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    Saunders suffers Achilles injury

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    Youths kick-off this weekend

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    Gordon Marshall makes Fir Park return

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    ’Well youths help retain Children’s title

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    Murphy remains cool despite rumours

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    Cement your name in history

  • Archive

    Brines to referee Saints clash

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    The Convert for Cash Challenge

  • Archive

    McCall delighted with tough win

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    Hearts win in pictures

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    Saunders suffers Achilles injury

    Scotland International Steven Saunders looks likely to miss the rest of the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon today.

    The 20-year old was playing for the Scotland U21s against Norway at St Mirren Park when he collapsed in a heap after just three minutes.

    He was rushed off the park and straight to hospital where a scan has revealed a rupture that will require immediate surgery.

    It is a massive blow for the Steelmen with the young defender making his first appearance of the campaign last Sunday against Hearts.

    [pullquote]I’ll come back bigger and stronger next season and my recovery starts as soon as I have my operation tomorrow[/pullquote]

    Despite his season coming to a premature end before it has properly begun, Saunders was remaining upbeat when he spoke exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk.

    “Obviously I am gutted about what has happened but I just need to get on with it now,” he said.

    “I am upbeat about things; I won’t let this beat me. I’ll come back bigger and stronger next season and my recovery starts as soon as I have my operation tomorrow.”

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall added, “My heart goes out to him and his family – his mum and dad were at the game. It was innocuous, there was no-one near him. I thought he had just gone over on his ankle.

    “The worst-case scenario is nine months. I know injuries are part of the game, but it was really sickening to see that. I spoke to him in the dressing-room afterwards. It will be a long haul back, but he is a great kid and he will get his head down and focus.

    “I said to him, if you can get back in, hopefully you can help us get to another Scottish Cup final. That put a smile on his face, but it’s difficult times for him at the moment.”

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    Youths kick-off this weekend

    Motherwell U19s kick-off their 2011/2012 campaign with a home match against Hearts at Bathgate this Saturday.

    The youths have enjoyed a productive pre-season with recent wins over Blackburn Rovers and Luncarty Juniors proving the perfect foil for Saturday’s opener.

    Hearts enjoyed an excellent season last year; only pipped to the title on the penultimate weekend of the season at the expense of eventual Champions Celtic.

    Head of Youth Development Gordon Young said ahead of the match at the weekend, “We are really looking forward to getting into the season as the boys have trained very well over the last five weeks.

    “We’ve had some excellent friendly matches in preparation for the big kick-off and it’s now time for action. We will do our very best over the course of the campaign whilst never losing focus of our ultimate aim which is providing quality players ready for the first-team.”

    The match will kick-off at 11am at Bathgate’s Creamery Park.

    >> UNDER 19s FIXTURES & RESULTS

    >> UNDER 19s LEAGUE TABLE

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    Gordon Marshall makes Fir Park return

    Motherwell FC can confirm that Gordon Marshall has returned to the club to take up the role of goalkeeping coach.

    Marshall had an excellent two years at Fir Park as a player between 2003 and 2005 – enjoying notable success reaching the top-six twice in succession, the 2005 CIS Cup Final and a starring performance in ‘Skippy Sunday’ in the same year.

    The 47-year old former Scotland International will replace Stuart Kerr who has left the club for family reasons.

    Marshall, speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk said, “I am delighted to be back as I enjoyed such a happy time here as a player.

    “I am also getting to work with one of the best ‘keepers in the country in Darren Randolph so it’s an exciting time.

    [pullquote]I am delighted to be back as I enjoyed such a happy time here as a player.[/pullquote]

    “The club has changed quite a bit since I left, but very much for the better. I like to think I played a part in that process eight years ago. We had just come out of administration under Terry Butcher and managed two great seasons; getting to a Cup Final.

    “’Well have been on an upward trail since and has enjoyed some terrific success. I am hoping that I can once again add to that – passing on some of the knowledge I have gained over my career, particularly to the young up-and-coming goalkeepers at the club.”

    Motherwell Football Club would like to sincerely thank Stuart Kerr for all his hard work whilst at Fir Park and wish him every success in his future career.

