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    McDonald wants collective push

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    Cummins joins Stirling Albion on loan

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    The 109th Annual General Meeting

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    McDonald makes Fir Park return

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    Crawford joins the Coaching staff

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    TV: Johansson pleased despite draw

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

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    Motherwell U20s 1 – 1 Rangers U20s

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    Muir takes charge against Inverness CT

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    20s back in action on Wednesday

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    McDonald wants collective push

    Scott McDonald is adamant he won’t be the silver bullet that saves ‘Well season, but is desperate to get back amongst the goals.

    The 26-times capped Aussie made an emotional return to Fir Park some eight years after departing.

    31-year old McDonald spent three successful years with the Steelmen between 2004 and 2007, netting 45 times in 111 starts, and will go straight into the squad for tomorrow’s SPFL Premiership head-to-head with Inverness as the Steelmen aim to drag themselves off the foot of the table.

    “Everyone has a big part to play as we try to climb up the table,” he told the Broadcast Media. “With Stephen Pearson coming back fit, hopefully we can give everyone a lift, the supporters and players.

    “I can’t tell you if I will have that effect, but I hope we get off to a flying start and don’t look back.

    “Scoring goals is what I enjoy, if I can do that or help us win games. It’s not about the ‘Scott McDonald show’ or ‘the saviour is in town’. I want to help the team win games and get the club back up the table and keep this club safe.”

    [pullquote]Scoring goals is what I enjoy, if I can do that or help us win games. It’s not about the ‘Scott McDonald show’ or ‘the saviour is in town’. I want to help the team win games and get the club back up the table and keep this club safe.[/pullquote]

    McDonald had options elsewhere but admitted a late bid from the Fir Parkers was enough to tempt him to stay within the UK.

    “I’m delighted to be back,” he smiled. “It feels like coming home a wee bit. This place brought me a lot of success and happy memories and I’m looking to build on that.

    “It’s 12 games and I’m not looking at anything beyond that. Motherwell wanted me and to feel wanted is a massive factor in coming here and wanting to play a role that will suit me. I want to get back to scoring goals and being successful for myself and the team.

    “It happened all of a sudden and I had some decisions to make. As soon as I found out Motherwell wanted me here, it was all I wanted to do to come back. Even my wife was badgering me to come back.

    “I had a couple of things in the pipeline, but they were shut down quickly as soon as Motherwell made it known they were really interested. As soon as I spoke to the manager it was a no-brainer.

    “Some of the options I had were abroad and I don’t feel my career is at that point yet. I feel I have much more to give in the British game. I want to get back to doing what I do best.

    “I’m here to push on again for myself. The times I have been at my most successful are the times I’ve been at my happiest. This place certainly gave me that and coming through the doors again made me feel happy.”

    MFC TV

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    Cummins joins Stirling Albion on loan

    Adam Cummins has joined Scottish League One side Stirling Albion on loan until the end of the season.

    The Liverpudlian hasn’t featured regularly in the first team at Fir Park for almost eighteen months.

    He spent the first half of 2014 on loan at Dundee but injury setbacks curtailed his efforts at the start of the 2014/15 campaign, before enjoying a successful month at Sommerset Park with Ayr United.

    The 21-year old, who has played for ‘Well in both the Champions League against Panathinaikos and the Europa League against Levante U.D, has featured 33 times in Claret and Amber, scoring once.

    The Binos, who have Steelmen legend Martyn Corrigan as assistant manager, are struggling at the wrong end of the division and they’ll hope Cummins’ inclusion will held solidify their defence.

    Everyone at Fir Park would like to wish Adam the very best of luck whilst at Forthbank.

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    The 109th Annual General Meeting

    Motherwell Football Club held its 109th Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday night where the accounts for the 2013-14 season were presented to shareholders.

    The new-look board of directors updated shareholders on recent changes at the club following on from Les Hutchison’s acquisition of John Boyle’s majority shareholding, which include ongoing improvements in scouting, physical fitness and performance, and planned developments in sales and marketing.

    Manager Ian Baraclough, who succeeded Stuart McCall in mid-December, explained there would be a greater emphasis on developing young players next season as part of the drive to make the club financially self-sufficient.

    Chairman Brian McCafferty outlined the ambition to further develop the mutual benefits brought about by even stronger links between the club and the community as he highlighted the work done by the Motherwell FC Community Trust in touching the lives of 35,000 people each year, and stressed the need for more supporters to join the Well Society.

    General manager Alan Burrows outlined plans to give supporters greater value for money in their match day experience.

