Extended highlights from the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium as the Under 20s lose 3-2 despite a spirited second half comeback.
TV: Highlights from DumbartonFriday 10 February 2017
Craigan: Mixed emotions after defeatFriday 10 February 2017
Under 20s boss Stephen Craigan was left with mixed emotions as his side went down 3-2 to Celtic this evening.
The Steelmen found themselves 3-0 down inside 32 minutes as the current Development League Champions ran riot.
However, the Fir Parkers quickly composed themselves and got back into things just after half-time when Jake Hastie won and then scored a penalty kick.
Jacob Blyth further reduced the arrears with twelve minutes left to play and the comeback was really on.
However, time got away from Craigan’s side, who couldn’t repair the damage done in a very poor first half.
[pullquote]We’ll put the first half performance to one side and will focus on all the positives of the second half and how we can replicate that more often than not.[/pullquote]
“We looked a bit overwhelmed and gave ourselves too much of a mountain to climb in the end,” the 56-times capped former Northern Ireland International told MFC TV after the match.
“We lacked a little bit of belief – whether that was more from being leg-weary I’m not sure but we had a go at them at half-time.
“It wasn’t about football ability, it was more about the challenges that face you; being physical, having the willingness to go and run, go and compete and win headers – the basics you need to go and win a game of football.
“We asked them how they could improve and impose ourselves in the game and I think the early goal helped. I wouldn’t say I am pleased but I am certainly happier with the second half performance.
“We’ll put the first half performance to one side and will focus on all the positives of the second half and how we can replicate that more often than not.”
Celtic U20s 3 – 2 Motherwell U20sFriday 10 February 2017
Motherwell Under 20s went down 3-2 to Celtic at a freezing cold Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium this evening.
Stephen Craigan’s men had a wretched first thirty-five minutes and found themselves trailing 3-0 at the interval.
However, one of the hallmarks of this young Steelmen side has been there heart and never-say-die attitude and they pulled themselves back into things with two goals, inspired by the terrific Elliott Frear, who was outstanding on the flank for the Fir Parkers.
However, they just ran out of time in the search for a leveller, crashing to only their second defeat since November, the other coming earlier in the week at Rugby Park.
With Mark McGhee’s first-team having a free weekend, there were several experienced faces in the starting line up.
Joe Chalmers and David Ferguson were in the back four; there was a welcome return for Jacob Blyth in attack who’s missed the whole season through injury and a first start in Motherwell colours for January signing Elliott Frear.
However, despite the edge in experience, it was the hosts who came out the blocks on the front foot and Regan Hendry almost put his side ahead in the sixth minute, crashing a shot over the bar after good wing play and cross from Calvin Miller.
‘Well’s first effort at goal came shortly after, when the livewire Frear ghosted past two challenges before striking a low shot at McAdams who held on.
The same player had another chance four minutes later, picking up from deep, charging forward before sending a stinging shot inches wide of target.
However, Celtic’s next meaningful attack led to the game’s opening goal.
A long, deflected clearance caused confusion for Barry Maguire, who slipped when trying to deal with the awkward, bouncing ball. That allowed Paul Joseph Crossan to collect, cut inside before hitting a shot that deflected off the sliding Joe Chalmers and past Ollie Pain to make it 1-0.
It quickly went from bad to worse as Tommy McIntyre’s team doubled their advantage shortly after. Mark Hill picked up a loose pass from Davie Turnbull and he wasted no time firing at goal. Yet another big deflection left Pain with no chance as it nestled to give the denim-blue clad ‘Well a mountain to climb.
Celtic were going for the throat and further chances via a Hill free-kick and a close-range effort from Michael Johnston came and went.
However, the third wasn’t far away and when an enticing near-post cross allowed Crossan to nip in ahead of Chalmers, he made no mistake, bulleting his header past Pain.
To their credit, Motherwell worked hard to try and steady the ship and slowly but surely worked their way back into the game.
Frear was again at the heart of everything positive for the visitors and he worked the ball out towards Hastie whose cross-cum-shot almost caught out McAdams, who eventually palmed away.
