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    Motherwell 0 – 3 Bradford City

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    Two new staff appointments

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    Ladies sign striking legend Grant

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    Craigan makes his Motherwell return

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    TV: Highlights from Langezwaag

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    TV: Baraclough praises stubborn ‘Well

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    SC Heerenveen 0 – 0 Motherwell

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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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    Motherwell 0 – 3 Bradford City

    It was a clichéd game of two halves as ‘Well lost 0-3 to Bradford City at the Grangemouth Stadium today.

    After a keenly contested first half where the Steelmen played fairly well and hit the crossbar, the second half was all Bradford who built on their lead to add to further goals to complete the scoring.

    ‘Well started with Twardzik in goal with a back four of Law, McManus, Laing and Hammell. The midfield was made up of MacLean, Lasley, Pearson and Chalmers with Clarkson and Moult in attack.

    Motherwell made the brighter start and after Stephen Pearson almost burst through, Louis Moult fired the game’s first real chance high over the crossbar.

    The Steelmen, kitted in all black again, came closer minutes later when Stephen McManus met a near post Ross MacLean cross but could only watch as his flicked header came back off the cross bar.

    Bradford’s first chance on the midway point of the first-half and it fell to former Hibs, Inverness and St Johnstone man Filipe Morais, but after a decent move and cut-back, the Portugese forward fired over.

    However, it was the ‘Well who looked more likely and summer recruit from Wrexham came within an inch of getting his name on the scoresheet, meeting MacLean’s corner but his looping header was hooked off the line.

    Down the other end, the Bantam’s again had a shot from distance, this time Mark Fotheringham, but again it sailed high over Twardzik’s crossbar and onto the running track behind the goal.

    Then, with the half time whistle second away, Bradford took the lead and it’s a goal that will frustrate ‘Well boss Ian Baraclough. A hopeful ball into the area was well brought down by James. He turned and played in Leigh and his first touch not only took him away from the sliding McManus, but caused keeper Twardzik to slip.

    The left fullback had the easiest of tasks, sliding the ball into the unguarded net to give the Yorkshire side the lead pretty much against the run of play.

    As much as the first half was equal and a good contest, with the amount of changes on both sides, the English League One side dominated the second.

    However, the first real attempt of the half fell to ‘Well, when Moult cleverly lifted the ball over the Bradford defence for MacLean, but his side-foot volley spun a yard or so over the bar.

    That was about as good as it got though and Bradford extended their lead shortly after the hour when Alan Sheehan was afforded far too much time on the edge of the box from a set-piece and he picked his spot with a powerful left-footed strike.

    Seven minutes later it went from bad to worse when James Hanson lost his marker at the back post and was left with the simplest of headers to power past Twardzik.

    ‘Well had a host of youngsters on by this time, with the likes of Watt, Thomas, Leitch, Ferguson and Moore all playing their part.

    There was little else in the way of goalmouth action other than a Craig Moore shot from distance.

    Motherwell: Twardzik, Hammell (Thomas – 52mins), Laing (Kennedy – 61mins), McManus, Pearson (Ferguson – 74mins), Lasley (J. Leitch – 74mins), Chalmers (Watt – 69mins), Law, Clarkson (Moore – 61mins), Moult, MacLean (Ainsworth – 61mins)

    Subs Not Used: Long

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    Two new staff appointments

    Motherwell FC is pleased to update supporters on two recent arrivals to the non-playing staff.

    Following the departure of former Head Groundsman Mikey Ellis, the Club appointed Paul Matthew (pictured above, right) has his replacement.

    Paul had an eleven years apprenticeship on golf courses, working at Windyhill (Glasgow) and Clydebank Golf Clubs between 1990 and 2001.

    He then joined Rangers FC as Deputy Head Groundsman at Murray Park and spent four years there before being promoted through to be Deputy Head Groundsman at Ibrox Park.

    He was six years (ten in total with Rangers) there before moving on to a similar role at Wolverhampton Wanderers where he spent three years.

    He returned to Scotland recently for family reasons, which coincided with the Club’s determination to recruit an experienced, talented Head Groundsman and Paul was the outstanding candidate for the position.

