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    Watt signs for Stranraer on loan

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    Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

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    Craigan: Hurts to concede so late

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    Motherwell U20s 2 – 2 Aberdeen U20s

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    Club Statement: Marvin Johnson

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    Craigan: Aiming for consistency

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    U20s vs Aberdeen: Match information

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    Motorpoint Player of the Month: August

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    Cadden added to Scotland U21 squad

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

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    Watt signs for Stranraer on loan

    Motherwell FC can today confirm that defender Luke Watt has completed a development loan switch to Stranraer FC.

    The 19-year-old versatile defender joins the League One outfit until January where he will gain valuable experience with Brian Reid’s side.

    To date, Luke has been a regular starter for Stephen Craigan’s U20s side who won the Youth Cup final last season.

    But as far as first team appearances go, it has been limited for the youngster, meaning a switch to Stranraer will be hugely beneficial for the promising defender.

    Ian Baraclough selected Luke when Aberdeen visited Fir Park on 4th January 2015. The surprise selection at left-back didn’t hinder Luke though, with the Glasgow born player impressing on his debut despite being more recognisable on the opposite flank, or in the centre of defence.

    He was then rewarded with further starts against Celtic, Dundee Utd and St Johnstone before the close of the month.

    Luke’s next first team involvement came on the final day of the 14/15 league campaign against Partick Thistle – by which point he had signed an extended and improved deal with the club that sees him contracted to the Steelmen until the summer of 2018.

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee said: “Luke is close to the first-team squad, but similar to Chris Cadden, who in previous years benefited tremendously from playing competitive first-team action when he was at Albion Rovers, he needs to be out there involved every Saturday.

    “It’s a Development Loan so obviously still has the flexibility to play with Stephen Craigan’s side if required. We wish him well.”

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    Highlights from Excelsior Stadium

    Highlights from Excelsior Stadium as Motherwell’s Under 20s draw 2-2 with Aberdeen in the Development League.

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    Craigan: Hurts to concede so late

    U20s manager Stephen Craigan admitted he was disappointed to concede a late equaliser, but was generally impressed with his players yet again.

    The Fir Parkers hosted Aberdeen at the Excelsior Stadium and led 2-1 with just seconds to go.

    And after conceding late, the 20s boss spoke to MFC TV to give us his thoughts on his sides performance in their second Development League fixture.

    He said: “We’re naturally disappointed we conceded the goal so late – for the first fifteen minutes for some reason it took us a little while to get going.

    “The pitch was a little bit sticky, I’m probably searching for excuses for them but we just looked a little bit disjointed defensively.”

    [pullquote]We’re naturally disappointed we conceded the goal so late – for the first fifteen minutes for some reason it took us a little while to get going.[/pullquote]

    He added: “The goal that they scored probably settled us down a little nit, we managed to wrestle the game back into our control after that and from then on I was delighted with how we played.

    “In general terms with how we played and their appetite for the game and their willingness to go and get on the ball and believe in themselves – I thought we were excellent.”

    First-team keeper Dean Brill started in goals and produced a series of fine saves early in the match to keep the Steelmen in the game.

    Craigan touched on the 30-year-olds performance and admitted he was impressed by his whole team.

    [pullquote]I want to encourage young players to be brave and get on the ball and enjoy the game and I certainly enjoyed watching them tonight.[/pullquote]

    He said: “I said to Peter Morrison that Dean is the example for him – making big saves at crucial moments, his understanding and reading of the game – I thought he was excellent.

    “Young Dylan Falconer was probably as good as he’s been since he came in. I’ve been a little bit critical of him, not in terms of having a go but telling him I expect more from him cause I was told he could be our next superstar and he showed signs of that tonight eventually.

    He added: “The whole team were excellent – I felt we were far better on the ball than they were and we were a threat.

    “I want to encourage young players to be brave and get on the ball and enjoy the game and I certainly enjoyed watching them tonight.”

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    Motherwell U20s 2 – 2 Aberdeen U20s

    Motherwell U20s conceded late to share the spoils with Aberdeen tonight in their second Development League fixture of the season.

    For Stephen Craigan, it was a positive night at the Excelsior stadium as his side put in yet another impressive performance.

    But it didn’t look like it was heading that way during the opening fifteen minutes or so.

    First-team stopper Dean Brill was included in the starting line-up and in the opening few minutes produced a brilliant stop to deny Anderson who had been slipped through on goal by McLennan and just had the summer signing to beat.

    In the sixth minute, James Scott closed down the ball well to intercept deep in the Aberdeen half, he spread the ball out wide to Dom Thomas who cut in from the right and tested Alexander – but it was an easy save.

    Brill was called upon again in the 12th minute, as McLennan raced towards goal and tried to slide it low last the keeper, but he got a good hand to it to turn it past his far post and keep the game goalless.

    But it didn’t stay goalless for long and Aberdeen found a deserved breakthrough just two minutes later as Norris turned it beyond Brill after Anderson’s attempted volley was blocked.

    Responding positively, the ‘Well youngsters grew into the game and enjoyed long spells of possession in the Aberdeen half.

    On the 20th minute, James Scott collected the ball, turning to drive at the defence and knocking it beyond Morris, only to be barged to the deck to win a free kick for Craigan’s side. The following delivery was headed clear.

    As the game quietened down, Thomas opted to try one from distance after 28 minutes, but his sliced effort flew past Alexander’s post as the keeper watched on.

    Surging forward from fullback, Jack McMillan whipped in a wonderful cross from deep but it was narrowly over everyone’s heads.

    With ten minutes left in the half, Aberdeen had it in the back of the net and looked to have doubled their lead, but to the Steelmen’s relief the linesman flagged for offside.

