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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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    McGhee – A decent workout

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    Albion Rovers 1 – 3 Motherwell

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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
  • Archive

    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.

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    McGhee – A decent workout

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee was pleased with the attitude and work rate of his players as his side ran out 3-1 winners in their opening pre-season fixture against Albion Rovers.

    Pre-season is not always plain sailing and hiccups can be easy to come-by, but after a comfortable victory at Cliftonhill, the 59-year old was full of praise for his team.

    Debuts were handed to Ben Heneghan and Jacob Blyth, and youngsters Jack McMillan and Allan Campbell started for the Fir Parkers on a wet and windy afternoon that resulted in a lot of positives for the Steelmen.

    McGhee said: “I’ve been manager of a lot of teams that have lost games like this. All round I think we had a little bit of energy and a lot of people got a run-out – some more than I intended, Lasley went the 90 minutes for instance – but generally speaking, yes, we’ve scored three goals and we’ve won the game.

    [pullquote]We’ve introduced one or two of the new players to the crowd and to each other in a game, so yes a lot of positives.[/pullquote]

    Despite falling a goal behind, the Fir Parkers showed great fighting spirit to turn the game around convincingly – something the manager highlighted towards the attitude of his team.

    The boss said: “I wasn’t concerned if we’d won or lost the game, I’d be more concerned about attitude and all those sorts of things, but there was nothing wrong with that. Right from the first minute, even in the preparation, the boys looked as if they were at it.”

    He added: “It was obviously disappointing to lose that first goal but that’s what we’re here for, to iron out the wrinkles and hopefully improve on that.

    “They went on and showed a lot of resolve and a lot of energy and won the game deservedly.”

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    Albion Rovers 1 – 3 Motherwell

    The Steelmen got their pre-season fixtures underway with a short trip to Coatbridge to take on League One outfit Albion Rovers.

    On a windy, wet afternoon, Mark McGhee’s men put in a dominant performance and ran out 3-1 winners.

    Debuts were handed to Ben Heneghan and Jacob Blyth, and youngsters Jack McMillan and Allan Campbell started for the ‘Well.

    It took around 20 minutes for the game to settle down, with some scrappy play in the opening exchanges.

    Blyth looked hungry from the start, chasing down every ball and winning his aerial battles well.

    And in defence, Ben Heneghan settled in comfortably alongside veteran McManus, and on the tenth minute the young centre-back thwarted an Albion chance by stepping up and catching trialist Calum Ferguson offside.

    Blyth found himself through down the left-channel, but from a tight angle failed to test Albion stopper Ross Stewart.

    Dom Thomas received the ball from Marvin Johnson after some tricky play down the right, and the midfielder curled an ambitious attempt on goal that found the target, but also the hands of Stewart.

    Samson’s first real threat came just before the 20th minute, when a curled cross bounced its way in to the box, but the keeper gathered reliably with an onrushing Albion forward striding in looking for the follow-up.

    Marvin Johnson produced a fine moment of individual skill to evade a number of challenges and drive towards goal, but sound defending stopped the midfielder from bursting into the box.

    Thomas and Johnson swapped sides after 20 minutes, and the latter fed a neat through ball into the path of Louis Moult who found himself one-on-one with the keeper, but he fired over the bar.

    Despite Motherwell’s strong start, Albion’s Paul Willis slotted the ball past Samson in the 25th minute after a fine pass left the midfielder with just the keeper to beat.

    Albion grew confident after their goal, and a stinging cross was headed clear by McManus on the half hour mark.

    But from then on, it was all Motherwell and Mark McGhee’s side strolled the rest of the match.

    Blyth worked himself into some pace just outside the box after Lasley found the strikers feet, but the 23-year-old dragged his shot wide.

    With ten-minutes of the opening half left to play, the Steelmen enjoyed a confident spell of possession around the edge of the Albion Rovers box, but a number of brave blocks kept the ‘Well out and eventually the ball ran out of play for a goal-kick.

    And the growing pressure paid off just before the break as the Fir Parkers equalised.

    Some hard-work in the box from Johnson to shrug off a number of challenges left the midfielder with a yard of space, and he swung the ball across goal. The cross was met by the head of Louis Moult who drew the ‘Well level with 5 minutes of the half remaining.

    And a couple of minutes later, Mark McGhee’s men took the lead. Marvin Johnson turned on the edge of the area and fired low past Stewart, who could only get finger tips on the ball.

    It nearly looked to be three for Motherwell in the space of 5 minutes, after Moult nearly scored a great solo goal. The forward dribbled past a number of challenges and fired on goal, but his powerful strike was well held by Stewart.

    The ‘Well boss made a couple of changes at the break, with Cadden and Kennedy coming on for McMillan and goal-scorer Johnson.

    Albion looked to tire after the first 20 minutes as the Steelmen grew in to the game and the second half got off on the same foot in which the first ended, with Motherwell firmly on top.

    Moult dribbled in to the box and got a shot away from a tight angle on the 54th minute, but the shot was collected comfortably.

    Ainsworth was brought in to the action on 56 minutes. The winger replaced youngster Allan Campbell.

    Cadden was drafted in to Campbell’s spot to allow Ainsworth to occupy the right flank, and the tricky winger didn’t take long to get involved, as he danced his way to the by-line, but his attempted cross was blocked.

    Albion made a trio of changes on the hour mark and McGhee made a couple more himself, as Chalmers and Ferguson came on for McManus and Hammell.

    A wonderful lofted ball from Moult to Blyth in the 65th minute was a stretch too far for the Englishman, who failed to get a strong, first-time shot on goal and the ball went wide of the mark.

    Another change was made as debutant Ben Heneghan made way to a great reception from the travelling ‘Wells fans. The big centre-back was replaced by Davie Turnbull after a fantastic performance.

    And not long after, Louis Moult and another ‘Well debutant Jacob Blyth made way to a similar reception from the fans. The forwards were replaced by Moore and Mackin.

    Mackin had an ambitious strike at goal just minutes after being introduced, but it never looked to trouble the keeper and flew wide.

    But before long Motherwell had three, thanks to a wonder goal from the captain.

    A corner from Dom Thomas was headed clear only as far as Keith Lasley on the edge of the box, who showed incredible composure to stroke a volley into the bottom corner.

    A free-kick was awarded to the Steelmen on 70 minutes, and a dipping strike on target from 25-yards from Ainsworth tested the Albion stopper.

    Dithering defensive work almost rewarded Motherwell with a fourth, as Mackin looked to sniff out a chance before the ball was eventually hooked clear.

    A corner from Thomas was headed away and eventually worked its way back to the youngster, who hit a neat swerving strike on the bounce to bring out a good save from Stewart.

    Ainsworth’s inch perfect cross found the head of Moore, who headed just over the bar.

    Some great forward play by 19-year-old Mackin fed in Ainsworth, who fired straight at Stewart.

    And the youngster was involved immediately again, as he teed up Moore who fired over the bar.

    Moore had another good attempt with just minutes left to play, but he failed to find the target.

    The full-time whistle signalled the end of a strong first outing for Mark McGhee’s men, who showed mental strength to come back from an early set-back and then never looked in doubt as they dominated at Cliftonhill.

    Motherwell: Samson, McMillan (Kennedy – 46mins), Hammell (Chalmers – 57mins), Heneghan (Turnbull – 64mins), McManus (Ferguson – 57mins), Campbell (Ainsworth – 52mins), Thomas, Lasley, Johnson (Cadden – 46mins), Moult (Moore – 69mins), Blyth (Mackin – 69mins)

    Subs Not Used: Brill