Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Double signing for Ankaragücü!


Ankaragücü made their first signings of the new season as they announced that both Riad Bajic and Hayrullah Bilazer from Giresunspor on free transfers after their relegation to Lig 1.

Bajic has been a player I have liked for a long time after first watching with him at Konyaspor back in 2017 where he became one of their key players. Udinese paid 5 million euros to take him to Serie A but things never quite worked out and he spent time on loan at Ascoli, Brescia and Basaksehir.

After his contract expired last season Giresunspor signed Bajic on a free transfer and despite their disappointing relegation the Bosnian striker went on to score 14 goals in 34 games.

It’s a welcome addition to the team in the forward areas as Tolunay only had Ali Sowe to call upon last season. Bajic can play any position across the front 3 positions and has even played as a right wing back in the past. He is an excellent worker off the ball and his experience of the Turkish league makes him a great first signing of the summer for Ankaragücü.

Hayrullah Bilazer has also signed from Giresunspor although I haven’t seen him play. From the reports I’ve read he’s a good defender but very poor in the attacking side of the game which is much needed in todays modern game. Kitsiou will take the right back position and it’s likely Bilazer will be back up.

The club are also said to be close to the signings of Tolga Cigerci and Mert Cetin who would both be welcome additions to the club and would help fill the Turkish quota. Cigerci was a key player before he left for Hertha Berlin last January.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Ankaragücü greatest striker since Augustine Ahinful?


Ankaragücü have had some troubled times in the last 20 years, but they have had a number of good strikers who have served the club well since the legendary Augustine Ahinful left the club. The Ghanaian striker is arguably one of the greatest strikers to play for the club and certainly the best foreign player to ever wear the yellow and blue jersey.

Robert Vittek joined the club back in 2010 from Lille and became and instant hit with his performances but due to financial problems moved on in less than a year. Stanislaw Sestak was another who joined at the same time scoring goals agains the likes of Galatasaray and Fenerbahce but also moved on in less than a year due to same reasons as Vittek.

Some of the older Ankaragücü fans will remember the likes of Jaba and Umut Bulut and Bebbe who all contributed and had successful spells for the club.

It’s been a long time arguably since Vittek and Sestak left that Ankaragücü had a quality striker playing in the Super Lig. When Ali Sowe signed last summer, no one expected him to make the contribution that he did in the next 12 months.

After spells in Bulgaria and Russia, the Gambian made his way to the Turkish capital with Ankaragücü as he signed a 1 year loan deal.

Ali Sowe impressed immediately with his style of play, hard working, great hold up play and skill as he played the lone striker position so well. Scoring 12 goals in his first season while adding 4 assists was a good return considering the lack of quality attacking players he had in support.

Ali also had to play almost every match and minute due to no alternative back up striker after the failed signings of Federico Macheda and Moussiti Oko. 

There are things Ali can improve on such as choosing the right time to pass and holding onto the ball too long at times, but if the club can find some quality wingers and a number 10 in the summer transfer window that may take some of the pressure off.

One of the other important factors with Ali Sowe is that he has bought into Ankaragücü and understands what it means to play for the club and fans. He gives 100 percent every game he plays for the team and turned down 2 other offers with more money to stay with the club for another season.

No one will beat Augustine but he has his arguments for being the best striker we have had since then.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Ankaragücü transfer update!


Ankaragücü managed to avoid relegation last season and narrowly missed out on a Cup Final appearance as they lost to Basaksehir in extra time. As usual there were many talking points with multiple manager changes, politics, a number of poor signings led by Emre Yildiz and a mixed bag of performances. 

The one thing that remained consistent throughout the season, was the support of the Ankaragücü fans. They turned up in their numbers and backed the team creating some excellent atmospheres particularly the Cup games and league game’s towards the end of the season when the team was fighting for survival.

We now head into a new season and Faruk Koca has said he wants the team to be fighting for a top 5 position and that we are in talks with 7 players from Europe. Faruk has always talked a good game, but his stubbornness and loyalty to the likes of Mustafa Dalci and Emre Yildiz has let him down.

