Motherwell kid Dean Cornelius’ rise no surprise to Liam Donnelly

Liam Donnelly has spent the past three years seeing Dean Cornelius’ talent develop – so the youngster’s stunning strike to sink St Johnstone on Saturday was no surprise to him.

The Northern Irishman made his first start for Motherwell since August in the 2-0 win but it was fellow midfielder Cornelius who claimed the limelight with a sweet half-volley to break the deadlock at Fir Park.

Cornelius, who grew up a Motherwell fan, came through the Fir Park youth squads after joining from Hibs in 2018. He made his first team debut in 2019 in a 3-2 win over Livingston, with seven appearances in total so far, and Donnelly has been there every step of the way to see his talent develop.

So he believes the 20-year-old deserves all the praise coming his way after netting in first goal for the club in only his second league start this season.

Donnelly, who signed from Hartlepool the same summer Corenlius joined ‘Well, said: “He’s been around the first team for as long as I’ve been here.

Shaun Rooney and Liam Donnelly in action

“He’s always been in and around training. We always knew he had that talent and he’s had to wait to get his chance but he’s worked really hard for it.

“He’s done really well since he’s come in. It’s difficult at that age but I’ve been really impressed with him and his attitude every day in training. He deserves the plaudits he’s getting.”

(Image: SNS Group)

When Corenlius’ effort hit the back of the net it was Donnelly who was on hand first to congratulate him and he revealed he told him to enjoy it with the section of Motherwell Bois in the John Hunter stand where he used to cheer on the Steelmen as a kid.

“It was an unbelievable moment for him,” said Donnelly.

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“When I saw it nestle straight in the bottom corner, I was the first one over to him.

“I was buzzing and I told him to get straight over to the crowd as well.

“What a moment for him and hopefully there’s more to come for him as well.

“I wouldn’t say he does it too often in training, but every now and again!

“He’s got it in his locker.”

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Daily Record – Motherwell