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    Stephen Craigan Announcement

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    Club scoop fourth media award

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    Prices reduced to £5 this Sunday

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    Away side win Matchday Experience

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    TV: McCall content with a point

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    TV: Lasley pleased with ‘Well showing

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    Rangers draw in pictures

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    Rangers 0 – 0 Motherwell

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    Job vacancy at Fir Park

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    Hutchinson nets monthly gong

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    Stephen Craigan Announcement

    Club captain and Motherwell stalwart Stephen Craigan has announced he will retire from the professional game after Motherwell’s final game this weekend.

    Stephen was offered a new contract with the club but after careful consideration with his family he has decided to end his playing career after Motherwell’s most successful season and concentrate on media work. Steven is currently discussing offers from various TV and Radio stations.

    The Northern Irishman, 35, enjoyed an 18 year career, which saw him notch up 378 appearances for the Steelmen and 54 international caps.

    Speaking earlier today, Craigan said, “When I joined the club in 1994 I had no idea that I would spend the majority of my adult life and footballing career at Fir Park. My aim was to play football professionally and today I can say I achieved my goal and it’s been a wonderfully satisfying journey.

    “I take a lot of pride that I’ve represented the club 378 times and in wearing the claret and amber colours. It was a privilege to follow in the footsteps of some great players who’ve played not just at Fir Park over the years but at centre half.

    “I want to thank all the players that I’ve played with throughout my career, past and present. At times I’m sure I was hard work but it was all for a good cause, winning. I’ve learned a great deal from all the managers I’ve worked under and I hope I set a good example for them with my work ethic.”

    Everyone at Motherwell would like to thank Stephen for his loyalty and his contribution to many successful years with the Club. While his football career has drawn to a close, we would all like to wish him the very best in his future endeavours.

    You can read all of Stephen’s comments in our award-winning match programme on Sunday.

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    Club scoop fourth media award

    Motherwell scooped the Best Club Media Relations gong for the fourth successive year at the Clydesdale Bank SPL Awards tonight.

    After previously winning the award in 08/09 and 09/10, the organisers made the voting structure more stringent and the Scottish media were asked to rate each club on a number of areas including facilities, player accessibility and helpfulness of club staff, to give an all round view.

    Motherwell were again awarded the honour last year in 10/11 and once again came out on top and collected the award this season at the ceremony, held in the Hilton Glasgow.

    Press & Media Manager Alan Burrows said, “I am delighted that we have managed to retain the award for a fourth successive year.

    “Every season we try and take it up a notch be it facilities or access and I am thrilled our colleagues in the Scottish press have recognized that again.

    “It is important to stress though that although it is me going to take the acclaim, this is very much a team effort. I have two guys – Ross Clarkson and Ally Reilly – who work beside me every day and a strong team who give of their services free of charge each and every week and this award is for them as much as anyone.

    “It’s also directly related to how good Stuart McCall and the players are at fulfilling their press and media requirements. They are a pleasure to work with and make my life much easier – I am chuffed they are getting their rewards this campaign to go along with this award tonight.”

    The full list of winners is:

    • Manager of the Season – Neil Lennon, Celtic FC
    • Player of the Season – Charlie Mulgrew, Celtic FC
    • Young Player of the Season – James Forrest, Celtic FC
    • Goal of the Season – James Dayton, Kilmarnock FC
    • Save of the Season – Allan MacGregor, Rangers FC
    • Under 19 League Player of the Season – Paul George, Celtic FC
    • Best Club Media Relations – Motherwell FC
    • Best Community Initiative – St Mirren FC
    • SPL Family Champions – St Mirren FC
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    Prices reduced to £5 this Sunday

    Motherwell FC are pleased to announce prices for this Sunday’s SPL finale with Dundee United at Fir Park have been reduced to just £5.

    The Steelmen take on Peter Houston’s men in the last game of what has been an incredible season; third place having been tied up last midweek.

    Dundee United have themselves had a fantastic season and confirmed their place in next season’s Europa League with a fine win over Celtic at Tannadice last Sunday.

    Chief Executive Leeann Dempster said, “We are keen to try and make Fir Park as busy, colourful and as noisy as possible for the last game of this campaign.

    “It has been an exceptional season and the players deserve a great send-off before the summer break. We’ve had some exciting games against Dundee United this season and I am sure Sunday will be the same.

    “We would encourage every Motherwell, and Dundee Utd, fan to come along and enjoy the last game before the summer.”