    The club made a loss on ordinary activities before taxation of £184,854 in the 12 months to May 31, 2014 – an almost identical figure to the previous season.

    Although the club finished second in the Scottish Premiership, factors including the ongoing lack of an SPFL sponsor, disappointing cup performances, a high medical bill and a £350,000 fall in gate receipts, all contributed to another annual loss.

    Turnover was about £4.5million, down from £4.9million while transfer income was £302,500 – up from £108,500.

    Staff costs were down £160,000, while gate receipts fell more than £350,000 to £1.31million.

    Sponsorship/advertising income, broadcasting rights and commercial income were all very similar to the previous season but UEFA prize money was down a quarter to £311,000. Other income rose slightly to £743,000.

    In an extract from the report of the directors, Derek Weir wrote: “As we have said in previous reports, our target each year is to break even. Our higher than budgeted league position did generate higher than forecast prize money but once again the distributions from the SPFL were lower than hoped for due to the lack of a title sponsor. Our inability to generate any meaningful revenue from cup competitions, combined with a significant medical bill, as a result of 12 player operations, more than compensated for the additional place money, leading to a loss of £184,854.

    “Following last year’s successful league campaign and with Rangers, Hearts and Hibs all playing in the Championship, we agreed to retain Stuart’s player wage budget at the same level for the third successive season, in the hope that we would be able to build further on the success. Contrary to what is often reported, we did not reduce budgets every year and maintained a squad firmly aimed at achieving a top six finish. Following a seriously disappointing exit from the Europa League in Iceland, elimination from both domestic cup competitions in the first round and a realisation that a top six league position was highly unlikely, it was clear to the board that a fresh injection of funds was going to be required. The position was made worse by reduced season ticket and commercial revenues, despite last season’s successful league campaign.

    “The Well Society were already in discussion with Les Hutchison on their own fund raising ventures and plans for the club. These discussions evolved to the point that Les agreed to make a sizeable, interest-free loan to the club and facilitate the transition of ownership from John Boyle to the Well Society. The transfer is dependent on the club and Society repaying Les’ loan. I am happy to report the transfer of shares from John to Les took place on 30th January 2015 and the loan funds are available to the club. In addition the Well Society has continued to support the club with loans and we remain extremely grateful to the Society board and membership. Les’ extensive business experience and strong desire to support the local community will be hugely beneficial to the club and his involvement is greatly welcomed.

    “His aim is to help the Well Society achieve ownership and it is important that all fans get behind this initiative.”

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    McDonald makes Fir Park return

    Motherwell FC is today delighted to confirm striker Scott McDonald has returned to the club.

    26-times capped former Socceroo McDonald, 31, will be a well-known face to the Fir Park faithful after spending three successful years at the club between 2004 and 2007, where he netted 45 times in 111 starts.

    He joined Celtic in the summer of 2007 for an undisclosed fee and went on to enjoy a fruitful three years in the East End of Glasgow, scoring 64 times in 117 starts – including five European goals against the likes of Spartak Moscow, AC Milan and Manchester United.

    He moved to English football and Middlesbrough on the last day of the 2010 January Transfer Window for a reported £3.5million. He started 110 games at the Riverside, scoring 40 times.

    He most recently played with fellow-Championship side Millwall after signing in July 2013. He spent eighteen months in London before leaving near the end of the last January Transfer Window.

    Subject to International clearance, McDonald has signed until the end of the current campaign and he’ll go straight into the squad for Saturday’s home match against Inverness CT at Fir Park.

    Full reaction to follow…

  • Archive

    Crawford joins the Coaching staff

    Motherwell FC is pleased to confirm Gordon Crawford has joined the club as Physical Performance and Conditioning Coach.

    Gordon, who lectures part-time at University of Stirling and is Head Coach for Triathlon at Beaconhurst School, is a highly experienced, award-winning coach who has worked with elite athletes and World Champions across a variety of sports over the last 25-years.

    After a successful career in endurance running and gaining caps at cross-country and the track for Scotland and British Students, Gordon was appointed National Event Coach for steeplechase. Shortly after a successful period in charge, he was then appointed National Event Coach for endurance running whilst lecturing in Sport and Leisure at Motherwell College.

    He left his post to take up a new role as Fitness, Strength and Conditioning Coach with Scottish Rugby, spending over six years with Edinburgh and Glasgow Rugby, the Scottish National side under both Jim Telfer and Ian McGeechan as well as the National Age Group Teams.

    He left Murrayfield to join Active Stirling as Head of Sport with the remit to develop and deliver a professional sport and physical activity service, which would contribute to the health, wellbeing and quality of life of Stirling’s people and communities, based at the Sports Village.

