Sunday, January 21, 2018

Erzerumspor 0-0 Ankaragucu match report!

A good Goalkeeper is worth his weight in goal, and today Korcan Celikay again showed why he is such an important player for Ankaragucu. The 30 year old former Besiktas and Sivasspor keeper was man of the match with a fantastic display in the 0-0 draw at Erzerumspor.

Team - Korcan, Erdem, Gencer, Alihan, Mehmet, Arif, Sedat, Mbamba, Ilhan, Kenan, Umut Nayir
Subs - Altay, Furkan, Lukasz, Yusuf, Mahmut, Ferhat, Ahmet, Tonia

It was a cold winters day in Erzerum and their was snow at the side of the park but the pitch was in good condition for a game of football after excellent work from the ground staff. A draw in Erzerum isn’t the worst result in the world, but it was the manner of the Ankaragucu display that was slightly concerning as the team were lucky to escape with a share of the points.

Ankaragucu had the first chance of the game after nice play from Kenan straight from kick off as he beat two players, but his weak effort from outside the box was easily held by Hakan. Seven minutes later Hakan Arslan had a shot from distance that went wide of the post for Erzerum at the other end.

Erhan Celenk was the best player on the pitch and almost gave Erzerum the lead after 15 minutes but for an excellent save from Korcan. From the resulting corner Stephan Acka headed the ball over the bar.

Erhan went close again on the 27th minute with a shot from distance but Korcan made another good save to tip the ball over for a corner.

Ankaragucu were looking out of sorts as their play was sluggish, slow and they were struggling to support Umut Nayir in attack. Kenan was the only one who looked like he was causing Erzerum any problems. On the 34th minute nice play with him and Sedat led to a chance for Ilhan but his shot was well saved by Hakan.

Just before half time Hakan produced an excellent double save from Kenan to keep the score at 0-0 in what was a pretty even first half.

The second half was all Erzerum as they piled the pressure on and looked the stronger, fitter and faster team all over the pitch. One minute into 2nd half Erhan beat two players before his shot was tipped round the post by Korcan.

Five minutes later and it was another outstanding save from Korcan from Erhan who couldn’t believe his luck as the Ankaragucu keeper was saving everything that came at him. Gokhan Karadeniz was next to be denied by Korcan as his header was straight at him.

On the 64th minute a shot from distance by Taylan was again saved by Korcan. Five minutes later Alihan had a chance at the other end but his headed went wide of the post.

It looked like it was going to be Erzerum’s day on the 77th minute as they were awarded a penalty. Mehmet Sak made a poor mistake and then Alihan committed a rash challenge in the box as the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Up stepped Hamza Younes....and yes you guessed it, Korcan made another unbelievable save.

There were a couple of late half chances from Erdem and Kenan which didn’t mount to anything. Full Time 0-0 and Ankaragucu have Korcan Celikay to thank for an incredible performance.

A poor display from Ankaragucu who missed Anton Putsila in midfield. Mbamba understandably looked unfit after missing the last 4 months through injury. It’s hard to criticise İsmail Kartal but his persistence in playing Ilhan Parlak no matter how poorly he is playing could come back and bite him in the face. Ankaragucu need some pace up top with Umut and will be hoping Tonia can be that man once fit.

Ankaragucu drop down to 2nd after Umraniyespor won 7-0 against Gaziantepspor and now lead the table on goal difference. Rizespor are now only 1 point behind after a convincing 3-0 win at Manisaspor.

It’s a home match with Altinordu next week for Ankaragucu in what will be a must win game after winning only 1 of their last 4 games.

Genclerbirligi start second half with a deserved win

The footie season is back on and us Gencler fans still have no idea whether they will be selling us season tickets for the second half of the season. Looks like collective punishment for our constant calls for coach Umit Ozat to resign.

Karabukspor 0 - 2 Genclerbirligi

Off to the Alerta Pub to join the Alkaralar and Kara Kizil groups for this mid-Saturday afternoon kick-off. About 50 Gencler fans made the trip for what is possibly our closest away match - 225 kilometres away.

