Motherwell FC News – June 1998
Motherwell FC News
The club have once again denied reports that Brian McClair and Pat Nevin are set to front a new management set-up at Fir Park once John Boyle takes over. The latest rumour, reported in yesterday’s Scotland on Sunday, is that McClair and Nevin will form a three-way managerial team along with current boss Harri Kampman. However, general manager Alan Dick has dismissed the talk as "nonsense", saying:
"There’s no question of that management team coming to pass here. Nevin is with another club anyway. I don’t intend to waste anymore time talking about it."
Pat Nevin himself dismissed the rumours, insisting he will never manage any football club and that McClair – his best friend in the game – is also not interested in the job. Speaking in today’s Daily Record, he said:
" I will never be manager, or assistant manager, of Motherwell or any other club. That is not going to happen."
Ricky Mullen has kindly written match reports for Motherwell’s pre-season tour of the Highlands. His report of the Nairn game is available here.
Squad numbers for the new season…
Motherwell secretary Alan Dick has strongly denied the rumours that Harri Kampman would be axed by incoming boss John Boyle and replaced by a management team of Brian McClair and Pat Nevin. Speaking in today’s Daily Record, Dick said:
"These claims are utter rubbish, in fact they are a joke. There is absolutely no truth in this whatsoever. To my knowledge, John Boyle has never met Harri and has never said he doesn’t wasnt him at the club. Mr Boyle has only been into the club once and at no time were any team or management matters discussed. This is also unfair on Brian McClair and I am angry at the suggestion that he engineered his move here with an eye on moving into another role. This is very unsettling for everyone here and I don’t know where this story came from."
Stephen Halliday is back in training after being laid low with a virus. The striker missed out on the Highland tour but played in the 2-0 win at East Stirling.
Results from this week’s friendlies…
Forres 0, Motherwell 6 (Coyle(3), Ross(2), McCulloch).
East Stirling 0, Motherwell 2 (Ross, Coyle).
Two Dutch trialists, Leroy Echteld and Michel Buskermolen of AZ Alkmaar, turned out for Motherwell during the Highland tour, but it appears as though neither will be signing for the club.
The long awaited takeover could be set to go through within the next five or six weeks. Direct Holidays boss John Boyle sold his business this week, boosting his personal wealth by some £42 million. Boyle, who has already bought a 25% share-holding in the club, is now expected to launch a bid to buy John Chapman’s majority interest. Talks between Chapman, who has been trying to sell up for more than a year, and Boyle are already underway.
A report in this morning’s Sun claims that John Boyle will axe Harri Kampman and replace him with co-managers Brian McClair and Pat Nevin. According to the report, Boyle wants someone to attract bigger names rather than free transfers. It is also claimed that McClair spoke to Boyle before deciding to leave Man Utd.
Motherwell defeated Nairn County 5-0 in yesterday’s friendly, with Owen Coyle netting four goals and Jered Stirling getting the other. Our next game is against Forres Mechanics tomorrow night.
Motherwell’s three game tour of Finland ended with one win, one draw and one defeat. Details as follows…
Rips 2, Motherwell 4 (Stirling, Halliday, Ross, McMillan)
Team – Woods, Pounewatchy (trialist), Denham, Craigan, Stirling, Davies, McClair, May, Miller, Coyle, Halliday.
Subs – Michels (for May), McMillan (for Davies), Ross (for Miller), Steiner? (for Halliday).
Finn-Pa 3, Motherwell 0
Team – Kaven, McGowan, Kraska, Pounewatchy, Matthaei, Valakari, McClair, McMillan, Ross, Michels, McCulloch.
Subs – Miller (for Valakari), Davies (for McMillan), Stirling (for Ross), Coyle (for Michels).
Lahti 0, Motherwell 0
Team – Kaven, McCulloch, Stirling, Craigan, McGowan, McMillan, Michels, Davies, Ross, McClair, Coyle.
Subs – Woods (for Kaven), Valakari (for Craigan), Kraska (for Michels), Miller.
Harri Kampman was given a standing ovation at his old club Lahti.
Brian Martin has signed a two-year deal with Stirling Albion.
A friendly has been arranged against Mitchell Van der Gaag’s Dutch side FC Utrecht on Saturday October 10, which is a blank Premiership day because of international fixtures. The game will be an evening match, kicking off at 8pm.
Motherwell have completed the signing of Mikko Kaven, Finland’s second-choice international goalkeeper, bringing the number of close season signings to TEN. The 23-year-old, who has won seven caps, is set to turn his back on the European Cup qualifiers with HJK Helsinki to move to Fir Park for a bargain £50,000. Club secretary Alan Dick said:
"Mikko is well known to Harri and he is turning down the European Cup preliminaries to join us. We have one ‘keeper here in Stevie Woods and these two will battle it out for the goalie’s jersey. Harri’s former clubs have played against Mikko and he knows he is a very good goalkeeper. His contract with his club is up in October and they knew that under Bosman they could end up getting nothing for him. That’s why we have managed to get him for £50,000 now. If he still had more time on his deal, they would have probably asked for half a million."
Details of all the new signings for 1998/99 are as follows…
|Jan Michels||27||Dutch||Midfield||Go Ahead Deventer|
|Rob Matthaei||31||Dutch||Midfield||FC Volendam|
|Holm Kraska||23||German||Defender||FC Delmenhorst|
|*Stephen Halliday||22||English||Forward||Hartlepool United|
|David White||19||Scottish||Defender||Ipswich Town|
|Jered Stirling||21||Scottish||Defender||Partick Thistle|
|Brian McClair||34||Scottish||Midfield||Man Utd|
|*Mikko Kaven||23||Finnish||Goalkeeper||HJK Helsinki|
* Transfer Fees of £50,000 were paid.
A photo of eight of the new signings is available here. Many thanks to Tom Aitchison for the scanned image.
Another Finnish internationalist, defender Harri Ylonen, has signed a pre-contract and will arrive from UEFA Cup hopefuls Hakka once the Finnish season end in October.
Crystal Palace, Turkish side Trabzonspor and two German clubs are reported to be interested in Eliphas Shivute. Alan Dick admitted the Namibian internationalist could be sold if the right offer came in.
Dundee have signed Tommy Coyne and Willie Falconer. T.C. turned down the one-year deal offered to him by Motherwell in favour of a two-year deal at Dens Park. In his five years with Motherwell he netted 62 goals in 154 appearances, including 58 league strikes to make him the club’s joint second-top Premier League scorer of all time, level with Dougie Arnott and five behind Steve Kirk. We wish him well at Dundee. His signing takes the number of former Motherwell players at Dens park to four, with Eric Garcin and Shaun McSkimming having joined Dundee earlier in the summer.
Another newspaper report is linking Motherwell with a move for Hibs’ full-back Willie Miller. Meanwhile, John Robertson has knocked back a move to Motherwell to sign for Livingston.
Motherwell’s home game against Dundee United has been moved from Saturday August 29 to the Sunday to accomodate Sky TV.
Motherwell’s pre-season tour of Finland starts on Monday when they face Rips. Details of our pre-season matches are as follows…
|Monday, July 6||7pm||Rips Riihimaki||(A)|
|Wednesday, July 8||7pm||Finn-Pa Helsinki||(A)|
|Friday, July 10||7pm||FC Lahti||(A)|
|Saturday, July 18||3pm||Nairn County||(A)|
|Monday, July 20||7pm||Forres Mechanics||(A)|
|Wednesday, July 22||7.15pm||East Stirlingshire||(A)|
|Saturday, July 25||3pm||West Ham United||(H)|
|Tuesday, July 28||7.45pm||Le Havre AC||(H)|
Brian McClair has agreed to sign for Motherwell, and immediately becomes club captain. The 34-year-old turned down offers from a host of English clubs and has signed a three-year contract. This brings the number of new signings who will report to Fir Park on Monday for pre-season training to nine.
