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    Dumbarton 1-2 Motherwell

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    Josh Law departs the club

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    Robinson departs for Oldham

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    ‘Well Bois inspire European chant

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    New 2016/17 Macron Home / Third kit

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    Hibernian ticket information

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    Ten miles of team building

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    Highlights from Central Park

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    McGhee – Some positives despite loss

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    Cowdenbeath 3-1 Motherwell

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    Dumbarton 1-2 Motherwell

    The Steelmen’s fourth pre-season fixture ended in a 2-1 win away to Championship side Dumbarton.

    A fairly young side took to the park at the Cheaper Insurance Direct stadium, with youngsters Allan Campbell, Jack McMillan and Ross MacLean among the starting eleven.

    Travelling fans got the opportunity to see new signing Carl McHugh make his first appearance in claret and amber – after making the switch from Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday.

    Dean Brill started in between the sticks and Ben Heneghan was among the substitutes for McGhee’s side.

    The opening goal of the day nearly came just a minute in, after some neat passing in the midfield led to Lionel Ainsworth making himself a yard of space and striking from outside the box – but his shot rose inches over the crossbar.

    And a few minutes later, the Fir Parkers fancied their chances from range again. This time, Ross MacLean’s shot on target deflected behind for a corner.

    Somehow Motherwell didn’t make the breakthrough after a neat flick and strike from Moult rebounded off the bar and into the path of Thomas, who lashed his strike off the post as well.

    McHugh, who had slotted in to the side and was comfortable in possession, had his first strike on goal, but it flew over the crossbar and it remained goalless after 12 minutes.

    Dean Brill’s first task was a fairly simple one, after a weak header made its way towards his far corner, but it was an easy one to collect for the keeper.

    McHugh did well to win the ball in the middle of the park, but Thomas was caught in possession by Smith, who had an ambitious strike from range that spun wide off target.

    A low strike from Grant Gallagher forced a good save from Brill who turned it round his post to keep it level after 20 minutes.

    Two minutes later, Andrew Sterling cut inside McMillan and curled his strike on goal, but Dean Brill pulled off a wonder save to tip the ball over the bar.

    But the new signings clean sheet didn’t last long after a Dumbarton corner was only cleared as far as the edge of the box. The ball was headed back in towards goal and some smart creativity from Robert Thomson to leap and connect with the overhead kick from close range arrowed it past Brill.

    The Steelmen were peppering the goal with strikes from outside the box, as Dom Thomas’ effort deflected behind for another corner.

    A great move around the edge of the Dumbarton box fell to Louis Moult, but his curling shot flew high over the bar.

    Play came to a halt on the 34th minute after what looked to be a clash of heads resulted in a Dumbarton player making way.

    Some great defending from Wright denied MacLean the opportunity of getting on the end of a great delivery from Joe Chalmers on the left.

    It remained 1-0 to Dumbarton going in to the break and McGhee made four changes at the break, with McHugh, Kennedy, Moult and Ainsworth making way for Moore, Trialist, Hastie and Heneghan.

    Heneghan missed a difficult chance at the back post from a corner, but immediately turned and curled a cross on to the head of Moore, who’s header was saved by Ewings, who replaced Brown at half-time for the home side.

    It was all Motherwell in the opening ten minutes of the second half, as a brilliant lofted ball over the defence found McMillan whose low cross was spilled by Ewings and Dumbarton somehow kept their lead.

    A few minutes later, Joe Chalmers put in another great cross, but Dumbarton knocked it behind for a corner.

    On the hour mark, Dom Thomas fired low on goal but it didn’t trouble Ewings – and at the other end Brill was forced to turn the ball behind after a tricky strike skipped off the surface.

    Three minutes later and Motherwell drew level.

    A pinpoint ball from the half-way line over the defence from Ben Heneghan was met by a strong header from Moore whose effort came crashing back off the woodwork into the path of MacLean who stabbed it home.

    On the 73rd minute, Luke Watt and a Trialist replaced Allan Campbell and Dom Thomas.

    And three minutes later, the Fir Parkers took the lead after a mix-up between Ewings and Pettigrew about 30 yards out left Craig Moore with an open goal and he dribbled casually to tap in.

    A good chance for Dumbarton went begging, as a great delivery from the left evaded everyone in the box and trickled out for a goal-kick.

    With ten minutes left, a fire alarm halted play and the fans had to evacuate the stand. Five minutes later play resumed and ‘Well boss Mark McGhee made another couple of changes, with Mackin and another Trialist replacing McMillan and MacLean.

    But with next to no time left on the clock, that was the last real action of the match as Motherwell grabbed their second victory of pre-season before facing Hibs tomorrow afternoon at Easter Road.

    Motherwell: Brill, McMillan (Trialist – 85mins), Chalmers, Ferguson, Kennedy (Heneghan – 46mins), Campbell (Trialist – 72mins), Ainsworth (Hastie – 46mins), McHugh (Trialist – 46mins), Moult (Moore – 46mins), Thomas (Watt – 72mins), MacLean (Mackin – 85mins)

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    Josh Law departs the club

    Motherwell FC can today confirm Josh Law has left the club to join English League One side Oldham Athletic.

    Law, who has been a regular in the Fir Park first team over the last two years, playing 73 matches, approached the management team at the tail end of the 2015/16 season and asked to leave due to personal / family circumstances.

    Motherwell FC agreed to this request and, after agreeing personal terms, the 26-year old has joined up with former ‘Well assistant Stephen Robinson, who was named manager at Boundary Park earlier today.

    Law said: “It was a hugely difficult decision I had to make, but my request to leave was purely a family issue as I’ve loved my time in Scotland, loved playing for the manager and with the group of lads at Fir Park.

    [pullquote]“I also want to thank everyone at the club for the way they’ve handled the situation and to the fans who have been so good to me during my two years.[/pullquote]

    “I wish the club nothing but the best and hope to be back soon visiting when the chance allows it.”

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee added: “We were obviously aware Josh was unlikely to be with us this season, which is why we recruited Richard Tait when we did.

    “The situation Josh faced personally was a difficult one, and we were sympathetic with his wish to be closer to home.”

    Everyone at Motherwell FC would like to thank Josh for his two seasons in Claret and Amber and wish him every success in his future career.

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    Robinson departs for Oldham

    Motherwell FC can today confirm Assistant Stephen Robinson has left the club to take up the vacant managerial post at Oldham Athletic.

    Robinson, 41, initially joined the club in February of 2015, initially as Assistant to then boss Ian Baraclough.

    The former Bournemouth and Luton Town winger played a huge part in helping the club retain its SPFL Premiership status that season, then, working alongside Mark McGhee, contributed to the return to the top six in 2015/16.

    Robinson also worked with his native Northern Irish and was at the UEFA Euro 2016 Championship, assisting the side into the ‘Last 16’ of the tournament.

    The clubs was reluctant to lose Steve, but absolutely respect his wish and ambition to be a manager and therefore granted permission for the English League One club to start negotiations at the tail end of last weekend.

    [pullquote]it’s an important appointment and I’ll take my time to consider all the different aspects before offering the job[/pullquote]

    Those discussions concluded with Robinson being offered the job, which he subsequently accepted.

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee said: “Whilst it is disappointing to lose Steve, we understand this was a great opportunity for him.

    “I said just last week that you can become a victim of your own success in a sense; that if and when you appoint talented, ambitious people, there’s a high probability that others who have deeper pockets come and take them away.

    “That means the challenge for us is to find someone else as talented and as ambitious and start the whole process again, and that’s exactly what we’ll do.

    “That all being said, it’s an important appointment and I’ll take my time to consider all the different aspects before offering the job.”

    Everyone at Motherwell FC would like to sincerely thank Steve for his tremendous contribution and wish him every success in his future career.

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    ‘Well Bois inspire European chant

    As France sealed their place in the European Championship final last night, the ripples could be felt 1,150 miles away.

    When the referee blew the final whistle on the home nations 2-0 victory over Germany in Marseille, the French players stood in front of their boisterous fans and conducted a celebration that has surged in popularity over the past month.

    With their arms stretched wide above their heads, Antoine Griezmann and his teammates, together with thousands of supporters, conducted the thunderous ‘Viking clap’.

