Sunday, May 31, 2009

Is it possible to get any closer to relegation?

My God. That was one hell of a scary evening.

Everything started perfectly. Met up at the Chopin with a Scotsman called James (no, not Sir Eski) who was in town from the fair city of Cork with his Turkish wife and a friend of their's called Valerie. Sort of watched the FA Cup and then Rebecca, Spine, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and Orcan showed up.

At one stage a fellow in the pub asked whether we were really Gencler fans. "Why of course", we replied and he then identified himself as the brother of former Gencler attacking midfielder Mehmet Cakir's brother. Damon and myself went... "ah, I knew he looked like somebody we knew".

Plenty of beers and left for the stadium about 20 minutes before kick-off. Bugger all people at the match as most were watching the "big games" for the league title on the telly.

We started out okay but our defence was pretty rubbish, we were missing Traore and Koray.. and it showed. Kayseri went one up after about 12 minutes but we weren't too worried as we looked the better team. A few chances snuffed out by the Kayseri keeper and then Kayseri scored again, and then again. Three attacks, three goals.

Half-time cup of tea and we were depressed but still not desperate as the other games were both 0-0, meaning that we were safe.

A few minutes into the second-half though and news went through the crowd, quite a few people had radios, that Konya had won a penalty. The vast majority of the crowd ignored the game in front of us and instead sat hoping. "Blast," said I, or perhaps it was a slightly harsher word than that, as Konya scored. I can't remember what minute this was in but it was fairly early in the second half. As things stood, Gencler was to be relegated.

At this point the crowd stopped any cheering for the team and instead directed its ire at the team management. Some of the slogans included, "Cavcav istifa", "Samet istifa" "yeter artik Cavcav, yeter artik" and "El Saka gelsin, Samet gitsin". My attempt to get the crowd screaming "deiyetisyen istifa" failed to get much traction.

There was a damn lot of anger out there and I completely lost track of what was happening on the field. At one stage Orcan said that we only had 10 players on the field. I had completely missed the fact that we had a player sent off.

Then Recep, our keeper for the day, seemed to take offence at something or other us in the crowd had done and then the crowd turned on him with a general "watch the game you idiot".

It was all quite surreal. We were standing for most of the second half but I don't have a clue what happened on the pitch, well, except for the fact that Kayseri scored another to make it 4-0.

The anti-Cavcav chants continued and then news came through with about 15 minutes left that Antalya had scored. A huge cheer went up, Gencler weren't going down!, and after a few pro-Ankaragucu chants we went back to the "yonetim istifa" chants.

By this time our coach Samet Aybaba, the famous lover of Arabs everywhere, had already left the stadium. Good riddance I say.

The referee blew the full time whistle but we stayed in the stands waiting for those in the crowd who were listening to the radio to give us the all clear. A few minutes later and it was confirmed that Antalya had beaten Ankaragucu. Bloody close.

Into the taxi and off to the James Cook bar where we were taunted by all the Besiktas fans. A few beers in and Muzo, one of our Scribblers darts team players shows up with his fiancee Aylin, who just happens to be the dietitian at Gencler. Not long later Gencler's normal goalkeeper Bojan, and his lovely wife Anna, joined us.

It was a lovely end to what I can only describe as one crap night. Thank god Ankaragucu lost.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

I never thought I would ever say this ............. but ........... well done Ankaragucu .............. for losing !!!

Antalyaspor 1 ANKARAGUCU 0

With 15 minutes to go in the matches last night, the unthinkable was going to happen, ie, Gencler were relegated because it was 0-0 in Antalya, Gencler was losing to Kayseri and Konya was winning 3-0.

Then, Serge of Antalya pops one in and ............ phew, you could hear Oz Kanka's sigh of relief all the way from the Stadium to the Red Lion Club !!

So, Ankaragucu saved the blushes of Gencler and Antalya and gave a farewell present to Mountaineering Kanka Robbie ....... the hated Konya is down ........ yesssssssssssssssss !!

If the Gencler Kankas are so inclined, they may reward the Ankaragucu Kankas in the bar on the next occasion we are together ??!!

Thank you God (and Ankaragucu) for keeping Gencler in the Super League. Can you imagine a local derby without Gencler ?? No !!

All the best from 'friendly' Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, May 29, 2009

How Gencler could be relegated

It has taken me forever to figure out the mathematics but Genclerbirligi could still be relegated tomorrow night. If the following happens, we are gone.

Konya beats Ankaraspor
Antalya draws with Ankaragucu (if Antalya wins or loses we are safe)
Gencler loses to Kayseri

With those results it comes down to a three way tie for third last place and on averages we are down. If Antalya wins or loses against Ankaragucu we are safe... it is the draw we are worried about, this is because on head-to-head with Konya we are better off, but in a three-way draw we have the worse averages. By the way, it doesn't matter what Denizli do, they are safe.

In the meantime, check out the debate in the comments of the post below on the proposed Ankaraspor-Ankaragucu merger. And then one post below that read Mountaineering Kanka Robbie's farewell to Ankara.

Is the lamb to lay down with the wolf?

