HOPES are high that top centre half Michael Rose will re-sign for Ayr United before the end of the week with boss Ian McCall expecting him to be a key player in the Championship.

Rose was a pivotal figure in the Ladbrokes League One Championship title charge last season and was seen as one of the most consistent performers.

Now the manager is hoping to tie him on a deal as soon as possible.

McCall said: "I hope to tie down a deal before the end of the week. Michael was such a vital player for us last season and he's our main centre-back. Also I am really keen to agree a deal with Robbie Crawford, who again played really well for us and I will arrange to talk to Jamie Adams and David Ferguson. hopefully something can be sorted out there too."

United are also hoping to sign a goalie as a priority and another centre half, a left back and a midfielder are also on the manager's wish list.

Three young players. Luke McCowan, James Hilton and Leon Murphy have all signed deals for next season in the Ladbrokes Championship.

McCall added: "That's good for the young players, they have an opportunity to develop."

United, meanwhile have been drawn against two of McCall's former clubs, newly-relegated Partick Thistle and Morton in the group stages of the Betfred Cup. Also making up the group are Albion Rovers and Stenhousemuir.

The boss said: " I had hoped to draw Killie for revenue, but hopefully we can get through the group stage as we did last season."

Meanwhile in junior football, Troon blasted into the Premier Division play-offs with a thumping 7-0 win away to Larkhall Thistle.

The guarantees they will finish fifth or sixth and will meet either Arthurlie or Girvan for the chance to secure a Premier Division place.

Assistant boss Matt Maley was impressed with their display and said: "It was a great result when you consider we were so disappointed to lose to Rutherglen at home - we really didn't play well that day. We had wanted to win automatic promotion but at least we are still in with a chance and must look to win the play-off. I'm hopeful we can do it. I'm not sure when it will be but we will do light training this week as we get ready for it."