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  • First team

    Aldred thrilled to be back

  • First team

    Tom Aldred returns to Motherwell

  • First team

    In Numbers: Preparing for the derby

  • First team

    Hartley: Win the battle, win the derby

  • First team

    A coffee and a chat with Keith Lasley

  • Well Society

    Bid for player dressing room boards

  • Club

    Get your tickets for the derby

  • Reserves & Under 18s

    Loan Watch: Four make their league bow

  • Women

    Women return to action with a win

  • First team

    The story of the match at Hibernian

  • First team

    Aldred thrilled to be back

    Speaking for the first time since sealing his return to Fir Park, Tom Aldred revealed his delight to be back in familiar surroundings. 

    The centre-back, who made 17 appearances in a six-month stint with the Steelmen last term, joins the club on a season long loan.

    The 27-year-old said: “I’m buzzing to be honest. Just walking back in to the stadium gave me a reminder of the memories I had here last season.

    “I’m really excited to be starting a campaign here compared to join half way through like I did last year, so I can’t wait to get going.”

  • First team

    Tom Aldred returns to Motherwell

    Tom Aldred returns to Motherwell

    Motherwell Football Club are delighted to confirm the return of defender Tom Aldred.

    The 27-year-old joins on loan from Bury for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign.

    Tom is of course no stranger to ‘Well fans, having spent the second half of last season also on loan from the Shakers.

    The former Scotland youth international won many admirers amongst the Fir Park faithful for his wholehearted, aggressive style in the heart of the claret and amber rearguard.

    The ex Carlisle, Watford and Blackpool man, who will wear the number five shirt this season, will go straight into the squad for Saturday’s Lanarkshire derby with Hamilton.

    “I’m buzzing to be back,” Tom said. “It doesn’t feel as if I have been away.

    “Just getting back into the ground, it reignited great memories of last season here and I am keen to kick on again.

    “I am excited to start a season in Scotland and my hope is we can kick on again this term.”

    The commanding centre back was a standout in the second half of the 2017/18 campaign for the Steelmen, forming a formidable part of the defence that reached the Scottish Cup final and achieved a club record 20 clean sheets.

    During his first stint, Aldred ranked as the top defender outside of Celtic players for defensive duels won, winning 33% of his challenges.

    “We’re delighted to welcome Tom back to the club,” ‘Well boss Stephen Robinson added.

    “When Cédric Kipré left for Wigan late last week, we immediately turned to Tom.

    “He knows the club, the supporters and the majority of the players, so we hope he can transition in fairly quickly.”

  • First team

    In Numbers: Preparing for the derby

    In Numbers: Preparing for the derby

    The first home fixture of the season pits the Steelmen against local rivals Hamilton in the Ladbrokes Premiership. 

    Here are some key numbers and stats you need to know ahead of the first Lanarkshire Derby of the 2018/19 campaign.

    17

    The number of cards shown by a referee in the meetings between ‘Well and Accies last season.

    16 of those were yellows, with a perfect split of eight apiece shown to both the Steelmen and Accies.

    Peter Hartley picked up the only red card between the two last term, in an off-the-ball incident during the Hogmanay encounter.

    Three

    The consecutive run of games Motherwell have gone without conceding a goal at Fir Park.

    That run started with a 3-0 victory over Hamilton, in the final home fixture of the 2017/18 campaign.

    Since then, Stephen Robinson’s side haven’t had to pick the ball out of the net on their own turf.

    264

    The combined number of goals Motherwell have scored against Hamilton, dating back to the first encounter between the two back in 1888.

    The two rivals have met on 145 occasions, meaning the Steelmen have averaged 1.8 goals per game in the derby.

    One

    Hamilton’s solitary goal scored is the only difference between the two clubs ahead of Saturday’s encounter.

    Both ‘Well and Accies have the same goal difference, which piles added incentive on to both sides in the second game of the season.

  • First team

    Hartley: Win the battle, win the derby

    Hartley: Win the battle, win the derby

    From joining on deadline day a year ago to becoming captain and spending almost six months on the sidelines in between, Peter Hartley has had a rollercoaster time at Fir Park already.

    Now back at the forefront of the action and back at the heart of the defence, the 30-year-old is leading a team where expectations have risen after a fantastic 2017/18 campaign.

    After coming through the Betfred Cup group stage this season undefeated, an opening league defeat to Hibernian had the potential to knock the team back, but Hartley says nobody is concerned and the weekend’s result is already consigned to history.

    “Obviously nobody likes a defeat but it’s done and dusted,” he said. “Obviously it’s not nice stuff but it’s three points gone, and it’s only three points, and you move on.

    “Regardless of losing three goals, we also had chances and maybe we could have got something on a different day.

    “We have to keep perspective. Especially with the injuries we had and the players missing for whatever reason.

    “But we also know that the expectation levels are higher. Those are expectations we’ve earned as a team because of what we did last year, and we know the fans might expect more.

    “Obviously in the dressing room we have targets and then we got off to a start which wasn’t the best. But our mindset doesn’t change. You go out wanting to win but you come out of it knowing that sometimes you don’t, but you always keep the mindset going forward that any game is winnable.

    “Let’s be realistic also. We know the season isn’t going to be determined by one result.”

    Having made his move to ML1 permanent in January, and becoming an overnight internet star with his signing video, Hartley suffered a setback with a foot injury which ruled him out of the remainder of the campaign.

    The road back to fitness had its ups and downs but the Englishman says he’s feeling almost back to his old self.

    “In the first few weeks, I’d say I was quite leggy, just getting back up to speed in terms of the way our team plays,” he explained. “We do a lot of running and there’s a lot of physical play. I feel like I’m getting up to top speed now. I am improving every game and I can feel the progression.

    “There have been times I can feel little bits of frustration. There’s peaks and troughs, and it’s all about how you deal with it mentally. I’ve learned with experience not to get too frustrated, just keep doing what I do and it’ll come, and not expect too much too soon.

    “It’s a cliche but it’s true – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got 38 games to play. You can’t expect to hit the ground running every game. I’m just trying to just get myself back to the standard I know I can set.”

    Taking over the captaincy in the summer from close friend Carl McHugh could have been a difficult situation for a player to be in. But with the situation handled with care, and his team-mate fully behind his replacement after taking his own decision to stand down, Hartley says there’s been no noticeable adjustments in the dressing room.

    “I haven’t changed anything personally,” he explained. “I’m quite natural with the way I do things anyway. I’m not going to change because I’ve got a responsibility. I felt like I had that responsibility anyway last season being part of the group, so i’ll just keep doing what I do.

    “We’ve got a lot of people in the dressing room that anyone can speak to. We’ve got a good team with leaders and experience players. It’s a great group and there’s been no transition period for me.

    “It’s been easy. Especially with Carl and how everything has been handled. I’ve been in dressing rooms before where there can be resentment when changes like this happen. But it’s honestly been great and the dressing room dynamic hasn’t changed at all.”

    Hartley is fond of a derby clash, taking the game with Hamilton in particular as one that requires a mentality that you’re in an all-or-nothing clash from the off.

    “When you play Hamilton, the team that generally wins the battle wins the derby. You seen it last season when we beat them three times and then got beat twice. You’ve got to try and get the first goal and you’ve got to win your battles.

    “As players know that it in a derby, you have to play as a team. If you go out as individuals, you’re going to get smashed to pieces.

    “We have to have a high tempo but also keep it simple. We haven’t conceded at home yet this season and we’ve won all our games, so we’ve set a standard that Fir Park is a hard place to come.

    We can already see that across the league, everyone is making improvements. The standard of of the so-called big teams in this league has just gone through the roof. You see improvements at Hibs, at Celtic, at Rangers, at Aberdeen.

    “I think the standards have been raised again and then it falls to us. We can’t stand still. Everything we have done this summer tells you we know we won’t settle for it. We’ve got to keep moving forward and improve ourselves as a team, and we know we’re capable of it.”

    Now back at the forefront of the action and back at the heart of the defence, the 30-year-old is leading a team where expectations have risen after a fantastic 2017/18 campaign.

    After coming through the Betfred Cup group stage this season undefeated, an opening league defeat to Hibernian had the potential to knock the team back, but Hartley says nobody is concerned and the weekend’s result is already consigned to history.

    “Obviously nobody likes a defeat but it’s done and dusted,” he said. “Obviously it’s not nice stuff but it’s three points gone, and it’s only three points, and you move on.

    “Regardless of losing three goals, we also had chances and maybe we could have got something on a different day.

    “We have to keep perspective. Especially with the injuries we had and the players missing for whatever reason.

    “But we also know that the expectation levels are higher. Those are expectations we’ve earned as a team because of what we did last year, and we know the fans might expect more

    “Obviously in the dressing room we have targets and then we got off to a start which wasn’t the best. But our mindset doesn’t change. You go out wanting to win but you come out of it knowing that sometimes you don’t, but you always keep the mindset going forward that any game is winnable.

    “Let’s be realistic also. We know the season isn’t going to be determined by one result.”

    Having made his move to ML1 permanent in January, and becoming an overnight internet star with his signing video, Hartley suffered a setback with a foot injury which ruled him out of the remainder of the campaign.

    The road back to fitness had its ups and downs but the Englishman says he’s feeling almost back to his old self.

    “In the first few weeks, I’d say I was quite leggy, just getting back up to speed in terms of the way our team plays,” he explained. “We do a lot of running and there’s a lot of physical play. I feel like I’m getting up to top speed now. I am improving every game and I can feel the progression.

    “There have been times I can feel little bits of frustration. There’s peaks and troughs, and it’s all about how you deal with it mentally. I’ve learned with experience not to get too frustrated, just keep doing what I do and it’ll come, and not expect too much too soon.

    “It’s a cliche but it’s true – it’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got 38 games to play. You can’t expect to hit the ground running every game. I’m just trying to just get myself back to the standard I know I can set.”

    Taking over the captaincy in the summer from close friend Carl McHugh could have been a difficult situation for a player to be in. But with the situation handled with care, and his team-mate fully behind his replacement after taking his own decision to stand down, Hartley says there’s been no noticeable adjustments in the dressing room.

    “I haven’t changed anything personally,” he explained. “I’m quite natural with the way I do things anyway. I’m not going to change because I’ve got a responsibility. I felt like I had that responsibility anyway last season being part of the group, so i’ll just keep doing what I do.

    “We’ve got a lot of people in the dressing room that anyone can speak to. We’ve got a good team with leaders and experience players. It’s a great group and there’s been no transition period for me.

    “It’s been easy. Especially with Carl and how everything has been handled. I’ve been in dressing rooms before where there can be resentment when changes like this happen. But it’s honestly been great and the dressing room dynamic hasn’t changed at all.”

    Hartley is fond of a derby clash, taking the game with Hamilton in particular as one that requires a mentality that you’re in an all-or-nothing clash from the off.

    “When you play Hamilton, the team that generally wins the battle wins the game. You seen it last season when we beat them three times and then got beat twice. You’ve got to try and get the first goal and you’ve got to win your battles.

    “As players know that it in a derby, you have to play as a team. If you go out as individuals, you’re going to get smashed to pieces.

    “We have to have a high tempo but also keep it simple. We haven’t conceded at home yet this season and we’ve won all our games, so we’ve set a standard that Fir Park is a hard place to come.

    We can already see that across the league, everyone is making improvements. The standard of of the so-called big teams in this league has just gone through the roof. You see improvements at Hibs, at Celtic, at Rangers, at Aberdeen.

    “I think the standards have been raised again and then it falls to us. We can’t stand still. Everything we have done this summer tells you we know we won’t settle for it. We’ve got to keep moving forward and improve ourselves as a team, and we know we’re capable of it.”

  • First team

    A coffee and a chat with Keith Lasley

    Ahead of the Lanarkshire derby, Keith Lasley sat down to discuss the week ahead in the first interview in our new coffee chat feature.

    The assistant boss touches on what can be learned from the opening day defeat at Hibs, and how the team plan to try and bounce back in their first home league fixture of the campaign.

    Our interview was filmed at the Windmills Cafe in Motherwell.

    Windmills is a social enterprise cafe in the heart of Motherwell which is committed to ensuring young people with learning disabilities have equal access to meaningful work experience opportunities. For more information, visit Windmills Cafe’s website.

  • Well Society

    Bid for player dressing room boards

    Bid for player dressing room boards

    Want to get your hands on a unique piece of Motherwell FC memorabilia?

    The Well Society are selling a number of dressing room boards the players would see when they came in for match in the 2017/18 season, which have all been signed by the relevant player.

    The boards available include those used in the home changing room at Fir Park, and also a selection of bespoke ones from our William Hill Scottish Cup final.

    Bidding on boards starts at between £45 and £50 per board. Remember, all money raised will be doubled through the Well Society scheme, meaning additional funds to benefit the club.

    The list of the available boards is below. These are available through the Well Society’s eBay page.

    Available boards

    Richard Tait (Scottish Cup)

    George Newell

    Carl McHugh (Scottish Cup)

    Charles Dunne

    Cédric Kipre (Scottish Cup)

    Liam Grimshaw (Scottish Cup)

    Elliott Frear

    Peter Hartley (Scottish Cup)

    Craig Tanner

    Richard Tait

    Carl McHugh

    Liam Grimshaw

    Gael Bigirimana

    Trevor Carson

    Chris Cadden

    Steven Hammell

    Andy Rose

    Andy Rose (Scottish Cup)

    George Newell (Scottish Cup)

    David Turnbull (Scottish Cup)

    Louis Moult

    Ryan Bowman

  • Club

    Get your tickets for the derby

    Get your tickets for the derby

    The first Lanarkshire derby of the season sees Motherwell host Hamilton Academical on Saturday, 11 August.

    Stephen Robinson’s men hold the bragging rights after victory towards the end of the 2017/18 campaign and are looking to bounce back from the disappointment of defeat on the opening day at Hibernian.

    You can buy your tickets online right now. Adult tickets are priced at £24, and you can bring up to two kids along with you for just an extra £4.

    Concession tickets cost £17. Prices apply to those aged 60 and over, 16-18 year olds and full-time students with a valid matriculation card.

    Children aged 15 and under can also get in for £3, if our family pricing doesn’t apply.

  • Reserves & Under 18s

    Loan Watch: Four make their league bow

    Loan Watch: Four make their league bow

    All four Motherwell loanees made their first league appearances for their respective clubs at the weekend.

    Midfielder Ross MacLean got amongst the goals as Morton drew 2-2 with Queen of the South at Cappielow.

    The goal had a real Motherwell flavor to it as well, as the 21-year-old picked up a through pass from former ‘Well striker Bob McHugh and slotted past Alan Martin, another Fir Park alumni.

    That put Ray McKinnon’s side 2-0 ahead, but Queens fought back in the second half to earn a share of the spoils.

    Jake Hastie was again named in the starting team for Alloa as they faced the long trip north to take on Ross County in Dingwall.

    Jim Goodwin’s side held tight for the majority of the match, but were stung late on when Davis Keilor-Dunn netted the winner in the dying moments.

    Staying in the Championship, Shea Gordon was also named in the starting XI for Partick Thistle’s defeat to Ayr United at Somerset Park.

    The Jags fell victim to the red-hot Lawrence Shankland, whose early brace ensure Ian McCall’s men got their league campaign off to the best possible start.

    Neil McLaughlin got 82 minutes as Stirling Albion lost 1-0 to Berwick Rangers at Shielfield.

    The youngster was unlucky not to get amongst the goals, a 37th minute effort coming back off the frame of the goal, only for Ross Brown’s second half effort to win it for the Borderers.

    Image: Ross Cameron

  • Women

    Women return to action with a win

    Women return to action with a win

    Motherwell’s women’s team marked their return to action following the summer break with a 2-1 victory over St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park.

    Megan Burns lashed home the winning goal after 62 minutes to clinch a crucial three points and steer the women of steel closer to the SWPL2 title.

    ‘Well started the game brightly and, having passed up a handful of good scoring opportunities, opened the scoring after 12 minutes. Sammy Hare found space in the box, before firing the ball high beyond Corrie McIlravey-Davidson in the Saints goal.

    It was just reward for Motherwell’s bright opening to the game and there would be further chances for Suzanne Mulvey and Hare, before the hosts levelled against the run of play. A fluent counter attack ended with Rebecca McGowan’s superb shot into the top corner.

    The second half began at a much slower pace, with chances at at a premium. But it would be Eddie Wolecki Black’s side who would restore their advantage.

    Mulvey laid the ball to Burns, who demonstrated excellent close control before blasting a trademark effort into the roof of the net.

    Kirsty McLaughlin struck the crossbar as Motherwell tried to add to their lead, but the final stages would be somewhat nervy as Saints pushed to get back on terms for the second time in the match.

    It appeared that both teams were tiring, with the effects of the summer break clearly taking its toll, but the visitors’ defence held firm to secure the victory.

    Attentions after the match turned to the action at Rugby Park, where Kilmarnock secured a late win against Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale, meaning the gap at the top remains 13 points with seven games remaining.

    The two sides meet at Rugby Park on Sunday 19 August – an encounter where a Motherwell victory would move them within two points of securing the league title.

    Next up for the ladies is a meeting with Aberdeen in the last 16 of the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup on Sunday, 12 August. Kick off at the Aberdeen Sports Village is 3pm.

  • First team

    The story of the match at Hibernian

    Our opening Ladbrokes Premiership fixture ended in defeat, as the Steelmen lost out 3-0 to Hibernian.

    Despite having a host of chances to get back in the game in the second half, Stephen Robinson’s men were unable to reduce the deficit.