BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
GREG Fleming admits the prospect of regular clashes with Kilmarnock next season is a mouthwatering one.
But the Ayr United keeper knows Stranraer will be desperate to be derby-day wreckers in this afternoon’s promotion play-off final.
Ayr will resume their fierce rivalry with Killie if they can squeeze past Stranraer and the Rugby Park men succumb to relegation in their own play-off nail-biter against Falkirk.
The Honest Men are also contemplating eye-catching encounters with the likes of Hibernian, Dundee United, St Mirren and Dunfermline in next season’s Championship.
However, the Somerset Park outfit still have a huge task on their hands if they are to realise that dream after Wednesday’s 1-1 first-leg draw with Stranraer left the tie balanced on a knife edge.
Fleming told Capital City Press: “Our lads and the Stranraer lads will have looked at who is going to be in the Championship next season and there are some big clubs in there and some exciting grounds to go and play at.
“You’ve got the likes of St Mirren and Dundee United in there, and then Kilmarnock could come down in the play-offs.
“So, there’s the potential of having a derby match against them, which would be brilliant.
“But we can’t look that far forward. We need to do all we can to seal promotion for ourselves.”
Fleming joined Ayr last summer after a nomadic spell in recent seasons had taken him to the likes Oldham, Galway United, Chesterfield, Grimsby, Carlisle United and Stenhousemuir.
Earlier in his career, the 29-year-old won promotion from the First Division to the Premier League with Gretna in 2007 but only played twice in going up before then making 30 appearances in the top-flight.
And he acknowledges that, with 44 appearances so far for United this term, success this afternoon would taste all the sweeter.
He added: “I had a spell where I wasn’t playing a lot but now I’m getting the chance to play week-in, week-out. I’m enjoying playing, never mind the occasions.
“It would certainly be nice to get a promotion where you’ve actually played a significant part in doing it.
“Stranraer will be going in probably feeling a bit aggrieved that they didn’t win the first-leg but it’s up to us, it’s our home game, to try and get the job done and seal promotion.”