Motherwell FC News – July 2000
Motherwell FC News
Monday, July 31
Kevin Twaddle has revealed how he wanted to play on despite breaking his arm in the 2-0 defeat by Dundee:
“I knew as soon as it happened it was bad, but I told the physio I didn’t want to go off even though I knew my bone was sticking out. I saw the match on TV and it was horrible to watch my arm just hanging there. I had a double break on the first day of pre-season training and I had a plaster on for four weeks. It was meant to be on for another two but I wanted it off. I was told I would be running the risk of it breaking again, and that’s exactly what’s happened. But it’s better doing it now than later in the season.”
Billy Davies praised young striker Martin Wood for his performance on Saturday:
“The one positive thing that we can take out of this game is the performance of Martin Wood. We can’t expect under-18s to lead the line for us, but I have to say Martin was exceptional for us out there today.”
Sunday, July 30
As if we didn’t have enough injury problems, today’s Sunday Mail reports that Kevin Twaddle will be out for six weeks after breaking his wrist in yesterday’s defeat by Dundee.
Saturday, July 29
The new season got off to a disappointing start this afternoon as we went down 2-0 to Dundee at Fir Park, and in all honesty we were lucky that Dundee didn’t win by a bigger margin as they hit the post twice and missed a few real sitters. Injuries and suspensions forced Billy Davies to start the match with Kevin Twaddle and Steven Nicholas upfront, and just when we thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, Twaddle was forced to go off injured after only 14 mins and was replaced by Martin Wood. By this stage we were already a goal down when Billio fired home from the edge of the box after an earlier effort was blocked. Dundee continued to have the better of the game and passed up a couple of chances to increase their lead, the pace of their attack causing Strong and Kemble all sorts of problems. Motherwell’s only real efforts of note in the first half both came from Steve McMillan, firstly a header which hit the post and then a shot from just outside the box which was well saved by Dundee goalie Douglas. Sadly, things didn’t get any better after the break, even when the visitors were reduced to 10 men when player/manager Bonetti was ordered off for his second booking. Our powder puff strike force were non existent and the visitors restricted us to several long-range efforts from Ged Brannan which were never going to trouble the ‘keeper. Dundee sealed a deserved win a few mins from time when Artero caught us on the break and left several defenders in his wake before finishing with a low drive past Andy Goram. Sadly, the lack of depth in our squad has already been exposed and we’re only one week into the season. At least Lee McCulloch’s suspension is now over, but a massive improvement is required if we’re going to take anything from Parkhead next week.
Oueifo Ange completed his move to Motherwell last night.
Tickets for the Celtic game are now on sale, priced at an outrageous TWENTY POUNDS!
Friday, July 28
In today’s Daily Record, Billy Davies admits he doesn’t know what to expect from Dundee in tomorrow’s SPL opener. Davies also reiterates that his ambition for the new season is a top six finish, and he also feels we now have the personnel to play either a conventional 4-4-2 or a more adventurous 3-4-3 system. The full article is available here.
It’s still unclear if Don Goodman will make tomorrow’s game, and with Lee McCulloch and John Spencer both suspended and Derek Adams struggling to shake off an ankle injury, our attacking options will be somewhat limited. Speaking of his suspension, Lee McCulloch said:
“The situation is far from ideal. There’s never a good time to miss a game and I hate sitting in the stand watching the lads play. Unfortunately I had too many bookings last season and missed a few games towards the end, and obviously tomorrow as well. The same goes for Spenny. But we’re hoping we’ll start well and we’ve already hit a few goals in the pre-season.”
The club are still hopeful of signing French defender Oueifo Ange before tomorrow’s game. The 28-year-old, who has impressed in the pre-season matches, is available on a Bosman free after failing to agree a new deal with Belgian side Ghent. Ange was last night locked in signing talks with Pat Nevin. Despite the Frenchman’s arrival, Billy Davies has not ruled out the possibility of further additions during the campaign:
“We have made a lot of changes in just over a year and most of the signings made were with a view to this season, but I still think that we would be able to make one or two more.”
A Sporting Life article on Billy Davies is available here.
