Six Glasgow Hawks players from last season have agreed terms to join Ayr next season, leaving the Anniesland-based side to turn to youth in their bid to return to Premier One.

Ayr have secured the services of the scrum-half Peter Jericevich, South African centre Dean Kelbrick, second-row Nick Campbell, prop George Hunter – they will both continue their involvement with Glasgow Warriors – and the Gossman brothers, Kerr and Craig who will ensure that competition for back-three places will be stronger than ever.

"I want to keep my name in the frame for representative honours," said Craig, whose father Jim and uncle Bryan both won caps for Scotland. "Whether it is at club, international level or with Scotland Sevens, I need to be playing in Premier One to do it."

The Jordanhill-based brothers will thus be playing their club home fixtures somewhere other than Old Anniesland for the first time in their lives. "Leaving Hawks is the hardest decision of my career and I did not take it lightly," added Craig. "It has always been my club and I owe everyone there a great deal."

Kerr – he made his debut for Hawks' first XV at just 18, as did Craig – was recently dropped from his Scotland Sevens contract and is looking for a fresh start. "Being in the Sevens squad was a great opportunity but sometimes I would travel the world for weeks and only end up playing a few minutes of rugby. I want to get back to playing and make my way into the pro game in England or abroad."

Although he does not take a starting place in the Ayr backline for granted, Craig believes he and his younger brother – they hardly played together last season because of injury and Sevens duties – can cause Premier One defences problems. "We know each other's games inside out and play expansive rugby," he said. "This is a chance for us to get back to our best and really push ourselves to the next level."

The Old Anniesland six will join an already well-stocked Ayr squad featuring such as Ross Curle, a former international sevens player who has played pro rugby in Italy. "We are a stronger squad and, with new talent like Danny McCluskey, Gavin Lowe and Ewan Bulger coming through from the youth ranks, it really makes for an exciting group of players," said their head coach Kenny Murray. "There are still some new faces to come."

While the Gossmans and Jericevich are all under 24, Kelbrick, 28 in October, sees this as his last big chance to make it. "Everybody I know in Scotland is through Hawks, so leaving the club will take me out of my comfort zone," said the former University of Pretoria centre. "Time is ticking in my career and this is my best chance to prove myself and earn a professional contract."

Jamie Dempsey, who has succeeded Peter Wright as Hawks coach, said that "severe financial constraints" made last season a difficult one for the club. "We lost our chief executive Kenny Baillie to Glasgow Warriors and Peter Wright went part-time, so our management structure was up in the air.

"We lost important players like Gary Strain, Adrian Smith and Mike Adamson as a result, and did not recruit at the same level. The players could see key guys leaving without being replaced and that caused disillusionment. Some young, inexperienced players played for us who were not ready for Premier One."

Dempsey, a former head coach of Scotland women, has already begun to cast the net and could replace the Gossman brothers with another pair of siblings: GHK's Tony Herron, who played for Glasgow Warriors in the Glasgow City sevens, and his brother Neil, who was at West of Scotland last season and has been called up to Scotland Sevens.

"Tony impressed us while playing for GHK and it looks as if he will be playing for us next year, while we are in talks with his brother, as well," said Dempsey. "Hawks can still get players to the next level. We have developed as many pro rugby players as anybody. It is vital for Scottish rugby that Glasgow is represented in the top level of our domestic game for both young players in the city and for Glasgow Warriors.

"This is a chance to take stock and develop our links with the community, our partner schools – the High School of Glasgow, Kelvinside Academy and Glasgow Academy – as well as our partner clubs, GHK and Glasgow Accies."

Andy White, the former Scotland age-grade internationalist, is also to return to the club and High School of Glasgow's Scotland under-18 international prop Chris Barnes could make the leap to first XV rugby. Dempsey is also in talks with other young Scottish hopefuls, and a trio from France who he hopes will add "Gallic flair" to the side.