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  • Archive

    Win replay tickets with Carling

  • Archive

    Voting open for monthly awards

  • Archive

    Easter Holiday Programme

  • Archive

    ‘Well back Play Talk Read campaign

  • Archive

    McCall down after Killie defeat

  • Archive

    Kilmarnock defeat in pictures

  • Archive

    Kilmarnock 3 – 1 Motherwell

  • Archive

    Youths slip to Arabs defeat

  • Archive

    Replay prices confirmed

  • Archive

    CashBack for Communities programme

  • Archive

    Win replay tickets with Carling

    Our Scottish Cup dream is still alive, with our Quarter-Final replay against Dundee United taking place at Fir Park on Wednesday 30th March.

    We had a great response to the last ticket competition, and Carling, the official beer of the Scottish Cup, have once again given us a pair of Motherwell tickets for the game, so you can come and cheer on the lads for free.

    For your chance to win simply tell us:

    Q: Who scored both Motherwell goals in the quarter-final game?

    Email your answer, along with your name, address, telephone number and date of birth to alysongray@thesportsbusiness.co.uk with “Motherwell tickets” in the subject heading.

    Competition closes on Monday 28th March at 12noon, and the winner will be contacted by telephone that afternoon.

    Terms and Conditions:

    • Over 18s only
    • Travel is not included

    Scottish Cup logo

  • Archive

    Voting open for monthly awards

    It’s time for you to decide who you think deserves to win the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Manager, Player and Young Player of the Month for March. 

    Has someone in our team caught your eye with their performances over the month – Maybe John Sutton is in with a shout after a sensational run of scoring form?

    Vote and you could be in with a chance to win a pair of hospitality tickets to one of our upcoming fixtures!

    Fans can vote by visiting the Clydesdale Bank Premier League website www.cbfootball.co.uk and the top three fans nominations will be put forward to the shortlist for the panel of Scottish football experts to choose the winners.

    And to give you something back for voting, a lucky fan whose votes for the three categories match that of the judging panel will be picked at random to win hospitality tickets for a Clydesdale Bank Premier League team of their choice (subject to availability).

    Voting is open now and closes at 4pm on Monday 28th March 2011.

    Log onto www.cbfootball.co.uk to cast your vote and play our Score Selector game. You can also win tickets for our upcoming fixtures, take part in the weekly quiz and keep up to date with all Clydesdale Bank’s football activities.

  • Archive

    Easter Holiday Programme

    Motherwell Football Club is pleased to launch its Easter Holiday programme for 2011.

    And with extended hours allowing parents to drop off their children at the much earlier time of 8.30am and collect them at the later time of 4.15pm, for the price of just £14.00 per day, or £7.00 per half day, we hope this will be the biggest and best programme
     
    The new extended hours are in direct response to many requests from parents with work commitments, and the Club are only too happy to respond to this request.
     
    ‘Well legend Stevie Kirk commented: “Over the last year we have had many requests from parents to provide a facility where children and young people could be dropped off earlier and picked up later to fit in with parents work commitments.

    “We are only too happy to accommodate this request, and our pricing structure is still much cheaper than many other child care options available in the area. Whilst the children are with us, they are getting healthier, are meeting new friends, and developing their skills within the shadow of Fir Park, and our coaches are there to provide a fun, safe environment.

    “We also have a range of discounts on offer for parents booking children in for a full week, or sending more than one child.”
     
    The Holiday Programme will kick off on April 4th and will continue throughout the full two work period until April 15th. For further information please click here to download our brochure.

    You can book either through our website at www.motherwellsoccerschools.com or through our bookings hotline on 01698 239 926.

  • Archive

    ‘Well back Play Talk Read campaign

    Stephen Craigan has called on dads throughout Motherwell and Lanarkshire to have fun from day one.

    The Steelmen skipper is encouraging dads to invest in quality time with their tots as Motherwell FC lends its support to the Scottish Government’s ‘Play Talk Read’ campaign.

