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The Small-Medium Rebuild 2018'19

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An interesting discussion would be who out of the current youth ranks should we be offering deals to?

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6 hours ago, Yodo said:

We need a First Choice left back to allow our best right back to return to his natural position

So where would Liam Grimshaw fit into your plans? 

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1 hour ago, Shaka said:

Its actually more a Business decision than a Football decision tho!

Just a thought.  The 'Well Society do a (monthly?) 'Set the Agenda' session where you can ask all sorts. Now I don't for a second think anyone is going to divulge specifics but given the discussion maybe there's a question or two that could be asked about the strategy behind the contract offers and what factors then come into play before the offer is either signed or declined.

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22 minutes ago, Kmcalpin said:

So where would Liam Grimshaw fit into your plans? 

As I said in a previous post he would be a squad utility player for me a good player to have around the team  but not a first choice 

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21 minutes ago, Andy_P said:

Just a thought.  The 'Well Society do a (monthly?) 'Set the Agenda' session where you can ask all sorts. Now I don't for a second think anyone is going to divulge specifics but given the discussion maybe there's a question or two that could be asked about the strategy behind the contract offers and what factors then come into play before the offer is either signed or declined.

Do you honestly think the Well Society could answer questions like you have raised ? 

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21 minutes ago, Yodo said:

Do you honestly think the Well Society could answer questions like you have raised ? 

Well since two of the 'Well Society Board are also on the Club Board then I'd like to think they'll have an idea of the processes involved yes.  Do I think they would discuss the specifics of an individual's contract offer? Absolutely not.  Do I think they would give you a general insight into the process of who from the youths is offered a contract and what entails thereafter, yes I do.

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Alan Burrows has been asked that on Twitter recently and is happy to discuss the general strategy over email/directly. So it's no big secret.

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2 hours ago, fizoxy said:

An interesting discussion would be who out of the current youth ranks should we be offering deals to?

Excellent shout. For all the posters on here who have it all figured out lets get the names noted down and revisit in a few years time...

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48 minutes ago, superward said:

Excellent shout. For all the posters on here who have it all figured out lets get the names noted down and revisit in a few years time...

Now that would be very interesting :D

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2 hours ago, superward said:

Excellent shout. For all the posters on here who have it all figured out lets get the names noted down and revisit in a few years 

I don't think it's unfair to expect professional football managers and coaches to form an evaluation on players they've seen in training and youth games everyday for the last 3 or 4 years.  

To me it just seems like a pretty schoolboy error to constantly have young players immediately going into the last few months of their contracts as soon as they break into the first team. If Turnbull and Hastie were the ones earmarked to make the cut this season then surely they should have been offered 2 year deals at the start of the season, to cover for this eventuality?

Maybe the club did offer them terms and the players themselves wanted to wait, but the fact we've been caught in this exact same position with Hall and Cadden etc makes me doubt that.

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Ok. I'll play the game although it is probably pointless. After all, some on here appear to think you cannot voice an opinion unless you are a qualified football coach. I thought Football Forums were all about fan opinion and healthy debate where opinions differed. Or maybe it's just that on this Forum it's frowned upon to dare to have an opinion which questions our Club?

Anyway, here goes.

From the current reserve team, and setting aside Scott and Maguire who hopefully we can agree to consider as members of the first team squad, from what I have seen I don't think anyone has yet displayed the talent/potential of Turnbull or Hastie.  Adam Livingstone and Liam Brown of the more senior players and the slightly younger Jamie Semple are the players who stand out for me.  But all three have have a little way to go if they are to have the impact of the youngsters who broke through this season. Following Craigen's departure and substantial changes to the squad, it's very much a rebuilding process at that level and only time will tell if we have a few more gems in our ranks. Reece McAlear was recently promoted and is highly regarded. But it's very early days in his case. Only my humble opinion of course.

