Friday, July 29, 2016

Pre-Season Traditions

We are at that stage of pre-season preparations at which it is traditional to become anxious about the future of the 19 May Stadium.

Gençler Chairman İlhan Cavcav has duly obliged, and respected this long tradition by speaking to Anadolu Agency to express worry over the uncertainty surrounding The Old Girl and have a dig at Mr. Melih Gökçek at the same time.

Mr. Cavcav's remarks provide us with a "news hook" on which we can hang a round-up of some of the 19 Mayis news over the last few weeks.

On July 14, Sports Minister Akif Çağatay Kiliç announced that, after consultation with the President and Prime Minister, the government has decided to construct a new stadium, "one that befits a capital city," on the site of the old one.

Subsequent events in the capital may have prevented his announcement from receiving the coverage it deserved. Nevertheless, official rejection of the out-of-town option is a significant step in the 86-year history of the 19 May.

Mr. Kiliç noted that the decision reflects the general tone of the wishes of the people of Ankara. In this I am sure he is correct. It certainly reflects the wishes of these bloggers. And those of İlhan Cavcav.

...Who is never happy. And came out moaning yesterday, with some fine ironic usage of honourifics as insults. He also nicely conflates Gençler's reputation with that of the entire city. Who could argue with that?

Highlights of the Cavcav remarks as reported here are:

- No one knows when the demolition of 19 Mayis will start. The uncertainly must end.

- It has been suggested that Gençler could play at the OSTIM Stadium during any construction. "The people of Ankara know the state of the OSTIM stadium," says Cavcav. Our Ankaragücü brothers on this blog know it well too. Comments are most welcome.

- If it comes to a demolition, Gençler should play at Osmanlı Stadium, not OSTIM, says Cavcav. Osmanlı, aka Yenikent, aka The Stadium from Hell is also well known to the Kankas.

- Quoth Cavcav:

"It used to be Yenikent, now it's Osmanlı. This stadium is not just the property of Osmanlıspor, it is Ankara's stadium. Our honourable Metropolitan City Mayor Melih Gökçek is the Mayor of Ankara, not of Besiktaş. Last year that fine Istanbul team Besiktaş played at Yenikent while their stadium was being built. It is only fair that we too should play at Osmanlı. It can't be one rule for Besiktaş and another for us. It would not be appropriate for the capital Ankara to play at OSTIM while Osmanlı Stadium is there. We've been using 19 May for long years alongside Ankaragücü. Until the new ground is built, we could use Yenikent alongside Osmanlıspor. I don't think the powers that be will victimise us when they make their decision."

So. Mr. Cavcav is hoping to be able to play at a ground we dislike that is half-way to nowhere, rather than a ground that is small, grotty and hard to find. Still, at least OSTIM is inside the ring-road. I am not entirely certain I share Mr. Cavcav's preferences. Comments most welcome.

But rest assured, dear reader. We have all been here before. This time round it may be that The Old Girl is a few steps closer to her end than she was this time last year, or the year before that. But my gut tells me there's a little more football to be squeezed out of her yet. Ankara is in upheaval. Financing costs are rising. The legal process of demolishing and rebuilding the entire 19 May Stadium and the surrounding fencing, tennis and sports-writers' boozing facilities is sure to be complex. The Honourable Mayor is under a larger and darker cloud than usual.

We might even get another full season in.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ankaragucu 0-0 Erzerumspor!

Firstly some news on the transfer front, Ankaragucu duo Gurkan Alver and Volkan Geyik have left the club after both giving 15 years service having come through the youth academy before playing for the first team. Gurkan has signed for Kastamunuspor while Volkan has signed for Tuzlaspor. We wish both of them all the best.

Ankaragucu were held to a 0-0 draw today with Erzerumspor in their latest pre season match. The issue of finding the back of the net seems to still be there and is something new coach Ismet Tasdemir will be no doubt looking to address before the season starts. Again there was run outs for a host of players all looking to get match fit.

Team 1st half - Emre Koyuncu, Orhan Evci, Onur Atasayer, Alihan Kubalas, Mehmet Tasci, Muhammed Gonulacar, Harun Aydin, Erhan Senturk, Emre Sahin, Omer Bozan, Timur Kosovali

Team 2nd half - Emre Koyuncu, Orhan Evci, Onur Atasayer (Hursit Tasci), Alihan Kubalas, Mehmet Tasci, Muhammed Gonulacar, Harun Aydin (Ahmet Can), Erhan Senturk (Hasan Kaya), Emre Sahin (Mustafa Ozturk), Omer Bozan (Mashun Kara), Timur Kosovali (Enes Kubat)

Gençler Season Tickets on Sale Friday July 29

Gençler season tickets go on sale this Friday.

According to this statement on the Club website, the prices are as follows:

Maraton (our usual spot): 200 TL plus 10 TL Passolig handling charge
Kapalı (opposite us:): 300 TL plus 15 TL
VIP A (too posh for us): 750 TL plus 20 TL

So the price for Maraton is the same in lira terms as last year. In terms of foreign currency it must be considerably cheaper, even for Sterling (?)

