On the 15th May 2012, Mark Roberts took over the managerial reins of Ayr United from Brian Reid following the club’s relegation to Division Two as player manager.
Roberts, 36, was embarking on his first journey into management at Somerset Park after enjoying a lengthy playing career which saw him playing for nine clubs including Kilmarnock, St Mirren, Falkirk, Partick Thistle and Airdrie United. Mark Roberts had still been competing at a high level and since signing for The Honest Men in 2009, having appeared 148 times and scored 54 goals.
After being appointed as Manager Roberts said : ” Being a Manager was something i wanted to do and i love this club. I’m delighted i’ve got the chance to manage Ayr United “
In his first season in charge Ayr finished a disappointing 7th something that the manager acknowledged ‘To finish seventh in the league wasn’t acceptable. Whether that was down to mistakes made by myself I don’t know but I think the players have to take responsibility for their inconsistency. We gave them every opportunity to go out onto the park and build on good results but they rarely did that which is very disappointing.
The following season Mark managed the club to a promotion play-off position but sadly lost to eventual play-off winners Cowdenbeath. The Board extended his contract into season 2014/2015 with a set of targets that they allowed to become public.
In season 2014/15 United began Neil Watt and found themselves in a challenging position before they went on to lose 9 of the last 10 matches under him leading to his dismissal on 15th December 2014 after the 3-2 defeat to Stenhousemuir.