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    Fulham visit this Saturday at 2pm

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    Ramsden on the comeback trail

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    Bob wants the striker job

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    Player Sponsorship Opportunities

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    You Tube: Lasley talks pre-season

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    Sutton aims to end Cup disappointments

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    McManus sold on the McCall factor

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    You Tube: McCall focused on fitness

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    2014/15 Squad Numbers confirmed

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    Players return for pre-season training

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    Fulham visit this Saturday at 2pm

    Fulham visit Fir Park this Saturday at 2pm in what will be the first official pre-season friendly match of the summer.

    Stuart McCall’s men have taken part in numerous bounce games in preparation for the Europa League 2nd Qualifying Round against either Bangor City of Wales or Stjarnan of Iceland on Thursday week.

    The Cottagers, bossed by Felix Magarth, have former ‘Well defender Shaun Hutchinson in their ranks, who left last month after almost seven years in North Lanarkshire.

    The London club today also confirmed the signing of former Steelmen striker Ross McCormack from Leeds United for a reported £11 million, however, it is unknown if he will feature in the squad or match at the weekend.

    The Whites have other notable names in their squad such as Scott Parker, Moussa Dembélé and Hugo Rodallega and will be stiff opposition for the Fir Parkers.

    Kick off is 2pm

    Tickets for the match are available on the gate priced at:

    Adult:   £10
    Concession:                           £5
    • Concessions are listed as 15 and under, Over 60s and Full Time Students with a valid matriculation card.

    Picture: Fulham FC / Press Association

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    Ramsden on the comeback trail

    Simon Ramsden is hoping to put his injury nightmare behind him and enjoy his best season yet at Fir Park.

    The experienced defender was having a fabulous season and was many fans’ pick for Player of the Year until an innocuous fall at Tynecastle last January incredibly ruled him out for the rest of campaign.

    It has been six months of frustration for the former Bradford City man as he watched his teammates secure a runners-up spot in the league.

    But he’s now back in full training and can’t wait for the new campaign to get started.

    After a grueling week of treble sessions in the Algarve, the 32-year old said: “I’ve been playing a little catch-up having been out since last January.

    “Hopefully I have a bit more luck that I did in the second half of last season. It was horrendous; I got hurt against Hearts and initially told I would be out for three weeks.

    [pullquote]Three operations later I was still out, so it was a bad time. There were complications with the first two ops. It was really frustrating to say the least, but thankfully now it feels great[/pullquote].

    “It’s hard when the lads are going training and I was doing the same things over and over again in the gym.

    “Towards the end of the season, Paul Lawson and Stuart Carswell were injured as well, so we could motivate one another and do circuits.

    “But when you are by yourself, it can be very lonely and depressing. You have to keep telling yourself you are doing it to get back to fitness. This is the last year of my contract at Motherwell and my aim is to build on the form I showed before I got injured.”

    Pictured showing off some of his unusual body artwork, Ramsden, a keen Sunderland fan, explain the tributes.

    “I have my dad tattooed on the right side of my chest. He goes to every game I play and I’m very close to him,” he said.

    “He is the biggest influence on my career. He is a social worker; he’s 66 and coming up for retirement but goes everywhere to watch me.

    “On the other side is my granddad, Bobby. He passed away three years ago, so it’s a tribute to him. Underneath I’ve got my little girl’s name, Bella.

    “I’ve got a Sunderland tattoo at the bottom of my back and another in an area you wouldn’t want to know about. If I said I got it whilst on my stag do last year, you will probably be able to figure out where it is!”

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    Bob wants the striker job

    Bob McHugh has begged boss Stuart McCall to give him the nod to be Motherwell’s goal-getter in the new season.

    With the departure of both James McFadden and Henri Anier, the Fir Park boss is in the market for more firepower, with former hero David Clarkson currently training with the squad in the Algarve.

    However, 22-year old McHugh is desperate to be given an extended run in the team to prove he can be the man to shoot ‘Well into more European and SPFL success.

    McHugh made his senior debut under Mark McGhee aged just sixteen, but despite seven years in and around the first-team, he has been unable to hold down a regular starting berth.

    However, the former Scotland Youth International admits this season is make-or-break for him at Fir Park.

    Speaking to the travelling press at Motherwell’s Portuguese training camp, McHugh said: “I hope this is going to be my season, especially with Faddy and Henri leaving, there’s a jersey up for grabs.

    “I’m looking to say to the manager, ‘I’m here and you don’t need to look anywhere else.’

    [pullquote]Obviously the manager will look to strengthen the squad with another striker but I want the chance to fill Faddy and Henri’s boots as I feel I could do a job for the team.[/pullquote]

    “My contract is up next summer and this is a huge season for me. I’d love to be at ‘Well beyond that so I know I need to perform. I feel I have the ability to play for this club and be successful but it’s up to the manager to give me a shot.

    “Then it’s up to me to deliver and to the business when he gives me the nod.”

    As McHugh is put through his paces in pre-season, the front man, who spent loan time at Queen of the South last season, is adamant this is the fittest he’s ever been.

    He said: “I scored goals when I was out on loan and I enjoyed playing every week. That’s what I’ve really needed in the last couple of seasons, a consistent run of games.

    “I have also worked hard over the summer. My fitness is the best it’s ever been and my body fat is right down to a low level and my diet has been great. I took just one week off then got back into it.

    “I’ve put the work in over the summer, worked right through and this is the best shape I’ve ever felt. I just wanted to come back to the club in the best possible shape, hit the ground running and really go for it.

    “Hopefully it will all have paid off and I will feature more in the first-team.”

    Keep up to date with additional information on our pre-season camp via Twitter and some behind-the-scenes pictures on Instagram. Action shots from training can also be found on our official Facebook page and videos are at our You Tube channel.

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    Player Sponsorship Opportunities

    There are still Home, Away and Euro sponsorship opportunities available for the 2014/15 season.

    With the arrival of Josh Law, Dan Twardzik, Henrik Ojamaa and Mark O’Brien, along with the emergence of some of our younger talent in to the first-team, this is your chance to own a piece of Motherwell history.

    As a sponsor, your name or company name will be listed in our matchday magazine and on the official club website – motherwellfc.co.uk.

    Your name will be highlighted at half-time by our PA announcer alongside that of your chosen player on a matchday if he is selected in the first-team; fantastic exposure for any small business or as a special gift to the ‘Well fan in your life!

    At the end of the campaign, you will be invited to the annual sponsor’s evening.

    Mix and mingle with Motherwell stars from the past and present before your chosen player joins you at your table for dinner and later, presents you with his jersey.

    The evening also includes a fabulous three-course meal, an intimate Q & A with the Management Team, as well as entertainment from Fir Park favourite, Tam Cowan.

    What’s still available for 2014/15?

    HOME (£295):

    • Kenny Black
    • Mark O’Brien
    • Ross Stewart

    AWAY (£275):

    • Mark O’Brien
    • Ross Stewart

    EUROPEAN (£350):

    • Mark O’Brien
    • Bob McHugh
    • Ross Stewart

    BOOTS / GLOVES (£350):

    • Stuart Carswell
    • Gunnar Nielsen
    • Mark O’Brien
    • Bob McHugh
    • Zaine Francis-Angol
    • Fraser Kerr
    • Adam Cummins
    • Ross Stewart

    UNDER 20s (£195*)

    • Dom Thomas
    • Steven Higgins
    • Morgyn Neill
    • Chris Cadden
    • Max Currie
    • Craig McCall
    • Liam Anderson
    • Dylan Mackin
    • Dannie McNulty
    • Robbie Leitch
    • Ben Hall
    • Luke Watt
    • Ross MacLean
    • Allan Campbell
    • Brett Long
    • Ryan Watters

    * The Under 20’s package is slightly different to that of the first-team detailed at the top of this page. Contact Diane at the numbers below for a full package breakdown.

    For more information or to sponsor a player please contact 01698 338008, email (including your contact telephone number) commercial@motherwellfc.co.uk.

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    You Tube: Lasley talks pre-season

    Skipper Keith Lasley talked up the merits of pre-season trips as ‘Well reach the halfway point of their Algarve training camp.

    The Fir Parkers have gone away each of the last three seasons and every time it has given the side the best grounding possible ahead of both the European and SPFL action.

    The uninterrupted time away allows the management team to work intensively with the players, with treble sessions and team bonding helping to prepare the squad.

    And Lasley is in no doubt how big a part it has played in recent success and spoke of how difficult the schedule has been so far.

    [pullquote]The facilities are first class; having been here before we knew what we were coming out to. It’s a great place to work, it has everything the management team needs to work us and the weather pretty much guarantees you will always get the sessions you require.[/pullquote]

    Chatting to the official Motherwell You Tube channel, the 34-year old midfielder admitted: “It’s been tough but it always is at this time of year to be honest.

    “The facilities are first class; having been here before we knew what we were coming out to. It’s a great place to work, it has everything the management team needs to work us and the weather pretty much guarantees you will always get the sessions you require.

    “It has been a lot of hard work which will continue for the next few weeks. Pre-season is all about preparing for what will be another tough campaign ahead.

    “Being here in the Algarve is a perfect setting for us to do that. It has really paid off for us in previous years and hopefully it will do so again.”

    Keep up to date with additional information on our pre-season camp via Twitter and some behind-the-scenes pictures on Instagram. Action shots from training can also be found on our official Facebook page and videos are at our You Tube channel.

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    Sutton aims to end Cup disappointments

    John Sutton admits he and the rest of the Motherwell squad are on the hunt for silverware this season.

    The Steelmen are currently in Algarve preparing for the forthcoming European and SPFL Premiership campaign, but despite incredible league success in the last seven years, a Cup win remains illusive.

    However, the 30-year old striker, who bagged 23 goals last term, says that gives everyone at the club something to really aim for going into the new season.

    He said: “Finishing runners-up for the second season in a row was a brilliant achievement but we were disappointed with our Cup performances.

    “St Johnstone and Aberdeen are good teams but we feel as though we could have done more.

    “We had three cracks at it in the Cups, really. The Europa League was tricky and although you’ve got to credit Albion Rovers in the Scottish Cup, we were extremely disappointed with ourselves.

    “Aberdeen did well to win the League Cup but were had a goal disallowed against them in our game that left everyone a little sore.

    [pullquote]With the quality of players we have here and the form shown over the last seven years, you’d think we would get a bit further in the Cups or even go all the way and win a trophy.[/pullquote]

    “With the quality of players we have here and the form shown over the last seven years, you’d think we would get a bit further in the Cups or even go all the way and win a trophy.

    “Hopefully this will be our season, that’s what everybody at the club wants.”

    Sutton admits he is really enjoying life back at the club and feels the happiest he has done during his career.

    His four-year combined stint at Fir Park is the longest he’s spent with any one club and admits it’s now his home from home.

    “I feel really settled here,” he said.

    “I know players sometimes get stick for showing a lack of loyalty but it’s tricky. Every time you have a good season, because of the length of contracts nowadays, you’re touted for a move. Then, if you have a bad season, you’re out the door.

    “Motherwell is a great fit for me though, it’s a great place to work. I’ve also completed my A License course but haven’t really thought about going into coaching when I finish playing.

    “Hopefully I’ve got a few more years then we’ll see what happens.”

    Keep up to date with additional information on our pre-season camp via Twitter and some behind-the-scenes pictures on Instagram. Action shots from training can also be found on our official Facebook page and videos are at our You Tube channel.

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    McManus sold on the McCall factor

    Stephen McManus says holding on to Stuart McCall has been ‘Well’s biggest achievement of the summer so far.

    Shaun Hutchinson (Fulham), Henri Anier (Erzgebirge Aue) and James McFadden have left in what has been a relatively quiet summer in terms of departures.

    Dan Twardzik and Josh Law have arrived whilst others are on the way, but it is retaining the services of the boss that McManus has lauded the most.

    Under the former Everton and Sheffield United midfielder’s watch, the Steelmen have finished ‘Best of the Rest’ in the last three consecutive seasons.

    Speaking to the gathered press at Motherwell’s Algarve pre-season training base, the 26-times capped defender said: “The most important thing is keeping the manager here. He is the one who makes the place tick.

    “Since I’ve been here the gaffer’s been tremendous. The hardest thing to do in football management is rebuild a team. We have lost some of our best players in the past two seasons, but the gaffer has brought in others of similar quality and maintained that level of success.

    “We’ve lost Hutchy, Faddy and Henri. One stopped goals, one was creative player and one scored goals. If you are going to be a success you need players who can win you games and score goals, and that’s an area we will look to strengthen.”

    McManus, 31, arrived in North Lanarkshire last summer of a three-year spell south of the border with both Middlesbrough and Bristol City.

    He was an almost ever-present last season; missing just one game (a 1-0 win at Pittodrie on Boxing Day) making him the clubs’ highest appearance holder in a campaign ‘Well finished SPFL Premiership runners-up.

    [pullquote]Since I’ve been here the gaffer’s been tremendous. The hardest thing to do in football management is rebuild a team. We have lost some of our best players in the past two seasons, but the gaffer has brought in others of similar quality and maintained that level of success.[/pullquote]

    And the big defender, known affectionately as ‘Mick’ to his teammates, admits the fear of losing his place in the team has constantly driven him on, particularly through the tough pre-season schedules.

    “This is my sixteenth year of pre-season training, I would love to say my body is used to it but it’s not!

    “But I’ve always trained hard because I’ve been driven by fear someone would nick my place in the team. When I was younger, I spoke to experienced players and asked them what I had to so when I got older and they always said ‘Train, train and train again.

    “I thought you could maybe take a day off here or there but they told me to train hard every day. Now I hate missing sessions as I fell as if I am losing something.”

    Although ‘Well have achieved an incredible amount in recent seasons, one major task still remains illusive.

    The Fir Parkers haven’t tasted success in Cup competitions for almost twenty-five years at that is a firm target for the new campaign according to the former Celtic skipper.

    “I would love to win a trophy with Motherwell and there is no reason why we couldn’t,” he added.

    “We have been runners-up in the league so we have every right to think we can win some silverware, just like Aberdeen, Hearts, St Johnstone, St Mirren and Kilmarnock have done in recent seasons.”

    Keep up to date with additional information on our pre-season camp via Twitter and some behind-the-scenes pictures on Instagram. Action shots from training can also be found on our official Facebook page.

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    You Tube: McCall focused on fitness

    Stuart McCall hopes ‘Well’s Portuguese training camp will be as successful as previous years at giving his side a springboard for the new campaign.

    The Steelmen were in Moncarapacho two summers ago and the Costa Brava last July, but have returned again to Colina Verde as they prepare for a busy European and domestic campaign.

    McCall and his assistant Kenny Black are putting the squad through a grueling programme, which includes treble sessions each day in the baking Algarve heat, with temperatures on the first day reaching nearly ninety degrees Fahrenheit.

    And that, coupled with team bonding, is what the Fir Park boss hopes to take from the camp.

    [pullquote]Back home, the weather is never a definite and with grass surfaces in their infancy, things are not always guaranteed, so this gives us the ideal platform to work the boys hard.[/pullquote]

    Speaking exclusively to Motherwell’s Official You Tube Channel, the 40-times capped former Scotland midfielder said: “Although this year we’ve only got a few new lads, in previous seasons it (pre-season trip) has really helped in terms of the lads getting to know each other.

    “More importantly though, it ensures we get plenty of sessions in.

    “Back home, the weather is never a definite and with grass surfaces in their infancy, things are not always guaranteed, so this gives us the ideal platform to work the boys hard.

    “It’s a quiet place which allows the lads to focus solely on the training, working hard and enjoying each other’s company. We’ll do that this week before starting bounce games and friendlies when we get back to Scotland.”

    Keep up to date with additional information via Twitter and some behind-the-scenes pictures on Instagram. Action shots from training can also be found on our official Facebook page.

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    2014/15 Squad Numbers confirmed

    ‘Well boss Stuart McCall has confirmed squad numbers for current contracted players ahead of the forthcoming 2014/15 season.

    The numbers, subject to change for new and departing players, are:

    1.
    2. Craig Reid
    3. Stevie Hammell
    4. Stuart Carswell
    5. Simon Ramsden
    6. Stephen McManus
    7. Lionel Ainsworth
    8. Paul Lawson
    9. John Sutton
    11. Iain Vigurs
    12. Dan Twardzik
    13. Gunnar Nielsen
    14. Keith Lasley
    15.
    16. Bob McHugh
    17. Zaine Francis-Angol
    18. Josh Law
    19. Lee Erwin
    20. Fraser Kerr
    21. Jack Leitch
    22. Craig Moore
    23. Adam Cummins

    26. Dom Thomas
    27. Steven Higgins
    28. Morgyn Neill
    29. Chris Cadden
    30. David Ferguson
    31. Max Currie
    32. Craig McCall
    33. Liam Anderson
    34. Dylan Mackin
    35. Danny McNulty
    36. Robbie Leitch
    37. Ben Hall
    38. Luke Watt
    39. Ross McLean
    40. Alan Campbell
    41. Brett Long
    42. Ryan Watters
    43. Jack McMillan

    51. Allan Todd
    52. David Lindsay
    69. Graeme Balmer
    80. Stephen Grieve
    91. Joe Smith

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    Players return for pre-season training

    Action pictures from Dalziel Park as the Motherwell squad return for pre-season training.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”training250614″]