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  • First team

    Previewing Motherwell v Hamilton Academical

  • First team

    Need to Know: A look at Hamilton Accies

  • First team

    Manager expects response in derby

  • Club

    Get in early for Hamilton derby

  • Women

    Montgomery gets Northern Ireland call

  • Women

    Johnston says women can mirror cup success

  • First team

    Scene setter: 2018/19’s first Lanarkshire derby

  • First team

    Motherwell recruit defender Christian Mbulu

  • First team

    Aldred thrilled to be back

  • First team

    Tom Aldred returns to Motherwell

  • First team

    Previewing Motherwell v Hamilton Academical

    Previewing Motherwell v Hamilton Academical

    Hamilton Academical are the visitors on Saturday in the first Lanarkshire derby of the 2018/19 campaign.

    Kick off at Fir Park is at 3pm.

    The first game with your new season card

    If you’ve bought your season ticket for the 2018/19 campaign, Saturday’s game is the first time you’ll get to use your new card to gain access to Fir Park.

    You won’t notice too much of a difference. Just approach the turnstile as normal and the operator will scan your card to get you in, as opposed to the old system of taking the voucher from your book.

    If you’re yet to collect your season ticket, there will be a collection point in operation at the Chapman Building office on Saturday before the game.

    You can print a match ticket at home

    If you haven’t got a season ticket, you’ve got options. You can turn up and pay at the gate as normal if you prefer, or you can buy your ticket online right now and print it off at home.

    In the Phil O’Donnell, Davie Cooper and South stands, you can get in for £24 if you’re an adult, £17 for concessions, £3 for Under 15s and £28 for a combined ticket for one adult and two children.

    If you want to watch the game from the John Hunter stand, it’s £20 for adults, £16 for concessions, £3 for Under 15s and £25 for a combined ticket for one adult and two children.

    Concession prices apply to those aged 60 and over, 16-18 year olds and full-time students with a valid matriculation card.

    Hamilton fans will be based in the lower tier of the south stand.

    Team news

    Charles Dunne, Ryan Bowman and Craig Tanner remain on the sidelines long term. Tom Aldred trained for the first time on Friday and will be in contention for the game.

    Further reading
  • First team

    Need to Know: A look at Hamilton Accies

    Need to Know: A look at Hamilton Accies

    Hamilton Academical provide the first league opposition at Fir Park in the 2018/19 campaign.

    Accies make the short trip across the River Clyde to Motherwell for the first Lanarkshire derby of the campaign, perhaps feeling a little hard done to with the result last weekend against Hearts, but knowing a win will kickstart their season.

    A BUSY SUMMER

    A lot of Scottish clubs are now all too familiar with a high turnover of players during the summer transfer window and Accies are no different. June, July and August has seen 11 players recruited so far, with more expected between now and the close of the window.

    There is a mix of familiar faces with the return of Ziggy Gordon from the Polish league and some that are less well known, but arrive with a pedigree, such as Delphin Tshiembe, who joined after a successful spell in the Danish top league.

    THE TOP END OF THE PITCH

    Accies will rely on the pace and power they have in the forward areas to do damage on derby day. Rakish Bingham and Mickel Miller lead the line last weekend against Hearts at the Hope CBD Stadium and could do so again at Fir Park on Saturday.

    Norwich City loanee Mason Broomfield could also be in contention for a starting berth in the visitor’s attack.

    CONTINUITY IN MANAGEMENT

    Whilst their playing squad changes as regularly as almost every other club, where Hamilton excel is unswerving loyalty to their management staff. Owner and chairman Ronnie McDonald and his board have never been trigger-happy when it comes to the head coach, with Martin Canning having been in post for just short of four years.

    Indeed, Accies have only had three permanent managers in the last 13 years. By comparison, ‘Well have had nine.

    THE ACCIES MODEL

    Accies are proud of what they see is their model, which is the production and development of young players. Over the years, they have stayed true to that philosophy, even if has cost them their spot in the top league.

    People often cite James McCarthy and James McArthur, both there are other more recent examples like Stephen Hendrie, Ali Crawford, Mikey Devlin, Lewis Ferguson and Greg Docherty have all made their mark.

    DERBY DAY UNPREDICTABILITY

    Historically Motherwell have had the upper hand when the teams meet, the Steelmen haven’t lost in 104 of the 145 games. But Hamilton’s impressive recent top flight run has also brought about far more unpredictability when it comes to the Lanarkshire derby.

    In the 17 matches since promotion in 2014, ‘Well have won seven fixtures between the pair, with Accies victorious six times. There have been four draws.

  • First team

    Manager expects response in derby

    Stephen Robinson expects a response from his Motherwell side in the Lanarkshire derby on Saturday.

    With both sides coming in to the fixture hungry for three points, the manager says his side have to rise to the occasion in the first derby of the season.

  • Club

    Get in early for Hamilton derby

    Get in early for Hamilton derby

    Supporters are advised to arrive slightly earlier than normal for the first Ladbrokes Premiership home match of the season against Hamilton Academical.

    A good crowd is expected at Fir Park and our new season card entry system will be in operation.

    While it is not anticipated that there will be any slowing down of entry to the ground as we get used to the new system, we ask that you arrive slightly earlier to ensure that entry to the ground for everyone runs smoothly.

    Please remember to bring your season card to the game. If you have purchased tickets or have a print at home ticket, please double check it has a barcode printed on it, which will be scanned at the gate.

    If you’re yet to collect your season ticket, there will be a collection point in operation at the Chapman Building office on Saturday before the game.

  • Women

    Montgomery gets Northern Ireland call

    Montgomery gets Northern Ireland call

    Kerry Montgomery has been selected for Northern Ireland squad for their forthcoming World Cup qualifying double header against the Republic of Ireland and Slovakia.

    Montgomery, 30, joined ‘Well ahead of the 2018 campaign and has already bagged four goals in eight stars for the women of steel.

    The nine-times capped midfielder has been included in Alfie Wylie’s squad to face the Republic at the Tallaght Stadium in Dublin on Friday, 31 August, before heading back across the border to face the Slovaks at Shamrock Park, Portadown on Tuesday 4 September.

  • Women

    Johnston says women can mirror cup success

    Johnston says women can mirror cup success

    Motherwell Ladies defender Niamh Johnston believes the women of steel can mirror their male counterparts’ success in cup competitions this season.

    Eddie Wolecki Black’s side travel to Aberdeen on Sunday, as they aim to book their place in the quarter finals of the SSE Scottish Women’s Cup.

    Having seen Stephen Robinson guide the men to both the League Cup and Scottish Cup finals last season, Johnston is determined for the ladies to continue the trend.

    “It’s quite bizarre when you look at it, we are almost replicating the success of the men’s team,” she said. “I think it would be fair to say that due to their cup runs the men enjoyed one of the best seasons in their modern history and we are looking to mirror that success.

    “We’ve enjoyed a really successful league campaign so far, but as a footballer you love playing in cup competitions. I remember saying after the Rangers game in the League Cup back in February that I felt we just needed a few more weeks of working together to be at the level required – we’ve had that in abundance now.

    “We’re not going to get too ahead of ourselves, but we know when you get into the latter stages of a cup then anything can happen, our focus is firmly on beating Aberdeen and making sure we are in the draw for the last eight.”

    Motherwell returned to action last Sunday with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at St Johnstone. Despite moving another three points closer to the SWPL2 title, Johnston admits the players weren’t satisfied at the performance and now aim to put matters right against the Dons.

    “I think on Sunday a lot of us came into the dressing room after the game as if it had been a loss or a draw,” she added. “We had to look at the positives though, we came away with the three points, it was always going to be difficult and there was always going to be a bit of rust.

    “Tensions got pretty high on the park and that’s because we expect so much of ourselves, but it’s important to remember a lot of football is about momentum and it will take a few games for us to get back into our stride.

