Academy players sign up

9 Ayr United Football Academy players tonight signed contracts with the club.

Lyle Avci, David Waite, Stuart Faulds, Leon Murphy, Kieran Balfour and Luke McCowan have signed on full time contracts and James Hilton, Jamie Ballantyne and Grant Thorburn have signed on part time contracts.

Head of Youth Davie White said :”It’s a pivotal moment for the Academy players. Of course it is also recognition for the Academy itself that the manager sees these boys to be good enough to train full time in the first team squad.

It also means a lot for our younger age groups like the Under 11s etc to see that there is a pathway to full time football and the first team if they work hard enough and are good enough.

These are all local boys and it is about creating building blocks to become a vibrant, sustainable and community club.”

To hear what Davie and manager Ian McCall had to say about these signings look out for an interview with Ayr United Media which will be aired later tonight.

 

Doc signs as new club captain

Ross Docherty today signed a new deal for the 2017/18 season and has been appointed the new Ayr United club captain.

Manager Ian McCall said :”I feel Doc can improve an extra 25% with full time football. He never hides, even when he isn’t having the best of games he wants the ball. He might not be the loudest on the park but he deserves to be captain as he leads by example and is very well respected inside the dressing room. He is a player I have always liked and I am delighted to get him on board for this coming season.”

Ayr United Media interviewed Doc after his signing which will be aired later this evening.

Doc signed for the club at the start of the promotion winning season of 2015/16 and swept the end of season player of the year awards. His style of play always endeared him to our supporters and his importance is shown anytime he has missed a game through injury. He has played 77 times for United scoring 2 goals.

Geggan agrees 2 year deal

Andy Geggan has today agreed to sign a two year deal to return to Ayr United and become the latest addition to Ian McCall’s squad for 2017/18.

He has spent the last 5 seasons with Dunfermline, the last 3 as club captain.

Manager Ian McCall said :”Thrilled that Andy has agreed to sign as he is exactly the kind of boy you want in your team. Obviously he can play in midfield however most recently he has played at right back and that is most likely where he will start the season with us. Dunfermline were keen to keep hold of him so it’s a great piece of business to get him as he really wanted to come here.”

Ayr United Media did a full interview with Andy after he signed, keep an eye on all our social media channels tonight to see what he had to say.

Andy signed for Ayr back in June 2011 and played 47 times for the club, scoring 47 goals. Unfortunately that season ended in relegation through the play offs however we made the Quarter Final of the Challenge Cup and the Scottish Cup and the Semi Final of the League Cup.

Andy was an extremely popular player in his time at the club and will be welcomed back by the supporters.

 

Club shop vouchers

CLUB SHOP VOUCHERS – IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Anyone that has current club shop vouchers that are still in date (12 months from date of issue) and do not want to spend them on current stock will be given a full refund up until and including the 30th June 2017. Thereafter, no refunds will apply.

Return of the Moff

Michael Moffat today put pen to paper on a two year deal which begins on the 10th of June, six years after scoring an incredible late winner at Brechin to win promotion in the play off final.

Manager Ian McCall said :”He’s a player I really like and the fact he has played here before has nothing to do with signing him. I am hugely impressed with his attitude, work rate, movement and goal threat. He will be a big help to the likes of Forrest and McGuffie.

It certainly helps that he has been here before, he knows the club well and is well liked. He has signed a two year contract and I hope it starts with a very successful first season.”

A delighted Moff said :”In some ways it didn’t feel like I  was away as Dunfermline and Ayr kept drawing each other in cups and got promoted together.

I love the place here and it’s great to see so many familiar faces.

Obviously we want to get promoted and to make a big challenge for the title, it won’t be easy especially with Raith coming down however we have some really good players and that has to be our aim.”

Michael signed for United back in January 2011 and scored 11 times between then and the end of the season. Over the course of the following 3 seasons he scored over 50 goals and in his final season at Somerset Park he was top scorer in League One with 26 goals, Rangers Jon Daly trailed behind in second place with 20.

He has always been a fans favourite for his work rate, effort and goalscoring record and will be welcomed back at Somerset Park. United supporters will never forget his late, late winner in the comeback win at Brechin in the play off final on the 22nd May 2011 sparking unprecedented scenes in the away end.

Rose returns for 2017/18

Michael Rose today signed for the 2017/18 season as Ian McCall continues to add to the squad.

Michael signed for United last season and impressed both in central defence and in the middle of the park.

Manager Ian McCall said :”I am really pleased to get Michael signed up as he is a boy we feel has a lot of improvement in him. He is a right sided centre back however he can provide cover in midfield. He was outstanding against Dundee United in defence towards the end of the season. Going back to full time will help him and we have high hopes for him.”

