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Topics - AyrUtdAcademy

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Ayr Utd Academy / Finn Ecrepont - Scotland Call up
« on: January 22, 2019, 14:30:51  »

Finn Ecrepont had been included in Scotland’s Under 17 squad for friendly matches against France and Hungary in Spain, in February.

The 20-man squad will meet up on Saturday 2nd February before travelling to Spain to prepare to play on France on Tuesday 5th February and then Hungary a few days later on Friday 8th February. Both games will be played at 3pm at the Pinatar Arena, just south of Alicante.

Ayr Utd Academy / AUFA Player of year Awards.
« on: November 01, 2018, 09:45:18  »
Ayr United Football Academy (AUFA) would like to invite you to AUFA’s Player of the Year Awards.

The evening will take place on Saturday 24th November at the Princess Royal Suite at Ayr Racecourse, with doors opening at 6pm and the evening commencing at 6.30pm.

The evening will be a celebration of the players development and achievements over the course of 2018 and will include a buffet, individual trophies and the Player of the Year awards. The Player of the Year award is voted for by the players themselves and each age group has an award. All players will also receive a trophy for their hard work and commitment over the season.

Ticket prices are as follows:

Adult  –  £20

Player/Children  –  £10

To book tickets for the evening please email myself at with the subject title ‘Player of the Year Tickets’ before Friday 16th November. Once tickets are booked, details of how to collect and pay will follow.

Please note all tickets must be purchased before attending the evening.

Finally, we are also looking for donations of raffle prizes for the evening. If you can help with this, please let us know.

Ayr Utd Academy / SWFL2 West - Champions.
« on: October 22, 2018, 20:50:48  »
What a way to secure the league title by beating Kilmarnock 5-1.

🏆 League Winners | Congratulations to Ayr United Ladies SWFL2 West Champions 2018!

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Ayr Utd Academy / AUFA Women & Girls Awards Evening - 17th Nov
« on: September 21, 2018, 10:29:24  »
The AUFA Women & Girls Awards Evening will take place at the Carlton Hotel in Prestwick on Saturday 17th November 2018.

This is the second year the Carlton Hotel has hosted the awards with last years event a huge success thanks to the support of players, parents and coaches.

Tickets are £12 for adults and £10 for children (under 18’s) and will be available at training nights.

Arrival 6pm for a 6.30pm start.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Ayr Utd Academy / Owen McGinty - New Signing.
« on: September 14, 2018, 09:47:20  »
The Academy is delighted to announce the signing of forward Owen McGinty this week who will play in the first instance for the Under 18s.

Owen who hails from Largs recently made his full debut for Ayr Utd 18s against Dundee FC and capped a fine performance with an assist for the winning goal. Owen has  proved to be a prolific goal scorer over the years starting at Crosshouse BC where he notched 135 goals in one season.
Owen then moved on to sign for Rangers FC where he again proceeded on the goal trail.
Owen netted 12 goals v Celtic FC in 5 games including a hat trick in the Glasgow Cup at Lennoxtown. Owen was also a member of a Rangers side which won the coveted Youdan Youth Trophy at Bramall Lane, Sheffield.

Owen also has the distinction of scoring 2 hat tricks against Northern Ireland when playing for Rangers.
We look forward to seeing Owen producing positive performances this season for Ayr with of course a ‘few goals’ thrown in for good measure!!

Ayr Utd Academy / Finn's diary.
« on: September 06, 2018, 17:12:43  »
On Friday 3rd August Finn Ecrepont was named in Brian McLaughlin’s Scotland Under-17s squad for two friendly matches against Russia in Spain on Sunday 19th August and Tuesday 21st August.  During the trip Finn kept a diary which is detailed below:

Finn Team Scotland

Thursday 16th August

Early on Thursday morning we flew out to Alicante airport in Spain, then jumped on a bus and arrived at the Thalasia costa de Murcia hotel currently, it was 31 degrees and gave us a taste of the heat to come. The manager then gave us 20 minutes to pick 3 captains who, throughout the week, would speak to the manager and tell him how the team was feeling. That afternoon the players asked to do a light training session, so we could get use to the heat for later days. As a team we then realised how important it would be to look after yourself off the pitch as we became very tired and dehydrated due to the warm weather conditions.