Anyway, whatever the quality of football they will present for us this year, it is hard to deny that a season ticket represents good value for money.

If you have a valid Passokart, you can buy the season ticket online, or possibly from the kiosks by the ground. If you don't have one, you face the deep moral conundrum many of us dealt with last year.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ankaragucu 1-2 FC Batumi

Ankaragucu lost 2-1 to Georgian Premier League side FC Batumi today in their second pre season game in Erzerum.

It was another good workout with all players getting some playing time again. Timur Kosovali scored the goal for Ankaragucu to put them 1-0 up. After both sides made a host of changes the Georgian side came back to win 2-1.

Team 1st Half - Turgut Kirveli, Metin Aydin, Alihan Kubalas, Orhan Evci, Onur Atasayer, Muhammed Gonulacar, Ferhat Culcuoglu, Erhan Senturk, Emre Sahin, Omer Bozan, Timur Kosovali

Team 2nd Half - Turgut Kirveli (Emre Koyuncu), Metin Aydin (Metin Ilhan), Alihan Kubalas (Mehmet Tasci), Orhan Evci (Batuhan Yilmaz), Onur Atasayer, Muhammed Gonulacar (Arda Karademir), Ferhat Culcuoglu (Ahmet Can), Erhan Senturk (Enes Kubat), Emre Sahin (Mustafa Ozturk), Omer Bozan ( Ali Sinan Gayla), Timur Kosovali (Batuhan Aslan)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ankaragucu lose pre season opener!

Ankaragucu lost their opening pre season game 3-2 against Canakkale Dardanelspor at their Erzerum training camp. Ismet Tasdemir will have had a good look at his players as he chose two different teams in each half with everyone getting a run out.

Team 1st Half - Altay Bayindir, Metin Aydin, Alihan Kubalas, Adem Saglam, Mehmet Tasci, Muhammed Gonulacar, Harun Aydin, Hursit Tasci, Mustafa Ozturk, Timur Kosovali, Enes Kubat

Team 2nd Half - Emre Tuncal, Mehmet Tasci, Metin Ilhan, Arda Karademir, Metin Aydin, Mustafa Ozturk, Enes Kubat, Muhammed Gonulacar, Emre Sahin, Onur Atasayer, Hursit Tasci

Batuhan Yilmaz and Emre Can also got some playing time, with Batuhan scoring one of the goals. We will keep you up to date with all the summer pre season games.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Zijad Svrakic reflects on his time at Ankaragucu!

I managed to catch up with former Ankaragucu player Zijad Svrakic who kindly agreed to do a small interview for the Round Ball in Ankara. Zijad spent just over a year at the club back in 1990/91 and is fondly remembered by the Ankaragucu fans, especially his goal against Besiktas in a 1-0 win making us the only team to beat Besiktas that season.

Zijad was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia although at that time it was known as Yugoslavia. He is one of very few people who are lucky enough to play for the club they support as a child, "Growing up I was a FK Sarajevo supporter, I was lucky enough to be accepted into their youth academy at ten year old, I eventually went onto win the Yugoslav league with the team I supported as a boy".

After his impressive performances in Yugoslavia where he was known for his speed and dribbling, Zijad moved to Turkey. He moved to Adana Demirspor where he established himself as a fans favourite before winning a big move to Galatasaray.

Next up was a move to the Capital with Ankaragucu where he would spend one season, making a big impression with the fans. After all this time away he could be forgiven for not keeping up to date with the latest going ons at the club, but like most players who leave Ankaragucu, they are forever in their heart, " I still readily follow Ankaragucu, I cannot believe the clubs results have fallen so low. A club such as Ankaragucu should be in the Super Lig. I truly hope this will happen in the coming years".

Asked if he enjoyed his spell at Ankaragucu, Zijad went onto say, "My time at Ankaragucu was a wonderful period in both my career and my private life. My former team mates, coaching staff and club officials made me feel at home from the very beginning and I really enjoyed the city of Ankara. I feel I played very well for the club, we had a very good team back then.

Like most players who play for thr club Zijad had a special memories of the fans, " I remember the Ankaragucu fans being very explosive in a positive way and being extremely loyal. I loved playing in front of them, they were our 12th player. I still feel the chills whenever I think of the atmosphere they made at our games. I would like to use this opportunity to extend my warmest greetings to the Ankaragucu fans".

Ankaragucu finished 7th that season and lost in the Cup final, while winning the Baskaban cup all which Zijad played a vital part in, " My most memorable moment at the club was reaching the cup final, sadly I didn't play that final due to the two yellow cards. The other moment would be winning the Baskaban cup 3-1 over Trabzonspor where I also scored 2 goals as far as I can remember".

