A lot riding on Azkals performance for Etheridge, 2 other standouts
BOCAUE, Bulacan—For Philippine Azkals stalwarts Neil Etheridge, Luke Woodland and Iain Ramsay, there’s plenty riding on the first two games of the Philippines in the World Cup Qualifiers with regards to their club careers.
While the three players are expected to figure prominently for the Azkals in their matches against Bahrain and Yemen on Tuesday, there’s a cloud of uncertainty where they’ll play club football next season.
Etheridge’s contract has yet to be renewed by Charlton Athletic after spending the first five months of the year playing for the English Championship side.
“I think if I can prove that I’m the No. 1 goalkeeper for this team, I can get the approval of other clubs here in Asia and in Europe,” said the former Fulham standout. “I’m open to playing outside England as long as I can get games.”
Ramsay was released by Australian League side Melbourne FC last month. And the Fil-Aussie isn’t ruling out the possibility of playing his club football elsewhere in Asia.
“I’ve been in the A-League for six years and other players are leaning towards playing in Asia and I’m open to that,” said Ramsay. “But my focus and commitment at the moment is to do well for the Azkals.”
Woodland’s contract with Bolton will expire in July. The midfielder spent last season on loan at English League One side Oldham Athletic.
“It helps that I’m playing in the World Cup Qualifiers but at the end of the day I’m just excited to represent the Philippines,” said the 19-year-old Woodland. Up until kickoff last night, Woodland’s status was uncertain as he needed clearance from Fifa for switching from England to the Philippines. Woodland played in the Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 teams of England.