I have not seen much of the players below Reserve Team level but I understand there are a few that are on the radar of other Clubs. Rangers and Celtic for example. McKinstrey has already agreed to join Leeds. Fairly common for players of that age to switch Clubs and clearly senior success is even less guaranteed. Liam Brown, for instance, joined us from Queens Park, although he was a bit further advanced and had first team experience. Motherwell's success at youth level has been noted by many and our coaching and scouting staff are much respected.

Talking of Rangers, does the name Murray Miller ring a bell with anyone? He left us a couple of seasons ago and is currently starring in midfield for Rangers U17 and is a Scottish Internationalist. They recently became the first British team to win The Alkass International Cup, a tournament featuring teams such as Real Madrid, Bayern, Roma , PSV and Spartak Moscow. Miller was a standout and has been earmarked as one most likely to make it all the way. We received a Development Fee of around £30k for him, which I suppose is a fair amount for someone so young. So I accept that youngsters do switch clubs, sometimes for family reasons which I understand was a factor in Miller's case.

Turning to safeguarding investment in younger players, a friend who has a link to Hibs, told me that towards the end of each season they strictly assess the entire Reserve Team squad in an effort to identify players who have the ability and application to make it all the way. A select few are then offered three year contracts. Not at first team rates but at a higher rate than the basic Reserve Team wage. The agreement is that when they make their expected breakthrough to the first team, the Contract will be revisited and a wage increase negotiated. Seems a good strategy to me but perhaps a three year deal might be a step to far for some Clubs. I think Mackie who came on for Gray on Saturday and did well was one of the youngsters who came through that process. Porteous was another.

 

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It's not really about voicing opinions, it's about those who clearly saw superstars coming through the ranks and are upset at the club for doing nothing about it. To some on here it's black & white whether some of these guys were going to make it, or not.

It's a good post but you have still chucked in a couple of caveats at this stage in the development of those you've name-checked, which reinforces the point that no-one really knows at this at the moment but some will still have a go at the club for 'doing nothing about it'.

As for previous suggestions that we can't compare the current crop to the likes of Dom Thomas - If I recall correctly, Thomas was the next Faddy and the chat in the stands, and on the forums, was that he was going to tear teams apart and move for megabucks. The hype around him in particular was much bigger than any of the current crop. Although that might have been that thing where the longer they don't play, the better they get.

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35 minutes ago, dennyc said:

Turning to safeguarding investment in younger players, a friend who has a link to Hibs, told me that towards the end of each season they strictly assess the entire Reserve Team squad in an effort to identify players who have the ability and application to make it all the way. A select few are then offered three year contracts. Not at first team rates but at a higher rate than the basic Reserve Team wage. The agreement is that when they make their expected breakthrough to the first team, the Contract will be revisited and a wage increase negotiated. Seems a good strategy to me but perhaps a three year deal might be a step to far for some Clubs. I think Mackie who came on for Gray on Saturday and did well was one of the youngsters who came through that process. Porteous was another.

Good thought provoking post Denny.  I would make 2 comments.  Firstly to put your comments on Hibs into perspective we'd need to compare it with MFC's assessment process and at present we can't do that through lack of information.  Secondly, The wages that Hibs will be offering their youngsters above their Reserve team basic wage, will be higher than quite a few of our first team squad are on.  In our terms, they will be throwing cash at their good prospects.  This will make retention far easier.

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On 3/17/2019 at 11:07 AM, Kmcalpin said:

Hopefully Jake Hastie has come to realise, over the past few games, that he still has a lot to learn even at Scottish Premiership level.  Recently teams have been doubling up on him and he's found it harder to make an impression. 

If I was a scout that watched Hastie at the weekend, I'd be telling my boss that he isn't anywhere near ready for a move yet.

 

Hibs showed him onto his right foot and he was fucking lost

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1 hour ago, Kmcalpin said:

Good thought provoking post Denny.  I would make 2 comments.  Firstly to put your comments on Hibs into perspective we'd need to compare it with MFC's assessment process and at present we can't do that through lack of information.  Secondly, The wages that Hibs will be offering their youngsters above their Reserve team basic wage, will be higher than quite a few of our first team squad are on.  In our terms, they will be throwing cash at their good prospects.  This will make retention far easier.

