2009-2010

Season Diary 2009-2010
 

June 2009

The player merry-go-round starts the close season, with the club releasing Alan "Magic" Johnston, Grant "Bert" Murray,  Thomas Nolan & Scott Anson. Manager Jefferies tells the press that signing Kevin Kyle to a longer term deal is a top priority. Also Gary Locke's playing days are over, as he is moved into a coaching capacity at Rugby Park.
David Lilley  (now QotS) then becomes the first Killie casualty, to the looming Setanta failure, as Killie further reduce their 09-10 player pool. Twenty-one year old English born, ex-Boro, Graeme Owens is signed to a 2 year deal which allowed Killie to off-load winger Willie Gibson to Dunfermline for a nominal fee. Cammy Bell also accept a new 1 year deal to stay at Rugby Park.

July 2009

 

Owens & Old Suit Up For Killie

The Killie first team squad reported back for training on July 13th, flying out to their Italian training camp at Il Ciocco for a week-long stay. Accompanying Killie is ex-Celt Mark Burchill who reportedly paid is own way to go on trial. Former Rangers keeper Lee Robinson also joins Killie on a one year deal. Killie return home and release Gary Locke from his coaching role, much to the displeasure of many of Killie 1st team squad. JJ tells the press that the issue was blown way out of proportion, as a player strike was mentioned in the press. Killie do sign Burchill to a 6 month deal, as Russell will now be out till October. Killie open their pre-season fixture with a 1-1 (Invincibile)  draw at Raith, followed by a 2-3 (Hamill & Skelton) home defeat to Partick, just 24 hours later at Rugby Park (after leading 2-0).


During Killie's 09-10 photo call the team signs the "Keep Johnnie Walker in Kilmarnock" Campaign. (Website - Here) Also JJ names Kevin Kyle as club captain for the forthcoming season.

Aug 2009

Kevin Kyle Scores Killie's Opening Goal of the New Season

Killie open Aug with a trip to Wales to take on Swansea, and after a 10 hour coach trek, Killie lose 1-4 (Sammon). Killie played without Kyle, Combe & Bryson all of whom were not 100% fit. Burchill did make his debut. Killie finish up their pre-season with a 1-0 home win over Burnley. Burchill however is lost for several months though injury. Andy McLaren participates in the fans match during the annual Killie Festival, where Killie's new away white top is released to great reviews.

Killie open the SPL season with a fine 3-0 home win over last season's bogey team Hamilton. Kyle netting the first 2 and Hamill the 3rd. Steven Old makes his Killie debut also, with Bell in goal for the injured Combe. The following week Killie travel to Motherwell and "fail to show up" (JJ) and fall 1-3. Old is replaced at the half after conceding a penalty, Clancy who was in for Hay didn't have a great game either's, Hamill scored a fine chip in the closing moments, to give Killie a little cheer.

Next up was Morton at home in the CIS Cup at Rugby Park, where Alan Combe returned in goal. Conor Sammon's double (the first being a penalty) & Kevin Kyle header were enough to see off the Ton 3-1. After the match Kevin Kyle is re-called back to the Scottish National Team squad, for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Kyle however misses out on Scotland duty due to minor knee scope operation. Also of note Jamie Fowler has had an operation keeping out another several weeks. Killie head into the international break, by opening the scoring against the Buddies through an "in-form" Conor Sammon, without Kyle. Despite playing well Killie fall 1-2, and lose on a deflected shot.

Now joining Fowler under the knife would be Alan Combe who required a hip operation, that could keep him out for an estimated 3 month period.
Manager Jefferies then signs Mark Brown from Celtic on loan for keeper coverage through Combe's recovery.

Killie finish August with 3 points from 3 matches, and are in 8th place in the SPL.

Sep 2009

Hamill Goes Closest  in Rangers Home Draw

Killie's resumption of SPL play after the international break, had to be postponed 4 days due Motorway traffic en route to Edinburgh, delaying the Killie's team bus arrival by over 3 hours.

Killie then do lose 0-1 on the following Tuesday at Hearts, with Killie again being worthy of something from the match. Ferdy missed a sitter heading over from 6 yards just before the half, being one of a few culprits on the night. Mark Brown plays well in his Killie debut. Kyle returns to action as a second half sub.

