Monday, December 30, 2013

Ankaragucu complete signing of duo !

Ankaragucu today completed the signings of Mehmet Erdem Ugurlu and Muhammed Gonulacar. The signings show the intent of the Ankaragucu board as they look to push on in the second half of the season as they aim to become champions.

Mehmet Erdem Ugurlu is a striker signed from Polatli Bugsasspor while Muhammed Gonulacar has signed from the brilliantly named Batman Petrolspor. We would like to welcome both players to the club.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Thank You Calvin Sosibo !

Calvin Sosibo could be forgiven for having any ill thoughts toward Ankaragucu, after his move from South Africa in 2009 along with Kagisio Senemela which saw both player leave the club due to unpaid wages. For Sosibo the move to Turkey was one that started promising as he impressed in the 3 games that he played for the club. Signed at the same time as Darius Vassell who also experienced the problems with wages not being paid.

Both Senemela and Sosibo would move back to South Africa to continue their careers while Ankaragucu dropped down the leagues and lost all of their players due to the mis management of the club by Melih Gokcek and Cemal Aydin. Over the last year Mehmet Yiginer has tried to negotiate with former players and management to cut deals with players who were owed money by the club. Calvin Sosibo was one of those players who agreed to take a cut deal on the money owed to him by the club.

You won't hear me say a bad word about any player who doesn't agree to take a cut deal on money owed to them, after all the club owe these players the money. However Calvin and many other players saw the problems the club have faced due to previous regimes, with the club still heavily in debt, it is impossible for the club to pay all those debts in full, plus the interest thats been added on and survive.

I have spoken to Calvin a few times and he has only had good things to say about the club and its fans. He follows this blog along with Timur Ozgoz, Darrius Vassell and other former players all of who have positive things to say about the club and its fans.

With the January transfer window set to open, it allows Ankaragucu to sign players again as they prepare for life next season as well. The transfer ban will be applied again at the end of the season. With Sosibo without a club, if Ankaragucu win promotion it would be nice to see the South African back at the club under the correct circumstances.

We at the Round Ball in Ankara would like to thank Calvin Sosibo for his loyalty and continued support for the club.

Atabey Cicek set for Ankaragucu loan move !

Ankaragucu are set to take Genclerbirligi forward Atabey Cicek on loan when the January transfer window opens. According to Yurtspor Gencler President Ilhan Cavcav has stated that the youth team player will join Ankaragucu on loan until the end of the season.

The highly rated forward has a good goalscoring record for the Turkish Youth national sides. With Levent Kale, Ibrahim Sahin and Umut Nayir the main strikers for Ankaragucu it will give them some competition going into the second half of the season.

In other news, there are talks on the twitter pages about the future of Ankaragucu with the upcoming Congress. Talk is that the club might change its name to Ankaragucu A.S replacing the historic MKE Ankaragucu much to the anger of the fans.

More to come on both stories as they develop...

Why can't we play like this every week?

"Her yer ruşvet, yer yer yolsuzluk," shouted both the Genclerbirligi and Besiktas fans. All brotherly love ... until kick-off that is and then it was back to normal service. During the first half there were worrying reports of gas and water cannons being used in Kizilay but by the time we passed through at about 10:30 pm the police had cleared the place. Don't worry about all that though...

Genclerbirligi 1 - 0 Besiktas

After the massive turnout two weeks ago for the Gencler-Galatasaray match this week it was just me, Flying Dutchman and Little Oz for tonight. Cider Kanka at least joined us for a beer before hand... but hey, where were you all?

The inability of any of us to ever remember that Friday night kick-offs means that there will be lots of traffic is something that amazes me every time I'm sitting in a taxi stuck in traffic 15 minutes before kick-off on a Friday night.

We got in okay with a minute or two to spare, just in time to join in the with the political love-in stuff and then to see Gencler come out with one of those weird banners, you know the type that say "Donate to the anti-cancer fund", or "help a disabled child", or "give peace a chance". This week we had "Make sure you are registered to vote". A reminder? A warning? I don't know.

Kick-off and wooo... Gencler are on the attack. Nice attacking football and some great one-twos. The team was the same as usual and it seems as if they are beginning to gel nicely. My guess is that means we will probably sell half of them off in the next transfer window.

But back to the game this evening and I was liking what I saw.

Two of the three kankas at this evening's match.
The first chance though fell to Besiktas but in the end they didn't even manage to get a shot on the target. It sort of summed up the night in the way that the Besiktas forwards seemed extremely lackadaisical in their attitude and ability to strike the ball. So often they seemed to give Ramazan the softest of saves to make.

Also early on came something I've rarely seen in football. Jimmy took a shot at goal, a bloody hard shot, and it whacked the Besiktas No. 22 (search internet time) and it whacked Ersun Gullum in the head. Most of the Gencler fans thought he was wasting time and the medical staff who came on clearly didn't realise what was happening but this bloke had just had the equivalent of a king hit. He got up and came back on but it was very clear he was concussed, even if none of the Besiktas staff could see it. A few minutes later and even the blindest could see that this bloke was off with the fairies. Off he went.

We continued to play nicely and then almost out of nothing Gosso stole the ball, sort of weirdly passed it to Zec who from the corner of the box swiveled and scored. Bloody hell.

Having gone one-nil up our coach switched things around, sending Zec to the left-wing, Jimmy to the right, put Gosso into a sort of left midfield position and completely buggered up my understanding of the play. I think it was a crap decision but somehow or other we were still managing to get into good attacking positions. A big part of the reason why we were doing well was that Besiktas were playing well below their best... but still.

Not long before half-time we had one hell of a chance that really should have been converted. Tosic had been set free on the left with a defender in front of him and the keeper behind that defender. To his right was Stancu running full pelt and in the perfect position but Tosic mistimed his pass, Stancu had to stop and on the wrong foot sent a cross in when what we wanted to see was a good pass that he could have whacked at full pace at goal. Mmmm..

Anyway, second-half and I was feeling confident that we would go another goal ahead especially when Jimmy played a nice ball to Zec who was by this time playing on the left, Zec sent the perfect ball across the goal, past the keeper and to Stancu who was all of two metres away from goal, kicked it into the ground and over the bloody goal! AAAAARRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH

We continued attacking and Petkovic forced the Besiktas keeper to make one brilliant save... but as the clock began to run down it was Besiktas who got desperate for a goal. It seemed at times the referee was desperate as well.

We all had a good laugh after the ref gave Besiktas a free kick just outside the box for what had actually been a Besiktas hand ball. The laughing bit came a bit later. All the players were crowded around the ball and Ramazan was at the far post about to organise the wall when a Besiktas player took the free kick and scored. Immediately the referee called it back much to the disgust of the Besiktas players and their supporters. It sort of summed up their night really. When the free kick was taken again Ramazan made a good diving save.

Ramazan made a number of good saves yet again tonight but he really does have to practice kicking the ball to an area within sight of one of our players and not directly to the feet of an opposing player. On at least one occasion tonight a well placed lob would have caught him out.

On we go and Besiktas continued to attack but they didn't really scare us and so at the final whistle we got to sing.

EDIT: I've just watched the highlights and will now admit that the free kick awarded against us was in fact the correct decision. I would like to apologise for any negative comments that I may have made concerning how the the referee should restore his honour by selling simits. Still doesn't explain how all the other 50/50 decisions went Besiktas' way.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A nice away win for Gencler

You do have to worry about referees in Turkey. In the end it didn't affect the result but Antalya were awarded a penalty that was so clearly not on that you wonder if certain "Singapore figures" weren't involved.

