When he joined his plan was to do one season and retire – but the Indian summer Derek Lyle has enjoyed at Peterhead has resulted in him continuing his playing career.
The striker is now in his third season with the Blue Toon and remains an important part of Jim McInally’s squad.
Lyle – who turned 40 last weekend – admits, when he signed for the Buchan outfit in the summer of 2018, he thought it would only be for one season.
He said: “It’s been brilliant being at Peterhead and I couldn’t have asked for any more.
“Ever since I walked in every one of the boys has been great. There is quite a bit of travelling involved, but everybody relishes it and gives everything at training and in the games.
“All the boys are close and I’m still friendly with all of them I’ve played with.
“The management team with the gaffer, Davie (Nicholls assistant manager) and Hoggy (fitness coach Stuart Hogg) have all been brilliant with me, even just with things like phoning me to see how I’m getting on.
“I couldn’t have asked for any more they’ve been brilliant with me.
“I was only going to do a season with Peterhead and then look at retiring, but it’s been so enjoyable that I’ve stayed for three years.”
Lyle is pleased to still be playing, but admits he’s found this season more difficult than most trying to reach the standards he wants.
The former Partick Thistle, Dundee, Hamilton, Morton and Queen of the South player added: “I’m 40 and – the nearer I’ve got to it – the more I’ve thought that it would be a great achievement to play when I’m 40, having started at Partick at 17.
“The pandemic has kicked in and maybe hampered things again, particularly for me.
“Last time we came back we had pre-season after a long lay-off and having that again isn’t good for me.
“I need to keep going and keep my fitness up, otherwise I won’t get to the standards needed. I’ve been going out running to try to keep going.
“I need to do that to try to keep my standards up, whereas the younger ones will find it easier to come back to a pre-season and get up to speed.”
Lower league football was suspended again on January 11 and won’t return before March 1.
Lyle admits retirement thoughts have crossed his mind, but right now he’s still determined to try to play his part for Peterhead when they are allowed to restart.
He said: “Right now I feel fine, but when we go back if you get wee niggles and pulls then you start to wonder if things are catching up with me.”