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    TV: Hammell pens two-year extension

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    Craigan launches new Tesco Bank site

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    Current Contact Update

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    Renovations start at Fir Park

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    McCall lauds seasons efforts

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    Dundee United loss in pics

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    Motherwell 0 – 2 Dundee United

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    Commercial news for Dundee Utd Match

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    End of season contract news

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    TV: Craigan relishing celebrations

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    TV: Hammell pens two-year extension

    Motherwell FC are delighted to confirm Stevie Hammell has this evening signed a two-year contract extension.

    Hammell, 30, has played thirteen seasons in the first-team at Fir Park, racking up an incredible 426 games. 368 of those appearances have came in the Scottish Premier League – the highest of any player since the competition started in 1998.

    The left-back broke into the Motherwell first-team back in 2000 and, aside from an 18-month spell with then Championship club Southend United, he has been a virtual ever present since.

    This season has arguably been amongst his best, playing 41 games in a season when the Steelmen confirmed Champions League football for the first time in the clubs’ history.

    Speaking exclusively to MFC TV, Hammell said, “I am absolutely delighted to have signed.

    “It dragged on a little longer than I would have wanted but I can now look forward to next season. The Champions League is probably the best achievement I have managed in my time at Fir Park and we are all looking forward to it.

    “Hopefully we can get the rest of the boys signed up, keep this squad together, and go on to have another excellent campaign.”


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    Craigan launches new Tesco Bank site

    Retiring Motherwell captain Stephen Craigan lined up alongside his wife Elaine and children at Noble Primary School to launch the brand new www.tescobankfootballchallenge.com kids’ website.

    Mrs Craigan is a teacher at the Bellshill school, located just four miles from her husband’s Fir Park base, the home of Motherwell Football Club.

    The website has thousands of pictures from festivals up and down the country, accessible via a child-friendly search function, plus a TV channel with coverage of some of the best events.

    Designed in the style of Bobby the Ball’s magical football world, with some of his other friends making appearances it uses cutting edge HTML 5 technology making it accessible across all browsers and most tablets.

    As well as news and comprehensive information for parents and carers, the www.tescboankfootballchallenge.com has lots of useful information about playing football and living an active and healthy lifestyle. It’s been created for children at Primary 2 and 3 age groups, the current target for the Tesco Bank Football Challenge.

    The new website is also an excellent tool for teachers using the Tesco Bank Football Challenge as a way of inspiring healthy living, within the parameters of the Curriculum for Excellence which promotes lifelong learning in inspiring, creative contexts.

    Noble Primary School is set to become the latest to join the Scottish FA’s flagship football participation programme at the start of next session.

    The Tesco Bank Football Challenge is a four-year community programme run in partnership with the Scottish FA. The project introduces football to Primary 2 and Primary 3 children (six to eight years old) across Scotland to help get them engaged in a healthy and active lifestyle.

    Overall, more than 36,000 children across Scotland will have been involved in the Tesco Bank Football Challenge by June 2012.

    Tesco Bank Football Challenge ambassador Stephen Craigan said: “I’m hugely impressed with the website. Its brilliant fun for the kids and includes lots of relevant content, all of which is extremely inspiring. Connecting digital media, so commonly used by children, to sport is a simple but incredibly good idea – the latest in what is a brilliant programme.”

    Scottish FA head of regional football development Andy Gould commented: “I’m delighted to see Tesco Bank reinforce their commitment to the Tesco Bank Football Challenge with the launch of www.tescobankfootballchallenge.com. It’s a brilliantly inspiring way to promote playing the game, all through the eyes of the programme’s very popular mascot, Bobby the Ball”

    Adele Mills, Community Investment Manager at Tesco Bank added: “We’ve worked extremely hard to create a website which is inspiring, child focused, and rich in content that children, parents, carers, teachers and volunteers can all enjoy, part of Tesco Bank’s commitment to provide the communities in which we work the opportunity to make healthy choices.”

    Councillor Jim Logue, Convener of Learning and Leisure Services with North Lanarkshire Council added: “This is an exciting time for football in North Lanarkshire with Braidhurst High School recently being announced as an ‘Elite Performance Academy’ as part of the SFA’s Performance Strategy.

    “As a council, we have invested heavily in our football facilities including the magnificent Ravenscraig sports centre and we are committed to encouraging all our pupils to get more involved in sport and lead healthier lifestyles. We are delighted to be working with the Tesco Bank Football Challenge, and the launch of this new website is a further exciting development in this initiative.”

    “In the first year of the programme 479 schools across Scotland’s 32 local authorities participated in the programme, involving 19,061 boys and girls. There were 74 regional festivals and over 1000 teachers and volunteers went through the Scottish FA’s in-service programme.

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    Current Contact Update

    Further to Saturday’s announcement regarding player contracts, the club can confirm the latest details.

