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  • Woods delighted with Scotland recognition as goalkeeping coach

    Woods delighted with Scotland recognition as goalkeeping coach

    By: Tony Connelly on 22 Mar, 2018 11:59

  • IN March 1993, Aberdeen took two games, with scores of 1-1 and 4-3, to get past Division One side, Clydebank in the Scottish Cup and it was a pairing that was to play a massive part in the 23-year-old Bankies goalkeeper realising his dream of representing his county…eventually.

    Fast-track 25 years and that young Clydebank stopper was chosen by the then Aberdeen captain, Alex McLeish as Scotland’s goalkeeping coach.

    Celtic goalkeeping coach, Stevie Woods is one of the best in the business and it made sense for new Scotland manager, McLeish to sound him out as part of the national side’s new backroom team.

    Woods told this week’s Celtic View: “I played against Alex in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals for Clydebank. He must have remembered how I played because when he became manager at Motherwell years later, he had just lost his goalkeeper, Sieb Dijkstra, to QPR.

    “He had a list of goalkeepers and he went Alan Hodgkinson, the Scotland national goalkeeping coach at the time, and he recommended me.

    “That was quite an interesting jump for me to come back up from Preston to the Premier League with Motherwell.”

    McLeish has now called on the services of the keeper as a coach instead of a player and it was Brendan Rodgers that the Scotland manager approached this time.

    Woods said: “Initially, Alex contacted the gaffer to see if it was possible to speak to me and he granted permission for me to speak to Scotland.

    “So the gaffer had already tipped me off as to what was happening and I spoke to Alex and agreed to go in and speak to him at Hampden. He told me who his backroom staff were going to be and we took it on from there.”

    He added: “It’s a lot of extra work but it’s something I had a massive ambition to do and I always wanted to tick that box in representing your country.

    “If you’re a coach, you always want to coach at the highest level and that’s what working with Scotland would be. I know it’s a lot of extra work and I know it’s hard on my family but it’s something that, at this stage in my career, I've got to do.

    “Although it’s tough being away, it’s also a privilege to be asked.”

    For the full interview with Stevie Woods and a FREE GIANT A2 poster featuring Celtic’s French Connection, se this week’s Celtic View, out now.

    To download a digital version of the magazine, click on the banner below.

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