The manager speaks as Motherwell defeat the Dons 2-0 in the cinch Premiership.
- First team
Manager reacts to win over AberdeenSaturday 11 September 2021
- First team
Motherwell 2-0 AberdeenSaturday 11 September 2021
Motherwell made it three consecutive cinch Premiership league wins to climb above Aberdeen and leave the Fir Park fans celebrating a tremendous win.
Kevin van Veen’s headed goal midway through the first half gave ‘Well a lead to defend.
Despite the Dons dominating possession and with Liam Kelly defiant, the game was settled just before the hour mark when Juhani Ojala headed home his first ‘Well goal.
Most recent signing Norwegian Sondre Solholm Johansen made his debut alongside Finnish internationalist Ojala, with Uganda internationalist Bevis Mugabi and Nathan McGinley forming a back four.
There was a new look about both teams following summer signings and the first time Stephen Glass and Graham Alexander have come face to face as managers.
It was also a first return to Fir Park for Declan Gallagher had the first chance after 13 minutes when he got his head to Ross McCrorie’s free-kick but the former ‘Well captain directed the ball wide of Liam Kelly’s goal.
Ten minutes later the Fir Park ‘keeper was tested. Calvin Ramsay’s cross found Marley Watkins unmarked six yards in front of goal. He only managed to head the ball straight at Kelly who palmed the ball down before bravely smothering the ball at the striker’s feet.
The Dons almost paid for that miss after 25 minutes when Tony Watt nodded Mark O’Hara’s corner down and wide of goal.
A minute later, though, the home side found the target.
Watt was clipped by McCrorie as they chased a long through ball but referee John Beaton gave ‘Well the advantage.
Kaiyne Woolery made the most of it whipping the ball to the back of the six-yard box where van Veen stooped to head home his second goal of the season.
Unlucky to find themselves behind, Aberdeen had a quick opportunity to draw level but from an angle, Lewis Ferguson’s powerful drive was palmed over his crossbar by Kelly.
The Motherwell ‘keeper was a busy man up until the interval as Dons pressed for an equaliser.
Eight minutes from the break Kelly firmly held the ball after Ramsay finished his jinking run with a fine shot on goal.
The Dons’ full-back was again on target minutes later with a thumping drive which rebounded from Kelly’s chest only to watch Watkins scoop the ball over the bar, before an assistant’s flag was raised for offside.
Despite Aberdeen’s possession and pressure around the home goal, the Fir Park defenders held firm to protect their narrow lead until the interval.
The pattern of play continued after the break and Kelly had to look lively to twice denied efforts from Marley Watkins.
Then in the 59th minute and very much against the run of play ‘Well doubled their lead. Mark O’Hara’s slipped his free-kick wide to van Veen which allowed the Dutchman to deliver a tempting cross into the six-yard box.
Mugabi and Ojala both towered to claim it but it was the Finn who powered his header home via the underside of the bar to celebrate his first Motherwell goal.
It was nearly 3-0 two minutes later when Joe Lewis had to backtrack to scoop van Veen’s cross-cum-shot from under his crossbar and then watch as Liam Grimshaw forced the ball over the bar.
Another speedy break and low delivery from Woolery just evaded Watt and van Veen as shell shocked Dons almost fell further behind.
After that Motherwell held on comfortably as the Dons ran out of ideas.
Motherwell: Kelly, Mugabi, Ojala, Solholm, McGinley, Slattery, O’Hara, Grimshaw, Watt (Maguire), Woolery (Lamie), Van Veen (Goss).
Subs: Fox,,Donnelly, Amaluzor, Shields.
Win a match worn shirt to raise money for SAMH and Chris’s HouseSaturday 11 September 2021
To mark World Suicide Prevention Day, our match with Aberdeen will see Tony Watt wear a special one-off jersey.
The message “speak up, speak out, be heard” will be emblazoned on the chest of his shirt in the cinch Premiership match at Fir Park.
We want to raise money for SAMH, Scotland’s mental health charity, and Chris’s House, the centre for help, response and intervention surrounding suicide.
To do so, we’re raffling off Tony’s match worn shirt from the game. All money raised will be donated.
To enter, please make a donation to our JustGiving page. A winner will be chosen at random.
- First team
Watch a live stream of Motherwell v AberdeenSaturday 11 September 2021
Motherwell v Aberdeen is available to buy on pay-per-view to fans in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland.
To buy for £12, head to ppv.motherwellfc.co.uk.
Please note that due to UEFA restrictions, this game is not purchasable if you are in England.
If you’re a season ticket holder who cannot make the match, you can still watch a live stream for free at live.motherwellfc.co.uk.
International viewers can watch through our subscription service at live.motherwellfc.co.uk. Packages start at as little as £12.50 per month to watch all 38 cinch Premiership fixtures.
- First team
Meet SolSaturday 11 September 2021
Sondre Solholm Johansen isn’t your typical Motherwell player.
Not just in the sense that he is only the second Norwegian to represent the club, but he is also mates with Lewis Hamilton. Well, for three minutes at least.
A quick swipe through Sondre’s Instagram profile to the month of February 2020 will show a picture of himself with the Formula One superstar at a Puma ambassador event, where Sondre describes Hamilton as his “new gym buddy”.
“Lewis was so humble,” Sol – as he is referred to by his team-mates – recalls.
“As part of my contract with Puma, I get to attend these cool yearly events and he was there.
“I was sent as an ambassador from Norway. I also went with Todd Cantwell from Norwich City.
“I tried to suck out as much information as I could in the two or three minutes I had with Lewis because he’s a plant-based athlete and so am I.
“I’ve been plant-based for two years now, but I wanted to get info on how you perform at his level when you don’t eat meat.”
Starting off on a vegan diet mainly for ethical and environmental reasons, our new Norwegian centre-back was keen to see what it would enhance in his performance.
But what Sol noticed instantly was a major improvement when it came to getting a good kip.
“My sleep quality is so good,” Sol says. “For the first six months my sleep was amazing.
“It’s hard to tell the difference because I felt good before, but I just wanted to try something new and I know it’s something I can do.
“The most difficult thing is getting enough protein, but I got some help from my doctor and found out some supplements.
“I try to do the things that are best for my body to perform at a high level and it works for me, but I don’t want to be the weirdo who bothers the [club] chef at lunch.
“My girlfriend and I do it together. It’s much easier when there’s two of you. I don’t have to be alone with it.”
Sol doesn’t miss anything specifically from a standard diet, but – like the rest of us – it is hard to fight that urge at the end of a night out.
“I never crave anything,” he says. “But the part I slip the most is when I’m out drinking and going for a snack on the way home. At least I won’t remember it the next day anyway…”
While Sol was tapping into Hamilton’s plant-based wisdom, the seven-time F1 world champion wanted some knowledge in exchange.
Hamilton was “curious” about Sol’s homeland, as they struck another common interest in a brief chat.
“He loves his snowboarding and skiing,” Sol, who is also keen on his winter sports, adds.
“He has always wanted to go to Norway to do it so I just tried to give him some tips, but I don’t know if he remembers…”
The big Norwegian is still in a part of the world that is cold enough for snow and ice, but resorts are few and far between – unless Braehead counts…?
Regardless, skiing and snowboarding probably isn’t something that is advised for footballers, and Sol doesn’t think the manager would be too happy if anything went wrong on the slopes.
“I was an active downhill skier when I was a kid, but it’s not the most convenient when you’re a football player,” he says.
“If I fall and tell the gaffer I was out skiing, I don’t think that’s going to be a valid reason.
“Every time I go to the mountains I try to go skiing or snowboarding, but I make sure I try to stay safe.”
Away from the snow and plants, Sol describes himself as a “hybrid” on the grass.
One half of him is an old-school defender who will throw his body on the line, but the other is comfortable with the modern-day demands of being able to handle the ball at his feet.
“I’ve heard it’s quite direct here, that suits my style,” Sol adds. “I love defending to my own goal. The 18-yard box is my area.
“But I was brought up to be a central midfielder and didn’t become a centre-back until I was 16, so I’m very comfortable using the ball.”
The 26-year-old demonstrated those skills across a four-year spell at Norwegian side Mjondalen, where he has spent the last two seasons playing top-flight football.
Sol’s performances caught the interest of a number of clubs, and he was in fact close to penning a deal with another side before Motherwell’s interest instantly grabbed his attention.
It has been the defender’s dream to play outside his country, and the opportunity to come to Fir Park simply too good to turn down.
Not only was plying his trade in Scotland’s top flight a huge selling point, but also the fact he will be representing a club with “good core values” who “take care of their own”.
“The furthest I’ve lived away from my childhood home is 20 minutes,” Sol says. “This is a big change for me, but it is a dream come true already.
“I feel like this is the right step for me. If I’m being honest, from the first phone call with my agent I was sold. He didn’t have to make a sales pitch, I had my bags packed when he called.
“We were about to sign with another club in Norway, but we put that on hold for Motherwell.
“The first thing I did was go on YouTube. I was sitting on it for three weeks straight. The fans seemed so crazy, but it also seems like such a well-run club that take care of the community and the society around it.
“That’s something I appreciate and feel I can be a part of. I saw the video with Bevis, when he went out to a family and gave them the free tickets. That touched me.”
Sol quickly wants to show the fans he is on the “same standings” as them.
Take another swipe down his Instagram profile to December 2019 and you will see a picture of the Norweigan centre-back celebrating with the Mjondalen support in nothing but a pair of boxer shorts and a can of lager.
Antics like that with the Well Bois in the John Hunter Stand will quickly have the big man endeared as a Fir Park favourite.
“I like to show I’m not more important than the fans,” Sol says. “I don’t think too highly of myself or take myself too seriously.
“I play with my heart on my sleeve, but I have a smile on my face. I like to try to communicate with the fans, the referee and put the striker off his game. I always try to have a good time.
“We do this because it’s fun. I hope they see that I enjoy playing in front of them and I’ll do everything I can for the team and the club.”
Courtney Whyte signs for MotherwellFriday 10 September 2021
Motherwell have signed Courtney Whyte from Queen’s Park.
The 23-year-old centre half signs with the claret and amber, after turning out for the Spiders at the start of this season.
The defender has ample amount of international experience at youth level and will come in and fight for a place in the starting 11.
“I’ve worked with Courtney on many different levels, both at club and national level,” manager Paul Brownlie said.
“Courtney will add experience and quality to this team. She has played with Glasgow City and Celtic so she understands the demands.
“Courtney will be very flexible within the team and can play in several positions. I am delighted to get her on board.”
Whyte will wear the number 30 shirt this season for the women of steel.
Olivia Potter included in Scotland Under 17s squadFriday 10 September 2021
Olivia Potter has been included in the Scotland Under 17s squad for their next UEFA Women’s Under 17 Championship qualifiers.
The Motherwell midfielder is in the selection for three games being held in the Netherlands.
The national team face the Dutch first on 29 September at 7pm, before taking on the Czech Republic on 2 October at 1pm.
The camp is rounded off with a game against Slovenia on 5 October at 7pm, as the team look to progress to the Elite Round stage.
- First team
Manager looks ahead to AberdeenFriday 10 September 2021
Graham Alexander previews the return to league action at Fir Park.
Paige McAllister signsFriday 10 September 2021
Motherwell have added 18-year-old centre half Paige McAllister to the squad.
The young defender initially comes in on loan from Celtic, with her move becoming permanent when her contract expires at the end of the year.
As well as featuring with Celtic, Paige wason loan with SWPL1 side Hearts last season, gaining valuable experience in the top flight.
She has represented Scotland at various youth levels and has scored for the national team against Northern Ireland back in 2019.
“We wanted to add more quality to our back four,” head coach Paul Brownlie said.
“Paige was someone we wanted to bring in when we first arrived at the club, so to get it done now is great.
“Paige will bring many good attributes to the team. She’s still young in her journey but she’ll add quality to the squad.”
McAllister will wear the number 66 shirt this season.
“I am looking forward to working with Paul, all the staff and the players,” she added.
“I can’t wait to get started as everyone has made me feel really welcome.”
Get your tickets for our Hall of Fame eventThursday 09 September 2021
Our Hall of Fame will welcome its new inductees in a special event in November.
Taking place at the Bothwell Bridge Hotel on Saturday 13 November, the event will induct the classes of 2020 and 2021.
The event is priced at £50+VAT for adults and £24+VAT for children aged under 12.
The remaining two from 2020 will be revealed shortly, as well as the other five inductees for 2021.