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Ayr United confirm appointment of ex-Chelsea, Leeds, Bradford, Crystal Palace player

Ayr United have chosen to confirm the manager appointment of ex-Chelsea, Leeds, Bradford, Crystal Palace and Morton player David Hopkin.

The former Morton and Livingston gaffer has been handed the reigns following the departure of Mark Kerr which was made last week.

The 50-year-old has been out of a job since he resigned from his role at Cappielow earlier in the 2020/21 season.

The ex-English Premier League star Hopkin is experienced and reliable when it comes to the Scottish Championship and is well known for guiding Livingston to Premiership promotion in 2018.

CLUB STATEMENT:

David Hopkin appointed manager of the Honest Men

Ayr United Football Club are delighted to announce the appointment of David Hopkin as our new First Team Manager on a 2 year deal.

David will take his first training session with the team tomorrow and be in charge of Saturday’s trip to face league leaders Heart of Midlothian at Tynecastle.

On the appointment, Ayr United Owner and Chairman David Smith said: “We are delighted to get our man!

The number and quality of applications were excellent and we thank everyone who showed interest in becoming the Manager of Ayr United. It was quite a task to shortlist the applications, and the candidates who were interviewed were all very strong. When we spoke to David it became obvious that there is a synergy between what we as a club want to achieve, and the aspirations and ambitions that he has for Ayr United.

As a board, we all felt very comfortable speaking with him and he has a calm confidence in his ability to take our club forward.

We had a number of criteria that were key to the appointment and David Hopkin ticks every box.

We all can’t wait to get going alongside Davie White and Derek Stillie who have done an incredible job of inspiring the players into climbing the table. Personally, I can’t thank them and Tommy Tait enough for what they’ve done.”

After making his senior debut for local side Greenock Morton, Hopkin enjoyed a successful playing career south of the border, making over 120 appearances in the Premier League during spells at Chelsea, Leeds United – where he won the first of seven Scotland caps – and Bradford City. During a successful two seasons with Crystal Palace, Hopkin scored a 90th-minute winner in the 1997 First Division play-off final against Sheffield United, to gain promotion for Palace into the Premier League.

A return to Morton and recurring ankle injury signalled the end of Hopkin’s playing career in 2003 but he remained at Cappielow in various roles, including coach, reserve team manager and assistant manager. In January 2015, Hopkin left his post as reserve team manager at Morton to become assistant head coach at Livingston alongside Mark Burchill, eventually replacing Burchill the following year as the Lions were relegated to League 1.

The following two seasons saw Hopkin lead Livi to back-to-back promotions, firstly winning the League 1 title by 19 points in season 2016/17 before clinching promotion back to the Premiership in 2018, defeating Dundee United and Partick Thistle in the Premiership play-offs.

Hopkin elected to depart Livingston prior to the Premiership season in May 2018, declining the offer of a new contract at Almondvale and was appointed manager of former club Bradford City in September that year. A difficult spell with struggling Bantams led to his resignation in February 2019 after 35 games in charge. Hopkin was then announced as the manager of Greenock Morton at the start of last season and guided the Ton to seventh place when the league was suspended. He resigned from his position in December 2020 amid financial difficulties at the Cappielow club.

We will announce David’s new assistant manager in due course.

– STATEMENT ENDS –

HOPKIN’S CAREER IN FOOTBALL:

Senior career
1989–1992 – Greenock Morton – 48 games (4 goals)
1992–1995 – Chelsea – 50 games (3 goals)
1995–1997 – Crystal Palace – 83 games (38 goals)
1997–2000 – Leeds United – 73 games (6 goals)
2000–2001 – Bradford City – 21 games (0 goals)
2001–2002 – Crystal Palace – 39 games (4 goals)
2002–2003 – Greenock Morton – 11 games (1 goals)
Total – 291 games (54 goals)

National team
1997–1999 – Scotland – 7 games (2 goals)

Teams managed
Livingston – December 2015 until May 2018 – 118 games, 63 wins, 21 draws, 34 defeats, 53.39 win %
Bradford City – September 2018 until February 2019 – 35 games, 7 wins, 11 draws, 17 defeats, 20.00 win %
Greenock Morton – May 2019 until December 2020 – 48 games, 17 wins, 12 draws, 19 defeats, 35.42 win %
Total – 201 games, 87 wins, 44 draws, 70 defeats, 43.28 win %

Fans reacted as Ayr United confirm the appointment of ex-Chelsea, Leeds, Bradford, Crystal Palace player David Hopkin…

@we_are_killie: Oft that’s some appointment! Fair play.

@TommyTommys: Great appointment 👏👏

@DJ_MGJ: Yaaaassss

@MarkoT1989: Absolutely stinking appointment.

@CZ6PL0j6P8MRepN: Great appointment, experienced manager who has been promoted from this league before. Best of luck

@bwpetts: Brilliant appointment, will add some much needed stability and fight to the team.

@BradfordJM99: Announce Luca Colville to Ayr #bcafc

@1903bw: Breath of fresh ‘Ayr’ for the club

@CallumD72: Buzzing for us to win 1-0 at Tynecastle this weekend with 20 defenders and a central midfielder

@FraserWason95: Happy enough, could of been worse

@McIverTheMark: Cannot wait for Ayr to turn up at Tynecastle this weekend with one goalkeeper, 20 defenders and one winger and go back up the road with a 1-0 win.

@t9rmo: Ooofffttt, did this have anything to do with the moves at Morton? Is he taking his old assistant with him?

@Steeley1997: £100 in the pocket. Not everyone’s cup of tea but I’m looking forward to having an experienced manager with an enthusiastic chairman behind him. Hopefully everyone gets behind Hopkin.

@robertmccahill2: Out of contract wingers up & down the country rubbing their hands with glee.

@17menzies17: Scottish championship Merry-go-round of football Mangers

@MathesonHarper: Happy with that knows the league , just hope he gets us playing rather than long ball

@fiveasidepod: So, Hopkins takes over the hot seat at Somerset Park. Will he be able to push on and fire Ayr up the table, or will they be stuck in a relegation battle until the end of the season. Let us know what you think and find out our views on the appointment on tonight’s episode

@CallumCarsonWLC: His last two jobs seem to have been ‘heart ruling head’ joining clubs that mean a lot to him but with issues behind the scenes. I hope it works at Ayr. Also, my maw lives in Ayr so might need to take a detour to Somerset Park and shout ‘@AndySemple1990 says KEEP WALKING HOPPY’.

@KinslerMartin: Definitely better than what we had previously, although not my choice by a long shot I seriously hope he gets us going

@dlk9: Decent appointment for Ayr

@KeirDollard: Really is a shame that he won’t be getting a transfer window to make a complete mess of before the end of the season

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