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    Devlin returns to Sons on loan

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    TV: Murphy aiming for goals

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    TV: McCall hoping for win at Killie

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    Finnie’s in charge at Killie

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    TV: U20s Highlights from Fir Park

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    TV: Jenks disappointed at defeat

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    Motherwell U20s 1 – 3 Celtic U20s

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    ‘Well reject double offer

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    Levante tickets on sale Tuesday

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    U20s kick-off this Tuesday

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    Devlin returns to Sons on loan

    Young full-back Nicky Devlin has re-joined his former side Dumbarton on a short-term loan deal.

    Devlin, 18, joined the Steelmen last summer but his season at Fir Park never really got going after a knee injury early in the season ruled him out for several months.

    The former Scotland U19 International spent the last few months of the campaign on-loan at Stenhousemuir where he collected the Irn-Bru Young Player of the Month award for April in his first full month at the club.

    He has not yet managed to break into the Motherwell first-team and will re-join his former colleagues at The Bet Butler Stadium for an initial 28-day period.

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall said, “Nicky was very unlucky last year with injury but did very well whilst out on loan towards the end of last season.

    “It’s vital for his development he is playing competitive football on a regular basis which is why we have allowed him to join Dumbarton.

    “He knows the place very well having come through the ranks at the club and played for their first-team during the 2010-10 season.

    “We will monitor his progress very carefully whilst he is on loan and I intend to get along and watch him as often as I can.”

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    TV: Murphy aiming for goals

    Jamie Murphy is hoping to get amongst the goals and shoot Motherwell to their first victory of the new 2012/13 SPL season.

    The Steelmen take on Kilmarnock at Rugby Park not having beaten the Ayrshire club for nearly two years.

    But Murphy, Motherwell’s all-time leading European scorer hopes the Fir Parkers can put that right tomorrow, setting things up nicely for the visit of Levante U.D. on Thursday in the Europa League.

    [pullquote]We know it’s up to us to put in a performance tomorrow and hopefully score some goals.[/pullquote]

    “It’s obviously an important game tomorrow, he said. “They’re a good side but hopefully if we do enough we’ll get the three points.

    “I wouldn’t Killie were a bogey team but we had a bit of trouble playing against them last season that’s for sure.

    “We didn’t play to our best against them, particularly down at Rugby Park, so we know it’s up to us to put in a performance tomorrow and hopefully score some goals.”

    -WATCH JAMIE’S FULL PRESS CONFERENCE ONLY ON MFC TV-

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    TV: McCall hoping for win at Killie

    Stuart McCall wants to go one better and pick up a three points against Killie for the first time in his tenure at Fir Park.

    The Steelmen haven’t managed to take three points at Rugby Park since a Nick Blackman strike gave Craig Brown’s ‘Well the win almost two years ago.

    There were two 0-0 draws last season and Killie won the other match 2-0 in the same week they scooped the Scottish Communities League Cup.

    [pullquote]It’s a big park down there and we’d like to think we have players who could use that to its maximum[/pullquote]

    “They were the only side last season we never managed a goal against,” said the former Scotland International.

    “We had two really entertaining nil-nil draws. If it wasn’t for some excellent goalkeeping both sides could have scored lots of goals in those games. Then we had probably our most inept performance of the season after Kilmarnock won the league cup, going down there and getting beat two nil.

    “That was a really poor performance so we certainly need to be better than we were last time out.

    “We’re trying to find out some information on the new signing they’ve made and we don’t know what he’ll be capable of but I expect a tough game as always. It’s a big park down there and we’d like to think we have players who could use that to its maximum.

    “The last outing at Ross County we had lots of possession without the cutting edge so that is something we’ll be looking to improve on.

    “It would be nice to get a win but on their day Kilmarnock can play well.”

    -WATCH THE PRESS CONFERENCE IN FULL ON MFC TV-

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    Finnie’s in charge at Killie

    Referee for Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park is Stephen Finnie.

    It will be the first time Stephen has taken charge of a Motherwell match in almost two years; his previous appointment was the Steelmen’s narrow defeat to Celtic in Glasgow the day before Stuart McCall took up the hot seat at the club.

    In the same season, he was also the man in the middle as ‘Well crashed 4-1 at Ibrox. Nick Blackman had actually put the Fir Parkers ahead but second half strikes from Steven Naismith, Steve Davies, Kenny Miller and Vladimir Weiss gave the home side a comfortable victory.

    In actual fact, since taking matches in the top-flight of Scottish football, Stephen has only ever officiated five Motherwell matches.

