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    Community Trust wins prestigious award

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    Nancy wins £10k from Clydesdale Bank

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    Higdon scoops ’Golden Boot’ award

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    Forthcoming squad changes

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    TV: Lawson completes ‘Well switch

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    Work begins to replace pitch

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    TV: Highlights from McDiarmid Park

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    St Johnstone defeat in pictures

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    TV: McCall focuses on positives

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    St Johnstone 2 – 0 Motherwell

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    Community Trust wins prestigious award

    The Motherwell Football Club Community Trust has become one of the first professional clubs in the country to be awarded the SFA Quality Mark.

    This award is in recognition of the valuable contribution to grassroots football, that Community Trust make on a daily basis, offering the local community the chance to get involved with the club.

    The Community Club Award, part of the Quality Mark Accreditation Scheme run by the Scottish FA in partnership with McDonald’s and sportscotland, recognises pro-active clubs and schools working to increase youth and community participation.

    Clubs and schools receive the award after meeting standards in areas such as coach and player development, management, administration, welfare and planning.

    There are four Quality Mark categories – Standard, Development, Community and Legacy. So far more than 400 clubs and schools have achieved accreditation over the categories, and over 5,000 coaches have benefited from coach education and first aid training.

    McDonald’s, Scottish FA’s community partner since 2002, are committed to helping young footballers shine by attracting 13,000 new volunteers and 10,000 new coaches by 2014, as well as supporting 600 clubs and 52,000 players through new and existing football networks.

    Through Quality Mark, McDonald’s and the Scottish FA aim to provide support to grassroots clubs and schools across Scotland as they strive to broaden youth and community participation and to enhance player, coach and volunteer development.

    The Quality Mark Accreditation Scheme is supported by sportscotland, the national agency for sport. sportscotland has one clear focus – to develop a world class sporting system for Scotland – and works with partners to build success for Scottish sport.

    sportscotland is a key partner in the delivery of youth football programmes, investing over £1m per year in activities including employment of club development staff, discounted coach education and training for volunteers.

    Graeme McArthur, Programme Development Manager for Motherwell Football Club Community Trust explains “We are delighted to have received this award in recognition of the hard work that everybody within the Trust has put in since its inception.

    “To be recognised at a national level and to be one of only a few professional clubs to have received this award is a great honour for us and one which we are very proud of. Through the Quality Mark award we now have  a variety of teams from children through to adults offering the opportunity to get involved in football and represent Motherwell Football Club Community Trust.”

    Alan Taylor, Regional Development Manager for the SFA continued “The Scottish FA are delighted to recognise Motherwell FC Community Trust as a Community level Quality Mark club, the award is in recognition of the quality provision that the club offer to players within the non professional game.

    “The club have a wide range of playing opportunities for all members of the Motherwell community and we look forward to working with the club to continue to increase the number of players, coaches and volunteers involved in the clubs community programmes”

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    Nancy wins £10k from Clydesdale Bank

    After 38 rounds of Clydesdale Bank Premier League fixtures, the online predictor game Score Selector from SPL sponsor Clydesdale Bank has been won by Motherwell fan, Nancy Buchanan.

    Nancy, whose Score Selector screen name is ‘NANCYMFC’, racked up an impressive 170 points during the 2012/13 season correctly predicting an impressive 29 exact results along the way to lead the chasing pack by nine points.

    Nancy, who received her winning cheque for £10,000 from Motherwell forward Michael Higdon in a special presentation at Fir Park, said: “I’m delighted to win Score Selector, it was starting to get extremely nerve-racking over the past few weeks knowing I was top of the leaderboard. I was trying not to think too hard over my predictions, although my heart did rule over my head when it came to Motherwell’s results.”

    “We have our own family league set up and it is always a great talking point over who could predict the most results. It was around Christmas I first topped the league and my family always said teams who are top at Christmas never hold on but I’m so glad I managed it.”

    Talking about how she intended to spend her £10,000 prize, Nancy said:
    “I think I will treat myself to a nice holiday, possibly go on a cruise. I also have grandkids who I think deserve a treat or two!”

    Steven Hunt, Clydesdale Bank Sponsorship Manager commented on the success of Score Selector:
    “Congratulations to all our winners and of course to Nancy our newly crowned Score Selector Champion. To correctly predict 29 exact results in what has been a highly competitive Clydesdale Bank Premier League season is an impressive achievement to say the least.

    “We are delighted with the ever growing support Score Selector has had throughout our time as sponsor and would like to thank everyone who has taken part.”

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    Higdon scoops ’Golden Boot’ award

    Michael Higdon has been awarded the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Golden Boot for finishing the top goalscorer in the league this season.

    Higdon has played a huge part in Motherwell’s success by scoring 26 league goals to help his side finish in second position in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

    Michael has scored many goals this season, but one of his most important may have been his penalty against Celtic in a 3-1 win for his side that confirmed Motherwell’s place in the Europa League next season.

    Higdon topped the Clydesdale Bank Premier League goalscoring charts with 26 goals, closely followed by Billy McKay from Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Leigh Griffiths from Hibernian who both scored 23 league goals this season.

    In what has been an incredible season for the 29-year old former Crewe striker, Higdon has broken Wullie Pettigrew’s post-war record for most top league goals in a season, was named the Clydesdale Bank Premier League Player of the Month on two separate occasions and became the first ‘Well player in history to be named the PFA Scotland Player of the Year.

    He also scooped the Motherwell Supporters Association Player of the Year, completing a sensational campaign.

    Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Michael on yet another accolade.

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    Forthcoming squad changes

    The club can confirm the following squad changes as of Saturday 1st June 2013.

    Leaving the club after their contracts expire on 31st May will be:

    • Darren Randolph (Birmingham City)
    • Steven Saunders
    • Nicky Law
    • Omar Daley
    • Steven Hetherington
    • Josh Watt
    • Nicky Devlin

    The following players have been / will be offered extended terms with the club:

    • Tom Hateley
    • Chris Humphrey
    • Michael Higdon
    • Fraser Kerr
    • James McFadden

    The following players loan has expired and will return to their parent club:

    • Kallum Higginbotham (Huddersfield Town)

    The following Under 20 players have left the club after their contracts expired:

    • Adam Asghar
    • Dominic Green

    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: Lawson completes ‘Well switch

    Midfielder Paul Lawson has become the first signing of the summer after penning a two-year deal this afternoon.

    The 28-year old former Celtic and Ross County man will be officially registered on 1st June when his current deal with the Staggies expires.

    Lawson began his career at Celtic Park and was skipper of the reserve side whilst a regular feature in the then Scotland Under 21 squad.

    He played four times for Celtic’s first-team, including a starting slot against Aberdeen back in May 2006.

    He enjoyed loan spells at both St Johnstone and St Mirren before joining Ross County in the summer of 2007.

    [pullquote]It’s great to have my future sorted out. There is a lot of uncertainty around Scottish Football so it’s really pleasing to have things sorted early doors.[/pullquote]

    Six years and 178 games later, he has opted to return to the central belt after a fabulous final season at Victoria Park, starring for Derek Adams’ side as they secured a top-six finish.

    Speaking exclusively to MFC TV, he said: “It’s great to have my future sorted out. There is a lot of uncertainty around Scottish Football so it’s really pleasing to have things sorted early doors.

    “I enjoyed my time at Ross County. I have been pleased with my performances and thankfully the manager [Stuart McCall] spotted that and came in to sign me.

    “He is probably the main reason why I joined. I met him and he was keen to bring me here which was great and obviously the boys have enjoyed a fantastic season and I am keen to try and continue that next year.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    Work begins to replace pitch

    Remedial work has started on the Fir Park ahead of the forthcoming 2013/14 season.

    Head Groundsman Mikey Ellis explained: “We have been very pleased with the condition of the pitch in the previous two seasons.

    “The quality has meant the remedial work required this summer is nowhere near as length as in previous years.

    “We are fraze mowing the turf at the moment then we will verti-drain it. We will then add a few tones of sand before seeding.

    “The work will be complete before the end of the week which should see us in really good shape ahead of the new season.”

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    TV: Highlights from McDiarmid Park

    Highlights from McDiarmid Park as Motherwell slump to a  2-0 defeat to St Johnstone in the final game of the season.

    -WATCH THE FULL HIGHLIGHTS ONLY ON MFC TV-

    MFC TV

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    St Johnstone defeat in pictures

    Action shots from the McDiarmid Park as Motherwell lose the last game of the season 2-0 to St Johnstone.

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    TV: McCall focuses on positives

    Stuart McCall insisted a disappointing final day defeat by St Johnstone will now overshadow what has been an sensational campaign for his side.

    The Steelmen suffered a 2-0 defeat to the Saints after goals from Liam Craig and Nigel Hasselbaink enough to give Steve Lomas’ men a spot in the Europa League.

