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Posts tagged ‘kocaelispor’

Come on Kocaeli

It was great to catch up with my Turkish Team last time in Izmit.  Just like County, in that Country I cannot find it in my blood to adopt a so-called ‘Giant’, favouring, the Club that I first went to see with my Father In Law some 16 years ago.  I guess it’s “the scarf my father wore syndrome”.

The Ground was somewhat sparse apart from one bustling Stand where fans known as Hodri Meydan showed their support.  These inspired by ‘amigos’ sang their hearts out from start to finish but to no avail as the Team went down 1-0.

Everyone was friendly, we made no attempt to hide our British Nationality – and in usual style were permitted to go on the pitch to meet the players; my Son having his picture taken in the dug-out, just as he had with Fatih Terim ex-Galatasaray on last watching ‘Cim Bom’.

Similarities to County continue with the side now stabilizing; and indeed missing out on promotion after a defeat to Tekirdag (known for its’ Raki – Turkish National drink of alcohol!).  Despite a lower league and amateur status, a hard core continue to attend and cheer in hope of a return to the Football League.

Commercialisation was absent – no perimeter board, no programme sellers, no real sponsorship of mention – and this amateurism off field also stretched to an inferior web presence and no e-commerce.

The Day will be remembered for some atmosphere, sunshine, welcoming on the pitch and ‘ticker tape’.  Who’ll return first to headier heights, Kocaeli or County.  I guess the former!

World Language

It’s an old adage but “football is a world language”.  How often have I referred to this, with a comment on football being just the ice-breaker to remove any barriers in conversations or warm up a new acquaintance in commerce.   I recall my times in Aarhus and Copenhagen (Denmark) when amongst MDs I discovered the ‘Wembley Club’.  My own book has this as a recurring theme.

My last encounter was the Owner/Designer at Loka jewellery.  On learning that I was married to a Turk, support Kocaelispor in Turkey (obviously to a lesser degree than County!) and had bought my Son, a cim bom shirt for Christmas – he emphasised that even Barcelona would be defeated by his home team in Mardin.  The explanation that followed suggested such a slope on their home pitch (Mardinspor) and on the edge of a ‘mountain’ that the fear and vertigo would undermine even the best team.  Must look into this Ground in more detail – but a nice story anyway.