There's a new season afoot in Turkey, and one club in particular can't wait to get started, as Paul Sarahs reports...
It’s been quite the summer on the Asian side of the Bosphorus. The appointment of Giuliano Terraneo as Fenerbahce’s Director of Football caused confusion: a relative unknown outside the professional game, he caused many to wonder not just what he would bring to the club, but also who he actually was.
With the Turkish Football Federation’s regulations regarding foreign player restrictions relaxed almost to the point of insignificance, Terraneo and new coach Vitor Pereira had free rein to bring in who they saw fit. Those who doubted the appointment – and there were many – needn’t have worried.
A couple of months later, the former Milan and Torino goalkeeper has transformed the playing staff at Fener, compiling a squad with the potential to dominate domestically and make serious inroads in continental competition while moving on a host of ageing and peripheral players, with club captain Emre Belozoglu, defensive stalwart Egemen Korkmaz and Cameroonian international striker Pierre Webo among them. Between them, Terraneo and Pereira have rejuvenated Fenerbahce.
The Yellow Canaries finished second in the Turkish Süper Lig last season and as such entered the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. However, having been beaten over two legs by Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, Fener dropped into the Europa League playoff round where they will play Atromitos of the Greek Super League - a tie that promises superb entertainment in a special atmosphere.