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Motherwell ladies are still on track to achieve manager Graeme McArthur’s target of remaining unbeaten to the close of the season after a convincing 7-0 result against Stranraer at home last weekend.
The ladies took control right from the first whistle, dominating possession and creating endless chances. Stranraer worked tirelessly to keep Motherwell from penetrating their back line, but couldn’t stop the inevitable.
A barrage of attacks on the visitor’s rear guard in the first half of the game was just too difficult to control. As the half time whistle blew, Well ladies had a comfortable 5-0 lead.
A few early changes into the second half meant fresh legs for well ladies and an opportunity for younger players to shine and that they did, helping the team score two more goals to add to the tally. A slightly slower paced second half performance, but a well deserved three points to take away from the game.
McArthur said: “I was really pleased with the first half performance, but we need to learn how to keep it going throughout the second half. I felt we controlled the game throughout and were rarely threatened, but our speed of play can be better and we know that. I felt in the first half we moved the ball exceptionally well and played some wonderful football, which we need to continue to carry on doing as we have shown we are more than capable of doing so.”
This weekend coming sees tough competition for the ‘Well ladies and one the squad is very much looking forward to, Graeme continued “We are looking forward now to the Renfrew game where a win would see us leapfrog them into 3rd place in the league, however we’re well aware how tough the game will be, and the players are firmly focussed on a good performance and hopefully getting 3 points”
Renfrew Stallions v Motherwell Ladies
Sunday 12th October
Sunday 12th October, The Under 9s play at K-Park, 12noon – 1.30pm.
The Under 11s squad played the same tough Central team from last week. Another difficult learning curve for the girls, but Coach Laura Daly was pleased with how the girls performed “I’m so proud of all my girls, they passed the ball so well but unfortunately we were just pushed off the ball a bit by bigger and tougher opponents.
“We definitively held our own in the 2nd half which was a real test of character after a hard lesson last week. I am confident if we continue to grow and develop as a squad, experience will go a long way to help us beat physically stronger teams like this.”
Saturday 11th October: The Under 11s Travel to Huntershill to play Rossvale yellow, 11am KO.
With only two weeks remaining in this competitive season, Charlie Bennett (the man behind the scenes) tells us about his role at the club and just why he is so passionate about all that is claret and amber.
General Manager, Motherwell Football Club Community Trust
How long have you been at Motherwell FC:
I started in April 2010
How did you get involved at the club:
I worked with North Lanarkshire Council and we did some partnership working with the club around lifelong learning and health and wellbeing. Through this I got to know former Chief Executive, Leeann Dempster. After 34 years with the Council I took early retirement. Leeann heard about this and offered me a role at the Fir Park to revamp the community programme. I’ve been here since.
Tell us a bit more about your job role what are your key objectives:
My role as General Manager is the strategic development of the Trust across its four key themes of increasing participation in sport, health and wellbeing, lifelong learning and regeneration. Our key objective is to use sport to inspire and motivate people and communities to profoundly change their lives for the better. I’m also tea maker for Linda Gibson and no stranger to the hoover in the Cooper Stand.
What do you enjoy most about your job:
Making Linda’s tea!
No seriously, there are lots of things to enjoy. Personally I have enjoyed the challenge having such a varied role brings. It’s not unusual for me to be talking to the Scottish Government in the morning, attend a meeting with other SPFL clubs in the afternoon, and be talking with parents in the evening.
Professionally I enjoy the fact we can have a really positive effect on people’s lives. Over 100,000 people a year attend our programmes and access our resources, which is fantastic. We’ve been able to create a range of job opportunities for young people too and it’s wonderful that hundreds of people, male and female from very young to not so young, every week are playing for Motherwell FC at a community level. Some of the boys playing in our community teams are moving through to Academy set ups with Motherwell FC and other teams, which is something we are very proud of too.
Can you tell us any inside info into plans for the facilty at Muirhouse:
We’ve just finished the community consultation, which means we can take forward our plans to the Council and funding bodies. There’s still a lot to do but it’s an exciting project with real community benefit.