    Prices have been set at £5 for everyone in all four stands. Fans who have already pre-purchased tickets at full price should contact the Ticket Office to receive the appropriate refund.

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    Away side win Matchday Experience

    The Motherwell Matchday Experience ended in a battling 3-2 victory for the Stevie Kirk led ‘Away’ team.

    Both teams took to the field to the haunting tone of the Champions League theme booming from the Fir Park PA system.

    The opening stages were frantic as both teams traded possession and put together neat patterns of play. However, it would be the vibrant and clever attack of the ‘Away’ side that would draw first blood.

    Gareth Kerr found space on the left and following some nifty footwork to beat his marker, he cut the ball across the face of goal. Substitute James Thewliss took a quick touch to control before teeing up Fraser Anderson who was left with time and space to pick his spot and swept home from just inside the eighteen-yard box.

    The ‘Away’ side were setting the pace but were living dangerously at the back with the long direct ball over the top causing problems.

    However, it was a move of some quality that would bring the Claret and Amber side level just before the half-hour. Jonathan Warnock collected on the half-way line and immediately opened the game up with a neat cross-field pass to the waiting Phil Speedie. The left full-back held on to the ball for just the right amount of time before releasing Warnock, who had kept his run going, down the flank.

    The forward threw over a brilliant first-time cross towards the centre of the box where Ian Buchanan was lurking. The veteran kept his composure to shift the ball away from Alistair Logan and on to his favoured right foot before drilling it low past the helpless Allan Burton; his fifth goal in five Fir Park matches dating back to the old Football Aid days.

    Buchanan celebrated with Scott Leitch on the touchline but the joy was short-lived as the visitors immediately regained the advantage. Davie Tonner and Kerr got the game underway and the former casually strolled forward towards the edge of the centre-circle before sliding in his strike-partner who incredibly found himself in on goal.

    His first touch took him away from the covering defenders; his second was to lash the ball under Martin Whiteside for 2-1.

    Just before the interval, the silvers side made it three. Tonner and Stuart Reilly combined on the right flank and when the ball eventually made its way back to the striker, his thundering effort came back off the underside of the crossbar with Whiteside at full stretch.

    Kerr was sharpest to the rebound and nipped in ahead of Jack Reid to head the ball into an unguarded net for his second of the afternoon.

    3-1 at the interval and Stevie Kirk’s men looked well on top. But the second half was a much more even affair with the ‘Home’ side stroking it about with some degree of confidence.

    With twenty minutes left on the clock things got interesting when referee Scott Jamieson awarded the hosts a controversial penalty. Goalscorer Buchanan picked up the ball deep on the left and his through-pass was inch-perfect for the onrushing Jory Robertson. Before he could get to the ball, he tumbled to the ground with Captain Finlay Ferguson in close attendance.

    Contact looked minimal but the official, who was right up with play, pointed to the spot. There were wild protests from the home side, led by Ferguson, but the referee was having none of it. Robertson and Buchanan were both keen to take the kick but the youngster eventually placed it on the spot.

    His low effort was brilliantly saved by Burton low to his right but he was helpless to stop the rebounded shot which Robertson coolly dinked in from closer range with some aplomb.

    It was a hectic finish to the game with both sides trading chances but it finished 3-2 to the ‘Away’ side with both teams warmly applauded off the park by the 207 fans in the Phil O’Donnell Stand.

    Home: Whiteside, N. MacLeod, A. MacLeod, Reid, McEwan, Johnston, Ramage, Brazil, Warnock, Wilson, Muir, Speedie, Robertson, Buchanan

    Goals: Buchanan (29), Robertson (71)

    Away: Burton, A. Reilly, Bruce, Logan, Ferguson, Anderson, Williamson, S. Reilly, Tonner, Graham, Kerr, Thewliss, Palmer, Lynch

    Goals: Anderson (14), Kerr (30) (42)

    Referee: Scott Jamieson
    Attendance: 207


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    TV: McCall content with a point

    Stuart McCall was pleased with how ‘Well played this afternoon but was left ruing missed that could have handed the Steelmen the win.

    The Claret and Amber men played with the swagger of a side who had just confirmed third place in the SPL table.

    Four really decent chances came and went but Motherwell failed to capitalise and missed out on the chance to take all three points at Ibrox exactly fifteen years to the day since Motherwell last won in Govan.

    “I was pleased with the performance in general,” said McCall.

    “We asked the lads to go out and pass the ball and keep it moving. To get two clean sheets back to back at Tynecastle and here is obviously another plus point.

