Ayr United

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Championship
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Season Guide
2021/2022

Ayr United

In


Nick McAllister (def) St Mirren; Sean McGinty (def) Greenock Morton; Markus Fjørtoft (def) Greenock Morton; Cameron Salkeld (mid) Greenock Morton; Aidan McAdams (gk) Greenock Morton; Tomi Adeloye (att) Barnet; Charlie Albinson (gk) Southport;

Out


Luke McCowan (r)(mid) Dundee; Sam Roscoe (sp)(def) Linfield; Dario Zanatta (r)(att) Raith Rovers; Tom Walsh (r)(mid) Inverness Caledonian Thistle; Josh Todd (mid) Queen of the South; Craig Moore (att) Darvel; Nathan Baird (def) Cumnock; Andre Wright (r)(att); Liam Miller (mid);

Ayr went from promotion play-off contenders to only just avoiding a relegation scare last season. Along the way rookie manager Mark Kerr was replaced by former Morton manager David Hopkin. Despite a series of departures, Ayr’s squad is not too badly depleted. Their biggest loss is promising attacking midfielder Luke McCowan, who has opted for life in the Premiership with Dundee. Experienced players Dario Zanatta (Raith Rovers) and Tom Walsh (Inverness CT) have joined Ayr’s Championship rivals. Manager David Hopkin has plundered the ranks of his former club Morton for players. Robust defensive duo Sean McGinty and Markus Fjortoft along with midfielder Cameron Salkeld have signed. Reliable goalkeeper Aidan McAdams also makes the switch from Morton. Promising centre-back Nick McAllister joins from St Mirren while striker Tomi Adeloye hopes to make an impact at Somerset Park. Ayr are still regretting not cashing-in on Lawrence Shankland’s value in 2019 and it is obvious there is little money to invest in their squad. Hopkin has yet to impress too with a mediocre record last season of W1 D5 L3 in his spell in charge as Ayr just survived. David Hopkin may have switched clubs, but the impoverished circumstances remain the same. Ayr may become more exciting to watch but, from his time at Morton, they could also be wide open to attack.

Target


Ayr will target the promotion play-offs, but the reality is they will be happy to avoid a relegation scare. A season of mid-table consolidation will be welcomed by the club.

Season Review
2020/2021

№8: Ayr United

A troubled season for Ayr saw them finish in 8th place and avoid the relegation play-offs on goal difference. Yet, they started the season well and had hopes of contesting the promotion play-off to the Premiership. One defeat in the opening 7 matches had them established in the top 4. After that bright opening, only 1 win in the next 10 matches sealed player/manager Mark Kerr’s fate. A series of 3 consecutive defeats at home without scoring a goal saw him depart by mutual consent. Kerr often seemed undecided if he should pick himself. Ayr had failed to replace striker Lawrence Shankland during the summer. Midfielder Luke McCowan finished as top scorer with only 5 goals. They were mentally weak in defence and were prone to late collapses. Shortly after Kerr’s departure, former Morton manager David Hopkin was appointed to the post. Apart from a win at Dundee, performances failed to improve with a 4-0 defeat at Arbroath proving hard to stomach for Ayr’s fans. Ayr had just 1 win in their final 10 matches of the season (W1 D6 L3) and failed to win any of their last 7 at home. However, a 2-2 draw at Inverness on the final day ensured 8th place on goal difference. Finances are tight at Ayr and it is difficult to see how they can improve next season. At least McCowan is breaking through, but they still require a striker who creates and takes chances.


Player of the Season: Luke McCowan

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