    With just minutes left in the first half, Ross turned a clever reverse pass through to Wright, who tried to pull it back from the by-line, but Maguire did well to hoof it clear.

    At the start of the second period, the Fir Parkers sparked in to life and started to firmly control the game.

    For all their dominance though, they failed to really test Alexander between the Aberdeen sticks, with Ross MacLean firing one on target from 25 yards that didn’t trouble the stopper.

    But just before the hour mark, Craigan’s side drew level through birthday boy James Scott.

    Dom Thomas did brilliantly down the right flank to beat two men, but it then looked as though the attack had broken down for the ‘Well.

    However, the ball fired across the face of goal after being hooked back into danger by the Aberdeen defence, and Scott was on hand to tap it home.

    The game settled down and it seemed as though it was going to end in a draw, but with just five minutes left, Luke Watt collected the ball from an over-hit corner, beat his man in the box and curled a brilliant cross in towards the six-yard box where Aberdeen defender Morris steered it beyond Alexander.

    And it all looked set that Craigan’s side would hold out for the three points – until a free kick was conceded in the final few seconds of the game.

    A deep cross in to the box was headed back across goal and steered beyond Brill by Wright with the very last kick of the game.

    It leaves the U20s with four points from their opening two games, with a trip to Edinburgh to face Hibs up next on September 6.

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    Club Statement: Marvin Johnson

    Motherwell FC can today confirm that it has received an official transfer request from Marvin Johnson.

    The club has been in dialogue with Marvin and his representatives over the last few weeks; today’s official request changes nothing.

    Motherwell FC is a club who looks to identify, develop and then trade talent on; it’s a key part of our business model and the vision we sell to players when they come here to play.

    However, we will not be cajoled or maneuvered to a point where we are forced to sell a player against our will for less than an appropriate value.

    We owe it to our players, management, staff, shareholders and, most importantly, our supporters to ensure we get a fair price.

    We are determined to continue the Motherwell FC tradition of developing players and proudly watch them flourish at the highest level, but that will only happen if we receive what we deem to be a sensible offer, based on all the relevant factors.

    Only then will we sell Marvin, or any other contracted player for that matter.

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    Craigan: Aiming for consistency

    U20s manager Stephen Craigan hopes his side can keep their winning momentum going as they face Aberdeen in the Development League tomorrow night.

    After leaving Nairn with all three points last week, the U20s host Aberdeen at Excelsior stadium.

    Speaking to MFC TV, the Northern Irishman said: “Certainly over the last couple of seasons, Aberdeen have been one of the stronger teams in the league.

    “But I’m convinced that it’s what we do, how we perform and how we play – and if we can keep our consistency level.”

    [pullquote]It’s what we do, how we perform and how we play – and if we can keep our consistency level.[/pullquote]

    He added: “Like I said when we were up playing Inverness, some of the boys had their best performances throughout all of the pre-season so far – and if they can maintain that performance tomorrow night then I’ll be confident that we can get the three points.”

    And when asked just what they key is to maintaining that high level of performance, the manager admitted: “That’s probably the million-dollar question.”

    He added: “That’s up to the players and that’s how players will develop quicker and progress to the first team sooner – by performing well and on a consistent basis.

    [pullquote]When we were up playing Inverness, some of the boys had their best performances throughout all of the pre-season so far.[/pullquote]

    “We have objectives that we want to achieve in the game and the more often they achieve those objectives and the way they play, like centre-forwards getting goals and holding up play, wingers getting crosses in to the box and so on – and for us it’s about trying to replicate that sort of form regularly.”

    In training today, Craigan explained how he will be focusing on preparing the boys for tomorrow nights game.

    He said: “Today we’ll be going over patterns of play going forward, reminding the boys of their defensive responsibilities and any kind of training that we do will be based towards the game.

    “There will be cramming a lot of information in; information that they already know but it’s about reminding them – making sure they’re prepared and so they know what to expect.”

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    U20s vs Aberdeen: Match information

    Stephen Craigan’s U20s face Aberdeen in their second Development League fixture tomorrow night. 

    The youngsters got off to a winning start last week with a 3-1 win away to Inverness.

    And the manager and players will be looking to carry on their good form into tomorrow nights game at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.

    The game is free to attend, with all the information you need below.

    Tuesday 30 August 2016
    Motherwell –v- Aberdeen
    Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie
    Kick-off 6.00pm

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    Motorpoint Player of the Month: August

    Voting has opened for Motherwell’s Player of the Month for August – sponsored by Motorpoint.

    Every month, ‘Well fans have the opportunity to cast their vote for who they think has put in the best performances.

    Thanks to club sponsors Motorpoint, the decision is up to the fans, so cast your vote here!

    [poll id=”285″]

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    Cadden added to Scotland U21 squad

    Midfielder Chris Cadden has been rewarded for his early season form with a deserved call-up to the Scotland U21 squad.

    Cadden, a mainstay in Mark McGhee’s squad for the last nine months, has kicked off the campaign in superb form, getting amongst the goals, assists and man of the match awards.

    Earlier in the week, McGhee had voiced his disappointment that Cadden hadn’t made Ricky Spragia’s initial squad for the qualification double head.

    However, the withdrawal of both Callum MacFadzean and Lewis Macleod has opened up a spot for the 19-year old, who will form part of the group that will take on both Macedonia and Ukraine in the Under 21 UEFA Championship qualifiers.

    Everyone at Motherwell FC would like to congratulate Chris on his call-up and wish him, and the squad, all the best over the next two weeks.

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    TV: Highlights from Fir Park

    Highlights from Fir Park as Motherwell and Dundee play out a goalless draw in the Ladbrokes Premiership.