    The national Play, Talk, Read (www.playtalkread.org) campaign champions quality interaction with under-threes through easy, fun and inexpensive activities. It provides parents with vital tools to help them stimulate their babies and young children (0-3) and give them the best possible start in life.

    The SPL Trust is backing the campaign after recent research* found that over half of Scottish dads worry that they don’t spend enough time playing, talking or reading with their children. It also showed that work pressures were more likely to be mentioned by dads (49%) as a factor in playing, talking or reading compared with just 21% of mums.

    By sharing his stories of the fun he has with Chloe, Stephen hopes to remind Motherwell dads that it doesn’t have to be expensive toys or costly days out.  Stephen said: “its quality time and attention that really counts with our wee-ones. By simply playing, talking and reading with them more often we can give them the best start in life. That’s why I’m calling on dads throughout Motherwell to have fun from day one!

    Crucial research that underpins the Play, Talk, Read campaign has shown that young children who are given the strongest foundations will perform better at school, develop better social skills and will grow into healthier adults.

    Adam Ingram Minister for Children and Early years said: “It’s important to help dads understand that it’s quality time and attention that makes all the difference. So that they can play and have fun with their young children without worrying about how often they do it and whether they’re doing it right.

    “It’s therefore great to have the SPL Trust supporting our campaign to help show dads that it’s the simple things that have a big impact – whether it’s singing songs together or pulling funny faces – dads can rest assured they are doing the best they can to give their kids the best possible start in life.”

    Case study: Stephen Craigan Motherwell FC

    Stephen is dad to his 14 months old daughter Chloe; “I love watching Chloe learn and find new things every day. I’m fascinated at how quickly kids progress and how clever they are. Watching my own child progressing and trying to guide her as best I can is a special feeling and brings me so much joy.

    ”I normally get time first thing in the morning with my daughter and we have breakfast together which can be messy but is great fun! Being in the job I’m in means I get to be home early in the afternoon too, so I get to see her before dinner and before she gets her bath and ready for bed. I count myself lucky that I get to see as much of her growing up as I do. It’s brilliant.
     
    ”My daughter loves the water so we go swimming when we can. We also live near a play park so when the weather is suitable we like to go to there. She loves the different surroundings and giving her as many new experiences as possible is good for her.

    “As most parents I like to act silly and run about with her in tow, normally laughing and shouting. We acquired a plastic ball over the last couple of days and she loves picking the ball up, dropping it and watching it bounce around – small things bring so much satisfaction to her, and me!

    ”I try to make sure Chloe gets outside as much as possible, swimming and the park are what we do most. I think it’s important that she gets out for a walk to get some fresh air and free space so she can run and feel free.

    ”Like most children, it’s the odd things like clothes pegs, empty plastic bottles and stuff that they like to play with. It’s fun to pass these to each other, hide them and kick them between us so I can join in with her.

    ”Her favourite songs are those from the cartoons we watch and I now know the words too! There are a few that get her dancing and she tries to join in while jumping around. She also likes to join in with ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ and she recently learned ‘Roll Your Boben Up’ too. Showing friends and family what she can do even at such a young age brings a smile to my face.”

    Some more playtime ideas for dads:

    1. Messy play – Why not encourage your child to play with things that they can get their hands into? Fill up a bowl with sand or water and let them enjoy the different textures.

    2. Make some noise! – Children love noise so why not collect all your empty washing up bottles in the house and make them in to musical instruments? Fill up an empty washing up liquid bottle with dry pasta and let them shake it!

    3. Create an adventure in the park – Take your child on a nature trail around the park, listing items (leaves, twigs, stones) for them to find and collect along the way. Once all the items are collected, take them home and use them to make creative pictures!

    4. Sing and dance – Singing and dancing is a great way to engage children. Put some music on or sing a nursery rhyme, or dance along to the radio with your little one to help develop their concentration and coordination.

