Smith is latest signing

Liam Smith is the latest player to join Ian McCall’s title winning squad. Liam, who was previously with Hearts, has signed a one year deal.

Manager Ian McCall said “We have been working on this with Hearts for the last few weeks. He comes very highly rated and he fits exactly the profile of our player we want at this club. He is young and hungry to improve. I have spoken to several very well known managers and they speak very highly about his attitude so we are very much looking forward to working with him and giving him the platform to improve.

There are a lot of factors to thank in getting this deal done. Of course Lachlan and the board of directors for the backing but also the attendance for the game against Partick, the increase in season tickets and also the AU500fund. Hopefully the supporters will keep turning up in their numbers and you just never know where that could take us.”

Liam, predominantly a right back, has been at Hearts since the age of 14 and made his first team debut at the age of 18. Since then he has made over 30 first team appearances for Hearts and been on loan at East Fife, Raith Rovers and St Mirren.

Last season he spent on loan with St Mirren where he played 34 times and was an integral part in their Ladbrokes Championship winning first team.

Ayr Utd 2 Partick Thistle 0

Ayr United 2 v 0 Partick Thistle

by AUmedia

 

There was an audible buzz of excitement around Somerset Park as Ayr prepared to enter the Championship following their league winning exploits of season 2017-18.  And what a game it was to be at a sun-drenched Somerset Park, but before that, there was the formality of the League 1 winner’s title flag to be raised.

 

With flames firing into the sky, the flag raising party, Anton Fagan (SPFL), Lewis Grant (Ayr United Managing Director), and Moira Bowman (Ladbrokes) marched onto the field. Lewis Grant was given the honour of unfurling the flag, and despite initially tangling, swift-acting assistants finally had the flag flying above the lush green turf.

 

The ceremony may have stuttered but United didn’t over the following 90 mins of action, delighting all Honest Men and Lasses in the stadium with a scintillating performance of attacking football, determination, and skill.

 

As with the previous weeks’ encounter against Partick in the Betfred Cup, United got off to a flier. With only 8 mins on the clock, Ayr took the lead. Partick only partially cleared and Crawford picked up the ball some 20 yards out and darted into the penalty area. Central defender Sean McGinty rushed forward and stuck out a leg, clipping the United midfielder who had, in an instant, shifted inside of him. Referee Craig Thomson showed no hesitation and pointed to the spot: penalty to Ayr.

 

Up stepped Lawrence Shankland to blast the ball past keeper Cammy Bell and into the net. 1 – 0 United.

 

Partick looked stunned and were put under the cosh by a United side determined to ensure that the Glasgow side were given no opportunity to get back into the game.

 

On 11 mins, after a series of balls into the box which Partick failed to clear, McDaid curled the ball back in, Adams knocked on, Shankland flicked to the side and Michael Rose blasted a first-time volley which went wide.

 

Partick’s assured play of just 7 days earlier appeared to have been left in the locker, with Ayr keeper Doohan being left as a bystander for much of the opening 15 mins, as Ayr relentlessly drove forward.

 

With 18 mins gone, Harvie raced on to a through ball on the left and whipped the ball across the face of goal with Shankland only inches away from making contact, and a second goal of the match. However, it wouldn’t take long for United, and Shankland, to get that second goal which their play deserved.

 

1 min later, Max Melbourne, Thistle’s loanee defender from West Brom, failed to control a cross-field pass at the halfway line and McDaid nipped in to steal the ball and break forward. Thomas O’Ware put in a solid tackle to stop the United winger and the ball broke to the chasing Melbourne who again struggled, his weak clearance going straight to Michael Moffat a couple of yards away. Moffat’s response was sublime, a delicate stroke with the outside of his right foot, behind Melbourne and to McDaid who powerfully cut the ball back Shankland who fired home. 2 – 0 and United were in dominating form.

 

Other than a 14 min header straight into the hands of Doohan, it took Partick 26 mins to have their first shot on target, and when it came it was of the disappointing variety.  A misplaced pass from Daniel Harvie was picked up by Chris Erskine who drove straight toward the penalty area but his shot from 20 yards was miss hit and trundled through to the United keeper.

