Wolves favourite Mike Stowell has been hailed as the man who has ‘made’ Kasper Schmeichel.
Schmeichel has this week made his 300th League appearance for Leicester City in a game where he was powerless to stop Vincent Kompany scoring a ‘worldie’ past him from 30 yards to give Manchester City the edge in the race for the Premier League title with a vital 1-0 win at the Etihad.
After eight years at the King Power Stadium, the 32-year-old Denmark international is recognised as one of the best goalkeepers in the top flight.
During the whole of that time, Stowell, 54, who holds the appearance record for Wolves goalkeepers at 448, has been his goalkeeping coach, as well as first-team coach, at Leicester.
Stowell’s former Molineux team-mate Don Goodman believes Schmeichel junior could not have had a better teacher.
“What a goalkeeping coach. I have seen the fruits of his labour with Kasper Schmeichel and I would imagine – and I’m almost certain that – Kasper would give Mike Stowell an awful lot of credit for the wonderful goalkeeper he is,” said Goodman, who celebrates his 53rd birthday today, to www.wolvesbite.com
“Yes, the genes he got from his father Peter were great, but you need to nurture that and I think Mike’s coaching has taken Kasper to the next level.
“He is now without question one of the best goalkeepers in this country and a large part of credit needs to go to Mike for that.”
Stowell became a firm fans’ favourite in his 11 years at Molineux from 1990-2001. Around half of that time he shared a dressing room with Goodman, and the latter believes he was one of several players who could have played at the higher level after helping the club to two agonising losing play-off semi-finals in 1995 and 1997.
“He was under-rated by the people who don’t follow Wolves. I don’t think they appreciated good a goalkeeper he was,” said the former striker.
“Like Matt Murray, ‘Stowelly’ had his injury problems and his knees are wrecked now!
“But he had a wonderful career and possibly should have been playing at a higher level than he did.”
Goodman has watched a lot of Wolves this season in his role as a summariser for Sky Sports TV and like sporting director Kevin Thelwell, has identified one man more than any other who has been the catalyst for the good times at the club – ‘magic man’ and head coach Nuno Espirito Santo.
“It’s not over yet but it has been a wonderful journey. I don’t just focus on this season; I would focus on the two years that Nuno has been in charge, because don’t forget where the journey began,” he reflected.
“It began with a team that finished 15th in the Championship but totally under-achieved after spending a decent amount of money and not getting anywhere near the heights required.
“They brought the ‘magic man’ in – because that’s what I call him – and the rest is history. So it’s been a two-year journey.
“I never had a shred of doubt that they would do very well in the Premier League. I told everyone who would listen that I’d been covering the Championship for 12 years now for Sky Sports and without doubt that was the best team I had seen come out of the Championship.
“I had no doubt that they would surprise a lot of people.”