Fraser Forster has highlighted the role played in Celtic’s recent success by a coach that is rarely head.
Stevie Woods enjoyed a decent career covering Clydebank, Preston North End and Motherwell but as a coach he has excelled.
After working on a part-time basis at Celtic and also at a couple of other clubs in 2009 he took over from Jim Blythe as full-time goalkeeping coach.
Neil Lennon kept Woods on when he replaced Tony Mowbray with goalkeeping problems becoming something of a rarity.
Craig Gordon was the regular first choice keeper from 2014 to 2019 but either side of that Forster found his career transformed as he worked alongside someone that understands what makes keeper’s tick.
The current Celtic keeper told The Sun:
I don’t know what it is about the place, there are a lot of good people at the club. I work with a lot of good people. The manager has been brilliant with me and I am working with a great goalkeeping coach in Stevie Woods.
I just love being here, I just enjoy it. Stevie understands players. His sessions are great but I think he understands the mental side of the game too. He knows what makes each player tick. He’s worked with some incredible keepers during his time here.
He has a fantastic record. He just knows how to get the best out of the players he’s working with — and he’s definitely up there with the best I have worked with. He took me from a League One keeper and turned me into an England international.
He is always there; he is always willing to work with you and nothing is ever too much trouble for him. He’s fantastic to have around and I have been very fortunate to spend a lot of my career working with him. He does a lot of work on the opposition too, he’s very thorough in what he does, he’s a great sounding board and he’s always there for me.
I am just happy at the moment; I am enjoying my football again. It’s like anything in life, if you feel a bit of love and you enjoy going to work, it’s going to bring more out of you. I’m enjoying my time here.
Forster dismissed reports that Southampton had an option to recall him in January, his contract with the English side runs until 2022.