    “We wanted them to go out and show everyone why we have been the best of the rest and that we can come here and put in a performance. We’ve had some hugely disappointing performances here and I’m pleased with not only the work ethic, but the shape we had and everything about it.

    “We made opportunities and ended up picking the wrong option. We played some good football down the sides and Henrik and Jamie linked up well. I’ve not seen it again but it looks as though Henrik could have shot but having said that if the weight of the pass to Murphy is better, it’s a tap-in. In the second half we’ve had two or three great chances. Chris has shot wide when he had a good opportunity.”


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    TV: Lasley pleased with ‘Well showing

    Veteran midfielder Keith Lasley was proud of his Motherwell teammates after playing a pivotal role in the Steelmen’s credible draw at Ibrox today.

    The Fir Parkers more than held their own and created numerous chances to get in front throughout the ninety minutes.

    But the match finished all square and the 32-year old insists ‘Well can be pleased with their afternoon’s work.

    He told MFC TV: “Our possession of the ball was particularly good today and with that we created some good chances. Any time you come here and get a draw, especially with our recent record here, it’s a good result but maybe we could have nicked it.

    “We didn’t want to go out with a whimper, if you like, after achieving third spot  which is a great achievement for us but we had our supporters here as well to entertain today that have paid good money to come and watch us as they have done all season. Even for ourselves, we want to show people why we are third.

    “I think getting a point from here came from a combination of confidence and maybe being a bit more relaxed on the ball from clinching third place midweek.”


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    Rangers draw in pictures

    Pictures from the 0-0 draw with Rangers in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Ibrox.

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

    [svgallery name=”rangers050512″]

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    Rangers 0 – 0 Motherwell

    [tab:Match report]

    twitter Kris Jack at Ibrox

    Despite creating a number of excellent chances, Motherwell were forced to settle for a share of the spoils at Ibrox this afternoon.

    ‘Well got into good positions all throughout the match and could have gained their first win over Rangers in Govan for exactly 15 years had the right decisions been made in front of goal.

    The draw capped a fine away season for The Steelmen, which contributed to the achievement of premier European football for next term.

    Michael Higdon, who had all but secured the Euro dream with his winner against Hearts, missed out due to injury allowing Henrik Ojamaa to start in his place. Rangers made one change to the team that thumped Dundee United 5-0 on Wednesday with Lee McCulloch starting for Ally McCoist’s men.

    Estonian Ojamaa got his first effort of the match away early on, after being played in at the edge of the box by Keith Lasley. However, his shot was too tame and too direct at Allan McGregor to open the scoring. The ever dangerous Sone Aluko then skilfully set up Lee McCulloch, but his shot was cleared by the head of Tom Hateley.

    Rhys McCabe then blazed over when an opportunity arose on 13 minutes, before Aluko once again made in roads to the ‘Well goal, but his low effort was easily saved by Darren Randolph.

    With neither side really gaining the upperhand, Motherwell could and should have taken the lead. Ojamaa sprung the offside trap and rounded the outcoming McGregor. His touch took him wide of goal, and with two defenders back on the line, he opted to pass to Murphy at the penalty spot instead of taking the shot on. His pass was just behind his striker partner, and the chance went begging. It was a huge let off for Rangers, but an even bigger opportunity blown for the Steelmen.

    Without Higdon in attack, Motherwell looked to exploit Rangers with the pace of Murphy, Ojamaa, Law and Chris Humphrey, and the latter almost carved another opportunity for the visitors to take the lead.

    His direct running took him past Carlos Bocanegra and Lee Wallace, but his low cross was ushered out by Bartley, with Murphy waiting to tuck home.

    The impetus was now with the visitors, and only the linesman’s flag and some early runs prevented Motherwell from taking their chances. Neat play amongst the midfield found Murphy and Ojamaa ready to pounce on three separate occasions, but each time they were flagged offside.

    As pacy as they were going forward, Motherwell needed to be resolute at the back and a great block from Stevie Hammell on the cusp of half time prevented McCulloch from making the most of a tidy ball from Aluko.

    Motherwell made a really positive start to the second half and impressive Estonian Ojamaa, who had scored at Fir Park against Rangers, burst in to the box and played a ball back which Murphy dummied, but Lasley’s first time shot was straight at McGregor. Rangers had been pinned back from the start of the half, but a McCulloch header from a deep Whittaker cross, almost crept in at the back post on 53 minutes.

