Saturday, November 29, 2014


Team - Gokhan Akkan, Metin Aydin, Volkan Geyik, Aytac Oden, Onur Atasayer, Harun Aydin, Mehmet Erdem, Teoman Erkan, Levent Kale, Umut Nayir

Subs - Turgut Kirveli, Batuhan Gulcan, Ali Sinan Gayla, Hasan Ayaroglu, Gurkan Alver, Ramazan Adiguzel, Hasan Kaya

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Yes, but ......... I didn’t have that ‘feel good’ feeling when I arrived at the Stadium.   It was an eerie feeling not normally associated with Ankaragucu matches, ie, no noise !

I met up with Ahmet in The Sports Cafe and we were entertained with the matches on the Amateur pitches before entering the Stadium 20 minutes before KO.   Ahmet commented that there was no singing or chanting which was unusual at this time pre-match.

It really was a pathetic attendance for an Ankaragucu match with Gecikondu and Maraton a quarter full ........... or if you feel pessimistic ........... three quarters empty !!!     Even allowing for the fact that it was an early KO on Saturday it was very disappointing.   Amazingly, there were 13 souls in the ‘away end’ and to their credit they displayed a banner on the front rail which read ............ ‘Let Ankaragucu not be history’.    Sweet .... eh ??!!

So, there was Ahmet, Cider Kanka John and I, and in all honesty we were expecting the worst, but ....... strange things occur sometimes in footie .............

ANKARAGUCU    3      Kirklarelispor     0

It took only one minute for Ankaragucu to create the first chance when from an attack down the left wing a cross was met and the ball clipped over.   

There was not a lot of action in front of goal but lots of effort from both teams.    Kirklareli almost opened the scoring with their best chance of the match after 10 minutes when a dangerous attacking move was thwarted by the post with Gokhan luckily retreiving the ball from the rebound.

Ankaragucu looked the likelier team to score and they had a good opportunity on 37 minutes when Teoman headed over when all he had to do was flick the ball to his right of the goalkeeper and the goalmouth which was unguarded.

However, 4 minutes later the moment came which sent us all into unbelievable celebration.    Ankaragucu scored from open-play for the first time in ......... well ......... a long time !   The ball was crossed from the left and after two attempts which were cleared, the 3rd shot from Aytac sneaked in to the goalkeeper’s right.    I have a feeling he was un-sighted !     We were not complaining though as we sang and danced up and down in ....... relief !!!

Half time arrived and I think it is fair to say that, although Ankaragucu has the lion’s share of possession, they were fortunate to be going in ahead !

The 2nd half was to prove a different story with the Ankaragucu players proving what I suggested might happen in my comments to Nadeem’s preview in the last post.    They fought for every ball and ran their hearts out.

Erdem was causing problems for the Kirklareli defence and 10 minutes into the 2nd half he opened up their defence and sent in a great cross from the left but Teoman shot narrowly past.

Kirklareli was still attacking and looking for an equaliser but Gokhan saved from a free kick just outside the box.

It was still tense, but that all changed on the 71st minute when the Goal of the Season was scored by Umut.    Well ........ it would have been if the Super League cameras had been there to see it !!   He picked up the ball just into the Kirklareli half and ran at the defence.    With few options left or right, he kept on going, waltzing past 3 defenders tackles and then when he was just inside the box he let fly and the ball screamed into the net with the goalkeeper helpless.   A truly fantastic individual effort and a goal to settle the team and supporters nerves.

We were still in euphoric mode and settling down, when it was three only 3 minutes later.    Yet another great individual strike, this time from Erdem, who evaded two tackles and from just inside the box sent in a great shot to the corner with the goalkeeper well beaten.

Ankaragucu still pressed forward and in my opinion should have had a penalty on the 83rd minute when a mistake was made by a Kirklareli defender which allowed Umut to latch on to the ball and take the ball forward into the penalty area.    Then, just as he was about to shoot, he was tackled and brought down.    From my position, it was defo a foul and a penalty, but the referee pointed for a corner.

OK, it was his decision, and no criticism of him intended.    Apart from that incident, I thought he had a good match and, after all, it is his decision which counts !

So, 3 valuable points and what a boost in confidence for the team after so many recent disappointments.    They can now go to Nazzili next weekend with confidence and try and finish the first half of the season without slipping into the relegation area any deeper.

As I said, Umut’s goal was star quality, but the whole team played their hearts out today in what was an encouraging performance.   My Man of the Match award though goes to Erdem for his non stop running and his never say die spirit.    This spirit obviously affected the whole team and it is to their credit that they came back to winning ways.

Well done !

Cider Kanka John and I celebrated in the Red Lion Club but we weren’t really watching that funny shaped ball game .......... we were singing ................. Aaaaaankaaaaaarrrrrraaaaaaagooooojooooo !!!!     Yesssssssssssssss !

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, November 28, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Kirklarelispor match preview!

Ankaragucu have more injury worries ahead of the home match with Kirklarelispor on Saturday afternoon. With the team already struggling with numbers this season due to the influx of players leaving the club, its more bad news as this Ankaragucu side have been dragged into a relegation battle. Orhan Evci, Hasan Ayaroglu, Mehmet Tasci and Ramazan Adiguzel are all out for the next 3-4 weeks.

Its a big blow for Hasan Ayaroglu who despite having a lot of talent, his career has been plagued by injuries so far. Orhan is one of the few players in the team with pace and will also be missed as will Mehmet Tasci.

