Inverness match preview

Match Preview
Inverness Caledonian Thistle vs. Ayr United

SPFL Championship
Saturday 24th October 2020. Kick-off 3pm

On Saturday, Ayr United make the long journey north to take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle in their second Championship fixture of the season.

Mark Kerr’s men opened the campaign with a narrow win over Queen of the South at Somerset Park last Saturday; Michael Miller benefiting from the dangerous set-piece delivery of former-Inverness man Joe Chalmers to net twice against the Doonhamers, ensuring the Honest Men kicked off with a league win for the fourth consecutive season.

United head north boosted by the additions of forwards Cammy Smith and Innes Cameron.

 

Opposition: After taking two points from their opening two Betfred Cup games, Inverness started their league campaign with a defeat at the hands of Dunfermline last weekend. Despite taking a second minute lead through Bulgarian forward Nikolay Todorov, the Pars responded with three goals to send John Robertson’s side home empty-handed.

Robertson was without a number of first-teamers for the trip to Fife, with Lewis Toshney, David Carson, Kai Kennedy, Aaron Doran, Shane Sutherland and Miles Storey all unavailable. There was further injury woe for Caley Thistle when goalscorer Todorov was forced off after 20 minutes following a collision.

While important players in the shape of Shaun Rooney, Carl Tremarco, Charlie Trafford and Jordan White – a regular thorn in United’s side during his time at Inverness – departed the Caledonian Stadium in the summer, Robbie Deas (Celtic), Danny Devine (Dunfermline Athletic), Wallace Duffy (St. Johnstone) have all joined to bolster the defensive line for a club that will again be looking to finish in the play-off positions.

 

Team News: Cammy Smith and Innes Cameron are added to the squad. Tom Walsh misses out through injury. Luke McCowan is suspended.


Mark says: “We have watched the Dunfermline Inverness game from last weekend and Inverness were in control for most of the match but lost goals at crucial times. They are very good at stretching the game and we know from recent seasons that it is always a very hard place to go. We go there with confidence. We have had a good weeks training with a week between matches and also a couple of new faces into the squad.”

 

Head to head:

Ayr United wins – 8

Draws – 12

Inverness wins – 18

The Honest Men have just one win in 18 matches at the Caledonian Stadium. That win came in January 2003 and since then it has been five draws and four defeats under the shadow of the Kessock Bridge.

Previous Meeting: United’s victory over Caley Thistle last time out ended a eight-match streak without a win over the Highlanders. Stephen Kelly’s 61st minute goal was enough to give Mark Kerr’s men all three points at Somerset Park in January. Inverness won both the two earlier encounters last season 2-0.

 

Match Officials:
Referee – Alan Muir

Assistant Referee 1 – John McCrossan

Assistant Referee 2 – George King

 

Streaming:

Saturday’s game can be streamed on the SPFL’s Match Centre website. Register for an account and buy the match for £10 at: https://matchcentre.spfl.co.uk/subscribe 

AUFC are on Monopoly!

THE AYR MONOPOLY ‘BIG REVEAL’  ..

.. and WE are in the game !

 

Look: WE get to star on the brand new MONOPOLY game for Ayr!

 

The much-anticipated board hits the shops this morning at 10am (Tuesday 20th October 2020).

 

And the ‘Big Reveal’ of the game sees:

 

  • Ayr United Football Club feature on our very own MONOPOLY space! We get to appear on a Pink (Pall Mall) square from the classic game’s original.

 

  • Culzean Castle named on the highest ranking piece of MONOPOLY prime estate, Mayfair.

 

  • Other landmarks that get to star on the board include the Wallace Tower, Ayr Town Hall, Ayr Racecourse (on Park Lane – the board’s second highest ranking position), Greenan Castle, The Grain Exchange, Belleisle Park, St. John’s Tower, The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, the football club – and loads more Ayr crown jewels.

 

  • The four train stations from the original board take on a ‘travel’ theme.

 

  • And several charities ‘Pass GO’ too – including the Dunaskin Doon Band, which dates back to the 19th century and a little older than even MONOPOLY itself!

 

 

A delighted Councillor Siobhian Brown, Economy and Culture Portfolio Holder for South Ayrshire Council , says of the new board:

 

 

“It’s fantastic that so many of Ayr’s famous landmarks are featuring in this special version of MONOPOLY.

 

 

“We have a wealth of history, culture and entertainment in and around Ayr – and I’m sure the game will encourage visitors in the future.”

 

The board has been produced by Winning Moves UK, under official license from the MONOPOLY brand, owned by Hasbro.

 

George Shrimpton, Custom Games Executive at Winning Moves UK, says:

 

“The game features the great and good of Ayr.. it’s crown jewels and many world famous landmarks. There is a full set dedicated to Robert Burns landmarks and we feel the game is a Love Letter to Ayr.

 

“It is also, perhaps, the perfect limited lockdown gift and must-have for Christmas.”

 

The new edition is now available at stores across Ayr including WHSmith, Waterstones and The Works – as well as very widely available online, including on Amazon.

