AUFC sponsor Gavin for USA event

The inaugural Golf Ryder Cup was held in 1927 in Massachusetts USA with a team from Europe against their American Rivals. This year, 90 years on from the first ever Ryder Cup, emerging sport Footgolf will be holding its inaugural version of the event, the Jansen Cup. This is being played at the Desert Willow Golf Resort in Palm Springs, California with a team from the UK travelling to take on their American hosts.

Currently Footgolf is the fastest growing sport in the world and therefore will have worldwide exposure.

Footgolf is a precision sport, a combination of football and golf, being more closely related to golf. The rules largely correspond to the rules of golf. Players kick a regulation size five football at a golf course facility on shortened holes with 21-inch diameter cups in as few shots as possible.
Similar to playing golf you have par 3s, 4s, 5s and courses have either 9 or 18 holes.

Local Honest Man, Gavin Craig, who is the Ayr United blogger for the Ayrshire Post and Daily Record, has been Scotland’s number one ranked footgolfer since October 2015. Gavin holds course records at Coylton, Milngavie, Cumbernauld and Castle Douglas.

As Scotland’s number one, Gavin has qualified to play in the UK team and is the only male representative from this country. The dates of the competition are the 22nd to 24th of May 2017.

Gavin approached the club about sponsorship for the event, enabling him to take his place, and the board of directors were delighted to support him.

As a thank you for the support from Ayr United, Gavin will be running one of his famous Footgolf Fundraisers to help raise funds for the Playing Budget. In the past he has organised and overseen fundraisers for the Ayr United Player fund, the Ayr United Travel Club and amateur Football Team UCA that he used to be a part of until he found Footgolf! Gavin put in a tremendous effort and exceeded all targets that were set in all the fundraisers.

News will be upcoming for the next fundraiser that shall be done in the close season. All profits shall go to the Ayr United playing budget.

Gavin said, “I would like to thank the Ayr United board for helping sponsor me so I can represent the UK at Footgolf. After the Jansen Cup I will also be playing in the Las Vegas Open and I know it will be a great experience competing against some of the best footgolfers in the world.

I have competed in the same fourball with Ben Clarke who is currently the number one in the UK and ranked number five in the world. I lost by 5, 6 and 7 shots when I played alongside Clarke. I therefore realise the standard required to compete at the very top level of this sport.

I am looking forward to teaming up with the club I am passionate about in organising another Footgolf Fundraiser for the player fund. I have a vision which could involve ex-Ayr players playing alongside participants. Many fans have already expressed a real enthusiasm if this were possible and if so it would most definitely be the biggest fundraiser yet!”

£5 entry for Morton game

On Saturday we face Morton at Somerset Park with a 5.15pm kick off for a match that is live on BBC Alba.

We want to buck the trend of lower attendances for live matches and have a fantastic atmosphere inside Somerset in front of the cameras.

Entry will be £5 for everyone and we hope you will come out and support the team for this big match.

Burns supper cancelled

Unfortunately we have had to take the decision to cancel our Burns Supper which was scheduled for Friday 3rd February. This is due to poor ticket sales which means we are no longer able to go ahead with the event.

We would like to thank those who have already bought tickets and a full refund will be available from tomorrow (Monday 23rd January).

Meet the board feedback

Five of our directors attended an event with around 90 Ayr United supporters held in the Hospitality Suite on Friday 6th of January. Lewis Grant, Willie Houston, Alan Murray, Graham Peterkin and Mark Pettigrew mixed and chatted with as many of the attendees as they could and found the evening to be really informative. They were able to discuss some of the concerns and ideas that our loyal fans have about where the club is and what the future might hold.

If you’re curious to find out about what the future looks like for Somerset Park, if we’re considering full-time football, what’s being done to promote the club and increase attendances, or simply to improve the match day experience amongst many themes, then please download the feedback document PDF here.

The document has captured all of the questions, comments and suggestions submitted on, or before, the night (all 134 of them). We haven’t hidden anything asked and we’ve tried to be as open and frank as we can in our responses. We hope you find it useful and will watch as we address the points that we’ve agreed to look into further.

Our commitment is to keep you updated on progress on the questions and suggestions raised, to hold more communication events and to keep listening.

Thank you for your support.

