County release midfielder Chalmers to join Ayr United
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Ross County have allowed injury-hit Joe Chalmers to leave the club on a free transfer to join Ayr United.
The former Motherwell and Caley Thistle midfielder arrived in Dingwall as a key summer signing last year after two distinguished seasons under John Robertson in Inverness.
But despite a positive start for the 26 year-old across the Kessock Bridge, he was hampered by injuries.
The latest, an ankle problem, had sidelined him since late December last year.
A return to the Championship will offer the talented playmaker, who previously played at left-back, to relaunch his career that started in Celtic’s younger ranks.
Chalmers joins the Honest Men on a two-year deal and is reunited with former ICT team-mate Tom Walsh at Somerset Park.
Ayr manager Mark Kerr said: “I am delighted to get this deal over the line as Joe is someone I have tried to get on more than one occasion.
“He is a good age and has great experience in the Championship, as well as playing in the Premiership.
“Joe has a great left foot and will be a big asset from set pieces.
“He is calm and composed on the ball and also adds good height to the team.”
Glasgow-born Chalmers joined the Hoops as a 10-year old and made his senior debut in August 2012 as a second-half replacement for Emilio Izaguirre in the Premiership.
Persistent groin and hip injuries held him back, though, and he never fully grasped his opportunity at Motherwell after joining the Steelmen in June 2015.
After 25 top-flight appearances, further injury woes saw him depart the club at the end of his two-year contract.
It was at Caley Thistle that he blossomed after being switched to a deep central midfield role.
Commanding performances made him a near ever-present for Robertson’s side at the top end of the Championship, but after 96 appearances and six goals he moved to County.
Despite three strikes for the Staggies in the first half of his debut season, momentum was lost with injuries and he leaves after only 10 starts and eight substitute appearances.