MANILA, Philippines – This year just keeps on getting better and better for Neil Etheridge as he recommits to newly promoted Premier League team Cardiff City until 2021.
The Azkals goalkeeper signed a 3-year deal on Friday, June 29, as the team gears up for a return to England’s top tier league.
“Great feeling to commit my future to @cardiffcityfc. Last season was amazing and once again the hard work starts in the Premier League!” tweeted Etheridge.
Etheridge surpassed expectations during the 2017-2018 season as he kept a total of 19 clean sheets from the original goal of 15. (READ: An underdog all his life, Neil Etheridge proves worth among elite)
The Azkals mainstay led the Bluebirds to a 2nd place finish out of 24 teams in his 45 appearances with the club.
“We are delighted to see another of our key performers from the 2017/18 campaign commit his future to the Club,” said Cardiff City’s Executive Director & CEO Ken Choo.
“I’m sure the supporters are just as pleased as us to see him sign this new deal.”
Ken Choo: “We are delighted to see another of our key performers from the 2017/18 campaign commit his future to the Club…— Cardiff City FC (@CardiffCityFC) June 29, 2018
“I’m sure the supporters are just as pleased as us to see him sign this new deal.”#CityAsOne pic.twitter.com/QxnySNEr2S
However, the Filipino international will compete for a starting slot with Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Alex Smithies, who also signed a 3-year contract with the Bluebirds last Thursday, June 28.
Just months after the Philippine national men’s football team cracked into the AFC Asian Cup for the first time in history, Etheridge became the first Southeast Asian to qualify for the Premier League after a 0-0 draw with Reading FC. – Rappler.com