    Motherwell’s second gilt edged chance of the match came about when Ojamaa once more played provider to Humphrey, who bore down on McGregor. The Jamaican probably should have shot, but instead chose to pass but his touch toward Murphy was cleared by Perry with the goal gaping.

    Rangers broke straight up the park and when Lee Wallace burst past Shaun Hutchinson from McCulloch’s knock down, it looked like he would score. However, Darren Randolph spread himself to make a great stop at his feet, to maintain the goalless scoreline.

    The visitor’s hat trick of missed opportunities was completed when Ojamaa evaded a lunge by Bocanegra to hare in to the box. This time his cut back was perfect for Tom Hateley, but the right back blasted over McGregor’s bar, when he should have at least got his effort on target. Humphrey then got in behind Bocanegra yet again, but he pulled his shit wide when he could have squared.

    From there on in the game played out like an end of season match, with a weak penalty shout raised when Rangers sub Andrew Little fell when challenged at the end of the box but Lasley emerged with the ball, as referee Collum waved play on. Bocanegra volleyed over from an Edu header off a corner, before Bartley waltzed in to the box past Jennings, but fluffed his lines.

    Andy Little almost snatched a win for Rangers in injury time when he got past Clancy on the edge of the box but Randolph kept him out easily.

    It was to be the last action of an entertaining if otherwise goalless afternoon…

    [tab:As it happened]

    twitter Alan Burrows at Ibrox

    Full time – Rangers 0 Motherwell 0

    90mins – 2 minutes of time to be added on here at Ibrox.

    89mins – Not long to go here. Still 0-0 at the moment.

    84mins – Motherwell hanging on a bit now. Low ball across the ‘Well box was begging to be slammed home but no takers for Rangers.

    83mins – Bob McHugh is coming on for the Steelmen. He replaces Henrik Ojamaa who put in a right decent shift!

    82mins – Attendance today is 45,962. Not too sure how many ‘Well fans – few 100 I would say.

    81mins – Rangers have another wee half chance but a close-range toe-poke is saved by Randolph.

    80mins – Wee chance there for Bocanegra there but his shot blasts way over. Rangers are just starting to turn the screw slightly….

    75mins – Yellow card for Hutchinson for a lunge on Edu. No complaints with that one I don’t think….

    68mins – Edu should score from the corner…. His header is blocked by Bedoya and Randolph gathers… Let off….

    68mins – First bit of sloppy defending there gives Rangers a corner…

    65mins – Rangers make a double change. Little and Bedoya on for Ness and McCabe.

    65mins – Yet another chance for ‘Well. Ball slipped to Humphrey on the flank. His low shot goes just wide of the post.

    63mins – Another great chance there for Motherwell. Ojamaa does brilliant on the flank. Cut back for Hateley but he blasts over…

    59mins – Lee Wallace almost puts Rangers ahead with a low shot well saved by Randolph….

    58mins – Another great chance for Motherwell similar to Ojamaa’s in the first half. Killer pass lets us down at last second…

    53mins – Motherwell fail to get the ball clear despite a few chances to do so. Ball into the box is flicked on by McCulloch but drops wide.

    51mins – Another wee half chance for ‘Well. Ojamaa’s cut back is missed by Murphy. Las picks up but low shot is saved by McGregor…

    49mins – Low shot from Whittaker is comfortable enough for Randolph to grab! Still 0-0 here at the moment…

    46mins – The Steelmen get us underway for the second 45. Good luck to all the ‘Well players out there. COYW!

    45mins – Motherwell are back out for the second half. No changes in Claret and Amber….

    HT: Harri Ojamaa is tucking in to his first ever Scotch Pie. I think it’s a culture shock for him but seems to be enjoying it…

    Half Time – Rangers 0 – 0 Motherwell. Fairly even stuff in the first half. Motherwell with the best chance via Ojamaa!

    43mins – Fairly even stuff at the minute. Both teams knocking it about but breaking down at final third at both ends…

    35mins – Really good football from Motherwelll but a sweeping move breaks down with Murphy just offside. Still 0-0 at the moment!

    29mins – Goian going off for Rangers. Looks to have picked up a knock. Ross Perry will replace him.

    28mins – Shot from Murphy forces McGregor into a low save although the former Scotland U21 star was a few yards offside.

    26mins – Henrik somehow manages to feed Humphrey on the flank. Low ball wins Motherwell’s first corner of the afternoon…

    23mins – Interesting that ‘Well leave three men up at a Rangers corner. Barca tactics from McCall :-p Trying to force Rangers on back foot.

