Kettlewell sees more to come from Bair after Motherwell 'success story'

Theo Bair has been named in the PFA Team of the Year after scoring 13 goals.

Motherwell boss Stuart Kettlewell believes Theo Bair’s inclusion in the PFA Team of the Year is testament to the striker’s hard work and determination – and thinks there’s more to come from the Canadian.

Bair was named in the team of the season that’s voted for by Premiership players, and caps a season that’s already delivered 13 goals in the league.

Kettlewell alluded to the lukewarm reception to Bair’s arrival from St Johnstone last summer, when few had high expectations from a player who had found the net once in 38 appearances for the Perth side. He said that the recognition was just reward.

“I’m delighted for him,” the Motherwell boss said. “I’m just a huge believer in those success stories.

“Not for my ego, not for anybody to pat me on the back, but for the individual and the player.

“When you’ve had to ride out tough moments like Theo has, not only here but at St Johnstone and trying to make his way in Scottish football and in the top flight, I think it’s testament to the man and his character.

“I think it’s been well-documented and spoken about that he’s a real student of the game and really buys into all the information and detail, the work ethic of spending time on the bench to learn and improve his trade.

“It arguably is one of the biggest stories in Scottish football. I think there’s been a lot of players that have emerged in Scottish football, like guys at Dundee who have come up from the Championship and really cut their teeth in this division.

“It’s nice to see one from our club get into that team of the year because I think the PFA one is the one that speaks volumes because that’s your peers voting. That’s the guys you compete against every single week and to get the nod from them is a special achievement.”

Kettlewell said that both he and Bair had suffered “abuse” after the player signed on at Fir Park but that he had seen his faith rewarded and now predicts more as the forward continues to develop.

He said: “I think if you look at my history, those are the type of players that I gravitate to: people that have started from a lower rung on the ladder and there’s been real doubt about.

“Possibly with Theo, that might be the biggest change in people’s opinion. People might be sitting now saying ‘I told you so and I knew he was gong to be a good player’.

“I can assure you there was plenty of abuse towards him and myself, the coaching staff and the football club. It’s never a ‘prove you wrong’, it’s just when you’ve got a belief in something that someone can reach the levels he has done.

“But I need to go on record and say that I don’t think he’s achieved anything. I don’t think he’s anything. I think what he’s done is possibly changed people’s perspective of what he is as a player.

“I think there’s lots and lots of quality, and a lot of development, still to come from him. I think that can be the exciting thing.”

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