KELTY Hearts have further stepped up preparations for the Lowland League kick-off by adding three more players to their squad.

Manager Barry Ferguson recently welcomed former Dunfermline full back Paddy Boyle, goalkeeper Josh Donaldson, and defender Scott Hooper to the club all in one busy day at New Central Park.

Having won the title on points-per-game average last season, but then being denied the opportunity to contend for a place in the SPFL after the pyramid play-offs were cancelled due to Coronavirus, Kelty have been busy reshaping their pool over the close season.

They had previously acquired the services of Arbroath goalkeeper Darren Jamieson, and ex-Pars winger Kallum Higginbotham, before Boyle, 33, was announced as their third summer capture.

The Glasgow-born left back, a product of Everton's youth academy, had loan spells with Norwich City and Crewe Alexandra before signing permanently for Dumbarton in 2009, who he helped win the Third Division title.

From there, Boyle joined Partick Thistle and, after two seasons, was snapped up by then Dunfermline boss, Jim McIntyre, ahead of their return to the SPL.

He spent two years at East End Park before going to to play for Airdrieonians, Ayr United and Peterhead, who he joined two years ago and claimed a League Two winner's medal with into the bargain.

His arrival provides a timely boost in options at full back for Ferguson, who has lost Scott Linton and Gary Cennerazzo to retirement, while centre back Murray Carstairs completed a move to Glenrothes.

Hooper, however, will provide further competition for places in the heart of Kelty's rearguard after he followed Boyle in making the move from Balmoor.

The highly-regarded 25-year-old, who can also play at right back, captained Annan Athletic for two seasons having moved there from Queen of the South in 2017.

He joined Peterhead last summer and, in a campaign where they finished eighth on their return to League One, made 20 appearances in all competitions.

Also arriving at New Central Park was Donaldson, who hails from Cardenden, and is a former Scotland under-19 international.

The 20-year-old left Dundee United in June having spent five years in the Tannadice club's youth set-up, and spent time last season on loan at one of Kelty's fellow Lowland League clubs, Civil Service Strollers.

In addition to waiting to resume league action, the SPFL will liaise with Lowland League officials on whether Kelty will take part in the coming season's Betfred Cup competition.