Killie then host champions Rangers (without Combe, Hay & Ford), and were unlucky not to pick up all 3 points. Hamill (above) hit the woodwork, when Rangers were down to 10 men, before Pascali  saw red also. Walter Smith picks up a 4 match sideline ban, for an altercation with Sammon (who wanted ref Conroy to play advantage to Killie Vs stopping the game to issue a 2nd yellow card to Mendes). Invincibile also misses a rebound off of a headed save that he caused by blasting over from 5 yards out, as the game went on to finish tied at 0-0. Also it is now Tim Clancy who will be out with an elbow injury, after being fouled by Boyd.
Midweek action in the CIS Cup saw Killie bounced out in cruel fashion. Kyle levelled the match at a goal a piece in the 88th min, before the Buddies scored a 93rd winner, as Killie went on to lose 1-2.

Killie finished a poor Sept, at Brockville picking up their first away point of the campaign in a dour 0-0 draw, A match noteworthy for JJ not using any of his sub's including Russell & Fowler who were not 100% fit for the match. Bryson, Ford, Clancy &  Combe were all missing (along with the suspended Pascali). Some encouraging news has been the play in recent weeks of Ryan O'Leary who has played well in the center of Killie's defence.

Barry "baz" Richmond in late Sept starts his contributions to the Scotsman's Fanzone. You can read these articles - Here

Killie finish September with 5 points from 7 matches, and are in 8th place in the SPL.

Oct 2009



Kyle Double See's Off The Saints!

Killie hosted the Dons on Oct 3rd and could only manage a 1-1 draw (their 3rd straight in the SPL). Without Kyle (knee) Sammon again misses a couple of "sitter's" before Danny opened the scoring for Killie. Old boy McDonald was first to pounce on a Brown "gaff" with 6 min's remaining to give the Dons an undeserved share of the points.

After the final 2010 World Cup qualifying break Killie travelled to Hibs an Oct 17th and fell 0-1 to a late penalty conceded by Gavin Skelton, that had JJ ranting after the match due to the call being very soft, to say the least. Both Kyle & Fowler returned from injury.

Killie played their final home game of October against fellow strugglers St Johstone, and were in desperate need of 3 points, as they were only 3 points off the bottom of the SPL league. After a horrid first half a fine Kevin Kyle "double" early in the second half saw off the Saintee's 2-1 with a late O.G. being recorded by the luckless Frasier Wright. Mark Burchill made the bench as he returned to almost full fitness, which was just in time as Allan Russell broke his hand in training and he would be again lost for a few weeks. Killie close out October with another Parkhead loss 0-3 with Kyle missing several good chances. Bell played very well in goal as Brown was not allowed to play against his employers.

Killie finish October with 9 points from 10 matches, and are in 9th place in the SPL.

Nov 2009

JJ, BB & Killie Pick Up No November Points!


Killie and their fans suffer through a brutal November with 3 (4th straight) SPL losses, 2 of them at home! In both the home losses against the Arabs 0-2 & Hearts 1-2  Killie played well, and more than matched their opponents but ended up with out any points! Killie's only goal came in stoppage time against the Tarts, through Bryson, minutes after Kyle had missed from the spot!

Sandwiched between the 2 home losses was a 0-3 thumping at Ibrox, with nemesis Boyd scoring inside the first 10 mins, as the Gers raced to a 3 goal lead inside 35 min's.

Kevin Kyle became Killie's most recent capped Scottish Internationalist coming on for the Scot's in a second half sub appearance against Wales.

On Nov 19th we reported with great sadness the passing of Killie legend Frank Beattie our 1964-65 Championship season captain.

Gone but will never be forgotten by Ayrhire's finest!


Congrat's to U-19 player Daniel McKay being named the SPL's rising star. (He is then loaned out to Brechin City in Dec).

Killie finish November with 9 points from 13 matches, and are in 11th place in the SPL.

Dec 2009

Dec Relief For Killie As They Pick Up First Away Win

With bottom of the league Falkirk picking up 4 points in their previous 2 matches (inc a home draw with league leaders Celtic) Killie headed to Perth knowing a loss could see them go bottom of the league. With Killie's November misfortunes behind them Killie went on to pick up their first away win of the season, a sclaffed Kyle miss-hit being the differences between the sides as Killie beat St Johstone 1-0 . Burchill made his first start as Danny (injured) & Ferdy (dropped) watched from the stands, alongside Sammon & Pascali. Burchy then had his contract extended through the end of the season.  This was Killie's first clean sheet in eight outings!

Killie then hosted an in-form 3rd placed Hibs team (unbeaten in 10 matches), and picked up a valuable point in a 1-1 draw. In JJ's post match comments he said... " We showed we're not that bad a side" . Only one change was made Vs the team that beat the Saints the prior week with Danny coming in for Old, as Burchill scored his first Killie goal.

Killie's first of 3 festive season matches were to have a telling outcome for the fortunes and direction of the club. On Dec 19th Killie lose 1-2 at home to Bairns and move back to within a point of the bottom of the SPL. Killie had battled hard but to no avail, with Danny providing the leveller! JJ's post match Bairns comments he stated ...  "They had more hunger and desire".... NOT GOOD!

On Boxing day Killie battled with the Arabs at Tannadice picking up a point in a 0-0 draw which saw Ford carried off with a nasty head knock. The main talking point of the Arabs match would become Billy Brown's comments to the travelling fans.... "If you don't like it... then don't come back!".... NOT GOOD!

Killie were then scheduled to end the decade the way it started with a home SPL fixture against Celtic on 30/12/09. However the brutal Scottish winter claimed this fixture, as the access roads to Rugby Park were deemed not safe for the fans.

Killie finish December with 14 points from 17 matches, and are in 11th place in the SPL. (One point ahead of Falkirk who had a game in hand).

Jan 2010



Seven Match Unbeaten Run Starts At Hamilton

Jan 2nd saw the beginning of what would be a very traumatic month for Ayrshire's finest! Killie lose 0-1 to the Buddies, with old boy Innes on target for them, in what would be JJ's last game in charge of Killie. The fans were now clearly starting to turn against JJ & BB, with chants of ..."You don't know what your doing!" being heard with the 70th min sub of Fernandez at Love St. .... NOT GOOD!

On Jan 8th Club Captain Kevin Kyle tells the press that....."The chairman said he wanted to talk to me about sorting out a new contract. But then he asked me about the boss and his tactics"

On Jan 10th Club Chairman Michael Johnston refutes Kevin Kyle's claim and denies attempting to discuss tactics with Kyle.  ... NOT GOOD! More

The KFCSA and the Killie Trust then release a joint statement expressing dismay at the way club was being run.

On Jan 11th (Sunday) Johnston & Jefferies meet and hammer out JJ's release from his Killie boss contract (as he his reported to be furious about Johnston going behind his back to talk with his players, not to mention the abuse we was now getting off of the Killie faithful).

On Jan 12th Kilmarnock FC release a press statement confirming the termination of both Jim Jefferies & Billy Brown's contracts by mutual consent.
Club Chairman Michael Johnston was very diplomatic and thanked the departing managers for their service over the last 8 years.

JJ left Killie at 14 points from 18 matches, in 11th place in the SPL. (One point ahead of Falkirk who had a game in hand). After their opening day win, Killie's 11 points from 17 matches was the poorest form in the league, and Killie were really looking like relegation "fodder'.

On Jan 14th, Jimmy Calderwood accepts the Killie Boss job, and he was unveiled as the new manager of Kilmarnock. Killie were also reported to have talked with George Burley, Gordon Chisholm and former 60-70's Killie legend Tommy McLean.
Calderwood's contract would only run through May 2010, as both he, and Killie would wait to see how things progressed.

With less than 2 days to prepare with his new charges Caldy's Killie get humped 0-3 at home to Craig Brown's Motherwell. JC tell the press... "We are going to need players with character to win games here".
Forty-eight  hours later Killie then had to play the Bairns at Rugby Park in the Cup and went onto win 1-0 with a late Pasca deflection being the difference. Cameron Bell (post the departure of the on-loan Brown) started in goal, keeping Killie's cup hopes alive. Joining Calderwood was his long time "No 2" Jimmy Nicoll.

Prior to the next SPL match, Sandy Clark officially joins the club as a coach as Jimmy C goes about getting Killie's house in order.

Ironically Killie's next match would be a trip North to Calderwood's former side Aberdeen where Killie lost 0-1 JC candidly tells the press that Killie didn't show enough until near the end when it was too late for them.

The last away match of Jan was a midweek clash at Hamilton that saw Killie begin a 7 match unbeaten run that would see them move from 11th (1 point off the bottom) to 8th. The Accies match finished at 0-0 in a dour affair with few goal scoring chances. JC did "blood" teenager Liam Kelly in the 29th min for an injured  Burchill who had just missed the game's best chance.

The final match of Jan was in hindsight the start of Killie's mini-revival. Trailing 1-3, after 33 mins against the Arabs, Killie stormed all the way back to take a short lived lead in a 4-4 home draw. On target for Killie were Ford, Kyle, Pascali & Bryson. Killie's 4 goal output was even more surprising as they had not scored in close to 500 SPL min's (Danny Vs the Bairns on 19/12/09). In JC's post match Arabs comments he said .."I'm  a little bit disappointed we didn't win."

Killie finish Jan with 15 points from 22 matches, and are in 11th place in the SPL.

Feb 2010



Killie End Nine Year Drought Against Celtic

On Feb 1st Kilmarnock made 3 new loan signings Scott Severin, Rob Kiernan (both Watford) and Chris Maguire (Aberdeen) and all 3 went straight into the player pool for Tuesday Feb 2nd's Scottish Premier League match against Celtic.

It was on-loan Aberdeen striker Chris McGuire that scored the games only goal with seven minutes of the second half played after Mehdi Taouil played a neat cutback to him. Celtic's new signing Robbie Keane was denied by a series of Cammy Bell saves, that gave Killie a spirited 1-0 victory, over Celtic for the first time since Alan Mahood's winner on May 20th 2001. Severin also started, and Kiernan made a 2nd half sub appearance, for Clancy who made his first start since Sept.

Killie next play Inverness Caley in the Cup, and go on to avenge their defeat from the previous season 3-0 at home with young Kelly netting a double after Conor "Fish" Sammon, had opened the scoring, in a match that Caley out-played Killie for long periods of the tie.

A real "six pointer" at Westfield saw Killie snatch a 1-0 win at the hands of basement club Falkirk, and move up to 9th, 4 points clear of the bottom. Again Chris McGuire proved invaluable setting up Craig Bryson with the games only goal, in front of well over 2,000 travelling fans (as the Bairns had reduced their prices).

Killie picked up their 4th straight win with another fine come from behind performance at home to St Johnstone 3-2  . After twice falling behind Killie battle to the 3 points with goals form Maguire, Hooky (from a lovely set-piece right off of the training ground) & Kyle.

 
Killie fail to make it 5 wins on the trot after a terrific late Mehlmet shot pulls the Buddies even at 1-1  after Maguire had given Killie a first half lead. JC's in his post match Buddies comments said .." It was a point gained when you play as poorly as that."  Alan Combe is named on the team sheet for the first time since Sept as a sub.

Killie's 7 match unbeaten run does come to an end in the mud at the much criticised Fir Park. A Murphy free-kick being the difference as Killie fell 0-1 to Murderwell.

Killie finish Feb with 26 points from 27 matches, and are in 9th place in the SPL.

Mar 2010



Robinson Makes Penalty Save In Killie Debut

Mixed team news ahead of the Hibs away match to open March. On-loan Aberdeen striker Chris McGuire is named the SPL's young player of the month for Feb, and Kevin Kyle picks up an injury playing in a trial match for Russian club Spartak Nalchik, in Turkey. Kyle also finds himself in Caldy's "bad books" for taking the trial without fully communicating with him.

As for the Hibs match itself, the Kick Off was brought forward to a 2pm to accommodate  Easter Rd being refurbished. Man of the match would become 11th min sub Lee Robinson, replacing Cammy Bell in Killie's goal as Robinson went onto save a penalty in his Killie debut. Again for 2nd week running, it was a dubious freekick being awarded against Killie that led to home team's late winner as Hibs went on to win 0-1

Killie's schedule now meant they would face the Old Firm 3 out of their next 4 fixtures! JC joked in the press "Its not often you get the chance to beat both ends of the Old Firm in the same week". Bell did return in the Killie goal, but Kyle-Less Killie failed to score in either Old Firm match, and lost 0-2 to Rangers (SPL) & 0-3 to Celtic in the Scottish Cup Quarters, both at Rugby Park. Both matches were quite similar in the fact that Killie went in level in both matches goal-less, and had much the better of the play!

One of the biggest disappointments of JC's short Killie reign came at Home to the Accies in a 1-2 midweek loss.  McGuire scored a late consolation for Killie. JC summed up Killie dismal outing with... "There weren't a lot of positives tonight"

To finish up a horrid winless March, Killie travel to Parkhead to play a newly appointed Neil Lennon managed Celtic who were coming off a humiliating 0-4 thumping at Love St a few days earlier. Killie start Burchill and Maguire in wide areas and Kyle & Russell upfront, only to be over-run at the back, as the experiment ends in a 1-3 defeat. In-form Craig Bryson does net a fluke consolation goal, but the Ayrshire men depart Parkhead still not having won at Celtic since 1955, and with a 6th consecutive loss!

Killie finish Mar with 26 points from 31 matches, and are in 11th place in the SPL.

Apr 2010



Russell Loops In A Beauty In Dons Win!

