Northern Cyprus Football, The 2016 Season Begins At Last.
By Richard Beale…….
Preview: Saturday October 22nd 2016 : K-Pet League 1 Beyaz Group : KO at 3-30pm
BOSTANCI BAĞIL SK v ESENTEPE KKSK.
Venue : Bostancı Yakup Özorun Stadi.
At long last Esentepe’s season begins on Saturday, when they face a long trip to Bostancı in what is a tough opening fixture for them. It has seemed like a lifetime ago when Esentepe players returned to training on August 1st. Since then they have played 9 friendly matches in an extended pre season. This is due to League 1 being restructured for Season 2016/17 only. The League has been divided into 2 groups Beyaz (white) and Kırmızı (red), Esentepe are drawn in the white group. Which comprises of 11 teams with the red group having 10 teams.
The teams that finish in first place in both groups will automatically be promoted to the Supa League (Premier).
Teams that finish 2nd and 3rd in either group will play each other in the play offs to decide on the 3rd team being promoted to the Supa League.
The last 3 teams in each group are automatically relegated. Teams that finish 5/6/7 and 8th will play in a relegation play off to decide who will be the 4th team relegated.
Only the team that finishes in 4th place in the Beyaz league will not be involved in either promotion or relegation battles. Sounds complicated well this is Cyprus, it will be extremely hard for teams this season and ideally teams must really be looking for a top 4 place.
Esentepe are capable of achieving this as I believe they have a stronger squad than they had last season. They also have a new Coach, an“outsider” in Davut Kansu , 43 years old and this is his first major Coaching job. He was, I understand, in his day a very impressive player, and what I have seen of him will be an impressive Coach.
Unusually for Esentepe they have been active in the transfer market and have signed four new players. Striker Tacettin Kise 25, Defenders Firat Kulle 30, Mehmet Bebek 30 and wide midfielder Resat Genç 24 years old.
I have been very impressed by Tacettin and Firat. Tacettin looks like a player that will score goals on a regular basis, something that Esentepe has lacked over the past couple of seasons. Firat is a very tall defender signed from Görneç, and is very strong and has linked up well with the dependable Nersin in the centre of the defence.
Also returning to the Club after loan spells are goalkeeper Ali Karal, and midfielders Hüseyin Ermiş and Uğurcan Başayak all talented players.
All these players combined with the experience existing players Başak, Umar, Eser, İlyas, Emrah and up and coming youngster Mahmut, Emre Soytürk, the Coach should have enough talent at his disposal to finish in the top 4.
Bostancı were relegated last season from the “Supa league” and have undergone major surgery during the summer, letting go and bringing in a number of players.
Being the first match of the season and not knowing how good Bostancı’s pre season has gone, it is very hard to assess how this match will end. If you are an away team and facing opposition that has been relegated from a higher League you will be quite happy to come away with a point, that is what I predict.
Bostancı is not far from Güzelyurt, once you arrive in Bostancı the Stadium is very difficult to find through a maze of side streets, but you can find it on Google maps.
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