AUFA 10th Anniversary Dinner

Ayr United Football Academy 10th Anniversary Dinner

We’d like to remind all supporters that the Academy’s 10th anniversary dinner is fast approaching and tickets are still available.

The event takes place on Saturday 10th September in the Ayrshire suite at Ayr Racecourse, and offers a magnificent 3 course dinner, to be part of the celebrations and fantastic entertainment.

Our very own, Davie Kennedy will host proceedings and will be supported by two of Scotland’s most popular after dinner speakers; Paul Reid, the country’s leading Football impressionist and ex Grade one and Fifa referee Kenny Clark, make up a magnificent panel that will ensure the night is an amazing success.

The Academy from humble beginnings has grown into a major organisation that provides an enormous range of positive programmes in the community for all ages and abilities and has made around £1.5m investment in the community in its first 10years. In 2015/16 an incredible 111,000 attendances were recorded in our football in the community programmes.

Our key objective has always been providing a player pathway to the Ayr United first team and it’s with great pride we have seen 24 players reach the 1st team squad and currently with Alan Forrest and Robbie Crawford with over 100 appearances each are providing Ian McCall with two key assets for this year’s Championship campaign.

We hope you will join us as we celebrate these and many other achievements and look forward to the next 10 years. Tickets are priced at £45 each and can be booked in any number.

To book or for more information please call Nicholas Provan on 01292 263435 ext 2 or via email at nicholas.provan@aufa.org.uk or alternatively use the following link:
http://www.ayrunitedfc.co.uk/shop/index.php?route=product/product&path=60&product_id=516

To download the booking form, please click the following link:
http://www.aufa.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/10th-Anniversary-Flyer-Booking-Form.pdf

IRN BRU cup 3rd rd draw

The third round draw for the IRN BRU cup has given us a home tie against Airdrie.

The tie will be played on the weekend of the 3rd September. We are aware that the Scottish airshow takes place in Ayr on Friday and Saturday of that weekend and will be in discussions with the league and Airdrie to choose a suitable date.

North Section

Alloa Athletic v East Fife

Brechin City v Dunfermline Athletic

Dundee United v Peterhead

Turriff United v Hibernian

Falkirk v Elgin City

Forfar Athletic v Raith Rovers

South Section

Queen of the South v Stenhousemuir

Stranraer v Dumbarton

Livingston v Celtic Colts

Albion Rovers v St Mirren

Ayr United v Airdrieonians

Queen’s Park v Morton

Ties are due to be played on the weekend of September 3/4

Commercial Update

We are delighted to announce the official sponsor of our Ally MacLeod hospitality suite, the Ingram Motoring Group.

The significant deal gives Ingram all of the advertising inside and out of the suite and will continue on a rolling one year deal with potential for further opportunities.

Malcolm Ingram, the company’s managing director said :”It’s a great partnership for us and one we are delighted to take up. We have always been happy in the past with programme adverts and trackside boards however the clubs move into the Championship gave us the chance to raise our profile.”

“It’s a great time to be involved with the club, with teams like Hibernian and Dundee United visiting regularly on league duty it’s great for the club and also great for the town.”

The Ingram Group was founded by our Honorary President Alex Ingram more than 35 years ago and has three dealerships in Ayr and one in Kilmarnock.

United’s commercial manager Graeme Miller said :”This is a significant deal for us and we are thrilled to welcome Malcolm and the guys at Ingram on board. Our hospitality suite is packed out every home game and has functions in it every weekend throughout the year so I felt there was a great opportunity to have an official sponsor. Even more so to have a sponsor with such a thriving local company with huge links to the club. Malcolm’s dad Alex will always hold a special place in the hearts of a generation of our fans.

 

SEASON TICKETS

To date we have sold 825 season tickets. Only once in the last 10 years have we broke the 800 barrier and that was in the 2009/10 season. When this season is finished the total will be over 900 and that will be the first time in many years, it is certainly the most that we still have records for.