    5. Playing peek-a-boo – Hide and seek is a fun game for children that encourages your child to use their imagination as well as developing their concentration skills.

    6. Read your matchday programme or your newspaper footy pages – Something visually stimulating with lots of pictures will help teach your child to associate pictures with the words.

    For more play ideas, hints and tips on how to keep your little ones stimulated and to find some interactive fun, please visit www.playtalkread.org.

    *Research by Progressive Partnership 2009

  • Archive

    McCall down after Killie defeat

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall couldn’t hide disappointing following Motherwell’s 3-1 away defeat at the hands of Kilmarnock this afternoon.

    The Steelmen started the game fantastically and took an early lead through red-hot striker John Sutton, the Englishman notching his 14th goal of yet another impressive season.

    However, Killie forced their way back into the game and were ahead before the interval thanks to a Manuel Pascali header and a controversial penalty converted by Hamill – when Mike Tumilty adjudged Gavin Gunning to have pushed inside the area.

    Six minutes into the second period, Liam Kelly headed home the decisive third to kill the game, and a dejected McCall could barely lift his head when addressing the press after the match.

    “I have talked about inconsistency since I came to the club and I think you saw that in two halves today,” said the former Bradford boss.

    “After an excellent goal we played well in the first half and we were quite comfortable. We know how Kilmarnock play; you can talk about many good players they have but we lost three goals from set pieces today and when you get beat with a simple corner it s not good enough, particularly with the height we have in our team

    “I can make excuses for them (the set-pieces) as we lost Hammell at the last minute in training on Friday (hamstring), then Jeffers (neck) just before the game and then Saunders (ankle) early in the game.

    “And, although I am not one for blaming officials, there were a lot of decisions that went against us and, once again, the penalty was incredibly soft.

    “The first goal we allowed the ball to get back out to Eremenko, we didn’t stop the cross and Pascali gets a free jump. The second goal is a very soft penalty kick and the third comes from a corner which Saunders would have been in the hole had he been on the park.

    “It was from then on that really concerned me, the lack of belief we seemed to have and from then on Kilmarnock played with a freedom. Whether that is to do with the number of young players or not, who knows? But goals change games and we are disappointed to lose the goal from a penalty just before half time but we still felt at half time we could get back into the game.”

    McCall had the players in the dressing room for almost forty-five minutes at Rugby Park and explained exactly what was said.

    He said:”I just had to get a few home truths through to them, I didn’t ‘lock them in’ per se but it’s frustrating as I have said before, they showed it in the first half, on our day we can match anyone. It is not acceptable when go three one down to capitulate; we had a breakaway with three versus one and didn’t get a shot on goal. That is down to belief.”

    “The penalty is a big decision and then losing a third goal straight after the start of the second half which didn’t give time for us to settle and get into our rhythm.”

    McCall’s tenure at Fir Park has been punctured by a succession of injuries which have cursed the side in the second half of the season.

    Yet again, he was forced to put out a patched up side which was further hampered by a serious injury to Steven Saunders just minutes into the match.

    “Steven Saunders doesn’t have a fracture but it looks as though he has damaged ligaments in his ankle,” McCall explained.

    “Jeffers got up to go out for the warm up and felt a pain in his neck and shoulders and he had been really sharp in training. Hammell tweaked his hamstring at the last minute in training yesterday; it has been a nightmare.

    “Saunders and Hammell will be out for the United Cup game but I am not sure about Jeffers. I will chew over the bones of what happened in the second half and we will go over that as a group then we will look forward to the cup tie to the week after.

    “I need to look at it again but I think Jennings booking was soft, it looked like two players going in together and he now misses three games but I thought the referee was too quick that early in the game to show a card for that.”

  • Archive

    Kilmarnock defeat in pictures

    Pictures from the 3-1 defeat by Kilmarnock in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Rugby Park.

    These action shots and more are available to buy online at www.motherwellpics.com.

