Update on Celtic’s goalkeeping situation, plus vote for your first choice keeper

We now know that Craig Gordon is ready to return to action – a fortnight ahead of schedule. Stevie Woods, Celtic’s goalkeeper coach, yesterday spoke about the Scotland keeper’s progress yesterday, while on Scotland duty himself. Woods is the new keeper coach in Alex Mcleish’s Scotland set-up which also includes former Celtic Peter Grant, as we revealed weeks ago.

“Craig should be two to three weeks to be back into the first team squad and have the possibility to be selected. He is back in on the training field doing conditioned goalkeeping just now, not full sessions.

“However, he will start that with me when I got back next Wednesday (from Scotland international duty) and that should be the start of his final end stage rehab. Obviously, when you get injured, the first thing you think ‘is the season over?’ and the answer straight away was ‘no’.

“It was a new and unique injury to the knee and it doesn’t have any sort of bearing on anything that went before which means it is very simple for them to fix it.

“Initially, he was given a 12-week prognosis and it is looking like he will be back between nine and 10 weeks to full training and available for selection, so well done to the physios and the doctors who have been involved and got him back a couple of weeks early.”

Gordon, who has never fully convinced in the role that Brendan Rodgers want from his keeper, will have to get past not Dorus de Vries, but the loan signing Scott Bain.

The Celtic Star predicted a BIG SURPRISE in Brendan’s team sheet for Ibrox on the Friday before the match, that Celtic won 3-2. Then on the Saturday we carried an extensive preview on Scott Bain, the headline saying that he had made his way from the building site to to Celtic first team.

We waited until Sunday morning to post that he would start but make no mistake we had a sounding about this ahead of the supposed ankle knock that Dorus de Vries suffered that Saturday morning.

Bain has done little wrong in his two matches in the Celtic goal. Many reckoned he was Celtic’s best player in the first half at Fir Park on Sunday – he wasn’t called into action in the second half as a result of the sending off.

So Gordon has to get the gloves from Bain, not De Vries. Bain is out of contract in the summer and has interest from both Scotland (Hearts and Hibs) and England (Birmingham and Bristol City). His impressive form at a high profile club like Celtic will also add more clubs to his list of potential suitors but he will be in the first instance desperate to impress Brendan Rodgers.

Of the three keepers at the club he looks the most comfortable distributing the ball with his feet. Rodgers is going to keep a very careful eye on him over the remaining games but it was telling that he stated after Ibrox that Bain looked comfortable enough playing in that most hostile of environments.

For Dorus, there was interest in the Dutch veteran from down south last summer but he as encouraged to stay and was given an extension to his contract. He has played in two away European matches for Celtic – one this season in St Petersburg and the other in Barcelona in September 2016. His goal loss is in double figures in those two matches alone.

It may well be that his time at Celtic is up and he will be away this summer.


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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds 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 editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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