    Young winger Josh Watt has penned a new one-year deal to be a part of our 2012/13 Under 20’s squad, joining Lee Erwin and Euan Murray.

    The following contracts have been offered to current out-of-contract players.

    STEVEN HETHERINGTON                                            1-YEAR DEAL
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    Renovations start at Fir Park

    Although the 2011/2012 SPL season concluded last Sunday, preparations for the new season is already well underway at Fir Park.

    Not only is the pitch at the stadium getting replaced, the Astro behind the East Stand is getting torn up with a new 3G surface taking its place and the Reading Garden adjacent to the South Stand is nearing completion.

    Head Groundsman Mikey Ellis and his team have been busy not only on the pitch, but all around the ground.


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    McCall lauds seasons efforts

    Stuart McCall has lauded his players efforts over the season after Sunday’s defeat to Dundee United failed to take any shine off a magnificent season.

    The Steelmen had already secured third place going into the encounter with the Arabs but were looking to finish on a high note with Fir Park in full party atmosphere. However, Johnny Russell and John Daly had other ideas and handed their side the victory at Fir Park.

    Manager Stuart McCall was relived that the fight for 3rd position did not go the distance to the last game of the season and said, “We wanted to come out and finish on a flourish but that just didn’t happen.

    Dundee united started well but after that I thought we controlled the game up to half time and second half we huffed and puffed really, so I have no complaints about the result.

    Firpark was in full song throughout the match and created a lively atmosphere for the players and for the retiring Stephen Craigan who have had acheived beyond all expectations this season. Stuart added ” I’ve got to look the on the postive side the season as a whole has be terrific from a terrific group of players who  have given their all for the club and they deserve all the credit that they are getting”

    Stephen Craigan, who took his professional bow, played 75mins with great youth and endevour. Stuart praised his final performance by saying “I thought Stephen controlled everything. Stephen has had an outstanding career and he’s been a great pro since I’ve been at the club, led by example on the training groud and in the dressing room he has been exellent, and he is a true servant to the club.”

    The Well manager is keen for his players to get a good rest over the pre season break after a demanding season, “The boys are going to have about six weeks off. Our first game will be a Champions League game out here outwith pre-season friendlies believe it or not. They’ve enjoyed the season and they deserve a break but they have got to come back here focused. We said last season we wanted to better finishing 6th and getting to a Scottish Cup Final so I think we’ve almosted eclipsed that.

    “What we do to follow that I dont know but we will be looking forward to it. The players and supporters deserve it , so does the club.


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    Dundee United loss in pics

    Pictures from the 0-2 defeat to Dundee United in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at Fir Park.

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

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    Motherwell 0 – 2 Dundee United


    twitter Kris Jack at Fir Park

    Motherwell signed off the 2011-12 SPL season with a 2-0 home defeat to Dundee United, but neither the fans nor the players were too despondent, as the game took a back foot to the celebrations of qualifying for the Champion’s League.

    Goals from Johnny Russell and Jon Daly were the difference, but the home fans outsang their opponents all day long, as they partied in the stands ahead of The Well’s adventure in to Europe.  The game also signalled the final game of Stephen Craigan’s career, after announcing his retirement from the game in midweek. The home fans were more than gracious in their tributes and chants in his honour, as he captained the side for the final time.

    Indeed his inclusion in the side came at the cost of Tim Clancy, with Michael Higdon also returning to the starting line up, after missing the draw at Ibrox last week.  Before the game, with the team walking on to the Champion’s League theme tune,  Craigan received a plaque from Chairman Derek Weir in appreciation of the Northern Irishman’s tenure at Fir Park, as the stadium filled with chants of “One Stephen Craigan”. In the 5th minute, the fans were on their feet once more to show their respects to Motherwell’s most capped player.

    It was the most exciting part of the opening minutes, as the blustery conditions made the game a bit of a mess from the off, with little in the way of goal mouth action. After the Craigan chants had died down, however, Dundee United took their best opportunity of the first half to go 1-0 up.
    Stuart Armstrong burst down the right hand side and after cutting in to the box, unleashed a hot which Darren Randolph did well to parry away at his front post. The ball broke back to Armstrong and his cross deflected up on to the bar, before bouncing back to Johnny Russell, who poked home from close range. It briefly led to the United fans outsinging their hosts, but parity was restored amongst the Well faithful soon enough.

    Steven Hammell was unfortunate to be stretchered off after a tussle with Danny Swanson after 12 mminutes, with Tim Clancy coming on in his place. Swanson then almost set up a second for the Terrors, when he released Russell on the right. The nippy frontman’s cross evaded all along the 6 yard line, before Jon Rankin hit the outside of the post, from an acute angle.