     [svgallery name=”kilmarnock190311″]

  • Archive

    Kilmarnock 3 – 1 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    Motherwell slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Rugby Park despite taking the lead early on through John Sutton.

    The Steelmen came flying out of the blocks and Englishman Sutton prodded home from close range following great wing play by Chris Humphrey.

    The lead was short-lived, however, and the home side equalised when Manuel Pascali headed home following an Alexei Eremenko corner.

    Killie took the lead shortly before the interval in controversial circumstances when Pascali was adjudged to have been pushed inside the area by Gavin Gunning. The referee pointed to the spot allowing Jamie Hamill to fire home.

    Paatelainen’s side were by far the better side in the second half and confirmed their win when Liam Kelly headed home a Eremenko corner to all but guarantee Kilmarnock a top-six finish.

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall made three changes to the side that drew with Dundee United last Sunday. Keith Lasley was suspended, Stevie Hammell injured himself in training on Friday and Jamie Murphy dropped to the bench. They were replaced by Jonathan Page, Steve Jennings and Chris Humphrey.

    However, before kick-off, Jeffers tweaked a neck muscle in the warm-up and had to be replaced late on by Jamie Murphy.

    Despite this blow, Motherwell came out the traps well and a shot from Steven Saunders flew wide and a Tom Hateley half-volley was blocked on route when it seemed destined to be at least troubling Killie’s Finnish goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola.

    The Steelmen were very much on the front foot but their fluency was interrupted by a freak injury to Scotland U21 star Steven Saunders. The young defender fell awkwardly with his foot planted and had to be stretchered off with what looks like a nasty ankle knock.

    That forced Stuart McCall into a change with Ross Forbes coming on in the middle of the park with Tom Hateley having to fill-in at right full back.

    Motherwell continued to have the better of the opening exchanges and Gavin Gunning posted a notice of intent after fourteen minutes when he met a Jennings lay-off but could only blast his shot from distance high over the bar.

    It was a warning Killie would fail to heed as McCall’s men took a deserved lead just one minute later. Chris Humphrey was the architect, roasting Tim Clancy and leaving Eremenko for dead before clipping a low near post cross that allowed John Sutton to nip in ahead of Mohamadou Sissoko and prod past Jaakkola for his fourteenth goal of the campaign.

    Motherwell continued to push and almost doubled their advantage five minutes later when, again, the dangerous Sutton almost got in amongst the goals. His lovely deft header from a Jennings cross hit the post before dropping wide for a goal kick.

    It was to prove a crucial let-off for the home side who, within two minutes, levelled the game. Motherwell needlessly conceded a corner which they struggled to clear. The ball eventually landed back at the feet of the taker, Eremenko, who skipped past Jennings before hanging up a lovely cross towards the back post which was powered home by Manuel Pascali despite the best efforts of Darren Randolph.

    The home support were out of their seats just after the half-hour when Liam Kelly blasted a long-range effort a few yards over Darren Randolph’s crossbar. A minute later, the same player delivered a terrific back-post cross that was met by Craig Bryson only for his shot to be blocked by the alert Stephen Craigan at the expense of another corner.

    For all that goalmouth action, it looked as if the teams would go in level at the break – but a controversial penalty would give the home side the crucial lead at the interval. A somewhat innocuous looking ball into the box was challenged for by both Gunning and Pascali. It appeared no more than a usual coming together but Mike Tumilty spotted an infringement and pointed to the spot.

    Jamie Hamill was in no mood for mercy and he slammed home the penalty kick in off the left hand post leaving Randolph with no chance. Gunning, for his part, was booked for protesting.

    Kilmarnock were immediately in the ascendancy in the second half and should have extended their lead when Kelly, finding massive amounts of space inside the area, failed to round off an excellent Killie move when he fired wide of the post.

    Eremenko had another shot from the edge of the area comfortably saved and Silva stung the palms of Randolph with a low, fizzing drive that forced the Motherwell keeper to expertly turn round the post. Killie did eventually grab the crucial third and McCall would be left to tear his hair out as Mixu Paatelainen’s men scored from the resulting corner.

