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    Motorpoint Player of the Month: August

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    Josh Moore departs the club

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    Muir in charge at Global Energy Stadium

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    Lisbon looms for ‘Well coach

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    Bowman: Can’t wait to get started

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    McGhee: We’re up for the battle

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    Belić: I already feel at home

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    Fitness programme free for fans

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    TV: Highlights from Oriam Centre

  • Archive

    Craigan: We were poor

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    Motorpoint Player of the Month: August

    Young star Chris Cadden has been voted the Motorpoint Player of the Month for August.

    And for good reason too – the midfielder enjoyed a superb month, in which he bagged a goal and an assist in the league and earned himself a call-up to the U21s national team.

    His eye-catching, lung-bursting displays impressed the manager, the fans and journalists too, with wide-spread surprise when the ‘Well academy graduate was left out of Ricky Sbragia’s initial squad.

    [pullquote]I’ve always tried my best to give 100% to the club and the fans too and I’ll continue to do that throughout the season.[/pullquote]

    Cadden was presented the award by Motorpoint’s Paul Carroll earlier today.

    The midfielder said: “It feels brilliant that the fans have shown their support to me like this.

    “I’ve always tried my best to give 100% to the club and the fans too and I’ll continue to do that throughout the season.”

    On his trip away with the U21 national team, Cadden said: “It was great getting to play alongside the best U21s in the country.”

    He added: “I just aim to keep playing the way I am at the moment and hopefully there will be more call-ups in the future.”

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    Josh Moore departs the club

    Motherwell Under 20s midfielder Josh Moore has today left the club by mutual consent.

    Josh’s only appearance this season came as a late substitute in the 1-2 home defeat by Airdrie in the Irn Bru Cup.

    The highlight of his time with Stephen Craigan’s side was a goal away to Dundee United last February, earning the Steelmen a valuable point.

    Everyone at Motherwell FC would like to thank Josh for his contribution whilst at Fir Park and wish him every success in his future career.

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    Muir in charge at Global Energy Stadium

    Referee for Saturday’s away trip to Ross County in the Ladbrokes Premiership is Alan Muir.

    The 41-year old takes charge of his first Motherwell match of the 2016/17 season, and his first since October 2015 – when the Steelmen lost 1-0 to Celtic at Fir Park.

    Nadir Ciftci’s early goal was enough for the visitors that day as the Glaswegians went on to win the title.

    That was Muir’s only ‘Well match last season, and the time before that was a 2-1 win over Inverness CT at Fir Park back in February 2015.

    Lionel Ainsworth’s 84th minute winner proved to be the difference that day, despite the Fir Parkers being reduced to ten men after Muir showed right-back Simon Ramsden his second booking of the game in the 88th minute.

    Muir took charge on three occasions that season – the other two matches both resulted in 1-0 scorelines.

    The first of the season was a disappointing 1-0 though, as Baraclough’s side slumped to a 1-0 loss to St Johnstone at Fir Park.

    Then came an important 1-0 win away to St Mirren – where John Sutton’s strike was the difference.

    In total, Muir has refereed 22 matches involving the ‘Well since his first back in the 08/09 season.

    When the Scotsman has been in charge, the ‘Well have won on 10 occasions, drawn four and lost eight.

    In those games, Motherwell have scored 26 and conceded 29.

    79 players have gone into the book, 41 were wearing claret and amber, while eight players, five Fir Parkers, including former and current captains Stephen Craigan and Keith Lasley, have been dismissed.

    Muir will be ably assisted by Dougie Potter and Ralph Gordon; with Gavin Ross on fourth official duties.

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    Lisbon looms for ‘Well coach

    Head of Children’s Academy Paul Burns has been invited to Benfica’s multi-million pound training complex through the Scottish FA and Erasmus+ this week.

    Paul Burns will join a select group of representatives from other clubs across the country, including Aberdeen and Kilmarnock, in a seven-day programme in Lisbon.

    From attending U15 and U17 fixtures to Thursday’s Champions League clash between Benfica and Besiktas at the Estádio da Luz, Paul is relishing both an exciting and challenging week ahead.

    Paul said said: “We’ve just arrived at our hotel and I’m looking forward to the week ahead – it will be a great experience but it will be challenging too.”

    As well as producing a final report, Paul is also tasked with presentations, training observations and practical sessions.

    He will also have the task of having to learn some Portuguese, thanks to the funding from the Scottish FA.

    [pullquote]They spend over €4million on their youth academy alone so it’s a huge club and I am really looking forward to it.[/pullquote]

    And while Burns will have a lot of work on his plate, he believes he wouldn’t be out there if it wasn’t for some key support at the club.

