James McFadden to ‘play a part’ before USA move

James McFadden is back at Motherwell for a third time. Picture: Alan Watson
James McFadden is back at Motherwell for a third time. Picture: Alan Watson
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James McFadden aims to help Motherwell out while boosting his sharpness ahead of a planned move to the United States after making another Fir Park return.

The 32-year-old has signed for his first club for a third time after penning a contract until the end of January.

He has been training with Motherwell for most of the season, bar a short trial spell at Philadelphia Union, and is available for today’s Ladbrokes Premiership clash at Celtic Park.

McFadden, who was released by St Johnstone at the end of last term, told MFC TV: “I am delighted to be back, the club has always had a special place in my heart and I’ve always had a close bond with the supporters.

“I’ve been training, going to the games and I think I can help out, and it obviously helps me get some games as well.

“It’s no secret I’m hoping to get to America. If there was anywhere I was going to play before I left, it was here.”

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McFadden, who played for Motherwell during Keith Lasley’s testimonial defeat to Bolton in September, added: “I’ve not missed a day’s training, it’s been high intensity and I feel fit and ready to be involved.”

McFadden won the first of his 48 Scotland caps while playing for Motherwell as a teenager before a £1.25million move to Everton in August 2003.

He returned in February 2013 and helped Motherwell to consecutive runners-up finishes before being released by Stuart McCall in the summer of 2014 to free up wages elsewhere in the squad.

Neither club nor player has flourished in the subsequent period and McFadden believes this short-term arrangement will suit both parties.

“I wasn’t keen on leaving,” he said. “Circumstances meant I had to leave. It would have been nice to have been here all that time but, hopefully, I can make up for lost time in the short spell I’m here. I started here and went through all the bad times, my second spell was all good and I can see that’s on the way back. The last couple of games, the performance levels and results have been good.

“I’ve been to every home game this season and I want to help out, make a difference and obviously get back out playing in front of our fans again.”

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McFadden has also been helping coach the club’s academy players and manager Mark McGhee feels his influence should be harnessed.

“Faddy has performed superbly well in training and deserves a chance here,” McGhee said.

“It’s fair to say he’s not doing this for the money, purely a love of the game and a desire to help.

“I see him as a great character to have about the club, he’s a winner, he passionately cares about how this club performs .

“That sort of enthusiasm will help inspire some of the youngsters about him.

“We’ve made no secret of the fact we plan to accelerate young talent into the side, but to do that, you also need good experienced pros who can help them on and off the park.

“We have that, and James is another who can help us on our journey, even if it is only for the short term.”

Meanwhile, McGhee, who has no fresh injury problems, has confirmed that teenager Ben Hall will retain his place in central defence for the trip to Celtic Park.