Are Ayr United prepared for the season ahead?
Yes I think so. Since becoming manager, Ian McCall has spent his time overhauling the squad that was close to ending with the club dropping to League Two. Now we can look forward to a season where McCall has openly targeted the championship.
What signing are you most looking forward to seeing?
Any of the players who have come through the Youth Academy, particularly Ryan Nisbet and Alan Forrest. As a former Director of the Academy of course I would be looking for these guys to do well but I think we are likely to see youth get a real chance this time round.
Alan Trouten. Returning to the fold after being a massive influence and impact player at Brechin City he is likely to be one of the older heads in the dressing room who could make a massive difference for the team.
Up front. We are lacking the firepower to make the types of claims McCall is making ring true UNLESS the midfield chip in with some magic. That is why I think both Nisbet and Forrest are key – if they can prove to be a handful we could have the youngest and best striking partnership in the league. McCall is talking things up so we could have a great season ahead.
How would you rate Ian McCall and can he improve upon last year?
I have seen teams managed by Ian McCall from Clydebank right up to Partick Thistle. They have always, to me, been well organised and likely to make the best of a limited budget and personnel. At this level that is like gold dust and I am excited by the prospect of McCall having a full season to prove his mettle.
Anyone or any club you are worried about that may cause problems for you?
Some sections of the Supporters. They tend to be very impatient down at Somerset Park. I have always believed in giving managers and teams time and I worry that some will not be able to resist being gloom and doom merchants – they started against Albion Rovers.
In the league I think Dunfermline have a chance, Forfar will always be there or thereabouts, Brechin shall struggle, Stenny need a year to recover but could come good, Stranraer shall make some form of impact under Brian Reid, Airdrie need to motor early or will have another year trying to recover towards the end, Peterhead will challenge, Albion Rovers look thin but Cowdenbeath look like they will provide our stiffest test. So – the Blue Brazil, the Blues and the Diamonds could be the bigger threats.
Expectations for this season?
McCall expects the championship and I will settle for promotion.
Where will your team finish in the league this season?
What was the highlight of last season?
The last game of the season where we won 3-1 against Forfar Athletic to retain our League One status. Despite being top of the league earlier on and Mark Roberts picking up a manager of the month award we all want to forget the rest of that season.
What was the low point?
September till April.