FORMER Girvan Super First Division-winning boss Peter Leonard has been appointed manager of McBookie Championship side Whitletts Victoria.

The former Cumnock manager steps into the role vacated by the departure of George Grierson due to ill health and has urged the people of Ayr to get fully behind the club as he looks to take it to new levels in the junior game

'I am delighted to accept the offer to become the next manager of Whitletts Victoria FC. I am saddened by the way this vacancy has come about due to George Grierson's health issues, they are big shoes to fill as he has been doing a great job for the club, leaving them in a very healthy position in the championship after doing such a fine job getting promotion last season” said Leonard who has also confirmed his new backroom team at Whitletts.

“My fellow coaches, Chris Flanagan, Gerry Phillips and Steven McNally will also be joining me as we look to build on the solid foundations which are in place. The committee are working tirelessly to move the club forward. In moving to a new stadium we hope to build the support of the club which can only be done by playing in an attractive style and winning football matches. are looking forward to the challenge but really need the people of Ayr to get behind us.”

Vics Chairman John Dalton was delighted that Leonard has agreed to take on the role and said: “Peter Leonard has a fantastic track record as a manager in the junior game with Maybole, Girvan and latterly Cumnock. He’s won promotion with Maybole, back-to-back promotions with Girvan to take them to the top flight for the first time and then with his time until recently at Cumnock so he knows what it takes to get to the Premiership and stay there.”

“He is extremely ambitious and his ambition matches that of the club's. He and all his coaching staff live in Ayr which fits in with our desire to build a strong local junior football club that the people of Ayr can be proud of.”

Leonard takes charge for Saturday’s home match against Kilsyth Rangers at Dam Park.