Rumours of Ankaraspor pretty much taking over Ankaragucu are starting to come true with Ankaraspor chairman Little Gokcek, son of Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek, telling NTV Spor on Thursday night that a merger deal is expected to concluded by the end of the week.

"The two teams need to make plans for the next season. For this reason we need to immediately conclude a deal. Our talks are continuing and on our side there are no problems. We are waiting for a decision from the Ankaragucu board," Little Gokcek told NTV Spor.

"God willing no trifling matter will cause a hitch. I'm praying that this will happen as soon as possible."

That "trifling matter" could well end up being who gets what when it comes to director spots. The team will still be called Ankaragucu but will almost certainly be chaired by Little Gokcek.

Little Gokcek summed up the reasoning behind such a deal by saying that Ankaragucu had the fans, while Ankaraspor had the money.

Earlier reports said that a merger deal would result in Izmir's Karsiyaka being promoted to the top flight but it now appears that it would mean a reduction from 18 to 17 teams in the Super Lig. I assume that means next year only two teams will be relegated.

As Faustian pacts go, it is a pretty good one. Ankaragucu selling its soul in the hope of winning the league in its centenary year.

Still, nothing has been signed yet. Meanwhile, rumour has it that the new Ankaragucu badge will look a little bit like this and the new team will play all its home matches at Yenikent.

The last rumours were started by us of course.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Farewell to our Mountaineering Kankas

Hello all and thanks for putting up my little diatribe here.

I wanted to write something for the blog in response to my five years having supported the greatest football team in Turkey. As a foreigner in Turkey, it’s quite easy to make friends in such an accepting culture. I have to say though that football makes this all the more enjoyable.

So my first thoughts as Judy and I depart go to the many friends we’ve made as a direct result of supporting this glorious team. The Kanka bond is permanent. It’s hard to remember a time when I’ve ever met such a great group of people. There were those that I worked with like Martyn and Damon and more recent friends, and there are those whose brotherhood is entirely related to the game; Harun, Jim, Chris, Tansu. Your quirks are many and you will be greatly missed. Thank you all for your friendship.

Who can forget …THE STADIUM? On Dokuz Mayiz has been a place these past five years of moments of bitter frustration and rapturous joy. Too many to count but among my favorites;

  • Gucu beating Fener four years ago to deny them the league championship (which they won the following week the bastards)

  • Watching a frustrated fan throw his gold watch onto the pitch, which was shortly followed by someone’s shoe.

  • That fat bastard who used to do a shirtless dance every time we took the lead.

  • FFFC---Fights, Flares, and Flying Chairs!

  • My final match at On Dokuz Mayiz last weekend where AnkaraGucu saved themselves from relegation by playing like the champions I know they always have been.

The away matches draw some remembrance as well. I will never forget my first away match in Konya. My hatred of that place had already started but was solidified there when a trucker who had gotten mixed in with our police-escorted supporter convoy made some derogatory comments, had his truck summarily attacked and responded by emerging from his vehicle with a giant wooden hammer! This was, of course met with kebab knife threats. Not sure how that one ever ended up, but …damn it was crazy!

Away matches in other places like Kayseri and Yenikent (the stadium from hell) have taught me that Gucu supporters make the greatest, most loyal friends but can be the worst enemies you will ever face should you cross them. I would rather face some nations’ armies than go head to head with Gecekondu.

I am proud of this team and proud of myself for having stuck by them for these past five years. They will always have a place in my heart. I will always try to contribute to their renown in any way I can. My stupid flag antics shall continue. (check them out here, here and here) There are mountains to climb for this team and I will climb them. The team embodies so many characteristics that I find to be important; a struggle against adversity, determinedness, and perhaps above all, loyalty.

For anyone who may come across this blog posting, my final appeal would be for you to always support your home team. It doesn’t matter if they don’t win a single match. You should support them. Without them, you are nothing. Following a team just because they always win a lot of games may be fun in the short term, but it is certainly not admirable. Sticking with a team through thick and thin translates to so many other areas of life.

Ankara is a great city. It has a higher population than many of the great “football” cities of the UK, Spain, or Italy. Why shouldn’t there be a team from Ankara that can compete every year for the championship? With the people of Ankara’s help, this can be possible. People of Ankara, stop standing in the shadow of Istanbul!!! Support Ankara Gucu!!! They need you, and whether you know it or not, you need them.

Peace, Love

Gururumuz AnkaraGucu always

Mountaineering Kanka Robbie

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

OK, diaries out !

With Ankaragucu safe from relegation and Genclerbirligi 'almost safe', it is time to look ahead.

The 2009/2010 Season will kick-off on the 9th of August 2009.

This will be a special season for Ankaragucu for various reasons -

1. It is Ankaragucu's Centenery Season.
2. Hikmet Karaman has ended this season on a positive note and will surely be persuaded to stay on.
3. If so, most of the present squad will also stay out of loyalty and respect for Hikmet Bey.

It therefore follows that the Annual Ankara Sportswriters Cup will be held on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of August. More on this when it is confirmed.

