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Page last updated at 18:18 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 19:18 UK

Motherwell seal double transfer

Gunnar Neilsen and Jim O'Brien
Neilsen and O'Brien are added to the squad to face Hearts

Motherwell have completed the signing of Celtic's Jim O'Brien after the winger impressed on trial.

O'Brien, who has signed a two-year deal at Fir Park, said he was delighted to join the club.

"I'm just delighted to be here. The important thing for me is to play regular first-team football," he told the club website.

Well manager Mark McGhee has also signed Blackburn Rovers' goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen on a six-month loan.

O'Brien had spent the last month on trial at Motherwell and said he was looking forward to challenging for a first-team place.

"Obviously working under a manager like Mark McGhee is a big pull and all the guys have made me feel really welcome," he said.

Jim's a bit of a free spirit and we have to school him into being part of the team

Motherwell manager
Mark McGhee

"With the season starting on Saturday and the squad not flush with depth, it gives me a great opportunity to stake my claim for a regular first-team slot.

"First-team football is what it is all about for me now. I've signed for two years and I want to establish myself in the team and make a name for myself and repay the club for having faith in me."

McGhee said he was delighted with his signings after what had proved a frustrating period in the transfer market.

"Now we're looking forward to Jim becoming an important part of the squad," he said.

"He brings something a little bit different, but we've got hard work to do with Jim. He's a bit of a free spirit and we've got to school him into being part of the team.

"We think that if we can do that then we've got a player.

"He has got great energy; he's as fit as anybody, which allows him to run all day. Over and above that, he's got pace and has a trick or two in his locker."


O'Brien has been joined at Fir Park by Nielsen, a Faroe Islands Under 21's International, who will hope to challenge Graeme Smith for a first-team place.

Nielsen joined the Ewood Park club from Danish side BK Frem in 2007 after a successful trial period but has been unable to force himself into the first-team.

"I've come here for six months and I will do my best to push Graeme for the first-team shirt," said Neilsen.

"Hopefully, I will get into the team and my aim is to improve myself as a player and help the club as much as I can.

"I've worked with some great goalkeepers in my career so far both at Blackburn and at international level and I am sure working beside Colin Meldrum and Graeme Smith will be another great experience."

Both players will go straight into the squad for Saturday's SPL opener against Hearts at Tynecastle.

see also
McGhee not happy with squad size
28 Jul 08 |  Motherwell
Trialists help Well dump Bradford
26 Jul 08 |  Motherwell

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