Sunday, March 20, 2016

Return to the Stadium From Hell

A cold day, persistent rain, a million-mile trip to the very edge of Ankara and then beyond and then a 3-1 loss. I love football.

Osmanlispor 3 - 1 Genclerbirligi

Alex, Spine, Little Oz and me jumped into the car and set off for the long journey to the new look Osmanli Stad. New look for me anyway.

The Old: A photo taken by Cider Kanka at an
Ankaragucu v Bursaspor match years ago
An hour's drive and we finally made it to near the stadium, missed the turn and accidentally ended up in the away section (which is where we needed to be anyway).

The Yenikent Stadium (now re-named Osmanli Stad) has had a roof attached since the last time I was out there. According to Wikipedia it has a capacity of 19,626. Really? It certainly seems a lot smaller than the 19 Mayis Stad which also has a capacity of 19,000-odd.

Anyway, there were about a hundred of us Gencler fans and maybe 5-6,000 Osmanli supporters. The Osmanli lot in the maraton section where all clearly proper Osmanli fans. The lot next to us in Kapalı were clearly bussed in by Gokcek. There was certainly no love lost between us and those to our right.    
With news in the morning of another bomb, this time in Istanbul, it was a fairly sombre mood before kick-off. The Gencler players warmed up in jackets remembering Elvin Buğra Aslan, the Gencler fan who was killed in last Sunday's bomb blast.

The New: Gencler players come
over to greet the away supporters
Various pro-Turkey chants went around the stadium and a few "Allah Rekber" chants from the Osmanli fans. There were also some boos from the Osmanli fans when some of the Gencler fans started shouting "We are all Mustafa Kemal's soldiers". The teams came onto the field with Gencler carrying a Mart 18 commemorative poster and the Osmanli players came out with a "Geçmiş olsun Ilhan Cavcav" banner... Apparently he is recovering from surgery or something.

Kick off and all the politics and stuff went out the window as did all of the Gencler's great football from the last couple of months. This was truly absolutely asleep stuff from Gencler. Defenders with time were kicking it straight to Osmanli players in great positions. It was no surprise when Osmanli scored with a header off a corner. Just a few minutes in a already we were behind.

We still played like rubbish until Ahmet Oguz was given a yellow for no reason. It seemed we finally woke up and started to play some nice attacking football. We were denied by the post and their keeper. We managed to pull one back near the end of the second half. None of us had any idea even who had scored as all the action was way down the other end of the stadium. It seemed to be a goal mouth scramble.

Straight Outta Sincan
Half-time 1 - 1 and downstairs to the prison canteen-style shop (lots of steel bars and a tiny hole where the goods and money are exchanged) for some tea. The analysis... Osmanlıspor are a good team and this is a good match.

During the half-time break the tannoy was turned up to 11 and we were blasted with Ottoman military music.

Second half and again Gencler came out asleep and we found ourselves down 2 - 1 just a few minutes in. We really started to up the ante after that, especially after Irfan Can Kahveci came on. He had some absolutely superb runs down the left wing. There was one run which reminded me of the British soldier running to get supplies in no-mans land in the film "A Bridge Too Far". From inside our own half Irfan had the ball on the left and with a player right next to him the entire time he went at top speed right. Us fans were cheering him on in much the same way as the British soldier cheered on their comrade as he ran full pelt for the supplies. Near to the box Irfan got past the Osmanli player and sent in a short pass to El Kabir who was then shot dead who stumbled and failed to get off a shot.

We continued to attack and attack, like in the fist half the crossbar denied us as did their keeper and some amazingly lucky defenders. It was sort of inevitable when Osmanli scored near the end on a counter attack.

Back to the car and the long, long journey home.


  1. They can conjour up new names every season or so, but ........ it will always be ....... The Stadium from Hell !!!!

    Let's pray for some Osman....spit....lispor defeats to deny them Yooro Footie next season yesssssssssss !!!!!

  2. They could well get into Europe, they look a useful outfit

  3. Have they built up a fan base yet?

  4. They had about the same numbers as what Gencler is getting in at the moment. I would guess that if they get into Europe they would switch their matches to the 19 Mayis and boost numbers that way. I'd go and watch them if they make it into Europe... in the away section of course :)