DEPARTING Reece Lyon has voiced his thanks to his former teammates at Kelty Hearts after picking up the player of the year award.

The midfielder spent last season at New Central Park, serving as captain following the short-term departure of Tam O’Ware.

Linking up with former Greenock Morton teammate Michael Tidser, Lyon went on to play a pivotal role as they finished sixth in League One.

As he prepares for a return to full-time football with Queen of the South, Lyon has looked back on his time with Kelty fondly.

He said: “It's probably one of the most important awards you can get in your career because it is from the guys you train and play alongside every day.

"They've put their confidence in me to vote for me for that award and I really am grateful to them for that.”

Alongside thanking his teammates for the POTY award, Lyon also gave credit to Tidser for the faith shown in the youngster.

Despite being a new signing, Lyon received the captain’s armband for the second half of the season, a great honour for the Greenock lad.

He continued: "I'm glad to have been able to repay the faith that Michael Tidser put in me as well, because he gave me the armband when Tam O'Ware left the club.

"I loved going out onto the pitch wearing it every week, it felt really good. Nothing really changed in the changing room though, it was more about leading the team, which was a real honour.

"I'm still quite young and I was still going out there and giving it my all every week.

"Michael has given me a huge chance and been a huge influence on me, which I'll always be grateful for."

Last season didn’t go the way Kelty had initially planned, with a rough run in the middle of the season cancelling out a strong first quarter.

The Hearts then went on to finish sixth overall - a strong finish given they hovered above a potential relegation battle towards the business end of the season.

Despite the ups and downs, Lyon insists the club had plenty to be proud of.

He added: “Kelty as a club had been written off after the change of ownership.

"The gaffer managed to put a decent team together and we did quite well, there was a bit of a sticky patch midway through the season where we struggled to put results together and I think that's ultimately what cost us a place in the playoffs.

"But our start and end to the season were really strong. Just to be able to say that we could've been in those playoffs is a big achievement in what was such a competitive league."