Istanbul giants Besiktas set up a youth academy Moreland.
The black eagles has joined forces with Moreland Eagles Football Club, a new junior club for players aged eight to 16, in a deal that will see the local team recognised as an official Australian sports academy for the Turkish team.
The “youth academy” is open to players of all ages and will be trained by a professional coaching staff that includes the Besiktas legend Ufuk Pak.
Ilhan Mansiz shocker
The club was launched at Coburg City Oval on Australia Day. The original launch program included Turkey’s 2002 World Cup hero Ilhan Mansiz. Thousands flocked to see Mansiz at the opening ceremony however it was reported that Mansiz changed his mind on the last minute and decided not to join the ceremony.
Mansiz had scored the “golden goal” against Senegal that carried the Turkish team into the semi-finals.
The founder of the academy, a life-long fan of the Besiktas team, Mr Gungor Yurkseven said it was a dream come true to establish a local link with the international club.
Turkey’s Melbourne Consul General Aydın Nurhan, Moreland Mayor Öztürk Yıldız and Nedim Sarsmaz from Besiktas Istanbul management were also present at the opening ceremony.