The first half wasn't boring but it was pretty clear that this was a match between two struggling teams. Gencler had Aydin Karabulut back after a season away... and he looked a bit rusty... He had a chance which hit the crossbar but was lacking some of the flair we remember. I'm sure he will be back to form soon enough.

Karabuk had one hell of a chance fairly early on when Hamidou Traore had an almighty belt which a fully outstretched Hopf only just managed to get a few fingers to and send the ball out. Phew.

Second half and Gencler started to dominate. The first goal was rather strange with Skuletic on the floor seeming to lash out at the ball to get it in. Quite weird really.

With Karabuk now going full on there were lots of counterattack opportunities and it was our captain Ugur Cıftci who cleaned up.

In the end it was fairly easy. I don't think there is any chance of Karabuk not being relegated... As for us...

Friday, January 19, 2018

Erzerumspor vs Ankaragucu match preview!

Ankaragucu return to league action this Sunday after the winter break where the players enjoyed their training camp in Antalya. A tough trip to Erzerumspor awaits Ankaragucu who will be hoping to bounce back from their disappointing 2-1 defeat at Adana Demirspor in December.

Santiago Mele, Doka Madureira and Cheikhou Dieng have all left the club with no new players being singed as of yet in the January transfer window. Tonia Tisdell and Kibong Mbamba are both fit and have returned to the squad after missing out on the first have of the season due to injury. Tonia in particular will be a huge boost to the club and a key player moving into the second half of the season.

Both sides met in the first game of the season in Ankara with the scoreline 0-0, as both sides failed to take their chances with Hamza Younes and Ilhan Parlak in particular guilty of poor finishing. A lot has changed since then as both sides were playing their first competitive game which included a host of new players. Ankaragucu have went from strength to strength, blowing away anyone who stands in their way, with stunning wins against Rizespor, Eskisehirspor, Giresunspor and Umraniyespor respectively.

Erzerumspor on the other hand find themselves 1 place outside of the playoff spots and have improved as the season goes on. After a stuttering start, they are starting to find consistency and are unbeaten in their last 6 games, having drew 3 and won 3. Those results have all came against difficult opposition and Sundays match will be a real test for Ankaragucu.

Hamza Younes will again be the key player for Erzerumspor with the Tunisian striker having scored 7 goals from 15 games this season. The big striker is strong in the air and will always find himself in good positions. He can be a bit erratic at times with his finishing but will be the man that Ankaragucu will need to pay attention too. Gokhan Karadeniz is another danger man with the former Altinordu and Goztepe forward a proven scorer in the Turkish lower leagues.

Ismail Kartal will again be expected to go with the team that has repaid his faith shown in them this season. The left back position is still an area of concern with both Mehmet Sak and Ferhat Kiraz disappointing in defensive duties.

It will be interesting to see if Ismail decides to start with Tonia or if he finds himself on the bench. It will depend on his fitness levels as he has missed the last 6 months due to injury. Lets hope for another Ankaragucu win as the 2nd half to the season is going to be a tough challenge!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Kankalar Group - The Multinational Ankaragucu fan group!

The Kankalar Group has been up and running for almost 15 years and is made up of both Turkish and Foreign internationals including America. Australia, UK, Holland, Romania, and many other nationalities who follow either Ankaragucu or Genclerbirligi.

Over the last couple of years, the Kanka Group has been gaining more media attention due to Social Media and last weekend our Ankaragucu Kankas Jim, Damon, Murat and Miguel were interviewed by Anayurt.

You can see the full article here Anayurt article with the Kankas

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Ankaragucu half season review!

After a gruelling season last term where Ankaragucu held off a tough challenge from Gumushanespor to win the Lig 2 title, most Ankaragucu fans would have accepted the team avoiding relegation this season in Lig 1 with hopes of making the playoffs at a push.