In the meantime, let's see a Gencler victoreeeeee against Kayseri on Saturday and avoid them getting involved in an 'averages decision' on which team goes down with Hacettepe and Kocaeli.

C'mon Gencler !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, May 25, 2009

One match to go

Another frustrating evening for your correspondent as I searched all over Kizilay thinking that surely at least one pub would be showing a game involving the team coming second in the league. Silly me. So in the end I grabbed a seat at the Chopin and watched the Besiktas - Galatasaray game.

It was a pretty good game too but for me it was the little scrolling score updates that had me interested and it was with great pleasure that I saw that Fener were putting Konya to the sword.

Then on the 22 minute mark I jumped for joy when news came through that James Troisi had scored to put Gencler 1-0 up away to Sivas. With the Besiktas - Galatasaray game at 0-0, if all the results stayed the same Besiktas would probably be league champions. The bloke next to me asked "Are you a Besiktas fan?" I gave him a cold look and pulled out my Gencler season ticket. I think I was the only Ankara fan in the pub.

Half-time and I was pretty happy, chatting away to a bloke who makes shoes and an old fellow who was backing up my story that I was a Gencler fan saying to the shoe-maker that we show up to Chopin every week.

Anyway, as you may have noticed there isn't much football analysis in the report as I didn't see the match. One thing I can say is that Gencler were hit hard with injuries to key players such as Traore and Koray and we had to play youngsters from the PAF team.

Maybe that's where we were unravelled as Sivas ended up scoring three second-half goals before Momha scored to make it 3-2. There was still plenty of time but the scrolling thing on the telly didn't give us another goal.

As Sir Eski pointed out in his post, Ankaragucu are now 100 percent safe. As far as can figure out, so are we. It all comes down to averages and head-to-head stuff (in which we are ahead of Konya).

We can, however, bugger the maths and make sure we don't go down with a win or a draw against Kayseri.

The match is on Saturday night 8pm. Looking forward to seeing all the kankas, Gencler and Ankaragucu alike. My guess is that tickets will be 1 lira.

Troisi's goal


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Perhaps it was divine intervention, or on the other hand, it may have been Hakan Karaman's tactics, but Ankaragucu played last night as though they were going to be League Champions rather than relegation fodder !

Anyway, the unthinkable has been avoided. Going down in a centenary year was just too much to contemplate for Ankaragucu, or for any team for that matter !

ANKARAGUCU 3 Denizlispor 0

We all assembled as usual in The Chopin Bar full of optimism. I for one assured everyone that Hakan Bey's tactics would be all out attack, and so it proved.

A good turn-out of kankas and kankies plus a VIP Guest. The VIP Guest was Phillie Kanka's father, Casey, who told me he had come to Turkey to visit his son, but his prime reason for coming to Turkey was to see the Mighty Ankaragucu in action ! Shall we believe him ???

Also there, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Mountaineering Kanka Robbie, Kaleci Kanka Tansu, Phillie Kanka Jamie, Connect Kanka Steve, Venezuela Kanka Romulo, Welsh Kanka Glyn, Missouri Kankie Ema, Colorado Kankie Angela, Rebecca and coming to a footie match for the first time, Emily. We met up with Rip Off Kanka Erman at the Stadium.

Into the Stadium then and, as usual, it was full in all the Ankaragucu tribunes. There was a small group of Denizli supporters in the 'away end' but they didn't have much to cheer about during the match and slunk away near the end of the match.

It was a strong line up for Ankaragucu with Serkan in goal, Santos, Boozy, Ilkem and El Yasa at the back. Super Captain Ceyhun, Kerem and Semavi in midfield, and Jaba, Mehmet and Iglesias up front. Barbaros was suspended and De Negris and Metin were on the bench.

As predicted, Ankaragucu was fast out the traps and all over Denizli. Some good chances were missed in the opening half hour but it was only a matter of time before the pressure paid off.

Serkan was having a quiet night and Ceyhun and Simavi were in total control of the midfield.

The first goal came on 34 minutes and there was some luck attached to it. What goes around comes around ! After last week's howlers against BJK it was time for Lady Luck to smile on Ankaragucu for a change !

Jaba had a weak shot on goal, which I'm sure he will admit he mis-hit. The ball deceived everyone and trickled over the line to howls of relief from the tribunes. Up the volume and let's sing louder !

Going in at half time 1-0 was acceptable I suppose, but then came the news that Fener were 4 up against Konya and cue …... smiles on faces and let's dance the misket to the music at half time !

More of the same in the 2nd half with Ankaragucu firmly in control and the Denizli defence running around in circles. Then on the 60th minute the goal of the match. The ball swung over by Ceyhun and there was Mehmet running in to bullet a header in for No2. Off comes the shirt in celebration and out comes the yellow card ….. tut tut tut !

Still, Ankaragucu wasn't quite finished. 5 minutes later a defensive cock-up gifted the ball to Ceyhun. He hesitated for a split second expecting a flag for offside which didn't come. Off he goes one on one with Ozden in goal, but with Ozden narrowing the angle, Ceyhun looked up and spotted the incoming Semavi. An unselfish cut-back and Semavi stroked the ball into the empty goal.

