News, Rumours and Gossip

Most of the information here is culled from the AUFC mailing list, and the quality of our sources is such that we usually know about the big stories before the media. If you want to join the list, contact Kev McClelland (

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  [Ball] September 97

Toytown trauma! 29/9/97
Ally Graham's return was to no avail, as Ayr were beaten 1-0 by Airdrie at Broadwood on Saturday. Just to add to the fun, Ian Ferguson was sent off with five minutes remaining. Match report to follow.


Second win arrives! 27/9/97
Ayr recorded their first league home win of the season, their second overall, last Saturday, beating Raith Rovers 1-0 at Somerset thanks to an Ian Ferguson goal and a fine defensive performance. A match report is available.


Reserve report - Albion Rovers 27/9/97
"It was blast from the past time last night at Somerset when Ayr fielded none other than Ally Graham as a trialist striker against Albion Rovers and the big man rolled back the years with a virtuoso second-half performance which saw him net 4 goals in Ayr's 5-2 victory. Ironically, Ally has played the last 2 games for Albion's first team as a trialist but Gordon Dalziel gave him a chance to rekindle his career with Ayr and on that showing he has to be worth a short term deal.

"Ayr also fielded Richard Watson, the Australian defender and he was also impressive, if a little raw at the edges. He's tall, good in the air and quick on the ground. By contrast, we had Marco Xenakos, the Dutch defender. He is a giant of a man, dwarfing even the 6'3" frame of Ally but unfortunately his footballing ability is in indirect proportion to his size. He was warned inside 30 seconds, booked for his 3rd foul after 90 seconds and then pulled a calf muscle after 14 minutes and limped off. It may seem harsh to judge him on that length of time, but, he just doesn't have it.

"Ayr scored first when Nolan converted a penalty after Sylla was fouled. Rovers equalised when McKeown dropped a corner (again) and it was poked over the line. Ayr went back in front after the break when Graham converted a Stevie Bonar cross with a back-post header. Again Rovers equalised when Watters cracked home a 25 yarder but then Ally really turned on the style with a close range header from a Sylla cross, a shot from an English cross and a superb diving header from another English cross. Sadly, the big man exposed his old frailties when he missed a sitter with a couple of minutes remaining. He was still however, cheered off the park by the 107 fans present.

McKeown, SBonar, P Watson, R Watson, Xenakos (Stewart), Nolan, McDonald (Crilley),
(Armstrong),Kristensen, Graham, Sylla, English.

"Colin McDonald limped off in the first half to add to Ayr's injury woes.

"Daz is being linked with a 3 player swoop before the weekend although one of his targets appears to be out of his reach already: Neil Moore was linked with Ayr last season and that interest was revived recently but he has joined Burnley. Colin McKee, ex-vermin, who is now a free agent, is reputed to be a target and A.N.Other who plays in the Scottish First Division. More news when we have it..."
Kev McClelland


Trailists' Corner 27/9/97

Richard Watson ...
"The Sun today has us linked with yet another centre half,this time the player is Australian international Richard Watson (21).It appears that he played for the reserves against Albion Rovers on Tuesday (see above). There are quotes from Daz but none relate directly to Watson. All Daz says is that he may have a new player in for the Raith game but if not he definitely will have someone in place for the following week.Is there anything fresh on Raeside or the French chap ? Could it be that we are to sign more than one pivot?"
Graeme Robertson

... Marco Xenakis ...
"The Dutch guy is called Marco Xenakis and he played for PFC (an amateur team from Geervliet in Holland) last season. He is 6'3" with a pony tail (sounds like Darren Peacock) and is a centre half."
Kev McClelland

... and Luc Sonor
"Luc Sonor played for Monaco for the main part of his career 359 games, 9 goals including European cup (1993).

Born 5/9/62 and 1.81m tall (6 feet) he played under Arsene Wenger at Monaco.

One of his international caps was against Scotland on 29/4/89 when the fondly remembered Maurice Johnston scored both goals in a 2-0 win for Scotland."
Kenny Mcleod

"Sonor is returning to Ayr on Sunday with his wife. The problem over his registration is because he is registered with a club called CE Sandalay (or something like that) which is based on the French protectorate island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean. They are not a professional club and it seems they are difficult to get in touch with, hence the delays. Willie Mainge (pronounced Mon-jay) is VERY impressed that he is at the club. Willie has recently bought a car and was giving Sonor a lift and was relating to someone at the club that 'I see him on television, now he is in my car, unbelievable !' Ah well, someone's happy..."
Kev McClelland


Ayr fall short 14/9/97
Darren Henderson's first goal of the season (in only his second appearance) wasn't enough to prevent league-leaders Dundee taking all three points with a 2-1 win at Somerset on Saturday. A match report is available.


