Latest News

  • Archive

    Statement: Carl McHugh’s red card

  • Archive

    Supporter Survey: Changes in motion

  • Archive

    True Steelman: Wille MacFadyen

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Rugby Park

  • Archive

    Craigan: We lacked a spark

  • Archive

    Kilmarnock U20s 1 – 0 Motherwell U20s

  • Archive

    Made in Motherwell: Gary McAllister

  • Archive

    Craigan: We’re in good form

  • Archive

    Future Steel: Barry Maguire

  • Archive

    Killie up next for ‘Well U20s

  • Archive

    Statement: Carl McHugh’s red card

    Motherwell Football Club today (Wednesday) released the following statement in relation to Carl McHugh’s red card during Saturday’s match with Heart of Midlothian.

    The club decided not to appeal the red card shown to Carl McHugh on the 53rd minute of last Saturday’s match at Fir Park.

    The recent experience with Scott McDonald’s appeal for a similar sort of offence, with the onus being on the club to prove an obvious refereeing error, convinced management that, although we greatly respect the process and the individuals involved, any further appeal would not only be futile, but also a waste of the club’s time and money.

    The club has subsequently written to the Scottish FA’s Head of Referee Operations to seek clarity on the guidelines surrounding serious foul play and in particular, “excessive force”.

    Given a fairly broad set of criteria has been issued by the International Football Association Board (IFAB) when judging a challenge during the intensity of a match, it’s now so open to individual interpretation by each match official it could and has lead to significant inconsistencies across games.

    A number of challenges in various SPFL Premiership matches (and high profile matches in other major leagues) over the last few weeks would more than meet the criteria both Scott McDonald and Carl McHugh were judged by, and subsequently ordered off for, but only cautions were issued.

    This causes a great deal of confusion and frustration for our playing staff, coaching staff and supporters, and it is making it increasingly difficult to say with any certainty what is and isn’t a red card offence when talking about ‘excessive force’.

    Everyone involved in football understands that, at times, clubs will be on the end of honest mistakes or incorrect calls, it is part and parcel of the game. In addition, it is also acknowledged and accepted that match officials do not set the laws of the game, only enforce them.

    However, that means they need to be applied consistently across the board and any law or criteria that allows for such a broad scope of individual interpretation is, in Motherwell FC’s view, a flawed one.

    In addition, the club has also asked for, and has been granted, time with the Scottish FA’s Head of Referee Operations to go through with the playing squads some of the recent examples which have merited a red card and those that, for what look like identical offences, have only been issued with a caution to explain what, if any, differences there are and detail fully what IFAB advise when considering excessive force.

    Motherwell FC very much appreciates this time and look forward to that meeting in the coming weeks.

  • Archive

    Supporter Survey: Changes in motion

    Motherwell FC’s recent supporter survey came to a close last month and the key issues brought up by the fans have been identified by the club.

    From ticket prices to catering, the aims of the survey were to look at ways to improve the matchday experience at Fir Park. With the key areas highlighted by ‘Well fans, what is the next step?

    Marketing and Fan Engagement Ryan Murrant said: “The response was absolutely fantastic from all stands  – all groups of supporters have joined in.

    “We have sat down and looked at what fans want changing and the ball has starting rolling as we now look to identify ways of improving things. There is no quick solution and some of the changes such as the stewarding will take time, months possibly years to get right but change has started and will continue to do so.

    “We plan to communicate transparently over the next few weeks and months about changes that are achievable in the short, mid and long term and how we will go about them. Fans also need to know that this club already do some brilliant things especially in the community, we saw that on Saturday and these community initiatives will continue and go from strength to strength.”

    He added: “Something that we have learnt from this survey is that we need to shout about these successes more, so the feedback on every front has been so, so invaluable. It is an exciting time here now and important for the fans to know that Alan Burrows and the board are driving this forward to help us all make further positive change.”

