ARDEER Thistle have announced the departure of club captain Michael Howie.

The defender has left the Stevenston team for fellow North Ayrshire side Kilbirnie Ladeside.

The deal was confirmed late yesterday evening, November 3, with Howie moving to the Garnock Valley on a two year deal.

Now he is excited to get started, as he moves up one division to join the promotion chasing Division One Blasties.

He commented on social media: "(I'm) Excited to get going and put in the hard work required to play in this team.

"(I'd) Like to thank Ardeer Thistle for the past two years, great club from top to bottom."

It is clear that Howie has left Ardeer on good terms, as was explained by Thistle manager Sean Kenney.

Kenney has enjoyed a strong relationship with his former captain, who he first signed back in his time with amateur side Kilbride Thistle.

Sean explained: “(I'm) Very sad to see Michael move on but wish him all the best with his move.

“I’d like to take the time to thank our committee for how they handled the deal.

"They made it clear that they would reject any bid that came in, but as soon as Michael made it clear he wanted to move on, they got the best deal possible for the club.

“Credit to Tommy and Kilbirnie for their professionalism in getting this deal done as well.”

Howie will have his first chance to make an appearance for his new table topping side on Saturday, as Ladeside travel to face Thorniewood United in the WoSFL Division One.

While his former side Ardeer Thistle will make the journey to Holm Park to face last season's Junior Scottish Cup finalists Yoker.

With their captain departed, it is likely that midfielder and current vice-captain Marc Wardrope will take the armband for the forseeable.