KELTY HEARTS have been given the green light to resume training ahead of their pyramid play-off tie with Brora Rangers.

This afternoon, the New Central Park club announced that the Scottish Football Association had agreed to grant them a professional sport exemption to prepare for what they said are the "biggest games in our club's history".

Earlier, we reported that Barry Ferguson's outfit - declared winners of the Lowland League on a points-per-game average - were seeking permission to return to training to prepare for the games with the Highland League winners.

The tie is to be played over two legs and, while the SFA are set confirm details tomorrow (Friday), they are set to be played on April 24 and May 1.

The winners of the tie will then go on to play the bottom side in SPFL League Two - again over two games - to determine which club will take their place in that division next season.

READ MORE: Kelty "urgently" seeking training green light before play-off crunch

In a social media post, Kelty said: "We have had confirmation from the SFA that we now have permission to train and prepare for the upcoming play off matches. We would like to thank the SFA, Government and the SLFL for this.

"Information on the play off matches will be released by the SFA tomorrow."

Last Tuesday, Hearts were declared champions of the Lowland League for a second successive year via a points per game (PPG) average, after being top when the league was suspended in January.

READ MORE: Kelty Hearts declared Lowland League champions

At that time, all football beneath the SPFL Championship was suspended and, although League One and League Two, the Scottish Cup and the Scottish Women’s Premier League One were allowed to return last month – on the basis they undertook weekly testing – the Lowland League remained sidelined.

Following a vote, nine clubs supported the move to declare the season using points per game, which saw Kelty finish top with an average of 2.77. That allowed the Lowland League to put them forward as their representative in the pyramid play-offs against the Highland League winners, which were declared last week as Brora.

However, with adult contact sport not due to resume until May 17, Kelty were seeking the exemption from the SFA that will allow them to train as normal before the tie.

Dunfermline Press:

Barry Ferguson's team are set to meet Brora Rangers in the pyramid play-offs. Photo: Jim Payne.

In a statement released last Friday, Kelty said: “The decision to declare a champion on PPG, rather than a null and void season, was necessary to ensure a club from the Lowland League would go forward to the pyramid play-off. This decision sees Kelty Hearts declared as champions and we would like to place on record our appreciation of how difficult this decision would be for the league and its member clubs. We would also like to acknowledge the efforts all member clubs and the board had made to ensure the successful safe return to Lowland League football earlier in the season.

“We now face a two legged play-off against Brora Rangers, a fixture that has been approved and confirmed by the SFA.

“With current Covid restrictions only allowing non-contact training for adult teams, and also travel restrictions remaining in place, we and the league board are urgently seeking a professional sport exemption from the SFA which will allow the squad to return fully to training.

“This exemption is necessary to allow the squad to prepare fully for the biggest games in our club’s history. We are fully aware that a return to training will require full Covid testing, and we are currently in discussions to have this in place on the go ahead from the relevant authorities to return to training.”

“With the play-offs only three weeks away, the urgency of receiving this exemption can’t be emphasised enough so our management team and squad can prepare as best they can.”

Dunfermline Press:

The club have described the Brora ties as the biggest games in the club's history. Photo: Dave Wardle.

Last season, the pyramid play-offs – which would also have featured Kelty and Brora – were controversially scrapped when league seasons across the country were called due to the outbreak of the pandemic.

Ferguson’s team last played on January 9 in the Scottish Cup, where they lost 3-2 to Stranraer, who knocked out Brora after extra time in round three on Saturday.