27 March 2013

Etheridge not sore despite snub

by Cedelf Tupas

NATIONAL goalkeeper Neil Etheridge found himself in a situation unlike any other in his five-year stint with the Philippine team. With Filipino-German keeper Roland Muller also available, Etheridge—long the country’s top player between the posts—was relegated to the bottom of the pecking order in the AFC Challenge Cup Group E Qualifying. Even Ed Sacapano was picked ahead of Etheridge in the match against Turkmenistan last night. But the 23-year-old has taken his demotion professionally, stressing that he understood the decision of coach Michael Weiss. “It would have been nice to have played but coach has made the decision and I have to respect that,” Etheridge, whose stellar play has been instrumental to the Azkals’ rise in 2010 and to key Philippine matches in the last two years, told the Inquirer. “It’s a team sport and I’m here for the team and always ready to battle in the next game.” His recent match was in a 1-0 win over Myanmar (Burma) in Yangon, where Etheridge was named Man of the Match along with goal scorer OJ Porteria.
One-game suspension
Etheridge carried a one-game suspension to the tournament for his conduct in the third-place match against Palestine in the Challenge Cup in Nepal last year. But he was not listed as part of the team in the Cambodia clash, which Muller started, and even in the key battle against Turkmenistan, after Weiss hinted that he was not keen on changing the lineup.
39 appearances for PH “It’s upsetting,” said Etheridge, who arrived from London early last week in the hope of adding to his 39 appearances for the national team. “It’s obviously a hard decision to make. I know my ability and I’m more than capable of playing for this team. I still obviously consider myself as the No. 1.” Etheridge said he’s ready to win back his spot for the next competition. For now, he’s trying to make himself a model for teammates also caught in the same situation and struggling to get playing time. The Azkals have plenty of depth in the side, but some of the key players in past campaigns failed to get playing time in the match against Cambodia where Weiss did not use any substitute.
Standouts on the bench Regular starters Chieffy Caligdong and James Younghusband and the likes of Patrick Reichelt, Misagh Bahadoran and Marwin Angeles are also on the bench as proof of the squad’s quality. “This doesn’t set me back or put me into the shell,” said the Fulham keeper. “I’ll come out fighting and I’ll come out stronger. Hopefully, I’ve composed myself around the field and outside the field to help out other players who are in a similar situation.
“We have to think that we are a vital part of the squad, not just the starting eleven.”


  1. Appreciate of being " HUMBLE " of NIEL E., despite he didn't included in the list for the last game against TURKMENISTAN.,of AFC Challenge Cup qualifier..

    He show to us that anytime He can support the AZKALS our national team without any conditions but just because the love of our country ...The PHILIPPINES..... Good Luck AZKALS...for your journey to MALDIVES...2014

  2. Maybe it has s.th. to do of his bad behaviours he did show in past. He was officially ( the article wrote ) suspended for d Cambdia game through AFC/FIFA..

    Maybe Mr. Weiss also ignored the rape case of Amanda Coling not anymore ( which is still in process due german justice court ) .. so he not need him anymore w/ his bad behaviours?

  3. no the suspension was back from last year's AFC Challenge. but his action at the time was understandable by normal circumstances (an opponent held on to his leg while he was up in the air to grab the ball which was dangerous for him as he could have landed awkwardly and get injured and could end his career. it was a dirty play by the opponent which neil reacted animatedly after; understandably so), but unfortunately the ref did not see the grabbing but saw neil instead and get slapped with a card which eventually lead to suspension for this competition. The Amanda Coling case we all know is as is... IMO that was more about Amanda Coling's effort to stay relevant in the public's consciousness.

    But I think coach Weiss mentioned prior to the competition that Muller has the edge over Neil because Muller has consistently played for his club as a starter than Neil for Fulham. I guess you can say that Muller has the rhythm for the game than Neil at this point.

    1. Absolutely RIGHT,....so, whoever maybe our starting line up of every game., we know that Coach Weiss knew who would be the right player for the right opponent of the game....

      ALL AZKALS players deserve to play with the right decisions of the Coach

      what is the important., the AZKALS won the game....WE ARE PROUD OF YOU GUYS....

      We hope, the same players (Philippines vs Turmenistan - last March 26,2013)they have a friendly schedules against the solid National team of SAUDI ARABIA

      We are waiting .....someday ....

  4. He believes that there is "I" in Team. He's a professional. We have a deep line-up now. I is beneficial for our NT.

  5. In Europe and other parts of the world, whoever starts in every game of their club is always a starter in their national team. For example- Joe Hart of ManCity/England, Howard of Everton/USA, Valdes of Spain/Barcelona, Manuel Neuer of Bauern Muchen/Germany and many others who always star in almost every game..

  6. Nice Ananymous that u try to rescue Neil Etheridge reputation.. but his behaviours was bad in past and REGISTERED in GERMAN JUSTICE COURT.. so NO CHANCE that you LIE in advance to HIM :)
    Mr. Weiss and DFB also know about his official justice court registration .

    Anonyomus I ´m happy that I not need to use an ANPNYMOUS NAME .. my name is PAUL WEILER and I NOT NEED to construct LIES as YOU ( to set a reputation down oF Miss Amanda Coling is highly P R I MI T I V E ):)

    1. Who the f&%" cares about the german justice court?! Neil certainly hasnt done any crime IN Germany, and german court has certainly nothing to do with the "incident" that occurred in the past.

      And you Paul Weiler, is still a fool, a big fool. Do you really wanna try and get your 15 minutes of fame again, or shall i say, 15 minutes of hate? Coz people arent more fond of you, if thats what you think.

      This is what people think when they hear the name Paul Weiler.

      Paul Weiler = Fraud, scammer, douchebag and scumbag.

    2. Paul Weiler or not (idk who you are) but one thing I know for certain is that ou clearly are trolling. Give it a rest! Besides why would a German court be handling a case that is not in their jurisdiction? Does not make sense legally speaking, unless it's the Interpol. Look, supposedly, the incident took place in Manila to a Filipina and the accused are Filipinos. Now explain to all of us what does the German court of justice have the right to look at this case??? Enlighten us...

    3. ugly monkey weiler huahuahuahua

  7. Is this Paul Weiler from Barotac?