Good coaches produce good players
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.
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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
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Celtic’s Fraser Forster saves Alfredo Morelos’ penalty