    Eremenko was the taker, whipping in a front post corner that allowed Kelly to peel of his marker and beat the outrushing Darren Randolph to the punch, heading the ball into an unguarded net.

    McCall threw on Steve Jones in place of Jonathan Page but struggled for penetration despite working the ball towards the edge of the Kilmarnock area often enough.

    One such break through did come on the 63rd minute when, after playing a neat one-two with John Sutton, Steve Jennings fired in a low shot that forced Jaakkola to smother. Shortly after, Murphy blazed over after neat passing build-up and a Gunning header was bundled off the line by Bryson. The small band of Motherwell fans behind the goal sensed that, perhaps, their team still had an avenue to get back in the game.

    But, with each additional body that pushed forward, Killie would hit on the counter and, to be fair, the Rugby Park men could and should have extended their advantage in the last twenty minutes, but a combination of poor finishing and excellent goalkeeping kept the scoreline at 3-1.

    Randolph blocked superbly from Hamill after the former Scotland U21 ace had broke the offside trap. He also stopped Kelly from adding to his tally and made an excellent save from Silva who fired a blistering shot from the edge of the area.

    Motherwell huffed and puffed towards the end, even passing up an excellent three-versus-one counter-attack as the game drew to a close. Even on the stroke of full-time they couldn’t pull one back when a Tom Hateley free-kick was turned over by Jaakkola.

    Despite the defeat, Motherwell remain in the top-six, one point ahead of Inverness Caley who failed to take advantage of the slip, losing 1-0 away at Tannadice. The fight for the last remaining top-six space goes on and looks lightly to go to the wire.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Alan Burrows at Rugby Park

    90mins – Full time – Kilmarnock 3 – 1 Motherwell

    87mins – Hateley free-kick from distance is tipped over by Jaakkola!

    85mins – Motherwell break three on one but somehow manage to make it a mess of it and the chance is cleared.

    83mins – Killie are battering the Motherwell goal. Only Darren Randolph’s brilliance has kept this respectable.

    73mins – Great cross from the right by Hamill is met by Bryson inside the six-yard box but his header is saved by Randolph.

    71mins – Killie break straight up the park and Hamill finds himself in acres of space but his low shot is well blocked by Randolph.

    70mins – Motherwell almost pull one back. Corner from Forbes is met by Gunning. His header is somehow blocked on the line by Bryson.

    65mins – Another good passing move from Motherwell. Murphy and Jennings combine but Murphy’s shot is well over.

    63mins – Motherwell hit on the counter. Jennings plays a neat one-two with Sutton but his low shot is straight at Jaakkola.

    61mins – Eremenko fires over after good work on the left flank by Silva. Killie are well on top here…

    55mins – Steve Jones comes in for Page as the attendance is announced as 4259!

    52mins – Corner from Eremenko finds Kelly at the front post and he nips in ahead of Randolph to head home.

    52mins – GOAL Kilmarnock. Liam Kelly

    51mins – David Silva tests the big Rep of Ireland International with a stinging low drive that is turned away for a corner.

    49mins – Eremenko shot from the edge of the area is again comfortable for Randolph.

    46mins – Kilmarnock kick off and almost start with a goal but Liam Kelly fires wide after a good move down the right.

    Half Time – Kilmarnock 2 – 1 Motherwell. The Steelmen are very unlucky to go in behind. Soft penalty puts Killie ahead. Tumilty is booed off!

    45mins – Hutchinson goes in the book. Joins Forbes, Jennings and Gunning.

    44mins – GOAL Kilmarnock. Jamie Hamill slams home to make it 2-1. Looked very, very, very, very soft!

    44mins – Penalty for Killie

    34mins – Kelly cross to the back post finds Bryson but his shot is deflected wide off Craigan.

    33mins – A long range shot from Liam Kelly has the Killie fans out their seats but no danger for Randolph as he watches it over.

