Watch behind-the-scenes footage of the Steelmen being put through their paces during warm-weather training in Tenerife.
- First team
Watch day two of training in TenerifeWednesday 10 January 2018
- First team
Richard Tait positive break can lift teamWednesday 10 January 2018
When he spoke after the defeat to Hamilton Academical at the close of 2017, Richard Tait cut a despondent figure as the year ended on a low.
After the highs of a strong start to the season and a place in the Betfred Cup final, the team’s form took a dip as the season wound down to the winter break.
After a short time away, the playing squad are now in Tenerife for an intensive mid-season training camp.
And having spent time abroad with his team-mates, and seeing the arrivals of Curtis Main and Nadir Ciftci, the defender is in a much more positive frame in mind going into the second half of the season.
“The back end to the first half of the season was poor,” conceded Tait. “It wasn’t up to standard, was it? It’s form that is going to get you into trouble.
“Coming out here and using this week to come together as a team and put some more hard work in on the training ground will hopefully hold us in good stead when we go back.
“We started off the season well and that was probably due to going to Ireland and really grafting for the time we had there.
[pullquote]We are looking to start our first match back with a win and carry on from there like we did in the first half of the season.[/pullquote]
“To use this experience here in Tenerife, it is time to go back to work. We’ve had a little break. It was nice to get away but we are here to work. We aren’t here to have a jolly up.”
Joining the squad out in the Canary Islands are new signings Curtis Main and Nadir Ciftci.
Both have integrated with the squad quickly and Tait puts that down to the attitudes of both the new boys and the ethics already in place.
“We went down to the front earlier after training to have a coffee with most of the team and you don’t usually get to do that,” he said. “It’s nice to be together.
“For the new lads, to come down and be thrown straight into this environment is great from them to get to know the boys.
“Attitude is massive for us. I think a lot of the boys pride themselves on how their attitudes are. No-one will be frightened to tell anyone if they’re attitude isn’t right.
“They will get told straight away by not just the manager, but the lads won’t have it either. I think it’s a good thing. Everyone has a standard they know they’ve got to reach.”
- First team
Robinson senses feel good factorWednesday 10 January 2018
Stephen Robinson is well aware of what a week away can do for his team.
During the summer, the ‘Well boss took his side to Ireland to prepare for the campaign ahead, allowing a whole host of new faces to settle in the process.
The results were evident. The Steelmen stormed to the Betfred Cup final and enjoyed one of their strongest starts to a league campaign in recent years.
However, injuries hit and results tailed off towards the end of the calendar year.
Now, there is a need for recuperation, as well as a further injection of energy and drive.
Armed with two new recruits, Robinson’s side are under-going warm-weather training in Tenerife, and the manager is encouraged by what he has seen so far.
“It’s been good,” the Northern Irishman said. “In comparison to what we would have had in Motherwell, it’s been very good.
[pullquote]”I think we needed it, we did the same before the start of the season when we went to Dublin and I’m getting the same feel good factor coming back again.[/pullquote]
“The boys are training at a high intensity, working really hard again and getting back to what we’re very good at.”
It’s not all fun and games for the Fir Parkers, as Robinson himself insisted.
“I think the perception is that sometimes you come to a warm weather climate and you take it easy, well we’ve done the opposite.
[pullquote]We’re having double sessions, we’re in the gym, we’ve got super facilities and you can do a lot of coaching out here.[/pullquote]
“We gave the boys a few days off after the Hamilton game and we’re back on it again. We’re having double sessions, we’re in the gym, we’ve got super facilities and you can do a lot of coaching out here.”
There is more to it than hard work too, as the trip offers the squad some all-important time for team building.
“Obviously you get to know each other and the boys are all together all the time,” the manager said, “they eat together, they train together and they mix together.”
Two players who will benefit in particular from the close-knit working environment is Nadir Çiftçi and Curtis Main.
And for Robinson, the two new recruits have settled in well.
“We lost Louis and it was paramount that we had to bring people in.
“I felt that we had to bring a couple of people in and the reality is that we’ve brought boys in with top ability.
[pullquote]We’ve brought both of those boys in, I’m confident they’ll do well and it’s up to me to get the best out of them.[/pullquote]
“Nadir has went for over a million pounds and we know that his last couple of seasons haven’t been what his ability should be.
“But Motherwell don’t sign players if they’re worth a million pounds and at the top of their game, what I need to do is get him back to his best.
“He’s a boy who’s bought in to what we’re trying to do, he’s got undoubted talent, and we just have to make sure we get him in and back fit and ready to go again.”
“With Curtis, if he’d played 30 games for Portsmouth and scored 20 goals, we don’t get anywhere near him.
“What we’ve brought in is the potential for him to go on and do that and I firmly believe that is the case – he’s a strong boy and holds the ball up well and I firmly believe he’ll get us goals.
“We’ve brought both of those boys in, I’m confident they’ll do well and it’s up to me to get the best out of them.”
Ladies snap up Kerry MontgomeryWednesday 10 January 2018
Motherwell Ladies are delighted to confirm the signing of Northern Ireland international Kerry Montgomery.
The 29-year-old midfielder, who has won eight caps for her country, joins ‘Well from SWPL1 side Celtic.
Montgomery has previously worked with boss Eddie Wolecki Black at Glasgow City, where she signed in 2015 having just won the Scottish Women’s Premier League’s player of the year with Spartans.
Kerry’s signing is the fourth new recruit of pre season, following the announcements of goalkeeper Claire Johnstone and defenders Emma Black and Ashley Nicolson.
[pullquote]The club has real ambitions to be the very best it can be within the woman’s game and I want to help play a part in that.”[/pullquote]
Speaking of her arrival, Kerry said: “I am delighted to sign for Motherwell and I am really looking forward to the new season.
“The main attraction of Motherwell was Eddie given I’ve worked with him before and owe him everything. But in addition to that, the club has real ambitions to be the very best it can be within the woman’s game and I want to help play a part in that.”
Wolecki Black added: “Kerry’s arrival is a massive statement of intent about where we want to go. She had suitors amongst several top league clubs, but when we explained our long-term vision and what we hope to achieve, she chose Motherwell.
“She’ll bring energy, enthusiasm, commitment and determination to our midfield and not only that, she’ll chip in with goals. She was critical to my plans and I am obviously delighted to have got the deal confirmed.”
- First team
Team get to work in TenerifeWednesday 10 January 2018
Motherwell players and staff arrived in Tenerife late in the afternoon on Tuesday, and immediately got to work during their mid-season break.
The trip to Canary Islands will give the team a chance to train in consistent conditions, and in better weather, as they gear up the second half of the Ladbrokes Premiership season.
The coaching staff put the players through their paces with some light training on Tuesday night, before a planned double session on Wednesday.
Stephen Robinson’s side, who have now been joined on the trip by new loan signing Nadir Çiftçi, will train in Tenerife until Saturday.
You can follow more from the team throughout the week across Motherwell FC’s various digital media channels.
As well as updates and interviews here on the website, you can also get more behind-the-scenes access by following us on Instagram.
- First team
Çiftçi: I want another cup finalTuesday 09 January 2018
Nadir Çiftçi has set himself the target of being the man to take Motherwell on another memorable cup run.
The Turkish forward has signed on loan from Celtic for the remainder of the 2017/18 campaign, boosting a squad which has already reached the Betfred Cup final this term.
Having made it to the Scottish Cup final during his successful spell with Dundee United, Çiftçi wants the same from his time at Fir Park.
“I watched the final and hopefully I can get us to another final,” he said. “Outside of that, I want to achieve what we can as a team, try to play as many games as I can and bring as much as I can to the club and the fans.
[pullquote]My first impressions have been really good. It feels like home already. It gives me a good feeling already.[/pullquote]
“I obviously know the league and the teams. I’ve played a lot of times against Motherwell as well so it will be a good place to kick on. Hopefully I can get going again.”
Çiftçi was a prolific scorer during his two years with Dundee United, before moving to Celtic in the summer of 2015.
Loan spells in Turkey, Poland and latterly in England with Plymouth Argyle proved challenging experiences for the 25-year-old but he says it has made him stronger.
“It’s been difficult. A bit hard. But a great lesson at the same time as well.
“You can look at it in a bad way but you can’t just hang about and think everything that goes against you is bad. Just take it on your chest and take it as a lesson.
“I’ve learned a lot in those two years. I went back to Turkey for half a season and played and really enjoyed it. But then I started getting a bit lost. But I learned a lot in this period by trying to stay strong, staying focused and when the opportunity comes, take it again. Hopefully it will be here.”
- First team
Nadir Çiftçi joins Motherwell on loanTuesday 09 January 2018
Motherwell Football Club is delighted to announce the signing of Nadir Çiftçi on loan from Celtic.
The forward, who spent the first half of the season down south with Plymouth Argyle, has moved to Fir Park until the end of the campaign.
The 25-year-old is well known for his two-year spell with Dundee United from 2013 until 2015, in which he scored 33 goals across 71 starts.
“My first impressions have been really good,” he said on his arrival at Motherwell. “It feels like home. It gives me a good feeling already.
[pullquote]I obviously know the league and the teams. I’ve played a lot of times against Motherwell as well so it will be a good place to kick on.[/pullquote]
The signing of Çiftçi, who will wear shirt number 23, is third time lucky for the Steelmen, having came close to securing his signature on two previous occasions.
“Last January it was in the last minutes of the transfer window and it just didn’t go through because of paperwork. Then in the summer, it was a bit different as well.
“Now it is the third time and when the chance came, I just grabbed it and now I am here thankfully.”
The Turkish-born forward started his career in England with Portsmouth, before spells in Turkey with Kayserispor and in the Netherlands with NAC Breda.
His move to Dundee United followed in July 2013 and he immediately hit the ground running, scoring 17 goals in his first season and 16 the following campaign.
His form attracted the attention of Celtic, who paid to take him to Glasgow in the summer of 2015.
Despite finding opportunities hard to come by, he still managed to net four times in 12 league appearances before a succession of loan spells with Eskisehirspor, Polish side Pogon Szczecin and Plymouth.
The arrival of Çiftçi is Motherwell’s second of the January transfer window, following the permanent signing of striker Curtis Main from Portsmouth.
“I’m delighted to have got Nadir here until the end of season,” manager Stephen Robinson said of the capture of Çiftçi. “He will provide us something different up front and he is a player of real pedigree.
“He is a player with a proven track record of scoring goals in the Scottish top flight and we’re pleased to have got him here.”
Ladies team make first three signingsSaturday 06 January 2018
Motherwell Ladies have made their first three new signings ahead of the 2018 season.
Two former Scotland internationals joined Eddie Wolecki Black’s side as they met up for their first training session at Fir Park on Friday night.
The first is Emma Black, who has spent her entire career to date at Glasgow City, starting out as a striker before reverting to centre defence.
Black returns after a short spell out of the game, having amassed 40 Scotland caps during his career and being City’s first ever European goal scorer, netting in the UEFA Women’s Champions League against Athletic Bilbao.
Goalkeeper Claire Johnstone is the team’s second signing.
She started her career at Kilmarnock before spells in Iceland and at Celtic, Glasgow City and Rangers. The 35-year-old also represented Scotland for eight years.
The third signing is defender Ashley Nicolson, who joins from Spartans. An established player in the Scottish Women’s Premier League for the last few years, she has also had spells at Hearts and Rangers.
“We have brought in three very experienced players in Ashley, Emma and Claire,” Manager Eddie Wolecki Black said of the signings.
“We will be looking to add more to the squad in the coming weeks. We have built a strong squad so far ahead of the new season.”
Motherwell Ladies start their SWPL2 season in February. Fixture details will be announced in due course.
Steven Hammell retiring to become Academy DirectorFriday 05 January 2018
Steven Hammell is to retire from professional football to become Motherwell Football Club’s new Academy Director.
The 35-year-old will take on the important role as the club embarks upon its involvement in the Scottish FA’s new Project Brave youth development programme.
Having played 582 games in claret and amber, Hammell is Motherwell’s record post-war appearance holder.
The club legend will see out January as a player before officially taking up his new post at the start of February.
“It’s been almost 20 years to the day that I joined here straight out of school,” he said. “Between then and now, there have been a lot of good memories made that I will take with me for the rest of my life.
[pullquote]It’s been a real highlight playing so many times for this club, the club I love.[/pullquote]
Hammell started his professional career at Fir Park in January 1998, he made his debut in 2000, starting in a Scottish Premier League match against Aberdeen.
He won full international recognition back in 2004, when the late Tommy Burns capped him in a friendly match against Sweden at Easter Road.
In 2006, he departed for a short spell in England with Southend United, spending 18 months south of the border before returning to Motherwell in January 2008.
Hammell was rewarded for his service with a testimonial against Everton in 2012.
“Steven Hammell has been a great servant and model professional for the club over the years,” Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson said of his decision.
“We are glad he is staying on at the club in his new role. The job of bringing young players through here is crucial for our ongoing success.”
Motherwell were recently named among the eight clubs chosen by the Scottish FA to head up the Elite level of its new Project Brave initiative.
Chief Operating Officer Alan Burrows added: “When the board sat to discuss who the new Academy Director would be, one name shone above all the others.
“Not only has Steven been a terrific player for this club, more importantly, we feel he is exactly what we require for the post. He is an extremely popular and respected figure at the academy, where he has worked for several years.
“He is not only qualified to do the role, but his experience working with younger players and coaches can be an inspiration for any youth player at Motherwell, given he himself came through our ranks to break records.
“We are delighted to be working with him and look forward to see some of his exciting and positive plans bearing fruit over the next few years.”
- First team
Reaction to Steven Hammell’s retirementFriday 05 January 2018
Motherwell players, staff and former players have paid tribute to Steven Hammell, who is to retire from professional football to become Motherwell’s new Academy Director.
The legendary defender will be available for selection until the end of January, before taking up his new post.
Congratulations on a brilliant career @stevenhammell it’s been a absolute pleasure playing with you, perfect guy for your new role at the club you will smash it!! Buzzing for you Hamster https://t.co/92Tj1sdVFZ
— chrissy cadden (@chrissycadds) January 5, 2018
Richard Tait: “Congratulations Hammy on a terrific career and service to Motherwell FC. Just want to wish you all the best in the new role. In my opinion no better man for the job. Delighted for you. Great times ahead for the next generation of footballers at Motherwell under your guidance.”
Trevor Carson: “It’s been a pleasure. A class act on the pitch and a gentleman off it. Good luck in your new role, you will smash it mate.”
Ryan Bowman: “All the best Stevie. It’s been a pleasure working with you on and off the pitch. Some career you’ve had, what a guy!”
— Craig Tanner (@CraigTanner27) January 5, 2018
— Elliott Frear (@ElliottFrear) January 5, 2018
— Alex Fisher (@AlexFisher37) January 5, 2018
Allan Campbell: “Been a pleasure Stevie Hammell. What a player and role model for young players! Wish you all the best in your new role at the club.”
Keith Lasley: “Teammate, friend, legend.”
Legend all the best mate !!
— Louis Moult (@louismoult) January 5, 2018
— Adam Cummins (@AdamCummo4) January 5, 2018
Well done on a great career @stevenhammell lucky enough to have chased a few passes ‘down the channel’ also magnificent for the academy having someone with the playing experience to pass on to young players and drive to make things better https://t.co/zuGtDJdR1Y
— David Clarkson (@DavidClarkson85) January 5, 2018
What a legend! Great appointment for the next generation. One of the good guys in the game. All the best Hammy mate & cheers for everything over the years https://t.co/WtZOX6BmJ1
— Dominic Thomas (@DomThomas23) January 5, 2018
Congratulations @stevenhammell on a great career. Was a pleasure learning my trade next to you and I’m sure you will have plenty wisdom to pass on to the next generation in your new role! https://t.co/7UPj1taeFt
— Mark Reynolds (@reyn01ds) January 5, 2018