The noise was unbelievable now and cue …..... let's do a Mexican Wave. It was party time and its been a long time since we had a carnival atmosphere in the Stadium for an Ankaragucu match !

No more goals, but near the end substitute Metin has a screamer which on any other day would have gone in and burst the net.

The final whistle and time for the lap of honour. Also, all the backroom staff came on to the centre circle to give us their version of the misket. Not bad, but not quite up to kankas standards !

Back to The Chopin then for celebrations where we met up with Oz Kanka Chris who was in fine form having been there for the BJK v Galatasaray match.

So, it looks very likely that Konya will be heading in a 'southerly direction', but it will all be decided next weekend.

Ankaragucu will be away in Antalya for what is a match that Antalya must win to avoid the drop. So, the Ankaragucu kankas will no doubt be going to the Gencler v Kayseri match to support Gencler in their effort to avoid being in the relegation mix.

A great all round team performance from Ankaragucu today and I'm sure Hikmet Bey will want to hang on to most of the players for next season. As I've said before, if we had started the season with this team we would have been up there challenging at the top of the league alongside Sivas and Trabzon !

All the best from a happy and relieved Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Tonight's matches

The Ankaragucu lot are no doubt already in the stadium singing away and I'm off to the Chopin bar in just a minute to watch on the big screen Sivas v Gencler. In other words, don't expect any reports until either late tonight or some time tomorrow.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Genclerbirligi hold Palestine

I had an important meeting this evening (Wednesday) and so was unable to head off to one of the weirder fixtures of the year - namely Genclerbirligi versus Palestine.

Reports of the match are very thin on the ground, for some reason most sports sites are reporting on the UEFA Cup final, but I did find something from Klassspor.

Well, it was all love and hugs at the 19 Mayis Stadium this evening as Gencler and Palestine drew 1-1 in a friendly match.

I really do wonder what the atmosphere was like tonight. The Gencler fans are certainly very sympathetic to the Palestinian cause but, contrary to the anti-racist stand of Gencler fans, I also fear that anti-Jewish chants also got a good work out. Having said that, I don't know if that was the case or not. I'm no supporter of what Israel has done in Gaza recently but I was certainly disgusted by some of the anti-Jewish stuff that was expressed in Turkey at the time.

Anyway, on to the football and the good news is that Aussie Bruce scored in the 10th minute after a pass from someone called Emre.

This was all buggered up when Palestine scored a penalty in the second half.

Oh well, it was a friendly match and well done to the Gencler management for organising it.

Aussie Bruce isn't having the best of seasons this year but he will be able to tell his grandchildren that he put one past Palestine, a country that Turkey officially recognises as a sovereign state, and one that this blog does as well, even if most of the rest of the world doesn't. Good luck Palestine!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Still scary for Gencler

With no bars showing the Galatasaray - Genclerbirligi match I don't have a lot to say really. In the end I watched the Ankaragucu - Besiktas match in the Chopin Bar.

The facts are that at half time the teams went in at 0-0 and then Harry Kewell came off the bench to score Galatasaray's first. Kewell then played a part in the second as well before Kahe scored a consolation goal in the last few minutes.

Milliyet newspaper reported that Galatasaray was crap until Kewell came on. As for Genclerbirligi, I have no idea.

Next week at least Gencler's match will be on the telly. Only problem is that the match is against second-placed Sivas. Times and dates later.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

OK, so we are playing the Cup Winners and 'possible' Champions, but that should not be a problem. Well, that's what we thought pre-match in the Chopin Bar !

Connect Kanka Steve, Philly Kanka Jamie and I met up first with long-time kanka, Casenova Kanka Gokhan back from France, but only temporarily.

Then came the stragglers. Kaleci Kanka Tansu (our new hero with the FREE tickets from a secret source !), Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Moutaineering Kanka Robbie and Venuzuelan Kanka Roberto (spelling ?).

Unfortunately, we had to separate into two groups because of the ticket situation, ie, 3 of us in Maraton and 4 of us in Gecikondu, but no problem because we were in sight of each other through the dividing fence. The Maraton boys got in no problem, but the 4 Gecikondu boys only made it in at the National Anthem.

ANKARAGUCU 1 Besiktas 3

The Stadium was full in the Ankaragucu sections and what a noise one hour before kick off right up till the end of the match. Seeing and hearing is believing !

However, what an effin miserable way to start a 'must win' match !

Besiktas came out of the traps in attacking mode (as we knew they would) and scored a simple goal by Bobo after only 2 minutes play with Ankaragucu still in 'sleep mode'. Actually, I question whether it was offside, but, who am I to argue. Now a mountain to climb !

Ankaragucu recovered from the shock of conceding the early goal and were attacking Besiktas with 3 recognised strikers in the line up. Mehmet and Iglesias were full of running and getting stuck-in but De Negris was posted 'missing' !

Then, on the 15 minutes mark from a period of sustained Ankaragucu pressure, a corner was won. Over it came, but was not cleared, and in a goalmouth melee Iglesias rifled it in to rapturous applause from all the tribunes.

