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    Cowdenbeath 3-1 Motherwell

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    Motherwell Inside #1: Andy Boles

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    McHugh is new signing number five

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    Maguire wins the Hutchison Award

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    Vacancy: Matchday Kiosk Staff

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    Dumbarton – Change of kick-off time

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    McGhee – Game time key for youngsters

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    Highlights from Gayfield

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    Arbroath 1-0 Motherwell

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    Highlights from Cliftonhill

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    Cowdenbeath 3-1 Motherwell

    ‘Well continued their pre-season preparations with a 3-1 loss away to Cowdenbeath.

    Scott McDonald started for Mark McGhee’s side after signing a new deal with the Fir Parkers last week and the forward looked sharp from the first whistle, as his strike on the turn after two minutes rose over the crossbar.

    And the Aussie was at it again just minutes later, as a ball over the top was collected well by McDonald, who avoided a challenge in the box but dragged his low strike just inches wide of the post.

    And his strike partner Blyth looked up for the occasion too, working tirelessly and winning the ball well in the air.

    The target man chased down what looked to be a lost cause in the fourth minute, with a strong challenge winning a corner for the Steelmen. The resulting spot kick was well cleared by the home side.

    It was a familiar story for the majority of the opening ten minutes, with a strong Motherwell side dominating the play, as the corner count rose and rose and at the opposite end Samson remained a spectator.

    Debutant Craig Tait dealt expertly with a fizzing cross, as the full-back settled in comfortably in defence.

    Blyth looked full of confidence as he dropped deep to collect the ball in the 15th minute, but his strike from distance was high of the mark.

    A minute later, and Motherwell won a free-kick on the edge of the box after McDonald was dragged to the deck.

    The forward looked set to test the keeper, but instead rolled the ball into the path of Marvin Johnson, whose low strike was well held by David McGurn.

    Cowdenbeath’s first real opportunity came in the form of a set-piece after the ‘Well gave away a free-kick in their own half. A good delivery into the box was headed well over and Samson remained untested after 22 minutes.

    And at the opposite end, a foul on Lasley resulted in a similar opportunity, but McManus’ shot missed the target after Cowdenbeath failed to clear Hammell’s cross.

    Some neat play down the left flank by Johnson and Hammell looked to threaten the home side, as the Fir Parkers continue to dominate but couldn’t find the breakthrough.

    Cowdenbeath went close on the half hour mark, as a well delivered corner from Mullen was headed over the bar.

    However, the breakthrough finally arrived two minutes before the break, when Kieran Kennedy’s long ball fed Marvin Johnson through on goal. The midfielder only needed two touches to put it beyond McGurn: the first a slight header to take it towards goal and the second a neat touch with the outside of his left boot into the corner.

    Midfielder Burton O’Brien looked hungry to strike back as he dribbled past a couple of challenges, but his strike from 20 yards never looked to trouble Samson, and it sailed over for a goal-kick.

    Motherwell took a 1-0 lead into half time, but on another day it could have been two or three.

    As was the story against Albion Rovers on Saturday, goal-scorer Marvin Johnson made way at the break, this time alongside Cadden. The pair were replaced by Thomas and Moult.

    Just over five minutes in to the second half, Kris Renton had the first real opportunity, but skewed his shot wide.

    And in the 54th minute, Cowdenbeath were level after the referee pointed to the spot. A heavy touch from Kennedy led to a lunging tackle and, despite getting a firm foot on the ball, the penalty was awarded and Dean Brett made no mistake from 12 yards.

    Five minutes later and some neat link-up play between McDonald and Blyth on the break nearly restored the Fir Parkers lead, but Blyth’s strike on the stretch and from a tight angle missed the target.

    Gasps were heard around Central Park from the travelling support as a late, lunging challenge on Scott McDonald saw the forward fall to the deck clutching his ankle, and in a competitive match could have resulted in a red card for Sean Rutherford. From the resulting free-kick, McDonald shook himself off and looped his strike over the wall, but it was well saved by McGurn.

    Then, down the opposite end, Cowdenbeath punished McGhee’s men as a corner was headed in to the back of his own net by Kieran Kennedy.

    And it could have been three for Cowdenbeath if it weren’t for a good save by Craig Samson, who denied Kyle Miller from eight yards.

    Trailing the match with just over 20 minutes to play, the ‘Well boss brought on youngster Allan Campbell for Keith Lasley, who played a full 90 minutes in the 3-1 win over Albion Rovers on Saturday. However, on the 71st minute, Cowdenbeath did get goal number three and it was a very well-worked effort.

