Ramsden signs Well deal

  • Last Updated: July 24 2012, 20:58 BST

Motherwell have completed their first summer signing by tying up trialist Simon Ramsden on a one-year contract.

Simon Ramsden: There is a buzz around Fir Park.

The 30-year-old has played in several pre-season games and brings some much-needed defensive cover to the club ahead of their Champions League debut against Panathinaikos next week.

Ramsden, who turned down a new contract offer from Bradford, can play at centre-back, full-back or in a holding midfield role and looked comfortable on the ball during Motherwell's 1-1 draw with Everton on Saturday.

The former Grimsby and Rochdale player, who worked under Motherwell manager Stuart McCall at Bradford, is likely to start against Panathinaikos at Fir Park next Tuesday.

McCall lost centre-backs Tim Clancy and Stephen Craigan in the summer and both Jonathan Page and Steven Saunders have been ruled out of the third qualifying round first leg through injury.

Shaun Hutchinson is also a doubt for the visit of the Greeks after his pre-season was delayed by a groin problem and former Grimsby and Rochdale player Ramsden started alongside 19-year-old Adam Cummins against Everton.

Ramsden is already looking forward to the European test against Panathinaikos next week.

"It doesn't seem real to be honest," he told MFC TV.

"It is something that I'm very much looking forward to. You can sense there is a buzz around the place and I just can't wait."

Adapting from League Two football to Champions League competition does not phase Ramsden, who is pleased to be reunited with McCall and hopes his versatility will be an asset to the club.

He said: "It is different technically to what I have been used to, playing in League Two in England.

"Without a doubt linking up with Stuart again is a massive thing for me. He signed me for Bradford and made me captain there and I probably played most of my best stuff for Bradford under Stuart so to link up with him again is obviously great for me.

"Its probably common knowledge in England that for a lot of my career I have played right-back - but I feel equally as comfortable in the middle at the back.

"It doesn't phase me where I play, as long as I'm out there and playing that is the main thing for me and I will be giving it my all."

Ramsden revealed he has been pleased with pre-season so far and the chance to bond with his new team-mates.

He said: "I went to Portugal which was good because I was with the lads there and you get to know them straightaway - everyone has made me feel welcome and it is nice to get everything sorted and signed up.

"Obviously results haven't been great but it is about getting your fitness up and I think we showed on Saturday that we are very capable of putting in a decent performance against a very good side, which Everton were.

"I think the lads thoroughly enjoyed the test on Saturday and we just want to take that on now into the Champions League next week."

(reopens) Hutchinson later played the first 45 minutes as Motherwell recorded their first pre-season win with a 3-0 triumph over Hamilton at New Douglas Park.

Bob McHugh was also making his first pre-season appearance following injury and scored both goals before departing at the break.

McHugh's first was a smart finish from a pass by Omar Daley and the second was a simple tap-in following good work from Nicky Law.

Law, Daley and Michael Higdon all came close but Motherwell goalkeeper Darren Randolph produced several impressive saves. Tom Hateley rounded off the scoring with a late penalty.

McCall handed the last quarter to 19-year-old centre-back Fraser Kerr, who is looking to earn a loan deal from Birmingham.