Over the past 2 seasons we have increased our season ticket sales by 300 which is a great boost and are delighted to be on an upward curve. We understand that pricing is a huge talking point in Scottish football and it is something we will continually look at every year, we have already had some good ideas about a different range of season tickets for the following season.

We are always willing to listen to the thoughts and ideas of our supporters, if you have any ideas you would like to get across please email them to commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

 

WEBSITE

We would like to apologise for the recent problems with our website. We are fully aware of this and working hard to try and resolve the problems.

Over the coming weeks we will be working on a new website where we will be incorporating extra space for online advertising and affiliate marketing to increase revenue. With the current site we do not have the space to do this.

If you would be interested in having your company on our new website please contact Graeme Miller on commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

 

PLAYER SPONSORS

This season we have 22 home shirts and 22 away shirts up for sponsorship and of the 44 only one remains. Only Jamie Thomas’s home top is available.

A huge thank you for the response we have had and we will be in touch early in the New Year regarding our player sponsors event.

QOS 4 Ayr Utd 1

Ayr United 1 v 4 Queen of the South

 

Ayr are still looking for their first points of the campaign as they fell to a 4-1 defeat at Palmerston Park.  A double from Derek Lyle and goals from Stephen Dobbie and Lyndon Dykes earned Queens the win with Kevin Nisbet getting Ayr’s consolation on his debut.

 

Gaffer Ian McCall made five changes to the side that were defeated by Aberdeen midweek as Rose, Gilmour, Harkins, Nisbet and Docherty came in to the starting line-up.

 

The game started off brightly for the hosts and after 7 mins they created their first chance of the game through Brownlie.  A long Hamill freekick was met by Anderson at the back post, he chipped the ball back into the danger area and Brownlie’s header was tipped onto the post from close range by keeper Fleming.

 

Ayr created their first chance soon after with Rose heading over from an in-swinging corner taken by Gilmour.

 

On 11 mins, with nothing between both teams, Queens opened the scoring following a miscommunication between Ayr’s Cairney and Boyle.   Cairney collected the ball in his own box and tried to chest it down to Boyle who seemed to think it was intended for keeper Fleming. In this moment of hesitation striker Lyle stepped and fired home into the bottom corner.  1-0 Queens.

 

Striker Stephen Dobbie, who has returned to the Doonhamers from Bolton Wanderers, was in excellent form and caused Ayr problems throughout the game. With Queen getting a boost from their opener Dobbie started to create additional space and his tricky footwork down the right allowed him to breeze past Boyle and Cairney before releasing an inch perfect which was met by Dykes who could only strike the ball over the bar.

 

There was a moment of controversy on 28 minutes as Ayr looked to have found a way back into the game.  Harkins laid the ball off to Docherty on the edge of the box and his shot went through a ruck of bodies and into the net.  With Ayr thinking they had equalised the assistant referee raised his flag and referee Stephen Finnie ruled the goal out ruling that Cairney was in an offside position.

 

Just before halftime and Ayr were handed another blow as Dobbie fired home a second goal for Queens.  Dobbie picked up the ball midway through the Ayr half then coolly fired home from the edge of the box to give Queens a comfortable two goal lead going in at halftime.

 

Ayr came out of the traps quickly at the start of the 2nd half as they tried to pull themselves back into the game but in the 52 min conceded a freekick some 20 yards out. Lyle stepped up and his beautifully struck freekick nestled into the top left hand corner for Queens’ third and dented Ayr’s hopes of picking up their first points of the campaign.

 

Ayr finally got their name on the score sheet through Ayr’s recent loan signing form Partick Thistle, Kevin Nisbet. In 61 mins the debut boy collected the ball on the edge of the box, feinted one way, took a touch to create space, and then curled a shot into the bottom right hand corner to give Ayr hope with half an hour to go, 3-1.

 

Ayr appeared to have gained real self-belief and pushed forward and Queens were forced on the back foot. It seemed likely that the Honest Men would add to their tally and give their Galloway neighbours a highly pressured final half hour; but it was not to be.

