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    Craig Reid joins St Mirren on loan

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    Girls Player Programme launched

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    McGhee still finding the right formula

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    Fletcher feeling fit after early injury

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    TV: Highlights from Inverness

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    Inverness CT U20s 3 – 1 Motherwell U20s

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    Under 20s face Caley Thistle in Inverness

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    COMPETITON: Young ‘Well Fans

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    TV: Highlights from Pittodrie

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    McGhee praises ‘Well after Dons draw

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    Craig Reid joins St Mirren on loan

    Right-back Craig Reid has joined Championship side St Mirren on loan until January.

    The 29-year old missed the back end of last season and the start of this with a knee injury, but returned to full training several weeks ago and has played as an over age player in Stephen Craigan’s Under 20s side.

    Reid, a former Scotland Youth International, came through the ranks at Celtic and also played for Stirling Albion, Queen of the south and Saints’ neighbours Morton before signing for ‘Well in 2014.

    [blockquote]“I’ve had a frustrating time of it over the last few months, so I just can’t wait to get playing again. It’s all happened very quickly, but my focus now is playing as well as I can and we’ll take it from there.”[/blockquote]

    With Ian Murray’s side having picked up a number injuries at the back, it gives Reid the opportunity to play games as the Buddies look to battle for promotion back to the Scottish top flight.

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee said: “This is an ideal opportunity for Craig to play some game time at a very good club and it gives me the chance to get a look at him in a competitive environment.”

    Craig added said: “I’ve had a frustrating time of it over the last few months, so I just can’t wait to get playing again. It’s all happened very quickly, but my focus now is playing as well as I can and we’ll take it from there.”

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    Girls Player Programme launched

    Motherwell FC, in partnership with the Scottish FA, NLC and Braidhurst High School, have launched a Girls Premier Player Programme.

    The Girls Premier Player Programme is among the first of its kind in Scotland and is based on the highly acclaimed model from Rosengard in Sweden.

    “It will initially run from October to June and involve eight girls in S2 who attend Braidhurst,” explained Carolyn Rooney, Head Teacher of Braidhurst High School.

    “Our aim is to promote the programme to girls currently in P7 across the whole of North Lanarkshire. From January 2016 the very best young female players in North Lanarkshire will have the opportunity to apply for a place on the programme with all successful applicants receiving the offer of free transport to the school from the start of term in August 2016.”

    Braidhurst is one of seven Scottish FA Schools of Football, as well as the Scottish FA Performance Programmes.

    Anna Signeul, national coach of the Scotland women’s team attended the launch, she said: “This is a great initiative involving the school, the council and the SFA. I would like to see this model developed across Scotland; it is innovative, and will benefit girls football at all levels.

    “For the girls themselves, it gives an opportunity to develop social skills, footballing skills, self-confidence and gives them a feeling of belonging in a team environment.”

    Mrs Rooney continued: “These have proven to be very successful allowing nearly 300 players the opportunity to receive an excellent education in addition to developing their skills in the sport.

    “These have always been open to both boys and girls but experience has taught us that the percentage of girls applying for places has been very low. But we believe this new initiative will tackle the low uptake among young female footballers.”

    The school already boasts successful girls teams with some players going on to represent Scotland.

    Cllr Jim Logue, Convener of Learning and Leisure Services, said: “This is a really exciting development not just for the girls who are taking part in the pilot but eventually for young talented female footballers across North Lanarkshire.

    “Braidhurst School of Football has been a terrific success so it’s a natural development to include a girls section.

    “We’ll work in close partnership with the Trust to identify, encourage and mentor those taking part.”

    Motherwell FC Community Trust was founded in 2011 with the aim of increasing participation in football to inspire and motivate people and communities.

    Since then they have created a successful female player pathway for girls from Under 9’s to Under 17’s with eventual progression to the full ladies team.

    Twice a week the U9’s and U11 teams go to Fir Park from school where they have access to homework support through a tutor and are provided with a healthy snack before training for an hour.

    Charlie Bennett, Motherwell FC Community Trust General Manager, said: “We’re really excited to be part of this innovative project. Girls’ football is the fastest growing sport in Scotland and this initiative will help contribute to the development of talented players which can only strengthen the national game. Braidhurst High School already has a fantastic reputation for developing footballers and we look forward to working with them.”

    The Motherwell ladies team has accumulated over 400 full international caps and won this season’s SWFL2 League Cup. They are currently top of their division.

    Motherwell FC Community Trust are supporting the pilot project through providing:

    • Talented female football players as pupils for the School of Football from their Player Pathway.
    • A dedicated couching resource to the School of Football on the basis of one hour session per day.
    • Access to a full player pathway for players from the School of Football who choose to sign for Motherwell FC girls/women’s teams.
    • Motherwell FC branded training kit for each female player within the scheme.
    • Positive role models from their successful ladies team to interact with pupils within the School of Football and encourage their development.
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    McGhee still finding the right formula

    Mark McGhee aims to strike a balance between learning more about his squad and picking up a result, as ‘Well prepare to travel to Rugby Park on Saturday.

