Motherwell FC is delighted to announce legendary former captain Stephen Craigan has returned to the club as the new Under 20s manager.
Craigan, 38, began his senior career at ‘Well in the mid 1990s before leaving in 2000 for a three-year stint at Partick Thistle.
He returned to Fir Park in 2003 and went on to play a total of 379 times in Claret and Amber before retiring in 2012 after skippering the side to a ‘Best of the Rest’ finish and a place in the UEFA Champions League.
During his playing career, Stephen amassed a hugely impressive 54 Northern Irish caps, 52 of which gained whilst a Motherwell player, a record that is unlikely to ever be surpassed.
After hanging up his boots, he’s involved in both coaching and television work.
He has been working in the Irish FA set-up over the past two years, managing the Under 19s. He is also a familiar face on television and is a pundit on BT Sport’s SPFL coverage, a role he will continue whilst working with the Steelmen’s Under 20s side.
Stephen will work alongside Ian Baraclough, Stephen Robinson and recently appointed goalkeeping coach Jim Hollman in a new-look backroom team at Fir Park.
[pullquote]It’ll be my role to ensure our brightest young players are fully prepared to push their way into the first team picture, bringing themselves to the attention of the management team both with their performances at training and in games.[/pullquote]
Speaking on his return to the club, Crags said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to return to Motherwell for a third time and I am very much looking forward to the challenge of working with the Under 20s side.
“Motherwell, from the outside looking in, seems to be a club very much on the up. The new owner and the new people involved are breathing freshness back into things and there appears to be an excitement about the new season ahead.
“I have very much enjoyed my coaching experiences so far and I am looking forward to the challenge of working with young players on a more regular basis.
“With Motherwell giving me this coaching opportunity whilst supporting my work with BT Sport, the decision to return to Fir Park was an easy one to make.
“Ultimately, the Under 20s is the bridge between the Elite Academy and the first-team.
“It’ll be my role to ensure our brightest young players are fully prepared to push their way into the first team picture, bringing themselves to the attention of the management team both with their performances at training and in games.”
Jonatan Johansson, who has performed the role for the previous three years, has left the club and very much goes with the best wishes for his future career.
He said: “After careful consideration I decided to move on from my post as the Under 20s manager.
“I now look forward to my next challenge and to further my career.
“I would like to thank Motherwell FC for giving me the opportunity to develop and learn from some great coaches for three successful seasons.
“I would like to thank all the wonderful staff at the club for their support and help as well as all the young players that I have worked with; you really have inspired and improved me.”