Last weeks match at Gumushanespor was one of the worst performances this club has displayed in its 105 year history. Coach Mustafa Kaplan apologised to the fans stating the level of performance wasn't acceptable. The Ankaragucu fans have been very faithful to Kaplan and the team despite these poor performances. Instead they have turned all their attention in trying to save the club. Several Ankaragucu fans have been on a hunger strike at the clubs Tandogan headquarters with them demanding help from the Government and Ankara Businessmen.

Through all Ankaragucus troubles, one person who has stood shoulder to shoulder with the club and tried to help the club is Aylin Nazaklia. What a fantastic women she is and it puts those men in government to shame that she is the only person willing to stand up to those who have let the club down.

Sundays match will be tougher than Ankaragucu fans expect, the visitors Kirklarelispor are undefeated in their last 4 matches and have won 3 of them. They also have a lot of experience in the team and will go into the game full of confidence.

Ankaragucu on the other hand haven't won in their last 4 games and have lost 3 of them, they lack experience and have a lot of injury problems. Unfortunately i cant see anything other than a comfortable win for the visitors. Hopefully i am wrong.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Pink Boots of Guido Kocer

Gencler drew 2-2 with Karabuk at home on Sunday after failing to make the most of their frankly tiny margin of superiority over the visitors.

This match report is brought to you by: Spine's one-handed typing, Maximus brand flurbiprofen painkillers, and an unhealthy interest in footballers' feet.

Both Gencler goals came in the first half. And both came from the partnership of Guido Kocer and Bogdan Stancu. First from the right, and then from the left, Guido, wearing pink boots, placed accurate passes to Stancu, who seldom wastes such chances. Karabuk pulled one back from a penalty.

Guido Against France
So, who is Guido Kocer, and how did he come by his magnificent name? We don't know, is the honest answer. We know precious little: he was born in Worms, Germany, he has played for Turkish Under-21s, and he has a dashing colour sense in footwear. He's also a little tubby, if we're going to be honest. "He's a little like Gaza," said Robin.

Living the Passo-Life, So You Don't Have To
In the second half a number of things changed. A new ref came on to replace Cuneyt Cakir, who was having breathing difficulties. (Primo Turkish Referee Cakir was treated in hospital and is in good condition, Hurriyet reports.) Also, Guido changed his pink boots for white ones.

And things went wrong from there. Karabuk equalised with a rocket of a goal from way outside the box. Guido was taken off, and displayed Gaza-like sentimentality by throwing his shirt to a small child. Mervan Celik was having a poor game, and was subbed for Radosav Petrovic. But Petrovic got his nose banged/broken in the box and never really engaged with the game after that. Now, I really want to like Petrovic and I realised why at this game. He wears black leather boots. That has an old-school honesty that appeals to me. It makes me ignore how slow he can be, and concentrate on his cultured passing and intelligent positioning.

In an era of multi-coloured boots, Petrovic stands out. I can understand why the sponsorship man from Nike or whatever wants to push the fluorescent boots on bling-loving young players, but I respect those who stick to tradition. If a player wears black boots, I immediately imagine him giving them spit-and-polish the day after a game, like an honest grafting hero.

If you have orange boots, can you even buy orange boot polish? Maybe they have nano-materials that self polish. Or maybe you just throw them in the dishwasher with the Tupperware.

Other notes:

Attendance: Passo-Level
- Reversion to the Mean: Various others are slowly stepping up to be "amigo" and lead the singing
- Police Camera Guy: Is back
- Unlikely Comparisons: Karabuk look a little like France
- Match Overall as Animal: Corgi

"Burasi Ankara" Has Become "Angara's Koats"

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ankaragucu fire a blank again!

Final Score - Gumushanespor 1-0 Ankaragucu

Team - Gokhan Akkan, Orhan Evci, Aytac Oden, Volkan Geyik, Onur Atasayer, Harun Aydin, Serhat Gulpinar, Mehmet Erdem, Hasan Ayaroglu, Umut Nayir, Levent Kale

Subs - Turgut Kirveli, Batuhan Gulcan, Ali Sinan Gayla, Gurkan Alver, Ramazan Adiguzel, Gokhan Erdogan, Teoman Erkan

I know last weekend we agreed that its difficult to criticise this Ankaragucu team as we have lost most of our key players and have a lack of experience in the team. However the team has now went 4 games without scoring from open play, and they could be still playing right now and wouldn't have scored.

This was the first full game I've saw of Ankaragucu this season, and it was woeful, possibly the worst Ankaragucu team i have seen. No disrespect to the home side, but i expect more in these type of games. When you look at the Ankargucu team today, Gokhan is one of Turkeys best young Goalkeepers, Orhan, Aytac, Volkan, Serhat, and Hasan all have Super Lig and PTT Lig experience. Umut Nayir and Levent Kale were the leagues top scorers last season, and then on the bench both Gurkan and Teoman have played in the Super Lig.

Ankaragucu started the first 5 minutes of the match the brighter with Hasan having a chance early on but he shot straight at the goalkeeper from just outside the box.

A couple of minutes later Aytac almost gifted Gumushanespor the opening goal, but Hakan blasted his shot over from about 25 yards. Both Volkan and Aytac struggled in the first half to cope with the pace of the Gumushanespor attack.

Gumushanespor started to dominate the match and had a couple of half chances one of which Gokhan saved. Soon after they took the lead and it was another defensive mistake from Aytac and Volkan who let in Fatih who shot past Gokhan who will be disappointed as he was beaten at his near post.

