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    SPL Community Report 2011

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    Jones joins up from Walsall

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    McCall delighted with Grella capture

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    ‘Well secure Grella loan deal

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    Update from the Boardroom

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    Open Forum this Monday

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    Black confirmed as assistant manager

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    Semi Final Hospitality

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    Officials named for Hibs clash

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    Hibs game on Alba

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    SPL Community Report 2011

    First Minister Alex Salmond praised the positive impact SPL clubs are having on the economy and local communities.

    Charlie Bennett, Head of Adult Learning and Motherwell FC in the Community, helped launch the SPL Community Report at Hampden on Thursday, which unveils the unique contribution that SPL clubs make to the Scottish economy and society.

    [onlymembers]Motherwell FC has a significant impact on Motherwell and surrounding areas through engaging with the local community on a range of projects aimed at improving the lives of local people. The positive impact on their local area goes far beyond 90 minutes on a Saturday:

    • 1,500 participants per week take part in MFC community projects
    • 360 hours spent on community activity each week
    • 10 separate initiatives currently in operation

    Many of the projects are aligned with Scottish Government National Outcomes and aim to deliver on:

    • Physical activity & healthy living messages
    • Social inclusion to build strong communities
    • Creating employment opportunities and life chances
    • Reducing crime through diversionary activities

    SPL Community Report 2011 – the full document

    SPL Community Report 2011 – summary version

    On the launch of the report, Charlie Bennett said: “Here at Motherwell Football Club we will continue to use the power of football to engage, enthuse and motivate people irrespective of age, ability, or gender 

    “We are fully committed to offering all members of the local community access to the highest quality programme of grassroots football, lifelong learning, employability initiatives and health awareness programmes from which they can fundamentally change their lives for the better.”

    On a national level, First Minister Alex Salmond has given his backing to the Report and said: “I welcome the publication of this comprehensive SPL Community Report, which provides clear evidence of the very positive work that SPL clubs are doing in their communities.

    The Scottish Government recognises the valuable contribution that football clubs make to our local and national economy and to wider society. That is why we are supporting many of these initiatives and we are looking to develop these to ensure we maximise the local and national impact of our investment in football and sport.”

    SPL Chief Executive, Neil Doncaster said: “The SPL Community Report showcases the excellent work that has often gone unrecognised across our clubs. Those in charge of developing community activity have a wealth of experience and expertise that has been used to create new and innovative projects that now deliver benefit not only to their supporters, but also the wider community. 

    “The unique hook of a football club is being used to engage with traditionally hard to reach groups, and we are proud our clubs have such a significant impact on their local community.”[/onlymembers]

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    Jones joins up from Walsall

    Motherwell have secured the signing of former Northern Ireland International Steve Jones on loan until the end of the season.

    The 34-year-old Walsall left-winger, capped 29 times for his country, played under current boss Stuart McCall at Bradford City back in 2008/09.

    [onlymembers]Jones has also had spells at Leigh RMI, Crewe, Burnley and Huddersfield as well three years in Irish football.

    And the latest Fir Park recruit admitted it was the influence of McCall that tempted him north of the border for the first time in his long career.

    He told motherwellfc.co.uk, “The opportunity to work with Stuart again was one I just couldn’t turn down.”

    “I played under him at Bradford City and I thoroughly enjoyed it; he’s a great coach. Coming to Motherwell is a great opportunity and I am keen to repay the faith shown in me being creating and scoring as many goals as I can for the club.

    “We’ve got a big game on Saturday and I can’t wait to get started.”

    McCall added, “I know Steve well as a player and what he can bring to the team.”

    “He’s got a trick or two and I think the fans will take to him. He is a naturally left-sided player, something we’ve been crying out for, and I am hopeful he will fill that gap.

    “I don’t think this is the end of the new faces either. I’ve got more lined up to come in so we’ll see what happens in the coming days.”[/onlymembers]

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    McCall delighted with Grella capture

    Stuart McCall has confirmed the arrival of Mike Grella on loan from Leeds Utd, and he hopes that the American can put ‘Well back on the goal trail.

    23-year old Grella is highly thought of by the Elland Road hierarchy and McCall expects the front man to be a success north of the border, potentially starting this Saturday against Hibs at Fir Park.

    [onlymembers]“We’ve brought in Mike Grella on loan until the end of the season. He’s been on loan to Carlisle for a couple of months. Leeds have got massive hopes for him so hopefully he’ll come up here and score some goals.

    “I’ve spoke to a couple of players and coaches down there and they speak highly of him. Leeds are only letting him go because they have three or four strikers on good form. The kid’s hungry to succeed and we are happy to give him a platform.

    “We are happy to be keeping clean sheets, but we need to start finding the net in the SPL, hopefully Mike can help us do that.”

    The ‘Well gaffer is still on the hunt for options to beef up his squad, following the departure of Reynolds, Blackman, Gow and Fitzpatrick, and there could be more good news on the horizon for claret-and-amber fans.

    McCall has made no secret of his desire to bring in a left-winger and there could be move on that front in the near future.