    24mins – Motherwell fail to deal with a corner and when Eremenko hangs up a cross Manuel Pascali heads home. Too easy for the home side.

    23mins – GOAL Kilmarnock – Manuel Pascali

    20mins – Offfft, Motherwell hit the post. Jennings cross is flicked on by Sutton but it hits the outside of the post.

    19mins – Jennings booked!

    17mins – Eremenko free-kick from the edge of the area drops comfortably in the arms of Darren Randolph.

    15mins – That’s Sutton’s 40th goal for Motherwell on his 95th start in Claret and Amber. What a record that is!

    15mins – Fantastic driving run from Humphrey. Takes out two before turning it across the face for Sutton to prod home.

    15mins – GOOOOOAALLLLLLLLLLLL Motherwell!

    14mins – Good half chance for ‘Well there. Jennings won the ball and teed up the on-rushing Gunning but his shot from distance blazes over!

    9mins – Bit of a lull in the atmosphere after that injury to Saunders. With SS off & Jeffers forced off in the warm-up, it’s a patch up job.

    8mins – The young defender is having to come off… On a stretcher. Ross Forbes is coming on with Hateley shifting to RB.

    6mins – Both teams are guilty of giving away possession cheaply. Play is broke up after an injury to Steven Saunders. Looks bad….

    4mins – Blasted shot by Hateley is blocked on route… That was going close I think!

    2mins – Early free-kick for ‘Well is cleared by the Killie back line. The Steelmen remain on the front foot.

    1mins – Motherwell to kick-off – Jennings and the late intro of Murphy to get us underway…

    [tab:Reaction]

    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “I have talked about inconsistency since I came to the club and I think you saw that in two halves today.

    “After an excellent goal we played well in the first half and we were quite comfortable. We know how Kilmarnock play; you can talk about many good players they have but we lost three goals from set pieces today and when you get beat with a simple corner it s not good enough, particularly with the height we have in our team

    “I can make excuses for them (the set-pieces) as we lost Hammell at the last minute in training on Friday (hamstring), then Jeffers (neck) just before the game and then Saunders (ankle) early in the game.

    “And, although I am not one for blaming officials, there were a lot of decisions that went against us and, once again, the penalty was incredibly soft.”

    Kilmarnock manager Mixu Paatelainen:

    “I enjoyed the second half and so did the fans, I hope. I’m delighted. Three points, that’s what we were after.

    “We kept the ball under control, we passed it from man to man, we had good movement. And we defended well. They feel comfortable out there.

    “If you have that security and peace of mind then you relax a bit and your passes are better weighted and your movement is a little bit sharper and earlier and that’s what happened in the second half.

    “All in all, I don’t think we had a weak link out there on the pitch. Everybody played their part and did well.”

    [tab:Man-of-the-match]

    [poll id=”46″]

  • Archive

    Youths slip to Arabs defeat

    Despite a spirited showing, Motherwell U19s crashed to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Dundee Utd at St Andrews this afternoon.

    The home side grabbed the only goal of the game seven minutes before the end of an otherwise even first half. Jordan Elfverson collected a neat pass through the centre of the Motherwell defensive line and finished with some aplomb, finishing beyond Bradley into the far corner.

    Young’s men, inspired by winger Josh Watt who was in outstanding form, created numerous chances during the second forty-five – including hitting the woodwork twice – but were unable to get themselves back in the game.

    Full report and Gordon Young’s reaction to follow…

    Motherwell: Bradley, Halsman, Murray, Lynch, Griffin (McLean – 76mins), Carswell, McKinnon, MacDonald, Watt, Erwin, Howarth

    Subs Not Used: Muir, Ashgar

  • Archive

    Replay prices confirmed

    Ticket prices for the forthcoming Scottish Cup Quarter Final Replay clash with Dundee Utd at Fir Park can now be confirmed.

