Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fratinising with the enemy

A couple of weeks ago Flying Dutchman Kanka Carlo was stuck in the moral morass of whether he should actually talk to any Ankaraspor players when he spotted their bus in Belek, Antalya. He eventually got around it when he met Mr. Lentil, a Dutchman.

With Flying Dutchman having paved the way I thought it would be okay for me too to meet a player from a team that we all love to hate.

So when Darts Man Emin offered to set up a meeting for us to meet Australian international Harry Kewell, I really couldn't say no. So half of the Aussies in Ankara turned out... Patrick and Maighdlin, Aussie Visa go-to man Steven and his daughter Lucy, Emin and his Aussie brother Ergun and the head of the protokol section of 19 Mayis - Cetin - who organised the whole thing, oh and me.

Patrick, Maighdlin and Harry

Off to the Crown Plaza hotel, where the Galatasaray players are staying before their match Friday night against Hacetepe, where we walked passed a number of riot police and found Cetin.

Into the bar and time for a beer as we waited for Kewell to show up. Time for another beer and then another as Kewell had only just got in from training and was eating dinner upstairs.

Waiting, waiting, waiting but the man finally showed - he obviously eats his dinner a lot more slowly than Hasan Sas who was chatting with friends in the lobby bar for ages before Kewell showed up.

Awkward introductions followed and a few photos to send back to Australia and then who walks in on our little group, Aussie Bruce! Now I was feeling better, especially as Aussie Bruce remembered our last meeting.

Then it was on for the chit chat. I asked a few questions and the gist of it all is that Harry is really enjoying his time in Turkey, and in Istanbul.
Lucy and Harry.
"I just like getting to play, running around," Kewell said when asked if any one moment stood out for him this season.

He said it had been a difficult season for Galatasaray with many ups and downs and that he didn't really see any chance for the team to win the league.

As for who he would bet on to win the league.

"Sivas will get it. I reckon we will beat Besiktas and that will make it easy for Sivas to get it," Kewell said, much to the delight of us Anadolu takim supporters.

His wife and kids are living in the UK but this is an advantage according to Kewell.

"It means I can concentrate fully on football," he said, an answer which all the married men around the table understood only too well.

Cetin, Oz Kanka and Harry

So what does he hate about Turkey... well traffic obviously, but he also spoke about the major difference between playing here and in the UK.

"I can't just go down the street here. The worst invention was putting cameras into mobile phones. In England people sort of leave you alone," Kewell said, as a 10 year-old-kid hovered nearby seeking an autograph.

Patrick then asked "What's it like being Australia's best footballer?" A nervous laugh from Kewell before he answered in what can only be considered a very modest response.

"It is an honour that some people may think like that. I just try to do my best."

As for Australia's chances to get into the World Cup: "We just need one point from three games, two at home, one away. We've got it."

All up an enjoyable evening. Kewell came across as someone extremely relaxed and very happy to be playing in Turkey. I wish him well for the future (except for when he plays against Genclerbirligi).

Patrick and Galatasaray coach Bulent Korkmaz.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

I make no apologies for returning to 'my pet subject' - Youth Academy Football. Here he goes again I can hear you say, but bear with me for a minute or two and hear me out.

Let's face it, most footie clubs can't afford to go into the transfer market willy-nilly like Barca and ManYoo and sign up world class players like Messi and Ronaldo.

So, for clubs like Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi, it usually comes down to signing 'cast offs' or, in the case of Hibernian FC, having a successful Youth Academy.

Yes, I know what you are all saying now ..... but, the successful players will ultimately join the 'big clubs'. True. But, at least the clubs which do have a successful Youth Academy will have the benefit of the academy players services for a few seasons, and, more importantly, encourage younger boys to aspire to a footie career if the facilities are in place.

So it is at Hibs, especially now with their new world class training facility. However, even before this facility was opened last year, the Club was always in the forefront of youth development.

The other point to bear in mind is that Hibs new training facility impresses the hell out of fathers when it comes down to signing their boys up on the dotted line !

Last season the Hibs Under 19s team were a close 2nd to Rangers in the Under 19 League. However, this season it is a a different story with the Hibs Under 19s team bringing the League Trophy out of Glasgow for the first time since the Under 19s League was inaugurated many moons ago. The Hibs team is also in the Scottish FA Under 19s Cup Final tonight against Rangers - the result will be posted in the comments section when known.

Here is a piece nicked from the Hibs website .....

Hibernian Under 19s clinched the Clydesdale Bank Premier Youth League title in the most dramatic manner possible at Fir Park this afternoon. Kurtis Byrne’s last minute winner gave Hibernian the three points they needed to clinch the title – in the last minute of the last game. The win leaves Rangers and Hearts chasing the runners-up slot while Hibernian are now on track for a double with the SFA Cup Final coming up on Wednesday at Hampden Park.

It doesn't take an Einstyein to figure out that this Youth Academy system works for clubs which don't have a cash free-flow, and it's my guess that Hibs will be receiving lots of requests during the summer from footie coaches around Europe to come to Edinburgh and study their system. Ankaragucu and Gencler are you listening ???!!!

I should also mention (again) that 7 of the present under 19 squad will join the 1st Team set-up next season. So, perhaps, the proof of the pudding is in the eating ??!!