You often attend the ladies games, what’s your thoughts on this season:
I’ve really enjoyed watching the Ladies. We have some really good players in the team and people may be surprised at the technical ability on show. We beat Claremont 9-1 earlier in the season with two guys standing beside me describing Pammi Liddell as a ‘top burd’ after she flicked the ball with her heel over her head and volleyed into the top corner. The goal you scored a couple of weeks ago too Dibsy when you waltzed through the opposing defence was also class.
There have been disappointments. Drawing with Claremont, and Kilmarnock and losing to Paisley Saints probably cost us the runner up spot in the league.
I think generally it’s been a good season. There has been a turnover of players, which has meant there hasn’t always been continuity in selection, but we have improved the squad significantly throughout the season and we have good quality now.
Women’s football has been a huge learning curve and nerve-wracking at times. Some of the players we have signed are really big personalities and have been top international players. It was quite daunting speaking to Linda Gibson when she was considering moving to us, and meeting with the likes of Toni Mason, Amy Bulloch, and Ainsley Duncan (sorry Douglas ;-)) to convince them to sign for a Second Division team in its first season. Pammi Liddell just petrified me (and still does – only kidding ;-))
What are your aspirations for the ladies team:
Put simply we want to be in the Scottish Women’s Premier League in two seasons. When we get there the plan is not just to survive, but to challenge for the league and cups. We are under no illusions there will be challenges along the way but that is our vision. We also want to see Motherwell players in Scotland jerseys.
Ami Bulloch, Ainsley Douglas and others in our team are capable of doing this, but we need to be in the SWPL for this to realistically happen. We’re looking for other players such as Demi McCulloch, Nicole Goodwin, Karen Wright and young Natasha to name just a few to push on in the new season and prove how good they really are. Laura Smith can be important for us next year. She has the skill and desire to play at a higher level.
We also, very much, want the Ladies and indeed all our players to enjoy being part of the Motherwell family and to feel they are valued as well as challenged.
What’s the squad looking like for next season:
Very competitive. We have been successful in retaining Toni Mason, Ami Bulloch, Pammi Liddell, and a certain Dibsy Templeton for the season ahead, which is a huge boost for us. Although we can’t talk to players who are currently with other teams until the season finishes at the end of the month we’re confident of bringing several high profile players with SWPL, and international experience to Fir Park.
If we manage to sign all our targets, and we are quietly confident we will, allied to the talent we already have in the squad I think we can promise the fans an exciting brand of football next season.
What goals had the club set itself for it’s first year up and running:
I think in terms of female football it was to get a ladies team playing in the SWPL, complete our player pathway, establish the Performance Centre, and create more awareness of the female game.
Have you achieved these goals:
Yeah I would say we have to a great extent achieved those goals. The Performance Centre is particularly exciting and unique in the UK. It’s probably more European than British in its focus and great credit needs to go to Ainsley Douglas and Linda Gibson for its concept, design and delivery. Our Facebook stats say your blogs reach 14,000 users so I think we are creating that awareness too.
What goals have you set as a club for next season:
For the ladies we’ve set a target of winning the league, gaining promotion, winning the league cup and having a good run in the Scottish Cup. If that’s not enough we want to achieve this through fast, exciting, attacking football whilst respecting other teams – which sadly sometimes is not the case in our current league.
What does success look like for you:
Motherwell FC Ladies winning the Scottish Women’s Premier League and our players representing Scotland in the European Championship and World Cup.
What has been your most memorable moment at MFC so far:
In terms of the ladies there have been very many great goals, saves, and laughs but the most memorable moments have involved meeting people. I particularly enjoyed meeting Anna Signeul ,the Scottish Ladies Team Manager. She has been incredibly supportive to us and is such a genuine person. I hope her hard work and commitment to the Scottish Ladies team is repaid with a play off victory against the Netherlands.
Almost forgot – another memorable moment is when Pammi Liddell brings in pizza
Hmmm! Sounds like there’s a story to tell there Pammi/Charlie!?
Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me Charlie, it’s a real privilege to get the chance to speak to such an important cog in the wheel here at Motherwell. You do a fantastic job, thank you for giving us such an in depth insight! Keep up the great work. I wish you all the luck in your venture for silverware and promotion, as well as the ongoing plans to get the fantastic new Muirhouse facility in motion