    He said: “Scott Leitch and Alan Burrows were hugely helpful and it’s because of their help that I’m able to come out here and benefit from this incredible programme.”

    He added: “Greig Paterson at the Scottish FA let me know that I would be attending and it was obviously great news to hear.”

    Visiting a club the size of Benfica will certainly bring huge benefits, admits Paul.

    He said: “They spend over €4million on their youth academy alone so it’s a huge club and I am really looking forward to it.

    “Being able to come out here and experience it and be able to learn more and more everyday is something that it truly exciting, and I can’t wait to get started today.”

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    Bowman: Can’t wait to get started

    Deadline day signing Ryan Bowman admits he “can’t wait to get started” ahead of Saturday’s trip to face Ross County.

    The Englishman, who completed his move from Gateshead last week, has enjoyed his first few days of training under Mark McGhee and can already see the jump in standards at Motherwell.

    Speaking to the press this morning, the forward said: “It’s been a really good week, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.

    “The boys look in good shape, nice and sharp and with a high intensity in preparation for Saturday so I’ve really enjoyed it so far.”

    [pullquote]The boys look in good shape, nice and sharp and with a high intensity in preparation for Saturday so I’ve really enjoyed it so far.[/pullquote]

    He added: “No disrespect to Gateshead but it is a better standard, the expectations are higher and I’m really looking forward to Saturday and can’t wait to get started.”

    Enjoying a number of seasons south of the border, the 24-year-old hopes to carry on his goal-scoring form in to his career in the top flight of Scottish football.

    He said: “My highest level was League Two but it didn’t work out there like it did in the Conference where I scored 19-20 goals a season, so I hope I can continue that on in to this season and see where it takes us.”

    Bowman won’t feel completely new among his new team-mates, with last season’s top scorer Louis Moult a familiar face for the deadline day signing.

    [pullquote]I played against Louis Moult when he was at Wrexham in the FA trophy one season and then twice in the league too, and he shone above the rest.[/pullquote]

    He said: “I played against Louis Moult when he was at Wrexham in the FA trophy one season and then twice in the league too, and he shone above the rest and you could tell he was that bit better than the rest.

    He added: “He got his move and he did well here last season so I hope I can do the same.”

    With a long trip north to Dingwall awaiting Ryan this Saturday, the striker insisted he isn’t phased by the trip.

    He said: “The travelling is easy – with Gateshead every away game was an overnight stay away, about 5 or 6 hours travelling, so I’m used to that, it’s fine.”

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    McGhee: We’re up for the battle

    ‘Well boss Mark McGhee now feels he has the squad he needs to compete physically with any team in the league.

    Speaking to the press this morning ahead of his sides trip north to face Ross County, the manager spoke about his business over the summer and looked ahead to Saturday’s important match.

    He said: “The international break came at the right time in terms of getting people fit again and getting people in too.

    “It resolved the Marvin Johnson situation, we got a couple [of players] in, we got Louis Moult back fit and I think in these situations you have to accentuate the positives.

    “Hammell will be fit again and Moulty is ready to start his season – so there’s lots of positives.”

    With the additions of Ryan Bowman and Luka Belić on deadline day, McGhee felt his new signins will significantly boost his options.

    He said: “With the continuing injury to Jacob Blyth, which has been a shame for him and us, I felt that even with Moulty coming back we still needed another striker and we managed to bring in Bowman who we’ve been interested in all summer.

    “He’s different from the others and he gives us a different option so that’s a positive for us.”

    [pullquote]They [Ross County] are aggressive in the right sense so physically we’ll need to match them but now we feel we have the squad that physically we can match anybody.[/pullquote]

    The Fir Parkers boss admitted that the dealings done over the window may allow him to change his system.

    He said: “You have to accommodate the players that you have so it will require us to think a bit differently now that we don’t have Marvin’s pace out on the left – so we will endeavour to find the right combination of players that we have in a system that gets the best out of all of them.”

    He added: “When we went to Ibrox, I’m convinced that if we had Hammell and Moult fit and even if we had Ryan Bowman here, then we would have got something out of that game – there’s no doubt in my mind.

    “Then we drew with 0-0 with Dundee and if we had those three players that we could have called on to make changes then we could have won that game instead of drawing it.”

    Looking at Saturday’s opponents, McGhee said: “We know that they have a fairly standard way of playing – it’s not complicated but they do it well.

    “They get the ball forward, they compete for the ball up-front. They’re good at their set-plays, they’re aggressive in the right sense so physically we’ll need to match them but now we feel we have the squad that physically we can match anybody.”

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    Belić: I already feel at home

    Deadline day signing Luka Belić admits he has settled in quickly after making his loan switch from West Ham.

