IT MIGHT seem strange to hear a footballer describe a season that ended in relegation as their favourite so far as a professional.

Collectively, "a nightmare" was how former Pars midfielder, Dan Pybus, who it has been confirmed today that he has signed for English National League side, York City, described the wretched drop to Scottish football's third tier that ended his solitary campaign at the club, which saw them start it among the teams fancied to challenge for promotion.

The 24-year-old, who was brought to the club last summer after a two-year spell with Queen of the South, held his hands up, and offered his apologies to the fans, for a miserable season that saw two managers come and go from East End, and left the club facing a League One campaign for the first time in six years.

Despite that, and that an option the club had to offer an additional one-year deal to the initial 12-month contract he signed wasn't taken up, the Englishman will look back on his time as a Dunfermline player with affection.

His whole-hearted performances won him respect from the supporters, and those of his team-mates, who named him as their choice for the Gary Riddell Players' Player of the Year in the end-of-season Centenary Club Lifeline awards, while he also picked up the management team's accolade.

During the close season, Pybus explained exclusively to Press Sport after his departure was confirmed during the close season why his time with the club is up there with the best of his career, despite its ending.

"It was by far my favourite year in professional football and, probably personally, my best year on the pitch," he said.

"Obviously, collectively, it was a nightmare. I think everyone knows that, and I think even the last game of the season, you look at the team on paper – we should not be down there in the relegation play-offs.

"But, you get what deserve in football, and clearly we deserved it.

"But, personally, I loved it (time at East End). I fell out the game a little bit, got a brilliant opportunity to go to Queen of the South, and when Dunfermline came about, every home game was ... to say a dream, is probably a bit far, but to be a footballer's a dream, and then you're fortunate enough to play in a great stadium in front of four, five, six thousand fans.

"I probably knew at the time – I was the first to admit – that it was probably going to take me four, five, six games, maybe, to get in the team. As daft as it sounds, the bad run suited me, because it meant I got my chance quicker than I anticipated, in a selfish way.

"Obviously, no-one wants to be losing and, of course, if I could go back in time, I'd wish the team was winning. Personally, it got me in the team, and I managed to stay in the team, then the new manager came in and, in football, that happens. You might get put on the back burner for four or five weeks but you've just got to keep your head down and work hard.

"Thankfully, I did that, and then when I got my chance, I felt even better. I felt stronger, physically better, in better shape, and I think that showed from Christmas onwards.

"I only missed four or five games which, again, personally, is a brilliant season, but collectively, nobody wants relegation on your CV.

"A great club like Dunfermline shouldn't be in League One but you get what you deserve over the course of 44 games.

"I'd always give 100 per cent because how many people would bite their hands off to be there? I thoroughly enjoyed my time there. I haven't got a bad word to say about anyone."

That also extends to both managers he worked with at Dunfermline; Peter Grant, who brought him to the club, and John Hughes, his successor.

Pybus revealed that he enjoyed working with both of them, and said that the players needed to accept responsibility for their fate.

"I thought both the managers were great in different ways," he continued.

"Listen, the managers are always the first ones to get the blame in football. Whether it's right or wrong, that comes with the job, but, collectively, I think everyone would hold their hands up and say we were too easy to beat.

"That wasn't down to tactics or anything; that was down to the team fighting, maybe not running that extra yard when we were put under pressure, and I just don't think we were good enough in the end.

"Peter Grant, I've got to hold my hands up, I really respect him because he brought me in. He gave me the opportunity to come here, and I wouldn't have been able to have the season I had if it wasn't for him trusting me and bringing me in.

"John Hughes got me training probably the best I've trained. I really felt as though that six, seven weeks out the team, when I could really focus on my training, really focus on the silly things like your diet, your sleep, everything like that, that when I got back in the team, I didn't feel unfit. Even though I'd had six, seven weeks out the team, I felt sharper, I felt stronger, and that's down to him and what he did for me mentally.

"When I got in the team, he didn't let up on me, he really pushed me, demanded really high standards from me, and I think that's the main reason my performances got better and better after Christmas.

"He was brilliant for me and I'm sure the lads would say the same."

On asked whether he'd have liked the chance to stay for this season, Pybus said: "Of course, but everything happens for a reason I suppose.

"If I could have it my way, I would absolutely love to stay because I felt settled there. I've heard brilliant things about the new manager; I've heard he's a really good guy, a really nice guy, so I'm sure he'll do brilliant for the team.

"You can't be bitter in football. You've just got to take it with a pinch of salt and, whatever happens, happens. I'm sure Dunfermline will do well and, hopefully, I can come and watch a game in the coming year or so. I'd like that.

"I can look back on Dunfermline and say it was a great part of my life. I thoroughly enjoyed it; the fans were absolutely brilliant with me, especially the little supporters club that sponsored my shirt. I appreciate that a lot – I'm very grateful to them."

When asked if he had a final, parting message for the fans, he added: "I hold my hand up as part of the team and apologise for throughout the season. I loved my time there, thoroughly enjoyed it, and I wish the club and fans all the best.

"I'm sure they'll come again next year and the good days will come, so stick in there, and I hope to see them all soon."