Ayr United turn to Mark Kerr to replace Ian McCall

Mark Kerr is unveiled as the new Ayr United manager during a media conference at Somerset Park. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS
Mark Kerr is unveiled as the new Ayr United manager during a media conference at Somerset Park. Picture: Paul Devlin/SNS
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Ayr United have appointed experienced midfielder Mark Kerr as their new manager on an 18-month deal.

Kerr, who signed for Ayr in 2018 following his departure from Falkirk, has made over 600 appearances in a 20-year playing career and now takes on his first permanent managerial role.

The former Aberdeen captain replaces Ian McCall at the Somerset Park helm following his move to Partick Thistle last month.

After signing a deal until May 2021, Kerr told the club’s official website: “I am absolutely delighted to have been given this opportunity. This is a fantastic club and right now we have a top group of players and I can’t wait to lead them.

“This is a great challenge for me at a club I now know very well and I am looking forward to getting down to the hard work straight away.

“This is an extremely proud moment for me, I have loved playing in front of our fans and hope to take the club forward with them.”

Ayr currently sit second in the Ladbrokes Championship table, level on 18 points with leaders Dundee United after winning six of their opening nine league games.

They face Dundee at home in Friday night’s televised match, with six points currently separating Ayr and the fifth-placed Dens Park side.

Dundee are one of Kerr’s former clubs – he has also played for Dundee United, Dunfermline, Queen of the South, Greek side Asteras Tripolis as well as two spells at Falkirk and two seasons at Aberdeen. Now 37, the former Scotland B international said he intends to continue playing for Ayr, in the short term at least.

Kerr has been an influential performer for Ayr, helping the club win League One in 2018, their first title for 21 years. They reached the Premiership play-offs last season, losing to Inverness Caley Thistle in the quarter-finals.

Chairman Lachlan Cameron said: “It’s been an unsettling few weeks for everyone involved and it’s never an easy process finding a new manager. However, we wanted to do it right and I feel confident in the process and I’m pleased with the result.

“The dressing room would have backed any manager coming in but I know they are especially thrilled with our appointment and are looking forward to getting back to winning ways.”