    During that time, he was also the Triathlon Team Manager and Coach for Triathlon as apart ‘Team Scotland’ at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games and other international races. From 2007-2008 Gordon was Head Coach for Triathlon Ireland at the World and European Championships.

    [pullquote]I am absolutely delighted to be part of the manager’s Coaching and Performance Support Team at Motherwell and look forward to helping the club develop and achieve further success.[/pullquote]

    Around then he was also awarded ‘Triathlon Performance Coach of the Year’ for coaching some of the World’s top Scottish, British and Irish Triathletes, elite and age groups; both male and female triathletes.

    He has coached the UK Ironman/70.3 Triathlon Champions; 2 x World and European Duathlon Champion and multi British & Scottish Champions in both triathlon and athletics. Gordon himself is a former Masters World, European, British and Scottish Champion.

    Most recently, he has been working with the Scottish FA as a Fitness, Strength and Conditioning consultant in their Elite Performance Schools at Both Graeme High School, Falkirk and Braidhurst High School, and joins ‘Well on a full-time basis, with the aim of developing and improving the fitness, strength, speed and conditioning amongst the first-team, Under 20 and Academy squads and helping reduce the incidence of injuries as part of the clubs Performance Support Team.

    Motherwell will also enroll Gordon in a PhD that will specialise in the subject of injury prevention and recovery.

    Gordon told motherwellfc.co.uk: “I am absolutely delighted to be part of the manager’s Coaching and Performance Support Team at Motherwell and look forward to helping the club develop and achieve further success.’’

    Manager Ian Baraclough added: “After a review of what we had in place at the club, it became clear we required provision in the area of injury prevention and strength and conditioning.

    “I am so pleased to have Gordon on board; he is an experienced, supremely qualified but modern-thinking individual. From the moment I met him, I knew he was exactly the right person for the job. He blew me away with his knowledge and plans, but also his real desire to take on this project.

    “He will help us not only in the short-term, but over the next five years as we look to ensure our first-team players all are individually prepared in the best way they can be, but also the whole ethos of the club down to the youngest Academy kid and the type of players we want coming through our ranks.

    “We expect to see a real improvement in his area of expertise in the weeks, months and years ahead.”

  • Archive

    TV: Johansson pleased despite draw

    U20s boss Jonatan Johansson was pleased with his side, but felt they should have taken all three points against Rangers today.

    Instead, the young Steelmen were pegged to a 1-1 draw despite creating numerous chances throughout the ninety minutes.

    Chris Cadden did put the hosts in front only for Ryan Hardie to level things just eight minutes later.

    The Fir Parkers spurned a number of opportunities before the game eventually finished all-squad.

    It maintains Motherwell’s unbeaten start to 2015 but the former Finnish International hitman couldn’t help but rue those misses: “If you look at the amount of chances we’ve created I think we definitely should have scored more than one goal.

    [pullquote]If you look at the amount of chances we’ve created I think we definitely should have scored more than one goal.[/pullquote]

    “We were on top for large parts of the game and they couldn’t really handle us on the counter attack. It was a good game against Rangers who are one of the best in the country at this age group; it was good to see a few rising to the challenge.

    “We could have been ahead in the first half but I can’t fault them is they are creating chances with good play. Of course you’d like to score them and if we had it would have opened us up a little and gave us a some breathing space but to be fair, Rangers came back into it so a draw at half-time was probably fair.

    “Our goal was a coaches dream. Max made a good save and threw it to Higgy  and he was supported by MacLean and Cadden who have great energy. The pass from MacLean then the finish from Cadden; it was a really good goal.

    “Overall, there was much more to be pleased than angry about.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

     Extended highlights from Excelsior Stadium as Motherwell 20s and Rangers U20s play out a 1-1 draw.

    MFC TV

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    Motherwell U20s 1 – 1 Rangers U20s

    Motherwell and Rangers U20s shared the spoils this afternoon in an end-to-end game at the Excelsior Stadium.

    Chris Cadden gave the young Steelmen a second half lead before being pegged back by a Ryan Hardie striked only eight minutes later.

    Motherwell went into the game on the back of a commanding 4-1 victory over Inverness CT last week and looked like continuing that form, dominating the opening twenty minutes. ‘Well had the bulk of the possession but took fouteen minutes to test Kelly in the Gers goal.

    The busy MacLean sent Higgins through with a great pass from midfield but Kelly stood up and got a foot to Higgins’ shot, as a goal looked inevitable.