Bruce is an Honest Man

Mark Kerr has moved to strengthen his attacking options on the eve of the 2020/21 campaign with the signing of striker Bruce Anderson on loan from Aberdeen until the end of the season.

The Manager said: “We are delighted to get this over the line. Bruce is someone we have been very keen on for some time now. He is a proper goalscorer and gets himself into great areas. Derek McInnes rates him very highly and considers him a natural finisher. Bruce has pace, energy and has been really involved in the Aberdeen first team for a couple of years now.”

Anderson, who celebrated his 22nd birthday last month, made his first team debut for the Dons in August 2018 against Rangers, scoring a 92nd minute equaliser to earn a point for his boyhood team. After 16 further appearances for Aberdeen that year, including a goal at Rugby Park in a 2-1 win over Kilmarnock, Bruce headed out on loan to Dunfermline in January 2019 where he scored five goals in 14 games for the Pars in the Championship.

The Banff-born forward, who also enjoyed a spell on loan at Elgin before forcing his way into the first team at Pittodrie, has added a further 20 Premiership, cup and European appearances to his name during last season’s truncated campaign and at the start of this season and moves to Somerset Park in search of regular starts.

United add Finnish keeper

Ayr United are delighted to announce the signing of Viljami Sinisalo on loan from Aston Villa subject to international clearance. The 18 year old, 6 foot 2 goalkeeper has signed a deal to the end of the season.

Viljami is the starting goalkeeper for Villa under 23s and is also a regular for Finland Under 19s.

Manager Mark Kerr said :”Villa consider Viljami one of the best of his age, anywhere in Europe. He is extremely highly rated and has been training with the Villa first team for the last year. We have had him up to have a look at him and he has shown us the level of his potential and our goalkeeping coach has been hugely impressed by him.”

Thanks Alasdair & Karen!

The week the Club received a donation of £3659.64 from diehard supporter Alasdair Malcolm.

During lockdown Alasdair and his daughter Karen came up with an idea of branded face masks to keep supporters safe.

Our fans purchased nearly 1000 masks which led to the amazing donation.

Masks were sourced from a supplier down south and Alasdair and Karen set about hand delivering hundreds to local supporters.

Everyone at Ayr United would like to thank both Alasdair and Karen for their efforts, it is greatly appreciated during these tough times.

Chalmers is an Honest Man

Joe Chalmers is United’s latest summer signing

Ayr United have further strengthened their midfield options ahead of the new campaign with the signing of Joe Chalmers from Ross County on a 2 year deal. The 26 year-old, who has also played a number of games at left-back during his career, follows former Inverness teammate
Tom Walsh in making the switch from the Highlands to Somerset Park this summer.

Manager Mark Kerr said: “I am delighted to get this deal over the line as Joe is someone I have tried to get on more than one occasion. He is a good age and has great experience in the Championship, as well as playing in the Premiership. Joe has a great left foot and will be a big asset from set pieces. He is calm and composed on the ball and also adds good height to the team.”

Glasgow-born Joe began his career with Celtic, joining the Hoops as a 10-year old and going on to make his senior debut in August 2012 as a second-half replacement for Emilio Izaguirre in the SPL. Persistent groin and hip injuries, however, robbed Chalmers of the opportunity to make an impression under Neil Lennon and then Ronny Deila and – after a loan spell at Falkirk the second-half of the 2013/14 season – he left Celtic Park in a bid to play regular football.

Joe signed for Motherwell in June 2015 and made 25 Premier League appearances for the Steelmen but further injury woes in his second season at Fir Park saw him depart the club at the end of his two-year contract.

Inverness was Joe’s next destination where he was a near ever-present for John Robertson’s side over two seasons at the top end of the Championship. After making 96 appearances for the Caley Jags, scoring six times, Joe made the switch to Highland neighbours Ross County last summer. Joe played 14 times for the Staggies in last term’s truncated Premiership campaign but was ruled out from the end of January onwards with an ankle injury that has limited his involvement for the Dingwall club this season.

Shirt & Shorts draw 2020

We are delighted to announce the details of the 2020 Ayr United Shirt & Shorts draw.

The draw will take place in the newly renovated Somerset Park Boardroom and be broadcast at 7pm on Tuesday 22nd September.

This year we will have more prizes than ever before as we include the sleeve of both Home and Away kit into the draw.

The event gives businesses, organisations, groups of fans or individuals a unique and relatively inexpensive opportunity to advertise on the the Ayr United team shirts and on the shorts for the 2020/21 season for just £200 for one entry, £300 for two entries or £400 for three entries.

Commercial Manager Graeme Miller said :”This event is always an integral part of our year however it takes on so much more significance this year with the financial implications that Covid19 has brought.

Our exposure continues to increase every year with our own highlights package, Live TV coverage and the written press providing invaluable advertising opportunities. This makes the event more value for money than ever before.

All entrants will have their name featured on the website throughout the season.

Prizes :-

1st – Company/individual name on the back of the 2020/21 home kit.

2nd – Company / individual name on the left sleeve of the 2020/21 home kit

3rd – Company / individual name on the left sleeve of the 2020/21 away kit.

