By Richard Beale….
Esentepe’s 9th and final friendly match on what has been a “traumatic” pre-season ended in defeat at the hands of Super League Club Doğan Türk Birliği (DTB).
Results: ESENTEPE KKSK 0 DOĞAN TÜRK BİRLİĞİ 2
Saturday, September 16: Friendly Match: Esentepe Erdal Barut Stadium.
Firstly some good news this match was what locals call a “Jubilee Match”, like a Testimonial Match. The beneficial was 32 year Esentepe forward ESER KAN who announced his retirement from football with immediate effect. Eser has been a great servant to the club starting in 2008, and he made around 200 appearances scoring nearly 50 goals. Eser was given the honour of kicking off for the team, playing 5 minutes before being carried off on the shoulders of his teammates, both sets of players and spectators applauding the player who has given his “all for the club.
As I said it’s been a traumatic week for Esentepe with only a week before the start of the season Turkish forward Melih Rahman Nisancı walked out of the club and returned to Turkey, leaving the club short of forward options.
With the transfer window shut for TRNC transfers, the Foreign transfer window closes Wednesday giving the club very little time to find a replacement. For this match, Esentepe arranged for two trial- lists to be flown from Turkey YUSUF OYİT and RAMAZAN DEMİR. So little time to see if they will be suitable, Yusuf worked hard but was on his own up front. Ramazan showed some nice touches on the left wing but whether the club wishes to sign them is another matter.
More bad news for the club came after 25 minutes when last season’s leading goal scorer DENİZ KIBAR limped off with what looks like a knee injury.
Deniz joins an ever-increasing injury list including Emre, Mahmut, Devran, and Şenol. It’s been a hard pre-season starting in July and you question the need of why 9 pre-season matches are required, even before the season starts some players are carrying knocks and some looking tired.
For DTB this match was a good workout and, they didn’t field their strongest XI choosing to keep their 3 African players on the bench but still looked too good for a disjointed Esentepe team. They played the ball around confidently and at times felt like they had 12 players on the field.
Understandably with two trial lists, injuries Esentepe played with little confidence and looked very disjointed.
DTB dominated most of the match with Ahmet the Esentepe goalkeeper in the first half making some good saves and also helped by some wayward finishing.
Esentepe rarely troubled Cenk in the DTB goal, who dealt with crosses and corners very efficiently.
Of the Esentepe players teenager MEHMET ADA had another very good match at right back, not overawed by Super League players, he tackled well and was always willing to overlap.
Next week will be a very important week for the club before the start of the season, can they sign a forward before Wednesday?, What is the state of the injury situation?
GOALS : SELIM SAYGI (16), GUVENC SAKALLİOĞLU (33).
ESENTEPE TEAM : Ahmet (gk) (Osman 46) ; MEHMET ADA, Oğuz, Nersin, Emek (Dursun 78) : Tuğra (Okan 71), İlyas (Salih 46) : Deniz (Ramazan 25), Yusuf , Eser (Semih 5, Dinçer 78) Ege Can (Hüseyin 60)
To see more pictures please visit my Facebook page.