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Former Don Lawrence Shankland is still dreaming of playing in the Premiership again

Ian McCall and Lawrence Shankland with their awards yesterday
Ian McCall and Lawrence Shankland with their awards yesterday

Lawrence Shankland admits it is his dream to play in the Premiership again after resurrecting his career with League 1 champions Ayr United.

Shankland, released by Aberdeen last summer, smashed 29 goals in 33 games as Ayr sensationally won the title on the final day.

He has run away with the Ladrokes player of the season award with Ayr manager Ian McCall winning the top boss prize. It has given the 22-year-old renewed belief that he can get back to the top.

Hearts are reputed to be interested, while other Championship sides, including Caley Thistle, are also in the market.

Shankland said: “Some people chuck it when they leave a big club but I just wanted to get back playing again. I think I showed that when I get game time I can do well.

“The manager was putting a lot of trust in me and I think it worked both ways.

“I still have ambitions of playing in the Premiership again. I’m an ambitious person.

“Whether it takes me six months or three years, I aim to be there at some point.

“I have had a good season – probably the best of my career – and it’s a great bunch of boys.

“I really enjoyed it and I think it’s the most consistent I have been in my career. It wasn’t just the goals, I felt I was playing well most games.

“I will just need to weigh up what’s best in the summer. If it’s Ayr then I will give it all I’ve got in the Championship.”

McCall, Ladbrokes manager of the season, said: “I’m confident that if I can keep the players I want to keep and maybe add four or five we can have a real go.

“It’s fair to say that in the last 15 or 20 years Ayr United have not been a Morton or an Inverness or a Queen of the South,

“But who’s to say we can’t do what they do and that’s challenge for the play-offs?

“I have not been able to do much as yet but I am hoping to get a few deals tied up before the end of the week.

“Hopefully, the ones I want to keep will sign up for next season and be part of what we want to achieve.

“Lawrence is one of them. I know he has other options but hopefully he will stay – and it’s the same for a number of others.”

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