By Richard Beale….
I say review of the season so far, if the current lockdown and restrictions carry on much longer then this may turn out to be a review of the season 2019-20.
All over the world Football Associations have the same problems whether to null and void the season or let the season carry on when the restrictions are lifted.
Esentepe’s last match was on March 7 (was it that long ago!) when they were defeated 0-2 at home by Maraş.
Esentepe currently are in 8th place in the K-Pet League 1 table, not in a promotion play off place or in a relegation play out place. Whether the season finishes or not I would be happy with that 8th place, this season it is all about CONSOLIDATION. After being relegated from the Super League last season it is imperative that the club at least holds onto a League 1 place. There have been too many instances of Clubs having a double successive relegation season. Lapta, Yeniboğaziçi and Değirmenlik being recent examples.
Left: Esentepe Coach – KILIÇ ALİ KAHRAMAN and right 17 years old ŞÜKRÜ ERDOĞAN, who was in top form before the season ceased.
In 22 matches played this season Esentepe have already been through 4 Technical Directors. HÜSEYİN CAĞER who did his best last season in Esentepe’s brave fight to retain their Premier League status, started in charge again this season. Esentepe had an ok start, but found scoring goals a problem. After the disappointing goalless home draw against Dörtyol Mr Çağer was relieved of his duties.
Young team Coach ALİ KANLI and an unknown, untried Coach from Turkey SALIH ÖZBİR were given joint responsibilities for the first team, though it was Salih who was doing most of the coaching from the sidelines. He tried varied innovations and tactics, I certainly warmed to him and thought we had found a young and very inspirational Coach. The team warmed to him as well in training and in matches the players were playing with spirit, togetherness and there were smiles on their faces. Results improved as well with the team going on an unbeaten 5 match run, culminating in a superb 2-1 away win over promotion favourites Dumlupınar in the last match before the winter’s break.
A very young team shocked their illustrious opponents that had incredibly only conceded 2 goals in their previous 14 matches. After the match there were joyous and happy scenes as the team and supporters celebrated together.
The break came at the wrong time as the team were on a roll, wanting to carry on the momentum, they had climbed from a relegation place to 8th in the table.
I was really looking forward to the recommencement of the season as results in friendly matches during the break were also encouraging. Esentepe drew 1-1 at home against Super League Champions Mağusa Türk Gücü, a great performance but after that match, something happened behind the scenes, resulting in Salih Özbir leaving the Club. This came as a shock to me and must have been to the team.
When the season recommenced end of January ALİ KANLI was in sole charge and it seemed business as usual as the team started the second half of the season with a 4-1 convincing win away to Çanakkale.
However storm clouds were gathering again, when in their next match Esentepe went down at home 3-5 to L. Gençler Birliği. After the match the Coach and the Football Committee were seen arguing, soon after that Mr Kanli was on his way.
The Club wasted no time in appointing a new Technical Director, KİLİÇ ALİ KAHRAMAN a man of many Clubs, vastly experienced, he knows his football he has been around, he is very calm and a laid back character. His first game in charge resulted in a 2-1 away win against Bostancı and his record to date is 2 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat.
Two more youngsters that have broken into the team
Left 17 year old GÜRKAN DEMİR and right 15 year old HÜSEYİN DEYNEKLİ
One thing that can be said for all the Coaches this season because of Esentepe having such a small playing squad, coupled with usual injuries and suspensions, they have not been afraid to give youth a fling. 15 year old forward HÜSEYIN DEYNEKLİ, 17 year old defender GÜRKAN DEMİR and another striker 18 year EGE CAN AÇIKPORTAL have been introduced to the first team. Last season, then only 16 years of age, the eldest son of Esentepe Village President ŞÜKRÜ ERDOĞAN was playing Super League football. A prolific goalscorer in the junior teams, now 17 years old he has started scoring in the first team weighing in with 5 goals. An outstanding prospect, if he keeps his feet firmly on the ground then he has an exciting future ahead of him.
Left- Esentepe’s most consistent player UĞURCAN BAŞAYAK and right top goalscorer ERAY ENGİN
Utility player UĞURCAN BAŞAYAK has played in all of Esentepe’s matches, always gives 120% and has been the Club’s most consistent player.
Striker ERAY ERGİN from Turkey is the Club’s leading goalscorer with 6 goals, he always “works his socks off” and has also provided a number of assists.
The Club Captain VURKAN GÖRNEÇLI has also put in some good performances, while his younger brother KAAN also showing up well.
The team is very young overall, you cannot fault their commitment and desire, the future for the Club is very bright indeed.
The only negative about this season has been in the number of draws the team has been involved in, 8 to date, if 2 of those were turned into wins then they would be in a promotion play off place.
So on the Schoolmaster’s report for this season it would be a C+, could do better, let’s hope they can if the season can start again.
FACTS and FIGURES
K-PET League 1 Table. (as at 7/3/2020)
|3||Girne Halk Evi||22||12||6||4||44||24||20||42|
|5||L. Gençler Birliği||21||11||3||7||39||28||11||36|
**** Doğancı already relegated as unable to fulfil their fixtures
K-PET League 1 SEASON 2019-20.
|Sept 14||ÇANAKKALE||H||2-0||Eray, Nersin (pen)||1|
|24||L. Gençler Birliği||A||0-1||8|
|12||Girne Halk Evi||A||2-3||Mahmut, Kaan||13|
|Nov 2||MESARYA||H||1-3||Okan og.||11|
|21||Yonpaş Dumlupınar||A||2-1||Şükrü, Mustafa||8|
|28||Hamitköy (Kıbrıs Cup)||A||2-5||Şükrü, Kaan|
|Jan 25||Çanakkale||A||4-1||Vurkan, Kaan, Ali, Nersin (pen)||7|
|Feb 1||L. GENÇLER BİRLİĞİ||H||3-5||Emre, Şükrü, Nersin||8|
|8||Bostancı Bağıl||A||2-1||Eray, Şükrü||7|
|22||GİRNE HALK EVİ||H||2-2||Nersin (pen), Ali||8|
|Mar 1||Lapta||A||2-1||Şükrü (2)||7|
LEAGUE APPEARANCES (substitute appearances in brackets)
|17||Yakup (4), Eray|
|16||Nersin (2), Onur|
|14||Vurkan, Furkan **|
|10||Kaan Arsu (1) **|
|7||Hüseyin Ermış (10), Emre (8), Şahın|
|4||Gürkan Demir (3)|
|1||Ege Can (3), Hüseyin Deynekli, Tuğrulsan (2)|
|0||Hürkan (9), Samet**|
** No longer at the Club.
|4||Nersin (3 pens), Kaan ( 1 pen)|
|1||Mahmut, Uğurcan, Emre, 1 own goal|