Antalyaspor 2 - 3 Genclerbirligi

I think it was actually colder at the Beer bus on Sunday evening then it was at the actual stadium last week. As the Fenerbahce game was on at the same time as ours, us Gencler fans were out in the cold seats... Well, at least the Beer Bus had the match on at all, unlike anywhere else in Kizilay.

First five minutes and Antalya were unlucky not to be two-nil up. Shots were being saved, other chances were missed... Gencler were in disarray. There were moans galore from us fans when Jimmy sent a nicely timed pass to Tosic who sent it back in to Petrovic. Bang and goallll!

It was sort of against the play and the Antalya fans must have been quite pissed off. Actually, where were the Antalya fans? There were bugger all there.

Then about the 30-minute mark they must have been even more pissed off as Ermin Zec sent a cross in to Petrovic who headed it from just inside the box past the diving keeper.

By this stage Gencler were making a number of breaks and we were clearly on top.

Then came the refereeing howler as he pointed to the spot for absolutely nothing.

Having scored from the penalty Antalya were back in it. They were attacking and we were counter attacking. It was looking a bit scary until Tosic sent one in to the big fullback Ante Kulusic who headed it in. 1-3

Match was pretty much over and we were fairly calm (except for the shivering) when Gencler old-boy Isaac Promise was left unmarked and scored with a nice header. It was too late though.

A good away win and much needed three points. Next week will be a tough one against Besiktas at home. Friday night 8pm.

Oh yes... The night was topped off by the fact that ... Fenerbahce lost!

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Team - Bayram Olgun, Metin Aydin, Aytac Oden, Selim Teber, Emre Tasdemir, Mehmet Cakir, Serkan Sirin, Serhat Gulpinar, Kaan Kanak, Ibrahim Sahin, Levent Kale

Subs - Gokhan Akkan, Hasan Ayaroglu, Harun Aydin, Aydin Toscali, Onur Atasayer, Gurkan Alver

Geetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu almost came unstuck against a resolute team today, but in the end they did the necessary, ie, …... stick the ball in the net …...... twice !

ANKARAGUCU 2 Bandirmaspor 0

I met up with Paddy Kanka (Paul) coming for his 2nd ever match and then we were joined by Battle Damaged Kanka Damon pre kick-off.

It was a bloody cold day with freezing fog and it was a wee bit chilly up ma kilt !!!   However, we North Berwick boyz are made of strong stuff and so it was no big deal !

The match was very 'cat and mouse' in the opening 20 minutes and then the match exploded with Ankaragucu missing two chances over the top and past the post due to carelessness by Cakir and Kaan.   

Bandirma was also threatening with two great saves from 'Man of the Match' Bayram in the 22nd minute and again in the 29th minute.

Then, just as Bandirma was beginning to gain the upper hand, Ankaragucu struck against the run of play.

A cross came in from the left and Ibo (who I have castigated in the past) rose and headed in to our relief, and bring Maraton back into song ! Against the run of play ? Mmmmm …. yes, but let's not dwell on that !!

2 minutes later and Ankaragucu was awarded a penalty (didn't see the reason so far away from the action, but Nadeem will say …... yes, or …....... no). Mr Reliable, Levent, stepped up and made a scuffed effort which was easily dealt with by the goalie. I suppose there always has to be a situation when this happens, but ….... not this time Levent …...... lutfen !!! Consistency is everything !!

Ankaragucu tails were up now and the Bandirma goal was laid to siege in the last few minutes of the half with Cakir and Kaan blasting the ball over (again) and past the post in good positions.

Bandirma started the 2nd half looking good and for the first 20 minutes were looking capable of stilling the noise of the tribunes who didn't give up singing.

However, it was Ankaragucu who started to take control and in the 61st minute it should have been 2. A pin point cross came in from the left to Levent who was lurking in the far post area. He met it perfectly and a goal was assured. Wrong ! The goalkeeper made a miraculous save and we were left looking aghast at each other !

Bandirma wasn't finished and were unlucky not to equalise on 64 minutes when a goalmouth aberration was finally cleared when a lucky foot came out to clear the ball to safety,.

Then, when nerve ends were jangling …... Emre came to the rescue. An attacking move down the left gave Emre the opportunity of coming into the penalty box and curling a great shot around the goalkeeper into the far right corner for a truly wonderful goal.

Ankaragucu was fortunate to be 2-0 up, but ….............. at least the ball had been despatched to its rightful place, ie …...... between the sticks !!

Ankaragucu then played the 'run the clock down' system well until the final whistle and I suppose we can be happy with the result against a very good Bandirma team. Btw, they had about 100 fans in the away end, but they really didn't have much to sing about !!

Back we went to Crossroads for celebrations for a welcome Ankaragucu win, and …........ to celebrate Damon's birthday. We were joined by Brat Kankie Laura, Ejder Kankie Aysen and Cider Kanka John.

The only downside to spoil the evening was news that Altinordu and Alanya had also won. Not to worry says I …....... we still have a long way to go and we are in a good position to leap out of the tracks at the end of the winter shut-down and continue where we left off !

Btw, on a style note …..... Damon was wearing a fetching and luvvvly pair of ear warmers at the match today. Another point for him in the race to be 'Most Stylish Kanka of the Year'

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, December 20, 2013

Ankaragucu vs Bandirmaspor match preview !

Ankaragucu host Bandirmaspor on Sunday at the 19 Mayis stadium in the last game before the winter break. Both teams have had a good first half of the season and are looking to close the gap on the leaders Altinordu and Alanyaspor. The last two times Ankaragucu have faced one of the leaders they have won 1 and lost 1 with the win coming against Altinordu and the defeat against Alanyaspor.

Last week was another good win for Ankaragucu as they won 2-0 at Altay and another clean sheet to make things even more impressive. Bandirmaspor are on a good run themselves having won their last two games against Altay and Kizilcahamamspor. Their start player is German born midfielder Tayfor Bingol who is also a former Genclerbirligi player.

The Ankaragucu team should be much the same as the last couple of games. Bayram will keep his place in goal, with Aytac and Selim set to be the central defence pairing. Up from Levent Kale will start but Umut Nayir picked up an injury so is doubtful. If Ankaragucu play to their full potential it should be another 3 points on the board. Going into the winter break with a minimum of 2 points off the leaders sets the team up nicely for the second half of the season.

The game will again be shown live on Baskent TV. Kick off time is 1330 Turkish time. The Kanka group will be attending the game as usual in their usual part of the stadium. Lets hope they are there to cheer on another win for Ankaragucu.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ankaragucu 2-0 Altay Match Report !

Three wins in a row and 3 cleans sheets as Ankaragucu came away from Altay today with the 3 points after a very disciplined and hard working 2-0 win. Fuat Aykuz has also maintained his undefeated start to his Ankaragucu career. There is no doubting that since he has come in he has shored up the defence. Players like Volkan Geyik and Aydin Toscali will need to up their game if they want back in the starting line up. Bayram Olgun kept his 3rd clean sheet in as many games since he was reinstated to the first team.

Team - Bayram Olgun, Metin Aydin, Aytac Oden, Selim Teber, Emre Tasdemir, Serhat Gulpinar, Serkan Sirin, Kaan Kanak, Mehmet Cakir, Umut Nayir, Kale Leventowski

Subs - Gokhan Akkan, Onur Atasayer, Aydin Toscali, Harun Aydin, Hasan Ayaroglu, Gurkan Alver, Gokhan Erdogan

The manager brought Kaan Kanak back into the starting line up in place of Hasan Ayaroglu while Umut Nayir partnered Levent Kale up front as Harun Aydin was dropped to the bench. Altay is a difficult place for any team to go and win, a decent crowd at the Alsancak stadium and another good traveling support from Ankaragucu who again were praised for their behaviour.