All the best from Wise (but boring !!) Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gencler play like crap, but we'll take the three points

Report coming up soon. But in the meantime watch me and Little Oz Kanka celebrating... (yes I was drunk).

By the way, this is the one thousandth post for the Round ball in Ankara!

And now for the report
How many times have I written that Gencler have played well only to lose. Well, today we played like a bunch of goats but still somehow managed to win.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 0 Gaziantepspor

What a wonderful day. Sunny, warm... a perfect spring day when Little Oz Kanka and myself headed off to the Chopin. I got to the bar, ordered a beer for myself and a cola for Little Oz Kanka and then left the little fellow as I went off to Burger king to get him a hamburger... The next part I have to rely on my 5 year-old son to describe.

"Some people came to the bar and looked at me. They then went inside and came back out and sat next to me. I just wanted my hamburger."

I came back to find that Steve, his good wife Ann Marie and their sons Liam and Ciaran were sitting next to a slightly worried looking Little Oz Kanka. Eh, he didn't care because I had a hamburger for him.

Chatting away in the sun when Spine showed up and not long later Orcan and his mate and then Wolfgang.

Then it became cold. All it took was a little bit of wind and the clouds to turn our lovely spring day into something ... er... cold.

I had to give my coat to Little Oz Kanka, who looked pretty cool in a jacket about 20 sizes too big for him and after a few more beers we headed off to the stadium.

I was feeling quite smart after we outwitted the cops by putting all of our coins, lighters etc into Little Oz Kanka's bag only for Little Oz Kanka to start complaining that as we got our stuff in to the stadium why couldn't he bring in the really cool stone he had found in the garden bed at the Chopin. You can never win!

Match on... and well... crap.

This was possibly the worse I've seen Gencler for a long, long time. Passes... to no one, shots... none.

It was real dire stuff. Admittedly Gaziantep weren't much better, but this was a performance that would have had the Under 14s shaking their heads in shame. We didn't have a single shot on goal for the entire first half!

Bloody pathetic.

Then something weird happened. People in the crowd at half-time started handing out red and black balloons (much to Little Oz Kanka's joy). These plastic things somehow got the crowd going and for the second half us Gencler fans started to sing as loud as we could. It was the first time since we played Blackburn in the Uefa Cup back in ... er 2003 I think, that we actually managed to get a chant going around the stadium.

Quite amazing really. The football was still crap though.

Then Troisi got the ball in midfield, inside the opposition half. He sent it out to the right to Mehmet Nas who then sent it in. Kahe, who had done bugger all for most of the match then managed to get it past the Antep keeper.

It was our first shot on goal. It was also our last shot on goal.

Hearts in mouths towards the end as Antep sent quite a few wide, and also had a few corners.... but in the end the referee blew it up and we got the three points. Pure relief. Back to the Chopin with Spine, Rebecca and Jenna (who had joined up with us at the stadium) and a couple of celebratory beers (Fanta for Little Oz Kanka).

That was one lucky day.

PS: Little Oz Kanka says that we are not allowed to tell his mummy (who is away at the moment) that he had a hamburger, chips and a cola before the match, then a fanta and chips after the match, but you are allowed to point out that he ate a banana at the match.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

When was the last time Ankaragucu returned from Kadikoy with a 3 points ? Mmmmm ….. that’s a difficult one to answer off the top of my head, but probably in the good old days of Ersun Yanal in 2000/2001. I vaguely recall writing a post on statistics a few years ago when I mentioned that Ankaragucu beat The Big Four in the same season around that time.

Fenerbahce 1 ANKARAGUCU 2

However, in all honesty I would have settled for a point pre-match, notwithstanding Hikmet Bey’s quote in The Hurriyet on Friday that he was going to Istanbul for 3 points !

I often ponder what might have been this season if Ankaragucu had started the season with Boozy and Santos alongside El Yasa and Ilkem. I live in hope that they will stay at the Club next season so that Hikmet Bey can build a team with those four and Serkan as the foundation of the side.

Back to last night, and I arrived at The Chopin Bar followed soon after by Yankee Kanka, Rip Off Kanka Erman and Kaleci Kanka Tansu. There were a few Ankaragucu present but next door in the Beer Bus it was full-on with Ankaragucu fanatics.

We had fun with them during the match singing Ankaragucu songs back and forward to each other. In fact, just like being in the Stadium !

Ankaragucu came out of the starting blocks like an Olympic sprinter. They had Fener on the back foot with some great attacking moves, and the first goal was a stunner after only 4 minutes of play.

A great through ball to Iglesias who showed great anticipation with a well timed run to leave his marker in his wake. The pass from Semavi was perfect and Iglesias stroked the ball under the despairing dive of Babacan.

Cue ….. leap to our feet and high fives all round ! What a start.

It was still all Ankaragucu after 10 minutes when a great goal bound header from Mehmet was cleared off the line by Roberto Carlos.

Fener had weathered the storm for 10 minutes and started to come into the match more and Serkan saved our blushes with a great save when he was one-on-one with Guisa.

Still it was Ankaragucu who looked the more likely to score as half time beckoned. However, Boozy, Santos and El Yasa were being kept busy at the other end and dealing comfortably with all that Fener threw at them.