Instead, the team are sitting top of the Lig at the winter break and expectations have changed to automatic promotion, with the playoffs being a minimum although most would be disappointed if the team doesn’t now go on and win automatic promotion back to the Super Lig where the club belongs.

İsmail Kartal is the man responsible for guiding Ankaragucu to the top of Lig 1 and has won the respect and admiration from the Ankaragucu support with his hard work and forward thinking ideas that have galvanised a squad of players flung together at the last minute in the summer after the club managers to lift the transfer ban only days before the transfer window closed.

Things haven’t always been positive for Ismail Kartal during his Ankaragucu tenure. He replaced Ismet Tasdemir in the summer who guided the club to the Lig 2 title last season, but the Ankaragucu board decided they wanted to go in a different direction with the appointment of Kartal much to the surprise of the Ankaragucu support. Failed spells at Fenerbahce and Gaziantepspor had saw the 56 year olds reputation in tatters, but he was determined to succee at Ankaragucu and installed a strict military style training camp at the club.

Ankaragucu signed 22 new players in the summer with only Korcan Celikay, Alihan Kubalas, Kenan Özer, and Enes Kubat remaining from last seasons championship winning squad. Fans favourites such as Omer Bozan, Cenk Kaplan, Muhammed Gonulacar, Muharrem Ozan, Serkan Balci and Harun Aydin were all let go and replaced with free transfers and loan signings as the club completely overhauled the squad. Concerns amongst the fans had already started to set in with many questioning the need for so many changes. The club had dismantled the squad that won a title and also parted ways with the manager.

İsmail Kartal faced a tough task of working with a squad of free transfers and loan signings, all players who had been released by their previous clubs, contracts had expired or were available for loan. Most of these players didn’t have a full pre season, while trying to get 22 new players to integrate and gel would be a difficult task for any manager. In pre season the team struggled to score goals and looked void of any ideas going forward.

In the days leading up to the closure of the transfer window, Ankaragucu pullled off a major coup in completing the loan signings of Umut Nayir and Tonia Tisdell on loan from Osmanlispor. Umut Nayir a former Ankaragucu player had the previous season played a huge part in helping Goztepe to promotion to the Super Lig.

The club also added the likes of Erdem Ozgenc from Bursaspor, Mehmet Sak from Yeni Malatyaspor, Gencer Cansev and Sedat Acgay from Basaksehir, Arif Morkaya and Yusuf Abdioglu from Altinordu, Abdulkadir Kayali and Ilhan Parlak from Gaziantepspor and Anton Putsila  also joined late on from Gaziantepspor. A host of other players would also join the club as it became a whose who of new players in the opening couple of games.

İsmail Kartal got off to the worst possible start with 2 draws and 2 defeats in his opening 4 games. Draws with Erzerumspor at home and Altinordu away weren’t the worst of results especially as it was the teams first couple of games together against pretty decent sides. The 2-0 defeat at Elazigspor was blamed on new signing Lanre Kehinde who was sent off early in the game for a shocking head but letting all his team mates down and fans how had travelled to the game. The next week Ankaragucu lost 2-1 at home against Balikesirspor after leading 1-0 and that’s when the first chants of İsmail istifa rung around the 19 Mayis Stadium.

Social media was awash with Ankaragücü fans looking for the board to sack İsmail Kartal and bring back Ismet Tasdemir. The fans complained that İsmail had dismantled a good side letting the likes of Muhammed Gonulacar, Cenk Kaplan and Omer Bozan go and replaced them with old players such as Sercan Kaya and Sedat Agcay who were failing to live up to expectations.

The new Ankaragucu manager was under pressure early on in his Ankaragucu career but the management team stood strong and backed their man. Their loyalty would be rewarded as İsmail and Ankaragucu were about to go on a remarkable run that would take them from bottom of the table to the top.

The turning point was the match at leaders Caykur Rizespor. It was top against bottom with most predicting an easy home win for Rizespor. Ilhan Parlak had also come in for a lot of criticism from the Ankaragucu support due to his poor for in the first 4 games. İsmail Kartal like the board had done with him, stood by his man and it paid off as Ilhan scored a double in a fantastic 4-1 win which set the benchmark for the rest of the season for Ankaragucu.

After the jubilation of winning at Rizespor, the team were knocked out of the cup by Afyon Afjetspor which again raised questions of İsmail Kartal and his ability to be Ankaragucu manager.

Ankaragucu would win 9 and draw 2 of their next 11 matches including stunning wins at rivals Eskisehirspor, Giresunspor and a home win against Umraniyespor who were 2nd in the table at that point. The 3-1 victory at Eskisehirspor was a particularly pleasing result against a rival team and one which saw İsmail Kartal win the hearts of the Ankaragucu fans.

After a stuttering start, this Ankaragucu team were playing like a team who had played together for years. İsmail Kartal has installed a well organised, hard working ethic which also includes flair and skill when needed, with everyone knowing their role in the team.

Korcan Celikay in goals has proved to be a great signing for the club. He signed on loan last January and was instrumental in helping Ankaragucu winning the Lig 2 title. The club moved to make his signing permanent in the summer and again he has become a key player for the club.

Erdem Ozgenc at right back had a huge task of replacing fans favourite Serkan Balci, 6 months in and Balci is a distant memory. Erdem has had an excellent first half season creating 7 goals and has been a constant threat with his runs down the right hand side. And excellent crosser of the ball, Erdem has also been fantastic defensively and is the complete wing back.

Gencer Cansev like Umut Nayir helped Goztepe win promotion to the Super Lig and has formed an excellent partnership with Alihan Kubalas at the back. Both players are excellent in the air and Alihan has earned the nickname Rambo for his physical presence and all out commitment which see him as a fans favourite.

In midfield, Arif Morkaya and Sedat Agcay do all the dirty work winning the ball, breaking up play, closing the opposition down which allows Anton Putsila to get forward creating chances for the forwards. Kenan Özer has again shown his worth and that he is capable of playing at this level with some excellent performances and consistency which is so often missing in wingers.

Umut Nayir and Ilhan Parlak have formed an excellent partnership up front with both scoring 6 goals, Umut having played 12 games and Ilhan 16. They have both delivered in the big games and have been excellent additions to the team.

Ankaragucu saw their undefeated run come to and end at Adana Demirspor at the weekend, but the team will be delighted they go into the break 2 points clear at the top. Tonia Tisdell, Nduka Ozokwu and Mbamba Kibong will all be available having missed the first half due to injury. While the club will also look to lift the transfer ban. We await the 2nd half in anticipation of Ankaragucu making it 2 titles in a row and a place back at the top with Turkeys elite!

I see nothing

In my post Christmas stupor I completely missed tonight's cup match. So, no report. Just a quick mention that Skuletic apparently scored another great from distance goal.

Genclerbirligi 1 - 0 Bursa

That's that.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Phew! Gencler get away with a point

I think three of this lot were here for the later match.
For those with little time. Bursa should have won this 5-1... at least

Bursa 1 - 1 Genclerbirligi

Raining with a bit of snow on the walk down to the Alerta where a few of the Ankaragucu Kankas were also gathering for their slightly later kick off.

Nice and warm inside and Kick off and ... boy... Gencler were being smashed.

At one point bursa had 70 percent of possession but somehow or other they couldn't score. Throughout the match there was all sorts of heroics by Hopf and our defenders and how on earth Bursa didn't score was a mystery to all.

Instead it was Skuletic who put Gencler ahead in the 70th with a wonderful team effort that involved heaps of great short passes. Amazing really.

As if they hadn't been trying before Bursa put their collective foot down even harder and managed to score after Murat Duruer fell over. Ankaragucu Kankas Damon and Jim were not surprised.

Last few minutes and lots of hearts in mouths as Bursa attacked and attacked. But no goal.

So we were happy. Happy Christmas everyone.