    Motherwell’s cleanest chance of the half fell to Nicky law, who cracked a low drive from 20 yards low to the bottom corner, which Dusan Pernis managed to palm away for a corner. From a lter corner, Craigan almost capped his final game with a goal, but his header sailed just over from Hateley’s deep cross.

    Chris Humphrey was looking lively on the right wing, and had a number of crosses after getting the better of Paul Dixon, but no one was looking lively to get on the end of them. Michael Higdon came closest to converting one when Humphrey robbed United captain Jon Daly in the box, but his centre bobbled up and over off Higdon’s thigh.

    The half ended rather scrappily with United having two free kicks on the edge of the box in quick succession, with Dixon then Ritchie Ryan firing them just over.

    It wasn’t the scoreline the home fans would have been wanting, had it been an important match, but given the occasion, there weren’t too many glum faces in the home support at half time.

    After the restart, things threatened to boil over after a late challenge by Clancy provoked a similar reaction from Swanson on the half way line. Steve Jennings let his frustrations show, blootering the ball of Swanson as a small melee ensued, with only the United man booked. A few moments later, he was lucky not to he have seen a second yellow, when he took Clancy out of the game once more. As the home fans chanted for referee Euan Norris to send him off, the man in the middle decided to let it slide.

    Peter Houston sensed Swanson w s in danger of leading his side down to ten men, and he quickly replaced the battling midfielder with Ryan Dow. The youngster’s first involvement was to blast over from inside the box, when he should really have tested Randolph. The big goalie was soon calle din to action when Rankin’s cross was touched on at the front post by Russell, and Daly powered a header goalward, only to be denied by the reflexes of the big Irish goalie.

    Humphrey was continuing to get in behind Dixon and only a great claim by Pernis prevented a low ball across goal from reaching Murphy, before the Jamaican played a neat 1-2 with Hateley, which resulted in a cross just too high for Higdon.

    The impressive Armstrong for Peter Houston’s men then tested Randolph woith a low fizzer, which was deflected in to the waiting arms of the keeper. Dow then shot wide at the  near post after Dixon got past Humphrey to fire a low ball in. Motherwell seemed to invite United on, and Rankin almost capitalised with another long range effort which had Randolph at full stretch, which drifted just by.

    Captain Craigan then almost ahd the crowd on it’s feet after more good wing play from Humphrey and Hateley, broke to him at the edge of the box. Despite making a great connection, his effort from 20 yards went agonisingly wide, as The Well searched for a leveller.  Henrik Ojamaa replaced Nicky Law as Stuart McCall looked to add some creativity to the attack on 65 minutes. Tim Clancy and Jon daly then picked up bookings for some handbags after the former had fouled United sub Gary Mackay-Steven on the right wing.

    Craigan eventually left the field to rapturous applause from the home fans, there to see the man who played over 350 times in Claret and Amber off to retirement. As he lapped up the applause, Ross Forbes came on to make his final appearance for The Well, and could have signed off in style, when given the opportunity to fire in a free kick. However, his ball in didn’t clear the first man, which allowed United to break, before Hately was harshly booked for bringing down MacKay-Steven.

    With 8 minutes remaining, Jon Daly doubled Dundee United’s lead, when he bundled home from close range after Robertson’s ball in took a few deflections, teeing up the Tangerine’s captain to score his 18th SPL goal of the season. As loud as the United fans were behind the goal, The Well fan’s grew louder, knowing the match mattered not. As the game petered out, Higdon took a great dummy from Ojamaa in his stride before blasting his shot low and wide of Pernis’ right hand post.

    As the referee blew for full time, an almighty cheer went up around the stadium, from both sets of fans, congratulating their sides for ending the season with a European tour. The home fans stayed inside the stadium to take in the player’s lap of honour, led by Craigan and his daughter. The rest of the squad embraced the applause and praise, collecting scarves and inflatables as they landed on the pitch, at the culmination of one of The Well’s greatest season’s in modern history.

    The loss meant that StuarMcCall’s side finished with a record highest SPL points tally of 62, having won half of their 38 games. While the players and fans will no doubt enjoy the summer ahead, attentions will soon turn to next season, and the arrival of the Champion’s League at Fir Park.

    [tab:As it happened]

    twitter Alan Burrows at Fir Park

    1min: Murph and Las kick us off. Lets end the season in style!

    5mins: And a minute of applause for retiring captain Stephen Craigan. An acknowledging thumbs up too from the big man!

    7mins: Goal, Dundee United- Great double save from Randolph but the hitman was there to somehow scramble the ball home.

    11mins: Stevie Hammell on the deck in some pain by the looks of things. A tangle of legs with Swanson….now being stretchered off!

    18mins: There’s a few sombreros around and there is a Palm tree somewhere in the East but this weather is far from continental bliss!

    19mins: United go close again. This time Hateley is on hand to clear a goalbound shot off the line

    22mins: Law goes close with a 20 yard effort. Bounce decieved Pernis who parried out for a corner.

    32mins: Great chance there for ‘Well! Humphrey battles down the wing and his cross flashes accross goal with no takers!

    36mins: Exact same chance as that last tweet…except this time Higdon was there. The scouser couldn’t keep his shot down though. Still 0-1

    39mins: Dixon’s wind assisted free-kick skims the top of Randolph’s bar. Unlucky there

    44mins: Steve Jennings booked for a late challenge on Russell. The resulting free-kick is fired just over.

    45mins: Now, the teams are back out. Mon the ‘Well!

    52mins: Swanson booked for a terrible tackle on Lasley. Last game of the season and entirely unnecessary!

    53mins: Swanson flies into another rash challenge…no booking though!

    55mins: He’s off now though. Subbed off for Ryan Dow.

    59mins: Brilliant save there from Randolph to tip Daly’s header over the bar.

    65mins: ‘Well sub – Ojamaa on for Law.

    67mins. Stephenn Craigan 20 yards out. On his left foot. Last ever game. Glory awaits……slices it well wide!

    7,446 fans here today. Thanks to all as always.

    79mins: ‘Well sub – Craigan departs from the Fir Park turf for the last time. Replaced by Ross Forbes.

    81mins: Goal Dundee United – John Daly makes it 2-0.

    2 minutes added on.

    And that’s Full-time. A disappointing 0-2 defeat but what a season that has been! Unbelievable achievement!

    Full time – Motherwell 0 Dundee United 2


    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    Dundee United manager Peter Houston.


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    Commercial news for Dundee Utd Match

    The Fir Park commercial team can reveal the latest offers around the ground for some fun and entertainment.

    Cooper Bar Opened 11am

    The Cooper bar will be opened at 11am on Sunday 13 May for the upcoming fixture VS Dundee United. Enjoy a drink in a relaxed environment prior to the match.

    End of Season Champions League Party!

    Following the final whistle on Sunday, Motherwell fans have organised an end of season / Champions League Party in the Davie Cooper Suite.  With live music and DJ it’s going to be the place to be post match!

    Corporate Season Tickets

    Season tickets for Centenary, Millennium and South Stand are now on sale.  Please contact 01698 338008 or 338062 for details.

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    End of season contract news

    The club can confirm the following squad changes as of Friday 1st June 2012.

    The following player will leave the club after retiring from football:

    5. Stephen Craigan

    Leaving the club after their contracts expire will be:

    18. Ross Forbes, 19. Gary Smith, 21. Jamie Pollock, 23. Jordan Halsman, 25. Steven Lawless, 27. Ross McKinnon, 31. Tom Bradley

    The following players have been offered extended terms:

    3. Steven Hammell, 8. Steve Jennings, 12. Lee Hollis, 14. Keith Lasley, 22. Tim Clancy

    The following U20 players have been offered extended terms:

    38. Joshua Watt, 39. Adam Cummins, 40. Nicky Devlin, 43. Zane Francis-Angol, 44. Stevie Hetherington

    The following U20 players have signed extended terms:

    32. Lee Irwin, 37. Euan Murray

    The following U20 players have been released:

    30. Herman Mboa Mekongo, 33. Michael Lynch, 34. Keiran McGachie, 35. Keiran MacDonald, 46. Darren Brownlie

    Motherwell Football Club would like to sincerely thank all the players who are leaving the club for their efforts whilst at Fir Park and wish them every success in the future careers.

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    TV: Craigan relishing celebrations

    Retiring Motherwell captain Stephen Craigan has revealed he is looking forward to Sundays clash with Dundee United for many reasons.

    The inspirational captain plays his last ever professional game against fellow European qualifiers Dundee United on Sunday in what is sure to be an emotional day for the 35 year old who concludes his a 15 year career with Motherwell.

    Speaking to MFCTV, Craigan said, “There is no doubt it will be an emotional day. I’ve spent 15 years of my 18 year career here. I came here as a 17 year old kid and spent the majority of my adult life growing up here so you make friendships with people and make rapport with people and I will miss it.

    “The mood in the camp is good. We said a few week ago we didn’t want to go into this game having it as a play-off for third in the league so it suited us well that we have got the job done. I think we can now go out and enjoy it. There aren’t many game in football you can enjoy without any pressure and still have had success along the way and hopefully the players can express themselves.

    “There should be a huge crowd; £5 a ticket is wonderful, and it should be a day of celebrating the fact we’ve came third and obviously a personal celebration that I’m finishing up. We need people to come back but we need to catch them and get them to want to come back. If they here on Sunday and maybe not see a great performance, but a bit of a celebration then hopefully they will get attached to that and want to come back next season and support the boys.

    “If we win on Sunday we will have won half our games which is a phenomenal return for a club of our size.”