The Directors of Ayr United Football Club

Queens Park match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Queen’s Park
William Hill Scottish Cup Fourth Round
Saturday 14th January 2017

On Saturday, Ayr United welcome Queen’s Park to Somerset Park as the Scottish Cup takes centre-stage. It is a welcome break from the Championship for the Honest Men who are without a win since beating Brechin City in the last round of the Cup; drawing five of their seven games since, including away to Falkirk last time out.

Queen’s Park have won seven of their last nine games, including at home to Montrose in the previous round of the Scottish Cup. After clinching promotion via the play-offs last season, Gus McPherson’s side lie in fifth place in League 1, just three points behind second-placed Alloa Athletic. Last weekend they were 2-1 winners at home to Airdrieonians.

Team News: Craig McGuffie, Jamie Adams and Craig Moore are all back in the squad.

Ian McCall says: “Queens Park are a club I know well and you never get an easy game against them. They have some really good players and a top manager so will be very well organised. Both clubs will see this as a big chance to get to the last 16 and we really want to be in that draw on Sunday. The cup is always a welcome break from league action as is playing a team that we aren’t used to so we are all looking forward to it.”

The Opponents: Queen’s Park boast three players with connections to Ayr United: keeper Willie Muir spent 1½ years at Somerset Park as back-up goalkeeper but was unable to usurp Graeme Smith or David Hutton between the posts; Midfielder Jamie McKernon featured for Ayr at Hampden Park in the semi-final of the League Cup among 25 appearances for United on loan from St. Mirren in 2011/12 while Adam Cummins also spent a short spell on loan from Motherwell in 2014.

The Spiders’ top goalscorer this season is full-back Ross Millen, son of Andy.

Head-to-Head:
Ayr United wins – 58
Draws – 25
Queen’s Park wins – 34
Queen’s Park have won just one of the last 21 meetings between the sides.

There have been eight meetings between the sides in the Scottish Cup, United winning through on six occasions, once after a replay. The Spider’s sole win came in 1975.

Last meeting: Ayr faced Queen’s Park twice in 2013 – in both the Challenge Cup and Scottish Cup. Alan Forrest became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer, aged 16 years 321 days, when he came off the bench to net a 89th minute winner at Hampden Park in the Challenge Cup when the sides met in July. Tony Quinn had put the home side ahead from the penalty spot, with Michael Moffat equalising halfway through the second-half.

Three months later, Queen’s Park were the visitors to Somerset Park for a third round tie in the Scottish Cup. Jamie Brough put the Spiders ahead in the 27th, a lead that lasted 12 minutes when Anthony Marenghi equalised. Alan Lithgow gave Ayr the lead in the 50th minute but Queen’s Park equalised through Blair Spittal but they couldn’t hold out for a replay, Craig Malcolm grabbing the winner in the 60th minute.

On this day: in 2012, United drew 2-2 at home to Hamilton Accies. Adam Dodd and Eddie Malone had put the Honest Men ahead before half-time, but the Accies hot back through goals from Greig Spence and Danny Redmond.

Match Officials:
Referee – Barry Cook
Assistant Referee 1 – Kylie McMullan
Assistant Referee 2 – David Doig

Admission: £12 adults, £6 concessions

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Fans to design new badge

Two years ago we had contact from the Court of the Lord Lyon to inform us that our club badge was considered a Coat of Arms and was breaking an ancient heraldic law.

Over this period discussions have taken place and unfortunately as of the 30th of June 2017 we will be required by law to have a new badge in place.

Commercial manager Graeme Miller said :”Unfortunately the time has arrived where we simply have no option than to change our badge. Our current badge holds a special place for all of us however now we have to turn a negative into a huge positive and ask the fans to design our new club crest.

“We felt that the best option was to engage our supporters, young or older, and ask for designs to be sent in. Over the next month we will visit local schools and take players along to watch the kids get involved in a huge event for the football club. Who knows, we could have a Primary 1 pupil design the new club crest which could be in place for the next 100 years.

“In a month’s time we will collate everything that has been sent in and the board of directors will convene and choose the 5 entrants they feel most suitable. At that point we will then ask the fans to choose which of the 5 they want to be our new club crest moving forward.

