Ayr United

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Dundee 1 - 0 Ayr United
2019-08-10 15:00 More Reports
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Ayr United

In


Sam Roscoe (def) Aberdeen; Kris Doolan (att) Partick Thistle; Stephen Kelly (mid) Rangers – loan; Frank Ross (mid) Aberdeen – loan; Ross Doohan (gk) Celtic - loan;

Out


Robbie Crawford (r) (mid) Livingston; Lawrence Shankland (k) (att) Dundee United; Michael Rose (r) (def) Coventry City; Liam Smith (r) (def) Dundee United; Declan McDaid (r) (def) Dundee; Chris Higgins (def) East Fife; James Hilton (mid) Stranraer; Stuart Faulds (mid); Calvin Miller (mid) Celtic – end of loan; Ross Doohan (r) (gk) Celtic – end of loan; Nicky Cadden (mid) Livingston – end of loan.

Ayr seemed like promotion contenders midway through last season thanks mainly to the scoring form of Lawrence Shankland. However, injuries caught up with them and they finished the season exhausted in 4th place and were in no shape for the play-offs. Ian McCall’s reputation for boom-or-bust football was evident once again. Shankland eventually opted for Dundee United and as he was out of contract and Ayr received nothing. They also lost important players like Robbie Crawford, Michael Rose and Liam Smith over the summer. With little money Ayr have been quiet over the summer, but they have signed Sam Roscoe, who proved a success on loan at Alloa last season. Kris Doolan also brings a wealth of experience to their attack. With several key players departed, Ayr will struggle to reproduce the form of the first half of last season. The title looks well beyond them and they could struggle to make the top four again. Ayr have some very experienced campaigners with Michael Moffat and Kris Doolan knowing every trick in the book at this level of football. Goalkeeping could be problem if on-loan Ross Doohan becomes injured. He impressed on-loan last season from Celtic and has signed again with Ayr having little cover otherwise.

Target


Reaching the play-offs again would be viewed as a success, but expectations are now unrealistically high at Somerset Park.

Season Review
2018/2019

№4: Ayr United

Ayr were the surprise package of the season. They were expected to struggle, but the newly promoted team took the Championship by storm as Lawrence Shankland led the way with his goals. They went toe-to-toe with Ross County for the first half of the season and gathered genuine hopes that they could return to top-flight football after a 40 year absence. However, injury to Shankland at the midpoint of the season revealed how thin their squad was. Without his presence their form faded and they finished in 4th place. Ayr were in no shape for the play-offs and failed to get past Inverness. Despite their season finishing on a low note, Ayr can be rightly proud of their efforts. Shankland scored a double in the opening fixture against Partick Thistle setting the tone for his season. He was hot property, but he showed loyalty by remaining at Somerset Park despite intense transfer speculation. Ayr only lost twice in the first half of the season although a 5-0 hammering at Queen of the South showed they were far from invincible. Ayr then limped into 2019 with just one win in eight fixtures and their title hopes fading fast. A series of injuries saw Shankland dropping in and out of the squad and the goals dried up. Ayr lost 10 of their 18 fixtures in the second half of the season and finished 17 points behind Ross County. Ayr’s season may have petered out early, but it was still a highly successful one for them. At the start they would have happily accepted 8th place. They won praise for their attacking style but ultimately they lacked the depth to sustain a challenge. The question is now can they repeat it? Shankland will move on for a big fee and it’s up to Ayr to unearth another striker.


Player of the Season: Lawrence Shankland

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