KELTY HEARTS midfielder Jamie Barjonas has hailed his manager for reigniting his love for the game and helping him realise his potential.

The 22-year-old revealed that his close relationship with Kevin Thomson was a major factor in him deciding to swap Ibrox for New Central Park in the summer, a move he believes has been the right one for his career.

Barjonas, who has scored in each of Kelty's last two outings before Saturday's draw with Elgin City - victories over Edinburgh City and Stenhousemuir - has been a key member of the side that currently top League Two in their maiden SPFL season.

He has played in all 11 of their league and cup matches this season, starting all but two, and has been a stand-out in Thomson's midfield.

A product of Rangers' youth academy, Barjonas made nine appearances for the Light Blues' top team and found himself loaned out to Bury, Raith Rovers, Partick Thistle and Ayr United during his time there.

That was where he first worked with Thomson, an Ibrox academy coach before landing the Kelty job in the summer, who described the acquisition of Barjonas as a "real coup", and described him as a "wonderful football player" who "really should be a full-time player".

Speaking to Press Sport, Barjonas said: "Me and the gaffer are really close.

"I had him at Rangers quite a lot and, when he wanted to bring me here, I was buzzing because there's a thing about being valued and wanted.

"Obviously, I've got that good connection with the gaffer so, when I came here, I really started enjoying my football again and I think I'm performing to my best ability.

"The gaffer coming here, I was in contact with him straight after, and we agreed that it would be a big statement but, for me, it was about getting back playing.

"I'm playing 90 minutes; I'm enjoying myself, I'm playing well, I'm playing well with my team-mates and the team's doing really well. Hopefully, it can continue and we can keep pushing our way up the league.

"I think personally it's been really good for me. Mentally, I'm happy; I'm the happiest I've been. I'm looking forward to coming to training, I'm looking forward to games. Obviously, I was enjoying myself at Rangers but, since I've come here, I think I'm really blossoming into the player I know I am."

After Saturday's home meeting with Elgin City, in which Kallum Higginbotham scored a stoppage time equaliser to rescue a point, Kelty are setting the early pace with four wins and two draws from their six league games played, scoring 13 goals and conceding just five.

While Barjonas acknowledged it's far too early to discuss the team's promotion credentials, he is confident in the "really strong squad" that Thomson has assembled.

"The gaffer's brought in a lot of real technical players that are gelling together," he continued.

"We're all close in the changing room. We feel like before every game we say we've got the ability to beat every team. We know that whatever game we're going to go into, we're going to score goals. Players like Joe Cardle, (Kallum) Higginbotham, Tids (Michael Tidser) – Tids always looks forward with a pass – so we know every game we're going into it to score goals. I think defensively we're really solid as well so that helps!

"I know we're in a really good position right now, and we're enjoying ourselves, but the gaffer always reminds us it's one game at a time, keep playing, keep winning.

"Talk to me again in January and we'll see what the script is!"