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    ’Well youths help retain Children’s title

    Five boys from Motherwell’s U17s played their part as Lanarkshire’s boys’ team won the football competition at the 2011 International Children’s Games.

    ’Well 15-year-olds Mark McRoberts, Danny McNulty, Scott Stevenson, David Ferguson and Dominic Thomas joined Dylan McGuigan, Josh Taplin and Daryl Bulloch from Hamilton Accies to form the Lanarkshire boys’ team.

    During the six games they played, the team scored an astonishing 69 goals, conceding just two, and racking up scorelines of 10-0, 26-0, 5-0, 17-1, 7-0 and 4-1 against, respectively, Rave na koroskem (Slovenia), Sialkot (Pakistan) and Medias (Romania), Tralee (Ireland) in the quarter-finals, Sentilj-Ruse (Slovenia) in the semis and Sparta (Greece) in the final.

    Lanarkshire hosted the 2011 International Children’s Games, with the boys and girls football events – sponsored by construction and property development company CCG – being held at Hamilton Palace Sports Grounds.

    [pullquote]We had several really good performances – a lot of teams were quite defensive against us because they knew of the quality we had going forward.[/pullquote]

    The Lanarkshire girls team played superbly over the three days of the competition to take the silver medal, but the boys went one step further to become gold medallists and retain the title won by Lanarkshire last year in Bahrain.

    Team Lanarkshire boys’ football coach Willie McNab said: “It’s a tremendous achievement – the boys deserve everything they got.

    “The team bonded really well and improved us as a unit as a result, and I think they have all become really friendly with one another.

    “We didn’t put a lot of pressure on the boys and I think in the end their personalities have shone through on the pitch. We had several really good performances – a lot of teams were quite defensive against us because they knew of the quality we had going forward.

    “That meant the boys had to be quite patient and bide their time, which they did particularly well and got rewarded for it in the end.”

    Willie also spoke in glowing terms of the Games as a whole. He said: “The Games have been wonderful. From the opening ceremony to the staff and volunteers, the accommodation, the transportation… Everything has been first-class. It’s also amazing the way the pitches were today – how the groundstaff got them playable was nothing short of a miracle.

    “This is my first time being involved with the ICG and it’s been superb.”

    ’Well youth Dominic Thomas added: “I am delighted we have won – it’s what we set out to do three months ago when the team came together. We’ve achieved our goal so what more could you ask for?

    “I scored 14 goals in the tournament and they were all good goals so I’m really happy. All the games we have won we have done so by a convincing scoreline so it’s been a great team performance.

    “Our team spirit is great and has grown during the last three months and we are all the best of pals now.

    “The Games have been absolutely brilliant. If I could give anyone advice it would be if you get asked to go to the ICG throw yourself at it. It’s been a wonderful experience.”

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    Murphy remains cool despite rumours

    Jamie Murphy has insisted that he is in no hurry to leave Motherwell after yet another splendid individual display kicked the rumour mill into top gear.

    Several scouts were present at Fir Park at the weekend – including several from the Barclay’s Premier League – to watch the young striker slot home the winning goal against Hearts.

    And although Stuart McCall has yet to receive any bids for his 21-year old star, the talent scouts are likely to take rave reviews back to their managers.

    In typically measured style, Murphy is keeping calm and says he will consider his future if any bids come in.

    [pullquote]I have grown up in Glasgow with all my family and friends and I love playing football at Motherwell.[/pullquote]

    A decision process that he says will include asking advice from some of his colleagues who have made similar moves – not always with dream results.

    “I try not to focus on it too much,” Murphy said. “I try to let other people do that and until someone comes in with a bid I can’t do anything but play my best for Motherwell.

    “I have grown up in Glasgow with all my family and friends and I love playing football at Motherwell.

    “There are players in the dressing room at the moment who have moved down south, like Hammell and Lasley, and they would be good to go for good advice if a bid does come in. I am not even thinking about it until something actually happens.”

    The former Scotland under-21 international is clearly reluctant to invite any bids for him as he knuckles down for another successful season at Fir Park – and he is equally defensive regarding any bids for his team-mates.