    Known as the ‘Huh’, or ‘Hoo’, the celebration consists of players and fans chanting and clapping in unison – starting slowly before increasing in pace to the point where a wall of constant clapping and noise ensues.

    France used it last night; Wales used it on Friday when they beat Belgium; and the winner on Sunday will likely use it too.

    But the battle cry was made famous by the tiny nation of Iceland, whose success story captured the hearts of football fans around the world.

    Their near-intimidating post-match celebration has becoming a viral sensation and a popular choice for a number of nations competing at the Euros.

    However, the underdog quarter-finalists took inspiration for their chant (see below), and that inspiration was Motherwell Football Club.

    Back in 2014, the Fir Parkers clashed with Icelandic side Stjarnan in the Europa League qualifiers and the fearsome chant was conducted by the ‘Well fans in front of an impressed travelling support.

    However, Stjarnan’s Europa League experience was short lived as Inter Milan put them to the sword in a two-legged 9-0 defeat, so the supporters took their chant to the national side, who had been enjoying far greater success and surprised everyone when they made it to the quarter-finals this summer.

    The chant has now taken its place as one of the most iconic highlights of Euro 2016, and is destined to be a regular feature at football grounds across the globe.

    Today, on the morning following France’s use of the celebration, a top Icelandic radio station decided to get in touch with us to talk about the “Huh”.

    Office assistant Stacey Callaghan took the call and spoke live on air, admitting the call came as a surprise.

    She said: “I didn’t realise I was going live on air at first, and I thought it might have been a prank.

    “But they asked me about the origin of the chant so I told them about the ‘Well Bois and how they use it on match days, and the guy on the radio loved it.”

    She added: “They wished the club all the best for the season and I made sure to congratulate them on their success at the Euros.”

    With the European Championships drawing to a close this weekend, the surge of the Viking chant is only just beginning.

    Once it was a celebration used by Motherwell Football club and the ‘Well boys, but now it is being used by the biggest football stars on the planet, on the biggest stage of all.

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    New 2016/17 Macron Home / Third kit

    Motherwell Football Club is delighted to showcase the new Macron home and special edition third kits for season 2016/17.

    It will be Motherwell’s third with Italian manufacturers Macron and first with new principal sponsor Motorpoint, the UK’s largest independent car retailer who operate from eleven different locations including just a few miles along the M74 from Fir Park at Mount Vernon.

    After last year’s switch to the diagonal band, the club returns to the traditional amber top with claret hoop. There is also a return of amber shorts, the first time since the 2012/13 when ‘Well finished runners-up in the last ever season of the Scottish Premier League.

    The limited edition third kit pays tribute to the 25th anniversary of the ’91 Cup win, with the each of the participating players’ names such as Kirk, O’Neill, Arnott, Cooper, O’Donnell and others infused into the top, and the commemorative badge celebrating one of the clubs’ greatest ever triumphs.

    The kits will be available either with or without the sponsors and can be pre-ordered from www.motherwelldirect.co.uk now! The home kit will be available from Tuesday 19th July with the third kit launched on Tuesday 26th July. The new ‘away’ kit will be showcased and launched shortly.

    Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows commented: “We’re delighted to showcase the first two of three kits this year and are delighted to welcome Motorpoint as our new principal sponsor.

    “Over the last few years, we’ve grown our relationship with Motorpoint and delighted they’ve expanded their portfolio from the shorts to the shirt.

    “In addition, we would like to sincerely thank everyone at Cash Converters who were our loyal sponsors for five seasons, one of the longest-standing partnerships in Scottish football and we very much look forward to continue working with them in different areas of the club.”

    Adam Gilmore, General Manager of Motorpoint Glasgow, said: “Motorpoint is delighted to become the Official Club sponsor of Motherwell Football Club.

    “We have formed a great partnership with the Steelmen since 2010, both on and off the field, and the opportunity for the Motorpoint logo to appear on the first team shirt is a hugely exciting and high profile development for the company and one that we look forward to building upon over the coming 2016-17 season as we continue to establish Motorpoint as the car buyers champion in Scotland.”

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    Hibernian ticket information

    Fans should note tickets for Sunday’s friendly match against Hibs can be purchased in advance from the Fir Park ticket office.

    Alternatively, tickets will be available from the ticket office at Easter Road on the day of the game from 2pm.