    The other new arrival is Keith Campbell (pictured above, left), who recently started his role as Head of Marketing and Commercial.

    Keith has over ten years commercial & marketing experience, having held positions in sponsorship & sales – including the Partnership manager of Rangers FC and as the recent Head of Partnerships at the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL).

    He has also worked for Marketing and Advertising Agencies, as well as the recent 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    Keith’s remit is to enhance the club’s Marketing and Sales process, further increase the utilization of the Club’s assets on a non-matchday and enhance the matchday experience and supporter engagement process.

    Everyone at Motherwell FC would like to warmly welcomes both gentlemen to the team and wish them every success in their time at Fir Park.

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    Ladies sign striking legend Grant

    Motherwell Ladies are today delighted to confirm the signing of the 104-times capped Scotland striker Suzanne Grant.

    The 31-year old is a legend in the Scottish Woman’s game, having enjoyed a hugely successful career including trophy-laden spells at Glasgow City, Hibs, Arsenal and Celtic.

    Suzanne played for Ross County and Inverness Caledonian Thistle during her youth career but it was with Glasgow City she first made her name, including a memorable Scottish Women’s Cup final hat trick in 2006 as City smashed Aberdeen 5-1 at McDiarmid Park.

    She joined Hibernian in 2006 and they won the SWPL in her first season, as well as picking up two Scottish Cups and a Premier League Cup in three successful years in the Scottish Capital.

    Grant left Hibs to join Arsenal Ladies in February 2009. She scored on her debut six days later, as a substitute in the Women’s Premier League Cup final.

    She also played in the FA Women’s Cup winning side and in May 2009 she scored the only goal of the game against Everton Ladies that clinched the Premier League title for Arsenal.

    Finding it difficult playing so far from home, Suzanne signed for Celtic Ladies in the 2009 close season and scored over 100 goals for Hoops wearing the number 99 shirt.

    During her time with Celtic, she enjoyed loan spells at Somerset side Keynsham Town Ladies.

    [pullquote]I am very happy to be at Motherwell FC, who are extremely ambitious, and I am looking forward to be back playing and hopefully help the club achieve its aim of progressing to the top league and winning trophies.[/pullquote]

    At the end of the Scottish season Grant returned to Keynsham Town, scoring in an FA Women’s Premier League Cup defeat to Reading and twice in an FA Women’s Cup victory over Gillingham before returning to Celtic, which was her last club before taking a short break from the game to start a family.

    During her senior career, she also amassed an astonishing amount of caps for Scotland, making her debut (and scoring a double) against Northern Ireland aged just sixteen.

    103 caps and a further 11 goals against the likes of the USA, Portugal, Russia, Netherlands, Bulgaria, Greece and others add the exclamation point to a superb career.

    However, Grant is far from finished with the game and wants to create more memories as a Motherwell forward. She told motherwellfc.co.uk: “I am very happy to be at Motherwell FC, who are extremely ambitious, and I am looking forward to be back playing and hopefully help the club achieve its aim of progressing to the top league and winning trophies.

    “I know and have played with a lot of girls that are currently at the club and it’s a strong squad with a lot of potential.

    “The set up Motherwell have for girls and women is one of the best that have seen and I am looking forward to be a part of it.”

    Ladies boss Graeme McArthur added: “I am delighted to be able to welcome Suzanne to Motherwell Football Club; this is a magnificent capture for us and we are extremely happy to have her here.

    “She is a player that has played at the highest level not only in Scotland but in England and has also achieved over 100 caps for her country.

    “Signing a player of Suzanne’s ability and reputation in the game is a huge coup for the club and will compliment the players that we have in the squad. We’ve had to beat off competition from some very big clubs both sides of the border, who have been at her to join.

    “It shows how we are developing and putting plans in place to move through the leagues and, hopefully, get to the top level of women’s football in Scotland.

    “I am sure she will have a successful time here, bolster our squad and I am looking forward to watching her and Pamela Liddell together in our attack now.”

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    Craigan makes his Motherwell return

    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.”

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    TV: Highlights from Langezwaag

    Extended highlights from Langezwaag in the Netherlands as Motherwell and SC Heerenveen play out a 0-0 draw.

