Last season ended disappointingly for Ayr United, with the Honest Men eventually succumbing to relegation from the Ladbrokes Championship. But they’re preparing well for an assault on the League 1 title, with four savvy buys already this summer.
Three of those signings have come from sides Ayr faced in the second tier in 2016-17, and all of them offer a good deal of talent and experience.
Centre-back Chris Higgins spent the past six seasons with Queen of the South, before this summer’s move, and helped the club to promotion from the third tier back in 2013.
A reliable performer with well over 400 career games in Scottish football, the tough-tackling defender could also prove to be the leader on the pitch that Ian McCall’s men need, having captained the Doonhamers for the last four seasons.
Somerset Park has also seen two summer arrivals from Dunfermline Athletic, in the form of midfielder Andy Geggan and striker Michael Moffat.
Both are likely to slot in quickly here, having each spent time with the Honest Men earlier in their career, with Moffat netting 67 goals in 151 games during a productive stint here from 2011-14.
After a slightly disappointing goal return in the Championship last term, the 33-year-old will be looking to repeat his amazing haul from his last campaign here, where he netted 26 goals in League 1.
As for Geggen, it’s a surprise to see him exit East End Park having captained the side on no fewer than 32 occasions last term. But the Pars’ loss is Ayr’s gain.
A classy passer of the ball, he’s also chipped in with five or more goals in each of the last four seasons – as well as consistently breaking up opposition attacks with his smart reading of the game.
The final addition is one the Somerset Park faithful know well…but they’ll likely be pleased to see his loan deal be made permanent.
The man in question? Striker Craig Moore, who’s enjoyed two loan spells in Ayrshire, and has now left Motherwell to sign on with the club long-term.
At 22-years-old, the former Steelmen striker still hasn’t yet enjoyed the consistency that fans will hope for from him – but with another year at Somerset Park, and the drop down of a league, it’s likely he’ll build on his goal tally in the coming campaign.
Add a few more players of that calibre, and it’ll be hard to look past Ayr United for the League 1 title.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing