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    Helen Templeton’s Blog #12

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    David Ferguson joins Alloa on loan

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    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

  • Archive

    Partick Thistle 2 – 1 Motherwell U20s

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    Quiz the board & watch Scotland

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    TV: Johansson wants an improvement

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    Mothewell U20s 1 – 0 Dundee Utd U20s

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    Under 20s face trio of games

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    Josh Law wins monthly award

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    Helen Templeton’s Blog #12

     Follow ‘Dibsy’ on Twitter 

    Success in the City of Discovery

    It was a very convincing win for our ladies squad as they swept Dundee City aside in the second round of the League Cup last weekend.

    Another difficult pitch didn’t make conditions easy for either side, but Motherwell were quick to dominate play and test the young City keeper.

    City did threaten the ‘Well goal however but Linda Gibson was quick to shut the door.

    ‘Well ladies netted the first goal and continued in fine form to see the first half out 6-0. The second half begun much like the first. Dundee showed a lot of resilience to beat off an onslaught of ‘Well attacks, however they weren’t able to hold off the ‘Tiki taka’ style of ‘Well play that saw several quick breaches of their defensive line.

    Gaffer McArthur, spoilt for choice, then looked to the bench to utilise some of the excellent young talent he has in the squad… that proved highly successful. Fresh legs and fresh faces brought a change the City players weren’t able to counteract, with goals 7, 8 and 9 coming in quick succession.

    A late penalty shout saw City with a chance to claw one back for the home side, which they did successfully with a coolly converted kick from the spot.

    Final score: Dundee City 1, Motherwell Ladies 9.
    Goals: Liddell (3), M.Burns (2) Mason (1), McInally (1) T.Burns (1) Gallagher (1)

    This week’s Player Focus sees us get all the low down on former Scotland Internationalist, Stacey Cook, pictured below celebrating her 50th International cap several years ago.

    Full name: Stacey Cook

    Nickname: Staceo or Cookie

    D.O.B: 09/11/1980

    Preferred position: Centre Midfield

    Years in the game: 24

    Previous clubs:
    Motherwell Rovers 1994
    Ayr Utd 1996
    Killie 1999
    Hibs 2000
    Celtic 2009
    Renfrew 2013
    Motherwell FC – Present

    International duty:
    U16 1994-1996
    Women’s A squad 1997-2007

    Q) What team do you support?

    I grew up a Rangers fan, I am now a Motherwell Ladies fan of course!

    Q) What is your trademark phrase?

    “There’s yer dinner!”

    Q) What is your best sporting memory?

    Achieving A-category with the National team, meaning we would take part in the World Cup and European qualification matches.

    Q) Who are your favourite players?

    Kim Little and Steven Gerrard

    Q) It’s great to have you as part of the squad Stacey, what brought about your move to Motherwell Ladies FC?

    Well to be honest, Linda Gibson (Gibby) had been texting me back and forth, I then arranged to meet Charlie and to be honest, after five minutes in the room I knew this was the team I wanted to play for. The vision and ambition of Motherwell ladies is quite incredible for a team that is only in its second season, from grass roots right through to the ladies. I also started my career back in 1994 at Motherwell Rovers so thought it quite fitting to finish my career at the mighty ‘Well.

    Q) You’re obviously a very experienced player. I remember when I first started playing for Guiliano’s in the premier league (when I was young and fresh faced!) maybe 11 years ago now, you were the one to watch when it was a Hibs fixture. Who inspired you when you first came into the game?

    When I first started playing I remember getting to a final with Ayr Utd, we were playing against Cumbernauld Cosmos who were made up mainly of Internationalists; I watched one player during our warm-up keep the ball up from the half way line right up to their goalkeeper, Pauline Hamill. I was later lucky enough to play alongside her at Hibs and Scotland, who to this day remains a very good friend of mine.

    Q) You have achieved the highest accolade in Scottish Women’s football and one the majority of players can only dream of achieving and that is to represent your country! Tell us more…

    Pulling on a Scotland jersey, walking onto the park and singing my national anthem for the very first time is something I will never forget. I have 72 caps for my country and each and every one of them will always remain one of my proudest achievements in football. Being part of the National squad took me all over the world and for a young girl from Coalburn, this allowed me to fulfil most of my ambitions in football.