The goal was deserved and Gumushanespor dominated the first 30 minutes of the match. Ankaragucu did come back into the match for the last 15 minutes of the first half but failed to create anything worth of note. Hasan and Mehmet looked dangerous in flashes with their pace but were never involved enough to trouble the home side. Serhat looked well of the pace leaving Harun in the middle of the park on his own.

One of the bright sparks in the Ankaragucu team was Onur Atasayer, he looks a talented young player who will go on to play at a higher level. Umut Nayir was never given the service to threaten Gumushanespor and Levent looks a shadow of the player we saw last season.

Half Time 1-0

Into the second half and Ankaragucu were the stronger team and had more possession. But yet again they failed to create any chances or trouble the Gumushanespor goalkeeper. Orhan has a volley that went inches wide and Umut had a half chance that didn't trouble the keeper.

It really was a disappointing performance and i don't see any hope for this Ankaragucu team. It will be tough for Ankaragucu to stay in this league. Personally i would drop Serhat, Aytac, and Levent and bring in the likes of Batuhan Gulcan, Gurkan Alver and Ramazan Adiguzel for the next game.

I dread to even think the outcome of the game against Istanbul Basaksehir in a couple of weeks time.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Shock horror ....... The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has excelled themselves and released the fixtures AND KO times for the first round of matches in the Group Stages of the Turkish Cup.

It is a rare occurrence for this Blog to shower praise on the TFF, but reluctantly I have to say it ....... well done TFF ......... aaaargh !!!

Tuesday 2 December KO 16.45 - Basaksehir v Ankaragucu

Thursday 4 December KO 1900 - Keciorengucu v Trabzonspor

Tuesday 9 December KO 1300 - Cizrespor v Genclerbirligi

There is a good chance that the Ankaragucu match will be shown live on TV because it is the only match which kicks-off at that time.

Also, I have included the Keciorengucu match details because Ankaragucu may be in the same league as them next season and it might be interesting to see how they play against a Super League team.    That match could also be on TV.

Watch this space nearer the time for details of any TV screening times.

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, November 21, 2014

Genclerbirligi are coming last!

I found this via @sporekonomi on the Twitters. He or she found it on a German website Fussball Turkei. Some amazing stats in this table. Super Lig attendence is down 47.9 percent across the board. For Genclerbirligi it is an amazing 90.2 percent down on last year's figure. I know that we lost a few Assyrian fans when Jimmy left for Olympiakos... but this is ridiculous.  

Take note when looking at the table that the first column is the number of Passolig cards sold. This is not the same as number of season tickets sold. A Passolig only buys you the right to buy a ticket or season card.

You can see the original article (in German) here

Click on the table for a bigger version
You can also check out the full numbers of cards sold at Passolig's website. You do have to give them credit for having the whole thing translated into English. All the easier for me to take the piss.


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Gumushanespor match preview!

Ankaragucu travel to Gumushanespor this weekend and the match will be shown live on Mavi Karadeniz TV Watch the match here! You can see the full match on the link provided :-). Its a bad day when Gumushanaespor have their matches shown on TV, yet with Ankaragucu you cant even find as much as a 2 minute highlight on youtube. It seems like a decade ago that we were filling the stadium as well as our games been shown on Baskent TV.

Before we discuss this weekends game, Abdullah Karaata has pleaded for the Ankara community to help Ankaragucu as the clubs future is in the balance. Ankaragucu could face a 6 point deduction if they fail to pay bills owed to Fifa for ex players. It looks doubtful that Ankaragucu will even see the season out at this rate.

After last weekends draw at home to Goztepe its another tough away match at Gumushanespor. The home side are 2 points ahead of Ankaragucu although they have played a game more. They will be looking to stay in Lig 2 after winning promotion last season. Ankaragucu need a win to keep clear of the relegation zone although a points deduction by Fifa could prove too much to overcome.

It was good to see Hasan Ayaroglu back in the team last week, and the youngster will be hoping to build on that. Hasan has all the talent but has struggled with injuries and consistency. He looks to be over his injury problems and could be a key player for the team. Captain Serhat Gulpinar will return from suspension which will be a big boost for the club as they need all the experience they can get during this difficult spell.

The game kicks off at 1pm Turkish time and as said above you can see the whole game live on Mavi Karadeniz TV :-)

Sunday, November 16, 2014


The happy smiling faces of Erman, Damon, Harun and Jim BEFORE the match !!

Team - Gokhan Akkan, Metin Aydin, Aytac Oden, Mehmet Tasci, Onur Atasayer, Harun aydin, Orhan Evci, Mehmet Erdem, Hasan Ayaroglu, Umut Nayir, Levent Kale

Subs - Ishan Kirveli, Batuhan Gulcan, Ali Sinan Gayla, Ramazan Adiguzel, Hasan Kaya, Gokhan Erdogan, Teoman Erkan

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

Ankaragucu haven’t scored in open-play for 3 weeks and it took another penalty to ‘win’ a point.   So, for a team looking to win promotion to the PTT League, this is not good news.   In fact, the future looks bleak at the moment, especially (as Nadeem reported) as Umut is being eyed-up by Eskisehirspor, and without him up front it is difficult to see where the goals will come from after the January window closes.

ANKARAGUCU    1         Goztepe     1

Lots of Kankas there today ......... the return of Maniac Kanka Harun was especially welcome, Apple Kanka Erman, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Cider Kanka John, Ahmet, Tony and we were also joined by Judge Kanka Nescet and his entourage of friends.