The first half was a bit of a bore with neither Goalkeeper having much to do. The Ankaragucu defence looked solid and never gave anything away. Selim Teber moving to the back has made the difference, his experience and he can also play with the ball at his feet which is a big plus.

Both teams went in at half time level 0-0

Within minutes of the restart Ankaragucu had taken the lead, a good cross from the left was headed past the Goalkeeper by Serhat Gulpinar who sent the traveling support into wild celebrations. Still there was plenty time for Altay to come back into the match. The Ankaragucu team were having none of it, apart from a shot over by Mesut and a header by Mustafa which was straight into the arms of Bayram, Ankaragucu strolled through the rest of the game.

Ankaragucu made it 2-0 on the 64th minute through Leventowski The big striker got onto the end of a Kaan Kanak cross to head the ball into the top corner. Ankaragucu made many signings in the summer but Levent Kale has got to be the pick of them. His work rate is outstanding and he knows where the net is.

For the remainder of the match Ankaragucu were very comfortable with the home side never threatening. The home fans booed their players and even fought amongst themselves due to the anger of whats happening with their one time Super Lig club. Sounds familiar.

My frozen toes are grateful that we won't be playing at home for a while... Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Galatasaray

There were a lot of Istanbul cocukları out today. They were able to sing well, but really... your team is supposed to be one of the best in Turkey, you are riding high in the league, you just knocked Juventus out of the Champion's League but despite the fact you couldn't win against a team as lowly as Genclerbirligi you still went ahead with calls for the team to come over after the match. Do you really follow football? You are all Ankara people. You should be supporting Ankara teams. What you should not be doing is spending obscene amounts of money on official Galatasaray merchandise, going to one match a season and then at that match swear at true Ankara football fans. Ankara fans of Istanbul teams, with very few exceptions, are just simply pathetic.

Having said that, thanks for the gate receipts.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 1 Galatasaray

If the Genclerbirligi bus had got stuck in traffic on the way to the ground things would still have been okay because us Kankas could have filled in. The Beer Bus was taken over as we had Flying Dutchman Kanka in goal, Carl at left back, Steve at fullback, Spine at fullback, Dan the Man at right back, Mark on the left wing, David in the centre, Our Finnish friend as the other centre, Oguz at right wing, and Aiden in a sort of slot behind your good correspondent who simply stood around doing nothing much for most of the match but was ready to take all the GLORY!!!

Fortunately the Gencler bus did arrive and we kicked off positively enough but it could have been for nothing when Schneider sent quite a good chance flying over the goal. I only know that it was Schneider thanks to the kids behind me (children belonging to us Kankas that is) actually recognising the Galatasaray players... I didn't say it at the time but ... "Istanbul cocukları!".

We even had the ball boys and girls.
Anna, Matthew, Tanner and Ville
It was only a few moments later though when it was us Gencler fans who were leaping for joy when it was some simply nice passing from Jimmy to Petkovic to Stancu who took a shot from a difficult angle that the diving keeper couldn't save.

One-nil up after only six minutes or so and well... could this be another amazing giant-killing performance? What was especially weird was the fact that for the last few weeks we have been absolutely crap.

Us Gencler fans, even those who had forked out 75 lira for the Maraton tickets, would have been very glad for the referee to blow his whistle there and then. It was below zero after all and the idea of going to a nice warm and cosy pub was very tempting. The Gencler players probably felt the same and while it was true that from that goal onwards our players were, at best, not the quickest to get balls back into play, we still played with attacking intent.

Our midfield was good with Gosso delivering good ball. The defence was solid, with Ferhat on the right particularly good, but yet again our last attacking force just wasn't good enough. Our blokes either took too long to get crosses in or else sent them too far. Perhaps Zec on the right should have been more attacking to get to some of the crosses... perhaps the player kicking the ball should have gone for a player, not a space.

But really, all this is me being picky. We played well, there was some wonderful individual football, some woeful refereeing (when has there not been) and it was a good crowd of maybe 15,000 watching what was a fun match.

Galatasaray got back in the second half thanks to yet the latest old-age pensioner to have some sort of Golden Pond moment at Galatasaray - Drogba. No complaints from me on that one. It was a decent cross in and Drogba, pretty much unmarked, simply headed it in.

We continued to play half-decent footy but couldn't really get many real chances. Just toward the end though Galatasaray really had us sweating. They were getting damn good shots off left, right and centre and if it wasn't for the heroics of Ramazan in goal we would have been toast. In the last three minutes I think he pulled off three match-saving saves. --- does that count as alliteration? ---

The referee blows the match up and us Gencler fans are pretty happy that we were able to stave off the kind of ugly result of something like what happens when England send a team of cricketers to Australia.

True Galatasaray fans, those from Istanbul, would have been disgusted with the result.... The mob there tonight were merely pleased to be seen on TV wearing their official merchandise.

As for us Gencler fans? Perhaps not delighted... but a point against Galatasaray is probably about all we we could have hoped for.      

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Ankaragucu vs Altay match preview !

Tomorrows match will see Ankaragucu take on Altay in Izmir as they look to maintain their food form of late with another win. Like Ankaragucu the home side Altay who were the last Izmir club to play in the Super Lig have had tough times of late due to financial problems. This season so far Altay have had a start stop campaign. Last week they lost at home 3-1 against Bandirmaspor.

Altay have some good players in their side like top scorer Murat Uluc and Mustafa Cevahir. They sit just outside the playoff positions, but a win or possibly a draw could see them climb into a playoff place. A good crowd will be expected for tomorrows match between the two biggest clubs in Lig 2.

A good 3-0 win for Ankaragucu last week at home to Iskenderun will give them the confidence going into the match, another clean sheet will also lift the team. It will be interesting to see the starting line up with so many players fighting to get into the team. Emre Tasdemir has moved back into defence with Onur Atasayer and Mehmet Tasci both dropped to the bench. Hasan Ayaroglu continues to show inconsistency as does Kaan Kanak.

One player you have to give praise to is Bayram Olgun, he came under pressure from the fans after some poor performances last season, but he has showed loyalty to the club by signing a new contract, and also remained patient as he claimed back the number 1 jersey from Gokhan Akkan. In the two starts he has kept 2 clean sheets.

Tomorrows match will be another 1330 kick off Turkish time, last week i got the prediction spot on, this week I'm going for 1-1. Altay is a tough place to go to and with them raising there game for the arrival of Ankaragucu it could be a decent point.

Sunday, December 08, 2013


Team - Bayram Olgun, Metin Aydin, Selim Teber, Aytac Oden, Emre Tasdemir, Serhat Gulpinar, Harun Aydin, Serkan Sirin, Mehmet Cakir, Hasan Ayaroglu, Levent Kale

Subs - Gokhan Akkan, Umut Nayir, Onur Atasayer, Aydin Toscali, Kaan Kanak, Gurkan Alver, Gokhan Erdogan

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

However, it could so easily have been 4, especially in the last 10 minutes when Ankaragucu battered the Iskenderun goal, and but for poor finishing from Mehmet and goalkeeper heroics it could even have been FIVE.

ANKARAGUCU    3     Iskenderunspor    0

I arrived in the Stadium to be met by Boston Kanka Russell and then Cider Kanka John.    Battle Damaged Kanka was 'illness damaged' and couldn't make it.   We all hope he is back on his feet again soon.

Gecikondu was full (as always), Maraton was almost full and there were TWO lonely souls in the away end who were being kept company by two policemen !

It was a bitterly cold day after the snow yesterday and all that was missing was some Laphroaig to tip into our tea to warm our insides !