However, despite all Ankaragucu's efforts the 2nd goal wouldn't come and then disaster struck on the half hour mark.

Ernst received the ball outside the Ankaragucu penalty box and fired in a bullet of a shot which had Serkan beaten. It's going past the post I said. Wrong ! It hit the inside of the post and deflected in for another 'lucky' goal.

That's usually what happens when Ankaragucu plays an Istanbul team. They have the lucky breaks and the referee 'in their pocket' and Ankaragucu is left with lots of yellow cards for dissent ! Mr Tolga Ozkalfa's performance will go down in history as an abomination !

Jaba replaced De Negris for the 2nd half to much applause and he certainly made his presence felt. On another day, he might have scored a hat trick.

Two great headers went narrowly past and a free kick was saved well by 'hated figure' Rustu.
Into the last quarter and Ankaragucu was doing all the attacking to snatch the equaliser but Besiktas was still looking dangerous.

Then the sucker punch. Everyone up for yet another Ankaragucu corner, the clearance, the quick breakaway with defenders scurrying back. However, not fast enough, and there was Bobo again to score another easy goal.

All credit to Ankaragucu for not letting their heads go down, but hopefully lessons have been learned. They must keep it tight in the first 10 minuMtes of the match and keep some cover at corners to prevent opposition break outs.

Man of the Match - a close thing between Jaba and Santos. Santos was commanding at the back and who knows what a difference it would have made last night if he had Boozy beside him !

Back to the Chopin Bar where we met Oz Kanka Chris and lots of commiserations and Efes to dull the pain !

So, here we go again. Nerve ends jangling with only TWO matches left to escape from the brown smelly stuff !

Denizli are the visitors next week for what will be the most important match of the season. We can, and MUST, win this one !

3rd bottom Konya play Fener, so if Ankaragucu beats Denizli and Fener beats Konya, we can breathe a sigh of relief.

The tension is unbearable !

All the best from 'still optimistic' Eski Kanka Jim

Pretty crap all round

Reports on the matches will be in tomorrow. Let's just say they won't be happy.

Galatasaray 2 - 1 Genclerbirligi

Ankaragucu 1 - 3 Besiktas

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Gencler survive for another week

A glorious sunny spring day in Ankara on Saturday failed to get the Gencler kankas out in force. At the Chopin Bar Spine, French Kanka Hande and myself were quickly outnumbered by the Ankaragucu kankas. Not to worry, they had to find a pub which had the Ankaragucu match on while we jumped into a taxi headed for the stadium where we experienced our first pleasant surprise of the evening (the Efes at the Chopin was pleasant, but not a surprise).

Went through the outer police cordon and through the gates (no queues last night) and then inside where the police normally do their third degree strip searches, only to find... no police!

Instead there where private security people, or crowd controllers or whatever they are called. A friendly frisk, and certainly no attempts to smell beer on my breath, nor to find the odd 50 kurus coin and we were in.

Later I heard from Ertank (who joined us at the match) that this is the result of the implementation of a parliamentary law passed five years ago. Good to see the law working so quickly. Perhaps it is this law that the EU is always praising for having been passed but at the same time lamenting the lack of implementation.

Quite a decent crowd (by Gencler standards), including Alpine Kanka, his boss Hans and another fellow whose name I didn't catch.

Onto the match, and Gencler went on the attack from the off. Burhan had a good shot saved early on and it wasn't long before we went ahead thanks to a lovely bicycle kick from Mustafa Pektemek. Mehmet Nas had sent the corner in, the Hacettepe keeper buggered up trying to hit the ball out of the area and saw it fall for Pektemek to show off. 1 - 0 after 14 minutes and it looked like plenty more could be coming.

A few more shots from various players and then Pektemek got his second. This one was all thanks to great work by Kahe who took the ball down the right. He got around his man and could probably have settled for a corner but instead sent in a perfect lofted cross which found Pektemek running in. He whacked it and the keeper didn't stand a chance.

Two-nil up but Gencler still seemed to lacking something, perhaps that was thanks to Jedinak being injured, or perhaps because I was being distracted all the time by a bunch of 12 year-olds who were sitting in front of us. They had been brought to the match by their PE teacher and were actually quite fun. It was probably the first time they had ever met foreigners and they were amazed that we support Genclerbirligi, until I pointed out to one of them that I have been in Ankara longer than they have been alive. Whenever the chants went up they turned to us either in amazement, to learn what the chant was so they could join in, or perhaps just to laugh at the silly foreigners shouting in Turkish. They were all very nice and full marks to the PE teacher for bringing them along.

Second half and Hacettepe actually looked better than us for long periods and their goal from Tozo (who is on loan from us) was a fantastic strike from just inside the box. Koray was probably a little bit at fault for this one by not taking Tozo on. Still 2-1 up and no one was worried.

Our third goal came from a brilliantly taken free kick from Bilal which found the net via Koray's head. Nice stuff.