    The Steelmen turned in what was one of their best performances of the season at second-placed Aberdeen last week, drawing 1-1, but feeling aggrieved not to have taken all three points.

    Now the focus is on in-form Kilmarnock, who have won four and drawn one of their last seven matches since losing 1-0 at Fir Park in late August.

    And McGhee hopes to build on that showing at Pittodrie whilst giving various members of his squad the opportunity to stake a claim for a spot at the club in the long term.

    Speaking to the broadcast media at Thursday morning’s pre-match news conference, the Fir Park boss said: “I’m getting more familiar [with the squad] each and every day, but I’ve still got more to learn.

    “There are several players who have not played yet and I need to know what they can do. That’s obviously part of the process, regardless of our real desire to get results, which is obviously the most important thing for any football club.

    [pullquote]“I said when I came back here that I wasn’t coming with some grandiose idea about how I plan to change the club or the face of Motherwell. It was about good performances, and ideally results, against Celtic, Aberdeen, Kilmarnock and Inverness, whilst getting to know everyone inside out.[/pullquote]

    “So there could be changes again; I want to be fair and learn as much as possible as quickly as I can. Obviously it is a balance as not to detriment the team. But at this stage, there’s little point in going to Kilmarnock, lining up with the same team in the same way as we did against Aberdeen, as that teaches me little.

    “We obviously had a telling contribution from our subs bench last week so that gives me encouragement that the squad has depth to it.”

    Although McGhee’s mission is to learn everything there is about his squad, he also admits his ideal solution is a team with few changes week to week.

    “I am not someone who really likes to change the team a lot; if I have my strongest team available, invariably I will play it,” he continued.

    “That of course may change from time to time, but it’s my duty to get the best players out there as often as possible.

    “What that strongest team is, what the best way to deploy them, is still there to be nailed, but we have options and I am pleased with how the lads are taking to it and the response I’ve had both in training and games.”

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    Fletcher feeling fit after early injury

    Wes Fletcher says he feels sharper since Mark McGhee introduced a robust regime since his arrival two weeks ago.

    The new Fir Park boss has had the players in every day since his return to the Club; the players put through their paces with a grueling fitness programme that has tested them both mentally and physically.

    And Fletcher, who has missed a sizeable chunk of the first third of the season with an ankle injury, is delighted as it has helped him get back up to speed quicker.

    Now the Ormskirk-born former Burnley and York striker hopes that hard work will translate into goals on the pitch.

    “It’s clear to see the manager demands hard work; we’ve had two heavy weeks and that showed on Saturday with the way we finished the game,” he said.

    [pullquote]“The tempo of training and the intensity of the fitness work has helped, me in particular, as I feel I needed that to get back to where I was going into the campaign.”[/pullquote]

    “I probably wasn’t as sharp as I wanted to be when I started against Celtic, but the increase in fitness work has been beneficial and I’m nearly there.

    “I felt a lot better against Aberdeen and I’m ready to go again on Saturday if called upon.”

    Fletcher is acutely aware of the pressure he’s under to perform.

    Not only does he have a new manager to impress, but there are a number of strikers at the club all itching to get the nod up top.

    Scott McDonald, Louis Moult, Theo Robinson, David Clarkson and even the on-loan Craig Moore all want the shirt, something Fletcher relishes.

    He continued: “There’s really good competition for places at the club and I obviously want to keep my place in the starting elven.

    “You see last week the impact your teammates can make, but I was just happy to get the result. What that tells you is that you have got to work has hard as you can in training or you’ll not get picked on a Saturday.

    “The squad all showed character last Saturday and regardless if that’s individually or collectively, we’ve got to go and do the same at Rugby Park this weekend.”

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    TV: Highlights from Inverness

    Highlights from Grant Street Park as Motherwell lose for only the third time this campaign as they go down 3-1 to Inverness in the Highlands.

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    Inverness CT U20s 3 – 1 Motherwell U20s

    Motherwell’s Under 20’s couldn’t emulate last week’s comeback and sunk to a 3-1 defeat in Inverness this afternoon.

    The young Steelmen were dealt and early blow when midfield terrier Alan Campbell was on the receiving end of a Nat Wedderburn flailing elbow, forcing him off to be replaced by Ross MacLean.

    Inverness arguably edged the opening exchanges and had the first chance of the game when Sutherland clipped the ball over the ‘Well defence to Wilson but with Jack McMillan in attendance, could only tamely shoot at Long.

    Stephen Craigan’s side were bolstered by the addition of Dom Thomas and he looked lively, creating Motherwell’s two best chances of the half but just couldn’t find the final touch to give his side the vital lead.

    It was a game of few chances until Howarth fired in a warning shot from MacRea’s lay-off, but could only find the side-netting from 18 yards.

    The drab opening forty minutes at a rain-sodden Grant Street Park then took a turn for the worst when Inverness took the lead.