A great atmosphere in the Stadium today with Gecikondu full, Maraton almost full and the away end .............. empty !    Obviously the Goztepe fans were banned from attending by the Police.     (Historic Note ......... Ankaragucu and Goztepe fans are historic sworn enemies going back before the time of the kanka group).    Note to myself ........... must ask Harun the reason for this !!!

Sol Kapali was closed again and I wonder if we will ever see it open again this season !

Interesting point of note today was the appointment of Levent as Captain.    We will see if this is a permanent fixure or just a temporary measure.

Sad to say there was not much to say about the first half with both teams trying to play footie but failing miserably !

It took until the 23rd minute for Ankaragucu to threaten when Umut headed Levent’s cross over.    4 minutes later they had a shot, but it was wide and over.

Goztepe’s first threatening action was on the half hour mark when from a break down the left wing a shot came in and hit the post and then was cleared to safety.    However, 10 minutes later Goztepe should have gone in front when another attack down the left wing almost produced a goal.    The cross came in but a fraction too early for the in-rushing forward to connect and head in, and the ball was cleared again to safety.

Half time and Ankaragucu still hadn’t involved the Goztepe goalkeeper in any action with exception of making goal kicks and picking his nose !

Obviously Mustafa blasted the players at the interval because it only took 3 minutes for the Goztepe goalie to make a save from a direct free kick a good way out of the box. 

There was certainly more urgency about Ankargucu’s play now, but still they were having difficulty in the final third with passes going astray and players hesitating when direct action was called for.

The best chance of the match came on the 60th minute mark when a cross came in from the left wing to Umut.   Good knock-down by him to set Levent up with a clear cut chance.    All he had to do was poke the ball in to the left or right, but he chose to hit it tamely at the goalkeeper much to our frustration !     It was a chance which could have turned the match but which was spurned.

2 minutes later we all had our heads in our hands.     An innocuous back pass was made to Onur who dithered with the ball which was quickly taken from him by an alert Goztepe forward.    On he went unchallenged to fire in an unstoppable shot with Gokhan helpless.    There is no hiding place for Onur.    He wasn’t under pressure and he screwed up big time.   Lesson learned the hard way !

At this point I was thinking ......... that’s it.    There is no way Ankaragucu is going to stage a remarkable recovery.     Then, 10 minutes later the Hand of God appeared to give Ankaragucu a helping hand !!

From an Ankaragucu free kick on the left the ball was hoisted into the box and down went an Ankaragucu player in a ruck of players (couldn’t see who it was).    Whistle goes and the referee is pointing to the spot !    Hmmmm ....... I didn’t see a foul being commited, but I’m sure the action replay can shed some light on it.    Anyway, the referee’s decision is final and after the protests has been dealt with ........ and a RED card to Goztepe’s No6 ........ the penalty was despatched by Levent in fine style.

Still, with 20 minutes to go, Goztepe’s 10 men refused to settle for a draw and kept up their attacking.     We had deep intakes of breath a few times as the clock ran the game down, especially on their dangerous looking breakaways.

However, it was Ankaragucu who had the chance to win the match with the clock on 90 minutes, when Erdem was put through but his shot was just past the post.

It is difficult to criticise the players today because in all fairness they can’t be faulted for their effort.   However, the bottom line is that on the past few performances which we have witnessed  they can forget about promotion and just concentrate on consolidating their 2nd League statues.   Each match now till  the end of the season is going to be a ‘must-win’ match !

Off to the Chopin Bar for some much needed post-match refreshments !

Before closing, I must just mention that the referee must have been new to the Professional League.    He penalised Ankaragucu players 5 times for foul throw-ins and kept insisting on free kicks to be taken exactly where the infringement occurred.    At this level of footie he must learn to be a little bit flexible in order to keep the game flowing !

The Kankas after the match ............ are they still smiling ?    Why ?

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Eskisehirspor eye move for Ankaragucu forward!

Eskisehirspor manager Ertugrul Saglam today attended the Ankaragucu vs Goztepe match with reports suggesting he was there to watch Ankaragucu forward Umut Nayir. The former Bursaspor coach already has a host of former Ankaragucu players in Ozgur Cek, Kaan Kanak, Serdar Ozcan and Hurriyet Gucer at the club and it looks like he will move for Umut in the January transfer window.

Another player who could have attracted his attention was Goztepe forward Timur Kosovali who is the leagues top scorer. Both are young Turkish forwards who are only going to get better, however Umut will most likely gain the most attention as he has so much more to offer.

We will keep you updated with any developments and Jim will have todays match report later....

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Ankaragucu youngsters set for January moves!

It never rains at Ankaragucu but it pours with bad news at the club. With President Mehmet Yiginer resigning last week there have been rumours in the media all week that the club is close to closing. Metin Aykuz who has taken over until the January congress as stated there has been no help from the TFF and instead of helping all they have done is add to the debt with all the fines for chants by the fans.

With the club desperate for money to pay off the monthly bills it looks like their star players will be subject to moves to bigger clubs in January. Gokhan Akkan has been in outstanding form this season and is subject of a move too Galatasaray.

Top scorer Umut Nayir was close to a move to Kayserispor in the summer but that didn't materialise. Sivasspor, Kayseri Erciyesspor and Rizespor will all battle out for the young strikers signature in January knowing they can take him for a knocked down price.

Also linked with a move to the Super Lig is Onur Atasayer. The young left back has replaced Emre Tasdemir this season at left back and has looked impressive.