High on the Hogg 11/9/97
"Keith Hogg has been called into the Scotland Under-17 squad for a tournament in Belgium. A well deserved reward for one of Ayr's brightest talents."
Kev McClelland


Zac injury woes continue 11/9/97
"Isaac English has suffered a further injury setback. He was stretchered off last week in the game at Love Street and is nursing an ankle injury."
Kev McClelland


Reserves News 11/9/97
"Ayr reserves went down 3-2 at home last night to Stranraer in a shocking match. Stranraer went in front after 9 mins when Higgins crashed a 25 yarder beyond McKeown and Ayr's cause was hampered by the sending-off of Willie Mainge for kicking out at McAuley after he had been elbowed by the wee thug in the previous challenge. Stranraer went 2 up when McKeown was beaten at his near post, but a glimmer of hope was restored when McDonald netted after a good old stramash in the box. Gilliland finished off a great move involving Henderson and McDonald by rounding the keeper to equalise but the toll of playing 60 minutes with 10 men told and Stranraer scored with 8 minutes remaining.

McKeown, Wesley O'Connor (ex Dunfermline), John Hooks (ex Southampton, Blackpool
and Portadown), Carruth, Burns, Watson, Gilliland, Mainge, Sylla, McDonald,
Henderson. SUBS Bradford (not used) Hogg (for Hooks) SBonar (for Sylla)

"A couple of points:
McKeown was poor. The first goal would have beaten anyone, but the other two were lost very cheaply. Sylla was worse than poor, we shouldn't waste any money on him.

"My fellow roving reporter and I were left speechless (well nearly) by the performance of the officials. Both us were wishing that Alistair could have been at the game to explain the decisions we couldn't fathom. The sending-off was just one of many..."
Kev McClelland

  [Dart] Good news/Bad news 11/9/97
Good news: We've won an award!
Bad news: It's from some Dunfermline supporters!
  [Dart] Horace - it gets worse 4/9/97
"Alain Horace requires an operation on the cruciate ligament injury sustained in pre-season training. This will put him out of the game for 6-9 months and we therefore might never see him in an Ayr jersey again. He is under contract with the club until the end of the season, what happens after that is up to the player and the club.

"Robert Bell requires an operation to 'tidy up' his knee. He will be out for around 4 weeks."
Kev McClelland
  [Dart] The trial of Hercules 4/9/97
"Ayr are bringing another French trialist over, this guy is a midfielder who goes by the name of Hercules and seems to live up to his tag by being built like a brick outhouse."
Kev McClelland
  [Dart] Reserves kick off 4/9/97
"The reserves kicked off their campaign with a 1-1 draw away at St Mirren. Colin McDonald scored Ayr's goal. The team was:
Smith, Carruth, O'Connor, Stewart, Watson, Mainge, Nolan, Hanlon, McDonald,
Sylla and English. Subs Hogg, SBonar, Newall.

"They are at home to Stranraer next Monday."
Kev McClelland
  [Dart] Raeside, McGraw in? 4/9/97
"A report in todays Sun claims that Ayr are about to put a bid of 40K in for Dundee's out of favour centre half Robbie Raeside. Don't know much about the player other than he was formerly Dalziel's teammate at Raith Rovers (no surprise there); it seems that he was freed by the Kirkaldy club last summer. So the question has to be asked do we really want to pay what is a big fee for a club like Ayr for a player who can't get a game for Dundee and was a free transfer from Raith last season?

"Also Falkirk have freed striker Mark McGraw who Daz failed to sign last season when he bid in the region of 25K for the player. Now I don't really rate McGraw that highly but we could probably pay his wages for a season with what we are paying the latest forgeiner that we have passing through for his 6 week deal."
Graeme McDonald
  [Dart] At last 3/9/97
Ayr tore up the form book on Saturday, recording an unexpected 2-0 win over Hamilton at Cliftonhill. A match report is available.
  [Dart] Another trialist signs up 3/9/97
"Mohammed Syla, a Guinean International, is with us for a month to ease our injury crisis. Syla played six seasons with Willem II (Netherlands) and last season with Martigues in French Division 1. It appears that Sylla is the captain of the Guinea international side and has won 59 caps so far.

"It's expected that he will move on to a bigger club, with Manchester City and Hibernian quoted as being interested."
Kev McClelland

News from June/July 1997
News from August 1997.

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