Ross Forbes released by 'Well

Motherwell midfielder Ross Forbes will leave Fir Park in the summer.

Ross Forbes released by 'Well
On the move - Ross Forbes

As Stuart McCall looks to shape his squad for the 2012'13 season, which includes the mouthwatering prospect of Champions League football, one player who won't be featuring in those games is Ross Forbes, whose contract won't be renewed upon its expiry in the summer.

A product of the Motherwell youth set-up Forbes senior debut came whilst on loan at Dumbarton, whom he helped win the Third Division title. But it was back in Lanarkshire he really came to prominence under the stewardship of Jim Gannon the following season.

Passionate about the merits of young footballers Irishman Gannon flooded the Motherwell side with a number of youngsters such as Steven Saunders, Shaun Hutchinson, Paul Slane, Robert McHugh and ofcourse Ross Forbes as he sought to rebuild a squad that was left decimated following the departure of Mark McGhee and his managerial team and a host of senior players such as David Clarkson, Paul Quinn, Stephen Hughes and Bob Malcolm.

Forbes was arguably the pick of the bunch as Motherwell started the season in impressive form.  The Steelmen took advantage of a Europa League place through the Fair Play route and made the most of it with aggregrate victories over Llanelli and Flamuratari before former European Champions Steaua Bucharest brought the memorable run to a close. In the league 'Well lost just one match from their opening thirteen.

Orchestrating play from the centre of the park, deadly from the penalty spot, dangerous from the set-piece and with the ability to find the net from distance, Forbes looked the complete player in those opening weeks of the season.  It was little surprise when he received a call up to the Scotland U21 squad and secured the SPL Young Player of the Month Award for September 2009.

Sadly though things began to unravel.

With Motherwell's form beginning to shade slightly so too did Forbes.  A missed penalty in a 2-2 draw with near neighbours Hamilton in November 2009 is pin-pointed by some Motherwell fans as the moment where Ross's confidence took a dent, and never quite fully recovered.

Whilst still a regular pick for both Gannon and his successor Craig Brown, Ross found himself pushed out to the right hand side of midfield, a position which limited his opportunities to do what he did best whilst and only served to highlight any deficiencies in his game such as perceived lack of pace.

When Brown himself moved on Stuart McCall appeared much less convinced about Forbes than the previous two Motherwell managers and despite turning in some decent displays when selected, such as in victories over Aberdeen and Celtic early on in McCall's reign, in time Ross was overtaken in the pecking order by another player to come through the ranks Stuart Carswell.

Speaking to STV Forbes appeared philosophical about the fact his time at Fir Park was drawing to a close: "The club aren’t giving me a new contract and I can't really complain.  They have been excellent this season and got to the Champions League, so I can't argue with the decision."

Speaking about what lies ahead Forbes continued: “It might be a good thing for me as well - maybe I need a change. I have no bad feelings about it and it's time for a fresh start.  We have been lucky that we haven't had many injuries this season. Steve Jennings and Keith Lasley - who both play my position - have been brilliant. I've had a great time at Motherwell and I'm leaving with my head held high. I'm looking forward to being involved against Dundee United on Sunday in my last game.”

Motherwell fans will look back on some fine memories and wish the 23 year old player well wherever his next move takes him.