Killie open April on Easter Sunday for a 3:30pm televised home match to the Dons. Killie were now on a 6 match losing run, and were only a point off the bottom (with the Bairns winning at Well the previous day). On-loan Aberdeen striker Chris McGuire was ineligible, Craig Bryson was out injured, & Pascali suspended. Killie made four changes, with Garry Hay, Danny Invincibile, Mehdi Taouil and Jamie Fowler coming into the starting line-up. Killie opened the scoring in the 25th minute when Severin blasted in from close range and Grassi deflected the ball into the back of his own net to hand Killie the opener. Allan Russell sealed the win for the hosts with 16 minutes remaining after he latched on to a searching Fowler ball and delivered a superb looping header back across the face of the Aberdeen goal & into the top of the net. Many named Tim Clancy as the "Man of the Match" in Killie's 2-0 win, operating at the centre of Killie's defence, after Fraser Wright picked up an injury in the 3rd min.

Killie then travelled to Tynecastle for the last match prior to the SPL "split" and lost 0-1 to former manager Jim Jefferies men.

The fixture maker's were not kind to Killie giving them 3 away games, in the final 5 matches, with the bright spot being a final home match with bottom of the league Falkirk.

Calderwood's Killie churn out 2 ugly away performances in losing 0-3 at New Douglas Park, and 0-1 at St Mirren. No goals, and no points, Killie were now fast becoming the pundits favourites for the drop.

Calderwood then foreshadows his future by telling the press ..."It's entirely new for me. I hope it's my first relegation fight and my last."

May 2010

Killie Faithfull Play Their Part In Final Day Survival

Killie host St Johnstone a team they had taken 9 points out of 9 from and despite opening the scoring through Wright (where Bryson broke his nose in assisting) Killie fall 1-2.
Prior to the penultimate fixture away to Calderwood's former charges Jimmy candidly shares to the press..."Considering the run we've been on we're LUCKY we're still second bottom".

So after 6 straight away defeats, and having only scored only 4 goals away from Rugby Park all season, Killie limped into Aberdeen for the midweek fixture. Out of know where Killie pull out a wonder performance, and a shock but deserved win 2-1.
Trailing 0-1 at the half, and sitting bottom of the table (as the Bairns were winning) Killie fought bravely back with Liam Kelly pulling Killie even after 69 mins, and Kevin Kyle heading home the winner just 5 mins later. One other point of note was Alan Combe's re-instatement for the final 2 matches, not necessarily a poor reflection on the play of Cammy Bell, but just Calderwood drying to give his defence a lift with an experienced auld heid being put in.

Killie therefore stayed 2 points ahead of Falkirk prior to their final match.

Chairman Michael Johnston on the eve of the Relegation Decider against Falkirk issued a rallying cry to fans ahead of ..." Everyone must want to have Kilmarnock Football Club competing in the Scottish Premier League next season."

It was to be Falkirk that were to be relegated to Division One for the first time since 2005 as nervy Kilmarnock held on desperately for the point they needed for survival in nervy 0-0 draw.

Neither goalkeeper was seriously tested as both sides were thwarted by a series of superb last-ditch challenges.

Falkirk had the better of the first half, while the second was more even.

Ryan Flynn missed a great late chance for the Bairns and the draw was enough for Kilmarnock to extend their 17-year run in Scotland's top flight.

 

Terrific scenes were witnessed after the final whistle, as Killie fans invaded the pitch, and enjoyed every minute of the post-match frivolities

The Ayrshire side have never been absent from the Scottish Premier League and finished the season two points clear of their final-day opponents at Rugby Park.

With the final curtain on the 09-10 season Killie's 3 loan signings Scott Severin, Rob Kiernan (both Watford) and Chris Maguire (Aberdeen) all expired, as did Killie boss Jimmy Calderwood's contract.

Killie also would go on to lose.... Jamie Adams (St Johnstone), Mark Burchill, David Fernandez, Gavin Skelton (Hamilton), Kevin Kyle (Hearts), Simon Ford (Chesterfield), Lee Robinson, & Allan Russell (Carolina Railhawks).

On May 31st, Jimmy Calderwood confirms we won't be returning to manage the club for the forthcoming season..... "I couldn't fulfil my ambitions under those financial limitations, To be honest, it was more to do with the budget and Sandy (Clark) leaving, To have a fighting chance of making the top half of the table, the budget wasn't enough. It would have made it very difficult to do that and take it on to another level."

Killie then head into the close season down 11 players, a management team, and are already being installed as the bookies choice to go down in season 2010-11.

Season 2009-2010 Form GuideGuide

2009 - 2010

P

W

D

L

GD

Pts

Pos

First 11

11

02

03

06

-06

09

8th

Second 11

11

02

03

06

-08

09

11th

Third 11

11

03

02

06

-04

11

10th

Post Split

33

07

08

18

-18

29

 

Final 5

5

1

1

3

-04

04

 

Season Totals

38

08

09

20

-22

33

11th

 

Go to Season: 2008-09 2010-11



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