After the unpopular decision to part ways with Omer Erdogan, it’s now down to Kafkas Tolunay to build his own team and we will now take a look at the latest updates on the transfer front.

The goalkeeper position is one that the club are thinking of strengthening. Gokhan Akkan has expressed his desire to stay at the club but 35 year old Augsburg keeper Rafal Gikiewicz has been strongly linked with a move. Bahadir has also been linked with a move away but we will await the news in the coming weeks for any developments.

In defence, Kevin has returned to Napoli and unlikely to return due to how much he would cost and his injury problems. Kitsiou returns to Gaziantep but will have a number of offer’s including Ankaragücü to chose from. Enoch will leave the club without a single appearance. Faruk Koca has confirmed that we have signed Hayrullah Bilazer on a free from relegated Giresunspor. Ankaragücü also want to retain Hanousek from Gaziantep but Arda will not stay on.

Gayas Zahid has left the club after his contract ran out and wasn’t renewed. Both Taylan and Emre who were on loan from Galatasaray are unlikely to return as so far Ankaragücü have been unable to agree a deal and a number of other clubs including Samsunspor are interested.

Ankaragücü are negotiating with Milson and his club Pari to sign permanently as Tolunay wants him to stay in Ankara. He would also like Tasos and Beridze to move on too but will depend on them being able to find a club.

Moussiti Oko has been told to find a new club after an unsuccessful 6 months since his move from France. Ankaragücü have however agreed a deal with Riad Bajic from Giresunspor who scored 14 goals last season and has excellent experience in the Super Lig.

The biggest news of the summer so far is the resigning of star man Ali Sowe. The Gambian had offers elsewhere for more money but chose to remain with Ankaragücü and hopefully he will be repaid with better quality around him.

Some other recent links are Cameroonian youngster Bil Dornol Nsongo from Lausanne in Switzerland. Dino Hotic another Bosnian player who is available from Cercle Brugge in Belgium. Lucas Biglia the Argentinian midfielder from Basaksehir and Gokhan Sazdagi from Kayserispor have also been recently linked.

We will keep you up to date with any moves as they happen!

Thursday, June 08, 2023

ANKARAGUCU .........AND .......IT’s A WRAP !!!



Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


Ankaragucu wrapped up their season last night with a defeat against Adana Demirspor, and with nothing at stake, except perhaps pride, they sent out an experimental team with quite a few of the ‘regulars’ missing.


That said, Ankaragucu was not outclassed, but their downfall was their poor finishing.   16 shots on goal gives a fair reflection of the problem and I think it’s fair to say that Ali Sowe was sorely missed up front.


Ankaragucu finished the season in mid-table, but only 2 points above Giresun who was relegated alongside Umraniye.


So, the alarm bells are ringing and it is to be hoped that the management will have a solution (or even a plan  !) in the pipeline to remedy the obvious weaknesses in certain areas of the team for next season.


Back to last night ..............


ANKARAGUCU              1                             Adana Demirspor             2


Team – Dogukan, Firatcan, Kevin, Arda, Radakovic, Kitsiou, Hasan Ali, Andrej, Gokhan Tore, Beridze and Tasos


Substitutes – Matej, Milson, Unyay, Ibrahim and Mert


Demirspor showed why they finished 4th top of the league as early as the 5th minute with numerous close passing moves in the box before the final shot went whizzing past the post.


3 minutes later and it was Ankaragucu who should have taken the lead when Beridze was presented with a clear chance in the 6 yard box, but contrived to allow the goalkeeper to save from his weak shot.


However, it was Demirspor who seized the initiative on the half hour mark after some neat inter-passing on the right and when the cross came in it was Younes who was first to it to send in an angled shot from the right to inside the left post.


It was almost 2 just before the half time whistle when Arda headed a goal bound shot off the line with Dogukan beaten.


Into the 2nd half and Demirspor resumed on the front foot and almost increased their lead 10 minutes in, but Dogukan saved a goal bound shot.


However, one minute later and the crucial goal came when from a cross on the left, Emre out-jumped two Ankaragucu defenders to ‘put the sword in’   !


