The Motherwell boss talks the season opener, recruitment plans and positivity going into the weekend’s cinch Premiership opener.
- First team
Manager looks ahead to HibernianFriday 30 July 2021
- First team
Stephen O’Donnell named new Motherwell captainFriday 30 July 2021
Stephen O’Donnell is the new captain of Motherwell Football Club.
The local boy officially takes over the armband from the departed Declan Gallagher, having already skippered the team through the Premier Sports Cup group stage.
An influential member of Graham Alexander’s squad, the Scotland international defender joined Motherwell in the summer of 2020.
Goalkeeper Liam Kelly will serve as vice-captain.
“Stephen stepped in as captain on several occasions last season and I saw enough then to know he was ready to lead my team,” the manager said.
“He’s a great example to everyone on the training pitch, how professional he is off it, and how much he wants to win every day.
“His performances have matched that, and along with Liam Kelly as vice-captain and the other leaders within our squad, he will set the standard of what we require from our players every day.”
- First team
Juhani Ojala signs for MotherwellThursday 29 July 2021
Juhani Ojala has joined Motherwell.
The experienced Finnish international centre-back has signed a two-year deal, subject to international clearance.
Capped 22 times for his country, Ojala arrives from Danish top flight side Vejle.
“We’re delighted to finally get Juhani on board after a while waiting for his work permit,” manager Graham Alexander said.
“After first speaking with him, I thought he was exactly the type of player and character we need at our club.
“He’s captained his country and demonstrated what a good player and leader he is at a very good level.
“He was really excited about the opportunity to join us and we look forward to seeing him integrate into the squad. I’m certain he will be an excellent signing for us.”
The central defender has also plied his trade in his homeland, as well as venturing to Switzerland at Young Boys, Russia with Terek Grozny and Sweden at Hacken.
Subject to clearance, Ojala will be in contention for Sunday’s cinch Premiership opener with Hibernian and will wear the number 14 shirt.
- First team
Next up: HibernianThursday 29 July 2021
The cinch Premiership season starts on Sunday, with Hibernian the visitors to Fir Park.
Up to 4,500 Motherwell fans will be in Fir Park for the match, as our capacity continues to increase in time for the beginning of the league campaign.
Kick-off is at 4.30pm.
Coming to Fir Park
Season ticket holders should now have received their match ticket by email.
If yours has not arrived by Thursday evening, please complete this form and we’ll fix it.
Tickets are also available on general sale on a first-come, first-served basis and a maximum of four tickets per purchase.
You can get yours by calling 01698 333333 or by visiting the ticket office at Fir Park.
The ticket office will be open until 5pm on Thursday, from 9am to 4pm on Friday and from 12pm until kick-off on Sunday.
Some fans have had issues adding their ticket to the wallet on their phones.
If this happens to you, please open the Print at Home document attached to your ticket email and have it open on your phone. We will be able to scan the barcode from that.
If you have a ticket and cannot make the match, please let us know ASAP by filling out this form. This will allow us to potentially pass your ticket to a fan who missed out in the ballot.
The Cooper Bar is open for pre-match food and drink from 2pm until one hour after full-time.
If you can’t make the match, there’s three options.
If you’re in the UK/Ireland, the game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports.
If you’re a season ticket holder who cannot make the game, you can watch for free at https://live.motherwellfc.co.uk.
Abroad, you can sign up to our live streaming service and get every game – home and away – from as little as £12.50 a month.
Tale of the tape
The last encounter between the two sides came in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals last season.
Hibernian held a 2-0 lead with eight minutes to go, only for Ricki Lamie and Tony Watt to level the tie and take it to extra-time.
Motherwell had their chances to seal it but it ultimately went all the way to penalties, with the Edinburgh side prevailing.
The Steelmen won the last league encounter between the two sides in February, with goals from Jordan Roberts and Devante Cole sealing a 2-0 away win.
Motherwell made it three competitive wins from four with victory over Annan Athletic at the weekend.
That sent the Steelmen through to the knockout stage of the Premier Sports Cup, where they’ll face Dundee.
Hibs will have had two competitive games under their belt prior to Sunday, with their UEFA Europa Conference League qualifying campaign underway.
A 3-0 home win over Andorran side FC Santa Coloma last week has set up a cushion for their away trip on Thursday.
In pre-season friendlies, Jack Ross’ men defeated Civil Service Strollers before a loss to Accrington Stanley, a draw with Stoke City and then a win over Arsenal at Easter Road, followed by victory over Raith Rovers.
- First team
Hibernian tickets now on general saleThursday 29 July 2021
Tickets for our cinch Premiership opener with Hibernian are now on general sale.
Available on a first-come, first-served basis and a maximum of four tickets per purchase, you can get yours by calling 01698 333333 or by visiting the ticket office at Fir Park.
Our ticket office is open:
- 9am until 5pm on Thursday.
- 9am until 4pm on Friday.
- From 12pm until kick-off at 4.30pm on Sunday.
Season ticket holders will receive their ticket for the match by email. If yours has not arrived by Thursday evening, please complete this form and we’ll fix it.
Victory over Kilmarnock in friendlyWednesday 28 July 2021
Motherwell made a real statement of intent as they beat Kilmarnock 6-0 in a friendly on Wednesday night.
A double from Kodie Hay, and strikes from Leanne Crichton, Amy Anderson, Claire Adams and Chelsie Watson gave Motherwell their first pre-season victory.
It was a tight affair for the first 10 minutes in the match with Kilmarnock striking the post.
However the breakthrough would come from the claret and amber on 17 minutes.
Lori Gardner showed some excellent work on the left wing before setting up Hay to slot home for her first goal of the evening.
Hay would get her brace just six minutes later. Picking up the ball up from 25 yards out, she blasted a strike past the Kilmarnock keeper for hers and Motherwell’s second goal of the evening.
Assistant manager Crichton would open her account for Motherwell from the penalty spot on 39 minutes.
Captain Gill Inglis ran the length of the park beating a number of defenders before being brought down in the box. Crichton stepped up and slotted home in the bottom right corner.
Motherwell made it four right from the restart, with Gardner again turning provider. She laid off for Anderson, who jinked by one player to smash home for her first goal in the claret and amber.
The dominance continued in the second half.
On 50 minutes, Adams picked up the ball, flicked it up into the air for Crichton to flick back to her, as she hit it sweetly on the volley for number five.
Then, on the hour mark, Watson stood over a free-kick after Adams was caught heavy in the tackle. She went up and over the wall to make it 6-0 and round off a comfortable evening.
- Reserves & Under 18s
Introducing the next generationTuesday 27 July 2021
Having racked up over 550 appearances as a player for Motherwell, Steven Hammell is now charged with overseeing the next influx of young talent making their way in the professional game at the club.
The academy director speaks about this year’s new intake, what they will learn and the pathway for youngsters to first team football.
Claire Crosbie signs for MotherwellTuesday 27 July 2021
Motherwell have signed centre-back Claire Crosbie.
The veteran defender has turned out for Celtic and had multiple spells with Spartans in her career which spans more than 12 years.
“Claire is a vastly experienced centre half who we worked hard behind the scenes to bring to Motherwell,” head coach Paul Brownlie said.
“She has played at the top level and can use that experience to help push us on this season.
“She will bring so much to this team and is another big signing for the club.”
Crosbie made her debut back in 2009 and will be looking to use all her knowledge in the game to push on her teammates this season.
“I’m really excited and looking forward to a new challenge under Paul and Leanne,” the player added.
“It’s a real honour to be part of something special and I can’t wait to use my experience to help us achieve a successful season this year.”
Joining the Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland schemeTuesday 27 July 2021
Motherwell FC and Motherwell Community Trust have become the latest Lanarkshire organisations to join the new Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland (BFS) scheme.
With the support of NHS Lanarkshire, they will help to promote, support and protect the rights of mothers who want to breastfeed in public places.
The BFS scheme is being rolled out nationally by the Scottish Government. It will replace, and build on the success of, NHS Lanarkshire’s former breastfeeding welcome initiative.
Lanarkshire currently reports some of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Scotland. Around half (50.3%) of mothers breastfeed at birth, dropping to less than one in three (30.4%) after 6-8 weeks.
A contributing factor can be that women feel inhibited to breastfeed outside the home, especially new mothers whose babies were born during lockdown, who might not be confident feeding while out and about.
In Scotland, babies are protected by law to be fed anywhere, and it is an offence to prevent a baby being fed in a public place.
Wherever families see the Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland logo and signage, they know that staff are aware of their obligation under the law, and they can be assured of an extra warm welcome. Membership of the scheme demonstrates a business understands and accommodates the needs of breastfeeding families.
AnneMarie Bruce, Infant Feeding Development Midwife at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “The NHS encourages responsive parenting and feeding, so our primary focus is to ensure that mothers and babies have the support they need, regardless of how they feed.
“UNICEF Babyfriendly found that 80% of women stopped breastfeeding before they wanted to. In Lanarkshire, our breastfeeding rates are currently below the national average and we want to normalise breastfeeding and create a supportive culture. We hope that by promoting safe environments for breastfeeding outside the home through the BFS Scheme, more women will feel comfortable and will continue to breastfeed for as long as they want.”
Dawn Middleton, general manager of the Motherwell FC Community Trust, added: “The Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland Scheme is an important initiative and we hope that more organisations sign up to support women in feeling comfortable when breastfeeding in the community.
“As a club with a largely male audience, we hope that our involvement in this initiative will encourage men to be supportive of their breastfeeding partners, family members, and friends, and to help foster a supportive environment in general when in public spaces.”
Businesses interested in joining the BFS Scheme can receive more information by contacting BreastfeedingFriendlyScotlandLanarkshire@lanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk.
Kodie Hay signs on at MotherwellTuesday 27 July 2021
Motherwell have secured the signature of Kodie Hay for another season.
The midfielder played a huge part in our season last time out and will add to the team’s attacking threat.
“I am delighted Kodie has committed herself to the club for another season,” head coach Paul Brownlie said.
“Kodie provides a real attacking threat with real energy and quality on the ball that can cause teams problems.
“I’m looking forward to working with her this season.”