Frear had another two good cross balls into the box shortly after, headed over by Hastie and Maguire respectively.
Having introduced James Scott midway through the first half, Craigan replaced Shea Gordon with Tom Fry and his side started the second much in the same way they finished the first.
In fact, they got a goal back inside the opening few minutes when Hastie was tripped in the box by Hill. The young winger dusted himself down and slammed home his twelfth of the campaign.
Motherwell were seeing a lot of the ball but Celtic continued to be a threat on the counter. On-loan Sunderland stopper Pain had to look smart to save well from both Johnstone and Jack Aitchison.
At the other end, Frear again went close, needing no invite to let fly from distance, but his shot again landing just the wrong side of the post with McAdams at full stretch.
Two minutes later, it was Frear yet again. This time getting on the end of a Livingstone ball over the top and seeing his fierce shot tipped onto the post and out for a corner.
That led to another ‘Well goal as from the resulting Tom Fry kick from the quadrant, Jacob Blyth rose higher than a host of players in the box to head home from close range.
With scintelating comebacks a feature of this young Motherwell side’s season, there was a real belief in the side that they could go on and wrestle something from the match.
They almost goal level when a Fry free kick was headed on by Scott, but McAdams was well placed to save under pressure.
Then, with just seconds left, Frear looked as if he was going to be the hero. The former Forrest Green man picked up a pass from Fry, skilfully nutmegged Sam Wardrop only to watch on as his goalbound looking shot was superbly blocked on route by the stubborn Celtic rear guard.
The young ‘Well eventually ran out of time and lost the match, but left encouraged by a brave and determined second half showing.
Motherwell: Pain, Ferguson (Armstrong – 68mins), Livingstone, Maguire, Chalmers, Campbell, Frear, Turnbull (Scott – 32mins), Blyth, Hastie, Gordon (Fry – 45mins)
Subs Not Used: Pettigrew, Agyeman,
Huge opportunity for The Well SocietyFriday 10 February 2017
The Well Society is today pleased to announce it has received a particularly generous offer from former majority shareholder Mr Les Hutchison.
Mr Hutchison has offered to match the total amount of funds raised by the Society in the calendar year 2017 by reducing the same amount from his loan to the Club – to a maximum amount of £500,000. In effect, this means that every £1 raised will count as £2.
This is an outstanding chance to improve the financial position of both the Club and the Society.
As owners of Motherwell FC, the Board and members of the Society must try and make the most of this fantastic opportunity.
We know that there has been some reluctance from potential members and indeed from some existing members to either join and/or contribute more of their hard earned funds to the Society due to concerns that those funds would be used to repay the loans of previous owners.
The opportunity which now exists is for that debt to be reduced by up to half a million pounds by contributions being made to and retained by the Society and the Club.
We want to rally the troops and urge you to think how best you can support the Society in our aim to raise £500,000 in 2017.
You may be an existing member who has ceased to contribute or can now afford to contribute more.
You may now be persuaded to become a new member. You may now have the opportunity to persuade a friend or relative that now is the time to join the Well Society to become an owner of Motherwell FC and to contribute what they can.
This is a wonderful opportunity to substantially improve the financial position of the Club as we continue down the road as new owners. Together we can make the most of it. It is up to us.
To pledge, click here.
New South Stand hospitality packagesFriday 10 February 2017
Motherwell Football Club is delighted to offer supporters two all new, laid back hospitality options during match days at Fir Park.
If you want to enjoy the hospitality experience but want smaller meals, casual attire and smaller prices, then the new ‘Bois Club’ and ‘Twist and Pout’ packages are ideal for you.
Situated in the large South Stand boxes, holding up to parties of twenty, packages include:
- Hot one-course buffet served with complimentary drinks
- Padded seat within the box with excellent view
- Matchday Programme and teamsheet
- Half-time pies or sandwiches
- Full-time: one hour complimentary drinks
Cost: £70pp +VAT – complimentary drinks include beers, wines and soft drinks (no spirits or champagne)
Cost: £90pp + VAT – full range of complimentary drinks available (no champagne)
Dress code: Smart casual
New Head of Commercial & Marketing Suzanne Reid said: “We are launching these new hospitality packages based on some really positive feedback from our supporters and guests. Even in my short time here we have been asked for something which is designed to appeal to the more casual diner.”
“We have created the Bois Club and the Twist and Pout packages to cater for two very casual and fun markets. The packages are in short a party in a box, and they are the perfect way to celebrate a birthday, stag or hen events or a boys and girls day out whilst taking in the football and making Motherwell FC your starting place for a night out.”
She added: “We have had a soft launch with some of our regulars who have already started booking the packages so we are very confident moving forward that they will be a real success with our current fan base and beyond.”
Fan Engagement Manager Ryan Murrant added: “From the recent survey the club conducted it was clear that some of our supporters wanted something like this, so fair play to Suzanne and her team for instigating this change.
“The packages offer something different and unique to our supporters which is what this club is about.”
He added: “Listening to feedback and acting on it will only help this club grow and engage further with our supporters on every level, so again we thank those that take the time to feedback and embrace what we are trying to do here and now look forward to seeing a few Saturday nights start with a party in a box.”
To book, phone 01698 33 33 33 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Craigan: We’re well preparedThursday 09 February 2017
U20s boss Stephen Craigan believes his side are ready to go ahead of tomorrow night’s Development League clash with Celtic.
The young Steelmen travel to the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium in Dumbarton, and the Northern Irishman feels that his side are well prepared.
Speaking to MFC TV, Craigan said: “The boys are fine, we haven’t trained an awful lot since the game the other night but I think it’s important to keep them as fresh as we can.
“We’ve had a couple of meetings, looked at some tactical stuff – just to reaffirm the message that we’re always speaking about both in possession and out of possession.”
He added: “The boys covered a lot of distance the other night, and with GPS you can kind of monitor it a bit better.”
[pullquote]We’ve had a couple of meetings, looked at some tactical stuff – just to reaffirm the message that we’re always speaking about both in possession and out of possession.[/pullquote]
As far as selection for tomorrow night, Craigan admitted he will have to make a few changes.
He said: “There will be a few changes as normal with under 20s, you’re chopping and changing a lot, there’s lads coming in from the first team and lads out on loan.
“Dylan and Tom won’t be involved because of that and factors like that mean you don’t always get the team you would ideally like.
“But we’re ready for the game, we feel well prepared and we’re looking forward to it.”
One of the main things Craigan tries to drill in to the youngsters is the knack of finding consistency in their game, and after the Kilmarnock match on Tuesday night, he admitted that he is still adapting as a coach.
He said: “Having watched Tuesday night’s game back there wasn’t an awful lot wrong really.
[pullquote]Perhaps I could have simplified it for them a bit and matched up with Kilmarnock but there’s things you learn as you go – it’s as much them being consistent as it is me.[/pullquote]
“We changed our shape to play against them and I probably should have changed it again to allow us more width.”
He added: “Because we were playing with a diamond, it meant we lacked that width and couldn’t get many crosses in to the box to cause that threat.
“Perhaps I could have simplified it for them a bit and matched up with Kilmarnock but there’s things you learn as you go – it’s as much them being consistent as it is me.”
With some senior players perhaps set to step in for game time, Craigan admitted they have played a big role in setting an example for the youngsters this season.
He said: “We’ll be expecting some senior players to drop down but I’m not sure who yet.
“It’s important that when the senior players do come in that they perform and set an example and more often than not this season they have done.”
Motherwell Inside #4: Aileen AndersonThursday 09 February 2017
‘Motherwell Inside’ returns and in it’s fourth instalment looks at the work of physiotherapist Aileen Anderson.
Aileen talks about her duties on a match day, her work with injured players and how she prepares players ahead of matches to help avoid injury.
For exclusive content, subscribe to MFC TV’s YouTube channel.
Statement: Carl McHugh’s red cardWednesday 08 February 2017
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.
Supporter Survey: Changes in motionWednesday 08 February 2017
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
- 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.”
True Steelman: Wille MacFadyenWednesday 08 February 2017
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.