Half time and Connect Kanka Steve joined us having just arrived back from Istanbul at ASTI in time to make the 2nd half. Also, appearing at half time was Rebecca and her friend Gemma. Incidentally, Gemma’s husband is a Fener supporter and I wonder if he knows that his wife is now an Ankaragucu fanatic ??!!

The 2nd half was no different with Ankaragucu still on attacking mode and chasing every ball. I’ve got to praise Hikmet Bey again for doubling their workrate and motivation – this was the Ankaragucu of old !

Half way through the 2nd half it was Jaba who did the damage. Having replaced the injured De Negris at half time he was causing all sorts of problems for Fener’s back line.

Jaba latched on to a ball on the left wing and brought it into the penalty box. A defender came in for the tackle which Jaba avoided and was through on goal but was then unceremoniously hauled down from behind. Penalty ! No question about it.

Jaba took it (Iglesias was hiding after last week’s abomination !!) . Whack ! Babacan had no chance and …………. 2-0 ! Cue …… up the volume and more high fives yessssss !

Still the tempo didn’t let up and Ankaragucu continued to go forward. However, the defence was caught out for the one and only time in the match when Deivid scored with 10 minutes remaining. A goal against the run of play, but a warning call, as if one was needed.

Ankaragucu easily played out the match and were still attacking when the final whistle brought the match to an end.

What a glorious sight to see our ‘old boy’ Gokhan with his head in his hands. I wonder if he was contemplating a return to Ankaragucu ??!!

So, with Istanbul BBS losing to Hacettepe yesterday, it means that Ankaragucu climbed out of the bottom three for the first time in a good few weeks.

A great team performance with every player involved. A great attacking display and hopefully it will be repeated next weekend at home to Ankaraspor.

All the best from an upbeat Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Good news from Saturday afternoon's match

Hacetepe have just beaten Istanbul BBS 2-1 in what is a great help to Genclerbirligi and Ankaragucu as we fight to stay in the league. Apparently it was a 90th minute goal that sealed it.

With that, no matter what happens this week neither Gucu nor Gencler will be in the bottom three by the end of the weekend.

It also keeps Hacetepe's tiniest of tiny hopes of staying in the top flight alive. Hacepete not only have to win their next four games but have to rely on various others losing as well as a comet hitting Antalya and/or Istanbul in order to stay up.

Good luck to 'em.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

ANKARAGUCU 3 Eskisehir 2

A pulsating match with 5 goals and a missed penalty. Who could ask for anything else ?

Well, we could ! Nerve ends were jangling near the end, especially as it was Ankaragucu who missed the penalty !

However, it started out sedately with The Lone Ranger, ie, ME ……. in the Chopin with Battle Damaged Kanka Damon arriving late. By the way, extra points today for Damon in the Best Dressed Kanka Competition for his Italian Silk White Shirt. Those trousers were not Chinos either ……. Oh no …….. top of the range from Vakko me thinks !

Off to the Stadium and we paid the ticket touts for our Maraton Tickets (10 YTL for 2 YTL tickets) …….. we took one look at the queue outside the white box and had no hesitation ! As it turned out, it was a good decision. The Stadium was bursting at the seams, and even the Eski’s City area was full.

Lots of singing and dancing and who would have believed pre-match that this was a MUST WIN match !

Yankee Kanka and Rip Off Kanka Erman joned us and then we kicked off into the Gecikondu end.

Fairly even for the first 10 minutes and then …… surprise surprise …. Jaba won a header out on the right. Semavi, following up, crossed and there was Barbaros running in to steer it into the right hand corner with the Eskisehir ‘Giant’ goalkeeper well beaten. Damon re-named him The Giraffe ! He is probably 20 feet tall …… well, OK, at least 6 feet 7 inches !

What a start. Could we continue like we did against Kocaelispor ? Ahem ….. not quite !

The match ebbed and flowed, but everything that Eskisehir threw at Ankaragucu was being well dealt with by my Man of the Match, Boozy. Serkan and El Yasa also put in good shifts but the normally reliable Santos was having an indifferent first half. In fairness, he did buck up in the 2nd half.

The Ankaragucu players were obviously under orders from Hikmet Bey to give their all, and all credit to them for their efforts. I haven’t mentioned Ilkem before in my reports but he was an example of the never-say-die spirit in the team today.

So, guess who decided to visit the ‘boys room’ just before half time ? No prizes for correct guess ! Just as I returned on the half time whistle, a corner for Eskisehir, and following a goal mouth melee, El-Yasa conceded an own goal equaliser. Battle Damaged Kanka saw it, but it wasn’t clear at the time who got the final touch.

Half way through the second half I was thinking …..were we going to settle for a draw ? Then the unthinkable happened. A fast move out of defence by Eskisehir and … boom ……. stunned silence and disbelief ! We were 1-2 down.

Not for long though. Straight from the kick off, Ankaragucu attacked down the left wing. The ball was crossed for Mehmet who did a mini juggling trick with the ball as he transferred it from his left foot to his right, and …… whack …. in it went.

End of silence and up the volume again. By the way, the Stadium was full. The fans were even having to sit in the stairways in Maraton !

A few minutes later and the ball was swung in from the right by Semavi to the far post. In comes Inglasias to head a great goal and send the tribunes into raptures. He was so excited at scoring only his 2nd goal for Ankaragucu that he took his shirt off and received a yellow card. Not that he was worried about it !