Friday 17th and Saturday 18th August

Friday and Saturday, we trained well and had several meetings to discuss how we would play and how Russia would play.

Sunday 19th August

Game day, we woke up had breakfast then we had one last meeting before our game. This was when we found out the team and I found out I was started. I prepared the best I could and was looking forward to the game at the Pinatar Arena, the only annoying thing was the game was at night, so it was a long wait.

Although we hadn’t played for a while together, the team spirit was good, and the boys were very confident before the game. We beat Russia 1-0 and kept a lot of possession. Personally, I was happy with my performance and as a part of the back 4, I happy not to concede.

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Finn Scotland Squad

Monday 20th August

As I played the day before this was a recovery day which I spend in the swimming pool in the morning, which was freezing and then went a walk in the afternoon.

Tuesday 21st August

The second game was another late kick-off, so during the day we had a few team meetings to ensure we were ready for the game. This time I was a substitute, but I had expected this to be the case as I had played the day before and everyone deserved a start. The game was a bit scrappier than the first, but we managed to get a 2-0 win and I managed to get another 15 minutes which I was happy about.

Wednesday 22nd August

It was our last day but before we left the we had a meeting to recap our great trip away and people had to sing a song as a punishment for being fined. I had to sing with Big Fraser Stewart, the goalkeeping coach (we were the best) and it was a great way to finish such an amazing experience!

AUFC Talk / Ally MacLeod Charity Quiz - 28th September.
« on: August 16, 2018, 14:23:07  »

OK I hear you.. another charity quiz night but this one is different. the quiz is being developed by the now infamous Aberdeen Branch annual football quiz team and look who will be attending. [emoji2]


Ayr United Football Academy are delighted to announce that around 9 of Ally MacLeod’s 1988 Ayr United League Winning team, including Henry Templeton, Jim Cowell, Willie Furphy and Stevie McIntyre, have accepted invitations to take part in the Ally MacLeod Charity Quiz, scheduled for 28th September in the Mercure Hotel. The players will also take part in a half time Questions and Answers session.

Team entries (4 players per team at £20 per player)  for the quiz event are selling well, so it would be wise to book your place asap, by completing a Booking Form which can be obtained from Gregor Kyle at

The event includes:

Trophy and prizes for Quiz Winners and prizes for Runners up
Half time snack
Questions and answers session with 1988 League Winning players
Raffle and auction prizes

Ayr Utd Academy / Aufa Golf day.
« on: July 18, 2018, 22:41:41  »
Friday 3rd August 2018
Prestwick St Cuthbert’s Gold Course.
Arrival 12.30pm

2pm Tee-off Shotgun Start

Prices this year are £50 per player or £200 for a four-ball.
Price includes: hot roll and tea/coffee prior to tee-off, 1 round of golf and a 2-course meal afterwards.
The prize giving will also take place take place after the meal.

Ayr Utd Academy / Summer Camps
« on: May 31, 2018, 15:54:37  »
For full details of the Summer Camps 2018. Please see the poster below.

There is no need to book in advance and payment and registration is made on the day at the venue.

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Ayr Utd Academy / AUFC U20s v QoS U20
« on: April 23, 2018, 21:22:41  »
Ayr United u20 2-0 QoS U20.

Goals from Leon Murphy & James Hilton see the U20s climb into 3rd in table.

Ayr Utd Academy / Ayr Utd - Football Memories day
« on: April 20, 2018, 07:43:31  »
Ayr United Football Memories taking place at Ally Macleod suite this week. Theme was Ayr United Legends. Over the last 6 months we have been putting together names, photos and information of legends given to us by supporters and club historian Duncan Carmichael to create a set of Ayr United legends cards. We are pleased to say we have 33 added to the pack so far. Have a look at the names.
If there is names missing from the legends then don’t worry. We can add. Just private message us the names and your reason for the legend status. Can be players, managers, coaches or anyone attached with Official Ayr United FC Page

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Ayr Utd Academy / Rangers 17s v AUFA 17s
« on: April 12, 2018, 20:11:13  »

This evening’s midweek fixture saw the Honest Men travel up the A77 to play Premier League side Rangers at Murray Park.