We will need to wait and see how things work out, but the future for Ankaragucu doesn't look good and we will just be thankful that we have a team. It looks like Melih Gokcek is close to winning his battle to destroy Ankaragucu and then take the name of the club with a name change of Osmanlispor.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ankaragucu vs Goztepe match preview!

This weekends match between Ankaragucu vs Goztepe will be one of the biggest games in Turkey in terms of rivalry and passion. Both sets of fans have a history of violence and have made no secret of their hatred for each other. This all goes back to a Turkish Cup final in Izmir where Ankaragucu were playing Galatasaray. The Goztepe fans went to the match and supported Galatasaray while Karsiyaka fans supported Ankaragucu. The rest is as they say history.

Unfortunately for both clubs this game is in the 3rd tier of Turkish football and not in the Super lig amongst the elite clubs. In terms of history and fan base these are two clubs who should be at the top end of the Super Lig. However both clubs have suffered from miss management and dare i say corruption which cant be proved. Goztepe even had to start over again from the amateur leagues where they bought an amateur side and changed their name to Goztepe.

Ankaragucu look like they could be heading the same way, although Melih Gokcek seems to be eyeing up renaming Oslamlispor at Ankaragucu A.S which looks like to have been a master plan between him and Mehmet Yiginer. Something that Maniac Kanka Harun said all along.

Both teams go into the match on the back of disappointing defeats last weekend. Ankaragucu lost at home 1-0 against Kocaeli Birlikspor while Goztepe lost 2-0 at home to Pazarspor who also beat Ankaragucu the week before.

Goztepe however still sit in 3rd place in the league and look like they will be good enough to guarantee a playoff place this season. Ankargucu on the other hand are 3 points away from the playoff places but also 3 points off the relegation places.

There is no doubting that Ankaragucu are in a relegation battle and can forget about the playoffs. They don't have the quality or experience in the squad capable of challenging for the playoffs this season. A much stronger Ankaragucu failed to make it through the playoffs this season.

Its time to stop giving this Ankargucu side a hard time and remember they are kids who don't get paid on time, don't have the best facilities and only have a couple of experienced players beside them. We as fans just need to be there at the stadium to support them and help them through this difficult period.

Keeping the club in this division will be a success for Mustafa Kaplan and what better way to start the weekend than a win over your biggest rivals. The last time the two sides met was 2 years ago at the 19 Mayis Stadium where both clubs were relegated from the PTT Lig. Ankargucu won the game 3-1 with goals from Enes Kubat and Teoman Erkan.

Enes Kubat will line up in a Goztepe strip this weekend after signing with them last season from Ankaragucu after turning down a new contract. A talented young forward he must be watched along with the leagues top scorer Timur Kosovali. The striker has been in excellent form this season but looks like he may miss the match due to injury which would be a huge boost for Ankargucu.

Mustafa Kaplan has a defensive crisis with both Serhat Gulpinar and Volkan Geyik both suspended. Also missing is Gurkan Alver, Cihan Bal and Metin Ilhan through injury.

Hasan Ayaroglu looks set to start the game with the coach losing patience with Gokhan Erdogan who has continued to flop this season. Umut Nayir and Gokhan Akkan will again be the key players for Anakaragucu with both players having impressive seasons so far. Levent Kale got off the scoresheet at the weekend from the penalty spot but still hasn't scored from open play.

The game will be played at the 19 Mayis Stadium in Ankara on Sunday at 1330. Anyone interested in joining the Kankas for the match get in touch with Jim and he will have the instructions.

Calvin Sosibo reflects on his time at Ankaragucu!

Calvin Sosibo could be forgiven if he didn't have any good things to say about his time at Ankaragucu. After all the South African winger is still owed money by the club 5 years after his departure where he only played 3 league games.

Sosibo joined Ankaragucu in the 2009/10 season along with his South African counterpart Kagiso Senemela. Both players arrived at the club very much in the shadow of Darius Vassell who was the clubs big summer signing that season.

After a promising start to his Ankaragucu career, Sosibo would find himself without a club only a few months later after the club failed to pay his wages. This was at the time when Melih Gokcek was taking over the club and bringing in his own players.

Despite the sour ending to his time in Ankara, Sosibo still looks out for the Ankaragucu scores and is a follower of the Round Ball in Ankara page as well as the Facebook page where he even comments on the going on's at the club.

I asked Calvin if he would like to do an interview for the blog on his time at Ankaragucu which he kindly agreed. Here is what he had to say:

Nice easy question to start with, Ronaldo or Messi? Best player? mmm thats very difficult, but I'm going to say Ronaldo.

Which team did you grow up supporting? From my home country Kaiser Chiefs.

How did your move to Ankaragucu come about? My move to Ankaragucu came about when my friend John Shoes Moshoue one of the most highly rated South African players ever to play in Turkey spoke to me about the club. I used to play with him at Kaiser Chiefs and later he joined me at Bidvest Wits where he was training with us. He asked me if i fancied playing my trade abroad and if i would be interested in joining Ankaragucu. I said yes but i was contracted to Bidvest wits. So i sat down with the club and we agreed on a contract, the following week i flew out to Turkey with Kagiso Senemela.

What was your best moment at Ankaragucu? Woooooow there were so many, from the fans reaction when they saw me, to my first game in a pre season friendly match against AEK Athens who were a very reputable team who played in the UEFA Cup, i set up a goal in that match and it was on Greek TV. The reaction from the fans when i played in my first home game in the Ankara cup and even going to the mall people asking for photographs and chatting away.