Only 5 or 6 minutes left now and could we hold out ? You could feel the nervous tension around the Stadium !

Then, another Semavi breakaway down the right which took him into the penalty box, and just as he was about to cross, his shirt was pulled by a defender and down he went.

Penalty !

First the red card and then Inglasias stepped up to make it 4. Wrong ! It went screaming over the bar at about 5,000 feet …… well, maybe not, but it was bloody well too high !

What a shitter. He was pulled back into to defence and the last 5 or so minutes were spent defending desperately to protect the 3 points.

Final whistle and most of the Ankaragucu players hit the ground in exhaustion (or was it relief ?) while we were singing and dancing !

The lap of honour included a gymnastic display from Jaba and we then headed back to the Chopin to celebrate, where we were joined by Kaleci Kanka Tansu.

Still a long way to go before we can truly believe that we are safe. First, we have to negotiate the away match against Fener next Saturday. However, as Battle Damaged said, ……… if Ankaraspor can beat them ………. so can we !!

All the best from a ‘relieved’ Eski Kanka Jim

PS…… We will be watching the match next Saturday night in the Chopin Bar. KO 8pm.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

At the head of the Conga-line

Trabzonspor 2 - 0 Genclerbirligi

Well that was a strange night.

Spine, French Kanka Hande and a newcomer to Turkey, Kiwi Kanka Greer picked me up and we taxied off to Kizilay to join a group of around 20 Gencler fans at the Beer Bus bar.

Spine, Oz Kanka, French Kanka and Kiwi Kanka at the Beer Bus

Beers and stuff and the footy was on.

This was third versus 14th (or wherever we are) and I wasn't expecting much. So I was pleasantly surprised that we came out looking for the win. Trabzon were pressing us constantly, giving us no time on the ball but at times we looked good.

Troisi had one great chance snuffed out by the Trabzon keeper who just managed to get a finger on the ball. If the keeper had failed Troisi would have had an open goal in front of him. Troisi had another shot come off the bar. Frustrating stuff.

Our midfield was a bit slow and passes weren't always going to the right player, but much of this was due to the Trabzon tactics of full-on pressure.

In the end it was a piece of individual brilliance from Yattara which sunk us. The man got through two or three of our players and sent off a 20 yard shot which was unstoppable.

At about this time Kiwi Kanka Greer moved from beer to wine. Why? She had just had her first experience of a Turkish squat toilet and had decided she didn't want to fill her bladder again.

As we all laughed at the newbie it was pressing on for full-time and Gencler went on looking for the draw. It was attack after attack but somehow or other we never scored.

Then in the last moments of extra time Trabzon sucker punched us.

Full-time and amazingly the bill for 20-odd people didn't descend into an argument over who didn't eat any chips and we headed off for a bar/disco across the way. It was a great bar playing all sorts of weird old/new Turkish pop. Us four certainly felt very old amongst all the 20-somethings but luckily the alcohol had kicked in and at one stage I even found myself at the head of a Conga-line of Gencler supporters.

Post match beers

Birthday girl Berna framed by Orcan's hand.

Back to Spine's place for a couple more beers, Greer fell asleep and I finally did something sensible on the evening and escorted our new Kiwi friend back to her place. With Greer safely home I jumped into a taxi and got back to my place to discover the time was 3 a.m.

A bad result footy-wise, but a fun night nonetheless. I'll post some photos as soon as I get over to Spine's place to get my forgotten camera. EDIT: DONE

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Another 'kodak moment' and another opportunity to see the new kankas, but this time with their proud mother and father, Kirkaldy Kanka Martyn and Sinead.

The boy looking lovingly at his father and mother is obviously Genc Kanka (he has Uncle Eski's pleasant demeanour !!!). The other boy is obviously Little Maniac Kankas who seems to be looking for his Uncle Maniac Kanka Harun !!!

Footnote ...... time for Martyn to show and example to his boys and buy some razor blades me thinks !!!
Hey you two, ......... great photos ...... keep 'em comin !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

The bad news this morning (as if we didn't need any more !!) is that Ceyhun is OUT injured for about 2 weeks.

So, he will definitely miss the Eskisehir match and possibly the Fener match the following week.

This is all we need !

Hikmet Bey now has 5 days to come up with a Plan B, because the THREE points MUST be won on Sunday one way or another.

Time to get down on our knees and pray me thinks ??!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Genclerbirligi v Konya

Wonderful sunny weather here in Ankara and I can't go to the footy. Damn my luck. I'll be here at around 1:30 pm to listen to the radio.

1:34 pm I'm slightly late (yet again) and the match has kicked off. Seems as if Aussie Bruce is injured. The rest of the team is pretty much as usual.

1:40 pm It's all Gencler but we can't get good shots off.

1:45 pm Two other matches are being played at the same time. Eskisehir 0 - 0 Ankaraspor and Kayseri 1 - 0 Denizli.

1:45 pm Argh. Kahe has a go. Off the post and out. Unlucky.

1:49 pm Konya have their first real chance but it goes out.

1:48 pm Last year we won this match 6-1. We want a repeat.

1:51 pm Jedinak sends a lovely ball through to Troisi, he lines up, and the flag goes up. Offside.

1:53 pm Troisi has a go this time and again it hits the post.