    Entry to the match, on Wednesday 30th March 2011, will be pay at the gate with admission prices agreed below.

    Motherwell Season Ticket Holders will be able to reserve their usual seat by popping into the Chapman Building from Monday 21st March – remembering to bring their season ticket as proof – or via the telephone on 01698 333 333 (Option 2).

    ADULTS:   £10
    CONCESSIONS:                                                   £5
    • Concessions are listed as Under 16s, Over 60s and full time students with a valid matriculation card.
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact Elaine MacDonald at the club on 01698 338009 or email tickets@motherwellfc.co.uk.
    • If you are new to Fir Park, everything you will need to know is available at our handy “New Fans” section.
  • Archive

    CashBack for Communities programme

    Motherwell FC have benefited to the tune of £50,000 after Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill announced two significant awards from the CashBack for Communities programme.

    The money will allow the Motherwell Football Club Community Programme to develop an indoor area for sports activities for the local community.

    The Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme uses money seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act to fund community projects in Scotland. Since it launched in 2007, more than £40 million has been taken from criminals and given to a variety of community projects.

    The one-off £5 million in grant funding announced today will help 23 community groups upgrade their facilities or build new pitches or changing rooms. The projects have been identified as being of strategic importance to the Scottish game by the Scottish FA with the assistance of sportscotland.

    Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill confirmed more than 20 groups in Scotland will receive grants of between £18,000 and £600,000 from money seized under proceeds of crime legislation to kick-start work needed to address the issues outlined in the recent McLeish report on the Scottish game.

    That report found there was a lack of adequate facilities available to local clubs and access to facilities was hampered by bad weather.

    The Justice Secretary also announced that the core CashBack funding for the Scottish Football Association’s work with young people has been extended for a further three years, with £3 million awarded to help it develop its programme of free football activities.

    This additional funding will also be used to expand the Schools of Football scheme that sees S1 and S2 pupils offered coaching sessions during the school day and has been proven to help the young people involved improve their attendance and academic performance.

    Mr MacAskill said: “The CashBack for Communities programme has been incredibly successful in using money seized from crooks to fund projects in every part of Scotland. Today’s announcement brings the total amount we have invested to more than £40 million over the past four years.

    “During that time CashBack has made significant investments in Scottish sport and our commitment to helping the grass roots is underlined by today’s announcement. This £5 million award will help more than 20 clubs and groups continue their excellent work providing sporting facilities for their local community.

    “As one of our CashBack partners, the Scottish FA is helping us ensure that the ill-gotten gains of criminals can be put to good use by keeping youngsters out of trouble and hopefully unearthing future Scotland football stars.

    “The £3 million extension to the Scottish FA’s core funding announced today will allow it to expand on its successful Schools of Football Scheme, and continue to offer first class coaching and diversionary football sessions for youngsters across the country.”

    Jim Fleeting, Scottish FA director of football development said: “For the past four years, CashBack funding has allowed the Scottish FA to provide more opportunities for young people across Scotland to enjoy participating in our national game.

    “It’s great news that the funding has been extended, allowing us to further develop our successful Schools of Football programme and continue bringing football into communities through the Street Football and Midnight League programmes.

    “The additional funding for facilities projects will be invaluable for youth clubs and community groups, and will help us as we strive to strengthen the game from top to bottom and create a bright future for football in Scotland.”

    Head of Adult Learning and Motherwell FC in the Community, Charlie Bennett, added: “We are really pleased to receive this funding which will allow us to deliver multi-sport activity to local communities and build on the good work we are already carrying out.

    “Our community programme is attracting more and more people and this funding will go a long way to improve the indoor facilities we have here at Fir Park for community future and allow us to deliver across a wider range of sports and activities including, basketball, badminton, martial arts, yoga, and zumba to name just a few.

    “We are particularly proud to be the only Scottish Premier League Club to achieve funding which is a testimony to how far our community programme has grown in a relatively short time and supports the club’s outright determination to be Scotland best community club.”