    Q) Its very clear to see you still have a real passion for football. What is it that still draws you to playing the beautiful game after all these years?

    Still to this day, every Sunday, I wake with butterflies in my tummy, knowing that I’m playing football that day and to be honest the minute that changes I’ll know the boots are ready to be hung up. I also like a good carry-on at training when Graham and Malky are not looking!

    Q) All at MLFC is sorry to hear that you are out just now with an injury, is it difficult being stuck on the sidelines and not being able to play?

    I’m not a good fan to be honest as I always want to be on the park but having suffered a few injuries during my career, I know how important it is to show and give my teammates support. I only have this attitude through age, if you’d asked this in my 20s there would have been a few naughty words in this answer.

    Q) I would imagine the frustration it’s made even worse being right at the start of the season, I would imagine you are kicking and heading every ball from the stands! Have you been pleased with how your team mates have been performing so far?

    I’m so proud and pleased with the way the girls have performed in our first two games. 21 goals in two games is phenomenal. I’m going to have to work really hard once fit to get back into the team, which it something I am looking forward to.

    Q) What is the worst injury you have suffered in your long and successful career?

    I ruptured my ACL whilst playing with Hibs which put me out for 6 months. The surgeon had to take part of my hamstring out of my opposite leg to repair my cruciate. That was the toughest injury I had to overcome.

    Q) Do you think the mental struggle of recovery is harder to get your head around than the physical side?

    After my ACL repair I spoke to a friend who was a sports phycologist, she helped me understand that any injury is 90% mental and 10% physical. That one sentence helped me so much in my recovery process. I realised it’s not just about the wound healing, it’s everything you do right down to the food you eat, the way you think, accepting what happened and moving onto the healing process. This mind-set helped me recover quicker; I was back playing 6 month later when I was told it would be a minimum 9months.

    Q) When do you hope to be back training?

    I enjoyed my first road run this week and look forward to getting run number two under my belt this week also! Really hoping I will get a run out at some point on Sunday as I was really gutted to miss the start of the season.

    Q) This season sees an entirely new league, playing a lot of different, but challenging opponents…which opponent do you look forward to playing the most and why? …or is there no-one you fear?

    To be honest many of the teams in our league are new to me, I know any challenging team we come up against this season we are fully equipped to deal with them…. Bring it on!

    Q) Okay, so your team mates past and present have let me in on a few of your secrets…in your opinion, what’s been your most embarrassing football moment?

    As most of the experienced (see older) players in my team know I do love to carry on and I am usually always the one being told off for acting the clown, so I have collected a few embarrassing moments during my playing career but I’m afraid they are much too naughty to put down on paper…. Sorry!! I will just say one thing… “Mash potatoes”

    Q) Tell me a secret no one knows about one of your team mates…

    Ahh, see! …I am more than happy to dish the dirt on other people though! One of the funniest moments for me and embarrassing moments for her was during a World Cup qualifier. We were at our last training session before the big game and you could tell the mood in the camp was one of extreme nerves. Vera Pauw shouted us all over for one of her inspiring team talks, so we all sprinted over apart from one girl who was kneeling down…we all thought she was praying or injured. Vera kept asking; “What is she doing?” …to our astonishment we found out she was ”peeing” in the centre of the park! Haahaa, she will kill me! This girl, well woman now has just given birth to twins, so shall remain nameless! ***cough Mhari Gilmour cough***

    Q) What are your hopes for the season and cup campaigns ahead?

    There is no doubt in my mind that we (MLFC) are one of the strongest team in the league, so my hopes along with the rest of the girls I’m sure is to win the league and League Cup….. Plain and simple! We have had great preparation during pre-season and have started out campaign off very strongly. It’s a privilege and honour to be playing for Motherwell Ladies, so I would love to repay the coaches and Charlie by helping my team achieve these goals… “Well, Well, Super Well”

    Thank you so much for letting us get to know you better Stacey! You have had an amazing career so far and we are very happy to have you here to continue it at our club! Welcome to the ‘Well Family. We wish you a lightning quick recovery and are very much looking forward to seeing you back on the pitch in the coming weeks!

    This week’s league fixture sees MLFC take on Blackburn Utd this Sunday, 2pm kick off. After a horrendous act of vandalism to the ‘Well ladies home pitch in Carluke, this game will now take place at Ravenscraig on the 3G outdoor pitch. We welcome you along to watch the ladies in action.