“There are certain rules that we need to comply with to ensure that the badge is considered non heraldic. The fundamental element of a heraldic coat of arms – which is what we must avoid – is the use of a solid outline particularly in the shape of a shield. Also the use of a scroll – such as we currently have at the bottom of the present badge should be avoided.”

Starting from now for the next month we are asking you to send designs by post to Graeme Miller, Ayr United Football Club, Somerset Park, Tryfield Place, Ayr, KA8 9NB. You can also send them by email to commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk or drop them in at the club office.

We are in the process of contacting local schools and if you are interested in having us come along then please contact Graeme on 01292 263435 ext3.

When the process is finished we will display all the designs we have received in the corridor of the main stand.

Keep an eye on our social media channels, Ayr United Media and the Ayrshire Post over the next month as we keep you updated on the progress of a new chapter in the clubs history.

AUFC Burns Supper 2017

Last season we took the decision to resurrect our Burns Supper. We felt that with our connections to Burns this should be one of the best local events of the year. Last year’s event took place at the Ally MacLeod Hospitality Suite and was a huge success with many commenting that it was one of the finest Burns events they had ever attended.

We are very keen to grow the event and make it one of the prime events on the local calendar. To help grow the event we have decided to move venue to the spectacular Enterkine House which also has a far larger capacity. The event takes place on Friday 3rd February 6.30pm for a 7.15pm start.

This promises to be an excellent evening as we have secured the services of a number of excellent Burns speakers and performers. Performers include Professor David Purdie who is one of the country’s most celebrated public speakers and was speechwriter for Sam Torrance when captain of the Ryder Cup team. Jane Brown who is former President of the Robert Burns World Federation and an internationally renowned speaker will be giving the Reply on behalf of the Lassies. Singing on the evening will be the acclaimed ‘Trinity Trio’ from Glasgow.

We are offering tickets for the event at £50 per person and this will include transport to and from Enterkine House from Ayr, a welcome drink on arrival and a delicious 3 course meal.

There are several ways to secure tickets for the event, please click here for booking form and return it to Graeme Miller at Ayr United Football Club, Somerset Park, Tryfield Place, Ayr, KA8 9NB or commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

Tickets are available from the office at the club or you can contact Graeme by email on commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk or by phone on 01292 263435 ext3.

Falkirk 1 Ayr Utd 1

Falkirk 1 v 1 Ayr United
On a chilly afternoon in Falkirk, Ayr carved out a well-earned draw against the much fancied ‘Bairns’. Gary Harkins opened the scoring before Peter Grant levelled right on half time in a first half which also saw Fleming save yet another penalty – this time from John Baird.

It was the home side who had the first chance of the game after only 3 mins. McHugh received the ball in the box and turned it across to Hippolyte on the left who fired over from close range.

On 8 mins, Falkirk had yet another chance to try and break the deadlock. After Crawford gave the ball away, Baird was given the chance to have an effort on goal but his strike was palmed away by Fleming. From a Sibbald cutback McHugh then had a shot blocked by McKenna.

Ayr’s first chance of the game came after 11 mins when a Gilmour freekick was met by Harkins at the back post but his shot from a tight angle was saved by Rogers.

Harkins wasn’t to waste his next chance and put Ayr ahead on 23 mins. A high ball from Gilmour was knocked by Nisbet into the path of Harkins who, despite Rogers’ best efforts, rounded the Falkirk keeper to fire into the top corner. 1-0 Ayr.

On 34 mins, the home side had a great chance to level. Kerr flicked the ball to Baird who turned and shot straight down the throat of Fleming from just 10 yards out.

McHugh was next to try his luck and after 39 mins his half volley from the edge of the area went inches wide of the left-hand post.

42 mins gone and Falkirk continued to pile on the pressure. This time Taiwo cut the ball across to Baird in the box and but could only scoop the ball over the bar from close range. From a corner on 43 mins, Baird then saw his header from point blank range saved acrobatically by Fleming then cleared by Docherty.

Falkirk were given a great chance to equalise on 46 mins when McKenna hauled down McHugh for a penalty to the home side. Baird stepped up but saw his powerful strike superbly turned around the post by Fleming.

Unfortunately for Ayr, from the resultant corner Grant levelled. The corner was whipped in and from close range the unmarked defender powered home a header giving Fleming no chance. 1-1 on 47 mins.

