Tim Krul and Andy Woodman

By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter

 

Andy Woodman insists Tim Krul's recent instalment as the Dutch first choice goalkeeper ranks among the proudest moments of his coaching career.

When the 24-year-old stopper took his place in between the sticks last Friday night at the Amsterdam Arena for Holland's World Cup qualifier against Turkey, it was the culmination of more than 18 months of hard work under the tutelage of Woodman.

In that time Krul has gone from a promising youngster to establishing himself as Newcastle United's number one - keeping 15 Premier League clean sheets last term - and now has replaced the experienced Maarten Stekelenburg in the Oranje line-up. 

But according to Magpies goalkeeping coach Woodman, who arrived shortly after manager Alan Pardew in December 2010, this is just the start of the journey for Krul, with the pair having set big targets for the next few years.  

"I'm extremely proud. It is one of the proudest moments I have had as a coach," Woodman told nufc.co.uk in an exclusive interview.

"When I first came to the Club me and Tim made a pact, and that was our goal.

"Obviously he had to get in the first team at Newcastle first, but I promised Tim that I would push him and make sure that he became the Dutch number one.

"It was like 'job done' in respect that we have got him there, but straight away the conversation has been to make sure we keep him there.

"But we are by no means done, let me tell you. Our next goal is to make sure that he's playing in a World Cup final."

Woodman and Pardew made a special trip to the Amsterdam Arena a week ago to watch their keeper's first competitive senior cap for his nation.

And the duo were impressed - albeit not surprised - by what they saw from Krul, as he put in an assured and confident display which has become commonplace in a Newcastle jersey over the past year.

"I had a little heads up that he would be close to playing, and the hardest bit for me was trying to keep a lid on it. I wanted to shout from the rooftops!" explained Woodman.

"I went to the game and it was great to see your keeper out there in an atmosphere like that.

"Tim's form has continued from last year and watching him play in Amsterdam I thought he was superb.

"He felt his way into the game and then as it went on he just got better and better.

"I can't see why Tim Krul can't be the Dutch number one for many, many years - he's that good."

An infectious larger-than-life character, Woodman's laugh can often be heard echoing around the corridors of United's Benton-based training centre.

And those smiles transcend onto the pitch too, with Woodman ensuring his goalkeepers enjoy every minute of their job, even when the going gets tough - as it does most days.

When asked about his journey with Krul, Woodman replied: "We've worked hard, put a lot of hours in, changed one or two bits about his game and his mentality, but ultimately it is Tim Krul who has got himself there.

"We train hard and everything we do is at a high-tempo, because the reality is that the ball comes at 100mph.

"So if you aren't training at that intensity, you are going to always be playing catch-up. We've made sure the training is on it every day.

"The other side of it is that I like him to smile and like him to enjoy what he is doing.

"Tim is quite an intense lad, so I've tried to bring that into him as well. We work - we work hard - but we smile while we are working.

"The culmination of that with Tim's attitude and drive has got him to that position."

Not too many 24-year-olds can lay claim to being first choice in their position for both club and country - as Krul now does.

And Woodman believes Magpies boss Pardew deserves plenty of credit for showing faith in players, no matter how youthful they are.

"It's an amazing achievement and what's really great is the trust the manager has put in not just Tim, but other young players as well," he said.

"That has a knock-on effect down the ladder with all young players here, as they realise they are going to get a chance if they are good enough.

"What Tim has done is fantastic and it should inspire all the young goalkeepers at this Club.

"I couldn't be prouder of what he has achieved so far, but it is only so far - there is a lot more to come from Tim Krul."

To purchase a goalkeeper's shirt with Tim Krul's name and number on the back, click here