Everton goalkeeping coach Chris Woods is looking forward to
returning to Ibrox, but isn't anticipating a 'friendly
match' when the two sides meet on Saturday.
The former England international made over 200 appearances for
the Glasgow club between 1986 and 1991, during which time he helped
the Light Blues to three consecutive league championships.
After playing his career out at clubs such as Sheffield
Wednesday, Southampton and Burnley, Woods followed Walter Smith and
Archie Knox to Goodison in 1998 and has remained on Merseyside ever
Although he never actually played for Everton, the 43-year-old
is well aware of the passion of both sets of supporters and knowing
both sets of players, Woods isn't expecting a clash for the
"I don't think they're be such a thing as a
friendly when two big clubs are involved," he told
"Both teams will want to prove that they are the best, no
matter where or when they play. It'll be an interesting
"I think it'll be a massive test for us. They start
their season earlier than us, so it'll be extremely hard work.
It'll be a full house at Ibrox, so it could be 'fever
pitch' to start the season off!"
Woods is no stranger to Everton-Rangers matches, having played
in the Dubai Desert Classic between the two teams. It was the game
where the champions of England met the champions of Scotland - and
it's a game which sticks out in the 'keeper's mind.
"We drew 2-2 and we had about thirteen or fourteen
penalties each," he recalled.
"I was lucky enough to stop one (from Ian Snodin) and the
only reason for that was because I think I was due to take the next
The phrase 'Once a Blue, Always A Blue' is frequently
used when describing former Everton players, but in Woods'
case, it can also be said of Rangers.
He looks back at his time at Ibrox with a great deal of fondness
and simply can't wait to renew acquaintances on Saturday.
"I'm looking forward to going back," he continued.
"I had five great years there and I think a lot of the
people who were working there at the time are still working there
now, so it'll be nice to see a few old faces!
"I've been up to a few games, I've been up there to
train a few times since I left there. They always make me feel
welcome and I'm looking forward to it.
"Once you've played for the club, you feel part of the
club - it must be the same for everyone who's played for
Everton. When I go up there, it all comes back to me."