 

On 32 mins, Ayr sliced through the Partick rear-guard with a move of precise passing and slick interplay between Forrest, Shankland, Moffat, and Crawford at the edge of the box. Crawford then found Forrest in the box, but he was denied by McGinty throwing himself in front of the ball and blocking.

 

Partick upped the pace in the last 5 mins before the break but still struggled to find a cutting edge. On 41 mins Storey did well on the left before playing a diagonal ball across the box where it was met by striker Kris Doolan but his header went over.

 

Right on the stroke of halftime, the Jags’ live-wire midfielder Craig Slater received the ball from O’Ware, and from 35 yards out tried his luck. Keeper Doohan threw himself across goal at full stretch tipping the ball past the post, taking no chances that the low hit drive may have been going just wide.

 

Halftime couldn’t have come at a better time for the visitors who appeared to be struggling to cope with United.  The Maryhill side re-emerged with a more attacking formation and additional bodies in midfield, but it was United who still appeared to have the upper hand.

 

Within seconds of the restart, Harvie stormed down the left racing past the Partick defence before firing in a shot which keeper Cammy Bell did well to save.  2 mins later, Ayr worked the ball forward on the left before Murdoch switched to Geggan on the right with an inch-perfect cross-field pass. The right-back whipped the ball to the centre of the box where McDaid, after sprinting in, first time volleyed over the bar. Sumptuous football from the Ayrshire men, and deserved of a goal.

 

On 54 mins, Ayr worked the ball to the left before Forrest darted inside across the face of the box. His first attempt was blocked but he chased rebound to the line before clipping the ball towards goal where Bell turned it wide of his post. From the corner, Crawford controlled the ball, turned past one defender, and played across to Moffat whose shot was saved by Bell.

 

With 21 mins to go, Partick introduced Aidan Fitzpatrick for Melbourne, and this appeared to give the Jags a much-needed injection of attacking potential.  Within seconds of his arrival, the youngster showed Geggan a clean pair of heels down the left and sped towards the corner flag before delivering a flashing cross into the box, but Doolan failed to rise high enough for contact and the ball exited the field on the far side.  2 mins later, Fitzpatrick came close to connecting with a Spittal long ball into the box as he darted forward and created space for himself.

 

65 mins gone and Moffat slipped the ball behind Spittal and into the path of Forrest in the box. Apparently blocked, Forrest curved the ball from the left and out just past the far post with the fans applauding his audacious attempt. Minutes later the hard-working winger was replaced by Craig McGuffie.

 

McGuffie didn’t take long to show his attacking credentials. Seconds after his arrival he collected a pass from Crawford on the right and moved in along the line into the penalty area, nutmegging Penrice, before slipping the ball inside where Moffat’s effort was blocked by O’Ware’ s last-gasp block.

 

With 6 mins to go, McGuffie played the ball to Moffat on the right who then cut the ball back to the edge of the box. Shankland, although not making clean contact, hit the ball towards goal and forced Bell to save.

 

United picked up their first 3 points in the Championship after an impressive performance, and manager Ian McCall will be sure to encourage the maintenance of the high standards set as they travel to Inverness next Saturday to face Inverness Caley Thistle.

 

Ayr United

Doohan, Geggan, Adams, Rose, Harvie, Forrest, Crawford, Murdoch, McDaid, Moffat, Shankland Subs: Hare-Reid (GK), McGuffie, Ferguson, Bell, Docherty, McCowan

Partick Thistle

Bell, Melbourne, McGinty, O’Ware, Penrice, Spittal, Gordon, Slater, Storey, Erskine, Doolan Subs:  Sneddon (GK), Keown, Wilson, Fitzpatrick

 

Referee: Craig Thomson

Attendance: 3249

Club Statement

Message from manager Ian McCall :” I wanted to respond to the media speculation over the last 24 hours surrounding Lawrence Shankland.