    The ball looked to be heading out of play, but a wonderful back heel played in one of their many trialists who powered a volley across goal towards yet another trialist, who tapped it beyond Samson.

    Mark McGhee made another change in the 74th minute, as Lionel Ainsworth replaced the Steelmen’s trialist.

    In the dying minutes of the match, Motherwell went close to pulling a goal back, but somehow the home side kept it out after the ball was cut back to leave virtually an open goal, but it was well read by the defence.

    But the evening ended in defeat for Motherwell, who face Dumbarton on Saturday in the fourth pre-season friendly.

    Motherwell: Samson; Tait, Hammell, Kennedy, McManus; Lasley (Campbell ’69), Cadden (Thomas ’45), Trialist (Ainsworth ’75); Blyth, McDonald, Johnson (Moult ’45)

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    Motherwell Inside #1: Andy Boles

    MFC TV launches the first part of a new series entitled ‘Motherwell Inside’ with the focus on Strength & Conditioning Coach Andy Boles.

    And in part one, the job of strength and conditioning coach Andy Boles is explored as the squad return for pre-season.

    From training regimes to dietary advice, Andy plays a big part in helping the players reach peak fitness levels.

    After arriving at the club in October 2015, the 31-year-old has enjoyed his spell at the club so far and discussed the ambition of the club – and the positives that brings for a coach in his position.

    [pullquote]I’ve been really lucky here that the club are really forward thinking and willing to invest in quite a lot of equipment.[/pullquote]

    He said: “I’ve been really lucky here that the club are really forward thinking and willing to invest in quite a lot of equipment.

    “We’ve just brought in a brand new set of GPS equipment which basically means the players wear vests during training and during games and we can track how far they run, how fast they run and how hard they work.

    “That lets us know how hard the sessions are; sometimes we want hard sessions, sometimes we want easy sessions, so it’s just helping us as coaches make sure that the sessions we’re putting on are right.”

    For exclusive content, subscribe to MFC TV’s You Tube channel.

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    McHugh is new signing number five

    Motherwell FC is today delighted to announce the signing of Irish midfielder Carl McHugh from Plymouth Argyle.

    The 23-year old holding midfield player, a real fan-favourite at Home Park, played a pivotal role in getting the Pilgrims to the Play-off Final at Wembley last season, but has opted to make the switch across the border after his contract expired recently.

    The former Republic of Ireland U21 International, who can also play at centre back or fullback, started his career at Reading before spending time on loan at Dundalk before eventually moving to Bradford City in 2012. He played almost fifty times in Claret and Amber before joining Argyle in 2014.

    He’s gone on to play just short of 100 games and has excelled, particularly under the guidance of former Motherwell man Derek Adams, who has deployed him as anchor man in the middle of the park.

    Motherwell beat off strong competition from several English clubs to land McHugh, who passed his medical and signed a two-year contract early this morning.

    [pullquote]Motherwell had a really good season last season finishing fifth and I think it’s a brilliant opportunity for me and my career and it was something I couldn’t turn down for me and my family.[/pullquote]

    The midfielder will wear the number eight shirt next season.

    Speaking to the club’s official You Tube channel, McHugh said: “It feels brilliant and I’m delighted to get it done at this stage and I’m looking forward to get going and get training with the lads and all the new boys.

    “The Scottish league this season has a lot of interest in it and it’s definitely on the way up. Motherwell had a really good season last season finishing fifth and I think it’s a brilliant opportunity for me and my career and it was something I couldn’t turn down for me and my family.”

    The 23-year-old added: “There’s some big players here that have had experience at a really good level in the squad, but I’m going to come in and work really hard to try and get myself in to the team for the first game of the season.

    “I’m probably a week or so behind the boys but I’ll get back in to training and I’m looking forward to get going.”

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee added: “We’re absolutely delighted Carl has agreed to join us, as he had several extremely good offers on the table from various clubs in England, including his previous club.

    “Our scouts and I have watched the player for some time now and all the reports we have from others who know him are very positive indeed.

    “Then, when Stephen Pearson’s move to India was confirmed, we stepped up our interest. He’s a type of hard-working, talented midfield players that fans will love, so I am very much looking forward to working with him.

    “In terms of our recruitment, we would still like to bring in one more central midfielder and have a specific target in mind . However, to do that whilst ensuring we keep a tight grip on our budget, we’re going to have to wheel and deal a little, which we’re in the process of doing, but the squad is really coming together now.”

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    Maguire wins the Hutchison Award

    Young defender Barry Maguire is the first winner of the inaugural Hutchison Award.

