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    TV: Highlights from Rheden

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    TV: Baraclough pleased with workout

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    Borussia II 1 – 1 Motherwell

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    Hollman is new Goalkeeping Coach

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    New 2015/16 Macron kits

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    15/16 home kit give away

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    Steelmen sign Dragon’s Moult

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    Louis Laing signs on again

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    Bradford City friendly confirmed

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    Johnson pens extended deal

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    TV: Highlights from Rheden

    Extended highlights from Rheden as pre-season starts with a 1-1 draw with Borussia Monchengladbach U23s.

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    TV: Baraclough pleased with workout

    ‘Well boss Ian Baraclough was pleased with the workout his side got against Borussia Mönchengladbach tonight.

    The Fir Parkers were last in competitive action 37 days ago in the pressure cooker double-header against Rangers.

    However, it was the slightly less pressurised situation of the quaint Sportpark vv Rheden, in the southern Netherlands, where the Fir Parkers would kick-off the new 2015/16 season.

    After a goalless first-half, summer recruit from York Wes Fletcher opened the scoring after latching on to a rebound following a Craig Moore drive.

    It stayed 0-1 until the 70th minute, when Borussia levelled through Giuseppe Pisano.

    The game eventually ended all squad, with the Fir Park boss pleased with the exercise.

    Speaking to MFC TV, he said: “The first game of pre-season is always a precarious one  and you wonder where each player is fitness wise but most of them have had forty-five minutes and we’ve came out with no injuries.

    “It was a keenly contested game against a good young side and we had contend with a different kind of playing style.

    “It was good to see the new players integrating, fitting into the shape and taking on board all the things we’ve been working on in training. That was a pleasing aspect, not only from the new players, but from the younger ones as well.

    ‘It was pleasing to see Wes score in his first game and I’m sure that will give him a boost but all the new lads did well.

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    Borussia II 1 – 1 Motherwell

    Motherwell’s first action of the new 2015/16 campaign came in the shape of a very useful 1-1 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Under 23s.

    After a goalless first half, summer signing Wes Fletcher opened the scoring for Ian Baraclough’s side just four minutes into the second forty-five.

    It stayed that way until he 70th minute, when Giuseppe Pisano leveled after an impressive solo run.

    Both teams had chances to win it, but it ended all squad in Rheden.

    It was the Germans who made the stronger start to the game, with Twardzik twice having to look smart to deny Kevin Holzweiler. The first from a free kick, the second from point blank range, albeit the assistant had his flag up for the latter.

    However, the Czech stopper was helpless moments later though as Borussia came within an inch of taking the lead. Gino van den Berg unleashed a stinging, dipping effort that crashed off the bar before ‘Well hooked clear.

    After their early struggles, the Steelmen settled into the match. Summer recruit from Wrexham Louis Moult was almost presented with a gift from keeper Martin Kompalla, but the stopper was up quickly to mop up his spill from Dom Thomas’ cross.

    Most of the play was now heading towards the German goal and Thomas went close direct from a corner, his near post cross hitting Nils Rütten, deflecting off the woodwork before being hooked away to safety.

    Lasley for ‘Well and Holzweiler for Borussia both watched efforts fly over before the Germans again went close seconds before the break, but thankfully flashed a shot wide of target after patient build-up on the edge of the box.

    There was seven changes to the start of the second half, with Josh Law, Louis Laing, Lionel Ainsworth, Jack Leitch, Stephen Pearson, Craig Moore and Wes Fletcher all lining up for kick-off.

    And it was two of those, Moore and Fletcher, who combined to get the Steelmen in front.

    Moore was the provider, his low shot from the edge of the box forced keeper Kompalla to again spill, and former York man Fletcher was on to it like a flash, tucking home from close range.

    Motherwell’s tails were up and they enjoyed their best spell of the match. Indeed, only a fine Kompalla save denied Thomas from adding a second after the winger had let fly from 20 yards out.

    Baraclough’s men continued to pile on the pressure, again looking dangerous breaking at pace on the counter and on more than one occasion, almost found themselves in via Ainsworth on the flank.

    Then, out of virtually nothing, Borussia drew level. Sub Giuseppe Pisano collected the ball from deep and after skipping past several challenges, coolly slotted a low shot past young keeper Brett Long to equalize.

    Although the Fir Parkers had a half chance to level almost immediately through Ainsworth, it was the Germans who looked the most likely. Indeed, it took an excellent acrobatic save from Long to deny Rütten making it 2-1.

    However, with eight minutes left, ‘Well should have been back ahead.

    Again it was another decisive counter, Law and Ainsworth combining across the pitch, before young Ross MacLean found himself in acres of space in the box. With the goal at his mercy, he curled his right-footed shot inches wide of the far post.

    Borussia had one or two little sniffs in and around the Motherwell goal, but it ended all squad with boss Baraclough no doubt pleased with the workout.

    Motherwell First Half: Twardzik, Watt, Chalmers, Trialist Def, McManus, Lasley, Trialist Mid, MacLean, Thomas, Clarkson, Moult

    Motherwell Second Half: Twardzik (B.Long), Law, Chalmers (Watt), Trialist Def (Trialist Mid), Laing, Pearson, Leitch, Ainsworth, Thomas (MacLean), Moore, Fletcher.

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    Hollman is new Goalkeeping Coach

    Motherwell FC is today delighted to confirm the appointment of Jim Hollman as the Club’s new Goalkeeping Coach.

    Jim, 37, started his coaching career with the Ipswich Town Academy in 1998 before taking on the Senior Goalkeeping Coach job at East Anglian neighbours Norwich in January 2000, aged just 21 years old.

    After reaching the Play-offs in his first season, Norwich won the 2003/04 Championship title with goalkeeper Robert Green conceding the least goals in the league. He and Norwich then enjoyed a season in the Barclay’s Premier League for the 2004/05 campaign.

    He was at Carrow Road for over seven years before a short stint with Cambridge United between January and June 2008. He helped the Club reach the 2007/08 Football Conference play-off final but was quickly tempted back to East Anglia and a return to Portman Road with Ipswich Town.

    He was part of the coaching team that guided Ipswich to the 2010/11 League Cup semi-finals, beating Arsenal 1-0 in the first leg but his three-year stay with Town would come to an end when Malky Mackay prized him away to form part of his coaching set-up at Cardiff City in July 2011.

    [pullquote]It was a combination of a highly regarded manager, a great group of staff and an Scottish Premiership club with the history and reputation of Motherwell that meant I couldn’t turn it down.[/pullquote]

    Cardiff made they Play-offs in his first season, before eventually winning the Championship in 2013/14 season, with Jim helping David Marshall keep the second best defensive record in the league that year, earning the Coach another stint at the Premier League.

    Throughout his coaching career he played a key role in the development of a number of goalkeepers who have gone on to receive significant international and domestic recognition such as David Marshall, Tom Heaton, Asmir Begović, Richard Wright, Rob Green, Matt Gilks and Darren Ward.

    Jim replaces Gordon Marshall, who left the club last week to take up a similar role at Aberdeen Football Club.

    Speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, Jim said: “I’m delighted to take on the role at Motherwell.

    “I was approached by the manager when the position became available and he invited me to visit the club to meet him and his staff.

    “I knew Ian had a hugely successful time with Sligo and I also knew he had a very good reputation within football.

    “It was a combination of a highly regarded manager, a great group of staff and an Scottish Premiership club with the history and reputation of Motherwell that meant I couldn’t turn it down.”

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    New 2015/16 Macron kits

    Motherwell Football Club is delighted to showcase the new Macron home and away kits for 2015/2016.

    It is Motherwell’s second season with the Italian sportswear giant and the fifth with principal sponsors Cash Converters.

    For inspiration, the Club looked to two memorable kits from the past.

    In a break from the traditional hoop, we pay tribute to some of the stars from the 1970s such as Willie Pettigrew, Bobby Graham, Joe Wark and Peter Marinello with the diagonal band, claret shorts and claret socks. The 2015/16 home shirt will also carry the ‘MFC’ embroidery on the chest, as opposed to the regular badge.

    The away strip pays homage to the 1994/95 away kit, fondly remembered for the game against Borussia Dortmund in the old UEFA Cup at Fir Park. The top is claret with amber pin-stripes, white shorts and claret socks, famously worn by the likes of Tommy Coyne, Dougie Arnott and Brian Martin in the season ‘Well finished Premier League runners-up.

    The kits are available to pre-order online now by clicking here or in store at the ‘Well Shop at Fir Park Stadium.

