Stu: Starlets should learn to fly first...

STUART McCALL has urged all of his Motherwell young guns to stay at Fir Park and resist the temptation to move to England.

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McCall worked closely with Jamie Murphy
McCall worked closely with Jamie Murphy

The Well gaffer has been working with the Scotland squad up in Aberdeen ahead of the friendly international against Estonia tonight.

He has been impressed with the standard of player new national boss Gordon Strachan has at his disposal for the Pittodrie match.

However, the progress of the country's up-and-coming stars is a concern for the Steelmen gaffer.

He has been upset to see some of our most promising stars giving up a regular first-team game in order to secure more money down south.

And he is hoping the kids breaking through at Motherwell – such as Shaun Hutchinson and Henrik Ojamaa – follow the lead of Jamie Murphy and learn their trade in Scotland.

McCall said: "What is tending to happen is that a lot of our young talent is going down south.

"If you look at Aberdeen, for example, Ryan Fraser, Fraser Fyvie and Jack Grimmer have left as well as Chris Maguire.

"At Dundee United, Craig Conway, David Goodwillie and Paul Dixon went. At Kilmarnock, Craig Bryson has moved on.

"James McArthur has gone down there and done well, but he had a number of years in the SPL behind him.

"Is it better for your development if you are not going to play?

"There will obviously be a window to go do England and players have a decision to make. There are now examples to look at where it has not worked.

"Just look at David Goodwillie, who is now out at Crystal Palace on loan.

"Chris Maguire was a Scotland international and playing regularly for Aberdeen.

"However he then went to Derby, Portsmouth on loan and then Sheffield Wednesday."

McCall added: "Jamie Murphy could have gone from us last year, but decided to stay on as he was getting a regular game. Last season was all last-minute and Blackpool came in on the 30th January with an offer for him.

"We did not get railroaded and, as a manager, I was well pleased that he stayed.

"Maybe he felt at the time that with Blackpool pushing for promotion to the Barclays Premier League from the Championship he would only go as a squad player.

"There are no guarantees for a player, but it is better to go knowing they see you as a first-team player rather than grooming you for the top side.

"You have got to pick your club wisely. But the bottom line is it is down to how you perform."


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