Stephen Craigan

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Stephen Craigan
Personal information
Full name Stephen James Craigan
Date of birth (1976-10-29) 29 October 1976 (age 37)
Place of birth Newtownards, Northern Ireland
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–2000 Motherwell 22 (0)
2000–2003 Partick Thistle 103 (1)
2003–2012 Motherwell 292 (5)
National team
2003 Northern Ireland B 1 (0[1])
2003–2011 Northern Ireland 54 (0[1])
Teams managed
2009 Motherwell (caretaker manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:51, 13 May 2012 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 12:09, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Stephen James Craigan (born 29 October 1976)[2] is an Northern Irish former professional footballer who is currently the assistant manager of the Northern Ireland Under-19 squad.[3] He played in central defence, and spent his entire playing career in Scotland, playing for Motherwell (twice) and Partick Thistle. He has also played for the Northern Irish national team.

Club career[edit]

A boyhood Glentoran fan, Craigan started his career in Scotland with Motherwell in 1994 when the young Ulsterman was signed by Alex McLeish. However, after only twenty-six appearances, he was released on a free transfer. He signed for Scottish Second Division club Partick Thistle in 2000 and helped them back to the Scottish Premier League, making 121 appearances. After his contract expired in 2003, he returned to Motherwell, who were then managed by former England international Terry Butcher.

Since then, Craigan has been an integral part of Motherwell's steady progress in the league. Craigan has since gone on to become Motherwell's most capped player. He works for BBC Radio Scotland, also commentated on some European matches for Setanta Sports and ESPN. Craigan is a regular pundit on Sky Sports News Radio, rounding up the weekly hot topics in the SPL.[3]

On January 2008, Craigan was made club captain of Motherwell, taking over from Phil O'Donnell, who died after collapsing on the pitch during a match against Dundee United on 29 December 2007.

In June 2009, Craigan was appointed the player-caretaker manager of Motherwell while the club looked for a replacement for Mark McGhee, who departed for Aberdeen.[4] This temporary appointment ended when Jim Gannon was hired as the new manager. He endured a troubled relationship with Gannon, featuring in only seven of the seventeen league games he was in charge at Motherwell after being publicly criticised by the manager, but returned to regular first-team action under Craig Brown.[5] On 16 April 2011 Craigan scored his first goal since 2006 with a header to open the scoring in the Scottish Cup semi-final against St Johnstone, which Motherwell won 3-0 to advance to the 2011 Scottish Cup Final.[6]

On 9 June 2011, Craigan signed a new one-year contract at Motherwell.[7] Craigan was awarded a testimonial match, against his former club Partick Thistle. He scored the only goal of the game, on 13 July 2011.[8] On 9 May 2012, Craigan announced that he would retire after Motherwell's last game of the 2011–12 Scottish Premier League season.[9]

International career[edit]

Craigan is Motherwell's record cap holder, having received 54 caps for Northern Ireland. Craigan played in their 1–0 victory against England in September 2005 and the 3–2 win over Spain a year later. He captained his country on their end of season tour in 2010 against Turkey and Chile and continued as captain against Montenegro on 11 August 2010. His 50th cap came in a surprise victory away to Slovenia on 3 September 2010, in their first game of the Euro 2012 campaign.[1][10] On 19 July 2011, Craigan announced his retirement from International football, earning 54 caps, the last of those coming against Slovenia.[11]

Coaching career[edit]

Craigan has made steady strides into management. As well as being caretaker manager for Motherwell in 2009,[4] he was named assistant manager of the Northern Ireland Under-19 squad on 11 October 2012. He will take up the position whilst continuing his punditry work for radio and television.[3]

Career statistics[edit]

As of 13 May 2012
Club Season League Cup League Cup Other [12] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Motherwell
1997–98 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 0
1998–99 10 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 12 0
1999-2000 4 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 6 0
Total 26 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 30 0
Partick Thistle
2000–01 35 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 39 1
2001–02 32 0 6 0 2 0 3 0 43 0
2002–03 39 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 43 0
Total 106 1 9 0 6 0 4 0 125 1
Motherwell
2003–04 36 3 0 0 1 0 0 0 37 3
2004–05 37 3 1 0 5 1 0 0 43 4
2005–06 36 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 39 2
2006–07 34 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 40 0
2007–08 38 0 3 0 2 0 0 0 43 0
2008–09 22 0 3 0 1 0 2 0 28 0
2009–10 28 0 1 0 1 0 6 0 36 0
2010–11 35 0 6 1 3 0 6 0 50 1
2011–12 26 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 28 0
Total 292 8 18 1 17 1 14 0 341 10
Motherwell Total 318 8 20 1 20 1 14 0 357 10
Career Total 424 9 31 1 27 1 18 0 486 11

International[edit]

As of August 2011[13]
Northern Ireland national team
Year Apps Goals
2003 3 0
2004 7 0
2005 8 0
2006 8 0
2007 7 0
2008 5 0
2009 7 0
2010 7 0
2011 2 0
Total 54 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Stephen Craigan - International Career, Irish Football Association
  2. ^ Note that some sources state his birth date as 21 October 1976
  3. ^ a b c "STEPHEN CRAIGAN DELIGHTED WITH U19 ROLE". Irish FA. 11 October 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-11. 
  4. ^ a b "Motherwell confirm Gannon as boss". BBC Sport. BBC. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  5. ^ "Stephen Craigan praises former manager Mark McGhee". BBC Sport. BBC. 28 January 2010. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  6. ^ "Motherwell 3-0 St Johnstone". BBC Sport. BBC. 16 April 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  7. ^ "Stephen Craigan to stay with Motherwell". BBC Sport. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-09. 
  8. ^ "Motherwell 1 – 0 Partick Thistle". Motherwell F.C. 13 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  9. ^ "Motherwell captain Stephen Craigan to retire". BBC Sport (BBC). 9 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  10. ^ Northern Ireland captain Stephen Craigan hits half Century of caps, Daily Record
  11. ^ "Stephen Craigan retires from Northern Ireland duty". BBC Sport. 19 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-19. 
  12. ^ Includes appearances made in the Scottish Challenge Cup and Europa League.
  13. ^ NI games played by Stephen Craigan, NIfootball

External links[edit]