AYR's only junior club, Whitletts Victoria, and the town’s sole amateur side, Wallacetoun AFC, have joined forces to form a new community football club.

Both will play under the Whitletts Victoria name next season.

And with Whitletts Vics already having established two successful youth sides at Under-19 and Under-21 level, the move is the next step in the club's ambition to create a player pathway for local talent to enable them to play at the highest level possible.

While the junior side will play in the Ayrshire District League next season, the newly-named Whitletts Victoria AFC will start life in the Ayrshire Amateur Second Division.

Jamie Tait will remain as secretary of the amateur side and will join the full Whitletts Victoria committee.

And he explained the reason for the move to link up with the junior club.

“In the last few years, Whitletts Victoria have shown a commitment to the local community and are developing a player pathway to allow young players the opportunity to play football at the highest level they can. They have established a youth development programme with both the Under-19’s and Under-21’s winning their respective league competitions last season and by establishing an Under-21 side showed their ambition by breaking new ground, becoming the only side in South Ayrshire to have an Under-21 team playing in the Glasgow based West of Scotland League."

"This could provide a constant stream of talent in future for the club to grow and our desire is to make Whitletts Victoria AFC one of the top amateur sides in the county.

“Wallacetoun have been in existence for 10 years, and reached the Ayrshire Cup Final last season but by becoming part of the Whitletts family we are setting the foundations for the future on which we can build and develop a strong amateur and junior club in Ayr and complete another part of the jigsaw to allow young players to develop and play at the highest possible level.”

Whitletts Victoria AFC will be managed by former Vics and Wallacetoun player Steven Glass with former junior striking legend John ‘Hoots’ Harvey assisting.

Vics chairman John Dalton said the move would support football in the community for many years to come.

He said: “For a town the size of Ayr to have only one amateur club didn’t offer many opportunities for those looking to play the game and this move will prove to be a vital part in our player pathway.

“Last year we broke new ground by establishing only the second Under-21 side in Ayrshire to bridge the gap that existed between local youth football and junior football. It was always part of the plan to create an amateur side and we are delighted to team up with Wallacetoun to secure the future of amateur football in the town and build a club that will develop football at all levels," he said.