Michael said :”I have been here for a year now and know the manager well. The club going full time was huge for me to get back to full time football and of course pushing for a league title. My favoured position is as centre half however I just want to play football so I enjoyed having a spell in midfield. Ayr is a great place to play football and I am looking forward to getting started again.”

Forrest signs as Mick departs

Alan Forrest today penned a one year deal as Ian McCall starts to shape the squad for the 2017/18 season.

Alan has now made over 150 appearances for United and made his Scotland under 21 debut during last season.

Manager Ian McCall said :”I am delighted to get Alan signed up as this is a huge year for him. People forget that he is only 20 but he still has the experience of over 150 games. I think going full time will be a huge benefit for Alan, we all know he has incredible technical ability and training full time will give him the opportunity to improve his physique, pace and other aspects of his game.”

Forrest was the clubs top scorer during the 2016/17 season in the Championship.

Also today Michael Wardrope has been released by the club.

Manager Ian McCall said :”There is no question Mick is being let go with some regrets. I have no doubt he could play in League One but that area of the park is an area I expect us to be very strong in. The problem with that would be that his game time could be limited and I know he has been frustrated at that previously. I genuinely feel that moving on is the best for Mick, he’s a great boy and he goes with all our best wishes.”

Higgins first signing of Summer

Chris Higgins has today penned a one year deal with United for the 2017/18 season.

31 year old Higgins, who was previously captain with Queen of the South for many years, is a left sided centre back.

Manager Ian McCall said :”I was desperate to get this deal done as Chris has been made significant offers by other clubs in our league and above. He has been captain for years and is a winner.

Chris is here almost entirely as a player however he is a fully qualified PT instructor so he will working on programmes to help our younger players with fitness, nutrition, speed etc.

He is exactly the type of boy we want at this club, top class on and off the field and this is the perfect way to start the plans for the new season.”

Chris said :”I haven’t worked with him before however I know the managers pedigree and he really sold this opportunity to me. The club going full time was key in the decision as was the fact we are aiming for promotion and really want the title.

I know most of the boys in the squad, either personally or having played with them before so I know we have some really top players.

I have played at Somerset Park many times and the one thing I always notice is the fans behind the goal, they can be intimidating when they are in full voice and I am really looking forward to playing in front of them.

The main reason I am here is as a player however I am also going to be working with some of the younger players on fitness and nutrition. In this day and age that side of the game is absolutely crucial and its imperative players look after themselves.”

Higgins started his career with Motherwell and since then has played for Clyde, Dunfermline and has been with Queen of the South since July 2011.

Nicky Devlin

Club captain Nicky Devlin has now left the club and is considering several options regarding his next move.

Manager Ian McCall said :” I know fans get angry when they see a player they love leave however in this case after watching Nicky for the last 3 seasons I am sure there is a realisation that Nicky has the ability to play for big clubs at a higher level. Even if we had stayed in the Championship it would have been extremely difficult to keep him. Many clubs have been keeping tabs on him for a long time now, he could easily have gone at the end of last season. He became the clubs youngest every captain at 21 and we couldn’t have asked anymore of him. Nicky has a great affinity for the club so who knows, he may well end up back at Somerset in the future. In the meantime we wish him all the very best for the future.”

Nicky signed for United in July 2014 and in his 3 seasons at the club missed less than a handful of matches and made over 100 appearances.

He was made club captain in May 2015 and led the club to promotion in his first season as captain which culminated in an incredible penalty shoot out victory over Stranraer in front of close to 5000 at Somerset Park.

Nicky started coaching with the Ayr United Football Academy at the end of his first season with the club and in the last two years has coached hundreds of local children between the ages of 3 and 12.

He very quickly became a fans favourite for his performances on the pitch and his attacking style however Nicky was equally as popular off the pitch as he got to know our supporters and made time for them wherever he went.

Nicky was a fantastic ambassador for the club, a young captain who embraced his position with pride and enthusiasm. It was only a matter of time before he had to take the opportunity with a bigger club and leaves with the best wishes of everyone at Ayr United for all his efforts at the club, on and off the field.

Nicky gave a message for the fans before leaving :”Unfortunately the time has come to move on from Ayr United. I’ve had 3 great years at the club and I would like to thank Mark Roberts for giving me the opportunity to come here and of course to The Gaffer for giving me the honour of captaining this fantastic club. I would also like to thank everyone at the academy for all they have done for me as well and to allow me to coach with them for the last two years. We’ve had ups and downs but I will always look back at my time with fond memories. As I have said its a great club that I’m sure will bounce straight back to the Championship next year.  Big thank you to all the supporters, you’ve been fantastic with me since I arrived at the club and I will never forget our play off final. Thanks for the memories. Nicky”