Who helped you settle in most at the club? Hikmet Karaman, he helped me a lot and gave me the break to showcase my talent in Europe.

How did you find the City of Ankara? I loved my time in Ankara and the history of the City, i read about Akatule and decided to visit the tower.

How was the best player you played with at Ankaragucu? Best player would be my close friend Darius Vassell, Ozgur Semavi and captain Eris Ceyhun.

How would you describe the atmosphere at the club? The club had the best set up i have ever experienced in football. The fans were amazing with the atmosphere, there was a great passion between the fans and players, we loved each other. From the groundsman to the kit man, they done everything for us and all the preparation work to help us on the pitch. The respect the fans and club had for the players was overwhelming, they treated us like kings and it was like nothing I've experienced before.

Do you still follow the clubs results? Yeah i still follow the club, they will always be close to my heart as they gave me an opportunity to better my career.

Whats the next stage with you in your football career? Im on the verge of the next chapter in my career with a move to Europe of Asia, i have a few offers but still deciding which one will decide my style of play. Im just working hard for this next chapter.

Do you have any message for the Ankaragucu fans? Ankaragucu needs the fans in the stadium, you are very important to the club and you owe it to yourselves to be there for the club. Keep following the team.

We at the Round Ball in Ankara would like to thank Calvin Sosibo for taking the time to give us the interview and wish him good luck with his next move in his career.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Another damn away draw

Sometimes things just don't go your way. Balls hitting the post, amazing reactions (or just plain luck) from the opposition keeper. Aggghhh.

Selcuklu Belediyespor 34 - 34 Genclerbirligi

Our merry band of supporters.
I didn't to watch the Genclerbirligi - Kasimpasa match on the telly. Didn't even get to listen to it on the radio thanks to the road between Ankara and Konya being a radio-dead zone.

We were on the road to Konya in order to take part in the first ever away road trip by supporters of the Genclerbirligi handball team.

Lots and lots of fun and one hell of a match. The Selcuklu handball salon is top class, just across the road from the new Konya stadium on the outskirts of town and conveniently located near all the Tekel shops.

There were 18 of us. Mainly Karakizil fans but also a couple of Alkaralar. Whilst we were certainly outnumbered by the home fans, who mostly seemed to be relatives of the players, we were not outsung. Possibly out of shock as the Karakizil fans sang their Gencler versions of classic leftist political songs, the couple of elderly police officers at the match called in reinforcements.

They weren't needed of course... except at the very end when the home fans almost rioted. It was bizarre and none of us understood what had happened. It was later explained to me.

The score was 34-34, just a second left in the match. Literally! Just one. Selcuklu had the ball and they scored, home crowd erupts and the referee says "no goal", ruling instead that a foul had been committed by Gencler and therefore play had stopped at that exact point. Anything afterwards did not count... ie. the ball going into our net.

Setting up before the match.
As I said the home crowd of youngsters and lots of teyzeler went ballistic. Selcuklu had a "free throw" (or whatever you call it) and because there was no time left on the clock all the player could do was throw at goal with all our players forming a wall just a metre away from him. He missed of course and we all breathed a sigh of relief.                  

We then went off to get some pides and stocked up on refreshments and had a wonderfully boozy trip home. Great fun.

Kasimpasa 2 - 2 Genclerbirligi

I did later see the goals and some of the highlights from the football and it seemed like quite a good match, with some good attacking stuff from Gencler. We have to tighten up around the back though. We are so sorely missing a wall like Aykut used to be.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

The Ankaragucu Players Embarrass the name of ANKARAGUCU !

Greetings Kankas and Kankies.

This will be one of my shortest reports on record because I have no positives to relate from an Ankaragucu perspective.

Team - Gokhan Akkan, Metin Aydin, Volkan Geyik, Aytac Oden, Onur Atasayer, Serhat Gulpinar, Orhan Evci, Mehmet Erdem, Gokhan Erdogan, Levent Kale, Umut Nayir

Subs - Turgut Kirveli, Ramazan Adiguzel, Hasan Kaya, Hasan Ayaroglu, Ali Sinan Gayla, Mehmet Tasci, Teoman Erkan

ANKARAGUCU   1       Kocaeli Birlikspor   2

The kankas met up at the Stadium for the early 1.30pm KO – Ahmet, Cider Kanka John, Battle Damaged Kanka Damon, Tony and Jessica.

The Stadium was eerily quiet again with Gecikondu and Maraton only half full and the Sol Kapali closed.     Apparently, the feud continues !!    However, I noticed a Sol Kapali banner draped over the fence at the scoreboard end, but very few supporters near it !    There were only about 20 in the away end and 10 stewards to keep them under control !!

It took until the 12th minute for anything of note to happen when the Kocaeli goalkeeper took the ball off Levent’s head just before he was about to head it in.

Then in the 23rd minute a Kocaeli defender was adjudged to have handled in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.    It took about 2 minutes for the protests to be brushed aside and then Levent slotted it in.    Was this the beginning of an Ankaragucu onslaught ?    Wrong !!

It only took one minute for Kocaeli to equalise from a corner when Levent headed in for a fantastic own-goal !

2 minutes later it should have been 2-1 to Kocaeli when a Kocaeli attacker had the goal at his mercy but shot tamely at Gokhan.

Kocaeli still had their tails up and were looking the better team with half time approaching.   Then, 2 minutes from half time they were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty box in the centre.    It was a well taken kick just over the wall, and with Gokhan beaten, the ball hit the underside of the bar and in.

