Etheridge may play in AFC group stage

FILIPINO-BRITISH goalkeeper Neil Etheridge expressed his desire to represent the Philippines for the upcoming Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup Group Stage in Myanmar.

Etheridge, who will skip the second leg of the AFC Challenge Cup qualifying stage on March 15 in Mongolia, said that he’s just awaiting the go-signal from the Charlton Athletic Football Club management.

“Yes there’s a possibility and let’s see if I can go,” said the 21-year-old Etheridge, who improves the countries goalkeeping prowess since the Suzuki Cup last year. “I will know this week.”

Etheridge joined the Charlton Athletic Football Club on loan last week. The Charlton Addicks is a League One team in London. His mother club Fulham is playing in the prestigious English Premiere League.

Despite his non-availability in the second leg against Mongolia, Etheridge believes reserve Eduardo Sacapano can do the job done. “He is a tough goalkeeper too. I’m sure he can do it.”

The goalkeeper played eight games for the “Azkals” in 2010 and was instrumental in their run to the semifinals of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Football Federation Suzuki Cup held in Vietnam and Indonesia.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Azkals team is now in Ulan Bator, Mongolia. They arrived Sunday and took a whole day rest for Tuesday’s big match. On Monday, they will visit the National Sports Stadium in Ulan Bator and will begin training. (by Josef Ramos) The Manila Times