Joe Hart talks up Stevie Woods; spoke to Robbie Keane and Stan Petrov about Celtic

By David Walton

August 4, 2021

Joe Hart has talked up Celtic goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods as he discussed the research he did into the Hoops before signing.

Hart was announced yesterday as one half of a double-signing also involving ex-Crystal Palace man James McCarthy. The move came after a week of speculation surrounding Hart’s potential arrival.

Hart has had no prior relationship or affinity to the Parkhead club in the past. Therefore, he showed his maturity in doing some prior research on the club.

That took to him getting in touch with the likes of Stiliyan Petrov and Robbie Keane, whilst he also heard great things about Woods.

Speaking at his first media conference today via Celtic TV, Hart said:

“I’m really excited. Just as I’m sure Celtic have done their homework on me, I’ve done my homework as quickly and as best I could. Woodsy got glowing reports from all of the guys who have worked with him.

James McCarthy and Joe Hart join Celtic | LIVE Reaction

James McCarthy and Joe Hart join Celtic | LIVE Reaction

“I spoke to coaches who know him as a coach and I’ll be honest, just from early conversations I love his drive, I love his passion for this club and his passion for goalkeeping. We share that, so hopefully it can be a good relationship.

“I spoke to Stan Petrov, he holds this place really close to his heart. Robbie Keane, people like that, I’ve talked to them about what they think of this place. It’s nothing but positive. I want to experience that for myself. I want to have my own experience just to pass on hopefully in the future.”

Joe Hart could be the next project revived by Celtic man Stevie Woods

It’s no wonder Hart is excited to work with Stevie. All you need to do is look at the goalkeepers whose careers he’s lifted to new heights.

He worked absolute miracles with Fraser Forster, who was incredible raw when he initially signed for Celtic in 2010. He then helped turn Fraser’s career around again during his 2019/20 loan spell.

Craig Gordon, meanwhile, had been out of the game for two years due to a knee injury before signing for Celtic in the summer of 2014. Again, Woods transformed him and helped mould a shot-stopper that would go on to secure 13 winner’s medals in Glasgow.

With Hart, it’s no secret that he’s had something of a fall from grace. Once the England number one, he now hasn’t been a first-choice goalkeeper since the 2016/17 campaign with Torino.

He’ll be looking for Woods to help turn his career around and make him a force once again. The talent is clearly there, but the confidence has simply been shot in recent years.

A strong start in Jablonec tomorrow night would certainly be an ideal start.

In other news, Livingston coach Marvin Bartley “really excited” to see Celtic capture James McCarthy