Into the 2nd half and the match was on a knife edge with both teams attacking, although I have to say that Kocaeli were looking the more likely to score with their dangerous breakaways causing the Ankaragucu defence all sorts of problems.

Gokhan came to the rescue on the 70th minute mark when he tipped a goal bound shot over for a corner.

10 minutes lates the Kocaeli No9 should have scored when he headed over with only Gokhan to beat.

Ankaragucu could have played for another 90 minutes and not scored.    They were back to their old tricks again of hoisting the ball from defence up to Umut who was invariably surrounded by 3 defenders.    Their passing was abysmal and they hadn’t a clue what to do when they came anywhere near Kocaeli’s penalty area.   Also, their crosses were high and wide too often.

Embarrassing is the only word to describe Ankaragucu’s football today, and but for some poor finishing by Kocaeli, it should have been a more convincing win for them.    True enough, they are not a great team, but they were well organised and fully deserved all 3 points.    Also, as Battle Damaged Kanka Damon said ........... ‘they were well coached’.

Back to The Chopin Bar Damon, John and I trudged to drown our sorrows with yummy Efes !!

God help us next weekend when Goztepe come calling.    They will be rubbing their hands in anticipation of an easy win me thinks !!!

All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Friday, November 07, 2014

Turkish Cup Group Stages!

Not the most exciting of groups for Ankaragucu but as Jim said its one that we could potentially qualify for. Karabukspor are in a relegation battle and may rest key players while we should have enough to take care of Sivas.

Gencler are drawn in a group with Konyaspor so lets hope the Ankaragucu fans go to that match and give Gencler their support. While Keciorengucu see themselves paired with Trabzonspor which will be a nice bit of income for them.

Full draw above.

Ankaragucu vs kocaeli Birlikspor match preview!

After last weekends disastrous defeat at Pazarspor, the Ankaragucu players will be looking to get back to winning ways and save their playoff aspirations. Its difficult to see this Ankaragucu team going on a winning run as they have failed to show any real form this season. Mustafa Kaplan defended his players last weekend and the conditions they had to play on at Pazarspor. He also slammed the Turkish FA claiming they didn't give Ankaragucu enough time to prepare for the match after their match in Rize after their midweek cup win at Tavsanli.

The visitors Kocaeli Birlikspor must not be mistaken for our friends Kocaelispor. The later are playing in the Turkish amateur leagues after coming into similar financial difficulties to Ankaragucu. Sundays opponents Birlikspor won promotion from Lig 3 last season and are only 2 points behind Ankaragucu sitting mid table.

As we have see already this season, there are no easy matches any more for Ankaragucu, the team will need to up their performance if they want to take the 3 points from this match on Sunday afternoon.

Umut Nayir and Gokhan Akkan were both centre of praise this week from the Ankara media for their impressive performances this season. Gokhan has saved 3 penalties and has been in excellent form, while Umut is the teams top scorer although he missed a penalty last week which he will be disappointed with. Umut although has done well so far this season, needs to find more to reach last seasons heights. Much of that depends on his striker partner Levent Kale.

Levent has yet to score a goal all season, and looks a shadow of the player who was so important to the team last season. If i have one criticism of Mustafa Kaplan in his second spell in charge, its that he has persisted with Levent instead of bringing in Emir Ozbey. Bringing Levent on in the second half and building his confidence is just as important as building his fitness.

With the news the Mehmet Yiginer has handed his resignation to the board of directors, we will see if the Ankaragucu support who have boycotted return. There are no excuses now, they have got what they want, so lets see you back at the stadium cheering on the team!!!

Mehmet Yiginer hands in his resignation!

News has just broken in the last hour on the Ankaragucu official website that President Mehmet Yiginer has handed his resignation to the board of directors. No other details were given but I'm sure we will hear more details in the coming days.

The news will bring mixed emotions from the Ankaragucu support, although the majority will be happy with this decision. Things started so well at the club for President Yiginer, when he lifted the transfer ban and was responsible for the Dirlis season in which the team averaged over 18,000 fans at each home game.

Unfortunately the team failed to win promotion, and were hit with another transfer ban. President Yiginer failed to lift the ban and sold the clubs star players on reduced fees. His biggest downfall was his relationship with Melih Gokcek.

Many fans believe Yiginer was brought to the club by Gokcek to ensure he wouldn't sue him. Yiginer stated he wouldn't sue Gokcek a couple of weeks ago which didn't go down well with the fans. Yiginer also banned the Sol Kapali tribune leader this season while increasing their season ticket prices which drew protests from the fans.

What next for Ankaragucu? There certainly won't be a host of candidates lining up to take over the club with the huge debts, thats for sure.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Some good news for Ankaragücü!

According to local newspaper Beypazarı Gündem, Ankaragücü has finally found a sponsor this season! Beypazarı Natural Mineral Water, the makers of the fizzy stuff, have come to the rescue after a campaign by fans who were angry after the local firm overlooked the club and chose to sponsor Istanbul team Kasımpaşa.

While there's no chance a certain Eski Kanka will switch from his "Sütaş Ayran", I'm sure we'll all raise our glasses to the firm after the match on Sunday.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Gencler's Deniz Naki on receiving end of racist attack

Bad news today when news came out that Deniz Naki is leaving both Genclerbirligi and Turkey after what seems to be a Islamist/Nationalist-inspired attack on the weekend. 