 

On 74 mins Queens broke forward at pace, Dobbie receive the ball controlled it then instinctively slid through an inch perfect pass to Dykes who rounded Fleming and slotted home to give Queens a convincing win, 4-1.

 

Although United still tried to compete, this match was well and truly over for the Ayrshire men although late on a Nisbet strike from the edge of the box was well saved by Robinson.

 

A disappointing result for Ayr despite good debuts from Harkins and Nisbet. Ayr now travel to Tannadice to take on Dundee United next week.

 

Queen of the South

Robinson, Hamill, Dowie, Marshall, Brownlie, Anderson, Lyle, Dobbie, Jacobs, Tapping, Dykes.  Substitutes Thomson(GK), Rigg, Hooper, Pickard, Moxon, Murray, Brotherston.

 

Ayr United

Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Meggatt, Rose, Cairney, Gilmour, Docherty, Harkins, Crawford, Nisbet.  Substitutes Hart(GK), Forrest, Donald, O’Connell, Adams, Thomas, McGuffie

 

Referee:  Stephen Finnie

Attendance:  1982

Match Report:  AUmedia

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Ticket info for today

All supporters are required to buy a ticket before heading into the ground at Palmerston today.

Tickets for our supporters are available right outside the away end which is the Rosefield Salvage stand so please allow extra time before heading into the ground.

Adults £16

Concessions £9

Under 16s £5

Open Day reminder

This Sunday, 14th August sees the annual Ayr United Open Day take place at Somerset Park. There is no charge for entry. The event will start at 12 noon and finishes at 3 with the Adults v Kids match from 3 to 3.30. open day 2016

The Stage Door restaurant has sponsored the event for the second year in a row and we thank them for the fantastic support. They will also be providing an outstanding BBQ which will be in front of the family stand.

The weather forecast is good for Sunday so the sun will be shining, perfect way to cool down will be with some Mancini’s Ice Cream who are also coming along for the second year running.

Bubble Football was an enormous hit last year with the kids so we have them coming along again however this time there are adult bubbles too!

Hugely popular local entertainer Magic Malky will be here for the duration performing walk about magic and will be making anything you ask from black and white balloons!

Our Ayr United Football Academy coaches will be taking sessions with kids and also showcasing Walking Football for adults – our own players may well be giving a demonstration.

Club historian Duncan Carmichael will be running stadium tours all afternoon, there’s no one who knows more about Ayr United so its well worth going along.

The emergency services will all be represented with Ayr community fire station and Police Scotland bringing vehicles as well as the The Army 52nd Lowland Battalion who might just have a few surprises for us!

If you want to let the kids loose for a while then we have a bouncy castle, facepainting and club mascot Pandamonium to keep them occupied.

All the players and management will be in attendance for pictures and autographs all afternoon and thanks to The Ayrshire Post we will also give out AUFC posters which can be signed on the day.

We will also have Dougie and Jeanne from the Ayr United 5 star lottery here on the day and they will be available for anyone looking to sign up or if you are just looking for the benefits of being a lottery member.

Ayr United Media will be providing their own unique brand of running commentary throughout with plenty of music!

The club shop will be open 12 noon to 3pm and has 5 special offers for the day

1- 3 Ayr United mugs for £10

2-Bigsy Bear reduced from £20 to £15

3-Kids retro tracksuit from £37.99 to £25

4-Mini football & Pencil Case only £5

5- Stationery set, 4 pens and lunch box only £10

 

It promises to be a fantastic day, everyone is welcome and remember it is free to get in! Entry is through the gate at the Somerset Road End turnstiles.

Queens preview & travel info

Match Preview Queen of the South vs. Ayr United Ladbrokes Championship Saturday 13th August 2016. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United are on the road once more when they travel to Dumfries to take on Queen of the South. United will take encouragement from a spirited performance against a strong Aberdeen side on Wednesday night and with a couple of potential debutants will be looking to pick up their first Championship points.

Queen of the South have enjoyed a positive start to the season, qualifying from their League Cup section as one of the four best runners-up, beating Queen’s Park, Airdrie and Stenhousemuir and only narrowly losing to Partick Thistle after conceding in the last minute.

