Stephen Craigan departs Motherwell reserve team manager role

Stephen Craigan has worked as a TV pundit for digital channel BT Sport since 2013
Stephen Craigan has worked as a TV pundit for digital channel BT Sport since 2013

Stephen Craigan has left his position as Motherwell’s reserve team manager.

The Northern Irishman, who also works as a TV pundit for BT Sport, spent three-and-a-half years as reserve gaffer, but believed the time was right to move on.

“I think after a certain amount of time, young players need a new voice and a new leader to try and push them on,” he said.

“I came back in here three-and-a-half years ago and now there’s very few of that initial squad left training with me, so I almost feel it’s job complete.

“It’s been better than I could have imagined. The standard of player and the way that they’ve progressed has been terrific.

“This isn’t something that I have made a decision on overnight.

“This has been on mind for several months and I now believe the time is right.”

Craigan, who made 363 appearances for the ‘Well during his playing career, is the club’s record cap holder, having received 54 caps for Northern Ireland.

“Stephen has been an excellent servant for Motherwell Football Club and we are really sad to see him go,” chief executive Alan Burrows said of his departure.

“More recently, his efforts in developing young talent for our first team has seen a number of players make careers in the game, as well as achieving international honours. “We wish him well for the future and thank him for everything he has done, both as a coach and previously as a player and captain.

“Following Stephen’s departure, and following feedback from him, coaching staff and others in the academy, the club intends to complete a review of the development pathway for 18 to 21-year-olds at the club, prior to appointing a replacement.”

Manager Stephen Robinson added: “I have worked closely with Stephen over the last few years at Motherwell and I am grateful for the work he has put in to push through young talent at the club.

“We are disappointed to see him go but respect his decision to leave.”

Since BT Sport took over ESPN UK’s rights to the SPFL in 2013, Craigan has appeared as a studio pundit on the network, alongside Darrell Currie, and fellow pundits Chris Sutton and Ally McCoist.

From the start of the 2016-17 season Craigan has also appeared on BT Sport’s coverage of the Scottish League Cup, working as an analyst and co-commentator, alongside Rob MacLean or Rory Hamilton.