This is what the Hurriyet Daily News is reporting: For full article click here

German-Turkish footballer Deniz Naki, who plays for Spor Toto Super League club Gençlerbirliği, has decided to leave his club and Turkey following a suspected racist attack over the weekend.
Naki, who in the past was victim of abuses and insults for being an Alevi and carrying a tattoo that reads “Dersim 62,” the traditional name for the eastern province of Tunceli and its traffic code, was attacked by unknown assailants in Ankara on Nov. 2 and suffered minor injuries below one of his eyes and one of his hands.
“It was on Sunday. I wanted to get something for dinner when I was accosted by three people on a side Street,” Naki told German daily Bild. “They threatened me that this was the first warning, the club did not need anyone like me and I should go away.”

This is just disgusting.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Pazarspor 1-0 Ankaragucu match report!

Today was an opportunity for Ankaragucu to get their playoff hopes back on track with a win against one of the leagues weaker teams. Just 13 months earlier Ankaragucu beat Pazarspor 5-0 at home, a match which i attended and it gave us hope that we were watching the Lig 2 champions. Unfortunately Ankaragucu didn't go on to become champions, and couldn't even progress through the playoffs are they were eliminated by Alanyaspor a team they had beaten 5-1 in Alanya only a couple of weeks previously.

Team - Gokhan Akkan, Metin Aydin, Aytac Oden, Serhat Gulpinar, Onur Atasayer, Orhan Evci, Harun Aydin, Mehmet Erdem, Gokhan Erdogan, Umut Nayir, Levent Kale

Subs - Turgut Kirveli, Ramazan Adiguzel, Hasan Ayaroglu, Ali Sinan Gayla, Volkan Geyik, Mehmet Tasci, Teoman Erkan

So Mustafa Kaplan kept with the same team he has went with since taking over the club. Levent would partner Umut up top again despite having not scored a goal all season. Maybe its time to bring in one of the youth strikers until Levent has found his fitness.

In the 5 years I've supported Ankaragucu we have never had a decent defence, and yet again this season we are playing with no recognised centre backs. Last season we went with Selim Teber who is a natural midfielder. And now this season we are going with midfielders Serhat Gulpinar and Aytac Oden. This is of course no fault of the manager, but the management team who have given him no resources to improve this team.

President Yiginer has disappointed me and the Ankaragucu support this week by declaring he won't sure Melih Gokcek. Now we know this was never going to happen, but the problem is broken promises yet again. When Yiginer went for president for the second time against Bent Ahlat, he claimed he would lift the transfer ban. Instead the team has lost Mehmet Cakir, Emre Tasdemir, Kaan Kanak, Bayram Olgun, Serhat Aykuz, Erhan Guven, Omer Yalcin, Ibrahim Sahin, Muhammed Gonulacar and Bilal Gundogdu all for knocked down prices. All of they while no one coming in the door.

Today was another match where Ankaragucu couldn't find the net. Both teams went in 0-0 at half time as they struggled with the slippery surface due to heavy downpour. Into the second half and Ankaragucu missed an opportunity to take the lead as Umut Nayir missed a penalty. And guess what? 2 minutes later Ahmet Kuru gave Pazarspor the lead.

The game would stay that way as Ankaragucu couldn't find their way back into this match. Leaders Bandirmaspor were held 0-0 at home to Nazilli while Goztepe won 2-0 at Kocaeli Birlikspor.

My fellow Ankaragucu fans, please forget about the playoffs, please forget about even finishing mid table. We are in a relegation battle. It may not look like it now, but with games coming up against Goztepe and having to go to Diyarbakir before the January transfer window, its important we take as many points possible. Ankaragucu will lose Umut Nayir, Gokhan Akkan and possibly Hasan Ayaroglu in January, thats why its important to take as many points just now, as the second half of the season is going to be even worse.

Then again, maybe there will be a miracle, and Melih Gokcek will pay the debt he owes to the club? I think Harun was right all along. Its no coincidence that one of Gokceks best friends took over the club and decided not to sue him. Was that the master plan all along?

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Golden Gencler Goal Seals Leaden Match

Gencler beat Istanbul Basaksehir 1-0 in Ankara on Saturday thanks to a 93rd minute free-kick goal from Nemanja Tomic that wrapped up an uninspiring clash of evenly matched sides and put an end to Basaksehir's unbeaten season.

Tomic (who may be third from the left in this picture borrowed from CNN Turk) scored the goal from outside the box as extra time ran out.

Here are player ratings, expressed as animals:

Dahlin (Goalkeeper): Golden Retriever, loves children

Hakan Aslantas (Right Back): Collie, will chase ball, will fall over it

Ahmet Calik (Centre Back): German Shepherd, eligible for police training

Dusko Tosic (Centre Back): Mallard Duck

Ugur Ciftci (Left Back): Young Swan tries to land on icy pond, comic video goes viral

Doga Kaya (Defensive Mid): Female Crow defending nest with beak, wings, anything

Jean Jacques Gosso (Midfield): Badger

Liviu Antal (Right wing): Thomson's Gazelle. (Wears headband even when his hair is short) (66 Nemanja Tomic: Seagull that caught the bread)

Nizamettin Caliskan (Midfield): One of the other seagulls (60 Irfan Kahveci: Cormorant)

Mervan Celik (Left Wing): Dolphin, trained but rapidly going feral (78 Artun Akcakin: Porpoise)

Bogdan Stancu (Centre Forward): Stag, antlers shorter this season