A year-and-a-half ago, Tom Aldred’s football career looked to be going nowhere. Frozen out at Bury, the big defender took an opportunity to go to Motherwell on loan, little knowing that it would lead to him making a leap to the other side of the world.

That is exactly what looks to be happening though, as Aldred closes in on a move to work under Robbie Fowler at Australian side Brisbane Roar.

There is no way that the 28-year-old would have been given such an opportunity had it not been for the platform provided to him by the Fir Park club, and as he prepares to say goodbye to the Motherwell fans this afternoon in their final league match against Livingston, he was keen to put on record his gratitude to everyone at the club for turning his fortunes around.

“This club provides boys a chance to come and play football in a good league,” Aldred said.

“When I came here I had been at a club who were having a chaotic time. Motherwell gave me the chance to establish myself and that’s what I have done.

“This is a really top club and they help you move your career forward. I would recommend coming up here to anyone. I reckon the Premiership is a better standard than English League One and Two. You play against top players and it provides a bit of everything. For me, it is like the four leagues in England all in the one league of 12. Every game is a different test for you as a player.

“My time here has been amazing. It was 18 months ago I got the chance to come on loan and to be honest I didn’t know much about Scottish football. Now though I have played in over 60 games for the club, it has been an amazing time. I have had some great moments and moments that will stay with me forever.”

In among the memorable Hampden outings of last season, one match in particular stands out for Aldred.

“The highlight for me was scoring two goals against Hamilton around about Christmas,” he said.

“I was going home to Manchester that night to see the family. When we went 1-0 down I thought ‘I can’t go home after a derby defeat, so I have to do something’. Thankfully I managed to get the goals and it was a turning point in the season for us. We needed the points and it felt it got us going again.

“I loved the derby games, especially the ones at Hamilton. It was amazing to see us filling out the away end and I enjoyed those games. From a team point of view the Scottish Cup semi-final win over Aberdeen last season was brilliant.

“I have a lot to thank the club for and I will always hold them close to my heart. I can only thank the manager as he has been brilliant for me.

“He is a role model for people and someone who will help your career. He has improved me as a player for sure. The manager will speak to people and they may be a bit sceptical about coming up to Scotland, but my advice would be to come and try it.

“If you do well here, then you will get your rewards for it.”

The respect between player and manager, it would appear, is very much mutual.

"Tom Aldred is the epitome of what Motherwell do,” said Stephen Robinson.

"He couldn't get a game at Bury and we brought him up and gave him a platform and bit of love.

"We have now sent him on his way and he will not go and get money and a lifestyle that is fantastic for him. We wish him all the best and that is our model.

"We bring players up from England give them a platform to perform and we sell them on. The hard bit is getting players to come here, [but] there is good word being spread about Motherwell and speaking highly of the coaching staff and how they are treated here.

"What we are finding is that players are now coming to us wanting to give Motherwell a try.”

Meanwhile, Robinson has revealed that midfielders Carl McHugh and Alex Rodriguez-Gorrin will also move on after today’s game, while Allan Campbell has been offered an extension to his own contract that still has two years left to run.

"We are still negotiating with one or two players,” Robinson added.

"We can only wait so long for others to sign new deals before we have to move on.”