    “It’s also important to keep in mind that several our squad work full time and the break was an opportunity for some of them to go on their summer holidays – so even though we’ve been worked very hard in the past few weeks, that momentum has been broken up a little bit.”

    The two meetings between Motherwell and Aberdeen this season have been hugely contrasting. ‘Well cruised to a 6-0 victory in the clash at Braidhurst before a fiery 1-1 draw at the Aberdeen Sports Village in June in which three players in claret and amber saw red.

    Johnston, who served a two-match ban following her dismissal that day, admits it was a game that she struggled to get over, but insists the only focus on Sunday is reaching the last eight.

    “It took about a week to recover from the last Aberdeen game, it’s one that I will never forget,” Johnston reflected. “I think we must remember that we came away from it with a draw at a difficult venue, I’ve been up there with both Celtic and Rangers and never has it been easy to come away with a positive result.

    “We aren’t going their looking for revenge, we’ll remain professional having prepared well and looked at both meetings with Aberdeen this season, all our attentions are on reaching the next round.”

  • First team

    Scene setter: 2018/19’s first Lanarkshire derby

    Scene setter: 2018/19’s first Lanarkshire derby

    The first Lanarkshire derby of the season takes place on Saturday as Motherwell host Hamilton at Fir Park.

    The Steelmen play host for the first time in the Ladbrokes Premiership this campaign, having kicked off the season at Hibernian last week.

    A solid home record

    Motherwell have played two home games so far in 2018/19 in the Betfred Cup, racking up seven goals and keeping two clean sheets.

    A 5-0 win over Edinburgh City was followed up with a 2-0 victory against Queen of the South, as progression to the knockout stage was secured.

    Hamilton’s mixed results

    Accies, meanwhile, have endured a up and down start to the season. A 1-0 defeat at Annan Athletic started the campaign off, before a 0-0 draw with Livingston.

    Martin Canning’s side clicked into gear away at Berwick Rangers in their third match, with Mikel Miller bagging a hat-trick in a 4-0 win, before they were eliminated from the Betfred Cup after a 1-1 home draw with Airdrieonians.

    Both with points to prove

    Hamilton’s first league match of the season ended in a 4-1 home defeat to an impressive Hearts side, while Stephen Robinson’s men went down 3-0 at Hibernian.

    Both teams, however, showed their capabilities in flashes. Hamilton earned praise for their performance early on at home, while the ‘Well were impressive in the final 30 minutes at Easter Road, with Danny Johnson having a number of chances to get back in the game.

    Head to head

    There were five Lanarkshire derbies in the 2018/19 campaign, with Motherwell edging things with three wins and two defeats.

    The last encounter came towards the tail end of last season, when Nadir Ciftci bagged a double and the returning Tom Aldred scored in a comfortable 3-0 victory.

  • First team

    Motherwell recruit defender Christian Mbulu

    Christian Mbulu is the latest summer signing at Motherwell Football Club.

    The defender has joined after impressing during a short training stint at Fir Park, penning a deal until the end of the season.

    The 22-year-old will initially form part of Stephen Craigan’s young reserve group, but manager Stephen Robinson is hopeful he will push for a first team spot given time.

    “I’m excited, it’s a good platform for me to play some games,” Mbulu said as he signed on.

    “The manager told me how previous defenders who have been here have done, and how they have developed. So it’s a great opportunity for me to come here and try and realise my potential.”

    Mbulu was last with Millwall, leaving the English Championship club in the summer. Signed from Brentwood Town in 2015, he also spent time on loan in the National League with Braintree Town in 2017, making three appearances.

    Powerful and pacy, the London-born player was regularly involved in matchday squads with the Lions during the 2017/18 season.

    “I’m pleased to have Christian on board,” manager Robinson said. “He’s shown already what he’s capable of and, given time to settle and develop, I fully expect to see him pushing for first team contention.

    “He played in a reserve bounce game against Dundee during the week and he really impressed, so we are excited to see what he is capable of.”

  • 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.”