    For more info and up to date happenings at MLFC, follow me on twitter: @dibsy_

  • Archive

    David Ferguson joins Alloa on loan

    Youngster David Ferguson has today joined Championship side Alloa Atheltic on loan until the end of the season.

    Ferguson, 19, has been a mainstay for Jonatan Johansson’s Under 20s side this campaign and made his first-team debut against Dundee Utd at Tannadice last August.

    He has subsequently gone on to play top team football on six separate occasions, including three starts against Inverness, Ross County and St Mirren.

    Comfortable across the back four and in midfield, he will look to help Paddy Connolly’s men as they battle with Cowdenbeath and Livingston at the foot of the Championship table.

    [pullquote]Playing in the Championship with Alloa will benefit him enormously, particularly being in a first-team when the pressure is on, as opposed to playing Development League football every Tuesday.[/pullquote]

    ‘Well boss Ian Baraclough said: “David has performed really well in recent matches for the Under 20s, but with Louis Laing, Stephen McManus, Simon Ramsden, Mark O’Brien, Fraser Kerr, Josh Law and Luke Watt all battling for a spot in a similar position, it’s been difficult for him to get in.

    “However, playing in the Championship with Alloa will benefit him enormously, particularly being in a first-team when the pressure is on, as opposed to playing Development League football every Tuesday.

    “Like the other three players out on loan (Morgyn Neill, Chris Cadden and Adam Cummins), we’ll monitor his progress from now until the end of May.”

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

     Extended highlights from Excelsior Stadium as a young Motherwell U20s lose 2-1 to Partick Thistle

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Partick Thistle 2 – 1 Motherwell U20s

    A youthful Motherwell Under 20s conceded twice in the last fifteen minutes to lose 2-1 to Partick Thistle this morning.

    The Steelmen had gone in front courtesy of Dylan Mackin’s tenth goal of the campaign, but Jordan Leyden levelled from the penalty spot after seventy-five minutes.

    Then, with just three minutes remaining, Michael McMullin tucked home from close range after some neat built-up play to win all three points for his side.

    Jonatan Johansson made as many as eight changes to the team that beat Dundee Utd on Tuesday and named his youngest ever side at this level. Included in the squad were six players still eligible for the Academy U17s side, with the average age of the squad just 17.1 years, goalkeeper Ross Stewart the most experienced at 19-years old.

    Thistle themselves had a young team too and it told, with both sides a little naive at times, but with plenty of effort and endeavour during the first period.

    So much so, after 30 minutes there had been just one effort at goal, and that’s when Leyden robbed 16-year old Barry Maguire and charged in on Stewart, only to scoop his effort over the crossbar.

    Motherwell’s first effort of the game came from Liam Anderson, who broke the lines to get on the end of a Danny McNulty throughball, only for his low shot to be comfortably held by Conner Cullen.

    Leyden had a thirty-yard effort sail over and McMullin perhaps could’ve done better with a back post header as Thistle looked to get ahead, but nothing that caused Stewart many problems.

    Down the other end, the Fir Parkers were equally shy in front of goal, with a Robbie Leitch shot that fizzed wide the only noteworthy effort in an otherwise tame first half.

    However, Johansson’s men came out the traps after the restart and the former Charlton striker would’ve been scratching his head at how his team didn’t take the lead after just 45 seconds.

    Anderson capitalised on some hesitant defending before smashing a shot that Cullen blocked. It fell back out to the winger, but his second shot was saved again. When it landed at Robbie Leitch, a goal looked certain but his shot was saved again, before being hooked off the line by Matthew McInally.

    Mackin spurned two free headers inside the penalty box before eventually grabbing the goal he and Motherwell deserved.

    Luke Watt, who was the best player on the park, was the creator, sending a lovely long diagonal pass towards the striker, who held off his marker before slotting past Cullen.

    After their goal the Claret and Amber men continued to create, albeit Thistle were having more of the ball.

    Mackin curled a shot high and wide of target and Higgins smashed a shot over from the edge of the box and you felt a second goal would be enough to secure the victory.

    However, somewhat against the run of play at the time, the Jags drew level from the penalty spot after Craig McCall tripped McCarthy in the area. Leyden stepped up and coolly knocked the ball down the middle to level things up.