    Howarth curled in an inviting cross to the back post, which was nodded back across goal by Sutherland. It was probably heading in but Wilson took no chances and headed into the empty net with Long beaten.

    As the half-time whistle approached Caley struck again. The ‘Well defence was carved open all too easily by MacRea and MacArthur and this allowed Sutherland to pick his spot and place it beyond the despairing dive of Long.

    At 2-0 down Motherwell would need to come out in the second half and show the kind of spirit that has helped them comeback in five games this season and within a minute of the restart, they had stated their intentions.

    Thomas received the ball from kick-off, drove forward and slid in MacLean whose shot beat MacKay but was superbly read by Horner and put out for a corner.

    From that corner MacKay was again called into action, this time from a Dylan Mackin header which he took no chances with and palmed over the bar.

    After being in complete control of the opening ten minutes of the second half, you could sense a goal coming and sure enough it arrived, through unfortunate circumstances from Inverness’ point of view.

    Cadden and Thomas had pressed Howarth and Gilchrist high up the park with the latter slicing his attempted clearance straight into the path of Mackin who in a similar fashion to his first goal last week, slid in through the goalie’s legs.

    This seemed to trigger a belief in the players and an equaliser seemed inevitable with wave after wave of attack. The best chance fell to Hastie whose shot on the turn looked like it was going in but MacKay reacted well and got down to his right to make the stop.

    Just as hopes of an equaliser were being raised, Caley killed the game with a decisive third.

    A long ball forward was chased down by MacRea who darted past Maguire and produced a fine finish past Long to make restore the Highlander’s two goal advantage and knock the stuffing out Motherwell.

    ‘Well had a chance for a late consolation turned away when Hastie’s cross was seemingly knocked out by the hand of MacArthur, but referee and assistant couldn’t be sure, with the Caley man unconvincingly going down holding his face, and awarded a corner.

    Motherwell: Long, Watt, Hall, Maguire, McMillan, Livingstone (Hastie), Thomas, Campbell (MacLean), Cadden, Mackin, Leitch (Falconer)

    Subs not used: Morrison, Turnbull

    Goals: Mackin

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    Under 20s face Caley Thistle in Inverness

    The Under 20s are in action tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday) when they take on Inverness CT at Grant Street Park.

    The young Steelmen are fresh off the back of their stunning comeback against Dundee Utd last week and will look to build on that result as they take on the Highland team, who sit one place above the Steelmen in Development League.

    The match will take place at Grant Street Park, home of Clachnacuddin, with kick-off at 2pm.

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    COMPETITON: Young ‘Well Fans

    Kilmarnock FC are giving eleven young Motherwell supporters the chance to run out with the team on Halloween!

    Young fans are invited to enter our fancy dress competition by sending photos of themselves dressed up in their Halloween costumes and the best eleven will get to run out with the Captain and his teammates at next Saturday’s match at Rugby Park (Saturday 31 October, kick-off 3pm).

    To enter simply send your photos to MFCenquiries@motherwellfc.co.uk

    Tweet us using the hashtag #MFCkidzcomp or add your photos as a comment under our Facebook post.

    The deadline to enter is 5pm Wednesday 28 October and winners will be notified on Thursday 29 October.

    The lucky winners will be given a ticket to the match for themselves and a family member/chaperone.

    Good luck!

    Please note – winners should arrive dressed in their Halloween costume. The prize does not include travel to Rugby Park or hospitality.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Pittodrie

    Extended highlights from Pittodrie as Scott McDonald’s header earns ‘Well a point against Aberdeen.

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    McGhee praises ‘Well after Dons draw

    Mark McGhee praised his Motherwell side after they came back from behind to earn a deserved point at Pittodrie.

    After enjoying large spells on top during the first forty-five, the Steelmen somehow found themselves behind in controversial circumstances when Crawford Allan adjudged Stephen Pearson to have fouled Shay Logan on the edge of the area.

    To rub salt into the wounds, Adam Rooney headed home the subsequent free-kick.

    However, ‘Well pulled themselves level on the 73rd minute with an almost identical goal, when sub Lionel Ainsworth crossed it for Scott McDonald who bulleted a header past Danny Ward.

    Ward went on to make four terrific late stops to deny ‘Well what would have been an excellent win, but McGhee was happy with his players after their first-half set-back.

    [pullquote]They answered a lot of questions for me today. We play Kilmanock next week, and we have to see the same sort of desire for that.[/pullquote]

    “The question I asked at half-time was whether they had the character and desire to come back against Aberdeen and take something from the game,” McGhee said.

    “I actually wrote on the board Yes and No, and let’s see what the answer is when we come in. That was the team talk.

    “When we came in at the end of the game, it was a yes. They answered a lot of questions for me today. We play Kilmanock next week, and we have to see the same sort of desire for that.”

    “Overall I was delighted with the performance, but disappointed with the nature of their goal. We didn’t feel it was a free-kick, and in actual fact Adam Rooney was offside. It was a double whammy.”