Full time and Gencler went off without the usual celebrations, thus resulting in some whistles from the crowd. It was understandable though. The win put the nail in the coffin of any mathematical chance Hacettepe had to stay up. These players see each other quite often and many our close friends.

For the Aussie watchers out there, Aussie Bruce played the full 90 minutes but didn't do very much. I'd give him an average rating for the match. James Troisi came on towards the end and didn't get too much time on the ball. Sometimes though I wonder if he should stop trying to get around three players on his own and instead pass the ball. Admittedly when he pulls it off it is spectacular.

Off to the Platin Bar to meet the rather unhappy Ankaragucu fans. As Sir Eski Kanka said in his post, things are tight at the bottom. Three matches left for Gencler and none of them look easy - Galatasaray, Sivas and Kayseri (not in that order).

I'm not sure why but the person who uploaded the goals onto youtube has disabled embedding. So click here for the goals.


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Not a good weekend after all the euphoria of the past 3 weeks. Ankaragucu is still in the 'soapy bubble' and 'our saviour', Hikmet Karaman, still has a job on his hands to steer the club to safety with 3 matches left.

Galatasaray 1 ANKARAGUCU 0

We all met up at The Chopin only to be greeted with the first of the evening's bad news. The match would not be shown on The Chopin's THREE TV screens because the management had decided to show only the Sivas and Besiktas matches. Poo !

What to do ? Well, luckily, Maniac Kanka Harun and Yankee Kanka turned up and off they went to do a recce at The Platin Bar where they agreed to show all the matches in 10 minute bursts. Not an ideal situation but a compromise nevertheless.

So, off went the Gencler Kankas to the Stadium and we trudged around the corner to the Platin to join Maniac and Yankee.

A good turn-out today with Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Mountaineering Kankas Robbie and Judy, Connect Kanka Steve, Philly Kanka Jamie and Kaleci Kanka Tansu. We were later joined by our lovely American Babes, Rebecca and Janna.

It is difficult to give an overall view of the match with only snatches here and there, but at least we did see the only goal of the match. A hotly disputed penalty which I'm sure the referee, Suat Aslanboga, will have nightmares about. If he puts his hand on his heart and is honest with himself I'm sure he will come to the same conclusion as us …..... he cheated Ankaragucu !!!

To quote Mountaineering Kanka Robbie ….... 'the referee scored the goal' !!

It's not the first time we have come off the wrong end of dubious refereeing decisions against the 3 Istanbul teams and it probably won't be the last !

Anyway, what little we saw of the first half and 2nd half it looked unlikely that Ankaragucu would score. Let's say we caught Galatasaray on a good day for them !

We were not helped either by the fact that our central defender Boozy was give a red card in the 50th minute for what I don't know.

So, the bottom line is that we have been dragged back into the relegation dog fight. If we accept that Hacettepe and Kocaeli are going down, then the fight to avoid being the 3rd team really will go to the wire.

There are only THREE points separating 7 teams. With that in mind, we at least must be thankful that we have 2 home matches left. The first one up is next weekend against Besiktas who will be coming to play Ankaragucu with the league title in their sights. With Sivas having screwed up yesterday the odds are now on Besiktas to win the league.

It is obvious that Hikmet Bey will have the Ankaragucu players all fired up for the match and there will be no prisoners taken. A MUST SEE match if ever there was one !

Details of the match, date and KO time, when known.

All the best from 'still optimistic' Eski Kanka Jim

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Just the scores

I'm a little too tipsy to report tonight. So you will have to wait until tomorrow morning for my report. Let's just say that the Gencler kankas were a bit happier than the Ankaragucu lot.

FT Ankaraspor 1 - 4 Besiktas
FT Bursaspor 3 - 0 Konyaspor
FT Eskisehirspor 2 - 0 Antalyaspor
FT Fenerbahce 1 - 0 Denizlispor
FT Galatasaray 1 - 0 Ankaragucu
FT Genclerbirligi 3 - 1 Hacettepe Spor Kulübü
FT Kocaelispor 1 - 3 Trabzonspor
FT Sivasspor 1 - 2 Istanbul Buyuksehir

A big night coming up

As Sir Eski Kanka said in the last post all but one of this week's matches kick off at the same time this evening.

I'm off to the Gencler - Hacettepe match and Sir Eski Kanka will be watching Galatasaray - Ankaragucu at the Chopin Bar. In other words, don't expect any report any time soon. Perhaps later tonight, or tomorrow.

Tonight's matches

Ankaraspor - Besiktas
Bursaspor - Konyaspor
Eskisehirspor - Antalyaspor
Fenerbahce - Denizlispor
Galatasaray - Ankaragucu
Genclerbirligi - Hacettepe
Kocaelispor - Trabzonspor
Sivasspor - Istanbul Buyuksehir

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

It's that time of the year !

We are down to the last 4 matches of the season and most of the big issues have yet to be decided.

So, for the next few weeks until they are resolved, we will have all the matches kicking off at the same time.

It starts this weekend, with the exception of the Kayseri v Antep match which kicks off on Sunday.

So, apart from that match, all the other matches will KO at 7pm on Saturday 9 May.

