Good coaches pro­duce good play­ers

Evening Times - - THE LAST WORD -

Be­fore I go on, I need to de­clare that big Ste­vie is a pal­ren­dan Rodgers. Typ­i­cal. You never get any­thing against Celtic.

When Ar­tur Boruc was hav­ing prob­lems dur­ing his time at Celtic, he turned to Woods for help. The two bonded and the Pole, as com­pli­cated and un­pre­dictable char­ac­ter Scot­tish football has seen, pro­duced some of his best per­for­mances.

Woods was at Celtic but not as first-team goalie coach. How­ever, Boruc was smart enough to work out that the big baldy lad knew what he do­ing. And so he sought him out.

This put some noses out of joint.

How­ever, Peter Lawwell and the top brass were savvy enough to ig­nore cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als to pro­mote Woods, who was mostly re­mem­bered for be­ing a fine ser­vant for Mother­well.

Dur­ing Forster’s first spell, he cred­ited Woods for help­ing him get into the Eng­land squad.

Craig Gor­don has name­dropped his coach nu­mer­ous time, and Scott Bain also praised him ear­lier this year.

Woods must be do­ing some very right. He’s a lot more than just the “direc­tor of kick­ing and throw­ing”, a phrase I’ve heard him use.

The guy is worth his weight of gold for that football club.

Be­ing the goalie coach is hardly glam­orous. In­deed, it looked for all the world as if Der­mot Des­mond didn’t know who he was shak­ing hands with in the dress­ing room.

How­ever, Woods’s rep­u­ta­tion is grow­ing. A good man in charge of the goal­keep­ers is vi­tal for any club, as we saw on Sun­day and many times be­fore.

I have no clue what he does on the train­ing pitch.

What I do know is that Woods is ut­terly ded­i­cated and is a fan­tas­tic peo­ple per­son. I have per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of this.

Real Madrid - BT Sport/ESPN 1945; Cham­pi­onship, Birm­ing­ham v QPR - Sky Sports Main Event 1900, Derby v Sh­effield Wed­nes­day - Sky Sports Ac­tion 1940. Golf PGA Tour, Pres­i­dents Cup - Sky Sports Golf 2130, Sky Sports Main Event 2200.

Snooker Scot­tish Open Eurosport 1 1245 and 1845. TO­MOR­ROW

SOC­CER: Europa League, Stan­dard Liege v Arse­nal - BT Sport 2 1730, Wolves v Be­sik­tas - BT Sport/ESPN 1945, Manch­ester United v AZ Alk­maar - BT Sport 2 2000;

Go­ing back two years, I had known him for a while but we were never pals. We’d chat for a bit when­ever our paths crossed but so did lots of jour­nal­ists.

Then on Twit­ter, I men­tioned suf­fer­ing from de­pres­sion – I was signed off work for a month – and he reached out.

Next thing I know, me and one of Celtic’s back­room team are sit­ting in a bar in Glas­gow’s west end, talk­ing about men­tal health. He has gone out of his way to print off lit­er­a­ture about how to cope when that black dog howls and ex­er­cise classes, which help with stress and anx­i­ety.

It helped. This is one of the good guys we are talk­ing about.

On a per­sonal level, I’m de­lighted to see that his work be­hind the scenes is be­gin­ning to be­come more recog­nised.

Forster is in his own way a su­perb pro­fes­sional. He was the one out there mak­ing save af­ter save against Rangers.

But any player says the hard work takes place on the wet and windy days at train­ing in front of no­body. That’s when flaws are ironed

W-League, Melbourne City Women v Melbourne Vic­tory Women - BT Sport 1 0830.

Golf PGA Tour, Pres­i­dents Cup - Sky Sports Golf 0000.

Ten­nis Diriyah Cup Eurosport 2 1300.

Snooker Scot­tish Open Eurosport 1 1245 and 1845.

Boxing Fight Night In­ter­na­tional - Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Ac­tion 2000.

Basketball NBA, Toronto Rap­tors v LA Clip­pers - Sky Sports Arena 0000, Bos­ton Celtics v Philadel­phia 76ers - Sky Sports Mix 0100 (Fri).

Celtic’s Fraser Forster saves Al­fredo More­los’ penalty

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