    Majority Shareholder Les Hutchison, who is currently in negotiations with the ‘Well Society to transfer his controlling interest, put up a trophy and a £5,000 prize to the most improved Under 20 player who has also given back to the community.

    A committee of Mark McGhee, Alan Burrows and Stephen Craigan unanimously choose Barry after a terrific second half to last season and his conscientious approach to his day-to-day professional career, as well as his work with the Community Trust.

    Commenting on the award, Les said: “I was and am keen to make sure all players at Motherwell FC follow the lead of our fantastic first team squad, who play with passion, but remember those in the community who are less fortunate.

    [pullquote]Barry is a great example to his teammates and with this being the first of an annual award, the hope is we can drive up standards on and off the pitch and help make not only better footballers, but also better people.”[/pullquote]

    “This award aims to pull together the key elements of player development and community involvement, which are cornerstones of the club’s strategy.”

    Under 20s boss Stephen Craigan added: “Barry epitomises everything you look for in a young player.

    “He works extremely hard in everything he does, is disciplined and strives to improve each and every single day; he sets the attitude and tone in his dressing room.”

    18-year old Barry commented: “I was absolutely delighted to be told I had won the award, I couldn’t believe it actually.

    “I am hugely appreciative to Mr Hutchison for putting this great award up for the Under 20s team to compete for and to the voting panel who selected me.”

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    Vacancy: Matchday Kiosk Staff

    Motherwell Football Club requires matchday staff within our supporter catering kiosks.

    Ideally you’ll have some experience in a service environment with catering preferred.

    It can be a very busy setting so you’ll be best suited if you are confident, able to perform and work quickly under pressure. We want to give our supporters the best service possible so you should be friendly and customer focused.

    You must have good numeracy and written skills as cash handling, stock taking and working a cash register will be required.

    Matchday shift range from 3 to 5 hours, we pay an hourly rate of £7 net.

    You must be aged 16 or over and have a national insurance number and be able to work most match days throughout the season.

    If you are interested then contact the club at stacey.callaghan@motherwellfc.co.uk with your details, which should include your age, any experience, mobile number or email address. Full training will be given.

    NOTE: Must be 16 or over and have national insurance number.

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    Dumbarton – Change of kick-off time

    Fans should note a change of kick-off to Saturday’s game with Dumbarton.

    Due to a parade taking place near the stadium on Saturday at 5pm, both clubs have agreed to bring the kick-off forward to 12.30pm.

    The rest of the pre-season schedule is now as follows:

     

    vs Cowdenbeath AWAY | Tuesday 5th July – 7.30pm kick-off

    ADULTS:   £7
    CONCESSIONS:                           £3
    • Concessions are listed as Over 65s and Under 16s

    ———-

    vs Dumbarton AWAY | Saturday 9th July –  12.30pm kick-off

    ADULTS:   £10
    CONCESSIONS:                           £5
    • Concessions are listed as Under 16s, Over 65s and FT Students with a valid matriculation card

    ———-

    vs Hibernian AWAY | Sunday 10th July  – 3.00pm kick-off

    ADULTS:   £10
    CONCESSIONS:                           £5
    • Concessions are listed as Over 65s and under 16s
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    McGhee – Game time key for youngsters

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee was pleased to give some youngsters a run-out in the second fixture of pre-season, as his side lost 1-0 away to Arbroath.

    Despite a generally quiet Sunday afternoon at Gayfield, the manager looked at the positives of the game.

    As the final whistle blew, the average age of the Motherwell starting eleven was 18, and McGhee was happy with the game time they experienced.

    He said: “It’s good [for the youngsters] because they’re playing against boys who play for their livelihood.”

    But he added: “We had enough players out there with Lionel, Kieran, Joe and Cadden who have first team experience, so generally I’m a little disappointed.

    “This is just the second game of our pre-season though so it was always going to be a weaker team.

    “The only thing I can really take from it is we’ve got game time and you need seven or eight games before you’re really up to top speed.”

    New signing Dean Brill played the full 90 minutes, and the boss said he has settled in well at the club, but didn’t have much to do on his debut.

    McGhee said: “He did fine today, he was a little exposed for the goal but he didn’t really have much to do. Anything he was asked to do he was neat and tidy enough and he kicked well enough.”

    The club face Cowdenbeath in their third pre-season fixture on Tuesday.

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    Highlights from Gayfield

    Highlights from Gayfield as a young Motherwell side lose 1-0 to Arbroath.

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    Arbroath 1-0 Motherwell

    A trip north for Mark McGhee’s men resulted in a 1-0 defeat in their second pre-season fixture.