Fair points and spot on.

I tried to cover the financial implications for the likes of Motherwell by saying that 3 years was maybe a step too far. And that it applied to only a select few players, perhaps less at our Club compared to Hibs. I do appreciate that money is an issue, but last year I believe we did not use our resources as prudently as we should have.

And yes we don't really know Motherwell's process. But Hastie, Turnbull, Scott, McGuire and McKinstrey all appear to have been highly regarded but allowed to run their contracts down, possibly to the detriment of the Club in the long term. If someone can confirm that all five were offered extended contracts last summer please do so. At least that would confirm the Club did their very best. So I believe it is acceptable to ask questions. Others appear less relaxed about asking those questions.

Scoojy, re Thomas. He was at the Club for a relatively short spell (5 years and Celtic Youth before that) and ,yes, there was a clamour to play him in the first team. I think based on his impact from the Bench against Hearts where he laid on a goal?  Fair play to him for that.  From memory he failed to grab his chance after that and, in my opinion, flattered to deceive and had limitations....like his final ball. Perhaps that's why he is now at Dumbarton, admittedly doing very well. Turnbull, Hastie and others have been with us since age six ,have been carefully managed through various age groups. and have always shown the application and determination to succeed. They performed well over a number of years and passed every test placed before them with flying colours. Fortunately those two grabbed their first team chance and did exceptionally well almost immediately.  To my mind they were always a safer bet than Thomas. So a comparison with Thomas is not comparing like with like. Some will cope with the move up, some will not. But I believe the Club has a duty to protect our investment when exceptional talent with a proven track record comes along.

But it's all about opinion. Each to their own

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Good post Denny and the best I’ve read from that side of the argument.

I expect that I am one of those you refer to and in many ways, you’ve encapsulated some of my thinking. You highlight McKinstrey and Miller as examples of kids whose heads have been turned and rightly indicate that situations like that are not unusual.

And this is the difficulty for me when trying to lay blame for the clubs perceived failure in safeguarding our investment in young talent.

If the evidence is there (which we as fans are seldom likely to see) to show that the club failed to recognise and address the loss then I’d join the attack. But at the moment, there are still insufficient evidence to convince me that the club were negligent.

Think about it. If any one of us were in these boys positions, had confidence in our abilities and were full of ambition and saw team mates lured by bigger clubs and offers, how many of you would accept your first offer of contract and close down your options?

I for one would work my socks off to encourage a bidding war.

Many have criticised Newell and Gordon getting new contracts. Perhaps the club did offer (similar to described for Hibs) all of their identified talent the new contracts and they (both having been at bigger clubs and know the colour of grass there) are the only ones to have signed them?

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4 hours ago, Gadgey said:

Good post Denny and the best I’ve read from that side of the argument.

I expect that I am one of those you refer to and in many ways, you’ve encapsulated some of my thinking. You highlight McKinstrey and Miller as examples of kids whose heads have been turned and rightly indicate that situations like that are not unusual.

And this is the difficulty for me when trying to lay blame for the clubs perceived failure in safeguarding our investment in young talent.

If the evidence is there (which we as fans are seldom likely to see) to show that the club failed to recognise and address the loss then I’d join the attack. But at the moment, there are still insufficient evidence to convince me that the club were negligent.

Think about it. If any one of us were in these boys positions, had confidence in our abilities and were full of ambition and saw team mates lured by bigger clubs and offers, how many of you would accept your first offer of contract and close down your options?

I for one would work my socks off to encourage a bidding war.

Many have criticised Newell and Gordon getting new contracts. Perhaps the club did offer (similar to described for Hibs) all of their identified talent the new contracts and they (both having been at bigger clubs and know the colour of grass there) are the only ones to have signed them?