    The priorities have been outlined and are as follows:

    • Ticket prices
    • Scoreboard and Tannoy system
    • Improving bars and events
    • Stewarding
    • Catering
    • Ticketing / Season ticket renewals
    • CRM & Marketing
    • Marketing and Tickets to kids
    • Family Stand and the Matchday experience
    • Website and communications

    Ryan added: “We also now have the opportunity to look at focus groups to help us continue to drive the club forward. What we mean by that is for each stand to have representatives and for them to sit down with the club to help really fine tune the continuous improvements that all parties desire.”

  • Archive

    True Steelman: Wille MacFadyen

    Born in nearby Overtown, Willie MacFadyen was one of the finest pre-war strikers to have plied his trade in Scottish football.

    Having previously had spells with Bo’ness and Clyde Willie joined the Steelmen from Wishaw YMCA in 1921.

    MacFadyen’s time at Fir Park coincided with the club’s glory years of the 1920’s and 1930’s and as a Motherwell player he won a League Championship medal in 1931’32 and two Scottish Cup runners-up medals.

    MacFadyen retains the record for the most league goals scored in a season (fifty-two) during that title winning season and over the course of his Motherwell career Willie would net 251 league goals.

    Willie’s tally places him eighth in the list of highest Scottish League pre-war goalscorers and it says much about the prolific nature of the Motherwell teams of the era that Hugh Ferguson and Robert Ferrier, teammates across Willie’s time at Fir Park, are ranked third and sixth respectively in that list of renowned finishers.

    With such ability in front of goal it seems incredible to think that MacFadyen was deemed worthy of a mere two Scotland caps.  It was well over a year after Motherwell’s title win and Willie’s record breaking 52 goal haul before he earned his first Scotland cap in a 2-2 draw against Wales in the British Championship on 4th October 1933.

    A goalscoring debut was rewarded with another appearance, and goal, in a 3-2 defeat to Austria the following month but no further caps were forthcoming.

    In 1936 Willie’s Fir Park career came to a close when he joined Huddersfield Town for whom he helped to the 1938 English FA Cup Final.  He was with Clapton Orient when World War II broke out and whilst, as was common during the war, he played for several sides as a guest his senior career was over.

    As peace returned Willie took up the manager’s position with Dundee Utd in 1945 and ironically some years later he would play a part in another record breaking Motherwell event when the Dundee Utd side he managed lost 12-1 to Motherwell in 1954.

    Willie passed away in 1971 aged sixty-six.

  • Archive

    TV: Highlights from Rugby Park

    Extended highlights from Rugby Park as the Under 20s concede a last minute penalty to lose 1-0 to Kilmarnock.

  • Archive

    Craigan: We lacked a spark

    U20s boss Stephen Craigan felt his side were missing a spark as they lost 1-0 to Kilmarnock this evening.

    A late penalty secured a victory for the hosts on a night when the Steelmen didn’t manage to make much of a breakthrough.

    And after the match the manager admitted he was a bit disappointed with his sides performance.

    Speaking to MFC TV at full time, the manager said: “It makes it worse that it’s so late in the game because there wasn’t a lot in it tonight.

    “They probably had more goalmouth action than we did and it was the kind of game when we really just lacked some kind of penetration, someone to go and be the spark for us.”

    He added: “We’ve had that in the last few weeks, we’ve had players who’ve stepped up and done it and tonight I just think we hit a brick wall.”

    [pullquote]They probably had more goalmouth action than we did and it was the kind of game when we really just lacked some kind of penetration, someone to go and be the spark for us.[/pullquote]

    Defender Barry Maguire put in a strong performance at Rugby Park, but was unlucky to see a back pass fall short for keeper Oliver Pain and Killie won a penalty.

    And his manager admitted that he just has to look at the positives from his game tonight and make sure to bounce back.

    He said: “You felt as the game went on that it was going to be 0-0 or there was going to be an error of judgement and unfortunately tonight Barry was the culprit tonight.

    “I said to him after the game though, ‘I’m not going to shout at you because that happens, I’ve done that before – but I will shout at you if you do it again because it means you haven’t learned’.

    “It’s over and done with now and we have to move on.”

    He added: “Over the piece I think we could’ve been better of course but in a game when it’s so tight we have to learn to see it out and get a 0-0 draw.”

    [pullquote]Overall I think defensively we were ok but going forward, considering we’ve scored 17 or 18 goals in our last four games, to not get any major efforts on goal is a disappointment.[/pullquote]

    In recent weeks the youngsters have got off to poor starts and battled back to win, and in the lead up to the match, Craigan called for a better start to the match, which he was ultimately rewarded with from his side.

    He said: “Defensively we were fine. We limited them to shots from distance and they had a number of corners which we dealt with well.

    “Going forward though we had to put more pressure on them. I think when you’re a centre forward and you’re not getting a lot of action, when you get around the 18-yard box all you can think about is shooting.

    “Maybe a more sensible and experienced player would play an extra pass and set someone up.”

    He added: “Overall I think defensively we were ok but going forward, considering we’ve scored 17 or 18 goals in our last four games, to not get any major efforts on goal is a disappointment.”

  • Archive

    Kilmarnock U20s 1 – 0 Motherwell U20s

    Motherwell U20s conceded late to lose 1-0 away to Kilmarnock in the Development League tonight.

    A penalty from Killie defender Scott McLean in the 89th minute was enough to snatch the points during a fairly uneventful and even encounter at Rugby Park.

    Stephen Craigan gave debuts to Oliver Pain and Shea Gordon in a line up that also featured the returning Stephen Pearson.

    And the trio impressed in the opening half. Pain showed his ability with the ball at his feet as well as producing some comfortable stops too. Pearson displayed all of the traits he has become renowned for and it seems clear the midfielder will be up to full speed soon. Gordon, meanwhile, brought a drive to the centre of the pitch and complimented Allan Campbell well.

    However, it took a while for the game to get going and it was the hosts who stumped up the first effort on goal after a quiet opening 15.

    Full back Scott McLean intercepted a mishit clearance before unleashing a low drive on target, but Pain got his body behind it and then gathered at the second attempt.

    Almost immediately up the other end of the pitch though, Pearson managed to drift in at the back post well, but his effort was a little mishit and didn’t trouble Curtis Lyle in the Kilmarnock goal.

    Gordon, who was growing in to the match, made a clever dart through the heart of the park, and as the space opened up he played a neat through ball for the potential run of Scott – but the forward and the new arrival were on different pages and Lyle collected the loose ball.

    The opening half seemed to just pass by with neither side creating much and both keepers producing routine saves.

    But it was Gordon again who looked to create from midfield. The Northern Irish youngster drove through the middle, beat a couple of challenges and cut on to his right foot to fire low at goal – but Lyle gathered it.

    The half came to an end with a brief flurry of shots from distance – including two from Turnbull. The first took a deflection and flashed wide and the second forced a routine stop from the Killie keeper.

    But the biggest talking point was perhaps a decision from the officials. Fry, who burst forward from right back, forced his way in to the box but before he could get his shot off he tumbled to the deck and looked to have been tripped, but the match officials ignored the numerous calls and let play continue.

    The second half started in a similar fashion to the first, however the Steelmen managed to get the ball in the back of the net, only to be denied by the linesman’s flag. A marauding run forward by centre back David Ferguson split the Killie team apart, he rolled a perfectly waited ball in to the Hastie who then squared to Scott to tap home, but Hastie was deemed to have strayed in to an offside position.

    The half was failing to produce much more and Craigan decided to shuffle his pack in an attempt to find the breakthrough, replacing Pearson with prolific forward Dylan Mackin – who positioned himself alongside Scott up top.

    Firmly on the front foot and hungry for the points, ‘Well pressed the hosts all over the park and Hastie found himself with a decent chance just after 60 minutes.

    The winger stole the ball from McLean, burst forward but instead of rolling in one of his two supporting teammates the youngster had a pop at goal. It didn’t trouble Lyle much though and he pounced on top of it.

    With time running out and the game in the balance, Craigan’s youngsters nearly took the lead through Turnbull and it would have been a tremendous goal too. Maguire pinged a delightful ball over the Killie defence in to the run of Hastie, who brought it down, teed up Turnbull but the midfielder slipped as he went to fire at goal from inside the box, and it flew well over.

    The lively Killie full back McLean went close to grabbing the lead for his side with just minutes to go. He curled a terrific effort on goal from distance. With the ball destined for the top corner, Pain pulled off a stunning save to deny the young defender and keep his side level.

    However, with just two minutes remaining in the match, the keeper was forced to rush for a short back pass and, with the odds against him, he tripped the advancing Killie attacker to give the home side a penalty in the dying stages.

    McLean stepped up and made no mistake to snatch a late lead, and ultimately the three points too.

  • Archive

    Made in Motherwell: Gary McAllister

    Midfielder Gary McAllister had an illustrious twenty year career in the game that began with a spell at his home-town team Motherwell.

    The Newarthill-born player made his senior debut in a title winning Motherwell side in May 1982. With the Steelmen having secured the First Division Championship a week earlier, McAllister came on as a substitute as Queen of the South were thrashed 5-2 by ‘Well at Palmerston.

    Things were altogether more gloomy when Gary next featured in the autumn of 1983.  Motherwell were struggling to repeat their form of the previous season. A mid-season change of manager when Jock Wallace left to return to Rangers saw ‘Well seriously flounder and their relegation quickly became a formality.

    On a personal level however the six months McAllister spent in the first team was invaluable in his development and when Tommy McLean arrived the talented midfielder was a first pick as he sought to take ‘Well straight back up.

    Gary netted his first senior goal on the opening day of the 1984’85 season and would go on to net regularly throughout the campaign. It was another of his goals, this time at Hampden against Celtic in the Scottish Cup later that season, that really drew attention to his talents.

    After just a single game of the 1985’86 Leicester City swooped for both McAllister and his midfield team-mate Ally Mauchlen for a combined fee of around £350,000.

    Over the next two decades McAllister would become an influential figure with the Foxes, Leeds, Coventry City (twice) and Liverpool.

    A title winner with Leeds in 1991’92, Gary enjoyed something of a renaissance in his mid-thirties lifting the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup and European Super Cup with Liverpool.

    McAllister also spent time managing Coventry City, Leeds and Aston Villa and was linked with the manager’s job at Fir Park on more than one occasion.

    First capped by Scotland against East Germany in 1990, Gary would accrue 57 caps for his country captaining the national side on a number of occasions and netting a total of five goals.

    In 2001, such was his contribution to football in the UK, Gary was made an MBE in the New Years Honours list that year.

  • Archive

    Craigan: We’re in good form

    Under 20s boss Stephen Craigan believes his sides good run of form sets them up well for tomorrow’s trip to Kilmarnock.

    A dramatic comeback victory against rivals Hamilton last week meant the young ‘Well team have now strung together five consecutive victories.

    Speaking to MFC TV this afternoon, the U20s boss looked ahead to tomorrow’s Development League fixture.

    He said: “We’re looking forward to it after last week’s comeback and the enthusiasm and hunger the players showed tells me that they are all ready for tomorrow’s game.

    “It’s just about churning out performances now because we’ve had quite a tough spell with a lot of games and we have another tough week coming up.”

    [pullquote]That’s five wins in a row now and it shows that they’re taking on the information about just trying to replicate their performance all the time and trying to maintain their high standards.[/pullquote]

    He added: “We want to get off on the front foot and put in a good, positive performance. That’s five wins in a row now and it shows that they’re taking on the information about just trying to replicate their performance all the time and trying to maintain their high standards.”

    Kilmarnock will prove to be tough opponents at Rugby Park tomorrow night, and Craigan believes his side have to make sure they get off to better starts than they have in recent weeks.

    He said: “In the last couple of weeks we’ve given ourselves a mountain to climb, with the cup game against Partick Thistle and the game against Hamilton too.

    “We can’t afford to do that though because somewhere along the line the mountain becomes too high and you can’t reach the top.”

    He added: “We need to try and dictate the game from the start, the players know what’s required of them and we worked on some shape this morning, some patterns of play and just reemphasised some of the good stuff that we can do. Hopefully that will come to fruition tomorrow night.”

    [pullquote]We’re full of confidence and we feel that if we can go to Rugby Park tomorrow, put in a good performance and replicate the things we’ve talked about, we’ll do ok.[/pullquote]

    The Northern Irishman, who has sent a few of his players out on development loans to gain valuable experience, believes that competition is healthy among the squad.

    He said: “It’s good because we’ve now got 13 or 14 players who can play, that’s the key message. Some players have come in and done well, some have stayed in the team, some weren’t in the team in the first half of the season but have got in the team and stayed in the team.

    “There’s always that little bit of pressure on they boys knowing that there’s someone over their shoulder who can come in.”

    He added: “We’re full of confidence and we feel that if we can go to Rugby Park tomorrow, put in a good performance and replicate the things we’ve talked about, we’ll do ok.”

  • Archive

    Future Steel: Barry Maguire


    At just 18-years of age, Barry Maguire boasts a number of qualities that can be hard to find in even the most experienced centre-backs.

    The Scottish defender reads the game superbly, most do, but he also has an eye for both short and long passes and is very, very two footed – so much so in fact that on a number of occasions it is often questioned, ‘what foot is Barry again?’

    The truth is he doesn’t have a preferred foot due to the fact he is so comfortable on either side.

    Of course, that is a huge positive to the youngster’s game, but it is just one of many qualities which make Barry likely to eventually force his way in to first team contention.

    Primarily a central defender, Barry’s future is not limited to that position due to the fact that he has something his manager believes is vital… the ability to adapt.

    With the Scottish FA Youth Cup quarter final delicately poised at 3-3, Stephen Craigan made a clever tactical switch which ultimately led to the crucial winner.

    Withdrawing Reece Rintoul, the Northern Irishman changed his sides shape and shifted Maguire in to midfield.

    He thrived. And soon enough he justified Craigan’s tactical switch by winning the ball in a key area and springing the Steelmen on their way to Dylan Mackin’s 87th minute winner.

    After the match, the U20s boss couldn’t hide his delight and touched on Maguire’s ability as a young footballer trying to make his way in the game.

    He said: “We decided to put Barry in to midfield and he played terrifically.

    “He’s full of energy, he’s full of heart, he’s full of desire – he’s full of everything you want from a young football player.”

    He added: “Putting Barry in to midfield gave us a physical presence and a bit of energy to go and close the game down and press.

    “The winning goal ended up coming from him being ahead of the midfield, winning the ball and getting us on to the front foot.

    “Players have to adapt, and Barry can do that due to the ability he has with the ball at his feet and the physical presence he has too.”

    Whether Maguire gets his chance for Mark McGhee’s first team doesn’t seem unlikely – when it happens is the thing that is harder to predict.

    What isn’t hard to predict though is that Barry Maguire has all the right components to have a bright future in the game.

    ‘Well fans, watch this space.

  • Archive

    Killie up next for ‘Well U20s

    Motherwell U20s face Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Tuesday night in the Development League.

    After last weeks impressive 4-3 comeback win over rivals Hamilton, the Fir Parkers will be keen to follow up and keep the pressure on top of the table Hibs.

    And Stephen Craigan may be forced to revise his options due to Luke Watt, Tom Fry and Dylan Mackin being involved for their loan clubs at the weekend.

    Mackin, on loan at Alloa Atletic, bagged a late equaliser as his side took on Livingston.

    New arrivals Oliver Pain and Shea Gordon could be in line to make their debuts after completing loan switches in the January window.

    You can follow all the action live on twitter @MotherwellFC