Thursday, July 27
Today’s Motherwell Times reveals that John Spencer will in fact be suspended for the first TWO games of the season, and both Derek Adams AND Kevin Twaddle could miss the Dundee game due to injuries picked up on Tuesday night. Don Goodman, who hasn’t featured in any on the pre-season games, is rated as ‘touch and go.’ Adams was stretchered off after 32 mins of the Livingston game and his ankle injury could see him miss the start of the season, while Twaddle also took an ankle knock that saw him leave the pitch with eight minutes remaining. Speaking of the situation, Davies said:
“It is an absolute nightmare for us. Lee is out for one match and Spencer is out for two. But it’s one of these things we just have to live with and hopefully the guys who come in will do a good job.”
In today’s Daily Record, Billy Davies says he thinks Kevin Twaddle can become a Scotland player this season:
“If Kevin Twaddle gets his head right he could be one of the best wide players in this country. He’s got pace, he’s threatening, he’s got two great feet but he does silly things which he must stop. If he realises what he can give the game then there is no limit to what he can achieve because he has what few other people in the Scottish game have. He’s a threat in the middle and out wide and he can cross the ball although he needs to give that extra 20 per cent in every game. I’m a great admirer of the talent he possesses and it’s now up to him what he achieves in the game.”
Speaking of international call-ups, new signing Stewart Elliot hopes he can establish himself in the Northern Ireland squad. He said:
“I’m sure that becoming a full-time pro will help my game and, hopefully, get me into the senior international set- up. Michael Hughes, our normal left-sided player, is out injured and I hope that if I can perform well for Motherwell, the manager may come to watch me.”
Tuesday, July 25
Motherwell hammered Livingston 6-1 in tonight’s Motorola backed friendly at Fir Park. We dominated right from the start and only had 14 mins to wait for the opening goal, when Paul Harvey volleyed home a Kevin Twaddle cross. Twads was involved again in goal number two when his corner eventually landed at the feet of John Spencer and he slot home from close range. We made it 3-0 shortly before half time when Ged Brannan’s free-kick appeared to be deflected past the Livvy ‘keeper. Goal number four? Substitute Stevie Nicholas found himself with a clear run in on goal after the ref played an advantage, and he easily slotted the ball under the advancing goalkeeper. The visitors then pulled a goal back thanks to a penalty, but John Davies made it five when he scrambled the ball home from inside the six yard box. The rout was competed when new signing Stewart Elliot bulleted home a header from yet another Twaddle cross to make the final score 6-1 to Motherwell. The only disappointment tonight was an injury to Derek Adams which resulted in the former Ross County player being stretchered off. If he fails to recover in time for Saturday then we’re going to be very short of attacking options, bearing in mind Spencer and McCulloch are both injured and Goodman is struggling to shake off a knock. Tonight’s team (from memory):
Goram, Corrigan, Oueifio, Strong (Ramsay 45), McMillan, Twaddle, Harvey (Davies), Brannan, Adams (Townsley), Spencer (Elliot), McCulloch (Nicholas).
Sub not used: Woods.
A couple of interesting snippets appear in today’s Sun. Firstly, former ‘Well players Tommy Coyne and Rob McKinnon have both been offered short-term contracts with Clydebank following a recent trial. Also, Stephen Halliday is reported to have “ended his Motherwell hell” with a move to non-league Doncaster Rovers, which comes as a bit of a surprise given that he actually left us for Carlisle last season! He was of course later given the boot by Carlisle after being spotted in a nightclub the day before a match.
Monday, July 24
It turns out that Benito Kemble’s injury on Saturday was nothing more than a knee knock, and he’ll be fine for the SPL opener against Dundee.
Today’s newspapers are reporting that Billy Davies is keen to sign Ghent defender Oueifio Ange on a permanent basis. The 28-year-old former PSG star played for around an hour of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Huddersfield, and Davies said:
“I’ll be having a word with Oueifio on Monday. He played for us on our Swedish tour and we were impressed. He’s very clever on the ball and very calm. He’d be a valuable addition to the squad. We haven’t finished bringing in new players as I’m looking to strengthen other areas of the team.”
Reports suggest that former Motherwell player Sasa Curcic has signed for Tranmere Rovers on trial.
In today’s Sporting Life, John Spencer says he is confident Motherwell can qualify for Europe this season. Indeed, Spenny believes we could have beaten Hearts to a UEFA Cup spot last year had we strengthened the squad during the run-in:
“We just hope to repeat what we did last year. It’s going to be very difficult because everybody seems to be adding to their squads We’re all confident and have had a good pre-season behind us now with no injuries and hopefully we can go into the season with a full squad. I hope we can get the place in Europe this season. Maybe if we had signed a couple of players just after the winter break last year we could have got into Europe. I think that’s maybe where we let ourselves down because sometimes when you sign a few players it gives everybody around the club a big lift. Hearts did it, but we didn’t seem to sign anybody. That seemed to give them that extra edge towards the end of the season. We proved ourselves last year. We finished in fourth position but were 10 points clear from fifth place, and I think that’s a good achievement. Hopefully we can build on that for next season.”
