Latest News

  • Club

    Statement on VAR decision against Aberdeen

  • First team

    Davor Zdravkovski // Getting stuck in

  • First team

    Sam Nicholson: Home Sweet Home

  • First team

    Taken out of our hands // Motherwell 0-1 Aberdeen

  • First team

    March international preview

  • Women

    Hamilton 0-4 Motherwell: Victory in the Lanarkshire Derby

  • First team

    Motherwell 0-1 Aberdeen

  • First team

    Stuart Kettlewell reacts to Aberdeen defeat

  • Well Society

    Heritage Matters

  • First team

    Bevis Mugabi ahead of Aberdeen

  • Club

    Statement on VAR decision against Aberdeen

    Statement on VAR decision against Aberdeen

    Following the events at our match against Aberdeen on Saturday, the club have written and submitted a video package to the SFA seeking an explanation on the rule regarding incidences of handball in the lead up play prior to a goal being scored.

    On the 28 October 2023, Eamonn Brophy opened the scoring goal in a match against Motherwell at Fir Park.

    In the build up to the goal, Victor Loturi handled the ball before playing the ball to Brophy who went on to score. We were informed after the match, by the Fourth Official, that due to Loturi not scoring the goal, and the handball not being deliberate, the goal was allowed to stand.

    The IFAB rule states:

    “Accidental handball that leads to a team-mate scoring a goal or having a goal-scoring opportunity will no longer be considered an offence.”

    In our match against Aberdeen on Saturday, Lennon Miller scored what we believed was an equalising goal. The on-field decision by referee Willie Collum was to award the goal however, after a lengthy VAR check by Steven McLean, the referee was advised to go the VAR monitor.

    After reviewing the goal, the on-field decision was reversed due to a handball in the build up by Theo Bair. The explanation we received for this decision was that as Theo’s hand was outstretched and high, it was a deliberate handball and therefore the goal was ruled out.

    This was different from the decision in the Ross County game as the “handball was deemed to be non penalisable as the ball rebounded onto the player’s arm. This is despite the handball occurring when the hand is well above the player’s head and changing the direction the ball is travelling.

    Whilst we do accept that all decisions, particularly in relation to handball, are subjective, we are baffled as to how anyone can conclude Theo’s handball is deliberate when the ball only glances his shoulder as he attempts to head it. It also had no impact on the next phase of play when the goal was scored.

    We also do not believe this incident meets the “clear and obvious” error threshold that all clubs’ signed up to when VAR was introduced, at a significant cost to each club.

    We were then further disappointed at the decision not to award a penalty kick near the end of the match when the ball clearly hits Graeme Shinnie’s arm in the penalty area. We were advised that as the ball had ricocheted off another defender prior to impact, it could not be deemed to be deliberate, despite his arm being outstretched.

    We fully understand that individual decisions made during games will always be open to interpretation and that it is unlikely that universal consensus will ever be reached.  We are however concerned that rules are being interpreted differently, even during the same game, there is a high level of inconsistency in decision making and that the threshold for VAR intervention appears to be moving. There is also the issue that no-one in the stadium has any idea why the goal has been ruled out.

    We are aware from the recent SFA announcement and from interaction with SPFL officials that a full review of VAR is ongoing and we have had input into that process. There are many potential consequences of some of these decisions, but we are most concerned that the inconsistency of decision making, regular lengthy VAR interventions during most games and lack of any clarity on why decisions have been made, is having a serious impact on fans’ enjoyment of the game.

    The feedback we receive from our own fans on VAR is almost entirely negative and, if given a choice, we believe most would vote to no longer have it in use. It’s actually not easy to find anyone who either participates in football or watches it who is happy with the current position.

    We look forward to the output from the review and how the required improvements will be implemented.

  • First team

    Davor Zdravkovski // Getting stuck in

    Born in Skopje, North Macedonia, Davor Zdravkovski arrived from Cyprus having lifted silverware and being on the cusp of his international debut. 

    However, it wasn’t the flying start to life in Scotland that he would have wanted and the centre midfielder has to wait and be patient in the wings. The time came when he was called upon and the 26-year-old hasn’t looked back since.

    Keeping his place in the team and impressing those in the stands, he may be small in stature but he has the heart of a lion. Showing a no fear attitude, Zdravkovski has become known for his ability to win possession back for his team, get stuck into a tackle and show strength against players over a much bigger size.