    The home kit will be on full general sale on Wednesday 15th July, with the away kit launching one week later, on Wednesday 22nd July.

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    15/16 home kit give away

    Who would you gift the new 15/16 first team kit to and have them proudly wear it before it goes on general sale??

    That’s right, this is a prize for you to give away!

    What you need to do is nominate someone, male or female, and tell us why you think they should receive this fantastic prize!

    Don’t worry, your thoughtful gesture won’t go unrewarded as you’ll receive a shirt signed by the newly assembled 15/16 squad – after the kit goes on general sale of course.

    To enter this competition simply ‘Like’ the Motherwell Facebook Page, nominate who you want to win by tagging them in the comment section and then tell us in 10 words or less why you chose them.

    There will be two winners, one male and one female who will each be invited to attend the media launch of the 15/16 kit  at Fir Park and get to meet two players.

    Closing date is 4pm on Thursday 2nd July.

    Your nominee must be able to attend the launch of the kit at Fir Park on Friday 3rd July at 1.45pm*

    The winning entries will be chosen at random by a panel of judges and notified on evening of Thursday 2nd via Facebook. Should a winner not be able to attend then the Club will chose another entry to attend.

    No correspondence will be entered into.

    Good Luck!

    *time may be subject to change

    Terms & Conditions
    • Competition is open to all fans that ‘Like’ Motherwell FC Facebook page
    • Nominate a fan by tagging them in the competition comment section and describe in 10 words or less why they should win this prize
    • There will be one male and one female winner
    • Closing date is 4pm on Thursday 2nd July, 2015
    • The winners will be selected by choice of Judges Panel
    • Winners will be notified by Direct Message via Facebook on evening of Thursday 2nd July
    • Entries of 11 words or over will not be considered
    • Entries containing profanity or messages the panel consider to be inflammatory will not be considered
    • No correspondence will be entered into
    • Judges decision will be final
    • The prize consists of:-
    o Attend photo-call on Friday 3rd July, at Fir Park Stadium at 1.45pm
    o Reporting into the Chapman Building, Firpark Street, Motherwell, ML1 2QN
    o Travel and Expenses are not included in the prize
    o Meet first team and ladies player and have your picture taken with them
    o Nominee to receive full first team kit for season 15/16 consisting of shirt, shorts, socks
    o Nominator to receive 1 x signed shirt by full first team after the public launch of the kit, mailed out to you

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    Steelmen sign Dragon’s Moult

    Motherwell FC is today delighted to announce the signing of striker Louis Moult from Wrexham for an undisclosed fee.

    Moult, 23, came through the youth ranks at his local side Stoke City, and made his debut for the club in a League Cup game against Leyton Orient aged just seventeen, and followed that up with another in the same competition against Portsmouth.

    He went on to make his Premiership bow against Burnley later in the same season and collected the club’s Academy Player of the Year award at the end of that campaign.

    Such is the nature of the English loan market; Louis enjoyed several spells at various clubs including Bradford City, Accrington, Mansfield and Alfreton before joining Northampton in 2012.

    He was only at the Cobblers for a year before joining Nuneaton where he really hit top gear. He scored an impressive 17 goals in 36 starts for Boro, which earned him a move to Wrexham.

    [pullquote]I’m here to score goals and hopefully I can do that. In two seasons I’ve scored forty goals and I’m going to try and make that sixty in three, or even more if I can.[/pullquote]

    Moult started the 2014/15 season where he left off previously, and hit 23 goals in 37 starts – a total of 40 goals in 73 starts over two seasons – a goal every 1.82 games.

    That alerted several clubs, including ‘Well, who have been watching the player for some time and after extensive discussions with Wrexham, the player was allowed to leave and has signed a three-year contract in North Lanarkshire. He’ll be officially registered on July 1st, subject to registration formalities.

    Speaking exclusively to motherwellfc.co.uk, Moult said: “I’m delighted to be here and it is a massive step in my career and it wasn’t a move I could turn down.

    “I’m here to score goals and hopefully I can do that. In two seasons I’ve scored forty goals and I’m going to try and make that sixty in three, or even more if I can.

    “I’ve had a look at the side and I know they can play some fantastic attacking football. With the two pacey wingers who like to link up with the frontmen, hopefully that will suit me and I can hit the ground running.”

