Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Etheridge excited to rejoin Azkals

Posted by chardyboy on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 0 comments


MANILA, Philippines – Fulham Club reserve goalie Neil Etheridge is excited to return to the Philippines to rejoin the Philippine Azkals team as it prepares for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup this coming February.

The Filipino-British football player has been given the green light by his Fulham manager Mark Hughes as the football club takes an “international break” from the English Premier League.

“I will be coming out to the Philippines, I will land in Manila on Sunday, the 6th [February],” said Etheridge.

The 6’3” goalie played an important role in the Azkals’ campaign in the recent 2010 Suzuki Cup. The Filipino booters reached the tournament semifinals, the country’s highest finish in years.

Etheridge vowed to do his best in helping the team when it plays against Mongolia in the AFC qualifying series.

“I’m always happy to put on the Filipino jersey, and I try my hardest to give a hundred per cent every single time I put on the shirt,” he said.

Just like Filipino-British siblings James and Phil Younghusband, Etheridge is being recruited by other Asian football teams.

However, he has already signed with the United Kingdom’s Fulham Club.

“It will be great for me to stay, training with the best league in the world and fly out to the Philippines because it will bring the best experience to the players around me,” said Etheridge.

He is also happy to hear about the interest of other Filipino-Europeans in joining the national squad.

Etheridge said that the team will need a mix of its core players and new Filipino-European booters to boost its chances in future tournaments.

“To improve the team, we have to keep the core players but we need to expand—half Filipinos, full Filipinos, we need to look outside the box,” he said.

The Azkals will be playing against Mongolia at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod next month.

Etheridge said the home crowd will certainly help boost the team's confidence. – With a report from Rose Eclarinal, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau.


0 Responses so far:

Leave a Reply