    McCall was unhappy with the result but keen to focus on the positives of the campaign that has seen them finish as runners-up in the SPL.

    He told MFC TV after the match: It’s always disappointing to lose no matter which game you, play.

    [pullquote]My disappointment is balanced out by my pride at the whole season[/pullquote]

    “I knew as soon as we had a kick-around on the park before the warm up that the pitch was going to be the worst we’ve played on all season although that is not making excuses.

    “You’ve got to hold your hands up and admit it was a great strike by Craig and that gave them the impetus for the second-half.

    “We didn’t create a great deal and they defended well. They are a strong, physical side and when we tried to play football, it just didn’t come off.

    “My disappointment is balanced out by my pride at the whole season, the fantastic backing from supporters at both ends of the stadium and although it would have been nice to end with a victory, I’m actually delighted with the way we’ve finished the season overall.”

    -WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW ON MFC TV

    MFC TV

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    St Johnstone 2 – 0 Motherwell

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     Phil McGhee at McDiarmid Park

    Motherwell ended the season with a disappointing 2-0 defeat to euro-chasing St Johnstone at Perth.

    A tremendous 1000 plus “Well fans crammed into the Main Stand at McDiarmid Park, with an overspill behind the goal, intent on celebrating the conclusion of a fabulous season.

    But it was Saints who deservedly took the points to secure the last European slot with goals from Liam Craig and Nigel Hasselbaink.

    In the end it was a disappointing afternoon for the Steelmen who never managed to match the hunger of the home side or acclimatise to a very difficult playing surface.

    Lee Hollis took over in goal from Darren Randolph and with Tom Hateley and Chris Humphrey both injured, Fraser Kerr and Stuart Carswell made it into the starting line-up.

    And while it was a chance for those three to shine, in truth, ‘Well hade few bright moments in an otherwise forgettable afternoon.

    The pitch made football difficult for both teams and the play, like the surface, was very patchy. Incredibly as every pass bobbled up off the surface, and both the players and referee looked for a solution, the match ball was replaced four times in the opening 20 minutes.

    By that stage the only football thing of note was when Steven McLean slid the ball past Hollis and into the net only for the Saints celebrations to be curtailed by an offside flag.

    “Well’s only threat came when James McFadden, wide on the right fed in Nicky Law who blasted his shot high and wide.

    After half an hour though Saints looked much more intent and a great move and cross from Callum Davidson found Chris Miller whose side foot volley smacked off the face of the post.

    ‘Well’s luck did not carry much further though and in the 35th minute, the Perth side took the lead.

    Simon Ramsden did well with a double block outside the box but when the ball fell in front of Liam Craig, he unleashed a superb left foot drive which gave Hollis no chance.

    Saints fans were cheering again minutes later as news came through that Inverness Caley were a goal down placing the Perth men in pole position for Europe.

    That nearly changed on the stroke of half time when ‘Well almost equalised. Law’s corner found Higdon and his powerful downward header was blocked by Alan Mannus but from six yards, Henrik Ojamaa hoisted the rebound over the bar when a leveler looked likely.

    Saints reply to that scare was almost immediate and two minutes after the break they grabbed their second goal to make the points secure. Nigel Hasselbaink, who has a habit of scoring against ‘Well, collected the ball with his back to goal, turned Shaun Hutchison and guided his shot just inside the post.

    That lead might have been increased when a dipping volley from Murray Davidson crashed off the cross bar.

    Hollis then produced a fine one handed save to push away a low drive from substitute Mehdi Abeid.

    With Saints content to protect their lead, Motherwell never looked like getting back into the game and the best they had to offer a subdued travelling support was a Hutchison header which was held by Mannus and a Kallum Higginbotham shot which was deflected just outside the post.

    Undaunted by the result, the Motherwell fans joined the Saints fans on the pitch at the final whistle to celebrate both side’s European qualification and an otherwise sensational 2012/13 drew to a close.

    [tab:As it happened]

    Alan Burrows at McDiarmid Park

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    Motherwell manager Stuart McCall:

    “I was disappointed we lost the game.

    “There are no excuses. St Johnstone had the bit between the teeth. I don’t like losing anything but we have to take a reality check.

    “It’s not been about today, it’s been about the season.”

    St Johnstone manager Stevie Lomas:

    “I thought it was a day of excellence. We carried out our gameplan to perfection and it could have been by a lot more.

    “The boys were excellent. We just had to do what we could do.

    “The lads were fully focused and you saw that from their effort and commitment and the quality of play.”

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