    He continued: “All the boys are great and there is a great team spirit. I have been here for ten years and grown up with a lot of the boys and they are some of my best friends, and if we can keep the group together it will be good.”

    The likes of Murphy, Humphrey and Jennings are the ones attracting the plaudits and the envious glances from other clubs, Motherwell’s all-time European top scorer was quick to praise the ‘Well backline.

    In a blistering start to the season Motherwell sit atop the SPL, and have yet to concede a single goal – no mean feat from three outings.

    “They were excellent again; Craigan and Saunders did brilliant,” he effused. “Tom Hateley and Steven Hammell were excellent at full back, and then Darren Randolph behind them. With a defence like that you are not going to lose many goals.

    “As long as we are in the top six and can finish as high as possible, it has obviously been a great start to the season. If we win next week we can hopefully stay in the top six for the rest of the season.”

  • Archive

    Cement your name in history

    It’s a new season at Fir Park so why not own your piece of the stadium with one of our fantastic commemorative bricks.

    Are you looking for an unusual gift? Perhaps you celebrating a special occasion? Would you like to remember a loved one?

    Buying a brick at Fir Park is a great way to mark any occasion while supporting your club. A unique gift that lasts for years and that any Motherwell fan will be proud to own.

    You can purchase a brick fascia with your own personal message, whether it be your name, motto or date of birth for just £30.00!

    Each new brick is added to our ever growing wall, which is situated at the back of the Davie Cooper stand, and comes complete with a certificate of authenticity.

    For more information or to order a brick please contact the club on 01698 333 333 or email buyabrick@motherwellfc.co.uk.

  • Archive

    Brines to referee Saints clash

    Referee for Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with St Mirren is the experienced Iain Brines.

    Brines will be a familiar face to ‘Well fans over the years, none more so than last season where he handled six Motherwell matches, more than any other official.

    He was the man in the middle for the games against St Johnstone in early September, St Mirren at Fir Park one month later, Rangers on Boxing Day, Dundee Utd at Tannadice in January, Inverness in the Highlands last March and the Scottish Cup Semi Final against St Johnstone.

    A Nick Blackman wonder strike and an own-goal from Kevin Rutkiewicz was enough to earn the Steelmen all three points in Perth and late goals from Tom Hateley and Jamie Murphy gave ‘Well a 3-1 against Danny Lennon’s men.

    Managerless ‘Well were thumped by Rangers despite John Sutton’s goal early in the second half. A Kenny Miller double along with goals from Vladmir Weiss and a Steven Saunders own goal gave Rangers a comfortable 4-1 win.

    United were comfortable 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Johnny Russell and David Goodwillie and Inverness ran out 3-0 winners courtesy of goals from Sutherland, Foran and MacDonald.

    His most recent appointment was that fantastic day at Hampden when Craigan, Murphy and Sutton booked ‘Well a spot in the Final.

    To his credit, Brines was excellent in all six matches with the games at McDiarmid Park and the Caledonian Stadium passing off without a single caution; a rarity in modern football.

    The 44-year-old, who has been a top-flight official for a decade and amongst FIFA’s elite group for five years, has already handled the Hibs vs Celtic game in the SPL this season.

    His overall record in charge of the Steelmen is a bit of a mix bag. Of the 29 games he has taken charge of, Motherwell have won ten, draw four and lost fifteen.

    In those games, 102 players have seen yellow, 46 of which in claret and amber, while three have been sent for an early bath.

    Iain will be assisted by Keith Sorbie and Graham McNeillie with Des Roache on fourth official duties.

  • Archive

    The Convert for Cash Challenge

    Congratulations to Motherwell fan, Ian Moniur, who won £50 by scoring in the first ever Fir Park Cash Converters ‘Convert for Cash’ Challenge.

    For those who have not yet seen the ‘Convert for Cash Challenge’, it involves facing by a life-sized statue of Stuart McCall, fans must run round him 3 times, before composing themselves to score past our mascot, Claret, EITHER from the edge of the box (the £100 ball) or the penalty spot (the £50 ball).

