Abdülkadir Ömür and the future Trabzon storms

Kar yağdı, meleğim, şimşekler
Ve kar yağdı
Önce şimşekler yol gösterdi sonra yavaş yavaş
Yağmur kayboldu, ve kar yağdı.

The snow was falling, my angel, the lightnings
And the snow was falling
Firstly the lightnings showed us the way, then little by little
The rain got lost, and the snow was falling.

When the winter comes, in Trabzon it rains. Always. And the raindrops melt with the first snowflakes. Better than anyone else, German-Turkish indie artist Hakan Kursun sings those atmospheres in one of his most intense tunes, Kar yağdı, literally “The snow was falling“, whose lyrics narrate a heart breaking love story lived in a day under gray clouds.


So, as if Kursun’s words could become true, last Thursday a thunderstorm hit “Avnı Aker” stadium, home of many memories and adventures for Turkish club Trabzonspor.

And then, a miracle happened.

In an apparently little noteworthy Turkish Cup match, third-tier club Gümüşhanespor destroyed the Storm, “Fırtına“, surname of famous (at least in their nation) Trabzonspor: 1-2, with even a goal by Muhammed Çalhanoğlu, brother of Bayer Leverkusen and Turkish national team star Hakan ÇalhanoğluOn the stands 1999-born Abdülkadir Ömür was probably just watching the game. He was thought to have a chance, but coach Ersun Yanal, who anyway seems on the brink, doesn’t want to risk him in a critical moment for the club. The new stadium opening had many postponements, Trabzonspor are now in the lower part of the standings and their young players fail to get a chance to play in the first team.

It’s a difficult phase for Trabzon, town that loves futbol, but it seems to be the last year of suffering and hurdle. President Muharrem Usta is convinced about it: in fact he has been changing many things since his arrival one year ago. The excesses of the former club managements brought financial troubles to the club, as well as many high-priced champions arrived to end their careers in front of the Black Sea and a short-term technical project. A general lack of vision didn’t stop youth players’ development, with a good structure implemented year after year with fluctuating results (many of these players found chances just for 1461 Trabzon, the satellite club). The biggest project was actually building a stadium on an artificial island on the Black Sea, Akyazı. Near the new pharaonic stadium, we’ll find a several football pitches and brand new structures set to develop young talents.

Like FC Barcelona’s “masia”, but on the Black Sea.

President Muharrem Usta (whose surname, curiously, translates in Turkish means “Master”) was in fact conquered by the last youth product of the talents’ development area in Trabzon. The club noted Abdülkadir Ömür in his tiny hometown, Çarşıbaşı, a village on a cliff in front of the sea. These are not just zones with a lot of rain and snow during the winter, or landscapes perfectly intertwined with Hakan Kursun’s notes; these are the zones of “Mustang“, a Turkish-French movie that, even though through exaggerate patterns and playwrights, provoked many questions, always important, on women’s condition in Anatolia.

The villages and landscapes showed in the movie are similar to those seen by Ömür in his childhood: small towns with a strongly conservative mindset, with only one moment of joy for young people.

Futbol.

In one of the few freedom and carefreeness days out for the girls in “Mustang“, the Game comes out as a great joy despite a difficult life (note: in those scenes, we could clearly see the match people are talking about is Trabzonspor against Galatasaray).
It’s also like this that Ömür, born in 1999, gets Sadi Tekelioğlu‘s attention. The latter is the man behind 1461 Trabzon‘s project, creator of the Trabzon cantera, an idea that tries to emulate the most advanced European youth development structures, especially the German ones, and the best of the country, the ones in Bursa and Izmir (Altınordu).
So the new kids will train a few metres away from the new Arena, on the same artificial island, to motivate and make them see the final destination of their formation, day after day.

trabzon-akyazi-arena-stadi_1140734Under the eyes of Hoca Tekelioğlu, the one who followed Ömür (and a lot of talents) since his first footsteps. “He is a creative player but also very good at playing as part of a team“, said the head of youth development of Trabzonspor to “UEFA.com”.

Abdülkadir is the type of midfielder you can turn to when the game is deadlocked – you can take advantage of his intelligence and leadership skills.

His official debut in a Turkish Cup match let us see sparks of his talent, soon tied by the club with a professional contract and even excessively protected, as by Yanal this season. Meanwhile, in the youth National Team selections, the kid was seen as one of the most interesting elements. The comparisons with Messi and Hagi have already been done, but the more careful Turkish football viewers see it differently: Ömür reminds them the most talented “number 5” of the last decades in Turkey, Emre Belözoğlu.

If the young generation in Turkey want to be optimistic about football, they should watch Abdülkadir Ömür very carefully.

So said Mehmet Hacıoğlu, the man that coached him with the Under-17 National selection. “He is a player who we have been following since the age of 13 when he was playing in the local leagues. His performances with the national team deserve attention and are a good example for others.” He loves the ball, nurtures it almost jealously with his left foot and has the leader attitude, furthermore he didn’t lose time, by scoring a lot of goals in the youth leagues despite his central midfielder role. Together with midfielder Yusuf Yazıcı and forward Muhammed Beşir (both ’97, already with goals in official matches) Ömür wants to represent the new generation of Turkish talents grown up far from European schools.

Because at the end in a few years in Trabzon it will keep on raining endlessly, but the Storm wind might have taken a different direction. The one of Akyazı and its new school of talents.