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    Louis Laing signs on again

    Motherwell FC is delighted to confirm the permanent signing of former Sunderland and Nottingham Forest defender Louis Laing.

    The 22-year old former England Youth International started his career at Sunderland and made his Premiership debut for the Black Cats against Wolves back in May 2011.

    He also spent a brief loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers before signing for the then Stuart Pearce led Forest last summer.

    He was farmed out to near neighbours Notts County in September before opting to join on at Fir Park during the January Transfer Window.

    He impressed as the games went on, building up a solid partnership with Stephen McManus. He scored his first senior goal, a bullet header against Inverness CT at Fir Park, and his assured performances alongside McManus were a feature of the Play-off victory over Rangers.

    [pullquote]I’m delighted and after such an enjoyable last six months of last season, I couldn’t be happier.[/pullquote]

    The 6ft 2 in centre back has signed a two-year deal and has joined the club for pre-season training today. He has been given the number five shirt for the new campaign.

    And speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, he said: “I’m delighted and after such an enjoyable last six months of last season, I couldn’t be happier.

    “I’ve got a bit of security for the next two years at a fantastic club with fantastic fans and a fantastic manager.

    “I didn’t have a great start last season, getting sent off in the first game, but after that I hit the ground running and it was a really enjoyable experience. I’m delighted to be back.”

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    Bradford City friendly confirmed

    Motherwell will face their Claret and Amber cousins from across the Border, Bradford City, this pre-season.

    ‘Well will take on Phil Parkinson’s side on Tuesday 14th July (2pm KO) at the Grangemouth Stadium, with the Fir Park pitch still taking shape after summer remedial work.

    Although the club would have preferred an evening kick-off, the availability of suitable grass facilities meant 2pm was the only kick-off time possible for that particular day.

    The match is the fifth confirmed so far this pre-season, with the schedule currently looking like:

    Tuesday 7th July 2015
    Borussia Monchengladbach U23 –v- Motherwell
    VV Rheden, Ijsselsingel 91, 6991 ZR Rheden
    Kick-off: 1900 (local time)

    Thursday 9th July 2015
    SC Heerenveen –v- Motherwell
    Sportvereniging Langezwaag,
    Paradys 8, 8404 BV Langezwaag
    Kick-off: 1900 (local time)

    Tuesday 14th July 2015
    Motherwell –v- Bradford City
    The Grangemouth Stadium
    Kersiebank Avenue, FK3 0EE
    Kick-off: 1400

    Saturday 18th July 2015
    Livingston –v- Motherwell
    Energy Assets Arena, Livingston
    Kick-off: 1500

    Tuesday 21st July 2015
    TBC

    Friday 24th July 2015
    Motherwell –v- Preston North End
    Energy Assets Arena, Livingston
    Kick-off: 1900

    It’s likely the final pre-season friendly to be confirmed, on Tuesday 21st July, will also take place at the Grangemouth Stadium with kick-off again during the day. The opponents will be announced as soon as the agreements are finalised.

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    Johnson pens extended deal

    Motherwell FC is today delighted to confirm Marvin Johnson has signed an extended contract with the club.

    Johnson was a January recruit when ‘Well played an undisclosed fee to take him from English Conference side Kidderminster Harriers.

    And the flying winger won many admirers with his direct style of play and his tantalizing cross balls, many of which led to either chances or goals in the closing months of the seaosn.

    Indeed, Johnson played a pivotal role in Motherwell retaining their top-flight status, and even scored his first goal in Claret and Amber against Rangers at Fir Park in the Play-off Final.

    The 24-year old has loved life at Fir Park and has signed a new agreement until the summer of 2018.

    [pullquote]I have thoroughly enjoyed my first six months at the club and when I was asked to extend it further, I had no hesitations.[/pullquote]

    Speaking to motherwellfc.co.uk, Johnson said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my first six months at the club and when I was asked to extend it further, I had no hesitations.

    “I really believe in the manager and what he wants the team to do, and if we can kick off the new campaign the way we finished the last, I am hopeful we can enjoy a good season.

    “From my own personal point of view, I will keep working hard for the team and will try and create and score as many as possible whilst a Motherwell player.

    “The fans have also been brilliant in my time so far, and if I can make them happy by continuing to give my best, that’s exactly what i will do.”