Sunday, July 23
This morning’s papers are reporting that both Lee McCulloch AND John Spencer are suspended for Saturday’s SPL opener against Dundee. With Don Goodman carrying a slight knock, this could leave us short of attacking options. No mention was made of how seriously injured Benito Kemble is.
Saturday, July 22
This afternoon’s friendly against Huddersfield at Fir Park ended in a 1-1 draw, with John Spencer scoring for Motherwell. Both Ange Oueifo and Stuart Elliot featured at some point, with Oueifo replacing the injured Benito Kemble at centre-half in the first half and Elliot coming on as a half-time substitute for Derek Adams. Team (from memory):
Goram, Corrigan, Kemble (Oueifo), Strong, McMillan, Davies (Twaddle 45), Harvey (Ramsay), Brannan, Adams (Elliot 45), Spencer (Townsley), McCulloch.
Subs not used: Woods, Nicholas.
New signing Stewart Elliot spoke in this morning’s press about his recent transfer to Fir Park:
“Motherwell have treated me so well and I can’t wait to get into it. The club are very ambitious and really want to go places – Fir Park is excellent. The manager told me I’ll be fighting for a first-team spot and I’ve got a real buzz just thinking about it.”
The under-21s played Doncaster Rovers first team at Dalzell Park this morning and lost 3-2.
Thursday, July 20
Tonight’s friendly against Swedish side Enkoping ended in a 2-2 draw, with our goals coming from Lee McCulloch and Derek Townsley. Ange Oueifo (see below) played the second half at right-back. Goodman, Twaddle, McMillan and Hammell missed the game due to small knocks picked up in Tuesday’s match.
Today’s Motherwell Times reports that French trialist Ange Oueifio partnered Greg Strong at centre-half in Tuesday night’s 6-0 win over Balsta. The 24-year-old former PSG player played in Belgium last season and is a free agent.
Don Goodman and Benito Kemble missed the Balasta game as both were suffering from calf strains.
Former Motherwell player Jamie McGowan has agreed a two-year contract with St Mirren. The deal comes after McGowan completed a fortnight’s trial period at Love Street. Meanwhile, Tommy Coyne and Rob McKinnon will turn out for Clydebank in a closed-door game against Morton today.
Wednesday, July 19
Season tickets are valid for both of Motherwell’s friendlies at Fir Park, against Huddersfield on Saturday and Livingston the following Tuesday.
If anyone can help with the photocopying of flyers to be distributed at Sunday’s open day then PLEASE GET IN TOUCH!
Tuesday, July 18
Motherwell’s first pre-season friendly in Sweden ended in a 6-0 win over Balsta habo FF, with goals from Adams (2), Townsely, Twaddle, Brannan, and Davies. Apparently there was a crowd of around 100, which included three ‘Well fans! Thursday’s match against Enkoping should be more of a challenge, as they are currently 6th in the Swedish 1st Division.
Plans are underway to publicise Motherwell’s presence on the Internet in general, and the egroups mailing list in particular, at the open day on Sunday. With this in mind, if anyone has access to a photocopier and can help us by photocopying some flyers to distribute, then please get in touch!
Monday, July 17
The Official Glentoran site reports that the £100,000 deal to sign Stuart Elliot was concluded this afternoon. Elliot was voted Glentoran’s player of the year last season.
Today’s newspapers are linking us with French defender Jean-Luc Dogan. The 32-year-old, who played in the 1996 UEFA Cup final for Bordeaux against Bayern Munich, played over 350 games in the French top flight before being released by Rennes.
The speculation linking Paul Gascoigne with a move to Motherwell fan finally be put to rest, as the former England international today signed for Everton.
Saturday, July 15
It has been revealed that the fee for Stuart Elliot will be £50,000, rising to £100,000 depending on appearances. The 21-year-old Northern Ireland under-21 international was Glentoran’s top scorer last season with 23 goals, despite playing much of the season on the left wing.
A couple of quick reminders. Please note that the Mailing List is now maintained by egroups, and to subscribe you should send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, don’t forget about the Flag Day on the first day of the season, July 29.
