Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson has revealed that he’d have loved newly retired defender Steven Hammell to remain as a player for the rest of the season.
Legend Hammell (35), who played his final Fir Park match for 'Well as a late substitute against Ross County last night, will quit playing next week to take over as the club’s new academy director.
Robbo said: “The situation with Stevie arose that we didn’t see coming.
“It was a massive opportunity and I feel the right person to go into that job.
“In an ideal world I’d keep Hammy until the end of the season.
“He is still a very talented boy even at his age. We are not allowed to combine Hammy’s academy role with playing.
“It’s not really my decision for him to retire right now.
“It’s just the situation that you have to have people in place permanently.
“And they can’t play at first team level if they’re going to be head of the academy.
“So it’s a decision we made between us all, myself, Alan Burrows, the board and Steven.
“And it’s just an opportunity at Steven’s age where that might not come along again.
“We’re looking to bring in a replacement defender for Steven in the next week.”
Glasgow-born Hammell is Motherwell's post war record appearance holder, having played over 500 times since starting his first spell as a 'Well player way back in 1999.
Keep up with all the top football news and transfer gossip from England, Scotland and beyond with footballwire.co.uk