Oh, I don't blame the youngsters at all for making the decisions they see as best for their career and/or finances. But there does appear to have been a fair number of highly regarded prospects recently whose contracts have run down. Did all of them turn down offers before they reached that stage? I honestly don't know but I doubt it given the numbers concerned. An earlier poster quoted similar examples from a couple of seasons ago. Your comment re Newell and Gordon is fair though.

It does appear more difficult to hang on to players the younger they are (Miller, McKinstray) , But as they reach Reserve Team level they are more established with a proven track record (Turnbull, Hastie) and I just worry that the Club could be more proactive in attempting to secure their long term commitment to Motherwell. Not all will be Superstars but a few stand out above the rest.

Wee bit more about the Alkass Cup for anybody interested. If you're not., please ignore.

 It's easy to dismiss Rangers achievement because we detest them. However they were the 6th British team invited to take part, following Liverpool, Man City, Spurs, Arsenal and Celtic. It's an elite Tournament.  They were the first British team to win it, beating top teams from all over the World. And they won it with a kid from OUR Academy to the forefront. One of the best players taking part.  We do produce top quality players through our Academy and I want us to do all in our power to retain such players, particularly if the survive to Reserve Team level.

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2 hours ago, dennyc said:

Ok. I'll play the game although it is probably pointless. After all, some on here appear to think you cannot voice an opinion unless you are a qualified football coach. I thought Football Forums were all about fan opinion and healthy debate where opinions differed. Or maybe it's just that on this Forum it's frowned upon to dare to have an opinion which questions our Club?

Anyway, here goes.

From the current reserve team, and setting aside Scott and Maguire who hopefully we can agree to consider as members of the first team squad, from what I have seen I don't think anyone has yet displayed the talent/potential of Turnbull or Hastie.  Adam Livingstone and Liam Brown of the more senior players and the slightly younger Jamie Semple are the players who stand out for me.  But all three have have a little way to go if they are to have the impact of the youngsters who broke through this season. Following Craigen's departure and substantial changes to the squad, it's very much a rebuilding process at that level and only time will tell if we have a few more gems in our ranks. Reece McAlear was recently promoted and is highly regarded. But it's very early days in his case. Only my humble opinion of course.

I have not seen much of the players below Reserve Team level but I understand there are a few that are on the radar of other Clubs. Rangers and Celtic for example. McKinstrey has already agreed to join Leeds. Fairly common for players of that age to switch Clubs and clearly senior success is even less guaranteed. Liam Brown, for instance, joined us from Queens Park, although he was a bit further advanced and had first team experience. Motherwell's success at youth level has been noted by many and our coaching and scouting staff are much respected.

Talking of Rangers, does the name Murray Miller ring a bell with anyone? He left us a couple of seasons ago and is currently starring in midfield for Rangers U17 and is a Scottish Internationalist. They recently became the first British team to win The Alkass International Cup, a tournament featuring teams such as Real Madrid, Bayern, Roma , PSV and Spartak Moscow. Miller was a standout and has been earmarked as one most likely to make it all the way. We received a Development Fee of around £30k for him, which I suppose is a fair amount for someone so young. So I accept that youngsters do switch clubs, sometimes for family reasons which I understand was a factor in Miller's case.

Turning to safeguarding investment in younger players, a friend who has a link to Hibs, told me that towards the end of each season they strictly assess the entire Reserve Team squad in an effort to identify players who have the ability and application to make it all the way. A select few are then offered three year contracts. Not at first team rates but at a higher rate than the basic Reserve Team wage. The agreement is that when they make their expected breakthrough to the first team, the Contract will be revisited and a wage increase negotiated. Seems a good strategy to me but perhaps a three year deal might be a step to far for some Clubs. I think Mackie who came on for Gray on Saturday and did well was one of the youngsters who came through that process. Porteous was another.