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    TV: Baraclough praises stubborn ‘Well

    ‘Well boss Ian Baraclough praised his side’s resilience after a battling 0-0 draw with Dutch side Heerenveen tonight.

    The tourists came under pressure during a relentless first-forty five minutes with goalkeeper Dan Twardzik producing a string of impressive saves.

    The second half was far more even, with ‘Well having one or two chances of their own, but the game eventually ended in stalemate.

    And the Fir Park gaffer was quick to heap praise on his goalkeeper and defence after picking up the clean sheet.

    Speaking to MFC TV, he said:  “In the first half we were starved of the ball and sat off them too much but in the second half we were much better. We got in and around them more and denied them space.

    “That was what we were looking to get out of the game as well as our work rate, endeavour and team shape. Not too many teams in Scotland will be like Heerenveen but it is important that we can go into games like that and be solid.

    “We picked the two games as we wanted to be tested and we’ve came through them unbeaten and although the results for me don’t matter, the performances do and I’ve been pleased with those.

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    SC Heerenveen 0 – 0 Motherwell

    A first-half master class from Dan Twardzik helped ‘Well to a respectable 0-0 draw against Dutch Eredivisie side Heerenveen tonight.

    Former Bayern Munich man Twardzik was in inspired form and made a series of impressive saves during the first-half to keep the Dutch side at bay.

    It was a far quieter second half, and ‘Well created a few chances of their own, but it finished in stalemate as the Steelmen brought their short tour of the Netherlands to an end.

    Ian Baraclough made six changes to the starting elven that lined up against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Tuesday night with Josh Law, Louis Laing, Jack Leitch, Stephen Pearson, Lionel Ainsworth and Craig Moore all given the nod.

    But it was a first forty-five the Fir Parkers had to grind out, with Heerenveen taking charge and creating numerous good chances.

    Twardzik made the first of countless saves on the thirteenth minute, denying the 6ft 6-inch front man Henk Veerman with a save low to his right. The same player blazed over before Swede Simon Thern again forced Twardzik into action with a header from a corner.

    Chances were coming thick and fast and Younes Namli forced Twardzik into another stop with a strike straight at him. Then former Dutch U21 International Luciano Slagveer also watched on as Twardzik somehow stopped his twenty-yard shot.

    As the half hour came and went, Twardzik was again at it, this time saving from left-back Caner Cavlan’s long free-kick before Pele van Anholt saw his deflected effort hooked off the line. Slagveer was also denied again from point blank range as Twardzik was turning in a performance to remember.

    ‘Well did have the last chance of the first-half but couldn’t get ahead when Craig Moore dragged his low shot just wide of target.

    Keith Lasley, Stephen McManus, Luke Watt, Ross MacLean and David Clarkson were all introduced at the interval and it seemed to steady Barclough’s side.

    Indeed, with just four minutes in, they almost took the lead when a lovely threaded pass had Clarkson in, but Heerenveen keeper Maarten de Fockert was off his line smartly to make the block.

    The ‘home’ side were quickly back on the attack again though and sub Stefano Marzo was denied when, after cutting in from the right, his fierce shot was beaten away by Motherwell’s impressive keeper.

    The tourists were coming back into things though and only a nice take from de Fockert denied Clarkson after Law’s cross from the right looked to be perfect for the former Scotland striker.

    Seven minutes later it was Law’s turn to have a go himself, but after Lasley had won a dangerous looking free-kick on the edge of the area, Law could only send his effort crashing off the wall.

    Both teams rang further changes and there was little in the way of goalmouth action in the closing twenty minutes. Stephen McManus almost grabbed the winner four minutes from time but his header, which hit a deflection on route, was comfortable gathered by de Fockert.

    The gamed ended in stalemate, but Baraclough will again be pleased with the workout against a talented side, and in particular, the performance of Dan Twardzik whose first-half heroics kept the score level.

    Motherwell: Twardzik (B.Long), Law, Laing, Trialist (McManus), Chalmers (Watt), Leitch (Lasley), Pearson, Ainsworth, Thomas (MacLean), Moore, Moult (Clarkson)

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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.