This throws up another problem for TV viewers. For those of us who want to watch the Galatasaray v Ankaragucu match (to be played in Kayseri) there may be others who want to watch Fener v Denizli and Sivas v Istanbul BBS.

Battle Damaged Kanka and I will therefore try to ascertain which match will be the preferred choice of The Chopin. My guess is that they will have all 3 on the different screens.

Watch this space for more.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Monday, May 04, 2009


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Hikmet Karaman has pulled off a remarkable recovery in a team which was looking like it was heading for the 2nd Division last month. Under pressure after the reverse in Bursa, he has motivated the team to something which we could only dream about last month, ie, 3 straight wins and 9 points !

ANKARAGUCU 1 Ankaraspor 0

Perhaps on reflection we should not compare Hikmet Bey with ANYONE ! He has proved (to me anyway) that he is his own man and the man to take us forward next season to do ‘a Sivas’ and challenge the ‘Big 4’.

We all met up yesterday in The Chopin Bar full of optimism. Brasil Kankie Larrisa was first in before I joined her. In came all the Bilkent Crew. Mountaineering Kanka Robbie, Mountaineering Kankie Judy, and Judy’s cousin, Mary, from Mississippi, all 3 of them just off the bus from Cappadokia in time to see the match (now that’s what I call loyalty !). Battle Damaged Kanka Damon and Philly Kanka Jamie followed, doner kebab sandwich in hand as usual !

Into the Stadium which was bursting at the seams and the atmosphere up-beat after last week’s great win in Kadikoy. We were joined by Kaleci Kanka Tansu and Rip Off Kanka Erman, but Yankee Kanka found himself in ‘The Cage’ and so couldn’t join us.

Ceyhun was back in the starting line-up, but Jaba was missing (too many yellows me thinks ?!). Our normal back 5 (Serkan, Boozy, Santos, El Yasa and Ilkem) were in and it looks like Hikmet Bey has formed the team in this regular formation with Ceyhun, Barbaros and Semavi in the middle and the two ‘olde boys’, Mehmet and Iglesias up front. Kerem was in for Jaba.

As in the past few weeks, Ankaragucu was straight into attack mode and should have been FIVE up by half time. Semavi missed two great chances, one of which was an open goal but he managed to send the ball high into Gecikondu !! Iglesias had two great headers well saved by Senecky and Ceyhun had a screamer which went narrowly past the post.

To be fair to Ankaraspor, they didn’t come to 19 Mayis Stadium like ‘lambs to the slaughter’ ! So, any thoughts of a ‘fix’ were soon dispelled with their breakaway attacks and fierce tackling.

Serkan was beaten once and only the post saved the blushes ! In another attack the ball was swung over but it eluded the two inrushing attackers – phew, that was close, as Battle Damaged and I eye-balled each other in relief !

The 2nd half resumed with Ankaragucu attacking the away-end and we were all screaming for an effin goal to have something to show for all the players hard graft.

Then, 10 minutes in, and Captain Ceyhun crossed wide with defenders anticipating an in-swinger. El Yasa, who had been following up, met it first time, but instead of ballooning it over like Semavi in the first half, he hit it with the outside of his right foot on the half-volley and the ball went screaming low into the goal with Senecky stationery. Another candidate for goal of the season ?!

Cue……. up the volume, and Ooooooooos and Ahhhhhhhhs, followed by the ….. lie lie lie lie lie lie Ankara song from FIVE tribunes. It was a carnival atmosphere now with a call for more goals.

Unfortunately, it was not to be, and Ankaragucu was left ‘hanging on’ in the last 10 minutes having surrendered the midfield to Ankaraspor.

Nerve ends were jangling, but the final whistle arrived at last and then the lap of honour commenced with the usual throwing of shirts by the players into the crowd.

Another excellent team performance which augers well for the future. However, there are still 4 matches to go and the scrap is still on to avoid the drop with Kocaeli and Hacettepe.

Next weekend Ankaragucu is away to Galatasaray so we will watch the match in The Chopin Bar. Details when known.

No doubt Hikmet Bey will adopt the same tactics which he employed in Kadikoy two weeks ago. If so, we have every reason to remain optimistic. Galatasaray’s season is falling apart after early high hopes, so a great opportunity to ‘put the sword in’ to win another 3 points, and at the same time, assist Bursa in their UEFA Cup qualification aspirations !

All the best from ‘upbeat’ Eski Kanka Jim

EDIT ......

It is 8.10pm on Monday and Kaleci Kanka Tansu has just informed me that the Galata....spit.....saray v Ankaragucu match will be on Saturday night at 7pm in KAYSERI. CimBom have been punished for the naughty naughty behaviour of their horrible fans a few weeks ago ..... tut tut tut .... shame on them !!!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Istanbul BBS v Genclerbirligi

Good afternoon all. We've got a crucial bottom of the league clash on today, Istanbul BBS v Genclerbirligi. Gencler may be in 10th place but they can still get relegated if they fail to get at least one win in the few weeks. Istanbul will be playing full on though as they are currently in the drop zone and must win matches to stay up. Fun and games. Kick-off will be at 3 pm.

