TROON FC were reeling this week after manager Jim Kirkwood stepped down from his post after nine years.
After such a long time at the helm, Jimmy has decided now is the time to take a step onto the club committee to help the club with the next stage of its development off the pitch, amidst talk of the Juniors being introduced into the pyramid.
Having joined the club in 2010 initially as Assistant Manager to John Redmond, Jimmy's arrival coincided with a dramatic upturn in the club's fortunes. 
He soon took over as manager with the club sitting second bottom of the Ayrshire District League and began a dramatic overhaul of the playing squad with an emphasis on youth development & attractive football.
Results were erratic to begin with, but the improvement was remarkable and a title push was well underway in season 2011–12 with the team missing out on the second promotion spot by one point. 
The club went one better in 2012–13, securing second-place with weeks to spare after a season-long title battle with Kilwinning
Rangers and promotion back to the Super League was assured. An Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup final appearance against the all-conquering Auchinleck Talbot was a taste of things to come for the Seasiders under Kirkwood's reign.
Season 2013–14 will perhaps be considered the pinnacle of Jimmy's time at the helm, as the club made it amazing back-to-back promotions when they were crowned Super League First Division Champions with a record points total for the division (one that still stands to this day). 
They were also to be crowned Ayrshire Weekly Press Cup winners that season, with a convincing win against a Hurlford United side who had won the Scottish Cup a week earlier, as well as West of Scotland Cup finalists in a
magnificent season that will be remembered for a very long time at Portland Park.
In the summer of 2015, work commitments saw Jimmy make a sideways move to become General Manager before he stepped back into the breach following their relegation from the top flight in 2017 for a second spell as manager.
Upon his return, another complete revamp of the squad saw Troon win promotion at the first time of asking via the play-offs after victory against Girvan to take their place in the newly formed SJFA West Premiership. But Jim's last season in  charge of the Seasiders saw him guide the team to safety with games to spare on a tight budget. Matching our best ever Scottish Cup run this term confirmed his position as the Seasiders' most successful manager of all-time with a quarter-final appearance, and we also featured in the last eight of the West of Scotland once again, losing out to eventual winners Beith.
Departing Portland Park in search for a fresh challenge is Jimmy's assistant manager Matt Maley.
Former Celtic, Dundee United, Kilmarnock and Stranraer Academy coach Matt joined his hometown club in 2015 and was vital in our rebuilding for promotion to the top flight at the end of the season. 
Jim said of his right-hand man: "When Matt came to the club, we had very few players and a hell of a job on our hands - and I couldn't have done it without him, to be honest. We had a vision for how we wanted to rebuild the club and that was based around youth and technical football; Matt bought into that brilliantly and used his contacts
and resources well to unearth some fantastic talents for us.

"He's a big part of why we are where we are and I think I speak for everyone at the club when I wish him all the very best wherever he goes next in his career."
With Troon's future secured on the pitch, Jimmy has decided now is the time to focus on off-the-field challenges and assist the club in our push towards being a licenced club by joining the committee.
Also making a similar move this summer is Goalkeeping Coach Andy Smyth, who is standing down after being a member of Jimmy's backroom team for a number of years.
A former goalie at Troon, Andy started his career as Alan Rough's back-up at Partick Thistle and enjoyed a sterling career before embarking on a coaching career with Benburb. 
Andy "came home" to Portland Park" after some glory-laden years at Irvine Meadow and has been a popular fixture ever since. 
Like Jim, Andy is joining the club committee to help guide us into the next phase of our development.
Everyone at Troon Football Club will always remember the contribution that both Jim and Andy have made to our success over the years, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds."