diminuitive team in professional football. If they would go for that, I strongly recommend aquiring this guy Samil because he has an attack and never say die attitude. He stuck to the much taller Mehmet Yilmaz so tightly at one point that Yılmaz had to stand in one place and dribble the ball around in a circle to avoid getting tackled. That scene alone justified the 8YTL (roughly 5 dollars) ticket price.

Speaking of Mehmet Yilmaz, wheras Tokatspor didn’t seem to have any weak links, Ankaragucu on the other hand had quite a number of them--Yilmaz being the most obvious. Barboros, and Duruer also leap to mind, and while I like Metin, he too blew some really good opportunities. To be fair, someone clearly made the decision not to field our strongest possible team. Our starting lineup did include Serkan and Elyasa, but missing were Murat Erdogan, Jaba, and Santos. Those are three key players to have missing from a lineup. But it does show how little depth we have.

Anyway, after getting my ticket and my bag of sunflower seeds and getting through the turnstile, I found the guards waiting to frisk me as usual, but this time they wanted to take my pen. I told them that I was going to be writing a report of the match for the blog The Round Ball in Ankara. They stared at me with blank faces. These were police officers who had obviously not read about us in Radikal recently. I protested and gave them a list of reasons why I should be allowed to take it in, but I don’t think it was my logic that won them over. Judging by the female police officers’ giggling and the male police officers’ smiles I think my funny Turkish won me enough good will to get me in pen in hand.

No problem finding a seat inside as the very slim possibility of a cup victory together with the bitingly cold weather--not to mention the fact that most people are actually working at two in the afternoon-- kept most fans away. However by kick off time I estimate that we had around six hundred fans inside. I have to take my hat off to the Tokat fans. A couple hundred of them with a good number of drums appear to have either made the over 400 km journey to Ankara or are part of the sizeable Tokat community here. Either way, they were loud and friendly, and they got the good will flowing by screaming out “sari” (yellow) to which we responded “lacivert” (blue). Both fan groups also applauded each other as they sang anti-Israel chants. So as the game got under way everybody seemed to be in a good mood.

For about the first twenty minutes of the match I would say that Tokatspor looked just a bit better than we did and in the fifteenth minute looked like they had a goal when Samil, who had come up the left flank, cut into the penalty box and passed to Bulent who put it in the upper right hand corner. I didn’t see any flags, but Serkan Çınar, the ref, made his own flag with his arm and the goal was disallowed. Our first real attack came from Mehmet Yılmaz as he launched the ball from the top of the penalty box only to have it go over the crossbar. We had another really good chance about five minutes later when Metin and Duruer side by side brought the ball into the penalty box and shot only to have it deflected by the Tokatspor goalie Mehmet. Yilmaz managed to get possession of the ball while the goal was still open, but again shot high. About four minutes later it was Mert Erdogan’s turn to shoot, but goalie Mehmet handled it without much of a problem.

Up to this point there had been nothing but good will between the fans and the two teams, but after nearly half an hour of play, there was a scuffle involving German born Samil and it looked like Ege (who is also no giant). All the other players rushed in and in pretty “short” order things were once again relatively calm. But then a few minutes later Elyasa drew a yellow card for some pretty rough play. After that the remainder of the first half passed uneventfully.

The second half brought with it the wonderful news that Barbaros was off and Jaba was on. Jaba immediately began attacking but was getting tripped up a lot. He definitely needed some more support. And in the 71st minute he got it when Murat Erdogan came on to relieve Duruer. Even with this beefed up offense. It was Tokat who sent hearts into throats with a rocket of a shot from Sinan which slammed into the crossbar and ricocheted straight into the ground in front of the line. Serkan immediately grabbed it up and we in the stands all breathed a sigh of relief. After a couple of more failed attacks on our part, finally number 2, recently arrived Burak Ozsarac, emerged from amidst the melee in front of the goal and was able to head it in. Goal!!!

As the goal came in the 82nd minute, it was only a matter of holding on for another ten minutes or so. Tokatspor definitely did not roll over and concede defeat, they organized another two solid attacks, but in the end weren’t able to put it together. Nonetheless, I was very impressed by these guys from the land between the Black Sea and Inner Anatolia.

When they play Fenerbahce today at 13.30, I know who I will be going for. Hadi Tokat.

Thanks for your excellent in-depth (and humourous) report Damon. Looks like you have made it onto the world stage again !!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Gencler beat Feyenoord

Winter break time here in Turkey and so Gencler, having already been knocked out of the Turkish Cup, are kicking balls around down on the Mediterranean coast.

Yesterday they had some sort of friendly with the Dutch team Feyenoords, winning 3-0.

The goals came from Kahe in the 23rd, James Troisi in the 38th and Aussie Bruce in the 48th. New signing Mile Jedinak got a run and it was nice to see the Aussies amongst the goals again.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

We are still mourning the loss of Gokhan, but are resigned to it now, and having said that, we wish him (but NOT his new Club !!) success in the future.

Other departures announced recently include Tolga (destination unknown) and, interestingly, Cem Can to Gencler. No doubt Oz Kanka will have something to say about that ?! However, speaking personally, I doubt Cem Can will be missed. He has had ample time to convince me that he was the man to be our ‘midfield general’ but he never ‘grasped the nettle’ and rose to the challenge. How many times in my reports did I say he was ‘posted absent’ during a match ? Answers not necessary !

So, is there any good news for Ankaragucu’s long suffering fans ? Perhaps !

Well, for me, the fact that Erdogan, Jaba and Santos haven’t ‘jumped ship’ has to be a bonus !

It has been reported that Hakan Kutlu has returned as Team Coach after Mesut Bakkal failed to agree terms. I think we are all agreed that Hakan is still on a ‘learning curve’ as a Coach. However, as Ankaragucu’s longest serving player in recent history, you will not hear me being too critical of him. At least he will have Ankaragucu’s best interests at heart in the difficult months ahead, well …… at least until the Club AGM in March when his long term future with the Club will be decided.

Further transfer talk is that 30 years old Croatian International striker Balaban is poised to join Ankaragucu from Dynamo Zagreb. I will await confirmation of this before commenting further.

Two new signings from Trabzonspor which have been confirmed are –
Abdulaziz who is a right winger and who has been labelled ‘the new Gokhan’ by Hurriyet. That remains to be seen says I !
also, Hasan Ucuncu, a midfield player.

It is interesting to note that those 2 are coming from Trabzonspor. Usually the moves are in the opposite direction !!

No doubt the newcomers will play at some stage of the Cup match on Wednesday against 3rd Division Tokat. Still don’t know the KO time, but Maniac Kanka thinks it will be an afternoon KO. I will post it here as an edit when known.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim