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    Double the fun for Motherwell kids!

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    TV: Leitch calls for cool heads

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    TV: McCall vows to mix it up

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    Helen Templeton’s Blog #4

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    Sign for Men Utd now… Take the test!

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    Collum to officiate Lanarkshire derby

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    The Colours of our Scarves exhibition

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Hamilton

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    Hamilton defeat in pictures

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    TV: McCall angered with Cup exit

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    Double the fun for Motherwell kids!

    This Saturday’s big derby against Hamilton brings with it two exciting opportunities for young Motherwell fans.

    Topps, the SPFL’s official sticker and trading card partner, are bringing a world exclusive to Fir Park tomorrow where they will be giving out trading cards for their brand new Match Attax Trading Card game for 2011-15.

    Young ‘Well fans will be the first anywhere in the world to get their hands on the cards ahead of launch early in October.

    In addition to this, Topps are also giving supporters the chance to have their say with the all new ‘Kids Choice’ Match Attax Man of the Match award.

    From the 80th minute of any home Motherwell FC league game supporters can make their selection via twitter, by and ‘tweeting’ their choice to @motherwellfc and @MyTopps with the hashtag #MatchAttaxMOTM.

    The player with the most votes will win the ‘Kids Choice’ Match Attax Man of the Match award, with Topps randomly selecting one lucky ‘tweeter’ to present a very special award to the player – a giant Match Attax Man of the Match Trading Card.

    The winner will also get the paparazzi treatment, with photos of the presentation appearing in the next edition of club’s Matchday Programme, Steelman!

    Follow Topps’ official twitter account at www.twitter.com/MyTopps.

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    TV: Leitch calls for cool heads

    Jack Leitch felt the pain of Motherwell’s defeat against Hamilton as both fan and player – but he recognises the need to stay calm in the return Lanarkshire derby.

    Both teams had a man sent off before Hamilton knocked the Steelmen out of the League Cup on penalties amid an intense off-field atmosphere at New Douglas Park on Wednesday.

    Motherwell have a quick chance to regain the local bragging rights in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday but Leitch, who has a number of friends in the Fir Park support, is determined not to get caught up in the atmosphere.

    The 19-year-old, who converted in the shoot-out, said: “It was bitterly disappointing to go out against Hamilton and of course on penalties. But we just need to keep our heads and go into the game full of confidence looking for the win.

    “Penalties are a lottery. I spoke to a few of my friends and they said we were a bit unlucky, we hit the bar and hit the post; it just wasn’t our night.

    “Against Hamilton it’s always going to be that little bit more disappointing but we just need to forget about the game on Wednesday and kick on and start climbing that table.

    [pullquote]It’s not really about revenge. Of course it’s a local derby and the fans want three points like we all do, but we need to keep our temperament. We need to leave Wednesday night behind.[/pullquote]

    Leitch has been with Motherwell for 10 years and has followed in his father Scott’s footsteps by playing for his local team.

    But now that he has achieved his boyhood dream, the midfielder is looking to push on and help bring success to the club.

    “As a Motherwell fan, it’s brilliant to say you have played for the club,” he said. “But that’s gone now. Last year that was what it was all about but now I’m settled, I’m in the first-team dressing room.

    “It probably means more to me, I want to do well for the club because they are the team I supported as a boy and watched all these great players and great results that we’ve had in the past few years, and to be part of that team now.

    “The end of last season was amazing and I want to continue that this year.”

    Scott Leitch, a former captain and assistant manager of Motherwell, returned to the club last season to head the youth academy and his son appreciates his input.

    Jack, whose younger brother Robbie is also on Motherwell’s books, said: “You have experienced heads in here telling you what to do, but I’ve got the bonus of going home and seeing it from a different perspective as well.

    “He is very positive, very confident and has a lot of information and tips to pass on.”

    MFC TV

    By Gavin McCafferty

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    TV: McCall vows to mix it up

    Stuart McCall has vowed to make several changes to his side as they aim to bounce back from Wednesday’s League Cup exit.

    The Steelmen will play their second Lanarkshire derby in the space of three days when they face Accies on Saturday, having being eliminated on penalties by the New Douglas Park side on Wednesday

    And McCall has admitted that the side that turns out on Saturday will be different to the one that played against Hamilton earlier in the week.

    [pullquote]I was always going to freshen the team up for tomorrow’s game and we’ll do that, further enforced by a couple of knocks we picked up from the other night.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to MFC TV, he said: “I was always going to freshen the team up for tomorrow’s game and we’ll do that, further enforced by a couple of knocks we picked up from the other night.

    “We’ve had three tough away games; we went up to Ross County and won when we were on the back of a poor run and they had a new manager.

    “A good, battling performance at Parkhead last Sunday and the other night, a 120-minute stalemate, so the players have put in a shift.

    “We’ll probably change our system a little bit, we’ve worked on a few things over the last two days, although we won’t make a final decision on personnel until tomorrow as we wait for a few of the lads to go through a fitness test.

    “That said, regardless of who is selected, we are at Fir Park and we have to make sure we are ready and at it from the first whistle.”

    MFC TV

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    Helen Templeton’s Blog #4

     Follow ‘Dibsy’ on Twitter 

    Ladies team

    Last weekend saw Motherwell Ladies take on Hamilton Caledonian at Hamilton Palace sports ground on a day that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Costa Del Sol!

    A positive attacking start from the ‘Well saw plenty of chances created. However a lack of composure in front of goal allowed Hamilton to counter effectively and create chances of their own. Indeed, it was the hosts who took a one-nil lead with a shot in from their right winger.

    ‘Well responded quickly with an equaliser. At 1-1, Motherwell were beginning to take more control of the game, but Hamilton were still creating chances and putting the opposition back line under pressure and got their noses in front again from the penalty spot. Motherwell again responded quickly to equalise though and take the game to a stale mate at half-time.

    As the second half kicked off, Motherwell came out looking menacing, whatever was said at half time must have done the trick!

    With more chances being created with slick interlinking play between defence and midfield and midfield and attack saw Motherwell push on scoring goals number 3, 4, 5, and 6 before Hamilton could come up with a response.

    It wasn’t to be Hamilton’s day though, as Motherwell clearly weren’t finished making their point. Some tactical substitutions from the visitors proved the quality right through the squad with substitutes coming on to play their part in the next 2 goals. A fine second half display gave the Well fans something to really smile about, Hamilton Caledonian 3 – Motherwell Ladies – 8.

    Coach Graeme McArthur was delighted to get back to winning ways and said: “We showed good fight despite being behind twice in the game and to kick on and take control of the game whilst experimenting with a new shape made today an even greater victory. We now have a weekend off before going into our next fixture on October 5th with Bishopton, which will allow us to work further on the new shape.”

    Under 15s

    The Under 15s were in action last weekend, playing a tough league fixture against Rangers. The closely fought match ended up finishing 5-4 in Rangers’ favour, but Coach Adam Shaw was certainly not disheartened by the young ‘Well performance.

    He said: “Although we lost the game, there were many positives to take from the way we played. It was a very high tempo game right from the off and both teams were creating plenty of chances; it was end to end stuff. To use that old cliché, it was definitely a game of two halves.

    “I felt we dominated the first half and Rangers were in control during the second. The girls worked so hard and kept up with the pace, right into the closing stages of the game, Rangers scored their winner with only minutes remaining. We may have walked away with a loss, but I was so impressed with the attitude and performance from the girls. Spirits are still high in training this week and we believe as a squad that we can become even better in the next few months of the season.”

    Under 9s

    The Under 9s and under 11s travelled to a festival in Kilwinning last weekend. The girls produced outstanding form winning most of their games. Coach Laura Daley was exceptionally pleased at the team’s ability to work so well together and to demonstrate a high level of experience, holding shape and tracking back when out of possession.

    Laura added: “Brooke Wilson, one of our youngest players at the entire club at only six years old, scored 2 goals. We are so proud of her work rate and confidence in front of goal.”

    The Under 9s are back at K Park in East Kilbride on Sunday, 12noon – 1.30pm

    Under 11s

    The Under 11s team fought hard in their tournament, winning one game and unfortunately losing 4, as their first encounter with grass parks was tough on the legs and the style of football they are used to playing. The girls worked really hard but learned some tough lessons. They have however been straight back into training this week and have been working hard, ready for their upcoming fixture this weekend away to Gartcairn Girls.

    Good luck to everyone at Motherwell competing this weekend.

    So far you have heard all about the exciting things going on at Motherwell FC, but I thought it would be interesting to let get to know some of the people behind the scenes a little bit closer.

    This week’s Player focus sees Linda Gibson talk about her time at Motherwell so far and lets us into a few wee secrets about the woman between the sticks.