Last weekend, the Doonhamers earned a credible point at Tannadice in their Championship opener before knocking Hibernian out of the Betfred Cup with a 3-1 win at Easter Road on Tuesday night.

Team News: Craig Moore is still unavailable. Gary Harkins and Kevin Nisbet go straight into the squad.

Ian says:”It is always a very difficult place to go, something we will be saying a lot this season. They had a great result last weekend away to Dundee United and an even better result away to Hibs during the week which gives an idea of how good a side they are. We will be at the strongest we have been so far this season with only Craig Moore on the sidelines so we are really looking forward to it.”

The Opposition: Former Gretna and Kilmarnock midfielder Gavin Skelton was appointed Queen of the South manager on a permanent basis at the end of last season after replacing James Fowler on a caretaker basis for the final two games of the season.

Skelton and Queen’s pulled off something of a transfer coup in recently, signing striker Stephen Dobbie following his departure from Bolton Wanderers. 33-year old Dobbie was a sensation in his first spell at Palmerston Park when Ian McCall signed the Glasgow-born player from St. Johnstone in January 2007, scoring 54 goals in 98 appearances in a spell which saw the Dumfries side reach the Scottish Cup final under McCall’s successor, Gordon Chisholm.

Other notable figures in the Queen of the South squad include former Kilmarnock and Hearts utility man Jamie Hamill, striker Derek Lyle and defender Darren Brownlie, who made 16 appearances for Ayr in Season 2012/13.

Head-to-Head: Ayr United wins – 36 Draws – 14 Raith wins – 34

The Doonhamers are unbeaten in the last 7 meetings between the sides.

Last meeting:

The last meeting between Ayr United and Queen of the South was in March 2013 at Palmerston Park and it was the home side who picked up all three points with a 2-0 win courtesy of a Derek Lyle strike just before half-time and Gavin Reilly. It was the Doonhamers’ fourth win over Mark Roberts’s side that season as they stormed to the Second Division title with 92 points, 25 points ahead of second-placed Alloa Athletic.

The Dumfries club’s two trips to Somerset Park that season ended in 5-1 and 4-2 defeats for the Honest Men.

On this Day: in 1952 Ayr recorded their record victory, defeating Dumbarton 11-1 at Somerset Park in the League Cup group stages.The game was preceded by grumbles amongst the home support when United’s starting line-up was read out as Archie Anderson went with the same XI who had been easily brushed aside by Stirling Albion in the previous game.

Match Officials:

Referee – Stephen Finnie

Assistant Referee 1 – Graham McNeillie

Assistant Referee 2 – David Doig

Admission:

Adults – £16

Concessions – £9

U16s – £5

IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFORMATION

The A76 High Street, Sanquhar will be closed from 12:30 hours to 13:30 hours and 17:15 hours to 17:45 hours on Saturday 13 August 2016 due to the Sanquhar Riding of the Marches.

Gary Harkins signs

Gary Harkins today penned a two year deal with Ayr United in a fantastic piece of business by manager Ian McCall. The manager has been working on it for some time and was thrilled to finally get his man.

Ian said :”Gary is a player I know very well, I took him to Partick Thistle where he became a really talented player. I would love to have kept him however due to finances we had to sell him to Dundee.

There are very few players in Scottish football that have the talent that Gary Harkins has. He has been doing his coaching badges and his currently working on his A licence so comes in as a player coach.

He isn’t coming here to see out his career, at 31 he should be at his peak and he is really up for the challenge.

Too often in Scotland we all get caught up in an emphasis on running power, speed, strength and just forget about real footballing talent. Gary has that in abundance.

There were several other clubs in for him, at our level and above, so I am absolutely delighted to get him. He goes straight into the squad for tomorrow’s match.

Gary said :” The main reason I chose to come to Ayr was the manager, I have played for him before and know what he has to offer. I am also really looking forward to being able to do some coaching. The Championship is a great league this year, it will be tough but we have some really good players here so I am looking forward to it. I have played at Somerset Park a few times, it’s a great surface and the fans create a great atmosphere. Normally I get pelters so hopefully it’s different now!