To their credit, Ankaragucu didn’t allow their heads to drop and almost pulled a goal back 5 minutes later when Tasos sent an excellent pass to Beridze who shot straight at the goalkeeper when it was easier to score.


Kitsiou almost found the goal with 15 minutes left to play but his goal bound shot was well saved.


5 minutes left and Ankaragucu scored the goal which their build-up play deserved and it was that man again, Milson, who put some respectability on the score line with an excellent crafted goal when he bore in on the right and let fly with a screamer of  a shot inside the left post.       


As an aside ..... I truly hope that management will retain Milson’s services for next season.     He and Ali Sowe have formed a successful partnership up front which should be cemented    !!!


Despite surging forward in the dying minutes of the match, Ankaragucu was unable to find the equaliser.     


 A fairly even match but the difference being that Demirspor took their chances and Ankaragucu scorned theirs   !!


Nadeem and I will endeavour to keep you up to date with comings and goings during the summer shut down, so watch this space from time to time.


In the meantime, I hope all our readers have an enjoyable Summer holiday.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim

Sunday, June 04, 2023




Greetings Kankas and Kankies.


A great team performance by Ankaragucu last night saw them over the line with the one point they needed to preserve their Super League status.


Every player in the team stood-up to the task and none more so than Gokhan who was immense between the sticks as Kayseri poured forward in search of the equaliser, especially in the 2nd half.


The players relief at finally securing safety was clearly visible at the end of the match when they went to the large travelling Ankaragucu support to applaud them.      At last ....... something to celebrate after such and up and down season   !!


So, no doubt it will be another celebration and carnival atmosphere in the Eryaman Stadium on Wednesday when Ankaragucu play their final match of the season.


Back to last night ..............


Kayseri                0                      ANKARAGUCU                  1


Team – Gokhan, Matej, Mujakic, Kevin, Kitsiou, Andrej, Atakan, Taylan, Emre, Milson and Ali Sowe


Substitutes -  Diack, Arda, Hasan Ali and Tasos


Kayseri were clearly determined to make life as difficult as possible for  Ankaragucu  and they looked dangerous going forward throughout the match.


Kayseri almost opened the scoring after 12 minutes after a handball by Atakan about 30 yards out.    The Kayseri player taking the free kick sent a fierce low shot to just inside the left post, but Gokhan was equal to it and made a great save.


4 minutes later and Kayseri gave Ankaragucu another scare from a fast break.     The Kayseri attacker sent his weak shot around Gokhan, but fortunately Kevin was tracking back and cleared the ball before it crossed the line.


Then, in the 23rd minute, and against the run of play, Ankaragucu made the breakthrough with a goal crafted by Milson.    He dispossessed a defender inside the box and passed to Kitsiou on the right who shot inside the left post for an excellent goal.


Kitsiou was again involved at the other end 15 minutes later when he was well placed to clear a Kayseri goal bound shot off the line with Gokhan unable to make contact with the ball.


Lots of smiley faces from us kankas as the players trouped off at half time   The crucial 1st goal had been won and none conceded   !!


Into a nail-biting 2nd half which was mostly all Kayseri searching for the equaliser and some excellent defending by Ankaragucu.    The appearance of Diack off the bench certainly gave more solidity to the defence  !!


Ten minutes in and Gokhan had to save a goal bound shot.


20 minutes to go and Atakan made a saving tackle to stop and goal bound shot.


15 minutes to go and from a fast Kayseri breakaway, a cross was made from the right into the box, but there were no takers.


10 minutes to go and Gokhan to the rescue again when he saved a goal bound shot.


5 minutes to go and Gokhan parried a fierce goal bound shot and fortunately the follow-up was sent past the post.


2 minutes to go and Mujakic made a saving tackle to halt a dangerous attack.


Then ............... the final whistle, and it goes without saying that it came as a great relief   !!


So, well done to the team for grinding out a result last night and securing another season in the Super League.     However, the team will certainly require strengthening before the next campaign    !!!


As I said earlier, the final match of the season will be played on Wednesday against Adana Demirspor, so watch this space for the outcome.


All the best from Eski Kanka Jim