    ‘Well introduced a number of subs including Ryan Watters and 15-year old Dylan Falconer and it was one of those, Watters, who almost put the visitors back in front.

    He latched on to a loose ball inside the area, only for his low shot to deflect behind. From the resulting corner, the same player crashed a header narrowly wide of the post.

    However, it was the Thistle who looked the most likely after Stewart had blocked well to stop Andy McCarthy, he was left with little chance as the hosts nabbed all three points late on.

    It was a good flowing Jags move, that started deep in their own half, but after McLaughlin and Lamont had combined, they slipped McMullin who tucked it away from close range.

    It was a cruel blow for the youngsters, although with the average age of the team that finished the match just 16.8 years, there is plenty to be encouraged about with some youth products gaining valuable experience at a higher level.

    Motherwell: Stewart, McNulty, McMillan, McCall, Watt, Maguire, Anderson (Watters – 66mins), R. Leitch, Mackin, Higgins (Falconer – 80mins), Campbell (J.Moore – 73mins)

    Subs Not Used: Currie

  • Archive

    Quiz the board & watch Scotland

    Come along to Fir Park this Sunday (29th March) for a fun packed day in the Centenary Suite.

    Open from 12.30pm, visitors will have the opportunity to visit the tunnel to see their new tiles in place in our new-look tunnel wall. For those who have not yet purchased, there will be a facility to buy yours and carve your name in history.

    At 2.30pm you’ll have the chance to test your knowledge in our MFC Pub Quiz, answering questions about all things Motherwell throughout the ages.

    For the kids, we will have FIFA15 set up and will be running a tournament all afternoon, provided by our friends from GAME.

    Chairman Brian McCafferty and General Manager Alan Burrows will be in attendance and at 3.30pm they will be hosting a fans’ Q&A, answering all your questions about MFC.

    Come 5.00pm, Scotland take on Gibraltar in EURO 2016 Qualifying action and we’ll be showing the game live and providing free pies at half-time too.

    The bar will be open until after the game, with free soft drinks available for kids.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

     Extended highlights from Fir Park as Craig Moore’s first-half free-kick was enough to give the Under 20s the win over Dundee Utd.

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    TV: Johansson wants an improvement

    Jonatan Johansson is adamant there is room for improvement despite watching his side edge out Dundee United.

    The Steelmen, reduced to ten men after Ross MacLean’s 54th minute ordering off, won the game thanks to Craig Moore’s deflected free-kick.

    Ironically, the Fir Parkers played their best stuff when a man light, and the former 106-times capped Finnish International hitman is adamant there is more to come from his youngsters, who have only lost once since the middle of December.

    “You have to be pleased every time you win, particularly when you show the instinct and desire after going down to ten men, that was good,” he said.

    [pullquote]It was scrappy, we were lucky to be ahead; I wasn’t pleased with the first-half at all. There were some words at the interval, and I was satisfied with our reaction in the second half.[/pullquote]

    “I was certainly more pleased with the last thirty minutes than I was with the first sixty

    “We had a few chances in the opening minutes to counter, but began to take liberties, too busy watching each other then reacting. We played too much as individuals and our possession wasn’t good enough.

    “It was scrappy, we were lucky to be ahead; I wasn’t pleased with the first-half at all. There were some words at the interval, and I was satisfied with our reaction in the second half.

    “We restricted United, even when they had an extra man, to very little in the way of clear-cut chances. We’re happy with the three points and will now try and build for the next two games.”

    MFC TV

  • Archive

    Mothewell U20s 1 – 0 Dundee Utd U20s

    A Craig Moore free kick shortly before the half-time interval was enough to give 10-man ‘Well a narrow win over Dundee United.

    It what turned out to be a fairly low-key evening, Ross MacLean was ordered off for two bookable offences after Moore had put the Steelmen in front.

    However, both teams failed to really trouble the opposition goalkeeper with chances few and far between.

    United felt they should’ve had a penalty midway through the second half when Luke Watt and Justin Johnson came together inside the area. Referee Liam Butler was having none of it though.

    ‘Well made two changes to the side that comfortably beat St Mirren last midweek. Mark O’Brien and David Ferguson dropped out, Jack McMillan and the returning Zaine Francis-Angol came in.