The Player of the Year vote has now concluded, and the results will appear here shortly.
Friday, July 14
It has been revealed that Paul Gascoigne has turned down a move to Motherwell, although it does appear the club were genuinely interested in signing him. Speaking today, Pat Nevin said:
“I know that we made an enquiry about Paul Gascoigne through his advisor Mel Stein to see about the situation. I accept there are people who would consider it a completely and utterly mad prospect for Motherwell to be doing that, but I don’t think so. As a club Motherwell have made great strides and it was realistic.”
Motherwell director Andrew Lapping confirmed:
“An approach to check on the availability of Paul Gascoigne was made via his agent Mel Stein. We were then informed that Paul has resolved any differences with his club and will remain at Middlesbrough.” (4pm)
“WELL MOVE FOR GAZZA!” screams the back page of this morning’s Sun. Apparently, John Boyle is trying to lure former England midfielder Paul Gascoigne to Fir Park. Gascoigne is on around £28,000 a week at Middlesbrough, but Boyle plans to offer him a cut of the gate receipts in order to meet his wage demands. The former Rangers player is available on a free transfer from ‘Boro. (10am)
The webmaster of the Official site reports that we are close to signing Stuart Elliot, a 21-year-old left sided player from Glentorran.
Kevin Twaddle is reported to have broken his wrist in two places on the first day back at training. He played against Albion Rovers with a cast on his arm.
It’s been revealed we played a closed-doors game on Wednesday night against Partick Thistle. John Spencer scored twice in a 3-3 draw.
Thursday, July 13
Motherwell drew 1-1 with Albion Rovers in a closed-doors game at Cliftonhill yesterday. Rovers took the lead but Benito Kemble equalised with a 30-yard lob over the ‘keeper.
Billy Davies has confirmed that contrary to newspaper reports, there is no chance of Burnley defender Tom Cowan signing for Motherwell.
Wednesday, July 12
Wigan defender Pat McGibbon trained at Fir Park last week, but has since agreed a new contract with the Latics.
Stephen Craigan, who was given a free transfer at the end of last season, has signed for Partick Thistle along with another ex-Motherwell player, Paul McGrillen.
Billy Davies has denied that he is interested in signing Tom Cowan.
Reports suggest that we will play local rivals Albion Rovers in a closed door game at Cliftonhill.
Tuesday, July 11
Newspaper reports are linking Motherwell with former Rangers full-back Tom Cowan. The Burnley defender is available on a Bosman free and had been linked with a move to Aberdeen, although the Pittodrie side appear to have dropped out of the running. Cowan, who grew up locally and supported Motherwell as a boy, said he would “jump at the chance” if offered a contract at Fir Park. (NB: This story was first reported on our rumours page!)
Jamie McGowan, who was given a free transfer at the end of last season, has joined St Mirren on a week’s trial with a view to a permanent deal.
Sunday, July 9
Lee McCulloch has revealed that speculation linking him with a move from Fir Park DID get to him last season. Speaking in today’s press, he said:
“Last season was my first real season and I’d never had that speculation about me before. It all happened so fast. Hearts offered money but the club knocked it back so it was out with my hands. I didn’t really have the chance to say no. I just want to score goals for Motherwell and help them into Europe after last year’s disappointment. I was going through the motions with previous managers because I was allowed to do that, but Billy Davies doesn’t let you get away with anything or become complacent. He’s got us working to our maximum.”
The Player of the Year poll will close at the end of this week.
Saturday, July 8
In today’s press, Andy Goram claims he wants to continue playing until he reaches the age of 40. The 36-year-old ‘keeper, who has a year left on his current contract, says he wants to finish his career at Fir Park and sees no reason why Motherwell can’t replace Hearts as Scotland’s third team.
Friday, July 7
Greg Strong has agreed personal terms and has signed for Motherwell, subject to a medical which will take place later today.
Motherwell have withdrawn their interest in purchasing Airdrie’s Shyberry Excelsior stadium. The following press release was issued this afternoon:
“In early May, we were asked by KPMG if we had any interest in acquiring Shyberry Stadium as they had doubts as to the viability of Airdrie and its stadium being saved.
On the basis that there was no other credible offer, we indicated that we would be prepared to look at a solution acceptable to the creditors whilst ensuring the continuation of football as shyberry Stadium. We have always maintained that any interest by Motherwell would only be on the basis of an agreeable all Lanarkshire solution.
