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Gençlerbirliği Spor Kulübü (pronounced Turkish pronunciation: [ɟentʃˈlæɾbiɾli.i]), commonly known simply as Gençlerbirliği, is a Turkish sports club based in Ankara. Formed in 1923, Gençlerbirliği are nicknamed Ankara Rüzgârı (The Wind of Ankara) or simply Gençler (The Youth). The club colours are black and red. The football team currently plays its home matches at Eryaman Stadium, following the closure of the Ankara 19 Mayıs.

Gençlerbirliği
Gençlerbirliği S.K. crest.svg
Full nameGençlerbirliği Spor Kulübü
Nickname(s)Gençler (The Youth)
Ankara Rüzgârı (The Wind of Ankara)
Founded14 March 1923; 96 years ago (1923-03-14)
GroundEryaman Stadium
Capacity22,000
PresidentMurat Cavcav
ManagerMustafa Kaplan
LeagueSüper Lig
2018–19TFF First League, 2nd (promoted)
WebsiteClub website

Domestically, the club have won the Turkish Cup twice, in 1987 and 2001. They have also won the former Turkish Football Championship twice and the Ankara Football League a record nine times. In Europe, Gençlerbirliği's greatest success came in 2004. The club reached the fourth round of the UEFA Cup before losing to eventual champions Valencia.

HistoryEdit

 
Gençlerbirliği squad in 1924.

Gençlerbirliği were founded in a slightly different way compared to many other football clubs, having been established by students from a high school, Ankara Erkek Lisesi (Sultani Mektebi). The students in question (Ramiz Eren, Mennan İz, Mazhar Atacanlı, Sait, Kenan, Nuri, Namık Katoğlu, Namık Ambarcıoğlu, Rıdvan Kırmacı, Hafi Araç, Ruhi, Sarı Ziya and Hakkı) had failed to be selected for their own school team, and asked one of their student friends, Asim, to talk with his father about setting up a football team for them to show how well they could play.

On 14 March 1923, Asim's father, the member of parliament from Muş Province, established the team for his son and his friends. Since all the members of the team were students he chose the name 'Youth Union' (Turkish: Gençlerbirliği). They elected Sarı Ziya's father Faik Bey as their first chairman.[1]

 
Turkish newspaper Yeni Sabah announcing the Turkish championship title of Gençlerbirliği on 16 July 1941.

Subsequently, these young students wanted to play against the school team which had not selected them. Gençlerbirliği won the game, played at "Hamit tarlası", 3–0. According to these young rebellious players this victory forged the identity of their new team.

They won the regional Ankara Football League a record nine times between 1923 and 1959, when the league had first level status before the introduction of a nationwide league.[2] Their greatest success domestically were the victories in the former Turkish Football Championship, when they became Turkish champions in 1941 and 1946.[3] Gençler entered the Turkish National League in 1959 and played 12 seasons until relegation in the 1969–70 season. They played in the second level until relegation to third level in the 1978–79 season. The club came back to second level after the merger of the third level with second level, at the end of the 1979–80 season. They finished second from last in Group A of the Second League, and had to relegate to the regional league. But, since the number of teams in the second division was increased, Gençlerbirliği were readmitted. The club won Group D in the 1982–83 season and finally returned to the top-flight after 13 years. They relegated again in 1987–88 season. Finally, Gençlerbirliği returned to the top-flight in the 1988–89 season, in their first return attempt. Gençlerbirliği's most successful seasons in the Süper Lig are 1965–66 and 2002–03, when they reached the third place. At the end of the 2017–18 season Gençler only reached the 17th place and as a result the club relegated to the second tier TFF First League.

ColorsEdit

There are two rumors about how Gençlerbirliği got their team colors, black and red:

  • The young students went to a local haberdashers and the only available colors were black and red. They purchased these colors to sew their own kit. [1]
  • The outskirts of Ankara during spring time see plenty of poppy flowers (Gelincik) blooming and Gençlerbirliği selected the red and black of this flower for their colors. Gençlerbirliği merchandise in their store is usually called Gelincik by their supporters.

RivalryEdit

Gençlerbirliği's arch-rival are the neighbouring club Ankaragücü and games between the clubs are considered as the "Derby of the Capital".

Youth academy and scoutingEdit

Gençlerbirliği have always been one of the teams in Turkey most notable for their talented young footballers that they procure through scouting both in Turkey and throughout Europe and Africa. For example, Geremi was scouted and raised by the club, transferred to Real Madrid and later Chelsea. Another of Gençlerbirliği's young stars Isaac Promise received the 2005–06 Super League Individual Youth player of the Year award.[4]

Gençlerbirliği's state-of-the-art youth academy is located in Beştepe, Ankara with 50 acres (200,000 m2) of training facilities (Beştepe İlhan Cavcav Tesisleri).

Gençlerbirliği had been run by İlhan Cavcav from 1978 until his death in 2017. With Cavcav's help, Gençlerbirliği have become one of the more stable clubs in Turkey. This has been achieved mainly through the departure of the most talented players every season to the other clubs in Turkey. Departing players are usually replaced with much cheaper imports from Turkey, Europe or Africa.