2:07 pm Koray sends one in from the right. Soner fails to get his head to it. It's all Gencler but Konya have a million men behind the ball.

2:12 pm Silly mistakes creeping in. We seem to be losing the ball way too easy.

2:14 pm Counter-attack from Gencler. Kahe is at the end of it and misses. By the way. Kahe hasn't scored since November (or something like that).

2:15 pm A yellow graphic for a Konya player. Seems as if I missed the first yellow of the match which went to Koray in the third minute. A minute or two left in the first half.

2:18 pm Peep peep. Half-time. All Gencler but no goals.

Genclerbirligi 0 - 0 Konyaspor
Eskisehir 1 - 0 Ankaraspor
Kayseri 1 - 0 Denizli

2:36 pm And we are off again. Will Konya sit back for the rest of the match? Probably. I just hope we go for it. No changes as far as I can tell.

2:37 pm I was wrong (no surprises there) Soner, off, Mehmet Nas on. An attacking move by coach Samet Aybaba me thinks.

2:39 pm Troisi through a couple, pass to Kahe, then Cem Can buggers it up. Commentator says the play is exactly the same as the first half, us on the attack, Konya sitting back.

2:42 pm I'm listening to this on the net. So why did they just give an advertisement saying that you can listen to the match on the net?

2:46 pm Troisi to Nas, Nas to Troisi. Shot and out.

2:47 pm Momha sends it in. Sent out for a corner. And then Mustafa Pektemek gets his head to it and out by "this" much.

2:48 pm Kahe Kahe Kahe GOOOOOOLLLLL

2:50 pm Troisi goes through a few, is fouled and a konya player gets a card. Konya makes a second change... Konya are surely going to go on the attack.

2:53 pm Jedinak to take the free kick... He has a chance here. Nope, Kahe takes it ... out. Wasted.

2:55 pm Kahe to Troisi. He has a chance, but somehow sort of loses control. No real shot.

2:56 pm We are really going for the second. This of course makes it more difficult for me to understand as the commentator speeds up whenever an attack is on, and I can hardly understand him.

2:58 pm Kahe gets a yellow for falling over in the box.

3:01 pm Kahe heads one over, then goes and complains to Mustafa Pektemek for not serving it to him on a platter. Konya meanwhile make their third change.

3:08 pm Counter-attack, through a few players and Pektemek fails to get much power on his shot.

3:09 pm Kahe again hits the post. That's the third ball to hit the post this match. They couldn't repeat it if they tried.

3:10 pm And now Konya hit the post.

3:11 pm Another great attack which ends with their keeper saving a shot from Troisi.

3:14 pm Pektemek off, Burhan Eser on.

3:19 pm We are still attacking but the tempo seems to have slowed down with just a few minutes left.

3:20 pm Burhan has a go, keeper send it out for a corner. We are to have 3 minutes of extra time.

3:22 pm We are wasting time. Troisi off, Mehmet Polat. Troisi has had a good, if unlucky game.

3:24 pm And that's it. Relief relief relief. We still aren't totally safe from the drop but are now five points above third-last. Enough? We need a couple more points from somewhere. Fingers crossed. Afternoon all.


Genclerbirligi 1 - 0 Konyaspor
Eskisehir 2 - 0 Ankaraspor
Kayseri 2 - 0 Denizli


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

A great weekend was only spoiled by the result.

No denying the best team won, but our post match ‘activities’ would have been even more enjoyable had we been able to celebrate with a much needed win. Bursa certainly proved that their 6th place in the League is no fluke and that UEFA Cup qualification could be on for them.

Bursaspor 2 ANKARAGUCU 0

Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Phillie Kanka Jamie, Connect Kanka Steve and I met in The Platin Pub on Friday night and we also met up with Maniac Kanka Harun and Yankee Kanka, but only FIVE of us were scheduled to make the journey to Bursa.

Then, surprise surprise, shock horror, Maniac Kanka jumps into the taxi with us and off we went to ASTI (the Bus Station) to catch the midnight express to Bursa.

We arrived in Bursa Bus Station at 5.30am just as the sun was coming up behind the mountains. Time for tea and borek (cheese pie) before heading into the city.

We took a gentle walk around the city admiring the sights and then Maniac Kanka came up with one of his brilliant ideas. Why don’t we walk up the winding road to the top of the city and take a ride on the ski lift ? Great idea, well ……. until we were half way up and still climbing, slightly out of breath – apart from me that is !

Eventually, we reached the top after over an hour on the hoof (Mountaineering Kanka Robbie would have been proud of us !), and ……….. no prizes for guessing the outcome.

It was bloody well closed wasn’t it !!

A few choice adjectives were directed at Maniac Kanka, but he saved himself from physical harm by buying the bus tickets for the journey back down again !

We headed into Ataturk Park, near the Stadium, for breakfast, washed down with some luvvlie Efes at 1030 am. A world record for the kankas perhaps ??

We then went to the Stadium one and a half hours early to savour the atmosphere and were lucky enough to see the Ankaragucu Team Bus arrive and give the players a warm welcome.

The Stadium is in a great location. With the huge Ataturk Park outside, and surrounded by mountains, it certainly is well positioned in this beautiful city. Slightly smaller than the Ankara 19 Mayis Stadium, it has a capacity of about 20,000.