In the second half Falkirk continued to put on the pressure. On 50 mins, Baird had another chance inside the box but he was thwarted by Crawford whose last-ditch tackle prevented the Bairns striker from having an effort on goal.

With 61 mins gone, Hippolyte was set through on the left by Sibbald but again fired over the bar. 3 mins later Hippolyte turned provider with his cross headed just wide by Baird.

On 71 mins Ayr came close to going in front. A through ball from Docherty was met by Nisbet whose attempt was palmed away by Rogers. Nisbet then received the ball on the edge of the box and curled a shot just wide of the right-hand post.

Craigen was next to try his luck for the home side, driving into the Ayr half before firing a shot straight at Fleming from 20 yards out.

Ayr’s last chance of the game came on 88 mins when substitute Michael Rose met a corner and headed the ball just wide of the right-hand post.

Falkirk twice almost produced a sucker punch. On 89 mins Miller saw his shot cleared from the box then, as the ball was returned, had a close range header strike the bar.

Ayr now take a break from league action as they face Queens Park at Somerset in the 4th round of the Scottish Cup on Saturday.

Falkirk
Rogers, Muirhead, McCracken, Taiwo, Kerr, Baird, Sibbald, Hippolyte, Grant, McHugh, Gallacher. Substitutes Thomson (GK), Kidd, Leahy, Gasparotto, Miller, Shepherd, Craigen.

Ayr United
Fleming, Devlin, Boyle, Gilmour, Crawford, Harkins, Cairney, Nisbet, Balatoni, Docherty, McKenna. Substitute Hart (GK), Rose, Murphy, Forrest, Donald, Wardrope.

Referee: Bobby Madden
Attendance: 5038
Match Report: AUmedia

Falkirk match preview

Match Preview
Ayr United vs. Falkirk
Ladbrokes Championship
Saturday 14th January 2017

On Saturday, Ayr United travel to Falkirk looking for a long-overdue win. After four wins in six matches between September and October, defeat at home to Dunfermline last time out means Ian McCall’s side has now gone 10 league matches without a win, losing five and drawing five – a run of form which has left the Honest Men in 9th place, two points behind Dumbarton but still seven ahead of bottom side St. Mirren.

Falkirk ended a four-game run without a win with a comprehensive 4-1 victory away to Raith Rovers last weekend. The home side had taken the lead after just 8 minutes but goals from Miles Hippolyte, Bob McHugh and Craig Sibbald gave Falkirk a 3-1 lead at half-time, which Sibbald extended after the break.

The Bairns have just one win in their last five at the Falkirk Stadium, coming against bottom side St. Mirren at the start of the December. The side occupy fourth place in the league table, one point behind Greenock Morton.

Team News: Craig McGuffie and Craig Moore are both out. Ross Docherty is back after suspension.

Ian McCall says: “Probably our best away performance of the season was our first game at Falkirk even though we came away with defeat. We have performed well against them in all the games this season so we have absolutely no fear about going there. I have watched the Dunfermline game back and we are still getting into good positions we have just got to get the ball in the back of the net. We need to defend the way we know we are capable of and take our chances when they come. We know we need to turn things around quickly and we will be approaching every game as a huge one.”

Head-to-Head (league):
Ayr United wins – 43
Draws – 27
Falkirk wins – 51

United’s last win away to the Bairns came in October 2013. An 8th minute Andy Ferguson goal enough in a match played at Ochilview.

Last meeting: Falkirk were narrow 1-0 winners in the last meeting between the sides, at Somerset
Park in November, James Craigen scoring early in the first-half. For the Bairns, that avenged
United’s extra-time victory in the Challenge Cup in October. It was 2-0 to the home side on Ayr’s last visit to the Falkirk Stadium.

On this day: five years ago, Ayr also travelled to the Falkirk Stadium where the sides played out a goalless draw. We also met on this day in 1967, with the Bairns winning 1-0 at Somerset Park.
United have recorded three five-goal victories on the 14th January: in 1911, 1928 and 1956.

Match Officials:
Referee – Bobby Madden
Assistant Referee 1 – John McCrossan
Assistant Referee 2 – Paul O’Neill

Admission:
Adults – £18
Concessions – £12
Under 18 – £6

Ayr United supporters will be housed in the North Stand, cash gates only.