    20mins – Clever play from Aluko on the edge of the box there but with Hammell closing the angle, the Nigerian blasts way over…

    16mins -GREAT chance for Motherwell. Ojamaa rings McGregor but his cut-back for Murphy is a yard out and the chance is gone…

    16mins – Hateley winds up a thunderous shot that Wallace takes square in the chest… Ouch!

    15mins – Low bouncing shot from Aluko was well held by Randolph. That was a harder save than it may have looked.

    13mins – Rhys McCabe tries a half volley from distance which sailed a mile wide of goal…

    11mins – Motherwell are doing their best to take the sting out of the Rangers tail. Using the full park to knock the ball about,,,

    8mins – Clancy is forced into giving away a corner as Aluko bursts towards the box. Randolph collects the kick when it comes in,,,

    7mins – Rangers follow that up with a curling shot from Kyle Bartley that goes a yard over with Randolph at full stretch…

    6mins – Down the other end, McCulloch looked as if he was going to score but his effort was blocked on route by Tom Hateley.

    6mins – Wee half chance for Motherwell. Humphrey bursting forward, his pass finds Ojamaa but low shot lacks venom to trouble McGregor.

    5mins – Nice wee ball into the channel for Henrik but McGregor is off his line quick to clear.

    3mins – Motherwell knocking the ball about nice in the opening few minutes but nothing of note so far…

    1min – And we’re off! Motherwell attacking left to right if you are looking from the Main Stand side…


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “We wanted to come here and prove why we are the best of the rest and I thought we did that.

    “We saw what Rangers did to Dundee United the other night and I thought we acquitted ourselves well. It was a deserved point.”

    Rangers manager Ally McCoist:

    “It’s really difficult to be too critical of the players but, at the same time, you’ve got a job to do.We didn’t play well at all. We looked a little bit heavy-legged and a little bit tired.

    “We had chances to win the game and possibly could have, and should have, had a penalty. It just looked like an end of season game to be quite frank.” 


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    Job vacancy at Fir Park

    The Motherwell Football Club Community Trust currently has two vacancies for Football Development Officers.

    The Trust delivers the SPL’s most innovative and diverse community programme. Our community football programme provides a fun and nurturing environment for young people to develop their skills and recently we awarded the Scottish Football Associations coveted Quality Mark as a Development Club.

    Players in our community teams regularly attract attention from professional clubs and our Astroturf pitch is being upgraded to a FIFA 2 surface thanks to a raft of funding from bodies keen to invest in our vision

    Our social programmes use the power of Motherwell Football Club and football to teach literacy and numeracy skills, rebuild family relationships, and improve people’s employability. Our fitness and diversionary programmes feature other sports including boxercise and cheerleading.

    We currently have two vacancy for Football Development Officers to work across these various programmes.  To fill one of these posts you will have excellent people skills, be motivated, enthusiastic, hardworking and able to work on your own initiative.

    You will also have experience in sports coaching and hold the Scottish Football Association’s Children’s Award at Level 3 as a minimum.

    Both vacancies are 25 hours per week.  Salary according to experience.

    Closing Date is May 11th 2012. Interviews will take place May 14th 2012

    Please apply in writing or by email to:

    Graeme McArthur
    Community Programme Manager
    Motherwell Football Club Community Trust
    Fir Park Stadium
    ML1 2QN

    T:01698 239926
    E: Graeme.McArthur@motherwellfc.co.uk

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    Hutchinson nets monthly gong

    Steelmen defender Shaun Hutchinson has been named the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Young Player of the Month for April. 

    Motherwell had a mixed month recording a win, a draw and a defeat in April, however Shaun Hutchinson was a key performer for his side throughout. 

    ‘Well began the month with a 1-1 draw away to Hibs with Hutchinson constantly breaking down the oppositions attacks as he helped his side pick up a  hard earned point at Easter Road.  Motherwell then suffered a disappointing 3-0 loss at home to Celtic before going on to secure a comfortable 5-1 win at home to St Johnstone.

    Hutchinson’s performances throughout the month were pivotal in helping Motherwell secure their highest ever points total in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League and with it secure a place in the Champions League qualification round next season.

    It was Hutchinson’s commanding performances from defence along with his ability to break up the opposition’s play that led the panel to vote him as their Clydesdale Bank Premier League Young Player of the Month.

    A panel of Scottish football experts chose the award winners from a shortlist which included the top three fans’ nominations from Clydesdale Bank’s football website, www.cbfootball.co.uk.