With the rain having fallen close to kick off the Astro Pitch surface was slick and ideal for moving the ball quickly.
The home side were quick out of the traps from the off and moved the ball well in the opening stages of the game.
Rangers forced a number of corners which were well defended by the Ayr defence. However, with 15 minutes gone Ayr were forced into a change when full back Logan Angus went to ground following a challenge which caused him to fall awkwardly. A delay of 8 minutes ensued whilst Angus was stretchered off and was replaced by Lewis Nohar.

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Ayr were beginning to get a toehold in the game and some good movement and runs from Joe Barker and Aidan Moffat caused the home side some problems. Although Rangers held the balance in terms of possession Ayr were holding their own and looking dangerous on the counter attack.

Full Report:

Ayr Utd Academy / Ayr ladies score 15..
« on: April 01, 2018, 19:59:56  »
After the AUFA U20 beat QoS 5-0 the AUFA ladies have now beat QoS 15-0

Ladies team:
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Ayr Utd Academy / Ayr United Academy 20s vs Queen of the South
« on: March 30, 2018, 12:21:21  »

Ayr United Academy 20s produced a magnificent performance at Palmerston Park as they thumped Queen of the South 5-0 on Tuesday night.

James Hilton continued his rich vein of form, netting four of the goals with Jamie Martin also on the scoresheet.

After 11 minutes of sparring in Dumfries, United struck with their first blow.
A free-kick 25 yards out was rolled from Stuart Faulds into the path of Hilton, the low strike took a wicked deflection from the charging wall and nestled into the far corner. After that touch of good fortune, Ayr dominated.
The fluid rotation of the attackers and the high pressure applied on the ball forced Queens into mistakes and left them dazzled.

Kieran Balfour won possession high up the field and fed Hilton, who stung the palms of the Queens keeper from distance on 19 minutes.
The Doonhamers were restricted to a few chances and two near-post headers were the only troubling moments for the Ayr defence in the match.
United played with purpose throughout and almost doubled the lead on 22 minutes. Nathan Baird charged forward down the right flank and played the ball to Luke McCowan, his deft one-two with Hilton released McCowan into the area, his left-foot shot across goal was clawed away at the back post.
A mazy run from Martin ended in a shot diverted behind and he came close with a half volley from the resultant corner, another goal-bound effort blocked. He was not denied on 29 minutes. Leon Murphy and McCowan helped engineer the move that sliced Queens open. Martin coolly applied the finishing touch from 12 yards.

Jamie Martin
Jamie Martin

Ayr continued to relentlessly pour forward.
McCowan thundered a 20-yard shot off the woodwork on 39 minutes as the visitors searched for a third before the break.
Seconds before half-time, Hilton obliged. Good high pressure and interchange from Murphy and Finn Ecrepont got Ayr in behind down the left flank, the low ball was fired to Hilton, who killed the ball stone dead with his first touch and rifled home beyond the keeper from a near impossible angle.

The hosts rallied in the second half but Jamie Ballantyne and Robert Griffiths guarded the goal of Ellis Hare-Reid well and ensured that it would be a relatively quiet night between the sticks for the keeper.
Hilton hit the post after 54 minutes from a tricky angle after linking up once again with McCowan.
Balfour was next to hit the frame of the goal, striking the bar from the edge of the box after Baird delivered another fine ball from the right flank. McCowan nodded the rebound straight at the goalkeeper.

The fourth arrived on 67 minutes courtesy of a flowing team move.
Ballantyne sprayed a diagonal ball out right to the galloping Baird, his low cross picked out Hilton who had the simplest of tasks of tucking the ball home from six yards to seal his hat-trick. United, and Hilton, were not done yet.
On 73 minutes, it was five. McCowan was a constant menace and found another gap between the lines, he slipped in Hilton who timed his run well and slotted home from 16 yards to complete the rout.

Ayr made four changes in the closing stages but no rhythm was lost.
Balfour almost grabbed the goal his display deserved but he scooped over from eight yards out. McCowan tried his best to notch one of his own but his shot was blocked at the death.
This was one of Ayr’s best displays of the season and one that was bound to impress the watchful eye of first-team manager Ian McCall.

