ONLY three players remain from the last Ayrshire Derby as Ayr United and Kilmarnock prepare to kick-off the new season at Somerset Park on Friday.

Brian Gilmour and Alan Forrest still turn out every week for the Honest Men while Rory McKenze, who scored the only goal in that August 2014 meeting, is the sole Killie man left.

And the Troon man is looking forward to the start of the new campaign, following a successful training trip to Malaga, in which he scored two goals in a 4-1 win against a Spanish Select team.

McKenzie (23) has only sampled the Ayrshire derby once before but is looking forward to experiencing it once again.

He said: “Training went really well and there was a real buzz about it.

“I think a lot of that was to do with the fact the first game was a derby. You need a game like that to get up to speed.

“I have never played at Somerset Park before and look forward to it. there’s always an edge to the Ayr games.”

He continued: “We didn’t do too well in the League Cup last season and that affected the next part of our season, so it’s important that we get off to a good start and win these cup games.

“We want a cup run this season, it’s important. We hope to qualify from the group.

“That is our focus, we’re not even thinking about the league but just focusing on the next few games.”

You have to go back to January 2009 and a Scottish Cup replay at Rugby Park for the last time Ayr managed a goal against their arch rivals.

Bryan Prunty was the man to find the net on that occasion but newly re-signed Andy Geggan feels the Honest Men are due to get something against Killie.

Geggan was in the side who lost 1-0 to the Rugby Park outfit in a League Cup semi-final at Hampden Park following a late Dean Shiels goal.

He said: “I’m really looking forward to the game on Friday night, I think the club owes them one after the semi-final - it’s payback time and I’m looking forward to it.You don’t need motivation for it and want to play against Kilmarnock.”

He continued: “These are the kind of games you want to play and we want the bragging rights.”

Striker Michael Moffat, who also played in that Hampden showdown, said: “There should be some crowd here and it will be good to have a night-time game on the TV.

“I played against their manager Lee McCulloch, he was an old school centre half who would just trip you, bite and scratch. It’s his first job so he won’t want to come down here and get beaten by their rivals.

“It would be really good for the supporters if we could get one over them and win. You have always got a chance in these games.”

Moffat continued: “If we beat Killie it will set up nicely and hopefully we can win the rest of the games and get through.”

Defender Chris Higgins added: “I look forward to the derby game, I experienced it when I was at Dunfermline against Raith Rovers and also played derbies against Falkirk.

“Hopefully we can come off best against Kilmarnock. It’s certainly a great way to start the season.”

Manager Ian McCall is positively relishing the game.

He said: “It’s our home game, so let’s show the ground in a good light.

“I have experienced the Old Firm, Dundee and Fife derbies but look forward to the Ayrshire one.

“The game has come early for me and Lee McCulloch, but I look forward to it.

“Tickets are still selling so hopefully our fans will outnumber theirs.”

The Ayr boss continued: “We started last season by beating a Premier team, Hamilton, so let’s do the same on Friday and beat Killie.”

Craig Reid, as revealed last week, misses out through injury but everyone else is fit.

McCall is still on the lookout for another defender to complete his squad.