Stephen Craigan rejoins Motherwell as youth coach

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MOTHERWELL have added former skipper Stephen Craigan to their coaching staff.

The former Northern Ireland defender, Motherwell’s most-capped player, comes in as under-20s coach after Jonatan Johansson decided to move on after three years at Fir Park.

Craigan will be able to carry out his duties while still working as a pundit for BT Sport. Picture: SNS

Craigan will be able to carry out his duties while still working as a pundit for BT Sport. Picture: SNS

The 38-year-old - who won 54 caps - joins his recent colleague in the Northern Ireland coaching ranks, assistant boss Stephen Robinson, as part of Ian Baraclough’s backroom team.

Craigan, who made 379 appearances in two spells at Motherwell, told the club’s official website: “It’s an honour and a privilege to return to Motherwell for a third time and I am very much looking forward to the challenge of working with the under-20s side.

“Motherwell, from the outside looking in, seems to be a club very much on the up. The new owner and the new people involved are breathing freshness back into things and there appears to be an excitement about the new season ahead.

“I have very much enjoyed my coaching experiences so far and I am looking forward to the challenge of working with young players on a more regular basis.

Motherwell, from the outside looking in, seems to be a club very much on the up.

Stephen Craigan

“With Motherwell giving me this coaching opportunity whilst supporting my work with BT Sport, the decision to return to Fir Park was an easy one to make.”

Craigan is the second new coach at Fir Park this week - former Ipswich, Norwich and Cardiff goalkeeping coach Jim Hollman replaced Gordon Marshall following his departure to Aberdeen.

Meanwhile, Baraclough has moved to allay concerns over left-sided players Steven Hammell and Marvin Johnson after they sat out both of the team’s pre-season friendlies in Holland.

Summer signing Wes Fletcher joined them on the sidelines for Motherwell’s goalless draw with Heerenveen on Thursday night after the former York striker netted in a 1-1 draw with Borussia Moenchengladbach Under-23s.

Baraclough told the club’s YouTube channel: “I didn’t want to risk them if they are feeling little niggles and strains, little areas that are nothing to worry about. I expect when we come back to Scotland we’ll have a full complement of players.

“The work we put in affects others in different ways. It was just precautionary, we didn’t want to risk anybody.

“Stevie Hammell has come off a horrendous season. He overstretched himself in pre-season and didn’t play for the rest of the season. So we’re not going to take any gambles.”

Baraclough also gave Dan Twardzik encouragement that he could start the season in goal following an impressive first-half display.

“Dan is fully in contention, of course he is,” he said. “If you answer the questions, if you go and play well, then you have a good chance of being in the side at the start of the season.

“Yes, I’m looking to bring in another goalkeeper, we need another senior goalkeeper, but that doesn’t deter Dan.”

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