De Vries mystery! Gordon on Celtic keepers’ pre-season but where is Dorus?

CRAIG GORDON has given an insight into the intensity of Celtic’s pre-season work for the goalkeepers. Under the guidance of goalkeeping coach Stevie Woods the Celtic keepers – Craig together with Scott Bain, Conor Hazard and Ross Doohan, has been full on in their own build up work to prepare for the new season. Curiously though there is no mention of Dorus de Vries, who may have dropped out of the reckoning at Celtic after the arrival of Bain?

Craig Gordon explained in an interview with the official Celtic website, how pre-season training for goalkeepers differs from their normal training schedule.

“It’s more intense and a lot more work, and you’re on the training field more often and double sessions,” Gordon said.

“When the players are out, and if they’re working on specific things, we go away with Woodsy and work on specific aspects of our game which we need to work on. There’s a lot of time spent in that group. We’ve had some pretty tough sessions, but good ones, and ones that will get us fit and ready for the start of the season.
“The outfield players cover the distance and put a lot of miles in their legs, so it’s heart and lungs fitness for them. For us, it’s all-over body exertion – you’re using your legs to jump, you’re getting down on the ground as quickly as you possibly can, you’re getting back up and using your arms, you’re getting the ball blasted off you. You’re using your whole body.

“It’s a complete workout, and it’s not just the running or the tactical side of things. It’s absolutely everything every single day. And it’s tough.

“For anyone that’s watched any of the sessions, the amount of dives and get-ups we’ve done is in the hundreds. We’ve had so many repetitions, but that’s the only way to bed-in your technique and get your fitness. We do the work and it’s hard, and it’s totally different from what the rest of players do, but that’s valuable time on the training ground and preparation.

“We’ve had a good camp. It’s the second time we’ve come here so we know where everything is and it’s good place to come and train, and we’re miles away from anywhere, so we can concentrate on our football.”

Gordon revealed that the team have been enjoying the World Cup, especially the matches involving the Celtic players. Dedryck Boyata has dropped out of the Belgium starting eleven for the first time in the competition to make way for Vincent Company, and Mikael Lustig’s next match for Sweden against Switzerland will be must watch TV for the squad.

Last night though Gordon was particularly interested in the performance of the two keepers in Croatia’s penalty shoot out win over a very unlucky Denmark. Both Kasper Schmeichel and Danijel Subasic kept out three pens each, something that impressed the big Celtic goalie.
“The goalkeepers last night obviously did very well, with three penalty saves each,” he said. “It’s quite a feat to have six penalty saves in the one game. You have to feel sorry for Kasper after saving the penalty in extra-time with two or three minutes to go and saving two in the shootout.

“That’s the life of a goalkeeper – you make saves but it’s still not enough! It was a good game to watch and there have been a few decent games so far and it’s been a good World Cup so far, and I’ve enjoyed a lot of the games and there have been some incredible goals as well.

“I want to talk about the goalkeepers but there have been some excellent strikes and as a tournament, so far, it’s been the best I can remember in terms of entertainment.

“From a Celtic point of view, I would like to see Dedryck go all the way. They have a good enough team to do that.

“Mika is obviously still in there and Sweden are such a difficult team to beat and Sweden don’t lose many goals and they’ll be a difficult task for anyone in the tournament. They fight so well for each other and I’d like to see them go as far as they can.

“From what I’ve seen, I certainly think Belgium have the chance and it would be great for Dedryck to go far into the tournament.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

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