Craigan eyes youth cup final win

Stephen Craigan will lead Motherwell under-20s out at Hampden against Hearts
Stephen Craigan will lead Motherwell under-20s out at Hampden against Hearts

Motherwell under-20s manager Stephen Craigan and his squad are greatly looking forward to taking on Hearts in Wednesday night’s Youth Cup Final at Hampden.

“To come and play in a major cup final at Hampden is great for the players,” Stephen said.

“They have worked hard all season long. It’s reward for their endeavour and enthusiasm.

“I don’t have any fears for them at all.

“I probably have more fears for myself.

“When I took this job last July we never imagined being here.

“Ultimately we want to win the cup, Hearts want to do the same. So we are preparing to win it.”

Stephen revealed that he won’t be relying too much on superstitions to get a result tonight!

“I have tried everything superstitious throughout my career and nothing ever works,” he said.

“I’m sure I’ll drive into Motherwell looking for a magpie! No, listen, superstitions won’t win us the game or lose us the game.

“The young players will win us the game by the quality they have, by their application – which has never been in question – and probably more dealing with the situation.”

Motherwell under-20 defender Ben Hall, who has also made 14 starts for the Steelmen’s senior team this season, will be a key man against Hearts.

“We are really excited about the game,” Ben said.

“It will be the first time I’ve played at Hampden and for most of our team.

“It will be a great experience and one that we’ll enjoy. Hopefully the nerves won’t affect us.”

Ben said that beating Celtic in front of 45,000 fans at Parkhead with ’Well’s senior team earlier this season would be a great help when taking the field at Hampden.

The young Northern Irishman said that boss Craigan had “left no stone unturned” in preparing for the final. He’d introduced longer, more intense training sessions.