IT is not by chance that Keith Lasley has lasted through more Dynasties than Joan Collins.
The grey hair atop the Motherwell captain’s head is not the only nod to the longevity and contribution of a man well into his 38th year who has now worked under 11 managers during his time at Fir Park. The white armband that is tightly wrapped around his right bicep tells an even bigger tale.
First brought to Motherwell in 1999 by Billy Davies, Lasley – apart from a two-year stint at Plymouth - has been an almost constant presence to those who still cling desperately to this claret and amber rollercoaster through relegation scares and Champions League qualifiers.
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It is impossible to say the name of the man supporters affectionately refer to as ‘the housewives' favourite’ without then immediately linking him to the club he has and continues to serve to this day. Given that influence, it has not been an easy couple of weeks for Lasley as Motherwell prepare to go through another period of transition.
Under new manager Stephen Robinson, and including Mark McGhee’s last game in charge, the midfielder has only played one half at Rugby Park before he was replaced as his team then went on to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win.
It is perhaps only natural given this absence, combined with his years, some supporters have started bracing themselves that Lasley’s time at Fir Park, at least as a player, may not be far away.
“It is about me trying to persuade the manager I can still do a job on the pitch. I’ve got a good relationship with him. I’ll still be training hard and trying to get myself back in the team,” he said.
“I want to contribute any way I can. What’s more important to me is that this club prospers and gets itself up this division. I’m convinced I can still play a part in that.
“I’m honest enough, in fact I think we’ve got a good honest group of older players. We’re all thinking of what’s best for the football club. We know ourselves that if we felt we weren’t making a contribution then we’d look at what’s best for the club.
“Personally, I wouldn’t want to do the club a disservice by hanging about and not making a contribution. That will be foremost in my mind.”
Lasley recalls that game at Rugby Park earlier this month where he was removed, adding: “It’s not nice being taken off at any time. But again, as much as it was, you have to remember we went on to win the game.
“Yes, it was hard to take. I’m not going to tell you I enjoyed that experience. Of course I didn’t. But the manager explained his decisions clearly and honestly. That’s how he’s going to be with the players — no matter if you’ve played 500 games, like [Steven] Hammell or myself, or five games like a young boy coming into the team.”
Former Motherwell manager Mcghee and the current Scotland No.2 once said Lasley was one of the best Scottish players never to be capped by his nation. It is somewhat poetic then that he will be at Hampden this Sunday ahead of the World Cup qualifier with Slovenia to collect his Pro-Licence coaching award.
It will be a proud moment for the Motherwell captain, but a qualification he is not considering using just yet.
“It’s a proud achievement because it is a lot of work and involves a lot of detail,” he said. “I’m proud to have passed it and I’m looking forward to getting the award next week.
“In football you can only plan so much. Obviously I’ve been planning for a long time in terms of my coaching qualifications and things like that.
“I recently completed my Pro-licence and things like that. But, you can only plan so much.
“Right now I’m still concentrating on contributing for Motherwell on the pitch. That’s my sole purpose at this moment.”
KEITH LASLEY spoke out in support as Supporters Direct Scotland launched it’s annual Scottish Football Supporters Survey for 2017.
This year’s survey is online at www.scottishsupporters.net/survey until April 2.