Motherwell legend hangs up boots to take on coaching position at club

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Motherwell legend Keith Lasley may have retired from playing, but he will maintain a pivotal role at the club as he fills the vacant assistant manager position.

And ‘Well boss Stephen Robinson has praised Lasley’s desire after the appointment.

He said: “I sat down and spoke to Keith when he came back from his holiday and he still had a playing contract.

“Financially, being an assistant manager is nowhere near as viable as it is being a footballer but what impressed me most was his desire and commitment to take the next step.

“My insistence was that he had to give up playing. I didn’t want someone in a dual job; I wanted someone who was very much dedicated to taking the club forwards coaching-wise and Keith bought into that fully.

“I spent a great deal of time speaking to a number of potential people for the post over the last few weeks, but Keith was by far and away the outstanding candidate for the job.

“He is extremely qualified in that he has his Uefa B, his A and his Pro Licence and has coached with our under-17s and under-20s, but just as important, it helps keep a Motherwell identity within the coaching staff, which I personally think is extremely important.

“He understands what it is like to play and do very well here, and has a huge passion for the club and the supporters.

“I am really looking forward to working with him.”

37-year-old Lasley skippered the club to consecutive runners-up league finishes and wore the armband in Champions League qualifying matches in a playing career spanning nearly two decades.

But his Fir Park venture continues and with proud memories as a Steelman, Lasley admitted he was emotional but is also excited to make the progression from playing to coaching.

He said: “It’s a big change obviously, but this is something I’ve been planning for a long time and this side of the game is something I’m passionate about.

“It’s not fully sank in that I won’t be pulling on that jersey again, but I’m sure that will take a little bit of time – but the excitement of this opportunity is starting to outweigh that certainly.

“It’s hard in a short space to cover it to be honest, but the main factor is that I’m just thankful to have been around this place for as long as I have – from the first day I walked in here, off a building site into Motherwell and thinking that I would go on to play however many games, captain the club and play in Europe and play until the age of 37 is beyond my wildest expectations.”