    To represent Motherwell at the next ‘Convert for Cash Challenge’ against Rangers enter now at the Cash Converters Motherwell Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.

    Ian earned himself £50, courtesy of Cash Converters.

    In addition, Cash Converters are also donating £150, to their official charity for the 2011/2012 season, Dreams Come True.

    The Facebook page will also give you the chance to win a whole host of other prizes, including tickets and exclusive, money-can’t-buy experiences. Simply “Like” the page, and get entering.

    For your chance to win £100 in the “Convert for Cash” challenge, enter your details at the Cash Converters Motherwell Facebook page now: CLICK HERE.

    The draw will close at 10.00am on Friday August 19th.

    *Please note: You must be aged over 18 to take part, and proof of age will be required on the day. You must also already possess a match ticket.

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    McCall delighted with tough win

    Stuart McCall lauded another clean sheet and another three points as Motherwell regained top spot in the SPL with a 1-0 win over Hearts in a tempestuous encounter at a rain-soaked Fir Park.

    A second half goal from Jamie Murphy was enough to secure the victory after Ian Black saw red for a reckless challenge on Keith Lasley. Lasley himself made the long walk to the dressing room five minutes from time for a trip on Arvydas Novikovas, but Motherwell closed out the game with aplomb.

    As well as earning top spot, the result represents the Steelmen’s third consecutive clean sheet in the league this campaign.

    “I’m delighted with another clean sheet,” McCall praised. “We know we’ve got players up front that can change a game, so it’s vital to keep it tight at the back. I said to the boys at half-time that it could be a 1-0 win and that we needed to defend well.

    “It’s a good start and something that we’re delighted with – but it’s nothing more. We’ll try to keep building on that as we go to St. Mirren next week.

    “We said at half-time that we had to raise it because the first half was a non-event. And although it was a nervous end we’re delighted with the three points.

    “You have to realise that Hearts are a good side and won’t just let you play, but I thought we did well in the second half and played some really good stuff.”

    [pullquote]Hearts are a good side and won’t just let you play, but I thought we did well in the second half and played some really good stuff.[/pullquote]

    The game was a very even contest up until Ian Black’s red card – at which point Motherwell took control of possession and dominated the game, scoring 15 minutes later.

    And while McCall – a tenacious midfielder in his day – admits the challenge was dangerous, he has sympathy for the former Caley midfielder; a sentiment which he shares when looking at the late dismissal of the excellent Keith Lasley.

    The former Bradford boss analysed: “I’ve watched it again and I think they both go in for the ball, fully committed on the greasy surface, and Keith Lasley has got there split seconds before Black. I don’t think there is any malice at all. It looked reckless and I think that’s why the ref has sent him off.

    “In these conditions when you slide in like he did you’ve got to make sure you get the ball.”

    Similarly looking at Lasley’s dismissal, he said: “Sometimes fouls are just fouls. I can understand why the referee has given the booking, but not every foul automatically has to be a booking.”

    Another blistering performance from Jamie Murphy seems unlikely to dampen the fervour surrounding the gifted 21-year old, with the best part of a month left of the transfer window.

    That, allied by a terrific display from several players who could be attractive to other clubs, with do nothing to cease the grinding of the rumour mill. While the former Rangers midfielder is acutely aware of the realities of modern football, he isn’t inviting bids for his star players – a group which has rocketed to the top of the league and is yet to concede a league goal.

    “We’re not encouraging bids and I’m hopeful everyone will still be here at the end of August,” McCall challenged. “I genuinely believe we have a few boys that will go on to play at a very high level, but playing regularly for Motherwell is good for them.

    “We’ve not had one enquiry about any of our players, and long may that continue. I like to think the boys enjoy coming to work, and we’ve worked hard to create a good environment at the club. All of us should enjoy coming to work and I don’t think there is anyone chomping at the bit to get away.”

  • Archive

    Hearts win in pictures

    Pictures from the 1-0 win over Hearts in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.

    These action shots and more are available to buy online at motherwellPICS.

    [svgallery name=”hearts070811″]