KELTY HEARTS say that they are "ready to do whatever is needed" to resume their season if given the green light.

Clubs beneath the SPFL Championship, including in the Lowland League and East of Scotland League, were told last week that the temporary stoppage to their season would continue.

The New Central Park outfit, leaders of the Lowland League; East of Scotland League, Premier Division duo Crossgates Primrose and Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts; and East of Scotland League, First Division sides Oakley United and Rosyth, have all been impacted by the Scottish Football Association's decision.

An initial three-week halt from January 11 – due to concerns over the number of COVID-19 cases being recorded across the country – was extended until midnight on February 14.

The SFA said they would provide a further update on March 1, despite Kelty and others hoping for some positive news.

Barry Ferguson's team, who were denied a pyramid play-off with Highland League winners Brora Rangers last season despite being crowned champions after the campaign was cut short, once again lead the way in the Lowland League.

They have 18 matches left to play and, although they accept public health comes first, the club was hopeful that a timeframe for a possible return to football could be provided.

Secretary Garry Grandison explained: "Public health is paramount and it has been a very difficult 11 months for everyone.

“Hearts, like all our local pyramid clubs, have done their utmost to follow the guidelines to get matches played and, for the most part, it has been safely achieved.

“The protocols have been strongly followed at New Central Park and we are ready to do whatever is needed when the green light comes.

“The Lowland League this season is a 17-team division and we have 18 matches left to play, which will mean having to play a number of midweek fixtures.

“With all clubs having floodlights, that means that as soon as the green light comes three matches a week can be played.

“The winners of the Lowland League meet the winners of the Highland League to earn the chance to play the team that has finished bottom of League Two, and the two-leg tie normally is played at the end of April but this year it may have to be delayed until the first part of May.

"Hopefully, we will hear of the route to play again this week."

He continued: "Part-time players working during the day and playing on Tuesday or Wednesday evenings week after week can bring with it real strains for them.

"The welfare of players is so important and it is something that we will have to keep a strong eye on, as will all the local sides."

The stoppage last year hit clubs across the land financially and, while Kelty were no different, Mr Grandison paid tribute to the people of the village for their continued backing.

"A Saturday match day is always a good day for raising funds through hospitality packages and the social club at the ground is normally buzzing all day," he added.

"But of course there was no play for a long time and then when we did get going there were no crowds and the social club was shut, so it has been difficult.

"However, we are lucky to get great support from the people of the village and our regular draw competitions are well backed and it is greatly appreciated, so things are not too bad considering everything."