2:48 pm Heaps of other games kick off at the same time. Here they are:
Ankaragucu - Ankaraspor
Antalyaspor - Bursaspor
Denizlispor - Eskisehirspor
Gaziantepspor - Sivasspor
Istanbul BBS - Genclerbirligi
Konyaspor - Kocaelispor

2:50 pm Obviously the Ankaragucu Kankas are off at the stadium. Sir Eski Kanka will no doubt report later tonight or tomorrow morning.

2:59 pm National anthem played and we are about to go. Hopefully I'll catch the squad names today.

3:02 pm The radio commentator is speaking so fast I hardly noticed that he was into the squad list. I did notice the names Mehmet Nas, James Troisi, Mustafa Pektemek and Kahe. Jedinak and Aussie Bruce are both injured.

3:07 pm Bloody hell, if you thought Usain Bolt was fast you haven't listened to this radio commentator from Lig TV. I can hardly understand a thing. On the field, Istanbul have already had three good attacks killed off at the last moment.

3:10 pm There are about 700 fans, 200 of them Gencler fans, at the 80,000-odd capacity stadium. Must be surreal.

3:12 pm Bloody hell, now the radio stream dedicated to the match has been merged with all the others and we are getting a minute of each match... this is going to be difficult to report.

3:16 pm Just as we start building up something nice, Istanbul go on the counter-attack and it's left to Momha to get us out of the crap. That Momha is one hell of a good player. In the meantime, if anyone wants to keep me company then click on the "contact us" button on the right of this.

3:23 pm This is a joke. As they give us news that Sivas have scored they attempt to cross back to the Gencler match and can't get through, so they go to an advert and then tell us we are off to Gaziantep - Sivas, but we end up listening to Denizli - Eskisehir. By the way Konya are 1-0 up over Kocaeli.

3:30 pm Still no news from the Olympic Stadium. I don't have a clue what is happening.

3:35 pm Don't these idiots realise that I'm radio blogging this match? Still nothing from the Olympic Stadium.

3:43 pm Almost half time and they finally head off to the Olympic Stadium.

3:47 pm Gencler are attacking, but nothing resulting.

3:48 pm Half-time 0-0. I can't really comment as I hardly heard anything. Thanks Lig Radyo.

Half Time scores
Ankaragucu 0 - 0 Ankaraspor
Antalyaspor 0 - 1 Bursaspor
Denizlispor 1 -1 Eskisehirspor
Gaziantepspor 0 - 1 Sivasspor
Istanbul BBS 0 - 0 Genclerbirligi
Konyaspor 1 - 0 Kocaelispor

Thanks for the scores Lig Radyo. Now don't bother to try and give us an overall picture of what this might mean for the league title or relegations and certainly don't give us a summary of any of the matches being played. Much better just to head straight to 15 minutes of ads.

4:10 pm The matches have kicked off again but my radio stream is now dead. I guess it doesn't really matter considering how helpful Lig Radyo has been today. Oh, just popped up again.

4:12 pm And they finally cross to our match only to give us the horrible news that Istanbul have gone ahead. Damn. Istanbul BBS 1 - 0 Genclerbirligi.

4:14 pm And they almost make it a second with Bojan just saving a header and then ... oh... they have crossed off to somewhere else. And that somewhere else is Ankara, where Ankaragucu score.

4:15 pm Back to the Olympic stadium to here that Istanbul have scored again. This is depressing and means that the last few matches will be difficult. Istanbul BBS 2 - 0 Genclerbirligi.

4:17 pm I thought he was injured, but Aussie Bruce comes on for Pektemek and immediately he scores! Not sure what happened though. Istanbul BBS 2 - 1 Genclerbirligi.

4:25 pm Seems like we are making all the moves... Aussie Bruce almost scores again, ball sent out for a corner. Kahe is going off, not sure who is on.

4:30 pm Ahh. Gencler almost equalise. Momha coming down the left sends it in only for the keeper to somehow grab it before we could.

4:34 pm Sounds like Istanbul have all 11 men behind the ball. Come on boys, find a way through.

4:35 pm Hakan Aslantas fails to score, but actually it was thanks to a great save. About 15 minutes left.

4:36 pm In one of the first bits of actual analysis the commentator says that Troisi "hasn't performed up to expectations".

4:38 pm Well that's just crap. Istanbul have gone 3-1 up. Oh dear.

4:46 pm The Gencler players are "demoralised" says the commentator. So am I.

4:54 pm Well that's it. Pretty hopeless from both Gencler and Lig Radyo.

All the scores today
Ankaragucu 1 - 0 Ankaraspor
Antalyaspor 2 - 3 Bursaspor
Denizlispor 3 - 2 Eskisehirspor
Gaziantepspor 2 - 1 Sivasspor
Istanbul BBS 3 - 1 Genclerbirligi
Konyaspor 2 - 0 Kocaelispor

The big shock... Sivas losing to Gaziantep. That's your lot. Look forward to an upbeat report from Sir Eski Kanka later on.

Aussie Bruce's goal