    Speaking to MFC TV, the Serbian forward spoke about his style of play, his ability to adapt and his ambitions for the season ahead.

    The 20-year-old said: “I feel really good and I already love it here – it’s a nice place, I have nice team-mates.

    “Everybody has accepted me, the doctors, the coaching staff and everyone else.”

    [pullquote]I’ve only been here three days and already it’s been really nice for me – everybody has accepted me really well and I already feel like I’m at home.[/pullquote]

    He added: “I’ve only been here three days and already it’s been really nice for me – everybody has accepted me really well and I already feel like I’m at home.”

    Luka admitted that he had to adjust to the English game when he moved to West Ham from the Serbian top flight, and he knows he’ll have to adjust again to the Ladbrokes Premiership.

    He said: “When I came to England the game was a little bit tougher, a little bit harder and they told me when I come to Scotland it’s going to be even tougher, but I’ll adapt and that’s no problem for me because I play that way.”

    He added: “I’ll be ready for that aspect of the game, but defenders better be ready because I’ll tackle them too and I’ll be ready.”

    [pullquote]I’ll be ready for that aspect of the game, but defenders better be ready because I’ll tackle them too and I’ll be ready.[/pullquote]

    When asked about manager Mark McGhee and assistant James McFadden, Luka admitted that they have made him feel welcome.

    He said: “I’m looking forward to playing under them – they are both lovely people and they’ve fit me in and accepted me like I’m at home so it’s really been a nice couple of days for me.

    “I didn’t think it was going to be so quick and so good – when I came from Serbia to West Ham I had about maybe a month of problems to adjust but now because I’ve already adapted to the language and everything it’s been a lot easier.”

    He added: “I want to establish my place in the team quickly, give everything I’ve got to get a lot of games and fight for my place in the team.”

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    Fitness programme free for fans

    Motherwell Football Club and the Community Trust have partnered up with the SPFL Trust’s Football Fans in Training – allowing fans to get involved with the club and lose weight along the way.

    Targeted for men and women aged 35-65 with a waistline of 38 inches or above, the 12-week programme will provide coaching from professionals, a behind-the-scenes look at the club and encourage a healthier lifestyle.

    What’s better? It’s free!

    As well as enjoying yourself, the main aims of Football Fans in Training (FFIT) are: to increase knowledge of diet & nutrition, improve lifestyle choices, increase physical activity amongst participants, reduce weight and waist measurements and increase engagement in other physical activity.

    MFC Community Trust General Manager Dawn Middleton said: “We’re delighted to be offering Motherwell Fans the opportunity to get fit with their local team. It’s a unique opportunity to adopt a healthier lifestyle, meet fellow fans and have fun.”

    FFIT is supported by Community Trust ambassador and star striker Louis Moult.

    To get involved you can sign up here: spfltrust.org.uk/ffit-enquiry

    To get in touch with the Community Trust, call 01698 239926 or email community@motherwellfc.co.uk

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Oriam Centre

    Highlights from the Oriam Centre in Edinburgh where the Under 20s lost 3-1 to Hibernian.

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    Craigan: We were poor

    Motherwell U20s slumped to a 3-1 defeat away to Hibs in the Development League this afternoon.

    And for manager Stephen Craigan, it was a disappointing showing from his side who have performed at such a high level so far this season.

    Speaking to MFC TV after the full-time whistle, Craigan admitted his frustration with his sides performance.

    He said: “I thought we were really poor and that may be harsh and I don’t like being overly critical of young players because they’re trying to make their way in the game and try to get a pathway of where to go.

    [pullquote]I thought we were really poor and that may be harsh and I don’t like being overly critical of young players.[/pullquote]

    “All round today – decision making on the ball, passing at times, we looked a little lost.”

    He added: “It’s strange because we trained really well on Saturday and really well on Monday and I was really looking forward to the game.

    “We didn’t help ourselves, we gave away poor goals.”

    Played at the Oriam at Heriott-Watt University, the artificial, indoor surface did not play a part in the performance, insisted Craigan.

    He said: “I wouldn’t think the surface would play a part – it’s a wonderful surface to play on.

    [pullquote]We have to keep working, we have to keep preaching what we have been doing over the last 17-18 months and that doesn’t change with one performance.[/pullquote]

    “Hibs don’t train here but they play their home games here so it’s a new surface to them too.”

    Up next for the U20s is Dundee United at home, and the U20s coach knows that the hard work must go on to bounce back to form.

    He said: “We have to keep working, we have to keep preaching what we have been doing over the last 17-18 months and that doesn’t change with one performance.

    “It’s just trying to analyse it and I’ll need to speak with them about how they felt and what went through their minds.

    “But there’s no excuses, we were up against a Hibs side that I thought we were more than capable of beating.”