There have been enquiries, over the last few weeks, about a number of our players including Lawrence Shankland. All of these players are under contract to Ayr United Football Club.

It would be wrong of me to mention clubs names however we have had a number of enquiries about Lawrence from North and South of the border. All of these clubs have been informed that we would be extremely reluctant sellers and that it would take a significant transfer fee with a number of add ons for us even to consider it.

As everyone can see by his form Lawrence is fully committed to Ayr United and thoroughly enjoying his football. Personally I am sure that he will go on to play at the top level but at this minute he is very much an Ayr United player.”

Flag unfurling ceremony

At Somerset Park on Saturday we have a very special occasion where the League One Champions flag will be unfurled prior to kick off.

Proceedings will begin from 2.45pm so we would encourage our supporters to make their way to the ground in plenty of time as we are expecting it to be very busy.

To help with the pregame rush our Club Shop will be opening from 10am on Saturday morning (also open 2-7 Thursday and 10-4 Friday). If at all possible please utilise these times as prior to the first league game of the season the shop is extremely busy in the lead up to kick off and we want to ensure all our supporters are in the ground for 2.45pm to see the ceremony.

The shop will be open immediately after the game.

United team up with Charities

We are delighted to announce that we will have two charities on the back of our strips for the 2018/19 season.

Last Friday we held our Shirt & Shorts draw which was won by United diehard Stewart Hay. Stewart chose to give his prize to the club to choose two charities that have developed strong links with.

On the back of our home strips will be Alzheimer Scotland who have very close links to the club. Club legend Ally MacLeod passed away after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease as did our former chairman and Honorary President, Donald Cameron. 

Also for the last 3 years Alzheimer Scotland has partnered up with Ayr United Football Academy in the delivery of their football memories. Football memories offers a chance for people to come to Somerset Park and enjoy an afternoon of reminiscing. In partnership Alzheimer Scotland offers support, training, awareness and opportunity for people to get involved whether it’s taking part or becoming a volunteer.

Julie Sinclair, head of localities for Alzheimer Scotland said :”There are over 2500 people in South Ayrshire with dementia and this is a fantastic way to raise awareness about our work.

Football holds a special place in Scottish life and fans and communities often have a strong emotional connection with the football clubs they support. We have seen first hand the power of this connection in supporting people with dementia who participate in football reminiscence through football memories groups across Scotland we support through Sports Heritage Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Football museum and other partners.

If you have any questions about dementia, or want to find out about support in your area, call Alzheimer Scotland’s 24 hour helpline on 0808 808 3000.”

On the away strips we will have The Breastfeeding Network who we have had a strong relationship with since 2010. 

Breastfeed Happily Here is an NHS AA initiative promoted by the BfN that supports Ayrshire businesses and organisations to welcome breastfeeding families while at their premises. It also raises awareness of the law in Scotland that protects breastfeeding in public.

Julie Peterkin, peer support worker at The Breastfeeding Network said :”We have had connections with the club as far back as 2010 when we had our first trackside board.

In 2016 Ayr United was the first club in the UK to support a breastfeeding friendly scheme and Alison Thewliss MP commended them in Parliament for leading the way and has since used Ayr’s example to encourage other clubs to follow.

They have always been very supportive and shown themselves to be an extremely family friendly club. We believe this will be a world first to have our brand on a football shirt and it is very exciting. 

Breastfeeding is a public health issue and unfortunately Ayrshire has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in Scotland. We are delighted than in partnership with Ayr United we can be part of the team helping normalise breastfeeding for future generations in Ayrshire.

Thursday treble signing

Ian McCall added 3 new signings to his squad two days prior to the first competitive match of the season at home to Morton in the Betfred Cup.

Ross Doohan has signed on a season long loan from Celtic. The 20 year old goalkeeper has most recently been playing for the Scotland Under 21s in the Toulon tournament. Ross has just signed a new 4 year deal with Celtic.

