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  • 2020 vision for Craig Gordon’s extended Celtic contract

    2020 vision for Craig Gordon’s extended Celtic contract

    By: Jo Hendry on 08 Mar, 2017 08:59

  • HOOPS No.1 Craig Gordon has committed himself to the club by signing a new three-year deal keeping him at Celtic Park until 2020.

    The 34-year-old shot-stopper has been in superb form this season with 22 clean sheets, and this week he has extended his original contract, after joining the club almost three years ago.

    Advances made by English Premier League leaders, Chelsea during the January transfer window to obtain his services were rebuffed by the club, and Brendan Rodgers moved to secure the services of the keeper with an extended contract.

    The Scotland internationalist said: “It’s taken a little while after the interest in the January window but it’s good to finally get it done and concentrate on the rest of the season.

    “It was quite stop-start, there was a lot of things going on within the club, it wasn’t a continuous thing, it wasn’t like we were talking about it for months. There were two or three occasions when we sat down and talked about it, it was fairly straight forward in the end, I wanted to stay.”

    With the League Cup won without Gordon conceding a single goal, the Premiership title in sight and a place in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup in the bag, it’s an exciting time to be part of the Celtic team and the keeper is looking forward to the remainder of the season.

    He said: “We’ve a big chance to go for another trophy before the end of the season and we’re well ahead in the league, it’s only a matter of time before we wrap that one up. We’re looking good, we don’t want to look too far in the future, we’ve got a lot to try and finish off this season, it’s a very exciting time.

    “It’s been a good season, the team have been playing really well domestically, we’ve won every match since I’ve been back in the team, you can’t really ask for a lot more than that.

    “It’s great to be involved and the manager’s been brilliant with me. We’re always trying to adapt and move the team forward and he’s been great with my style of play, I try and make sure that I’m doing everything he needs for the team to progress as well.”

    The keeper can now fully concentrate on his daily training routine with fellow top-team keepers, Logan Bailly and Dorus de Vries while Leo Fasan is on loan with English League One side, Port Vale.

    The decision to remain at Celtic Park was made easier with the vibrant atmosphere among the club’s goalkeeping department and, in particular, the training under the guidance of coach Stevie Woods was a key factor in extending his contract.

    Gordon said: “We’ve always had a good group of goalies, Woodsy is a big part of that. He makes sure that the atmosphere’s good for training and that we’re pushing each other. The goalkeepers are all developing, trying to do the things that we need to do to set the team off on the right foot.

    “It’s enjoyable to go in and train with them every day. Logan’s the joker out of the four of us, Leo’s away on loan and Dorus has come in but we’re really a tight knit group.

    “If we can just stop Logan and Dorus speaking Flemish all the time at least we could understand what they’re saying! It’s them against me and Woodsy in head tennis, we’re still champs and hopefully we can keep that going for the next three years.”

    With a change in management team last summer and the arrival of Brendan Rodgers, Gordon knew ensuring he remained Celtic’s No.1 could present a challenge:

    He said: “I think it’s the same for every player when a new manager comes in, you want to prove your worth to the team. You also want to stay in the team and it’s taken a little while for me to do that and to be able to adapt to the way he wants me to play.

    “Thankfully I’ve been able to do that and hopefully I’ll be able to continue to do that over the next three years.

    “Hopefully that’s not the end either, I’m hoping to play on as long as I possibly can. There may be one contract beyond this but it’s good for the next three years to know that stability is there and I’m going to be here fighting for trophies.”

    Following a spell England with Sunderland after making his name with Hearts, Gordon was sidelined for two years through injury but, since arriving in Glasgow’s East End in the summer of 2014, he hasn’t looked back.

    He added: “It’s a big comeback, it’s not something that I think about too often. Probably when I look back at the end of my career to see how far I’ve come it’ll be even more of an achievement but I want to concentrate on the here and now and make sure I make the most of it.

    “I’ve done the hard work to get to this point, I know there will be an awful lot more hard work to stay here for the next three years and beyond, that’s the challenge.”

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