Harkins has played for a variety of different clubs in his career including Blackburn, Grimsby, Partick Thistle, St Mirren and Dundee.

Under Ian McCall in 2008-09 he played 40 times scoring 11 goals, was Thistle’s top scorer and nominated for the Division one player of the year award.

At Dundee in 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons he was also nominated for the Scottish Football League player of the year for the first division.

Harkins moved to St Mirren in June 2013 and it didn’t quite work out for him there so he moved on loan to Oldham Athletic until the end of the season where he became a fans favourite.

Most recently he made 31 appearances for Dundee in the Ladbrokes Premiership last season.

Aberdeen match preview

Match Preview Ayr United vs. Aberdeen

Betfred Cup Second-Round Wednesday 10th August 2016. Kick-off 7.45pm

Tonight, Ayr United welcome Aberdeen to Somerset Park with a place in the quarter-finals of the Betfred Cup at stake. United were defeated in their league opener at home to Raith Rovers at the weekend but already have one victory over top flight opponents to their name this season and will be looking to shock the side who have finished runners-up in the Premiership in the last two seasons.

Aberdeen kicked-off their Premiership season with a goalless draw away to St. Johnstone on Sunday. The match followed a six-game Europa League qualifying campaign which started at the end of June and saw them overcome Luxembourgian and Latvian opposition before exiting the competition in controversial fashion at the hands of Maribor in Slovenia last Thursday.

Extra-time will be played if the sides cannot be separated after 90 minutes, with kicks from the penalty spot also a possibility.

Team News: Ross Docherty is suspended. Craig Moore is still out with the head knock sustained against St Mirren.

Ian says:”We are clear underdogs for tonight which is a good thing in this game. Aberdeen were the clear 2nd best team in the country last season and will be looking to improve again this season so we know what we are up against. They have pace all over the pitch and are big and strong. We won’t get many chances today so it is crucial that we take any chances we do get, that’s something we have been working on is I feel that we miss too many chances at crucial points of games.

The Opposition: Derek McInnes, Aberdeen boss since March 2013, after taking over from former Scotland manager Craig Brown, has strengthened his squad at either end of the pitch over the summer, recruiting goalkeepers Joe Lewis from Cardiff, Hearts veteran Neil Alexander in addition to strikers Jayden Stockley (from Bournemouth) and Miles Storey, who spent last year at loan with Inverness.

Key men Niall McGinn and Adam Rooney were rested from Sunday’s trip to Perth but both came off the bench in the second-half. Rooney netted 20 goals in 35 appearance for the Dons last season while McGinn was a star performer for Northern Ireland in the European Championships, netting against Ukraine in Lyon.

19-year old centre-back Scott McKenna, who played an important role in Ayr avoiding relegation to League 2 during his loan spell at Somerset Park, is a regular in Aberdeen’s matchday squad.

Head-to-Head (at Somerset Park): Ayr United wins – 13 Draws – 16 Aberdeen wins – 11

Ayr United and Aberdeen have been infrequent opponents in recent years, with tonight’s fixture just the third meeting between the sides since 1979. Aberdeen’s first win at Somerset Park came at the 16th attempt, back in 1933. The Honest Men will be thankfully not to be making the journey north tonight – have have just three win in 45 games away to the Dons.

Last meeting:

The last meeting between Ayr United and Aberdeen was at the same stage of the League Cup in 2008. The only goal of the game came five minutes before half-time when Chris Maguire squeezed home a close-range shot from a deep Charlie Mulgrew cross. Andrew Considine is the only member of both match day squads not to have moved on.

 

Match Officials:

Referee – Alan Muir

Assistant Referee 1 – Stuart Stevenson

Assistant Referee 2 – Stuart Hodge

Fourth Official – Alan Newlands

Admission:

Adults – £17

O.A.Ps & Students – £10

U16s – £5