MANILA, Philippines - Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has a new football club.
The 25-year-old Filipino-British player Etheridge has signed a two-year deal with Walsall FC of Football League One in the United Kingdom, the team announced on its website Thursday, July 2.
It's a great feeling to have signed for @WFCOfficial #greatclub #greatsupport can't wait to get started #NE1 pic.twitter.com/5vuuUP0XvN — Neil Etheridge (@Neil38Etheridge) July 2, 2015
Etheridge, who played both of the Philippine national football team’s two victories in FIFA World Cup qualifying matches last month, played for Charlton Athletic FC last season.
“Now is the time to get my head down and work hard. I have gained plenty of International experience in front of big crowds, but I’ve not played as many League games as I would have liked and I intend to rectify that here," said Etheridge, who kept Yemen scoreless in the Azkals 2-0 win.
The Walsall, West Midlands-based team reached the Football League Trophy final for the time in club history last season before losing 2-0 to Bristol City.
Yahoo! Sport reports that Etheridge will compete with Craig MacGillivray for the starting job after Richard O’Donnell left for Wigan Athletic this past May.
"We had a number of good options but Neil really stood out," manager Dean Smith said. “He ticks all the right boxes in terms of age, room for further development and experience at this level and above.
"He is an extremely driven young man who wants to be successful and these are the characteristics that we are looking for." - Rappler.com