    “I’ve been out scouting and working hard looking for players. I really could do with a left centre-back and a left winger,” the former Bradford gaffer admitted. “I’m hoping to bring a wide player in within the next 24 hours, so he could hopefully play on Saturday. That would give us some competition in the wide areas.

    “A left-sided centre-back and a wide player would see me happy with my squad of players, having used up my transfer budget for this month.

    “Hopefully there won’t be any outgoings either, and with Stevie Saunders coming back to fitness there is plenty to be positive about at the moment.

    This weekend sees Motherwell face Hibs, who are coming off the back of a massively disappointing Scottish Cup defeat to second division Ayr United. The Hibees are also languishing in tenth spot in the SPL, only ahead of St. Mirren on goal difference.

    All things considered, this could be a great chance for the Steelmen to gain revenge for the two SPL defeats to the Easter Road club this season – but McCall is taking nothing for granted.

    “I was at the Hibs game the other night and, although I was pleased for Brian Reid, I felt sorry for Colin,” the gaffer said of his former Scotland team-mate.

    “Hibs didn’t play poorly and had a couple of really good chances; perhaps on chances they should have won the game, but when you are the bottom sometimes things go against you.

    “I’ll focus on our team. We will send the lads out in a positive frame of mind and hopefully we’ll get the win and start climbing the table again.”[/onlymembers]

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    ‘Well secure Grella loan deal

    Motherwell have today secured the signing of Leeds United’s American striker Mike Grella on loan until the end of the season.

    Grella, a 23-year-old born in New York, has been in Yorkshire for two years after a few seasons in the American Development Leagues.

    [onlymembers]He has found regular first-team football difficult to come by at Elland Road with high-flying Leeds gunning for the Premiership. He was on loan at Carlisle in the first half of the season, netting three times in ten appearances for The Cumbrians.

    Speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk, Grella said, “I am delighted to be joining Motherwell and I am aiming to make an impact in my five months here.

    “The main thing for me is playing regular first-team football and that’s why I’ve came to Motherwell. I trained with the boys this morning and they are a great bunch.

    “If I play well, then who knows, this is a shop window. I want to force my way into the Leeds Utd team and playing well for Motherwell is the best way to do that. I also have aspirations of playing for the US National side and, similarly, the only way that is going to happen is if I am playing regularly, and playing well, at a good level.

    “It’s great we have a game so quickly and hopefully I came make an impact on Saturday if I get the nod.”

    Grella will be at Fir Park until May 22nd, subject to International clearance[/onlymembers]

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    Update from the Boardroom

    Motherwell Football Club today released the following update to supporters regarding the ongoing re-construction debate.

    Speaking collectively, the Board at Motherwell FC said, “We want to take the opportunity to update Motherwell fans on the issue of league re-construction, following Monday’s meeting at the SPL.

    [onlymembers]“Firstly, we must emphasise that, despite what is being reported in the media, Motherwell Football Club has neither agreed to nor voted for any restructure proposal. Our position has been to participate fully in the debate and listen to the various arguments being put forward. We have made it clear that we are strongly in favour of change which makes for all of Scottish football.

    “We are acutely aware of the strong media and fan support for a top league of 14. This has been discounted by a number of clubs due to lack of remaining funding for a second league and potential for a number of meaningless games following a split after 26 games. We do agree that proper funding for a second league is key to moving the game forward.

    “We are therefore potentially faced with a stark choice – vote for the 10 and 12 league structure or vote to stay as we are. Our position has been consistent throughout the many months of discussions – we would prefer a larger top league but are willing to discuss and consider alternative structures favoured by other clubs. 

    “Turning to the specific proposal being discussed, we along with other clubs have continued to state that we are unhappy with certain aspects of what is being proposed.

    “We are supportive of a number of the proposed changes, including an early July start date and winter break. As Neil Doncaster stated on Monday, he has been asked to further develop a number of areas and return to the clubs with a revised document.  Part of this process is focusing on a proper financial safety net for relegated clubs.

    “Once that document is received, the Board of Directors will fully consider the revised proposal and make a decision. This has been our position throughout many months of discussion and it did not change in any way during Monday’s meeting.

    “Now that the overall position with the proposal is clearer, we are keen to engage fully with our fans and encourage full and frank discussion. Leeann Dempster has arranged, after requesting Supporters Trust assistance, an open fans forum for this coming Monday and we would encourage you to attend.

    “Thank you for your continued support.”[/onlymembers]

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    Open Forum this Monday

    Motherwell Football Club will host an open forum this coming Monday to discuss the recent SPL restructuring proposals.

    The meeting will take place on Monday 24th January 2011 in Fir Park’s Cooper Suite, with the evening getting underway at 7.00pm. Motherwell FC Chief Executive Leeann Dempster and Vice Chairman Derek Weir will take part in a Question and Answer session with all topics welcome.

    The event is open to all Motherwell fans, demand is expected to be high and admission is on a first come first served basis. Motherwell Supporters Trust members can guarantee a place by emailing members@mstonline.net.