As usual with these two ‘brother teams’ we were mostly all mixed together, and as the crowd built-up to full capacity, there was a ‘family atmosphere’ in the Stadium.

However, the most amazing aspect of the whole thing was the Bursa tribunes singing Ankaragucu chants and vice versa. Also, both teams were called to opposite tribunes to be applauded – even Bursa’s notorious Texas tribune responded. I defy anyone to tell me where in the world this happens !!

Things were pretty much evenly matched in the first 10 minutes or so until our midfield general, Ceyhun, had to leave the field injured. Metin replaced him, but with De Negris suspended, this left Jaba up front on his own, supported from midfield by the diminutive Semavi and the ineffective Murat Duruer. Also, Semavi came in for some crunching tackles from ‘old boy’ Kirita during the match.

Cue for Bursa to take control, which they did, and only 5 Star performances from Serkan, Santos and Boozy allowed us to go in at half time all square. To be fair, Metin and Semavi had long range efforts which brought out great saves from Ivankov and on another day they might have ended in the back of the net.

The second half was still all Bursa, but at least Ankaragucu were trying at attack to break the deadlock. At this stage, I would have been happy to take a point !

However, I suppose justice was done in the end. 20 minutes to go, and Bursa finally sussed out the Ankaragucu ‘achilles heel’. With El-Yasa absent from his usual left full back position, Bursa started to concentrate their attacks down the right wing.

From a flowing Bursa move, the ball was taken to the right wing goal line by the speedy Volkan Sen and cut back for the inrushing Sercan to slot it in with the defence nowhere and Serkan given no chance.

10 minutes later a carbon copy move saw an identical 2nd goal with the players in opposite positions and Sercan getting final touch this time. Both goals straight out of the training manual and a defender’s nightmare to deal with.

Game over, and more relegation woes for Ankaragucu in the run in. Only 7 matches left now to avoid the unthinkable – The Big Drop !

Back to Ataturk Park then to drown our sorrows, then back to the city centre to find a pub for pre-dinner drinks.

Then came the highlight of the evening. A genuine Iskender Kebab in the original restaurant in Unlu Sokak which gave its name to this delicious Turkish culinary delight.

Time to head the six exhausted bodies back to the Bus Station for the return journey. It was a bleary eyed 6 kankas who arrived back in Ankara at 5.30 am this morning !

Our opinion of Bursa-the-City and the weekend (apart from the footie) ? Brilliant !!

The future of Ankaragucu now rests in their own hands. Only a win next weekend (probably Sunday – details later) against Eskisehirspor will offer hope in what is undoubtedly a difficult run in. Let’s hope Ceyhun’s injury is not serious and that De Negris also returns to the line up !

PS ....... Thanks to Oz Kanka for posting the score prior to the report.

PPS ……. Some photos of the trip to Bursa will follow soon. (EDIT - done)

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bursa v Ankaragucu

Just a short note to say a few of the Kankas have gone off to Bursa for Ankaragucu's away match and therefore we probably won't have a report on the match until Sunday at the earliest.

Score-wise, not so good with Ankaragucu going down 0-2.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Flying Dutchman and Mr. Lentil

Flying Dutchman Kanka reports:

Long weekend away in Bellek, Antalya to meet-up with the parents. Waiting outside the gate of our hotel for the mini-bus service to the centre of Bellek, the Ankara Spor players bus comes zooming past. Bellek having besides golf courses many football training grounds, I immediately thought the Ankaraspor team must have been on a training weekend. Especially since there was no league games that weekend due to the 'Milli takım' having to play Spain in WC2010 qualifier match. The bus disappearing at the end of the road I didn't think much more about it, until we arrived in Bellek.

There at the end of the main street was, you guessed it, the same Ankaraspor bus. So we walked up to it and Saadet and my parents started saying how we should go over and have a talk with the players. In spite of my best efforts to tell them they are the 'wrong' team to support in Ankara, even more so as this was on a Friday leading up to the Sunday elections where Melih Gökçek was running as the AKP candidate, they started to walk towards the bus. Chance had it of course that residents of Bellek were just in preparation to form a "motorcade" for the local elect of the AK Parti :-|

At the bus, we found it to be empty except for the driver; thus Saadet asked where the players were. He answered they had stopped in Bellek to accommodate the players for Friday's prayers and that they were in the mosque. So the parents insisted that Saadet and I had our picture taken with the players bus instead. I am still protesting at this stage whilst the first football players started to return from the mosque to the bus. One of them Baki Mercimek stood outside the bus and asked us where we are from… in Dutch! So we start conversation and find out he was born in Amsterdam and was playing football in his youth with Ajax and he is a former Gençlerbirliği player. Finally, I thought, I can start to justify these pictures on my return to Ankara. Seriously I could not possibly have shown these pictures to my fellow Gençlerbirliği friends back in the capital otherwise.

The other players in the bus now peeked with interest asked Baki Mercimek what is going on, he explains whilst I reached for my wallet and pulled out my Gençlerbirliği season ticket to show the rest of the players. They quickly turned their heads and went back into the bus. Too bad I didn't have my Gençler scarf with me but then again we were in Bellek to soak up some sun thus the scarf had been left at home in Ankara.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Curiosity killed the cat they say !