It was an edgy start for Ankaragucu with Iskenderun not content to play the sitting duck.   All end to end stuff and then the game exploded in the 15th minute with a disputed penalty for Ankaragucu.   Even though it was in our line of sight, we couldn't see exactly what the infringement was due to the crowded penaltly area, but I would guess that the referee saw a hand ball.

After 2 yellow cards and lots of protestation, Levent stepped up and coolly despatched the ball into the left corner.

Iskenderun didn't buckle and kept the pressure on, and to be perfectly honest, it was a relief when the referee blew for half time.

Ankaragucu was a wee bit fortunate to go in 1-0 up at half time.   Iskenderun had always looked dangerous in the final third and was giving as good as they got.

Into the 2nd half and Ankaragucu started more positively and I was impressed with their chasing and harrying.    Obviously the half time team talk had the desired effect !!

15 minutes into the 2nd half and the crucial goal arrived.   A great through ball down the centre for Levent to chase and he latched onto it, took it in his stride, and drove a great shot into the corner for the 2nd goal.

This was the signal for Ankaragucu to take control of the game and I was impressed with the way they were spreading the ball around and making Iskenderun chase the game.

The 3rd goal arrived on the 78th minute mark after a great passing movement which ended up with a low hard hit right wing cross which was tucked in by Umut with the goalkeeper helpless.

It was all Ankaragucu now with Mehmet missing two great chances to make it 4 and the Iskenderun goalkeeper making two great saves.

Final whistle and back to the Chopin to celebrate where we learned the great news that Alanya could only manage a draw today.    The pressure is ON now and the Ankaragucu players have made a statement of intent !

The show is back on the road again and Ankaragucu can go to Izmir next weekend full of confidence in their own ability to stick that round thingie in the back of the net yessssssssssssssss !!!

Another 3 points pleeeeezzzzzz !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

PS ......... Althought the whole team played well today, I forgot to mention that Metin was my Man of the Match for his 100% contribution in defence and attack.   His passing was excellent and I think we can say that we have found a gem of an attacking full back !

Friday, December 06, 2013

Ankaragucu vs Iskenderun Demir Celikspor match preview !

Ankaragucu welcome Iskenderun Demir Celikspor to the 19 Mayis Stadium on Sunday afternoon looking to make it 2 wins in a row and put their title hopes back on track. After winning 2-0 at Bozuyukspor last weekend, the team will now be looking to go on a winning run and put Alanyaspor and Altinordu under pressure.

The visitors have lost their last two games at home to Altay and away at Bandirmaspor, their last two wins have been both on the road at Bozuyukspor and Ofspor. Like every other game in this Lig, Ankaragucu will need to show the visitors respect, keep it tight at the back and take their chances up top.

Last weekend Fuat Aykuz dropped a number of players including, Volkan Geyik, Aydin Toscali, Onur Atasayer and Gokhan Akkan. The coach brought in Metin Aydin to partner Gurkan Alver at the back while Bayram Olgun reclaimed the number 1 spot in goal. With the team keeping a clean sheet it will be difficult for any of those players dropped to return to the starting line up this weekend.

Umut Nayir is also back in full training and will be available for selection, its no coincidence that since his injury that the team has struggled to win games. He leads the line and holds the ball up taking the pressure off the midfield and defence. He will be hoping to come into the starting line up and join Levent Kale who has been on excellent form scoring 6 goals from 9 games this season.

The game will be shown live on Baskent TV 1330 kick off Turkish time, 1130 UK Time. The Kanka group will be going to the stadium to show their support for the team. Anyone who wishes to join them should contact the blog for details where to meet.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Ankaragucu 2-0 Bozoyukspor match report !

Ankaragucu returned to winning ways today with a 2-0 win at Bozoyukspor. With Altinordu and Alanyaspor both winning it was important that Ankaragucu won to keep up with the leaders. Fuat Aykuz made a host of changes with Aydin Toscali, Onur Atasayer, Selim Teber, Kaan Kanak and Gokhan Akkan all dropped.

Team - Bayram Olgun, Aytac Oden, Metin Aydin, Gurkan Alver, Emre Tasdemir, Serkan Sirin, Harun Aydin, Serhat Gulpinar, Hasan Ayaroglu, Mehmet Cakir, Lvent Kale

Subs - Gokhan Akkan, Kaan Kanak, Onur Atasayer, Aydin Toscali, Batuhan Akyildiz, Umut Nayir, Gokhan Erdogan

So the manager making a host of changes and sending out the message that no one is to good to be dropped from this team if they are not performing. Ankaragucu lead 1-0 through Levent Kale going into half time.

Into the second half and it was Mehmet Cakir who scored the second goal to give Ankaragucu the 3 points and their first win in 5 league games. As discussed on the Round Ball in Ankara Facebook page after the game, its important that Ankaragucu keep winning and gain ground on Altinordu and Alanyaspor going into the winter break.

Next up is Iskenderun at home next week, we will have the match preview midweek as we look ahead at what Ankaragucu can expect from the visitors.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gencler's slump continues

More tomorrow after I try to fathom the depths to which Genclerbirligi has plumbed.

(translation: report to be filed in the future when I have sobered up)

Genclerbirligi 1 - 3 Gaziantepspor

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ankaragucu vs Bozuyukspor match preview !

Unfortunately this weeks preview isn't just about the problems on the field as we have some important news about developments off field to discuss. First though we will look ahead to the weekends must win match at Bozuyukspor. After another disappointing defeat at home last week against Alanyaspor, the visitors Ankaragucu know they must win against Bozuyukspor who are lying in the relegation zone.

Bozuyukspor have only won 2 games all season but that will count for nothing as like every other team they will be looking to cause an upset against the big boys. They narrowly lost 2-1 against Altay last week and will be no pushover. Ankaragucu need to get back to winning as they face the unthinkable of moving outside the playoff places if other results also go against them.

Its difficult to pinpoint where it has all gone wrong for Ankaragucu in the last month, the injuries of Mehmet Cakir and Umut Nayir have been a blow to the club, but its at the back where the real problems lie. Volkan Geyik, Aydin Toscali, Gurkan Alver and Aytac Oden have all been performing below the standards they are capable of. Captain Aydin has struggled since he has come into the starting line up, the goals conceded last week he was to blame for 2 of them down to lack of concentration and a moment of madness.

Its something that Fuat Aykuz needs to address on the training ground, the club can't keep losing goals like they have been and expect to win promotion to the PTT Lig. In January i expect the club to bring in some quality defenders. The midfield will also need to take some responsibility and perform better than they have shown. Selim Teber and Serhat Gulpinar are arguably the best two central midfielders in the league. If you add Mehmet Cakir, Hasan Ayaroglu and Emre Tasdemir to that the manager has a wealth of talent to chose form that other managers could only dream of.

Now to the problems off field. President Mehmet Yiginer made an announcement on Tuesday night which has created some concerns amongst the report. Its been reported that a group of Ankaragucu fans visited Bestepe the clubs training facilities to speak to the played and staff regarding the performances, things got heated. President Yiginer has now stated that he doesn't want to be involved in anything that will damage the name of Ankara and has called a General Assembly for January where its believed he will step down as chairman.

Rumours on Facebook and twitter that If Yiginer goes it will be someone close to Gokcek who takes over at the club. The dark days look like they could be set to return.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gencler bore us to death

The honeymoon finished on Sunday for Genclerbirligi's new coach Mehmet Ozdilek as the team crashed to a disappointing loss against a whole lot of familiar faces.

Kayseri Erciyesspor 1 - 0 Genclerbirligi

It was certainly strange to be watching Erciyesspor on the telly. Cem Can was there in his normal No. 40 shirt, Yasin and Bjorn up the front, Azofeifa on the bench and of course the coach Fuat Capa. It was like watching Gencler from just a year ago.

What it wasn't was watching the Gencler of the past few weeks. From the highs of not just beating Trabzon in the last round but beating them with style, to this week being at a complete loss.

We could hardly string more than two passes together, the midfield was dangerously adrift and we hardly managed to get any shots on goal.

Gosso was injured and I'm not sure why Ozgur wasn't named but boy did we miss them.

It was truly dire stuff. Stancu up front looked tired from his recent international matches for Romania and then Ramazan injured himself when the score was still 0-0. It didn't look too bad but he did have to be replaced.

This was a match that could have gone either way as both teams were rubbish. A red card to Serkan towards the end, and the referee failing to give us a penalty didn't help matters.

I'm just glad that I was watching the match in a pub, at least I had alcohol to console me.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Team - Gokhan, Aytac, Volkan, Aydin, Mehmet, Serhat, Selim, Kaan, Serkan, Emre, Levent

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

I took my customary stroll through Genclik Park on my way to the Stadium to have a nostalgic look at the old (now defunct) Sahil Restaurant where we used to meet, and I may add …. full of high spirits and optimism. However, that optimism was short lived 3 hours later !!

ANKARAGUCU 2 Alanyaspor 3

I entered the Stadium at 1pm to find Gecikondu full and Maraton almost full. By kick-off time, Maraton was full and so was both Kapali sections. A truly fantastic crowd for a 2nd Division Match.

A nice touch just before KO when the 50 odd Alanya supporters in the Away End unfurled an Ankaragucu Banner much to the delight of all sections, and they were applauded of course.

I was joined by Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Cider Kanka John, and Apple Kanka Erman together with his two friends.

Ankaragucu took to the field wearing an all white strip which had two thin strips of blue and yellow across the chest. Were they going to play like Real Madrid I was thinking ??? And the answer is …....... NO !!

Normally it is Ankaragucu coming out of the traps first, but Alanya showed from the off that they are not top of the league without good reason. Ankaragucu came into the match in fits and starts but it was Alanya showing the most urgency and fluency.

It must have been a great match for the neutrals sitting in the VIP Section, but for us long suffering Ankaragucu supporters it was frustrating to watch Ankaragucu's attacks coming to nothing in the final third.

20 minutes in and Alanya should have opened the scoring with a fast counter attack, the cut-back, but thankfully no takers.

Approaching half time and Alanya was putting Ankaragucu under extreme pressure and the defence was in panic mode as they cleared two Alanya scoring opportunities. Ankaragucu on the counter should have punished Alanya, but with the attacking move made quickly, it was halted by indecision and the chance was lost.

The inevitable goal came just before the half time whistle when Alanya broke out quickly down the right wing and when the ball was cut back in the 'classic cut back style' it was tapped in for what was really all that Alanya deserved from their first half performance.

Into the 2nd half then and Alanya took off from where they left off, ie, on the offensive. Ankaragucu was trying to get back into the match, but even with the introduction of Mehmet Cakir, the match was becoming scrappy.

Halfway through the 2nd half, and just as I was beginning to think that Alanya might start running the match down, then Ankaragucu finally made the break through.

A corner on the left, the knock-down in the box, and there was Serhat to rifle a shot into the net with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

Celebrations all round and everyone jumping up and down ready for the Ankaragucu onslaught...... wrong !

From the re-start Alanya went straight into attack and scored …....... aaaaaargh !!!! I was still celebrating the Ankaragucu goal and didn't see it, but Cider Kanka said it was a classic schoolboy error with the defence caught off guard. Probably they were still celebrating like me !!!

Ankaragucu finally woke up and started to play with some urgency, although I have to say that Alanya were always looking dangerous on the break.

Ten minutes to go and finally a break for Ankaragucu when Emre went down in the box under a challenge and a definite penalty. Levent made no mistake.

Approaching the final whistle and we were still willing Ankaragucu on to seal a memorable win because a 2-2 score is not what we were looking for.

Then in the last attack of the match, an Alanya player went down in the box on the left (theatrically in my view, albeit that it was quite far away) and the referee unbelievably pointed to the spot.

Stunned silence all round, but the Alanya No9 made no mistake.

Gutted is not the word I would use. Perhaps something stronger which I can't say here !!!

Ankaragucu is now left with a mountain to climb if they are to escape from the Red League. Hopefully they won't come up against teams like Alanya in the run up to the end, and all we can do now is realistically think about making the Play-Offs !!!

Off we went to The Chopin to team up with Oz Kanka Chris who was also suffering the defeat of Genclerbirligi at the hands of Erciyes. His report will not make good reading either !!!

All the best from a very disappointed Eski Kanka Jim

PS ….. me thinks it's going to be a long and effin frustrating winter !!!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Ankaragucu vs Alanyaspor match preview !

Sundays match between Ankaragucu vs Alanyaspor is a top of the table clash which can only be described as a must win match for Ankaragucu. The visitors Alanyaspor sit top of the table 5 points ahead of Ankaragucu going into this match. Four wins in a row have saw Alanyaspor overtake Ankaragucu at the top of the league while the hosts haven't won in their last four games.

Fuat Aykuz was happy with the way the team played last week at Ofspor and claimed the team were unlucky not to win the game after the Ofspor goal was said to be offside. Ankaragucu will need to up their game and get back to winning. With manager Hayati Soldas gone after the fans calling for his resignation, there are no more excuses. Despite the team being young, they have played together for a long time. The teams they are coming up against are of a poor standard, and if Ankaragucu want to be taken seriously they need to start showing the kind of form that the leaders Alanyaspor are showing.

The biggest concern is the defence, week after week the goals the team concede are what you would expect to see at amateur level. That is something that the manager will need to address in training. The last time Alanyaspor lost in the league was at Ofspor who beat them 1-0. Ankaragucu have the quality to win this match, and with the home support behind them they need to win this match for the fans.

The match will kick off at 1330 on Sunday at the 19 Mayis stadium. For those who can't make the match the game will be shown live on Baskent TV. Its difficult to predict a result with Ankaragucu at the moment but they will need to show a huge improvement if they are to win this match.

Lets hope come Sunday night we are cheering an Ankaragucu win !

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Ankaragucu 1-1 Ofspor match report !

Ankaragucu are in great danger of throwing their title hopes away after yet another match without a win.  A 1-1 draw at Ofspor now makes it 4 matches in all competitions without a win. In fact the last match Ankaragucu won was when i was there for the 5-0 win over Pazarspor. Who would have thought that day that Hayati Soldas would be gone as coach and Ankaragucu would be 5 points behind Alanyaspor within the next 3 league games ?

Team - Gokhan Akkan. Aytac Oden, Volkan Geyik, Aydin Toscali, Onur Atasayer, Kaan Kanak, Serhat Gulpinar, Serkan Sirin, Selim Teber, Emre Tasdemir, Levent Kale

Subs - Bayram Olgun, Metin Aydin, Mert Erdogan, Mehmet Tasci, Mert Pamukkaya, Hasan Ayaroglu,  Harun Aydin

New coach Fuat Aykiz brought Levent Kale back into the starting line up alongside Onur Atasayer, but it wasn't enough as Ankaragucu couldn't hold onto a 1-0 lead to take 3 points against Ofspor. The first half ended 0-0 with no real updates due to Kardinga TV not being able to show the game due to technical problems.

Into the second half and Ankaragucu took the lead through an own goal from Abdurrahman Cubukcu on the 62 minute mark. It looked like Ankaragucu were heading for the win but for a late equaliser from Mertcan Aktas and put a dent on Ankaragucu's title dreams.

