Ayr United manager David Hopkin says it was vital that the Honest Men improved their back line, hence a trio of signings in that area.

Hopkin went with experienced additions to the side in centre half’s Markus Fjørtoft and Sean McGinty, both arriving from his former club Greenock Morton.

On the younger side, signing from St Mirren, is 20-year-old Nick McAllister, who can play at right back, centre half or in midfield.

Hopkin also added a midfielder to the squad, again joining from Morton, Cameron Salkeld can play down the right flank or up front.

Speaking to the Advertiser, Hopkin said: “I thought the back four, apart from Jack Baird, were all inexperienced players last season.

“So, I think it was important this season I got some characters and leaders in the defence, Sean and Markus fit that bill and will be good additions to the squad.

“Nick is one I think the fans will like, he is a no-nonsense defender and is very similar to what Nicky Devlin was like at that age.

“Cammy is strong, powerful, really quick and brings something to the team that we did not have last season.”

Alongside the additions of new players to the club there was also a trio of players from last season that signed new deals to stay on at Somerset Park.

Fan favourite Michael Moffat and youngsters Finn Ecrepont and Michael Hewitt have all signed one-year deals.

Hopkin said it was crucial that an experienced player like Moffat stayed on at the club and hopes the young duo can take their chance to break into the first team this season.

“I think it is always important to keep players at the club that have longevity and know the club but Michael is also a very good player.

“Finn and Mikey are two young players who spent last season out on loan and have to start pushing for first team football now. “

Kilmarnock’s relegation from the topflight means that the Honest Men will be meeting their derby rivals regularly in the Scottish Championship next season, with Hopkin saying he hopes fans are back in to witness the spectacle.

“Hopefully, the fans will be back in again and I am sure everyone will be on the lookout now to see when the first derby game is going to be.”