With four games left to play in the Development League West, David White is urging his side to maintain this high standard until the end of the season.

‘There were definitely positives in attack and defence,’ said White. ‘Everyone contributed. Those who played 90 minutes, those who started and those who came off the bench. It was really good to watch and we played so positively by pressing the ball. We are ironing out the finer details. Our rotation was good and our transitional play was excellent. The last few weeks have been really good.’

Hilton is the man of the moment right now and is regularly finding the net in the second period of the season, scoring five against Clyde a few weeks ago.

‘His composure in front of goal really impressed me,’ added White. ‘They were all team goals and he’s scored about 12 times in three games. His second was a brilliant turn and finish. The boys have grown of late. They are highly motivated to end the season on a high. There was no one you could pinpoint, everyone was excellent. The intensity we played at was incredible.’

Ayr Utd Academy / Easter Programme 2018
« on: March 28, 2018, 10:32:39  »
Details now available for the 2018 Easter Programme.

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Ayr Utd Academy / Ayr Utd U20 12 - 0 Clyde U20
« on: February 20, 2018, 09:29:52  »
By the end of the night it was hard to keep up. Ayr United Under-20s racked up the goals in Cumnock on Monday night as they crushed Clyde 12-0. James Hilton scored five, Jamie Martin netted three, Luke McCowan grabbed two, Stuart Faulds got one and Robbie Crawford also struck. Six goals in each half, encouraging run-outs for Crawford and Ross Docherty from more than two months out injured and a sixth win in seven league matches. This was pretty much all you could ask for.

Ayr Utd Academy / St Mirren 0-6 Ayr United Ladies
« on: February 19, 2018, 12:21:37  »
FULL TIME: St Mirren 0-6 Ayr United Ladies.

A successful start to the league this afternoon for Ayr ladies thanks to a hat-trick from Claire Docherty and goals from Miren Basabe, Jodie Barbour and a sixth and final goal from Lauren McBlain on the final whistle

Further details on the website soon.

Ayr Utd Academy / Motherwell 17s v Ayr United 17s
« on: February 19, 2018, 12:17:47  »
Full Time : Motherwell 1 Ayr United 2

Ayr Head Coach John Crawford was again very happy with the team performance. Crawford said, ‘Another very good 3 points on the road. A hard earned but well deserved win purely down to how well every player worked and supported each other all over the pitch’. The coach added, ‘there is a real togetherness about the team which comes from a good dressing room, good team spirit and a desire to be successful’.

Ayr United : Graham, Angus, Bryce, Love, Oliphant, Griffiths, Laurie, Frew, Barker, Moffat, Mitchell.
Subs : Skeoch, Smith, Nohar, Wamazuri.

Match report:

Ayr Utd Academy / Walking Football - 3rd in League
« on: November 24, 2017, 15:21:36  »
Ayr United FA’s Walking Football Team national programme at ravenscraig.

Ayr United FA’s Walking Football Team yesterday completed their games programme in the National League at Ravenscraig, Motherwell hosted by North Lanarkshire Leisure.

The inaugural National League was organised over a 6 month period under the auspices of Walking Football Scotland who will shortly launch their new and exciting website.
Walking Football Scotland can however presently be found on Facebook and Twitter for press releases and emerging developments.

During the National League Programme Ayr United have competed against teams from Heart of Midlothian, Greater Glasgow, Gala Fairydean, Tullibody, Fife, Stenhousemuir, Stirling and North Lanarkshire. Going into yesterday’s last set of fixtures the Honest Men trailed Gala Fairydean by 5 points meaning three wins were  required from Ayr and a ‘helping hand’ from others to have a chance of finishing third.

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As football often defies logic and is certainly never a Science the inevitable happened! Ayr won all three games defeating North Lanarkshire 3-2, Stenhousemuir 6-0 and Stirling 6-1.

A maximum 9 points for Ayr with an excellent 12 goals to up their goal difference substantially the only question remaining was, How would Gala Fairydean fair with their set of fixtures?

