A MONEY-spinning Ayrshire derby is guaranteed for the first time in three years next month.

And newly-appointed Ayr United skipper Ross Docherty is positively relishing the prospect of a showdown with bitter rivals Kilmarnock after the duo were drawn in the group stage of the season-opening Betfred Cup last week.

The sides last met in the League Vup almost three years ago when Killie won 1-0 at Rugby Park.

Ayr look to have a realistic chance of qualifying as they will also face last season's Championship rivals, Dumbarton and League Two sides Annan Athletic and Clyde.

There is the added carrot of £30,000 in prize money should they progress to the knockout stages.

Docherty told Sportscene: "It's a good draw and hopefully we have a fair chance of going through. I am really looking forward to the Ayrshire derby, a lot of the players have told me about. The nearest I came to it was playing for Ayr against my old club Airdrie when I got a lot of stick from their fans. We have made some good new signings like Michael Moffat and Andy Geggan and they will have a lot of new faces with their loan players moving back to their clubs.

"Hopefully we can take advantage of that and get a result. I'm sure there will be a decent crowd there. We also really look forward to the Dumbarton game. We had a good record against them last season but they stayed up. Victory would give us a confidence boost."

United commercial manager Graeme Miller said: "There's no word yet on the date or venue for the Killie game but as soon as there is I will be in touch with Kilmarnock about tickets. Hopefully wherever it's played we will get a big gate."

Meanwhile, United fans are being invited to take part in a Footgolf challenge to boost the player budget, although you don't have to be an fan of the club to play.

The event will be held at Roodlea Golf Course, near Coylton on Saturday, June 17.

It costs £100 for a four-ball (£25 a head) and you get to play alongside a former or current Ayr player making it a five-ball.

Joining each fourball will be an Ayr United figure from past or present. There are names like Michael Moffat, Henry Templeton, David Craig, Ryan Stevenson, Martyn Campbell, Andy Lyons, Jim Cowall, Duncan George, Hugh Sproat and also David Kennedy helping out on the day.

For more details contact 0759928914.