AYR United women’s coach Craig Potter says he’s encouraged by the progress his squad has made this season – despite a challenging start to the campaign.

Irvine-born Potter arrived at Somerset Park in June to lead the women’s team into the rebranded SWF Championship – the second tier of the women’s game in Scotland.

And while it’s not been easy going so far – with a 2-1 defeat to league leaders Rossvale at Cumnock’s Townhead Park on Sunday leaving Ayr with a record of one win and four defeats so far this season – Potter says he believes all the ingredients are there to build a successful future for the team.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s fixture, Potter said of his players: “They’re a brilliant group to work with.

“As a coach all you can really ask is that players want to work hard, they want to develop, they want to listen, and I’ve certainly got that, so it’s a great start for me.

“There’s a long, long way to go to get this side of the club where I want it to be – that’s on and off the park – but there’s progression there. The players want to come and work, and want to listen. They’re thriving off information. They want to get better. And as a coach that’s brilliant.”

The Ayr women’s team is the culmination of a pathway process for girls in the area that starts with the Ayr United Football Academy’s under-9 squad and builds through four more age group teams and a development side en route to Potter and his Championship squad.

“The club’s backing up some of the stuff that they told me they were going to do,” the 38-year-old continued.

“They told me they were going to make a commitment to our side of the game, and they’ve backed that up so far.

“We’re trying to develop the whole section, and it’s going to take time to get that standard up to where we want to be, and producing the best young female players in Ayrshire.

“It’s my job to keep the first team ticking along at the same time and win games.

“It’s been a bit frustrating that way, but we’re going the right way and results will come with that.”