    ‘Well made a positive start to the game, Dom Thomas winning a corner after a good run before taking the kick himself; Craig Moore eventually heading his cross over the bar.

    Other than a Fraser Kerr header after 17 minutes, there was very little in the way of goalmouth action in the opening half hour.

    The visitors had their first effort at goal with nine minutes of the half remaining, Johnson going on a mazy run before drilling a long-range effort over the bar.

    However, with their next attack, Motherwell took the lead with what turned out to be the game’s winning goal.

    Jamie Robson was adjudged to have hauled down Craig Moore on the edge of the area. The striker dusted himself down to take the kick, only for his shot to cannon off Aaron Duke, wrong-footing the helpless Joe McGovern as the ball spun into the net.

    ‘Well replaced Zaine Francis-Angol at the interval – Danny McNulty was introduced and shortly after the restart, Nathan Thomas was withdrawn and replaced by Steven Higgins.

    In between times, Jack Leitch went close with a shot from distance that took a coat of paint off the post as it whistled past.

    However, with the half just nine minutes old, Ross MacLean picked up his second yellow card of the night for a cynical pull, leaving ‘Well to play over half an hour with a man light.

    Both sides traded shots from distance, Dom Thomas for ‘Well and Duke for the Terrors, neither of which presented the goalkeepers with much in the way of trouble.

    Then, on 68 minutes, United were denied what looked like a stick on penalty.

    Johnson charged into the area and looked a safe bet to bring his side level. He appeared to be pulled back by Luke Watt but as he hit the deck, there was nothing doing from the match official. United were incensed, their protests carrying on for several minutes.

    When the game got properly going again, it was much the same with both teams only really creating half chances. Moore tried an ambitious overhead kick for ‘Well whilst Euan Spark’s long-range hit ended up high and wide of goal.

    United’s best chance to level came with ten minutes left on the clock. A ball into the area caused problems as Ross Stewart came to punch. The ball was eventually headed towards goal by Duke, and it would have gone in, but for Moore who had got himself back onto the line to knock it over.

    At the other end, Thomas was denied what has become and almost customary goal for the Under 20s when his low shot hit the outside of the post and dropped wide with perhaps better options available on the cutback.

    There would be no further goals in what was a scrappy match by SPFL Development League standards. The Steelmen are back in action this coming Friday with an away match against Thistle, looking to keep up their excellent record in 2015.

    Motherwell: Stewart, McMillan, Francis-Angol (McNulty – 45mins), Watt, J.Leitch, Kerr, N.Thomas (Higgins – 47mins), Moore, McHugh (McCall – 90mins), D.Thomas, MacLean

    Subs: Currie, R.Leitch, Mackin, Anderson

  • Archive

    Under 20s face trio of games

    Motherwell Under 20s face three games in six days as the Development League season nears its conclusion.

    The young Steelmen have been on fine form since the turn of the year, losing just the once in their previous seven matches.

    Included in that run were thumping away wins at Kilmarnock (0-4), St Mirren (1-5) and Inverness CT (1-4), as well as respectable draws against Rangers and Hibernian.

    They now face three games in just six days as they look to finish the season on a high.

    The first is on Tuesday (24th March) when they take on Dundee United at Fir Park (6pm KO).

    The middle fixture is the rearranged game against Partick Thistle, postponed from mid December, which will go ahead this Friday (27th March). Although it’s an away match, it will take place at the familiar surroundings of Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium (11am KO).

    The final match is next Monday (30th March) when they face Celtic at Morton’s Cappielow Park. Kick off for that game will be 7pm.

    >> Under 20s Fixtures & Results

  • Archive

    Josh Law wins monthly award

    Motherwell club sponsor Cash Converters is delighted to announce that Josh Law has won the Player of the Month award for February.

    The Steelmen played three games during February, narrowly losing to Ross County and Dundee before beating high-flying Inverness CT 2-1 at Fir Park.

    The Player of the Month is voted for by the ‘Well fans on Cash Converters’ official SPFL Facebook page and Josh was handed the trophy by ‘Well fans John, Jack and Harry McLean.

    Look out for the next vote at the end of the month to be in with a chance of presenting the award to the winner. Simply visit our Cash Converters SPL Facebook page by CLICKING HERE.