Question for Duncan Carmichael

Started by ghostofjimmysmith, May 10, 2018, 19:49:57

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ghostofjimmysmith

Last season we had a relatively youthful line up - big contrast to the veterans of the 96/97. Obviously not the youngest ever Ayr United 11 but was the average age of the team last season has to be the lowest of any Ayr United team that has won something/got promotions - how do they stack up - no doubt it will turn out a bunch of 15 year olds won the league with Ayr United in the 1912/13/14.

Rams home how imperative it is we keep the guts of this team together.

duncan.carmichael

Tracking down dates of birth for some of the earlier title winning teams is impossibly difficult but there were clues about whether players were young or not. This could be deduced by looking at the career to date of the respective players. For example our first title winning team (1911/12) was captained by Bert Tickle who had been on the books at Preston North End in 1902. For the 1912/13 title Sam Aitken was in the team and he had played for Ayr FC in their first league fixture in 1897. By deduction you can tell that they were no longer in their youth. In contrast the olden day newspapers were apt to used the word 'youth' or 'teenaged' in relation to a new signing. Also if a player was signed from a Juvenile club or, in later years, a Youth Club, it was obvious that he was young. Almost always there were clues as to how young (or otherwise) a player was. In more modern times a date of birth was more easily traceable. Anyway the youngest title winning team was that of 1965/66. That team was captained by Sam McMillan who was referred to as 'Auld Sam'. He was born on 14th August ,1937, so he became twenty-eight with the season barely underway. Auld at that age? It was relative. A consequence was that the team was too inexperienced for the challenge of 1966/67 and we only had one league victory. The earlier mention of Sam Aitken reminds me that the First World War left him virtually blind. We tend to remember the war dead while forgetting those who survived with little quality of life.

ghostofjimmysmith

Thanks for the detailed response. 1966/67 sounds a bit to Brechinesque - before my time but was that when Ally McLeod took charge?

duncan.carmichael

Quote from: ghostofjimmysmith on May 13, 2018, 20:22:12
Thanks for the detailed response. 1966/67 sounds a bit to Brechinesque - before my time but was that when Ally McLeod took charge?


Yes, it was his first season as manager of Ayr United.

toepoker

Ayr's Brechinesque season of 1966/67 was also 21 year old Alex Ingram's first season as Ayr United's centre forward. The team managed just 20 goals from the 34 games in the league that year. Ally McLeod persevered with the young Ingram who was to go on to great things including a cap for Scotland, while still playing for Ayr, 3 years later.