HonoursEdit

Domestic championshipsEdit

Winners (2): 1941, 1946
Runners-up (1): 1950

Domestic cupsEdit

Winners (2): 1986–87, 2000–01
Runners-up (3): 2002–03, 2003–04, 2007–08
Runners-up (1): 1946

Regional competitionsEdit

Winners (9) (record): 1929–30, 1931–32, 1932–33, 1934–35, 1939–40, 1940–41, 1945–46, 1949–50, 1950–51
Runners-up (7): 1925–26, 1926–27, 1928–29, 1933–34, 1936–37, 1942–43, 1947–48

European participationsEdit

UEFA Cup Winners' CupEdit

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1987–88 1R   Dinamo Minsk 1–2 0–2 1–4

UEFA Cup / UEFA Europa LeagueEdit

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate
2001–02 1R   Halmstad 1–1 0–1 1–2
2003–04 1R   Blackburn Rovers 3–1 1–1 4–2
2R   Sporting CP 1–1 3–0 4–1
3R   Parma 3–0 1–0 4–0
4R   Valencia 1–0 0–2 (aet) 1–2
2004–05 Q2   Rijeka 1–0 1–2 2–2 (a)
1R   Egaleo 1–1 0–1 1–2 (a)

UEFA Intertoto CupEdit

Season Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1995 Group Stage   Hapoel Petah Tikva 4–0 N/A 3rd
  Strasbourg N/A 1–4
  Floriana 3–0 N/A
  Tirol Innsbruck N/A 2–3

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

As of 16 August 2019[5]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1   GK Übeyd Adiyaman
2   DF Ahmet Oğuz
3   DF Halil Pehlivan
4   DF Mattias Bjärsmyr
5   MF Berat Özdemir
6   MF Yasin Pehlivan
7   FW Nadir Çiftçi
8   MF Baiano
9   FW Bogdan Stancu
10   MF Stéphane Sessègnon
11   FW Floyd Ayité
13   FW Giovanni Sio
14   DF Rahmi Can Karadaş
15   MF Zargo Touré
No. Position Player
17   MF Sefa Yılmaz
19   MF Rahmetullah Berişbek
20   MF Mats Seuntjens
21   MF Daniel Candeias
22   DF Erdem Özgenç
23   MF Soner Dikmen
24   DF Arda Kızıldağ
25   GK Ertaç Özbir
27   GK Abdoulaye Diallo
28   MF Sadio Diallo
32   DF Flávio
39   DF Pierre-Yves Polomat
55   DF Abdullah Şahindere
99   FW İlker Karakaş

Out on loanEdit

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
  DF Ömer Alper Tatlisu (on loan to Hacettepe S.K.)

Most capped playersEdit

Player Caps Period
1   Tevfik Kutlay 343 1959–72
2   Selçuk Çakmaklı 337 1959–72
3   Avni Okumuş 317 1983–93
4   Zeynel Soyuer 291 1959–70
5   Metin Diyadin 286 1988–98
6   Nihat Baştürk 279 1994–04
7   Okan Gedikali 274 1981–91
8   Orhan Yüksel 235 1959–66
9   Cemalettin Sakallıoğlu 235 1975–84
10   Mehmet Şimşek 233 1993–01

Top goalscorersEdit

Player Goals (Caps) Period
1   Andre Kona N'Gole 73 (147) 1993–2001
2   Avni Okumuş 72 (317) 1983–1993
3   Orhan Yüksel 71 (235) 1959–1966
4   Ümit Karan 60 (150) 1997–2001
5   Souleymane Youla 56 (134) 2001–2005
6   Harun Erol 50 (193) 1979–1991
7   Muammer Nurlu 48 (150) 1983–1989
8   Abdullah Çevrim 48 (154) 1961–1966
9   Zeynel Soyuer 48 (291) 1959–1970
10   Tevfik Kutlay 47 (343) 1959–1972

Former playersEdit

ManagersEdit

PresidentsEdit

 
Name Years
Münif Kemal Ak 1923–36
Saffet Gürol 1936–43
Namık Ambarlıoğlu 1943–44
Fevzi Magat 1944–46
Namık Katoğlu 1947–48
Yusuf Bahri 1948–49
Orhan Şeref Apak 1949–50
Reşat Taşer 1950–52
 
Name Years
Nuri Togay 1952–55
Mümtaz Tarhan 1955–57
Ahmet Salih Korur 1957–58
Orhan Şeref Apak 1958–61
Turhan Ogan 1961–63
İbrahim Sıtkı Hatipoğlu 1964–65
Muslihittin Yılmaz Mete 1965–66
İsmet Sezgin 1966–67
 
Name Years
Hadi Özbay 1967–68
Necip Türegen 1968–69
Mehmet Ali Tuzcuoğlu 1969–70
Adil Evrensel 1970–72
Sezai Diblan 1972–74
Hasan Şengel 1976–77
İlhan Cavcav 1977–2017
Murat Cavcav 2017–

Further readingEdit

  • Ankara Rüzgarı. Kendi Yayınları 2003 ISBN 975-92422-0-6 author: Tanıl Bora. (in Turkish)

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Gençlerbirliği'nin Tarihçesi". gencler.org (in Turkish). Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Turkey – List of Ankara League Champions". rsssf.com. RSSSF. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  3. ^ "Turkey – List of Champions". rsssf.com. RSSSF. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  4. ^ Genclerbirligi team profile Archived 17 October 2011 at the Wayback Machine turkish-football.com (English) accessed 27 Jan 2012
  5. ^ "A Takimi". Gençlerbirliği S.K.

External linksEdit