Ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers, goalkeeper Neil Etheridge says he aims to regain his spot as the starting goalkeeper for the Azkals.
This report aired over CNN Philippines' Sports Desk on May 19, 2015.
(CNN Philippines) — With the World Cup Qualifiers just around the corner, former first choice goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is intent on claiming the number one shirt again.
The Filipino-English footballer is now back in Manila, after the conclusion of his season with Charlton Athletic FC, saying he is ready to compete for his place on the Azkals roster.
"I'll be fighting for the number one spot," Etheridge said in an interview on CNN Philippines' Sports Desk Tuesday night (May 19).
"I've always been quite a confident guy and I hope to be wearing that jersey, the number one jersey June 11."
After being at odds with Azkals coach Thomas Dooley, Etheridge hasn't played for the Philippine national team since the Asian Football Confederation Cup fixture against Afghanistan last May 2014.
The issue with Dooley has since been resolved and Etheridge is slated to rejoin the national side.
Etheridge has a chance to start for the country once again when the Azkals opens its World Cup qualifying campaign against Bahrain at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan on June 11.
But before he can earn the starting spot, he will have to compete with the likes of Roland Muller, Patrick Deyto, and Paolo Pascual.
"My main focus is this World Cup qualifier, regaining the number one jersey is my main priority this coming summer. My aim is to keep fit, keep sharp and prove myself once I get into camp," said Etheridge.
The Azkals are scheduled to come together for a training camp in the country on June 1 in preparation for their World Cup qualifying matches.