    In windy conditions on the coast, a large number of youngsters got a run out, with the average age of the starting eleven that ended the game just 18.

    Teenager Jack McMillan was the only unchanged player for the Fir Parkers and new signing Dean Brill made his Motherwell debut and put in a good display in front of the travelling fans.

    In the opening exchanges, Ainsworth broke down the right but his attempted ball was cut out by the back tracking defence.

    Brill was called into action after three minutes, but Hester’s effort from outside the box never looked to trouble the debutant, who gathered comfortably.

    The home side won the ball in midfield in the fifth minute and Omar Kader broke down the right, but his dinked effort dropped well over the bar.

    Some neat football down the left for the Fir Parkers culminated in a good challenge on Mackin on the edge of the area.

    Ainsworth curled an accurate cross into the area in the 15th minute, but the Arbroath stopper Robbie Mutch gathered it well.

    Both sides were looking to get the ball on the deck and play good football, with the Steelmen enjoying some great spells of possession, but generally hadn’t tested the Arbroath keeper too much in the opening quarter of an hour.

    In the 20th minute, Brill was quick to rush off his line to gather an over-hit ball over the top, as the new signing settled in quickly.

    Switching to the left, Ainsworth tormented the opposition right-back as he worked his way to the by-line, putting in a fine cross that was well defended and cleared by the home side.

    Lionel Ainsworth looked to be the greatest threat in the opening 25 minutes, as the winger put in another fine cross, but on the stretch, Mackin headed over.

    Just before the half-hour mark, Arbroath had their first real chance of the afternoon, but Wilson’s shot was collected easily by Brill.

    A corner straight off the training ground resulted in a flick at goal from Moore after Kennedy headed Turnbull’s deep cross back across goal.

    A fizzing cross into the box from the right looked destined to be headed home by the onrushing Ainsworth, but a slight head on the cross took it out of the midfielder’s path.

    In a quiet first half, neither keeper had too much to do as the two sides went in to the break goalless.

    Mark McGhee made just the one change at half-time, as Allan Campbell replaced Dylan Mackin.

    The Fir Parkers won a corner early in the half, after a neat ball from Kennedy was picked up by Ainsworth, who’s cross was deflected behind.

    The manager made his second change of the day on the 50th minute, as youngster Josh Stachini replaced Jack McMillan.

    And immediately after the substitution, ‘Well broke on the counter, as Ainsworth collected the ball just inside the opposition half and drove into the box, but his low driven shot was blocked behind for a corner.

    On the 60th minute, a Motherwell corner was headed behind and from the following set-play, Arbroath broke away on the counter, but the danger was quelled by the recovering defence.

    Another change on the hour mark saw Craig Moore make way for 15-year-old striker James Scott.

    And five minutes later, McGhee brought on Luke Watt for David Ferguson.

    A short header from Kieran Kennedy was picked up by Arbroath substitute Junior Oder and the best opportunity of the game led to nothing, as the shot past Brill failed to hit the target.

    But the visitors responded well, as Cadden broke forward but his effort on goal lacked the desired power and was saved.

    In the 70th minute, the home support thought they had taken the lead.

    A fierce strike on goal from Wilson rippled the side netting, with a few cheers cut short by the referee’s whistle indicating a goal kick for the Fir Parkers.

    And after that chance, Motherwell made another change, with Ainsworth departing for Jake Hastie.

    On the 77th minute the deadlock was nearly broken. MacLean’s loose pass was collected by Doris, who watched on as his speculative effort from 25 yards came crashing back off the crossbar.

    With six minutes remaining, a scramble in the box following a corner wasn’t cleared by the ‘Well and a good effort on goal from Hamilton forced a brilliant reaction save from debutant Brill, who tipped it over the bar and saw his clean sheet remain intact.

    The manager then made another substitution, as youngster Jordan Armstrong replaced Davie Turnbull.

    But with just minutes to go, the home side took the lead on an afternoon of few chances.

    Doris was allowed too much time at the back post, and he curled a neat finish past Brill into the far corner.

    Arbroath’s confidence grew and it could have been two for the hosts, as Oder fired a shot over the bar in the dying seconds.

    But it remained 1-0 as the final whistle went at Gayfield. It was a quiet afternoon for the fans in Arbroath, but as the pre-season preparations carry on, there was a lot of positives for Mark McGhee and the squad to take from their trip north.

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    Highlights from Cliftonhill

    Highlights from Cliftonhill as Motherwell open their pre-season friendly schedule with a 1-3 win over Albion Rovers.