Newly acquired Ali Turan, Serdar Özkan, Çağlar Birinci, Mehmet Batdal and Musa Çağıran all took part in Monday’s first training session. Aydın Yılmaz, who was on loan to Turkcell Super League’s Eskişehirspor, also took part. Galatasaray’s Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard also included footballers from the A2 (junior) team. Brazilian striker Elano Blumer and Aussie defender Lucas Neill did not take part in the training session because they played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. These players will join the rest of the team for training in the Netherlands.
A large group of fans watched the training sessions and applauded coach Rijkaard and the footballers. They chanted praise for Haldun Üstünel, who has recently quit as sporting director at the club, and asked Galatasaray Chairman Adnan Polat to bring him back.
The fans also heaped praise on Australian winger Harry Kewell, whose contract with the team ended last season; but they swore at and cursed “renegade” leftie Caner Erkin, who has moved to rival Fenerbahçe, as well as mediocre Argentine keeper Leo Franco, who performed well below par last season.
While a group of footballers underwent blood tests, another group went to Medical Park in Bahçelievler for medical examinations. Young captain-playmaker Arda Turan, defensive midfielder Sabri Sarıoğlu, defender Hakan Balta and veteran midfielder Ayhan Akman were among the players who completed their check-ups on the first day. Another group did so yesterday.