    A minute later and he was called into action again, from similar circumstances. This time it was Dom Thomas who harried Ryan Sinnamon as they raced onto MacLean’s long ball. He got in front of his man but his first-time shot was straight at the ‘keeper, and the recovering Sinnamon swept it clear.

    Rangers took heed of those warning shots and started to cause problems of their own.

    Tom Walsh picked out Calum Gallagher with a fine diagonal ball but the winger seemed to lack composure with his finish, after bringing the ball down well, and Currie gratefully pounced on it.

    Moments later Rangers passed up another good opportunity to get themselves in front. Hardie got on the end of Gallagher’s cutback and after a few twists and turns, set up Walsh who hooked his shot just past the post.

    As the half-hour mark approached, it seemed incredible neither side had made the breakthrough and despite good chances for McHugh and Ramsay, the sides went into the interval at 0-0.

    Rangers looked the most likely but it was ‘Well who drew first blood, after 54 minutes.

    Steven Higgins broke clear from a Rangers corner and gave it to MacLean who played a perfectly weighted ball to Cadden. As Kelly raced off his line, Cadden showed enough composure to slide the ball under him to complete the counter-attack.
    Unfortunately the lead didn’t last long.

    Eight minutes later Hardie got on the end of Gallagher’s hopeful through ball and his first-time shot from 18 yards looked harmless enough but somehow squirmed away from Currie and into the back of the net.

    Both sides traded blows, going in search of a winner and in the 80th minute, Chris Cadden had a series of chances to grab it.

    Firstly, he did well to get to the front post and meet Thomas’ shot but could only suceed in hitting the side netting from an awkward position.

    Then came a more clear-cut chance as he got on the end of MacLean’s and with plenty of time tried to find the bottom corner but saw his shot go just past.

    With five minutes to go he found himself on the edge of the box and unleashed a great curling effort which unfortunately flew just wide, and proved to be the last chance as both sides came away with what looked like a fair point.

  • Archive

    Muir takes charge against Inverness CT

    Referee for this Saturday’s SPFL Premiership clash with Inverness CT at Fir Park is Alan Muir.

    It will be Muir’s third Motherwell game of the campaign and only hid fourth in the last 25 months.

    The first was a disappointing 0-1 home defeat to St Johnstone, when a late Brian Graham header secured all three points for the Perth side.

    Most recently, it was Ian Baraclough’s first match and a 1-0 win in Paisley thanks to John Sutton’s second half goal.

    The other in that almost two-year run was a 2-0 win against Inverness last March, Lionel Ainsworth and John Sutton getting the goals that fired the Fir Parkers into second.

    Despite the lack of matches, the 39-year old will be a familiar face to Fir Park fans after taking charge of two matches during the successful 2012/13 season.

    The first that season was the league opener at Ross County as the Steelmen played out an uneventful 0-0 draw with the then league’s new boys.

    His other was a 1-0 home defeat by Dundee United in November 2012, a late Johnny Russell header giving Peter Houston’s side all three points.

    He also handled five matches the previous season (2011/12). It started with Celtic’s 4-0 win in early September 2011, then a 1-0 win over Aberdeen, Bob McHugh scoring the winning goal some fourteen days later.

    The third was a resounding 3-0 victory of St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park before Dunfermline were swept aside 3-1 at Fir Park in a re-arranged game from Boxing Day.

    The last that season was when Motherwell memorably beat Hearts 3-0 on their way to securing third in the SPL and a spot in the UEFA Champions League..

    His overall record in charge of Motherwell is pretty mixed. The Steelmen have won nine, draw four and lost seven from twenty games. ‘Well have netted 24 times whilst conceding 27.

    In all those games he has produced 60 yellow cards, 30 of which were shown to a player in claret and amber, and five dismissals; Paul Quinn, Michael Higdon, Stephen Craigan and Keith Lasley of Motherwell and Stephen Thompson of St Mirren in his last ‘Well match.

    Alan will be ably assisted on the day by Ross Haswell and Graeme Steewart with Alan Newlands on fourth official duties. Kevin Toner is the referee observer and John Connolly is the SPFL Delegate.

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    20s back in action on Wednesday

    Jonatan Johansson’s Under 20s are in action on Wednesday when they take on Rangers at Excelsior Stadium .

    The young Steelmen go into the game on the back of two draws and most recently, a fine 4-1 win over Inverness CT last week.

    A win could take the Fir Parkers above their Glasgow opponents, whose last outing was a 4-1 defeat to Hibs last week.

    The match takes place on Wednesday . Kick off is 2pm.