Alanyaspor won 3-0 at home against Altay to go 5 points clear at the top, they are now showing they are real title contenders and will now travel to Ankara next Sunday for the match against Ankaragucu. A defeat for Ankaragucu will all but kill off their title hopes as early as November.

Fuat Aykuz will now go back to the drawing board and see how he can improve the defence while the team look to get back to scoring goals. The injury of Umut Nayir and fitness of Mehmet Cakir has took some sting out of the Ankaragucu team, but they need to get back to winning ways.

Fuat Aykuz the new Ankaragucu manager !

Fuat Aykuz has been appointed as the new manager of Ankaragucu. He has been promoted from the youth team and takes over from Hayati Soldas who resigned earlier this week. His first task will be tomorrow as the side take on Ofspor in the league.

When i was in Ankara last month i met Mr Aykuz who was taking training sessions for the youth team. Although i don't know much about him, he is well respected within the club and knows the club inside out. He will be familiar with the players with many of them having played under him at youth level.

The new manager is also a former player of the club and it will be interesting to see what style of football he plays. Lets hope its 3 points tomorrow for his first game in charge of the club.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Ankaragucu vs Ofspor match preview !

Ankaragucu travel to the province of Trabzon on Sunday as they come up against Ofspor in what will be a tough match. The club will be hoping be hoping to put an end to the 3 match losing streak which has saw them drop to 3rd in the League. The last two games have not only ben disappointing in terms of the result, but also the performance. Ankaragucu for the last couple of years have been known for playing good football despite the poor results. New coach Hayati Soldas has come under huge pressure as the style of football and negative tactics is leaving the fans calling for his dismissal.

Losing at home to Tepecikspor last weekend was a blow to the clubs title hopes, but it is up to them to come back stronger and prove they are capable of winning this league. As results have shown anyone is capable of beating anyone in this division. Although Ankaragucu are missing key players Selim Teber, Orhan Evci and Umut Nayir they still have a big enough squad to win these games. With Altinordu and Alanyaspor both on a winning run it is important that Ankaragucu don't lose ground on the top 2.

It seems that the Manager Hayati Soldas is still with the club after reports last week claiming he had resigned. It will be interesting to see how he lines the team up against Ofspor and if he has listened to the fans shouts for Attacking positive football. The decision to play Gurkan Alver in midfield last weekend instead of Mert Erdogan was an example of these negative tactics. Mert an accomplished midfielder who played for the club in the Super Lig, while Gurkan is a no nonsense centre half who is known for not being good on the ball. Added to that Gurkan was playing in the middle of the park with Serhat Gulpinar who is also a defensive midfielder. Then we have the decision to drop our on form striker Levent Kale for the unfit Ibrahim Sahin ??

Ofspor are sitting just outside the playoff places and drew 2-2 at Altay last weekend, they also beat Alanyaspor 1-0 a couple of weeks ago and have shown they are a difficult side to beat. Ankaragucu still have enough quality to go and win this game. They need to be tight at the back, as the two goals last week conceded were goals you would expect to see at Junior football level. Youngsters Hasan and Emre are two of the most promising young players outside the Super Lig, they have to start making the right decisions though and stay involved in the game.

Kick off will be at 1330 on Sunday and the game will be live online through a Trabzon TV Chanel. Im prediction a 1-1 draw, i hope we can get the 3 points buy i just dont see the manager changing his decisions or tactics.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Terrible start, brilliant finish

My voice is certainly worn out after one hell of a match that saw incompetence, show-off fancy boy stuff, a dodgy penalty, a referee who sprayed us with yellow cards, as straight red towards the end to a Trabzon player... and last but no least a brilliant come back from two-nil down.

Genclerbirligi 3 - 2 Trabzonspor
Mark and Steve and Carl and Carlo and Saadet and Joanne
and Matthew and Chris and Steph. 

A decent crowd with eight of us at the Beer Bus this afternoon where we found the bar staff were wiping the floors and chairs. It seems that a huge crowd of Trabzon supporters had just left. Poor buggers had to go to the stadium more than an hour and a half before kick-off to guarantee themselves a seat. Us Gencler fans rock up 20 minutes before the start and still manage to get a decent spot.

Gencler have had a couple of good weeks but even the most optimistic of us thought Trabzon would be too good for us. This was confirmed just 30 seconds in when Ugur sent a back pass to Ramazan. The pass was a little bit harder than it should have been and Ramazan slipped over when trying to get to it. Ramazan thought it was going out and ignored it but a Trabzon player rightly stormed in and from an acute angle got it into the back of the net.

Stunned silence from the Gencler crowd. Absolutely embarrassing for Ramazan and head in hands time for me. Remember this was 30 seconds in and we were already one nil down.

This was surely going to be an absolute disaster but while the Gencler players didn't exactly pick up the pace (the game had hardly started at this stage) but we played some decent football. We had control and balls were going through to our strikers. No goal though. Even though at one stage a great shot from Ugur appeared to go in... it didn't though.

The referee was starting to be annoying with decisions starting to go Trabzon's way. Then Ugur got himself involved again when he made a somewhat silly tackle on a Trabzon player in the box. Yep. A penalty. At the time I thought it was very harsh decision, as did the Gencler fans and the players. The referee started handing cards to Gencler players for talking too much and this only got the fans angrier.

They scored and so after 34 minutes Trabzon were two up.

Looking back at a replay now on the Digiturk website I think it was probably a correct decision to give the penalty.

The thing is though it got our fans to sing louder and the players to really put their heart into what was already a pretty good performance. And so our just reward came deep into added on time of the first half with Zec getting a header through to Stancu. Stancu managed to get around former Gencler player Aykut and then rounded the Trabzon keeper.

Down 2-1 at half-time but I was still pretty hopeful we could at least get the draw. We were by far the better team of the first half and our players knew it.

Second half and it was pretty much the same. Trabzon had a few goes but in general we were the team actually going for it.

Then came the reward after some extremely loud chanting from our supporters.

Sixty-seventh minute and a free kick was sent in to the box by Jimmy. Onto the head of Ahmet Calik and in. That was one of the most deserved goals I've seen. We had been so dominant and from such a horrible start.        

The players weren't having any of my "moral victory" stuff, they wanted real victory and it was great to see such passion on the field.

80 minutes in and Trabzon were attacking. A shot at goal was made and one of our players managed to give it an almighty hoof from inside the box to clear it. Thing is, Jimmy decided that this hoof was a pass and ran after it. With two Trabzon players on him Jimmy managed to control the ball, keep running, and then getting it past the keeper. Fantastic stuff.

And that was that. We had out-sung
the large Trabzon fan groups. We had played vastly superior football. We were the better team by far. That make three league victories in a row. Not bad really

By the way I approve of Jimmy's new beard!

Hayati Soldas resigns !

Ankaragucu manager Hayati Soldas has today resigned from his position at the club. After only taking over the club in the summer from Mustafa Kaplan he leaves the club in 3rd place in the league after another poor performance amd defeat yesterday.

Although the club are in the playoff places the fans werent happy at the negative style of football the team was playing and team selections. Three defeats this season have all came against Istanbul teams at the foot of the table.

We now await who will take over the reigns with former Ankaragucu managers Mustafa Kaplan, Hakan Kutlu and Hikmet Karaman all memtioned.

Saturday, November 09, 2013


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Bellshill Kanka Nadeem's Flag lives on .............

This is the sight today in Gecikondu when Ozan and his family proudly showed off the Scotland Saltire which was given to them 2 weeks ago by Nadeem........

The connection had been made and it will never be broken.

We met Ozan and his family outside the Stadium at the end of the match and they send their best wishes to Nadeem and all the Kanka Group members.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu received a reality check today from an average performing Tepecikspor team. Not only that ….......... we all did !!!

ANKARAGUCU 1 Tepecikspor 2

As I've continually said last season, and this, if you dare under-estimate any of the teams in the PTT and 2nd leagues then you will be punished.

However, that was not the only reason for today's abysmal performance and result. The Ankaragucu team simply didn't perform !

Rewind ….... The Kankas met in the Stadium ….... Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Cider Kanka John, Apple Kanka Erman and a guest appearance from 'new kid on the block' Tasmanian Devil Kanka Robbie, who we hope will be a regular supporter of the Kanka Group.

5 minutes to go to KO and a full Gecikondu and almost full Maraton is serenading us …....... as usual. However, a glance at the 'away end' and I could only see 15 policemen seated …... and …... zero Tepecik punters !!!

The match kicked-off with Ankaragucu on full attack mode, and it was about 10 minutes in before we saw Gokhan in action to receive a back-pass. Then, after Tepecik had 'weathered the storm' with their impressive defence, which by the way produced nothing in the way of any danger for their goalkeeper, they started to come into the match and showed that they were not here to make up the numbers !

15 minutes in and Tepecik almost took the lead when a cross came in from the left to an unmarked attacker on the back post, but he blasted over. Sighs of relief all round !

It was end-to-end for the remainder of the half with Ankaragucu having the best chance of the match so far almost on the half time whistle. A great goal-bound shot was tipped over the bar by the Tepecik goalie for the save of the match.

We were just settling down after the re-start when Tepecik scored. Unfortunately, it happened so quick that none of us saw the incident which occurred from an Ankaragucu defensive lapse allowing the Tepecik attacker free on a one-on-one situation with Gokhan. He made no mistake by despatching the ball into the corner to stun us all into silence !

The equaliser almost came 10 minutes later when Ankaragucu's Man of the Match, Emre, fired in a powerful shot from just outside the box which the keeper did well to dive full length and turn the ball round the post for a corner.

3 minutes later the 'NON-Man of the Match' Ibrahim Sahin missed a sitter. From a free kick with an open goal at his mercy he elected to blast it into Gecikondu, when it was the easiest thing in the world to tap in. Even the Hibs front line without a goal in FOUR matches could have scored !!!!

The equaliser finally arrived on the 63rd minute but it was not a goal which will live long in the memories of Ankaragucu's finest ! In fact, it will probably rate as one of the most unforgettable !

It was a scrappy goal deriving from some scrappy play which was despatched by Emre (I think via a deflection). OK, it was a goal, and Emre will no doubt claim it, but a rather fortunate equaliser which had the desired effect of producing some sustained Ankaragucu pressure.

Unfortunately, the pressure wasn't sustained long enough and Ankaragucu looked to be losing their way and being tied up in knots by some impressive defending by Tepecik.

10 minutes to go and ….......... goal !!! Levent scored …....didn't he ? No !!! The ball hit the post and bounced out straight into the goalie's grateful arms ! Aaaaargh ….... it was a goal all the way and Levent could so easily have turned the match. Which brings me to another point …. why didn't he start the match ? Why was he only brought on half way through the 2nd half when it was quite obvious, even to us kankas, that Sahin was a waste of space ??!! The Coach (if he is still the Coach next week) needs to answer that question !

5 minutes to go and we are all resigned to a 1-1 draw and then …...... surprise surprise ….. the defence had another attack of being in dreamland. With Ankaragucu pressing forward looking for a winner, they forgot about the basics ….... ie, keep the back door closed !!!

A breakaway …..... and with the Ankaragucu defence posted missing …..... it was all too easy for the Tepecik forwards to tear what was left of it to shreds and slot in the winner.

What a sickner. Cue …... calls for the head of the Coach. Could well be a new Coach for the next home match me thinks !

Into time added on and time enough for Gurkan to receive a yellow and a 2nd yellow. I doubt if he'll be missed in defence next week !!!

So, as I said …..... the players have been brought back down to earth and they now have to think long and hard about the long slog ahead till May 2014.

First up is the away match against Ofspor next week and ….... dare I say it …...... a MUST WIN match !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Ankaragucu vs Tepecikspor match preview !

Ankaragucu will be hoping to get back to winning ways this Saturday as they host another of the Istanbul teams this time Tepicikspor. After last weeks disappointing defeat at Bayrampasa, coach Hayati Soldas knows Ankaragucu must take the 3 points with the likes of Altinordu, Alanyaspor and Bandirmaspor all breathing down our neck.

I managed to watch the highlights of last weeks game and would say that was our worst performance of the season. We created very little with Mehmet Cakir having the only decent chance, we looked very weak at the back and a better side would have punished us more. The team selection with Mert, Emre and Aydin all dropped or rested after impressing against Sivas and Pazarspor.

Tepecikspor are sitting mid table and drew 0-0 with Altay last week. They were hammered 5-1 by Alanyaspor a few weeks back but as results have shown anyone is capable of beating anone in this league.

Selim Teber will be missing again through injury which is a blow with him being one of the clubs top performers this season. Mehmet Cakir and Aydin Toscali should feature with them closer to full fitness. Emre Tasdemir should also be restored to the starting line up with the youngster also in top form.

The game will take place at 1330 this Saturday at the 19 Mayis Stadium and will also be shown live on Baskent TV if anyone cant make the match.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Başbakan Ramazan

"Stancu just doesn't seem good enough up front," said @spinesideburn at the Beer Bus before Monday night's Genclerbirligi v Eskisehirspor match. So little faith did Steve have that he didn't even bother to actually come to game, preferring to curl up on the sofa at home. Needless to say Stancu scored two top goals tonight.

Genclerbirligi 2 - 0 Eskisehir

I had no idea that Swedish people were so proud of their Viking history. Apparently the prime minister sends out a congratulatory note to all Swedes on the date considered to be the anniversary of the "Stuffing of Jorvik" (York) from the year 950 or something. Such a violent history makes it all the more strange that all Swedes are given a certificate on graduation from high school that qualifies them to be election monitors in any third world country, including Scotland! No wonder democracy is doing so well.
The Swedes

Anyway, that is what I think I heard from the four Swedish blokes who showed up at the Beer Bus, along with @spinesideburn, for pre-match discussions.

Indian summer weather, and a fair bit of pollution, meant that it certainly wasn't cold at the 19 Mayis Stadium for the Monday night 8pm KO. Which brings me to my next rant.

When I was a kiddy football matches kicked off at 3pm on a Sunday. ALL football matches kicked off at 3pm on a Sunday. A wonderful time for a footy match. The weather was always good at 3pm. The meat pies were warm and the cheer leaders ugly.  
I know we can't go back to those good ole days. Television determines everything and I accept that we are going to have matches on a Friday night, or a Monday night.

But now I get pissed off and angry because I can't for the life of me figure out why the TFF would schedule three, 3, uç, tre, THREE matches for a Monday night 8pm kick off.

Why couldn't the TFF have had our match on Saturday or Sunday? It isn't as if our Monday night match would have got many viewers on the telly. The Gencler v Eskisehir match is the closest we have to a derby nowadays (a bit over an hour away on the high speed train). So why, why, make us play on a Monday night making it so difficult for both home and especially away fans to get to the stadium?

Having said that there was a decent Eskisehir crowd tonight. Mainly students it looked like.

But the Eskisehir team didn't really show up.

Gencler did though and it wasn't long until Stancu had us 1-0 up with a greatly strike in the 7th minute.

And then we played... er... not too badly. This was a new Gencler. Grosso was great in midfield. We were making decent attacks, our defence was holding nicely, Ramazan in goal had little to do.

Half-time and none of us could see Eskisehir winning it. Thing was that before the match you could have got very good odds on Eskisehir absolutely thrashing us.

Second half and again Genclerbirligi were in control. We sang and sang and the team seemed to lift. Then the second came with Stancu again simply smashing it.      
From then on Gencler merely played counter-attacking football while Eskisehir desperately tried to get something back.

They couldn't.

I can't really explain it. We seem to be playing like a decent team. Is it all because of the new coach "Şifo" Mehmet?

I don't care. In the end the Swedes and me left the stadium happy having seen another violent massacre... er... football victory.

Steve later texted me to say that he had had a lovely snooze. Bless.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Ankaragucu 0-1 Bayrampasa match report !

Ankaragucu surprisingly lost 1-0 in Istanbul this afternoon against struggling Bayrampasa. A disappointing result for the club especially as Bayrampasa had only won 1 game all season before today. The lead at the top is now cut to 2 points after Alanyaspor won 4-0 at home to Bozuyukspor and now leapfrog Bandirmaspor into second place. Bandirma lost 3-0 at Nazilli which just shows anyone can beat anyone in this league.

Team - Gokhan Akkan, Orhan Evci, Gurkan Alver, Volkan Geyik, Onur Atasayer, Kaan Kanak, Harun Aydin, Serhat Gulpinar, Mehmet Cakir, Levent Kale, Umut Nayir

Subs - Bayram Olgun, Aydin Toscali, Metin Aydin, Batuhan Akyildiz, Emre Tasdemir, Mehmet Tasci, Ibrahim Sahin

The main talking point tonight is the future of Ankaragucu coach Hayati Soldas, now its easy to say Ankaragucu are top of the league so why are the fans questioning the manager ? First of all if Ankaragucu are to win this league they need to start taking points of the teams at the bottom of the table. The two defeats this season have came against Istanbul Gungorenspor and Bayrampasa who are two of the weakest sides in the league. Secondly Hayati bey has had the largest budget of all the teams in this league, he can call on the likes of Aydin Toscali, Mehmet Cakir, Serhat Gulpinar and Selim Teber who were all Super Lig players not long ago.

Today Hayati again dropped Mert Erdogan from the team in place of Harun Aydin. Mert may split opinions with the Ankaragucu fans but there is no doubting his quality and to drop him the player taking his place must be of a higher standard, unfortunately at the moment that is not the case with Harun. Young Emre Tasdemir in the last two matches has scored 2 goals and shown what a fantastic talent he is, yet today he was on the bench and played no part. Captain Aydin Toscali was back on the bench as Hayati stuck with Gurkan and Volkan who have looked very shaky at the back this season.

I spoke to many Ankaragucu fans last week and most of them are of the opinion that last season the football was excellent but the results were poor, this season the football is poor but the results are good. Ankaragucu need to find a balance between playing good football and getting the results required to win this championship. The club cant afford to pay the kind of wages they are paying in Lig 2 and not win promotion.

Bayrampasa scored after only 9 minutes today thanks to Gokhan Kilinc, and that was the way the score finished. Going by the updates on facebook and twitter it was a poor performance from Ankaragucu. Next up is a home match with Tepecikspor who are another of the sides struggling at the foot of the table. Its a must win for Ankaragucu with Alanyaspor starting to show some form.

Match preview of the Tepecikspor on the blog during the week....

Friday, November 01, 2013

Ankaragucu vs Bayrampasa match preview !

Ankaragucu travel to Istanbul on Sunday as they face struggling Bayrampasa. Afterna fantastic 5-0 win over Pazarspor last week and a spirited 3-1 extra time defeat at Sivasspor midweek, the Ankara side will go into the game high on confidence.

Bayrampasa are only 1 place outside the relegation zone and lost 4-0 at Altay last week. They were also knocked out of the Turkish cup to Fethiyespor 2-1 after extra time midweek. They have however drawn against both Alanyaspor and Bandirmaspor this season.

Ankaragucu coach Hayati Soldas again has the task of chosing his best 11, with Serhat Gulpinar, Mert Erdogan, Aydin Toscali, Mehmet Cakir, Emre Tasdemir and Veli Torun all back from injury the coach has good squad of players to chose from.

Young Emre Tasdemir has shown in the last 2 games why a host of Super Lig teams were after his signature. The youngster has the technique, pace and skill that all good modern wingers need these days. Aydin Toscali is also a big player forthe team with his experience helping to settle the team at the back.

Another tough game but one which Ankaragucu should come away with 3 points and retain there lead at the top.Game kicks off at 1330 Turkish Time and you can get all the updates live on the official Round Ball in Ankara facebook page.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Ankaragucu Family !

This was my fourth trip to the Turkish Capital to watch Ankaragucu play this time against Pazarspor who had traveled from the City of Rize. The first two matches i traveled for we lost 3-0 to Fenerbahce and 5-1 against Bursaspor. Last season i saw my first victory as Ankaragucu won 1-0 against Kartalspor. Its now 2 defeats and 2 victorys as Ankaragucu won 5-0 as Pazarspor were blown away with Ankaragucu just to strong.

The weekend started off with a trip to Tandogan where i met Coskun who is the clubs media man, he is  responsible for the clubs Official Website, facebook and twitter pages. He wanted to meet up after finding out i had travelled from Scotland for the match. I met respected coaches Cengiz Paca and Murat Tuksoy before meeting the clubs vice president Tamer Acar who presented me with an Ankaragucu scarf.

President Mehmet Yiginer has done a fantastic job at the club and has branded this season Ankaragucu Dirilis which means resurrection, so i decided to do my bit buy purchasing a season ticket and buying some merchandise from the club shop. At Tandogan i would watch the reserve team train which included Samil Yagci, Emir Ozbey and Oguzhan Bicer. After lunch and some Turkish Tea it was time to head off and meet the Kanka Group.

The Ankaragucu and Genclerbirligi Kankas would meet at Beyzade for another excellent night which included Turkish Food and traditional Turkish entertainment. Harun took the place of Chris this year by drinking the most Raki. He also made sure Paul was to become an Ankaragucu fan and taught him some Ankaragucu songs.

Saturday afternoon was the day of the match, the Kankas met at the Hilton hotel before heading off to the stadium. Upon entering the stadium we met President Mehmet Yiginer who stopped for a photo with the Kankas after hearing Ankaragucu has a couple of Scotland fans. The game itself was excellent , with all the fan groups singing to each other, and the team responding with a fantastic 5-0 win.

At full time i met up with the Aykildiz family who after hearing that i had traveled from Scotland wanted to meet up after the match. We stopped for a couple of photos before they invited us for dinner at their house the next night. We continued our night watching the El Classico in the Red Lion as Bugra and his Friend joined us. Damon was delighted as his Barcelona won 2-1 to make it a good day all around.

As i checked the latest news on my phone back at the hotel, i received a message from Coskun to say that he had done an article on the Ankaragucu official website and Facebook page of my journey from Scotland.  Article Here ! I was delighted to see i had made it onto the official page as well as Turkish Sports websites SporYolu and Sporanki. That was followed by facebook requests from many Ankaragucu fans who sent messages thanking me for my support.

Sunday, myself, John and Basak met up with Ozan who took us to his parents house for dinner. Having only met the Aykildiz family the day before they put on a fantastic dinner for us and presented me with the new Ankaragucu home strip. It was that night i realised that supporting Ankaragucu is like a family. The fans are so happy that a foreigner supports their club and i started to understand why they turned up in their numbers to welcome Darius Vassell at the airport when he signed for the club. The happiness in the familys face that i had came to meet them and have dinner with them is something i will never forget and cant thank them enough.

Monday night i met up with Jim, Damon, Harun, John and his friend to say goodbye and thank them for another fantastic trip. Hopefully if we win the league i will be there for the title party !