Well, Mountaineering Kanka Robbie's comments in the previous post got me to thinking. Why wait for the summer to look into my crystal ball ! So, I did it tonight.

He is, as always, absolutely right. Ankaragucu beat Diyarbakirspor 5-1 in a league match on 5 February 2006.

However, there was another match in 2006 in which Ankaragucu won 4-1 against Kayseri Erciyes, but I can't remember if it was league or cup. It was on 29 October.

I reckon this is a task for Battle Damaged Kanka Damon to put his investigative talents to good use and ascertain the answer. Let's have it BD !!!

Anyway, let's hope it's not another THREE years before we can register four or more in a league match !

Roll on Friday and the odyssey to Bursa to pick up another three points with Hikmet Karaman's new team of 'attackers' !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

OK, so it was all singing and dancing today for a change, but we are not out of the ‘soapy bubble’ yet !!

ANKARAGUCU 4 Kocaelispor 0

So, when was the last time Ankaragucu scored 4 goals in a league match I can hear you ask ? My answer is, don’t ask ! That will be a difficult project for the summer months when I can look into my crystal ball !

It was just like a summer day (in April ?) when we met in the Chopin Bar.

It was, I have to confess, the ‘downbeat crew’ after so many recent disappointments. Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Philly Kanka Jamie, Connect Kanka Steve and yours truly, mulling over the consequences of defeat, and whether a trip to Bursa next week was a viable proposition. Only Jamie was talking up optimism !

Into the Stadium then and ………. what a turn-out. It was totally full in all tribunes. Even the Kocaeli end was full and making their presence felt before and during the match. A great atmosphere !

Ankaragucu started with an offensive line-up with Ceyhun starting his first full match of the season, and it was from him that we saw Hikmet Karaman’s tactics, ie, attack !!!

Ceyhun hit the post in the first minute with a great shot which had the Kocaeli goalkeeper beaten.

Five minutes later and a free kick from Jaba but this time the goalkeeper was equal to it and turned it over the bar.

It was all Ankaragucu, and in all honesty, I was really believing that a goal would come, even after our recent bad luck.

With Kocaeli defending desperately, another free kick was awarded outside the penalty box and this time Jaba made no mistake. Into the top left hand corner it went and we were celebrating after 10 minutes. Joy ! When was the last time that happened ? Don’t ask me !!

It was still all Ankaragucu. Not just passion, but playing football the way Hibernian do it in Edinburgh (forgive me for that one !!!). 10 minutes later, another attack down the right, an inch perfect cross from Ceyhun and there was Jaba running in to slot it in for No 2. Yessssss.

More pressure until half time but no more goals. Amazing stuff.

The 2nd half got under way and Kocaeli went into an attacking mode and put Ankaragucu under pressure for the first 10 minutes, but everything they threw at the Ankaragucu defence was dealt with comfortably by Serkan in goal, Santos and Boozy sweeping up.

Ankaragucu took control again and it was inevitable that the 3rd goal would come, and so it did.

A free kick on the right just outside the penalty area which was swung over and Boozy, towering over everyone, headed in for what is probably his first goal for the Club. Tribunes…… volume up … and commence the Mexican Wave. Let’s enjoy it I said, it doesn’t happen very often !!

All credit to Kocaeli for their efforts, but it was never going to reap success on a day when Ankaragucu was playing like this.

Into time added-on, and with all the substitutes on, it was left to Inglasias to bundle in the 4th goal after good work from Murat Duruer who had also come on as a substitute.

Final whistle, and ………… cue ……. celebrations. Lap of honour from the players, Jaba throwing his shirt into the crowd, Ceyhun with his two children, Barbaros doing his Amigo act again ………. heady stuff !

Back to the Chopin for more celebrations where we were joined by Oz Kanka Chris, Mini Oz Kanka Matthew in his Ankaragucu shirt, Kaleci Kanka Tansu and Rip Off Kanka Erman.

However, with Istanbul BBS taking a point in Trabzon, it is still not clear in the relegation zone which two teams are going down with Hacettepe. Still some tense weeks ahead me thinks !

Praise today for my ‘Man of the Match’ Ceyhun who controlled everything in midfield and was a true inspiration. Also, a mention for two goals Jaba, Santos and Boozy.

So to next week, and the trip to Bursa (5 hours by bus from Ankara). We will definitely be going on Friday night and returning Saturday night. Those committed so far, are Damon, Steve, Jamie and yours truly. Probables ….. Tansu and Erman. Contact Damon or me if you would like to come.

Bursa is another challenging ‘must win’ match, but if Hikmet Bey can inspire the team to play like they did today, who knows what miracle can happen !

To be honest, I haven’t see Ankaragucu play like this since the days when Ersun Yanal was our coach. Therefore, Hikmet Karaman must take some credit for motivating the players. Now all we have to do is …. keep it going. We can’t rely on the other teams in the bottom 9 to screw-up !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

PS ………… Get well soon wishes from us all to Maniac Kanka Harun who was ill and confined to bed today.

Antalayaspor v Gencler

I'm late:
10 minutes in and Pektemek scores. Just as soon as I got home. Antalya 0 - 1 Genclerbirligi.

1:46 pm: I missed the first 10 minutes as I was out trying to teach Little Oz Kanka how to swim. As soon as I got Lig Radyo on the interwebs, Pektemek had the ball and scored. Perfect timing.