    Kick-off is 3pm and tickets are priced at:

    ADULTS:   £10
    CONCESSIONS:                           £5
    • Concessions are listed as Over 65s and under 16s
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    Ten miles of team building

    Mark McGhee and the players and staff of Motherwell continued their pre-season preparations yesterday with a ten-mile cycle from Auchinstarry to the Falkirk Wheel, in partnership with Outdoortrax.

    As well as being a good work-out for the players, the cycle also served as a good recuperation exercise after a busy schedule of fixtures.

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee felt the change of scenery was important for the squad.

    He said: “We brought the lads out for a change from running, obviously with the matches at the weekend and [Tuesday] night, and we’re just going to do a ten mile cycle.

    “It’s not a fitness exercise, it’s more of a recovery from the game, and [on Thursday] we’ll go back to training and we’ll be back in to the hard stuff – there will be a lot of running.”

    [pullquote]It’s not a fitness exercise, it’s more of a recovery from the game, and [on Thursday] we’ll go back to training and we’ll be back in to the hard stuff – there will be a lot of running.[/pullquote]

    The manager explained that the ten mile cycle can be a good way for the new signings to settle in.

    He added: “There’s one or two new lads and we don’t really know their characters yet, so maybe today will bring them out a bit, make them feel more comfortable and a bit more part of the group.”

    ‘Well captain Keith Lasley believed it was a good exercise for the team.

    The 36-year-old said: “It certainly was a change of scenery and it was a little bit of a different recovery session along here, it’s good to get all the boys together on the bikes something we don’t do often and it gets us away from Dalziel for a day.

    “I think anytime you can do something and get all the boys together and it’s something different, it’s good.

    “And it gives the boys that have come up from England a chance to see a bit of Scotland I suppose and see an iconic landmark too.”

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    Highlights from Central Park

    Highlights from Central Park as Motherwell’s pre-season preparations continue apace against Cowdenbeath.

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    McGhee – Some positives despite loss

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee took a number of positives from his sides pre-season friendly against Cowdenbeath.

    Despite losing 3-1 at Central Park, the manager was pleased with his new signings and the fact the team avoided injuries.

    And looking ahead to the league cup opener against Rangers, McGhee was also happy to give his players yet more game time.

    He said: “I’m pleased that so many of us got 90 minutes, its only another game or so really before we go into the league cup game against Rangers so it’s important, and again we’ve come out of it unscathed.

    “I think when you play a game the way we played tonight, there was a reasonable amount of commitment to the running and working, but there were times when maybe we didn’t go in to challenges the way we normally would.

    “So it’s difficult to gauge really how important that is at this stage and how much more important it is that we didn’t get anybody injured and we go into the next game with most of the boys having played 90 minutes.”

    [pullquote]I think on a better surface we would’ve turned better opportunities in to better chances and those better chances into goals.[/pullquote]

    He added: “So from that point of view it’s another good exercise, obviously we’re always disappointed to lose a game but it’s a pre-season game.”

    After creating a series of chances in the first half, the manager believes the squad will start to improve with more game time.

    He said: “I think the surface [played a part] as well, to be fair. But that’s no criticism as I know the restraints that are on clubs like this financially, but the pitch was shocking really and we found it difficult at times to pass the ball.

    “I think on a better surface we would’ve turned better opportunities in to better chances and those better chances into goals.”

    On the new signings, the manager added: “I’m pleased, we’ve also signed Carl McHugh – a midfield player and we needed that.

    “I thought Richard Tait was excellent, really no problems with him. I think anyone that was here tonight would’ve seen a good replacement for Josh Law and seen a good player.”

    The ‘Well boss added: “With [Jacob Blyth] I think what’s happening is we’re all coming to see what he can offer us, he’s going to win the ball in the air, we’re going to get flick-on’s and we’re going to score goals off his centre-forward play.”

    With Dumbarton and Hibs awaiting Motherwell on Saturday and Sunday, McGhee is looking forward to the next fixtures.

    He said: “One of the great things about playing at Easter Road is we’re going to be playing on a good surface and we can enjoy playing on a good surface for perhaps the first time this pre-season, so we look forward to that.”

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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)