Through his career playing club football and international football, Zijad played with and against some excellent players. Two in particular though stood out, " I played against many great players, but would say the best player would be Dejan Savicevic. On the other hand I was lucky enough to play with extremely talented team mates through out my career, but if I had to chose the best player I've played with I would say Safet Susic ( who funnily enough was another Bosnian who went onto manage Ankaragucu).

Since hanging up the boots, Zijad has took up management and is still involved in the game today " I have been a coach for 22 years, after Turkey I moved my family to Malta where I began my coaching career. Furthermore I spent 4 years as director of FK Sarajevo football academy, 4 years as a coach in Kuwait and 2 years in Oman.

In his spare time he likes to watch football on the TV and is a big fan of Lionel Messi, " Ronaldo is an unbelievable player, but Messi is the greatest of all time, so my vote goes for Messi" when asked who the best player in the world is.

The Round Ball in Ankara would like to thank Zijad for taking the time to do this interview and wish him all the best in his future.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ankaragucu sign Emrah Tuncel!

Ankaragucu have completed this signing of Sanliurfaspor Goalkeeper Emrah Tuncel on a free transfer. The 28 year old ex Akhisar, Boluspor and Adana Demirspor keeper becomes the clubs 9th signing of the summer.

We would like to wish Emrah all the best at Ankaragucu and hopefully he will be part of the clubs promotion bid to the PTT Lig.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Ankaragucu sign Alihan Kubalas!

Ankaragucu today signed 24 year old Istanbulspor defender Alihan Kubalas. The club continue to strengthen and look to be building a team capable of challenging for the title this season. Kubalas has also had previous spells with Fatih Karagumruk, Altay, Sivasspor and Fenerbahce.

He can play anywhere across the back with central defence and left back being his favoured position, we would like to welcome Alihan to the club and all the best in the future.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Ankaragucu rebuilding continues!

Ankaragucu have completed the signing of 2 more new players in Emre Sahin from Bucaspor and Tarsus Goalkeeper Emre Kouyuncu. Emre was highly regarded at Bucaspor and the forwards signing has been met with approval from the Ankaragucu fans.

The club continues to bring in new players even though the club havent officialy lifted the transfer ban. Its believed that the club will officially become Ankaragucu AS in the coming weeks with Melih Gokcek heavily involved with the club again.

In other news, Ankaragucu have been invited back to the TSYD Ankara cup for the first time since they were relegated from the Super Lig. They will be joined by Etimesgut, Bugsas and Hacetepe in the 4 team tournament. Genclerbirligi will not play in this seasons cup for unknown reasons.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ankaragucu transfer news!

Busy couple of days for Ankaragucu as 8 players head for the exit door with 4 new players having arrived yesterday (see post further down). It's still unclear whether the transfer ban has been lifted after the arrival of Erhan Senturk, Dogan Ates, Ferhat Culcoglu and Cenk Kaplan, we are awaiting further information from the club.

Reports confirmed today that following 8 players have been released by the club. I don't think many will be sad or surprised to see any of them go but we would in particular like to wish Gurkan, Volkan and Teoman all the best in their future.

Teoman Erkan
Murat Sozgelmez
Volkan Geyik
Gurkan Alver
Ferhat Odobasi
Sedat Bayrak
Emrah Bozturk
Salih Sefercik

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ankaragucu sign 4 new players!

Pre season began today for new Ankaragucu and their new manager Ismet Tasdemkr as the team reported back to Bestepe training facility. Their were also 4 new faces who reported for training with them all having signed contracts last night according to various reports.

Cenk Kaplan is a 24 year old left back who can also play centre back, he has signed from Kocaeli Birlikspor where he played under Ismet Tasdemir last season. The left back position has been a problem area for Ankaragucu of late with both Mehmet Tasci and Onur Atasayer failing to impress. Onur looks more promising further forward.

Ferhat Culcoglu is a defensive midfielder who has signed from Bucaspor. The 28 year old has also played with Goztepe and Istanbul BB and will come in as a replacement for Salih Sefercik who has left the club to sign for Giresesunspor.

Dogan Ates is a 27 year old forward who can play centrally or outside and has signed from Tuzlaspor. He has spent most of his career in the lower leagues and will be a welcome addition to the team.

The most impressive signing of the quartet is 27 year old winger and former Galatasaray player Erhan Senturk. He joins from Kocaeli Birlikspor and will also be well known to Ismet Tasdemir.

It's unknown yet what the latest is with the current transfer ban but it looks like the club have come to some sort of agreement having signed the above 4 players. The quality of player this season is much better than last season where the club brought in old players past their sell by date.

In other news Ferhat Odobasi has quit the club after 1 season as the clubs first choice keeper. After a promising start to his Ankaragucu career he like the rest of his team mates was very disappointing last season.

Ankaragucu will train in Ankara until Friday where they leave for training camp in Erzerum. We will keep you updated will all the latest developments.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Next Season...

starts on August 19 for Gençlerbirliği

and on September 3 for Ankaragücü.