1:49 pm Sounds like one hell of a match... going one way and the other. For those Aussies who come to the blog for their updates on the Gencler's Aussie three, good news as all three are on the pitch.

1:54 pm And in news from the 19 Mayis Stadium, Ankaragucu have finally decided to play some football and are 2-0 up against Kocaelispor.

1:56 pm A yellow for an Antalyaspor player. Free kick coming up. Nothing happens.

1:59 pm Ohh. Antalya go down the right, Bojan sends in out for a corner. A player falls down in the box. Referee waves play on. Phew.

2:03 pm Aussie Bruce as a go, but the Antalya defence cuts it out.

2:09 pm The crowd is certainly behind Antalya. Apparently there are a total of 13 Gencler fans at the match, which is 12 more than the time I went to our last away match to Antalyaspor. Check out that fun story here

2:09 pm The crowd starts up the anti-ref charts as an Antalya player gets a direct red. Antalya down to 10 men for the last 51 minutes.

2:12 pm The card doesn't seem to have stopped Antalya as they have another shot. Out.

2:13 Bloody hell. 10-men Antalya score just before the half-time break. Fatih Ceylan got into a one-on-one with Bojan and he smashed it into the back of the net. Antalya 1 - 1 Genclerbirligi

Half-time Antalyaspor 1 - 1 Genclerbirligi Very difficult to say what is going on down in Antalya. Jedinak has had a quiet match, as has Aussie Bruce. Pektemek and Momha sound like our best. My guess is that Antalya will sit back now and try and go for a draw. If we decide to go for it this could be an exciting second half. If we don't bother I might head back to the swimming pool. In the other match Ankaragucu are still 2-0 ahead with a minute or so left in the first half. Back soon.

2:28 pm I'm cooking up some bacon and eggs. Yummy yummy. Hopefully it won't distract me too much. I was going to cook them up after the match but I reckon the Chopin Bar after the Ankaragucu match might be a fun place to be.

2:40 pm Aussie Bruce is taken off. He has had a quiet match. Burhan on. bacon and eggs delicious.

2:41 pm Yellow graphic for Pektemek.

2:42 pm As predicted, Antalya are sitting back. We are attacking. Nice stuff. A corner for us and... defence clears.

2:44 pm What the hell. Antalya go ahead on a counter-attack after that corner. Antalyaspor 2 - 1 Genclerbirligi. Dear oh dear.


2:48 pm God knows what happened there but Pektemek has got a second. Seems like a big mistake from the Antalya keeper who failed to get off his line. Antalyaspor 2 - 2 Genclerbirligi

2:50 pm And Antalya miss a great chance. This is quite a wild match.

2:52 pm Mehmet Nas off, Kahe on.

2:55 pm Bojan just manages to send the ball out for a corner. My God, last 20 minutes they are a man down and still they are threatening us. What the hell is going on?

3:00 pm Troisi goes through a few, shoots, ball comes off the post. Damn. Ankaragucu are still 2-0 up over Kocaelispor.

3:02 pm Penalty to Antalya....

3:03 pm And they score. Antalyaspor 3 - 2 Genclerbirligi

3:04 pm And still Antalya are attacking. This is embarrassing.

3:12 pm Gencler pushing hard for the equaliser. Just a few minutes left. Ankaragucu are 3-0 up.

3:13 pm This is pathetic. Antalyaspor 4 - 2 Genclerbirligi

3:22 pm Match over. We managed to concede four goals to a team which started the match with just one striker and had a man sent off after about 39 minutes. Hopeless, hopeless, hopeless. A certainly more upbeat report will be coming through from Eski Kanka Jim who is on this way to the Chopin Bar as I write this to celebrate Ankaragucu's victory.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

After my last post, and to keep the Blog on a happy note, I thought you might like to hear a joke sent to me by Baggie Kanka Dave. Some of you newcomers will not remember him, but he was a regular at Ankaragucu matches a few years ago with his lovely wife and I was almost convinced that he loved Ankaragucu more than his beloved West Bromwich Albion ?!

I have not given up hope of seeing them back here on a visit to see Ankaragucu still in the Super League in their Centenery Year !!!

Here it is ..............

Richard Branson was very interested in buying West Bromwich Albion but pulled out at the last minute as he did not want Virgin on the front of the shirt of a team that gets fucked every week. Keep praying Jim

Nice one Dave. Keep 'em coming. We need cheering up here in Ankara !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

After all the doom, gloom and despondency of recent weeks it my pleasure to report some good news !

As reported a few months ago, Kirkaldy Kanka Martyn and Kirkaldy Kankie Sinead produced two bouncing bundles of joy which Martyn is now pleased to announce are fully fledged Ankaragucu supporters and kankas (you can be sure they will also support Raith Rovers !!).

Here is Martyn's message and a photo of the two new kankas ...... aptly named I may add !!!

Hi Kankalar,

These are the the new Kankas.

1st PhotoEnnis is on the left. He will be called Genc Maniac Kanka after Harun. Darragh is on the right. He will be called Yeni Kanka after Jim.

Sorry for the delay. Busy times.

Boys are doing great as is Sinead. Raith Rovers, half chance.MM
Well done Martyn and Sinead. Keep the emails, comments on the Blog and photos of our two new kankas coming.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim