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  • Archive

    Enjoy the Europa League in style

  • Archive

    Hollis grateful for Fir Park deal

  • Archive

    Coke departs for Owls

  • Archive

    Randolph eyes number one jersey

  • Archive

    ‘Well swoop for Charlton goalkeeper

  • Archive

    Pre-season training

  • Archive

    Brown banking on Reynolds cash

  • Archive

    Craigan prepared for first day trials

  • Archive

    Youth team start at Hibs

  • Archive

    So it begins again…

  • Archive

    Enjoy the Europa League in style

    ‘Well return to action on July 15th and we have a fantastic offer for fans wishing to enjoy the match in style in the Centenary Suite.

    For only £59, you can enjoy a delicious three course meal, served with our house wine, in the comfort of our recently renovated Centenary Suite. 

    One of our summer signing is hospitality partners En Croute Caterering; this will be an ideal opportunity for you to come along and sample our new and improved menu. 

    ‘Well top European goalscorer Stevie Kirk will entertain you with stories from past adventures as well as give you the team news before anyone else in the ground.  Fellow legend Dougie Arnott will pour you a pint and enjoy a chat with you at the bar.

    As well as access to our exclusive pay bar facility both pre and post match, you’ll get treated to some excellent half-time food and a complimentary matchday programme and teamsheet. 

    For more information or to book your table, contact Diane or Wilma on 01698 338008 or email commercial@motherwellfc.co.uk

  • Archive

    Hollis grateful for Fir Park deal

    Lee Hollis is delighted to be preparing for the new season but regrets that a host of his former teammates are on the scrapheap.

    The 24-year-old was part of the Airdrie squad that was completely culled following their relegation to the third tier of Scottish Football last May.

    Hollis got lucky, his former mentor and current goalkeeping coach Stewart Kerr, remembered him and was quick to offer him the chance to shine across the county.

    And whilst the Bellshill-born stopper is thrilled to still be in the game, he can’t help but feel for her some of his friends still seeking employment.

    “It was a relief to get my future sorted but a few of my mates from Airdrie haven’t got a club yet,” he said.

    “I am in touch with a lot of the boys; I text some of the young lads on a daily basis so obviously I feel sorry for the ones in that situation. A lot of us have only known football so trying to get a job can be a daunting task.

    “Hopefully they will get something. You do think what you would do outside the game and I’ve done a bit of personal training which I quite enjoy. It was a difficult time at Airdrie, sad really, but that is the way it goes. I don’t know if anyone saw it coming.

    “There were one or two issues through the season but our wages were always paid. It is hard to run a football club in the current climate. There is not a lot of money about so you can’t blame them. I would have left regardless of what happened.

    “There were a few options open to me, mostly in Scotland, but I just kept myself ticking over and this opportunity came up. I’m happy I’m here.

    “I knew a few months before the end of the season that I wanted to go. It wasn’t so much to do with the cuts. I was at Airdrie for seven years so it was time for a change. I didn’t play as much as I had hoped because of the magnificent form of Stephen Robertson.

    “I got to play in a few big games towards the end of the season. And although we lost in the play-offs I thought I did okay.

    “Motherwell appealed to me because they are a big club who do well in the SPL.

    “They also have Stewart Kerr whom I worked with a few years ago at Airdrie. That was a factor too. He is spot on, a great coach. I look forward to working with him again.

    “When he came to the club it was in the back of my mind he might put a word in for me but nothing is certain so I was expecting anything.”

    The goalkeeping situation is one of the healthiest at the club. Along with fellow recruit Darren Randolph, Michael Fraser is still at the club and the Under 19’s have three keepers in Tom Bradley, Shaun Thomson and Willie Muir.

    Hollis is prepared to fight for his place and admitted he is desperate to be involved in the European arena – with Well set to face Icelandic side Breidablik in the Europa League.

    Hollis said: “My goal now is just to work as hard as I can and hopefully get a chance to really go for it.

    “Before the league even starts we have Europe and that is a real bonus. I have never been involved there before so that will be new.

    “I have been to European games. I was on trial at Livingston a few years ago when they played FC Vaduz and when I was a young boy I went to games at Ibrox – AEK Athens sticks out.

    “I saw bits and pieces of Ruddy last season and he is a great goalkeeper. But I will just work as hard as I can and see where it takes me.

    “I hope the pressure I experienced in the play-off games with Airdrie can help me at Motherwell.”

  • Archive

    Coke departs for Owls

    Motherwell FC can today confirm Giles Coke has left the club to join League One side Sheffield Wednesday.

    The 24-year-old arrived at Fir Park last summer on a short-term deal from Northampton and enjoyed a good first season in Scotland.

    But despite the offer of an extended contract, the Londoner has opted to move back down south and has signed a three-year deal with Wednesday.

    ‘Well boss Craig Brown said, “We were hopeful Giles would stay on but respect his decision to move on.

    “He had a good year up here and the move has helped his career. He’s a good player and I am sure he’ll go on to be a big player for Wednesday next season.”

    Coke himself was sad to be leaving but insisted the lure of the English game was too much.

    “I loved my time at Motherwell and I would like to thank the club and the fans for the year I enjoyed up there,” he said.

    “Motherwell offered me a really good deal but the attraction of moving to a club like Sheffield Wednesday was too much for me to turn down.

    “I want to wish Motherwell the very best of luck in the future and I’ll always look out for the results.”

    Everyone at the club would like to thank Giles for his contribution whilst at Fir Park and wish him every success in his future career.

  • Archive

    Randolph eyes number one jersey

    New signing Darren Randolph has told motherwellfc.co.uk that games are his number one priority in the up-coming season.

    The former Republic of Ireland U21 International has spent the last few years as an understudy at Charlton, only winning a regular place in the push for promotion at the tail end of last season.

    But the move north of the border could prove a launch pad for the highly rated keeper and he wants to re-pay the faith the Steelmen have shown in him with performances that help ‘Well to yet another successful campaign in 2010/11.

    “My biggest aspiration is obviously first-team football,” he admitted.

    “I am now at the stage of my career where I need to be playing week in and week out and I am hopeful I can do that here.

    “I also want to repay Motherwell FC, Craig Brown and Stewart Kerr for having the faith in me. I do that by putting in as many good performances as possible and push Motherwell as far up the table as possible and progress through the various Cup competitions we are in, including the Europa League.”

    The move north was one Randolph didn’t spend too much time thinking about, despite the fact he has played his entire career in England.

    The lure of European football was great and now that he has signed on the dotted line at Fir Park, the first task is to get up to speed with the rest of the players.

    He said: “The decision to come here very made very quickly, indeed, the second I found out the club were interested I immediately wanted the move to happen.

    “The SPL is a good league with good players and good teams and the Motherwell’s involvement in the Europa League were all factors. It’s amazing to think I will go from League One in England to playing in Europe; it’s all very different but I am looking forward to the challenge.

    “I finished the season strongly at Charlton and I want to keep that same form going into the season at Motherwell. The lads who have been here last season were all on very stringent plans to keep them in shape given how quickly competitive games are coming around so I will have to work hard to get up to speed quickly.

    “I want to use this move as the basis for the rest of my career. Things really start for me now – this is my time to shine and I hope to take it.”

  • Archive

    ‘Well swoop for Charlton goalkeeper

    Motherwell FC have today completed the signing of former Republic of Ireland U21 International goalkeeper Darren Randolph.

    Randolph, 23, has been at the Valley for the last five years but has had several spells out on loan, appearing for Hereford, Bury, Gillingham and Accrington Stanley.

    During that period, he has also appeared for Republic of Ireland at U17, U18, U19 level as well as ten caps for the U21s and one ‘B’ cap.

    He made his debut for the Addicks against Liverpool at Anfield when the London club were playing in the Premiership. He has found first-team football hard to come by, however, towards the end of last season he finally took over as Charlton’s number one and kept five clean sheets in the last nine matches of the season.

    His contract expired with Charlton at the end of June, making him a free agent, and utilising cross-border transfer rules, he has switched to Fir Park on a three-year-deal.

    Motherwell boss Craig Brown said, “Things have moved very quickly over the last 24-hours and we’re delighted to have Darren on board.

    “Anyone we’ve spoke to about him has gave us rave reviews so we’re pleased he is here. He’ll compete against Lee Hollis for the number one spot and that’s healthy competition to have.”

    Chief Executive Leeann Dempster added, “This is another example of us working towards our strategy of identifying and securing young, talented players to long-term contracts.

    “We hope Darren will be a massive success here.”

  • Archive

    Pre-season training

    The first-team squad were back on the training pitch today and our friends at SNS were there to capture the best of the action.

    [svgallery name=”training290610″]

  • Archive

    Brown banking on Reynolds cash

    Craig Brown has admitted losing talented defender Mark Reynolds may be his only hope of adding more faces to the squad.

    The Motherwell boss today confirmed he has a budget for an additional goalkeeper and striker, but anything over and above that may only be possible with the sale of Reynolds.

    With the financial situation, perpetuated by the demise of Setanta, really starting to bite in Scotland, every club have to cut their cloth accordingly.

    And Brown knows that although it would be a wrench to lose Reynolds, who has interested a host of clubs south of the border, he could only wish him well after this honest approach with the club.

    “Mark wants to progress his career and he has been very good to Motherwell,” said the Fir Park boss.

    “He was an ever-present and missed just one game in the last two seasons, the last game of last season at Ibrox.

    “Mark Reynolds deserves the best move he can get and the club is supportive of his move because it would benefit the club financially but also because it would benefit Mark and he has been such a good servant here.

    “But we have not had one official enquiry to the club for him. His agent is working on it. We would lose a terrific player but it would give us funds to strengthen the team.

    “Without Mark going, we can’t sign anyone other than budget. That’s it in a nutshell.”

    One club reported in the press to be monitoring the progress of the 23-year-old is Nottingham Forest, bossed by former ‘Well chief Billy Davies.

    Brown has made tentative steps to establish whether Davies – who was his assistant at Preston – is interested in Reynolds and backed the defender to be a hit if he did win a move to Forest.

    He said: “Billy Davies is on holiday in the USA. Billy and I are very friendly and he hasn’t discussed Mark with me.

    “That doesn’t mean to say that he won’t when he comes back from his break but he hasn’t so far.

    “I’ve heard that story too so I sent him a text message yesterday to see what was happening and whether he was interested. I think he gets back from his holiday tomorrow.

    “It’s just so I can say to the player that there is an interest in him. Mark deserves that, there is no finer guy.

    “I think Nottingham would be excellent for him. I know their two centre-backs and I think he’s at least as good or better than them, that’s my considered and humble opinion. He would strengthen Nottingham Forest in my opinion but I’m not picking Billy’s team for him as Billy would tell you.

    “We are good friends and he knows what I think of Mark Reynolds and we have very seldom differed on the opinion of a player. We still agree on the quality of a football player.”

  • Archive

    Craigan prepared for first day trials

    Motherwell skipper Stephen Craigan reckons everyone is raring to go ahead of tomorrow’s first day of pre-season training.

    And the 33-year-old says that is down to one man, fitness and physiotherapy guru John Porteous, widely regarded as the best in his profession north of the border.

    Porteous gave each player a specific summer training programme to compensate for the fact that ‘Well will be playing competitive games just over two-weeks into the pre-season preparations.

    And Craigan is confident both he and the rest of the squad will be returning in tip-top condition thanks to the wonder of modern scientific techniques.

    “Training has become an exact science and every SPL club indulges in sports science now,” the 48 times capped Northern Ireland International said.

    “Footballers did not seem to bother with it as much in the past. We are lucky at Motherwell because John (Porteous) is one of the best fitness coaches and dieticians in the game.

    “Before we embarked on our holidays he gave us all a programme to work on to keep us ticking over until we came back. It was basically a series of jogging, sprinting, running, gym and bike exercises.

    “He told all the players to take at least two weeks of complete rest then work on the fitness programmes. I’d be surprised if everyone stuck to it like the letter of the law but the advice is there to keep you active and fit.

    “Footballers still dread the first day of pre-season. The weigh-in has become a ritual we fear. It can be a laugh but it’s not something we look forward to.

    “John will weigh us on Monday and take account of weight ratios, body mass ratios and fat ratios.

    “If anyone has let themselves go a bit it will become public knowledge in the dressing-room. We’re all scared of getting slaughtered for putting on some beef. Most of our guys are used to keeping themselves in shape because we have been playing early European ties.

    “Players are human though and we do like wine, beer and a packet of crisps. There are some guys who will put on weight just by looking at a Mars bar.

    “But everyone knows their own strengths and weaknesses.

    “On the first day back the running won’t be so intense. We will build it up gradually by doing short sprints – like the runs you make in a game. We might do longer runs but that is a rarity these days at any club.”

    ‘Well were a club in major transition this time last year after gaffer Mark McGhee quit to take the Aberdeen job.

    A new manager still hadn’t been appointed when the players returned to training – so Craigan had to step in and oversee their preparations.

    The 33-year-old enjoyed putting the squad through their paces and learned a lot from his brief spell in charge.

    But Jim Gannon eventually took over just 72 hours before their first European tie with Welsh minnows Llanelli.

    And Craigan is glad there is much more stability at Fir Park this summer under experienced duo Brown and Knox.

    He said: “Last season I was thrust into the situation and devised programmes to make training enjoyable for myself as well as the team.

    “It was interesting because it gave me a new perspective on being a footballer and the preparation that is actually involved in coaching. The club were all over the place last year and needed somebody to take the training – so I stepped in.

    “It couldn’t have been that bad as a lot of the lads texted me and said how much they enjoyed the week.

    “But I was happy I didn’t have to take the team for a European tie or a crucial SPL battle. That is an entirely different proposition and much more difficult. I still loved the responsibility and we had fun even though we were in the serious business of trying to get ourselves fit for games in Europe.

    “We now have two managers who are more than capable of preparing us. We are in good hands on and off the park with Craig and Archie.”

    ‘Well were given a bloody nose by Welsh minnows Llanelli in their first Euro tie last year as they lost 1-0 to the 16/1 shots at Fir Park.

    But they turned it around in the second leg then battered Albanian side Flamurtari 8-1 at Fir Park after losing 1-0 in the first leg.

    That left the Steelmen on the brink of the Europa League group stage but they were drawn against former European champions Steaua Bucharest.

    And the class of the Romanian giants told as they won 6-1 on aggregate.

    Now Craigan hopes those experiences can help the Steelmen go one step further in Europe this season.

    He said: “We came in for a lot of criticism for losing to Llanelli.

    “But the reality of that game is that we battered them. Llanelli scored with one of only two shots they had on target. The players took a lot of stick and I can understand why. But we recovered and beat the Albanians before losing to Steaua Bucharest in the final qualifying round.

    “Whether or not we can reach the group stages remains to be seen. However, the players prefer competitive games in the Europa League to boring pre-season friendlies.

    “It is also a nice feeling to put on your CV that you have sampled the delights of European football. We have done that at Fir Park for the past three seasons – which is a fine achievement for the club.

    “It would be an even greater achievement if Motherwell did make the group stages this season.”

  • Archive

    Youth team start at Hibs

    Gordon Young’s U19 side will begin the new season with a trip to Edinburgh to face Hibernian.

    The young Steelmen, who finished runners-up to Celtic last year, head to the capital before a home clash with newly-promoted Inverness Caley Thistle and a Lanarkshire derby against Hamilton Accies.

    ‘Well will go with a very young side this term with plenty of 93’s and 94’s in the squad and Young has made it clear this campaign will be one of transition.

    “I spoke to the official site at the end of last season about the break-up of the U19 team and that has happened in a big way,” he said.

    “We’ll probably have one of, if not the, youngest squad in the league and probably the youngest Motherwell have ever had at this level.

    “We’ve seen a lot of players rightly promoted to the first-team and there will only be two or three players who were regulars this season still involved with the team.

    “There will be a big responsibility on those lads to help the youngsters through. But that’s the way we want to be at Motherwell. We want our 93’s and 94’s to have a good year in the youth league then, at the age of 17 or 18, make a push for a senior contract, much like many of their successful predecessors at this club.”

  • Archive

    So it begins again…

    Despite reporting early for pre-season training for the second consecutive season, ‘Well skipper Stephen Craigan reckons everyone is raring to go.

    And the 33-year-old says that is down to one man, fitness and physiotherapy guru John Porteous, widely regarded as the best in his profession north of the border.

    Porteous gave each player a specific summer training programme to compensate for the fact that ‘Well will be playing competitive games just over two-weeks into the pre-season preparations.

    And Craigan is confident both he and the rest of the squad will be returning in tip-top condition thanks to the wonder of modern scientific techniques.

    “Training has become an exact science and every SPL club indulges in sports science now,” the 48 times capped Northern Ireland International said.

    “Footballers did not seem to bother with it as much in the past. We are lucky at Motherwell because John (Porteous) is one of the best fitness coaches and dieticians in the game.

    “Before we embarked on our holidays he gave us all a programme to work on to keep us ticking over until we came back. It was basically a series of jogging, sprinting, running, gym and bike exercises.

    “He told all the players to take at least two weeks of complete rest then work on the fitness programmes. I’d be surprised if everyone stuck to it like the letter of the law but the advice is there to keep you active and fit.

    “Footballers still dread the first day of pre-season. The weigh-in has become a ritual we fear. It can be a laugh but it’s not something we look forward to.

    “John will weigh us on Monday and take account of weight ratios, body mass ratios and fat ratios.

    “If anyone has let themselves go a bit it will become public knowledge in the dressing-room. We’re all scared of getting slaughtered for putting on some beef. Most of our guys are used to keeping themselves in shape because we have been playing early European ties.

    “Players are human though and we do like wine, beer and a packet of crisps. There are some guys who will put on weight just by looking at a Mars bar.

    “But everyone knows their own strengths and weaknesses.

    “On the first day back the running won’t be so intense. We will build it up gradually by doing short sprints – like the runs you make in a game. We might do longer runs but that is a rarity these days at any club.”

    ‘Well were a club in major transition this time last year after gaffer Mark McGhee quit to take the Aberdeen job.

    A new manager still hadn’t been appointed when the players returned to training – so Craigan had to step in and oversee their preparations.

    The 33-year-old enjoyed putting the squad through their paces and learned a lot from his brief spell in charge.

    But Jim Gannon eventually took over just 72 hours before their first European tie with Welsh minnows Llanelli.

    And Craigan is glad there is much more stability at Fir Park this summer under experienced duo Brown and Knox.

    He said: “Last season I was thrust into the situation and devised programmes to make training enjoyable for myself as well as the team.

    “It was interesting because it gave me a new perspective on being a footballer and the preparation that is actually involved in coaching. The club were all over the place last year and needed somebody to take the training – so I stepped in.

    “It couldn’t have been that bad as a lot of the lads texted me and said how much they enjoyed the week.

    “But I was happy I didn’t have to take the team for a European tie or a crucial SPL battle. That is an entirely different proposition and much more difficult. I still loved the responsibility and we had fun even though we were in the serious business of trying to get ourselves fit for games in Europe.

    “We now have two managers who are more than capable of preparing us. We are in good hands on and off the park with Craig and Archie.”

    ‘Well were given a bloody nose by Welsh minnows Llanelli in their first Euro tie last year as they lost 1-0 to the 16/1 shots at Fir Park.

    But they turned it around in the second leg then battered Albanian side Flamurtari 8-1 at Fir Park after losing 1-0 in the first leg.

    That left the Steelmen on the brink of the Europa League group stage but they were drawn against former European champions Steaua Bucharest.

    And the class of the Romanian giants told as they won 6-1 on aggregate.

    Now Craigan hopes those experiences can help the Steelmen go one step further in Europe this season.

    He said: “We came in for a lot of criticism for losing to Llanelli.

    “But the reality of that game is that we battered them. Llanelli scored with one of only two shots they had on target. The players took a lot of stick and I can understand why. But we recovered and beat the Albanians before losing to Steaua Bucharest in the final qualifying round.

    “Whether or not we can reach the group stages remains to be seen. However, the players prefer competitive games in the Europa League to boring pre-season friendlies.

    “It is also a nice feeling to put on your CV that you have sampled the delights of European football. We have done that at Fir Park for the past three seasons – which is a fine achievement for the club.

    “It would be an even greater achievement if Motherwell did make the group stages this season.”