    Full name: Linda Gibson

    Nickname: Gibby/Gibson

    Age: I’m afraid this not up for discussion, its top secret, has been for many years. (Aye good one Gibby! We all suspect a 40th party invite soon)

    Position: Goalkeeper

    Trademark phrase: “Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail.”

    Favourite football team: Well, obviously its Motherwell! If I had to pick another, I’d pick the Scotland’s Ladies National Team.

    Best sporting memory: Winning the league title (3rd Division at the time) with Hamilton Accies reserves, a team with hearts of lions. It was the last game of the season 1st vs. 2nd for the title and we emerged with a 3-2 victory! A day I will never forget.

    Sporting idol: Abby Wambach

    Your role at Motherwell FC: I’m girl’s Performance Centre manger here at Motherwell; the job you only dream of and I love every second of it.

    I heard you are a coach, tell me about that: I also do coaching at the club at times too. I help coach the Under 9s, Under 11s and I am also a goalkeeping coach, helping out with our Under 15s goalkeepers. I love being involved in the coaching side too. It’s such a buzz. I love to see the girls improve on a weekly basis and watch them turn into wee superstars, knowing I helped somewhere along the line. I also learn a few new things myself from the kids which I try to replicate at training and in games.

    What have you enjoyed the most since being in your new role: I enjoy everything in my job. It’s a great feeling to part of something so special here and watching these kids have an opportunity that I never had growing up. They get the best of facilities and treatment here as it’s an elite professional set up. I enjoy seeing them have so much fun while getting educated too. I enjoying watching the kids grow in ability and confidence as the weeks go on. I know one day I will be watching some of them play for their country…I can’t wait.

    What is your vision for the development centre and where do you see it being in 5 years time: In 3 weeks, our numbers have doubled in size at Under 9s and Under 11s, so we are doing incredibly well so far. In 5 years time the influx of participants should be so huge that we will have to move facilities again to accommodate our highly talented players. In 5 years time, I definitely see our first team competing in the Scottish Women’s Premier League. With the quality of players we have and hope to attract, there is no question about that. We will have players from our elite girl’s performance centre progressing through our fully functioning player pathway and playing at the top level and hopefully into the national set up. We are all very proud here at Motherwell of one of our own who has already achieved this accolade, Alise Stewart you are a star.

    You are out just now with a long term injury, what happened: I was at training and I had a collision with one of our former players. it’s the hardest thing because I miss playing so much for the team I love, but I still attend every training session and every game to support the ‘Well girls and cheer them on from the side lines.

    When do you hope to be back between the sticks: I am so excited to say I am able to start back training in the next two weeks. So it will be a challenging pre-season for me and one I very much look forward to.

    How do you find watching instead of playing: It’s very difficult because I’m a very “vocal” goalkeeper (I’m sure some of my team mates will agree) and not being about to have the same input from the back as I do from the side is difficult. When I watch the match, I sometimes find myself wondering on the pitch or jumping up and down on the sidelines. I’m sure the girls still hear me from the sidelines anyway. (Yes Gibby, we do…we definitely do!)

    Which opponent do you look forward to playing the most and why: Claremont because my sister plays for this team and growing up she was my role model. We played together for years and now we play against each other, so it’s a bit of rivalry. Although we won 9-1, 3-1, 3-3 in the last 3 games, she still loves me the same, which is a bonus.

    What’s your most embarrassing moment on the footy field: Hmmm, I do have a few, admittedly. There was one time I was shouting (politely) at the ref and called him babe! Or the time I went to kick the ball and a dog ran on the park and stole it. I also went to shout ‘Man on!’ to a team mate but instead shouted “Mum on!”…I think my mum thought she was getting some game time.

    When was the last time you scored a goal in a game: Eh, I save them not score them, Dibsy!

    Tell me a secret no one knows about one other person in the ladies teams: Big Dougs (Captain Ainsley Douglas), for the size of her, is afraid of heights…

    Who’s the funniest person in the team: Apart from me, I would say Natalie Stewart. She’s “the perfect neighbour” and always makes people laugh.

    If Motherwell Ladies went on big brother, which teammate would be voted off First and who would win: Voted off first would be difficult because they would all make good viewing and the public would be very entertained, I know that. (Especially if our changing room banter is anything to go by!). To win would have to be Toni Mason. She’s one of the most genuine, entertaining characters I have ever met and I’m sure the public would vote her as the winner.

    Give me one sentence to describe your hopes for next season: To win this league, which I’m very confident we shall both with the calibre of players we have at the moment and are looking to attract in the coming months.

    Thanks for the interview Gibby, Good luck with the rehab and we look forward to seeing you in between the sticks sometime very soon.

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    Sign for Men Utd now… Take the test!

    Rivals on the pitch, Men United off it. That’s the story of Well’s Lanarkshire derby with Hamilton Accies tomorrow.

    We’re urging fans of both clubs to back Men United v Prostate Cancer as part of a quest to raise awareness about the most common male cancer in Scotland.

    We’re throwing our weight behind the exciting campaign, the brainchild of Prostate Cancer UK, for the 2014/15 season, starting with our Scottish Premiership clash against the Accies.

    Stuart McCall will sport the iconic Man of Men pin badge on the sidelines during the afternoon, and there will be added information in the matchday publications, and via social media and the website, together with a collection by the charity’s volunteers before Saturday’s game.

    And McCall noted: “I’m signing for Men United because cancer impacts on everyone. The big task for everyone: players, the staff and fans talking about a diseased that kills one man every hour.

    “First things first, you need to get on the Prostate Cancer UK’s website and take a quick test to find out what you really know. If you like sport, you stats, then you’ll love their Men United test.”

    Former Scotland and Manchester United legend Denis is amount the one in the eight men affected by the disease. He’s has been joined at Men United by former Scotland rugby skipper Chris Cusiter, comedian Fred MacAulay, actor Damian Lewis and entertainer Stephen Fry to name just a few of the stars forming a 190,000 squad.

    He said: “Having previously been diagnosed with prostate cancer I know that individuals don’t beat cancer, determined and dedicated teams do. We can and will beat prostate cancer – but only if we unite for the fight. I’m proud to have signed for Men United, and would encourage all Scots to join me in doing the same. Together we can win this.”

    prostatecanceuk.org/menunited

    #MenUnited

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    Collum to officiate Lanarkshire derby

    Willie Collum will take charge of Saturday’s Scottish Premiership meeting with Hamilton Accies at Fir Park.

    Regarded as one of Scotland’s best and most recognisable officials, Willie will be handling his second ‘Well game of the new campaign.

    The first was at Rugby Park in late August, the home side running out comfortable 2-0 winners. The game didn’t pass without controversy, with Stuart McCall left frustrated at a number of decisions involving Manual Pascali and a missed handball in the box.

    He took charge of three during the 2013/14 season too.

    His first was a 3-0 win over St Mirren back in December when Lionel Ainsworth and a Henri Anier double separated the sides.

    The second was at Tynecastle a few weeks later, John Sutton scoring the game’s only goal.

    The last was the 2-1 win over Inverness back in May with goals coming from Sutton and a Gary Warren OG.

    Willie is no stranger to ‘Well fans having been a top-flight whistler for a number of years, taking charge of six Motherwell matches the previous term too.

    The first was the 1-0 defeat to Hearts in October 2012 when Danny Grainger’s long-range effort separated the sides.

    He also took charge of both William Hill Scottish Cup clashes with Aberdeen last December.

    In the first meeting at Pittodrie, Niall McGinn headed home a late equaliser to cancel out Jamie Murphy’s opener 10 minutes from time.

    There would be disappointment for the Steelmen in the replay as goals from Rory Fallon and Joe Shaughnessy helped the Dons progress to the next round.

    Motherwell were handed a lifeline in injury-time when Michael Higdon netted from the penalty spot, however Craig Brown’s side held firm in the final minutes.

    He was also the man in the middle for the narrow 3-2 win over St Johnstone in January; Michael Higdon’s hat-trick sealing a terrific three points and also the disappointing 3-0 defeat at Ross County shortly after.

    He also handled the James McFadden-inspired 4-1 victory over Hibs in March and, finally, the 4-3 defeat to Inverness Caley in the Highlands in May.

    His overall record in charge of the Steelmen reads eight wins, thirteen defeats and five draws from twenty-six matches (in all competitions).
    In those games, Motherwell have scored 37 and conceded 46.

    52 players have gone into the book, 24 wearing Claret and Amber, while five players have been dismissed – Ian Murray of Hibs at Easter Road five years back, Jerard Aafjes at Falkirk four seasons ago, Paul Dixon at the end of 2009/10, Henrik Ojamaa in that game at Caley fifteen months ago and, most recently, Fraser Kerr down at Rugby Park.

    Willie Conquer and Graham Chambers will run the lines with Bary Cook on fourth official duties. The referee observer is George Smith and the SPFL Delegate is George Douglas.

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    The Colours of our Scarves exhibition

    Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) will be visiting Motherwell FC this Saturday with its Colours of our Scarves exhibition.

    SDS will be at Fir Park Stadium at 1:30pm behind the Davie Cooper Stand on the day that Hamilton Academical FC visit for the SPFL Premiership game.

    The exhibition, which features photographs by the world renowned football photographer Stuart Roy Clarke, captures the shared passion, excitement, lows and highs experienced by the fans of Scottish Football as part of Supporters Direct Scotland’s Anti Sectarian programme.

    Over the course of the 2014/15 season, Supporters Direct Scotland will be visiting every Scottish league ground across the country – delivering a photographic exhibition aiming to canvas opinion on sectarian issues in local communities.

    The project will also engage with local schools and councils to host discussions and focus groups in order to allow communities to have their say on the issue of sectarianism, now and in the past – as well as suggesting ways in which it can be tackled.

    The issue of sectarianism in Scotland is one that has been discussed and debated, with countless attempts to address the issue seeing varying levels of success from Governments, Charitable organisations, Football clubs and independent bodies.

    Sectarianism itself is a deep rooted cultural issue that dates back generations and effects society as a whole.

    Sectarianism has traditionally been perceived to manifest itself through football supporters at football matches and football related events through language, song and actions which in some cases has led to violence and unfortunately even murder.

    Supporters Direct Scotland through the creation of The Colour of our Scarves programme with Scottish Government funding will attempt to help play a part in addressing the issue.

    The programme will collect much needed research through a nationwide campaign of educational workshops and visual displays. The Colour of our Scarves will work in partnership with all senior Football clubs across Scotland and football’s national governing body.

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    TV: Highlights from Hamilton

    Highlights from New Douglas Park as ‘Well exit the SPFL League Cup 6-5 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

    MFC TV

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    Hamilton defeat in pictures

    Action pictures from this evening’s 6-5 penalty defeat by Hamilton Accies in the League Cup.

    Snaps courtesy of SNSPix.

    [svgallery name=”hamilton240914″]

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    TV: McCall angered with Cup exit

    Stuart McCall is starting to believe his side are cursed in the cups after they bowed out of the League Cup at Hamilton.

    A controversial red card for on loan Derby defender Mark O’Brien hindered ‘Well, who eventually lost 6-5 on penalties at New Douglas Park.

    The Steelmen had the better chances, particularly after the dismissal of Accies’ Stephen Hendrie midway through the second half, as Michael McGovern produced a stunning stop to deny Iain Vigurs and both Josh Law and Lionel Ainsworth hit the frame of the goal within seconds of each other.

    O’Brien was booked during half-time for a challenge on Eamonn Brophy seconds before the interval – despite the fact Craig Charleston did not give a free-kick or produce a card – and then sent off 10 minutes into injury-time for what the referee decreed was a body check.

    The game went to penalties and teenager Craig Watson scored the crucial spot-kick for the Accies after McGovern had saved from Simon Ramsden.

    [pullquote]The second yellow card is an absolute joke. It’s barely a foul and if that’s a yellow card I’m Dutch. You always think referees look to even things up and that decision swung the balance of the game.[/pullquote]

    Speaking about O’Brien’s first booking, McCall said: “I’ve never seen that in my entire life. O’Brien makes a tackle and the referee blows for half-time.

    “We all came off the park and go in the dressing room, and the fourth official comes and says he wants to have a word with Mark O’Brien, after being harangued coming off the park. And then he calls him in and books him.

    “Why didn’t he book him on the park? And I thought here we go, this is going to be typical. And the second yellow, he body-strengths him off the ball.

    “The second yellow card is an absolute joke. It’s barely a foul and if that’s a yellow card I’m Dutch. You always think referees look to even things up and that decision swung the balance of the game.

    “But for an unbelievable save from Vigurs, we would have gone through.”

    When asked if he was starting to think his side were cursed in the cup after winning just four out of 20 ties, he said: “When we hit the bar and post, I genuinely thought that myself, it’s not going to be our night. Credit to Accies, they are a very good side and we’ll need to quickly pick ourselves up for the game on Saturday at Fir Park.”

    MFC TV