Three defeats was the resounding answer as Ayr moved into a final league position of 3rd by leap frogging their more fancied opponents.
A very creditable standing in their first season at National Level and a good platform for next season.
Team manager Gary McLaughlin deserves much praise for his excellent handling of the team during the season and managing the highs and lows of a veterans’ football journey.

Gary was delighted with the team’s last day performances and was a happy man yesterday afternoon making his way back to Ayr in the team bus. Gary as always was quick to praise his players for their efforts over the season and delighted the team reached the higher echelons in the league standings.

The Honest Men :
Stuart Galloway, Lindsay Easton, Drew Boyd, Brian Pitt, David Reid, Chris Fleming, Tom Dowman, Harry Harvie, Calum Campbell, Ian Mason, David Neal, Graeme Shirra, Davie Howie and John Crawford.

Ayr Utd Academy / Project Brave Statement
« on: November 16, 2017, 12:32:42  »
The Scottish FA yesterday announced the latest major developments in its Project Brave initiative, with confirmation of the club placings within the new academy structure.

The Boards of Ayr United Football Academy and Ayr United Football Club are pleased to announce that the Academy teams will compete in the Progressive Section, which was designed to ensure that developing, ambitious academies could position themselves to progress to full Elite status.

AUFA is ideally placed to do so and, at latest, will make application for Elite status in June 2018, when the academies will be re assessed. We are already in discussion with the Scottish FA about this next move, as we have fulfilled 73 of the 75 Elite criteria against which we were assessed and although pleased to be an ambitious academy, we are disappointed that automatic entry to the Elite section was not granted.

What does this mean for our young players?
Our teams will compete against the other 7 Progressive teams, in the Scottish FA games programme, three times per season and against the Elite teams once per season. This will ensure that they face the same stiff opposition as they have done for the past few years.The table below shows the new sections. Apart from Ayr United all of the other clubs in the Elite and Progressive categories are playing in the Premiership or the Championship.  At the same time, some Premiership and Championship clubs have not been included in the Elite or Progressive categories.

ELITE: Aberdeen, Celtic, Hamilton, Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Kilmarnock, Motherwell, Rangers
PROGRESSIVE: Ayr United, Dundee United, Forth Valley, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Partick Thistle, Ross County, St Mirren, St Johnstone
PERFORMANCE: Dundee, Fife, Greenock Morton, Queen’s Park

The standards around our Talented Young Footballers Programme are equal to those of the Elite teams. The Academy staff has been preparing for entry to the new stage of the Club Academy setup for the last year.

Several key full time appointments have been made to the Coaching staff.

A full time Head of Sports Science has been appointed
A full time Head of Performance Analysis has been appointed
A Head of the Professional Programme has been appointed, and
Standards have generally been raised all round.
The newly appointed personnel will of course remain in place, and standards will be enhanced in preparation for the next application. In short, we are not content to remain in the Progressive section. Elite status was, and remains, our goal and while we seek this goal our young players will be offered the same high level standards as their counterparts in the Elite section.

Kieran Balfour

This will undoubtedly improve the players’ chances of progressing to first team football and achieving international status. Full time training has been introduced, leading to contracts being put in place for Academy players, positioning them to compete at first team level. Already this season, 8 Academy graduates have made appearances in the first team, with 5 of these, David Waite, Luke McCowan, Leon Murphy, Stuart Faulds and James Hilton making debuts, with Keiran Balfour excelling in the 20’s team and patiently awaiting his turn.
Finn Ecrepont has represented Scotland at 16’s level and there are others Finn Ecrepont playing for Scotlandin the younger age groups waiting for their chance to show their talents on the higher stages.

Head of Academy, Davie White summarised by saying:
“This is another important step on the Academy’s pathway to the top. We have been steadily improving standards since the Academy was formed and this is not the end of that pathway, merely a slight pause before we move on to Elite status. Our staff and volunteers are all aware of our ambitions and I am proud of their commitment and the way that they have applied themselves to providing the environment which our young players experience.
I look to coaches, players, parents and staff to support our objective to remain competitive, maintain high standards and show constant enthusiasm within the Progressive section. We aim to demonstrate to the Scottish FA on and off the pitch that we are ready for the Elite step up when the opportunity arrives!”

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