4th – Company / individual name on the home shorts

5th – Company / individual name on the away shorts.

6th – 2020/21 home kit signed by this seasons squad

7th – Signed Ayr United ball

You can get more information by emailing commercial@ayrunitedfc.co.uk, and enter in our Club Shop or by clicking on this link

 

Season Ticket Update

Covid-19 has proved to be one of the biggest challenges in the lifetime of not only Ayr United Football Club, but in most of our supporters lives post World War II. Economically and emotionally it has done damage in almost every part of the globe. It has brought out the best in people as well as the worst. Ayr United have attempted to do the right thing by our supporters and Scottish Football in general during this crisis. Everyone in football has a connection from the supporters to the players, management, backroom staff, administration, all other employees  and the Board etc.

 

Football couldn’t happen in its current form without all of those pieces which is why we have tried to do right by all of them. We managed to top up wages and salaries where we could with help from the furlough scheme.  We also extended the contracts of players when we were unsure of who would stay and when we would return. We did that because we felt it was the right thing to do and it would also help cement our reputation among those that play for us as well as those that have played with us previously that we are a club with integrity.  A club that will do anything in their power to support anyone associated with them. We have proved that over the past 15 years and I’m proud of the reputation we have among all former players currently playing in our leagues.  I’m convinced it is why we are having the success that we have had with our younger players over the past few years and why I think we will continue to have that success.

 

We also try to take care of our supporters. We don’t have money for all the upgrades that we would like to do to the ground and we recognize that there are areas that need attention.  However, we have been systematically improving various areas of Somerset every year for over 10 years and we will continue to do so. We will also continue to try and make the whole match day experience a positive and give all supporters value for their money.

 

Because our season ticket holders were shorted 4 games, we felt it appropriate to offer refunds for those games not played.  Amazingly, less than 20 supporters took us up on the offer and the money that was saved helped us to pay for a lot of the items previously mentioned. Without that display of support from our season ticket holders, the club would be in a lot more serious situation than we are currently.  That gesture from our season ticket holders allowed Mark Kerr to sign the players he has so far and we look forward to more exciting signing news in the next few weeks. So, I would like to thank all of our supporters for their efforts through this trying time with all of the initiatives and sales in the shop etc, but especially to our season ticket supporters.  You are the backbone of this club and your efforts will not be forgotten.

 

That being said, it is now time for the new season and season ticket income is a huge part of our planning.  With a reduction in season ticket prices and less home games, it is going to be even tougher than normal. We have already had a number of fans contact us and offer to pay the usual season ticket prices and for that reason we will have a Donation button on the front page of our website. We cannot express our gratitude enough to all our season ticket holders, never has your input been more crucial. And to those who are able to give that wee bit extra, never will it have made more of a difference.

 

I don’t know what the future holds for our leagues or for Ayr United specifically, but as an optimist, I can only say that whatever happens, we will get through it and with the support from our fans and anyone associated with the club we will come out on top.

Lachlan.

Season Ticket Prices 2020/21

Adult (21 & over) – £230

Concession (Over 65, Student, 18-21yrs) – £140

Child (Under 18) – £45

Panda Pal (Under 12) – £15

Match Ticket Prices 2020/21

Adult – £20

Concession – £14

Under 18s – £7

Full details of how to purchase will be published at the beginning of this coming week.

Patrick Reading signs for United

Ayr United are delighted to announce the signing of Patrick Reading on a two year deal subject to Scottish FA registration procedures.

Patrick is a highly rated left back who is a member of the Scotland under 21 squad. He joined Middlesbrough as a 13 year old before signing a professional contract in April 2017.

Since then Patrick has been in superb form for the under 23 side and signed for Stevenage in January.

Manager Mark Kerr said :” I think Patrick is the kind of player that our fans have really taken to in recent years. Someone like Michael Rose and Daniel Harvie who chose to move and try and get first team football. Patrick is strong and has really energy and pace down the left hand side. He moved to Stevenage in January however with everything that has happened with Covid19 we had an opportunity to get him to Scotland and are absolutely delighted to get the deal done. Some top names in football speak extremely highly of him and of course he has played with some of last seasons squad at under 21 level.”

Hummel 2020/21 away kit revealed

We are delighted to reveal our bespoke Hummel away kit for the 2020/21 season.

Gary Bright, Head of Teamsport Uk & Ireland said “The design process for the new Ayr United away jersey took place over several months. After discussions with the Club and Football 1st, it was a unanimous wish to bring the supporters something a bit special.

We took inspiration from historic Ayr United colours and used these in conjunction with an updated iconic Hummel design.

Little additions such as the hem sign off and back neck design add the finishing touches to a jersey that all of us at Hummel are extremely proud of.”

Expected delivery of the new away kit is in August and when we have the exact dates we will make it available for pre order in July.

For the release of our kit we teamed up with Stonewaller Magazine which is a new magazine focusing on showcasing Scottish football from a different angle. For more photos from the shoot check out all our social media channels. You can follow the magazine on twitter @stonewaller_mag