Newspaper reports suggest that season ticket sales are well up on this time last year.
Another report claims that Motherwell are one of several clubs interested in Hearts free John Robertson.
Tommy Coyne is still to let the club know if he is going to sign a new contract.
The Motherwell Times reports that eight new players have agreed terms with the club, and will sign once their current contracts expire on June 30. The players who have agreed to come to Motherwell are two Dutch defenders, one German centre-back, an English striker, a teenage Scots defender who has been in England for the past two years, and three home-based Scots. Although club secretary Alan Dick wasn’t revealing names, the English striker is Hartlepool’s Steven Halliday and the Anglo-Scot is 19-year-old David White, who was with Ipswich. Harri Kampman is also trying to sign Finnish pair Mikko Kaven and Harri Ylonen, but may have to start the season without the goalkeeper and defender as the Finnish season doesn’t end until October. Meanwhile, Brian McClair has yet to decide if he will sign for Motherwell.
Season Tickets are now on sale from Fir Park, and the office will also be open during the next three Saturdays from 10am-1pm.
The fixture list for the coming season is now available. Motherwell open the season at home to St Johnstone. The fixtures are subject to change once Sky TV decide which matches they will screen.
The Sun reports that Motherwell are about to sign SIX new players – and a Finnish fitness coach. The report claims that the club have beaten off Hibs and Huddersfield to pick up Falkirk skipper Jamie McGowan. And Partick Thistle full-back Jered Stirling – who had trials with QPR and Crystal Palace last season – has also agreed to join. Both will officially sign on free transfers at the end of the month when their present contracts expire. Kampman is also set to sign four players after a Scandinavian scouting mission. He took in the table-topping clash between HJK and Haka for a final look at HJK striker Aki Rihilahti and highly-rated Finnish internetional defender Harri Ylonen of Haka. Kampman added to his backroom team with the signing of fitness coach Petteri Jaatinen, who is well known to him from his time at MyPa. The 35-year-old has spent the past few years in charge of the Finnish FA’s junior coaching school.
Another report suggests we are set to sign Finnish international goalkeeper Mikko Kaven from HJK Helsinki. Kaven, who is no. 2 at international level to Rangers Antti Niemi, is expected to sign a three-year contract later this week if the clubs can come to an agreement over a transfer fee.
Yet another player to be linked with Motherwell is freed Falkirk midfielder Derek Ferguson.
Motherwell will hold signing talks with Manchester United’s Brian McClair later this week. Several English clubs are also interested in the 35-year-old.
Tommy Coyne has still to decide if he’s staying with the club, but Eddie May has signed a new two-year contract. Dundee manager Jocky Scott has had talks with Coyne over a move to Dens Park.
Motherwell will play either East Fife or Partick Thistle away from home in the second round of the League Cup. The club are also hoping to add another friendly to their pre-season matches by bringing French Premier side Le Harve to Fir Park on Tuesday July 28.
Motherwell will sign 22-year-old midfielder Greg Miller from Hibs when his contract expires next month. Meanwhile, Hartlepool striker Stephen Halliday, also age 22, is expected to complete a £50,000 move to Fir Park within the next few days.
We have also been linked with a move for former player Brian McClair, who has been given a free transfer from Manchester United.
Motherwell target Jamie McGowan has asked for another two weeks to decide if he still has a future with Falkirk. Reading are also reported to be interested.
Harri Kampman is still waiting to hear if Tommy Coyne is prepared to sign a new contract. Eddie May has also been offered a new deal following his refusal last month.
The Motherwell Times reports that Motherwell have made offers to three players on the Continent, three in Scotland and one in England.
Shaun McSkimming and Eric Garcin have signed for Dundee. The Dens Park club are also interested in Tommy Coyne.
The results of the End of Season Poll are now available.
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