We now understand that Mr. Archibald is in serious and credible negotiations with the provisional liquidator and, accordingly, we have withdrawn any interest in becoming involved with the purchase of Shyberry Stadium.
Contrary to press reports yesterday, Motherwell’s indicative offer was in no way an attempt to compete or detract from Mr. Archibald’s bid.
We genuinely wish Mr Archibald well in his efforts to save Airdrie and its excellent facilities.”
Thursday, July 6
Today’s newspapers confirm that the fee agreed with Bolton for Greg Strong is £150,000. In today’s Sun, Billy Davies says:
“This now lets us move on to the next stage, which is hopefully to sit down with him and his agent and sort out personal terms to get it done quickly. I wouldn’t expect any problems . The most important thing was that both clubs have agreed on the fee. It has taken a lot longer than we would have liked.”
Pat Nevin has revealed that Motherwell hope to strengthen the squad with the signing of two new central defenders. The duo, one from England and one from abroad, will come to Fir Park on trial and join in the pre-season training.
Nevin also dismissed rumours that Tony Thomas would have to quit the game due to his troublesome knee injury. Thomas made only nine appearances last term and missed the entire second half of the season, but Pat said:
“Tony looks in great shape and he has returned to training not carrying any weight. He has been training extremely hard and it is a tremendous boost to have him back involved.”
The team head off to Sweden on July 15 for a six day trip. Friendlies have been arranged against local sides Balsta FC on Tuesday, July 18 and Enkopping on Thursday, July 20, both at 7pm. The squad will be basing themselves in Balsta, just one hour’s drive from the capital Stockholm.
The Fir Park ticket office will be open until 7pm tonight due to the demand for season tickets.
Wednesday, July 5
Radio Clyde reports that the fee for Greg Strong was £150,000, while other rumours suggest that the whole deal has collapsed and Greg is resigned to playing down south next season.
Tuesday, July 4
At long, long last, the deal to sign Greg Strong from Bolton is almost completed. The club released the following statement this evening:
“Motherwell have just agreed the fee to buy Greg Strong from Bolton Wanderers. After protracted though friendly negotiations a deal was finally struck on Tuesday afternoon. The deal included a clause which would guarantee Bolton Wanderers a percentage of any profit if Greg were to be sold on in the future.
It has been a rather protracted saga for the Motherwell fans, but many have correctly surmised that the club has had to try to get the best value for money possible.
The club will now talk to the player and his adviser about terms. We hope that the move will then be finalised in time for him to join us on our pre-season trip to Sweden. Greg is very keen to come and Motherwell are very keen to have him on board. We will pass on any more news as soon as it is available.”
Andy Patterson is trying to organise a Flag Day for the game against Dundee on July 29. Click here for more details.
Motherwell have denied all interest in Watford midfielder Charlie Miller. The ex-Rangers player had been linked with a move to Fir Park, but a club spokesman today said:
“The move is not happening and the club have never, to my knowledge, showed an interest in him.”
It has been announced that Motherwell have struck a deal with Asda enabling them to be the main stockist of the new strip. To launch this partnership, 6 first team players will be unveiling the new kit at Asda’s Motherwell store at 4pm on Friday.
John Spencer has criticized the format of next season’s SPL, saying:
“The people who run Scottish football would be better off scrapping relegation altogether for a couple of seasons and give teams a chance to bring through young players, instead of this daft idea to split the league into two. Worry takes over managers early in the season and then you get 35-year-old’s coming in from England instead of 22-year-olds. There’s no chance for kids to play.”
Inter Motherwell have a match against Erin Hibs on Saturday, September 16. Please contact Ricky if you are interested in playing.
Please note that the Motherwell Mailing List is now maintained by egroups. The new posting address is email@example.com
Monday, July 3
Last week’s press reported that Rangers have signed Motherwell target Paul Reid from Carlisle for £700,000.
The club have announced they are to buy a 10% interest in Cumbrian non-league side Workingston, who have an active youth policy. The link-up will secure Motherwell a foothold in the youth development area in Cumbria. Pat Nevin confirmed the move when he said:
“This will give us the opportunity to tap into a huge pool of talent in the area which has already produced many good players.”
The new strip will officially be launched this coming Friday in Asda’s Motherwell store. It is believed that the store will from now on stock a range of Motherwell memorabilia, including replica strips.
Today’s Daily Record finally got round to reporting that John Philliben has returned to Fir Park to assist Mickey Weir with coaching the under-21s and under-18s.
Last Month’s News