Manager Ian McCall said :”He was training with the Celtic first team last season and shared the goalkeeping duties at the recent Toulon international tournament. He is a good presence at 6″3 and uses the ball well with his feet as you would expect from a Celtic goalkeeper. He is an excellent young goalie who Celtic have high hopes for and again he fits the ethos here and that he is young and hungry to succeed. This is a huge chance for him and we are delighted to have secured the deal.”

Andy Murdoch has signed a one year deal. The 23 year old central midfielder has played over 60 games in the Championship in the last two seasons for Morton.

Manager Ian McCall said :”I am very surprised we were able to get him. We spoke to guys at Morton and they were flabbergasted that they let him go. We were made aware that he was available and got him in straight away. He fits the identity we want, he works so hard and gets about the middle of the park incredibly well. He uses the ball very smartly, keeps everything simple. We are absolutely thrilled to have him here and hopefully it will be for longer.”

David Ferguson, a big part of our title winning team last season has put pen to paper on a six month deal.

Manager Ian McCall said :”Its great to get him back, the six month deal is purely down to budgets. The chairman and board have backed us fantastically this Summer which has enabled us to get David back. He did very well last season, he is still very young and has a lot of pace and good attributes. What really impressed us was that last season when the pressure was on he really stepped up his game. He gives us great cover along the back line and he needs to have belief in himself.”

Auction List for Friday

FUNDRAISING AUCTION CATALOGUE

AYR UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB

 SHIRT & SHORTS DRAW

 Friday 13th July 2018

All lots have been kindly donated by various businesses and individuals to raise funds for

Ayr United Football Club

If you are interested in any of these items and would like to place a bid prior to the event please contact Graeme Miller on commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk or by phone 01292 263435 ext 3

AUCTION TERMS

All lots will be auctioned and sold to the highest bidder unless the reserve price set for certain items has not been met.

Successful bidders will be asked to complete an auction acceptance form with payment details to be given.

LOT 1 – 4 BALL GOLF AT PRESTWICK ST NICHOLAS – Kindly donated by Eddie Prentice, Club Secretary. A round of golf for 4 people at Prestwick St Nicholas golf club.

 

LOT 2 – AYR UNITED AWAY GAME PACKAGE – Be the guests of the directors at an away game during the 18/19 season which will include travel on the team bus. This is for 2 people.

 

LOT 3 – WINE TASTING FOR EIGHT – Kindly donated by Corney & Barrow, Academy St Ayr. This is a voucher for up to 10 guests and starts off with a glass of fizz on arrival, a full tour of their eighteenth century cellars followed by wine tasting of anything between 6 and 8 different wines. This will last between 90 mins and 2 hours.

 

LOT 4 – TWO NIGHTS B & B AT ANY MERCURE HOTEL IN THE UK – 2 nights bed and breakfast at any Mercure Hotel within the Jupiter Portfolio in the UK. A choice of 29 hotels including London, Manchester, Glasgow etc.  

 

LOT 5 – PENALTY SHOOT OUT PACKAGE – You and five friends will have the opportunity to take part in your own half time penalty kick competition at Somerset Park. Package is for any league match during this season and includes a bar meal and a prize for the winner.

 

LOT 6 – A.D.RATTRAY’S WHISKY EXPERIENCE & SHOP – WHISKY TASTING FOR TWO – During a tasting session you will have exclusive use of the tasting room. A dedicated tasting host will guide you through the sampling of a stunning range of scotch whiskies while you sit around the beautiful antique table.

 

LOT 7 – BOARDROOM GUEST AT AYR UNITED – Matchday guest of the board of directors for two people. Includes boardroom hospitality and seats in the directors box. Available for a league match during the 18/19 season.  

 

LOT 8 – FERRERO ROSSI PAINTING – Local artist Ferrero Rossi has very kindly donated a unique painting called Super Ayr. Produced using a technique involving a squeegee. Ferrero said that the pattern he created reminded him of a crowd of people, doing it in black and white represents the crowd at Somerset, watching the Super Ayr.

