Returning Ayr United midfielder Andy Geggan is looking forward to getting stuck in to an Ayrshire Derby this evening as the SPFL season is set to get underway.
The former Dumbarton player, 30, re-joins the Honest Men after 5 seasons with Dunfermline Athletic.
“Ayr going full-time attracted me to go there. I wanted to stay full-time and I managed to achieve that – I am quite happy as I don’t think I am at the stage yet where I need to go part-time and maybe get a job again. I think this will be my fifth year with Michael Moffat – not that I wouldn’t mind seeing the back of him sometimes! In all seriousness, though, it is good that he is there and I also have other guys – such as Paddy Boyle – who was also at Dunfermline when I first joined and he helped me settle in there and he has done the same here, so that is great and it has allowed me to settle in quickly. All the boys are brilliant – they are all good characters and good lads in the dressing room. This is my first new club in 5 years so I was a bit wary before pre-season started but I have settled in quite well.”
With Ayr expected to be challenging for promotion this season, Geggan is coy on looking to far ahead, just yet.
“I played in this league with Dunfermline when Rangers were in it but let’s be honest, everyone knew they were going to win it. Whereas, this year, it is a little bit more spiced up: we have got ourselves, Raith, Airdrieonians and even Stranraer are looking good this year. We can’t forget Alloa either and I think that competitiveness will make it a tasy league this year. Personally, I don’t like it when we look too far ahead. I would never put that pressure on us by saying we are going to win the league or we are favourites. I would rather just get on with the job in hand and do the best we can. I can understand why people say that ourselves and Raith are going to be top two, and hopefully we are up there. In saying that, when I first spoke to the gaffer about coming back to Ayr, he said to me straight away the goal is to win the league. He wants to get us promoted and I don’t think we are going to settle for being down here for a couple of seasons building up a squad again – the aim this year has to be to get promoted.”
can’t wait to get going in this hotly anticipated match to kick off a new season of Scottish football.
“I think we have been drawn into a good group; to start the season off with an Ayrshire Derby just makes it even more tastier. I’m really looking forward to the group we have got to see how we get on.”
Geggan has been involved in many rivalries during his 5 years with the Pars, but feels tonight’s Derby has a different meaning.
“Dunfermline have a lot of Derbies. Falkirk, for example, that is a big one but I think the Ayrshire Derby is completely different as I think it is more about hatred more than anything else as both sides want to prove they are the best team in Ayrshire. I’ve played in one of these matches before for Ayr, when we lost to Kilmarnock in the semi-final of the League Cup 1-0. We had a great turnout at that game and I am hoping for another big home support again tonight. I think this will be a real tough tie though – there’ll be a few naughty challenges going in early doors, I imagine!”
The versatile player, who was with Ayr for one season previously, feels that Ayr shouldn’t be classed as underdogs heading into tonight’s contest.
“Everybody thinks we are going to be the underdogs, but, personally, I don’t think so. I think we have got a strong enough team to go out there and win the game tonight. As long as we all stick to our jobs and doing what we are suppose to be doing then we will be okay. As I say though, people naturally think we are the underdogs and it is quite good in that sense because the pressure then isn’t on us – it’ll allow us to go out there and play our natural game.”
With over 5,000 tickets sold for tonight’s clash it is going to be a noisy atmosphere at Somerset Park this evening.
“The Ayr fans are always really noisy and up for the occasion. Due to it being a Derby, it won’t sound like either side are outnumbered but to be honest, I am just looking forward to the game and seeing what we can do. I don’t know that much about Kilmarnock, but, I think it could be one of those games where both sides will be looking to sit tight to see who gets the first goal and maybe even the first tackle!”