 

Hey it’s all about opinions, I value all of them. All I stated was i’m not qualified to give an opinion on offering a new contract to a players I would have known nothing about. I don’t think that’s an outrageous stance to take. 

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6 minutes ago, Yorkyred said:

Hey it’s all about opinions, I value all of them. All I stated was i’m not qualified to give an opinion on offering a new contract to a players I would have known nothing about. I don’t think that’s an outrageous stance to take. 

Apologies if I misunderstood. No offence intended. I'm enjoying the Debate though.

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I get the point that if there is a trend of players not signing or signing late then there is cause for concern.

On that point then (one for the statos or those who know more than me), in recent years....

What reserve/youth players have the club failed to sign or have left it late to sign up?

What reserve/youth players did the club sign up early?

Where are they now?

Not a loaded question. Just needing some clarity on my part.

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Good questions. Only thing I would add is that the Club may intentionally run down contracts for those players they wish to manage out. You would need to filter those out to achieve a true measure but how you do it I don't know. And maybe the rules are different the younger the player?

I do recall that Robinson (and Burrows I think) indicated that they had opened discussions with Hastie and Turnbull when they broke into the first team, following the media highlighting that both were at Pre Contract Agreement stage. After that we also signed up McGuire and Scott.  Maybe they had all been in discussion previously but it casts doubt in my mind. It probably did not help our case to be saying things like"We've made our best offer and now it is up to XXX". Even if that was the case.

 

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What about Fraser Kerr (remember him) began his career with Motherwell and played for Scotland at various youth levels , he was lured away by Birmingham city at 16  but it didn’t work out. He rejoined Motherwell for a few years then left and played for a few lower league Scottish teams , he then played for Gateshead ,he’s at Hartlepool now but has only played a handful of times for them.  Most young players sadly never achieve their perceived potential.

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Very quiet on here so I thought I'd throw this one out to the readers .How do you think our back four will look at the start of next season if we have signed the guy from Livi and McGuire is back from QoS ,I do think we will have better options at the back especially  if we get in a good left back ( I don't think we will ) 

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45 minutes ago, Yodo said:

Very quiet on here so I thought I'd throw this one out to the readers .How do you think our back four will look at the start of next season if we have signed the guy from Livi and McGuire is back from QoS ,I do think we will have better options at the back especially  if we get in a good left back ( I don't think we will ) 

Oddly enough I see our defensive formation depending to a large extent on mattters further up the field specifically the wings.  if Hastie and Aryibi and maybe even Frear move on then we may revert to a back 5 although I hope not. Presumably Tom Aldred will move on. Assuming that it will be a back 4 I'd see Gallagher (if he signs) partnering Charles Dunne with Barry Maguire as first back up in the middle.  I don't know where this leaves Peter Hartely though.  At full back Richard Tait will be guaranteed a start either on the left or on the right.  If pushed I'd say on the left with Liam Grimshaw on the opposite side.  This is hypothetical of course and the manager's ideas may change after the first few league games ie Barry Maguire may not make the necessary step up or equally he could be outstanding and force his way into the starting line up.  Gallagher might be the real thing or he may struggle.  

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14 minutes ago, Kmcalpin said:

Oddly enough I see our defensive formation depending to a large extent on mattters further up the field specifically the wings.  if Hastie and Aryibi and maybe even Frear move on then we may revert to a back 5 although I hope not. Presumably Tom Aldred will move on. Assuming that it will be a back 4 I'd see Gallagher (if he signs) partnering Charles Dunne with Barry Maguire as first back up in the middle.  I don't know where this leaves Peter Hartely though.  At full back Richard Tait will be guaranteed a start either on the left or on the right.  If pushed I'd say on the left with Liam Grimshaw on the opposite side.  This is hypothetical of course and the manager's ideas may change after the first few league games ie Barry Maguire may not make the necessary step up or equally he could be outstanding and force his way into the starting line up.  Gallagher might be the real thing or he may struggle.  

Mbulu not going to make the grade or the forgot man?

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