 

LOT 9 – COCKTAIL EXPERIENCE MASTERCLASS WITH 2 COURSE MEAL FOR 6 PEOPLE AT ASK – Learn all the tricks from their very own in house mixologist. He will show you 6 cocktails and you will get to learn about all the techniques and tastes. You will then get to make all the cocktails you have been shown and enjoy a 2 course meal.

 

LOT 10 – 70cl BOTTLE OF BALVENIE SINGLE MALT SCOTCH WHISKY – ONE OFF. David Stewart MBE, the longest serving Malt Master of any distillers in the entire whisky industry has donated this completely unique prize. David has drawn a 70cl bottle from a single cask from the warehouse in the Balvenie Distillery. The cask was filled in 1997 and it is at cask strength (64%). It is completely unique as it is the only bottle to be bottled from this cask and it has been signed by David himself.        

 LOT 11 – HOSPITALITY FOR 10 AT AYR UNITED – Match day hospitality for 10 guests at any league game this season (subject to availability) and will include a welcome drink, 3 course meal, view the match from private box, half time fayre and £100 bar tab.

 

LOT 12 – 4 BALL AT PRESTWICK ST CUTHBERT. – Kindly donated by Jim Jess, Club Secretary. A round of golf for 4 people at Prestwick St Cuthbert.

 

LOT 13 – DINNER B & B FOR TWO WITHIN EISENHOWER APARTMENTS AT CULZEAN CASTLE. Voucher entitles you to an overnight stay for two people to include  dinner, bed and breakfast within the Eisenhower Apartments at Culzean Castle.

 

LOT 14 – VOUCHER FOR DOG GROOMING AT SCOOBYS. Kindly donated by Scoobys Groom Room in Main St Ayr this entitles you to a full dog grooming. Please call 01292 289 090 to make the appointment.

 

LOT 15 – LAWRENCE SHANKLAND PAINTING. Local artist Richard MacDonald has once again kindly donated a painting to the club. This one is of Lawrence Shankland during our record breaking 2017/18 season. If you would like Lawrence will sign the painting.

Win Ian McCall’s trophy

It is now only 3 weeks until our Shirt & Shorts Draw and Auction event at the Ally MacLeod hospitality suite.

We are absolutely thrilled to announce that manager Ian McCall has given us his Ladbrokes League One manager of the year 2017/18 trophy for the event.

To ensure that as many people as possible have the chance to win this incredible prize and to raise money for additional players we have decided to do a raffle which you can enter as many times as you like. Entry is £10 and we will draw the winner on the night of the event.

If you would like to enter you can do so by entering through the online shop here or anytime in the club shop.

The manager has also donated many items of his club clothing which will have been seen in the dugout with IMC on them. These will be used for runners up prizes.

We are still looking for items for our auction and if you would like to donate anything please get in touch with Graeme Miller on 01292 263435 ext 3 or by email commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk

AUFC first to accept Bitcoin Cash

Ayr United’s shirts are genuinely world renown receiving media coverage from Brazil to China and all points in-between. The new shirt sponsor is cryptocurrency BCH who are approaching their 1st anniversary of returning Bitcoin to its roots leaving BCH as the one true Bitcoin.

We have recently been promoted to the Championship and so far have been thrilled with sales of our new strip.

But now BCH is available through our online shop we are confident of not only increased sales but also slashing the crippling transaction fees of other payment options. The average transaction cost of BCH to the merchant is just 0.02.

Graeme Miller, Commercial manager commented: “I am relatively new to the world of Bitcoin Cash but there is a huge community out there and I am hoping they get behind us as we start a very important season back in the Championship. All commercial ventures have to embrace new technologies and we are proud to be the first in football to offer supporters around the world BCH as a payment option.”

The new strip is available to buy at our online store by clicking here

 

AUMedia live video service

Ayr United Media are going to provide a completely new service for the start of the 2018/19 season.

Our media team will now be able to provide live video from all home games for our supporters outwith the UK and Ireland. This will be in addition to the normal online commentary.

Subscriptions are available now, to find out more about the packages click here