    The Trust has encouraged Motherwell fans to get in touch by emailing splmeeting@mstonline.net with their questions for Leeann and Derek. These won’t be shared before the night but it will ensure that questions are asked and opinions heard.

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    Black confirmed as assistant manager

    Motherwell Football Club are today delighted to announce the appointment of Kenny Black as assistant manager to Stuart McCall.

    Black, a former Motherwell player in the early eighties, has been working as a coach with the Scotland set-up after a four year stint as boss of Lanarkshire neighbours Airdrie United.

    [onlymembers]The 47-year-old enjoyed reasonable success at New Broomfield, winning the Alba Challenge Cup in 2008 and was heavily linked with the vacant position at Dundee around the same time.

    More recently Black was reunited with Craig Levein, who he worked under at Leicester City, as coach of the Scotland National team, a role which he will continue whilst at Motherwell.

    Speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk, Black said, “I am absolutely delighted to be back in full-time football.

    “I’ve played here at Motherwell and know the place well. But the biggest attraction is getting back to working with the players and Stuart McCall on a day-to-day basis.

    “We’ve got a really decent group of players here who have shown their qualities in recent years. We need to get back to that level of performance in the last five months of the season and I am confident we can do so.”

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall added, “I am thrilled to have someone of Kenny’s stature working alongside me at Motherwell and I am hopeful it’s a partnership that will work well.

    “Kenny has bags of experience and to have someone who works with the senior Scotland set-up is a massive bonus for Motherwell Football Club. He’s a hard worker who I am sure the players will enjoy working with.”[/onlymembers]

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    Semi Final Hospitality

    The Semi Final clash with Rangers at Hampden is sure to be a memorable occasion and you can enjoy the big day in style.

    Motherwell Football Club are offering fantastic hospitality packages which will make for an incredible VIP day out.

    Priced at just £65 and highlights include:

    • Arrive at 11am to Centenary Suite in the Phil O’Donnell Stand.
    • Succulent two course buffet served for 11.30am.
    • Full pay bar facilities from 12.30pm.
    • Private Coach transfers to Hampden, leaving Fir Park at 1.30pm.
    • Match ticket and complimentary Programme.
    • Private Coach returns to Fir Park after the match.
    • Full pay bar facilities available on return.

    For information and bookings, contact the commercial department now on 01698 338008 or email commercial@motherwellfc.co.uk.

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    Officials named for Hibs clash

    Referee for this Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League clash with Hibs is Alan Muir.

    It will be Muir’s second ‘Well game of the season, having overseen the 1-1 draw with St Mirren in Paisley last November, coincidentally, his last SPL game.

    He’ll be a familiar face to Motherwell fans having taken charge of three games last term too.

    The most recent was certainly one to forget though; a 4-0 defeat by Celtic in Glasgow at the start of May this year.

    He took charge of the 3-2 extra-time with over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Co-operative Insurance Cup Fourth Round and the lively 2-2 draw against Dundee United back in late November 2009.

    The latter was infamous for two red cards, shown to Prince Bauben and Danny Swanson, and a missed red card for Jennison Myrie-Williams which prompted the then United boss Craig Levein to remove him from the game almost immediately.

    The season before last, Muir was the man in the middle for the 1-0 defeat to Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in October, the 0-0 draw with St Mirren at Love Street in January and the 3-0 victory over Hamilton Accies at New Douglas Park in May.

    In all those games he has produced 22 yellow cards, ten of which were shown to a player in claret and amber, and two red card, the first given to former defender Paul Quinn for a professional foul on David Fernandez in the 1-0 defeat to Killie and the most recent to Michael Higdon in that game with St Mirren two months ago.

    The 35-year-old has taken charge of six SPL games so far in this campaign, including Celtic’s 9-0 annihilation of Aberdeen which produced three yellow cards, two red cards and three penalty kicks.

    His other appointments have come at Tannadice when Inverness Caley hammered Dundee Utd by 4-0, New Douglas Park where a 90th minute goal by Kenny Miller gave Rangers all three points against Hamilton.

    He’s also been at the Caledonian Stadium as Inverness drew with St Johnstone and again at Tannadice when Kilmarnock held the Tangerines to a 1-1 draw.

    He will be ably assisted on the day by Gordon Middleton and Ross Hawell, with Kevin Clancy on fourth official duties.

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    Hibs game on Alba

    Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank SPL clash with Hibernian at Fir Park will be shown, in full, on BBC Alba.

    The Edinburgh club are finding things tough at the minute but have a good recent record against the Steelmen.

    [onlymembers]Stuart McCall is still looking for his first SPL win as manager but with three clean sheets in the last four games, the former Bradford boss will be hoping three points are just around the corner.

    The match will be broadcast on the Spòrs show, starting at 5.30pm, showing full match coverage as well as post-match reaction.

    The Gaelic channel launched in the autumn of 2008 and is available on Sky (channel 168) and Freesat, with a Freeview launch expected after a review this year.[/onlymembers]