During the international break, we thought we would take a look at who Celtic’s unsung hero could be. A figure at the club, be it a player or a coach, who is well-respected at the club, but who the ordinary fan on the street might not know about.
At the moment, there is only one option for that rile – Celtic goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods. But surely he’s well known? You might say. And yes, he is well-known – in football. But his role is mainly a behind the scene one. Even though he sits in the Celtic dugout, he isn’t the main focus. The main focus is on Neil Lennon and John Kennedy.
However, Woods’ credentials for the role are second to none. He has been at Celtic for 13 years, joining the club in 2007 after being appointed by Gordon Strachan.
One of the few constants amongst the change
When you look at all the changes at Celtic since then, thee have been very few constants – Woods is one of them.
He has done a wonderful job in resurrecting the careers of players who looked to be on the football scrapheap. Look at Craig Gordon for example. He was out of the game for two years, and ended up becoming part of the Celtic invincibles.
Scott Bain is another example. His career looked to be going nowhere after a fall-out at Dundee, two years later he was won every domestic honour with Celtic.
It can’t be a coincidence that these players were given the confidence to return to football and also be a success after working with Woods.
Helped out in famous Scotland win
Woods has also helped to improve the likes of Fraser Forster, and Artur Boruc, and the Scottish national team are also reaping the rewards of using Woods. As Scotland goalkeeping coach he was no doubt integral in helping David Marshall prepare for the penalty shoot-out against Serbia.
That shows how important he has been to Celtic over the years. Will all Celtic and Scotland’s recent success, Woods might find himself more well known soon. However, he will probably prefer to see the players take the acclaim, and remain out of the spotlight.
In other news, Mikey Johnston could yet feature for Scotland at Euro 2020.