With the fixture list revealed, all eyes are focused on the first weekend of August and the first step towards the illustrious 10 in a row. It is time to look forward and, for Celtic, the first line of attack is defence.

It has often been said that a players' second stint at a club is never as successful as the first time around but in the case of Fraser Forster, his fourth spell was every bit as impressive as the previous three, if not more. From singlehandedly winning the League Cup final to wonder saves against Lazio, season 19/20 was one of the best of Forster’s career. 

Now as the season draws near it looks like we will be without the Great Wall after he decided he would fight for the number one jersey at Southampton. To be fair to the big man, he should absolutely already be in that position. He is a far better keeper than Alex McCarthy and Angus Gunn, in fact I would go as far as saying he should be England’s number one.

Forster’s form is down to two main things. Playing week in, week out but also the coaching and guidance of Stevie Woods. Woods has been at the club for a number of years and has developed goalkeepers far above the level they were upon their arrival at Parkhead. He’s saved the careers of Craig Gordon, Fraser Forster and Artur Boruc, as well as aiding the development Scott Bain, to where he was competent as Celtic’s no. 1 despite not fulfilling his potential at Dundee and Hibs.

Reading the comments from Gavin Strachan’s first press conference in which the new coach admitted Woods was supporting Nick Hammond in narrowing down the options, should Forster decide to stay at Southampton, fills me with confidence. Woods knows exactly what it’s like to be the best goalkeeper in Scotland, having trained plenty of them in his 13 years at the club. 

Taking a closer look at the options that have been named over the last week or so, there seems to be a common theme. Neil Lennon wants a commanding goalkeeper who fills the net. Vasilis Barkas, Joe Hart and David Marshall are all 6' 3" and above and all come with a pedigree of international experience.

Barkas has previous experience of playing at Celtic Park when he excelled in AEK Athens' play off victory in 2018. And with previous interest from Udinese, Montpellier and Aston Villa, the Greek International certainly looks an interesting prospect.

Hart, now 33 has almost done it all when it comes to his career. England number one with 75 caps, Premier League trophies, played on the greatest stages of them all... But yet something just doesn’t seem right, from the moment he was dropped by Pep Guardiola, his career has dived. 

A bench warmer at Burnley, his career lies on the scrapheap currently. Eerily similar to that of Craig Gordon when he was released following his injury at Sunderland. Does Woods think he could repeat his success again with Hart? It’s a no from me, but its not my decision.

And finally David Marshall, a solid enough goalkeeper. At age 35, is he the one to lead Celtic to 10 in a row and close the chapter on his career the way he opened it? Again I wouldn’t go for Marshall, I think he would be a great backup keeper but, at his age, how long would we really get out of him?

Whoever is chosen, I really hope it's Stevie Woods' first choice and we back a coach that has been so good to us!