    Other than those Old Firm defeats, there was a 3-1 home win over Hearts in March of 2010 (Goals from Mark Reynolds, John Sutton and Jim O’Brien), a 1-0 defeat at Tannadice in October 2007 (Darren Dods heading home the games’ only goal) and a 2-0 win over Dunfermline in March 2007 courtesy of a Scott McDonald brace.

    In those five matches, he has delt25 cautions, five of which flashed at a player wearing Claret and Amber. Only one player has been sent for an early bath and that was Scott Brown for a second bookable offence in that match at Parkhead in 2010.

    Stephen will be ably assisted on the day by Alan Mulvanny and Joseph Lawson with Steven McLean assigned as fourth official.

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    TV: U20s Highlights from Fir Park

    Despite an accomplished second-half goal from Craig Moore, ‘Well crashed to a 1-3 home defeat at the hands of Celtic at Fir Park.

    -WATCH MATCH HIGHLIGHTS ONLY ON MFC TV-

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    TV: Jenks disappointed at defeat

    The U20s caretaker boss Bobby Jenks was left frustrated as Motherwell crashed to a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Celtic.

    The Fir Park side contained the likes of Lee Hollis, Jon Page, Stuart Carswell and Bob McHugh but came unstuck against a talented and vibrant Celtic side.

    First half goals from Bahrudin Atajic and Darnell Fisher gave the visitors a commanding lead at the interval although Craig Moore reduced the deficit with 25 minutes left on the clock.

    It was left to Denny Johnstone to seal the win for John Kennedy’s men with a sublime finish from just inside the area.

    [pullquote]A lot of the boys obviously lack game time but we haven’t had the personnel to arrange more games.[/pullquote]

    Jenks told MFC TV: “It was a hard first game to play in.

    “A lot of the boys obviously lack game time but we haven’t had the personnel to arrange more games.

    “I actually enjoyed the game but it slipped away from us in the first half. We didn’t compete in the middle of the park or get the ball up to the striker’s feet.

    “We came out in the second half, changed the shape a bit, and did a lot better and got ourselves back into it. We could have had an equaliser when Nicky Devlin went through but unfortunately we didn’t and they went on to win.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW EXCLUSIVELY ON MFC TV-

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    Motherwell U20s 1 – 3 Celtic U20s

    Motherwell Under 20s lost 3-1 to Celtic in their first game of the new 2012/13 season.

    A free-kick from Bahrudin Atajic and a counter attack goal from Darnell Fisher had the Bhoys 2-0 up at half time, before Craig Moore pulled one back midway through the second half.

    However, a sublime piece of skill from Denny Johnstone ended the game a contest with a third goal ten minutes from time.

    Motherwell started brightly against John Kennedy’s young side and we’re first to threaten when Josh Watt’s direct running conjured up a corner kick. From Stevie Hetherington’s delivery, Jonathan Page headed wide of target.

    Celtic started to find their way in to the game with Patrik Twardzik testing Lee Hollis from distance, before the ‘Well goalie made a smart stop at the feet of Kirwan after spilling an effort from Jack Kirwan.

    Swedish striker Atajic then blasted a free kick over the bar from edge of the box having gone down under a challenge from Stuart Carswell.

    The visitors eventually took the lead on 34 minutes from a similar position, after Darnell Fisher hit the deck following challenge from Zaine Francis-Angol, which drew a booking for the former Spurs full-back.

    Twardzik fired the set piece in to the wall, but Page was penalised for encroaching, allowing a retake. This time Atajic found the target, as his right footed effort nestled in Hollis’s bottom left corner.

    For all their possession, Motherwell couldn’t carve out an opening, with another Page header from a Nicky Devlin delivery their best the home side could manage.

    In contract, Celtic were clinical and doubled their lead with only three minutes of the first-half remaining. Full-back Darnell Fisher broke up the right and, aided by a fortuitous ricochet off the thigh of Francis-Angol, he slotted the ball under Hollis from twelve yards.

    The second half carried on where the first left off with Celtic soaking up pressure and looking to create chances on the break. They could and should have added to their lead, when Hollis made a great save at the feet of Kirwan, after a sclaffed effort from Twardzik had evaded the home defence.

    Motherwell introduced Adam Asghar from the substitute’s bench was to set up Craig Moore to reduce the deficit. A perfect through-ball inside Fisher made its way to Moore, who had McNally back-pedaling towards the visitor’s box. The pint-sized hitman took another touch to steady himself before smashing the ball low beyond Fasan to make it 2-1.

    It was a deserved goal that galvanized the hosts so much so Nicky Devlin almost leveled shortly after when he ghosted in behind Fisher, only to spoon Josh Watt’s pass wide of the post.

    After losing the goal Celtic eventually settled and started to increase the pressure once again and after Denny Johntone had hit the post form around the neatly spot, he made it 3-1 to Celtic with a brilliant individual goal.

    Collecting the ball on the left wing, he pirouetted past Page, before unleashing a fierce drive high across Hollis. It was a great goal which effectively killed the game a contest.

    A Moore header from Kerr’s returned ball back across goal was the closest ‘Well came to pulling another back but it finished 1-3 Celtic with the youths plenty to work on ahead of the next match against Ross County next week.

    Motherwell: Hollis, Devlin, Francis-Angol (Cummins – 46), Hetherington, Kerr, Page, Watt, Carswell, McHugh (Shirkie – 62), Moore, Leitch (Asghar – 63)

    Subs Not Used: Stewart, Murray, Johnstone, Higgins

    Cautions: Francis-Angol, Page, Moore

    Goals: Moore (65)

    >> U20s League Table

  • Archive

    ‘Well reject double offer

    Motherwell have rejected bids for both defender Shaun Hutchinson and midfielder Nicky Law.

    21-year old Hutchinson, who is contracted until the summer of 2014, has been in excellent form of late and has been attracting interest from a number of top clubs south of the border before a bid from a Championship club was received late last week.

    Nicky Law has been a star since his arrival at Fir Park from Rotherham last summer but the offer from a League One club was deemed unacceptable.

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall said, “Whilst we understand every player at this club has a value, we also need to ensure we protect our interests by getting the right price for our talent.

    [pullquote]Rejecting both offers, which were significant in Motherwell terms, is also a sign of intent from the clubs’ board that they are not prepared to accept any bid that comes our way[/pullquote]

    “Shaun has been terrific for us since I arrived at the club and has been a virtual ever-present in that time. He has all the raw materials you would want from a centre-back; he’s young, big and powerful and the experience of playing in the Europa League and Champions League is standing him in good stead.

    “He is already a top player, I would say he’s one of the hottest young talents in the SPL, and we are certain he’ll mature into an even better defender as his experience grows. That’s why any offer for him needs to be realistic.

    “Nicky has been the cornerstone of a lot of success going forward over the last twelve months and is vital to us. His contribution from midfield was key in qualifying for Europe last term and any offer for him would have to reflect his contribution to our side.

    “Rejecting both offers, which were significant in Motherwell terms, is also a sign of intent from the clubs’ board that they are not prepared to accept any bid that comes our way.

    “Unless a vastly-improved offer comes in then it is business as usual.”

  • Archive

    Levante tickets on sale Tuesday

    Tickets for the forthcoming Europa League Play-off with La Liga side Levante U.D. will go on sale from the Fir Park Ticket Office on Tuesday 14th August.

    Tickets will go on full general sale but 2012/13 Season Ticket seats will be reserved for seven days to allow holders to sit in their usual spot if they so wish.

    Prices for the match have been set at:

    Adults:   £25
    Concessions:                                        £20
    Juveniles:   £15
    • Concessions are listed as Over 60s and Full Time Students with a valid matriculation.
    • Juveniles are listed as Under 16s.
    • If you are new to Fir Park, check our handy ‘New Fans’ section that will detail everything you need to know about matchdays.
    • Fans who require wheelchair access should contact Sharon or John McCaskie on 01555 870122 or email disabledfans@motherwellfc.co.uk.
  • Archive

    U20s kick-off this Tuesday

    Another reminder that the Under 20s squad will kick-off the new campaign with a home clash against Celtic at Fir Park this Tuesday (7pm KO).

    The league is made up of fifteen teams – the SPL twelve plus Dunfermline Athletic, Falkirk and Hamilton Academical – these clubs have been invited on the basis that they have maintained a youth policy at “Performance Academy” level for the past three seasons.

    One club will have a free week in each round of fixtures.

    The games will mostly feature clubs’ younger talent but teams are allowed to play two over-age outfield players of any age plus one player who is under 23 and one of the two goalkeepers in the squad of 18 may also be over-age. Up to two trialists may feature but clubs must reduce the number of over-age players they field accordingly.

    In a change from normal first team football, teams can field up to five substitutes in a match, four of them outfield.

    PRICES:

    Adults and Concessions:

    Season book holders or Well Society membership: £4
    Standard: £5

    Under 16:

    Season book holders or Well Society membership: £2
    Standard: £3

    >> UNDER 20s LEAGUE TABLE

    >> UNDER 20s FIXTURE LIST