  • First team

    Sam Nicholson: Home Sweet Home

    Sam Nicholson: Home Sweet Home

    It’s not often in 2024 that a player signs for a club under the radar and gives supporters a nice surprise, but for Sam Nicholson, that was firmly the case.

    Motherwell fans welcomed Nicholson with open arms, as the former Hearts man was a familiar name to many. Alongside an early support from ‘Well fans, fans of Nicholson’s previous employers were also wading in with support.

    Colorado Rapids and Hearts supporters were all pleased to see a player with a spot on attitude and a willingness to work, find a new home. That feeling of being wanted is a great start to life at a new club but for Nicholson, the most perfect start of all was getting off the mark in his new club colours.

    “It was really difficult to get to a level of fitness where I could play,” Nicholson admitted.

    “There had been so many games and the Livingston match was the first game where I was allowed to start. I was looking forward to it and it was simply a relief to get off the mark.

    “It was my first start in six months, on the astro, so we were all thinking I would play an hour or so. I felt alright so played longer, I did start to tire towards the end of the match but it was good.

    “The coaching staff have been great with me. We’ve done a lot of stuff after training to get the fitness up. As a player, you want to just play every game but they’ve been smart about it, basically saying I would hurt myself if I went in too soon.”

    When you look at Nicholson’s previous clubs and career to date, it would be fair to say, it’s a very unique list of clubs. Born and raised in Edinburgh, he started out with Hearts in the Gorgie, something that he holds very close to his heart.

    “Coming through at Hearts was difficult because it’s known for having a good youth system, so you’re always trying to get ahead of someone else,” Nicholson said.

    “There were times when I thought they would release me but they were very patient with me. I’m not a built boy, as you can see, and there were times when they weren’t playing me. But, they would say it’s because even though I had ability, they just wanted to nurture me.

    “Everyone knows of the financial difficulties the club went through but that was the year I broke through, and it definitely helped me.

    “To a Hearts fan, looking at me, it’s sort of one of your own in a way. It’s obviously nice to hear the compliments. I enjoyed my time there and I hold great memories. It was a dream but I think on the other hand, it’s really important for me to say how much I love it here. Like, I’m really enjoying it.”

    Not many can say they moved from Hearts to Minnesota, but Sam Nicholson is one who can say just that. An obscure move on paper, Nicholson reckons it’s one he would always have jumped at.

    “Minnesota was a strange one,” Nicholson reminisced.

    “I feel like when you come through a youth system in Scotland, you’re told to do this and do that but when America became an option, I thought, I didn’t want to not go and then regret it. Because sometimes, that offer may never come again.

    “The thought was simply, why not be different. I don’t need to take the same route as everyone else.

    “My family are rogue as it is. My brother was in the armed forces and navy. He left home when he was just 16. My mum and dad have moved about. My family are like, if it feels right, just do it!

    “You’ve got to experience as many things as you can. I really enjoyed the lifestyle out there.”

    After a spell with Minnesota, Nicholson moved to pastures new with Colorado Rapids, where just by its location, there were immediate difficulties.

    “The fans at Colorado were loyal, they stuck by the team through a lot of tough times,” Nicholson explained.

    “You’re over 5000 feet above sea level. Right now, we train at roughly sea level. So you’re used to having so much oxygen in your system. But over there, oxygen is limited.

    “You could go up a set of stairs and begin to struggle breathing. Sometimes, you’d play 90 minutes and just chase the ball. It gets difficult. It’s hard to get fit because you’re tired every two minutes.

    “At half-time, they used to allow you to use oxygen tanks. Everyone would use them because they couldn’t breathe.

    “The day-to-day is different, your travel is different, you’re travelling a couple of days before a game, experiencing different states. It’s really eye opening.”

    Having tasted, and breathed, the American lifestyle, Nicholson made a return back to the UK in 2020 with Bristol Rovers.

    “I had a good season there in terms of goals and assists,” Nicholson added.

    “We played Rochdale and there were like 3500 travelling fans. A three-and-a-half hour drive but they were there. The owner was great too. He was constantly speaking to the players.

    “I came back as my dad, at the time, wasn’t well so I wanted to be closer to home.

    “After a year, he was fine so I was like, perfect! I can go back to America. I felt like I hadn’t quite finished in America yet. I still enjoyed living there but, when I was at Bristol, there was an essence of wanting to come back to Scotland. I just had my little boy and we thought, whilst he was still young, we should enjoy living away before he gets settled somewhere.”

    But, it’s not just the better weather, relaxed lifestyle and bigger stadiums that are an attractive asset for the MLS, coming up against some of the best players on the planet is also a selling point. But Nicholson experienced how tricky it can be coming up against those types of players.

    “Zlatan Ibrahimovic was up there,” Nicholson laughed.

    “Carlos Vela, when he was on form, was untouchable. But, Bastian Schweinsteiger was the best I came up against because I had to man mark him. I couldn’t get near him. I got told to stay on him but anytime I got near, he’d just pop things off me. I just shook my head.

    “Rooney was always unreal when he was out there. These older players have still got it, that’s the thing. Some think they’re finished but they’ve played at the highest level, Zlatan went to AC Milan when he left!”

  • First team

    Taken out of our hands // Motherwell 0-1 Aberdeen

    The mood was high in the Motherwell camp after their last outing, a 2-1 win over Rangers at Ibrox. But the focus shifted quickly to the next challenge and that was Aberdeen at Fir Park.

    In a game that was huge for both sides, it was the visitors who got off the mark after Clarkson slotted home when the ball fortunately fell to the midfielder off the post.

    Motherwell created openings with Nicholson and Casey going close but, it would appear they drew level through Lennon Miller. The 17-year-old knocked the ball goal-wards and it eventually found it’s way over the line. However, in a bizarre turn of events, VAR recommended an review at the monitor after they judged Theo Bair to have handled the ball. Despite the striker not scoring the goal, the rules of the game seemed to be ignored and the goal was ruled out.

    The second period saw Bair, Halliday and Spittal all have chances but they couldn’t convert.

    In stoppage time, Shinnie seemed to have handled the ball in the area but despite a VAR review, the penalty wasn’t awarded and Motherwell left the game empty handed.

  • First team

    March international preview

    March international preview

    We have six players away on international duty this month, across the world. 

    Liam Kelly

    Liam Kelly was one of four goalkeepers named by Steve Clarke ahead of two international friendlies this month.

    Fighting against Angus Gunn, Zander Clark and Craig Gordon for a spot between the sticks, Scotland travel to the Netherlands on Friday 22 March. Kick off is at 7.45pm at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

    Scotland then return home for a home friendly match against Northern Ireland at Hampden on Tuesday 26 March. Kick off is 7.45pm.

    The two friendly matches provide Steve Clarke with a final look at players ahead of his next squad selection, which is for the Euros in Germany.

    Bevis Mugabi

    Having cemented his position in the heart of the defence in the last few games for Motherwell, Mugabi earned another call up for the Cranes as Uganda have two matches.

    They will be based in Morocco and are in action twice.

    First up, is a friendly against Comoros at Stade de Marrakech on Friday 22 March. Kick off is 9pm.

    Mugabi and the Cranes will then round off this camp with a match against Ghana at Stade de Marrakech on Tuesday 26 March. Kick off for that one is 4pm.

    These matches will provide preparation for Uganda under new coach Paul Put, ahead of qualifiers in the summer.

    Theo Bair

    He made no secret of wanting to return to the Canadian setup when arrived at Motherwell in August, but after a four year absence, Bair was called up by his country.

    It doesn’t get much bigger for Canada also, as they face Trinidad and Tobago in the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League Playoff.

    The match takes place on Saturday 23 March at 8pm in Texas. The winner of the match will earn a spot in the CONCACAF tournament this summer. Should they progress to the tournament, they will be in Group A alongside Argentina, Peru and Chile. Canada would open the tournament against Argentina.

    Canada are aiming to qualify for the Copa America for the first time.

    Davor Zdravkovski

    Another player who had hoped to work his way back into the international fold, Davor Zdravkovksi is back in the North Macedonia squad for the first time since September.

    The midfielder has become a regular starter for Stuart Kettlewell and has caught the eye of his national side.

    North Macedonia have a training camp based in Turkey, where they will be in friendly action twice.

    They will face Moldova first on Friday 22 March at 2.30pm at the Mardan Sports Complex. Montenegro will be the opponents for their second match on Monday 25 March a the Mardan Sports Complex. Kick off is 5pm.

    Should Zdravkovski play, he will earn his first cap for his country. Having not qualified for the Euros in Germany, North Macedonia will have another round of friendlies in June ahead of kicking off their Nations League campaign this September. They are in Group C alongside Armenia, Latvia and Faroe Islands.

    Lennon Miller

    Scotland’s Under 19 side are off to Italy for to kick off their UEFA Euro Under 19 qualifying campaign.

    In Group E, Scotland will face all three of their group rivals Italy, Georgia and Czech Republic, with all games taking place at Stadio G. Teghil. It’s Italy up first on Wednesday 20 March at 2pm.

    It’s an 11am start against Georgia on Saturday 23 March before rounding off the qualifiers against Czech Republic on Tuesday 26 March at 1.30pm.

    The finals take place in Northern Ireland this summer, with the seven group winners qualifying for the finals.

    Adam Devine

    Adam Devine and Scotland’s Under 21’s have just the one match during this international window.

    Kazakhstan travel to Paisley to face Scot Gemmill’s side in a EURO Under 21 qualifier. Five games into the group matches, Scotland are currently in second place. With three wins from their first five matches, they are 10 points, three off the top.

    The match takes place Thursday 21 March at 7pm, at the SMiSA Stadium.

  • Women

    Hamilton 0-4 Motherwell: Victory in the Lanarkshire Derby

    Hamilton 0-4 Motherwell: Victory in the Lanarkshire Derby

    A rampant first-half display over local-rivals Hamilton ensured that the women of steel secured their second Lanarkshire Derby triumph of the 2023/24 SWPL campaign at a rainswept New Douglas Park.

    Louisa Boyes continued her exceptional recent goalscoring pedigree, rifling a low-shot beyond the reach of the Accies goalkeeper to fire the visitors into the ascendency within the opening phases of play. Lifelong Well supporter Amy Anderson punished the hosts defensive complacency shortly before the half-hour mark, prodding home Katie Rice’s whipped corner-kick.

    Morgan Cross made it three less than 10-minutes later, with Bailley Collins rounding off a complete first-half performance soon after, netting a decisive fourth before the break.

    Head Coach Paul Brownlie made three changes from the comprehensive four-goal victory over Spartans in the Scottish capital over a fortnight ago. Amy Anderson and Katie Rice both returned to the starting XI, with recent acquisition Brooke Nunn making her first competitive start since joining the club on loan from Hibernian.

    Determined to overcome their recent derby day frustrations, Motherwell started firmly on the front foot, with the breakthrough coming within the opening phases of play. Nunn skilfully worked her way past her marker with ease before teeing up teammate Boyes at the edge of the penalty area, and the midfielder accurately netted her third SWPL goal in the past two games, drilling a low-strike beyond the reach of the Hamilton keeper.

    The on-loan Hibernian winger continued to cause the hosts problems, shifting the ball through the Hamilton backline before curling a precise effort across the face of goal, but the Accies stopper reacted well to parry Nunn’s attempt beyond the reach of Cross.

    Motherwell’s persistence was soon rewarded, with Anderson escaping her marker to latch onto Rice’s whipped corner-kick, and the experienced midfielder calmly doubled the women of steel’s advantage with an accurate close-range finish.

    Motherwell continued to threaten the Hamilton defence, with Nunn finding space on the left before clipping an audacious 20-yard through ball to Kayla Jardine who coasted to the byline before teeing up Cross, who converted from close-range.

    The fourth and final goal of the afternoon came shortly before the break, with Nunn again the provider, cutting in from the left and picking out Jardine at the edge of the penalty area, before eventually falling to the feet of Collins, who fired an accurate strike into the top-right corner.

    The women of steel remain six-points behind nearest league rivals Aberdeen in seventh, with the two sides set to meet in East Kilbride at the end of the month.

  • First team

    Motherwell 0-1 Aberdeen

    Motherwell 0-1 Aberdeen

    Motherwell’s optimistic route to the top-six was left undermined, with a frustrating display over Aberdeen distancing the Steelmen from Hibernian in sixth-place, as the visitors secured the three points at a rainswept Fir Park in a game overshadowed by refereeing inconsistency.

    Leighton Clarkson fired the Dons ahead with the only goal of the contest midway through the first-half, latching onto the ball deep inside the Motherwell penalty area after Bojan Miovski’s close-range effort rattled the near post, with the midfielder placing the rebounded effort beyond the reach of Liam Kelly in the Motherwell goal.

    Manager Stuart Kettlewell made one change from the historic victory over Rangers at Ibrox last weekend, with Sam Nicholson retuning to the starting XI and Davor Zdravkovski settling for a place on the bench.

    Motherwell struggled to find their rhythm in the opening phases of play, with misplaced passes for both sides the key theme in the opening 15-minutes. Theo Bair sought to tee up teammate and strike-partner Jack Vale after breaking through the high Aberdeen backline, but the forward lost his footing as he attempted to find the Welshman in the visiting six-yard-box.

    Skipper Liam Kelly was called into action moments later, with Miovski threatening the Motherwell defence with a powerful effort from the left-hand side of the box, but the Scotland international reacted superbly to parry the North Macedonian’s effort over the crossbar.

    The decisive goal came midway through the first-half, with Clarkson reacting quickest to prod home Miovski’s drilled strike that ricocheted kindly off the post to the feet of the 22-year-old.

    Lennon Miller restored Motherwell’s momentum shortly before the break, with a precise finish into the bottom-left corner, but the celebrations were drawn to a close, as following consultation with VAR; referee Willie Collum ruled against the equaliser for a suspected handball.

    Motherwell rallied in the dying stages of the game in the desperate attempt to salvage a late equaliser, and looked destined to receive a spot-kick after the ball ricocheted off the arm of Graeme Shinne in a clear unnatural position, but despite briefly stopping play, the full-time whistle was blown in a frustrating and disappointing afternoon for the Steelmen.


  • First team

    Stuart Kettlewell reacts to Aberdeen defeat

    Stuart Kettlewell gives his reaction to the 0-1 defeat to Aberdeen

    • Nobody gets pass marks
    • Baffling refereeing decisions
    • International break
  • Well Society

    Heritage Matters

    Heritage Matters

    “Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generationsOur cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration.” (UNESCO)

    Many of you may recall that in 2016 Motherwell fans received questionnaires to collect their views on what a Club heritage project might look like. And now we’re looking to update that with a special event in April to collate thoughts and gauge interest in such a project.

    The key findings from the 2016 questionnaire were:

    • 100% of respondents thought the heritage of Motherwell Football Club is either very important (78%) or important (22%) to the local community
    • 100% of respondents agreed that the heritage of Motherwell Football Club should be collected, preserved and made available to the community and future generations
    • 85% of respondents would like to see a permanent exhibition of the Club’s heritage at Fir Park;
    • 62% would like to see a Heritage Trail at Fir Park.

    So much has changed since then.

    But one thing remains the same. A desire to develop a vision for all things ‘Heritage’.

    Over the past year or so, building on studies undertaken pre-pandemic, a volunteer Heritage Working Group has been tasked with assessing the feasibility of establishing a range of ‘heritage experiences’ throughout Fir Park Stadium.

    Why does our heritage matter?

    Brian McCafferty from the Working Group explains: “Most families have a heritage; a sense of our identity bound by stories from generations past and present – inherited possessions, photographs, and artefacts that can shape the hopes and aspirations for new arrivals.

    “So too with a football club like ours. For many fans, our club is a part of our family, and a cornerstone of our local community, in which we take great pride.”

    Many clubs at home and abroad have developed a variety of projects to curate, record, preserve and celebrate their history, making their heritage accessible to people far and wide.

    “We have the opportunity to follow suit, preserve what we have – physical objects, documents, films, original records – and keep these safe for future generations,” added Brian.

    Football heritage is not just limited to artefacts. It also includes knowledge and understanding passed from generation to generation, such as tales from memorable matches, players’ performances as well as identifying common themes that have prevailed throughout the Club’s long history.

    Heritage working group

    In response to the key findings of the questionnaires and extensive research, including from home and abroad, the group has now developed an outline concept plan of what might be possible.

    Brian concludes: “Before setting anything in stone, we’ll seek input from Well Society members, fans and other stakeholders and their views will inform a more detailed concept plan for further consultation.”

    Initially, an evening event is being proposed, hopefully in April where the group will present their design ideas and take-in suggestions. The bar will also be open. Watch out for further news on this.

  • First team

    Bevis Mugabi ahead of Aberdeen

    Bevis Mugabi is happy to have made his family proud once again by being named in the Ugandan national side for their matches later this month. 

    The centre-back, who claims this has been a good run of games personally for him, says the team are looking after themselves, game by game, in the season run in.