Etheridge training with Fulham in 2010
|Full name||Neil Leonard Dula Etheridge|
|Date of birth||7 February 1990|
|Place of birth||Enfield, London, England|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|2008–2009||→ Leatherhead (loan)|
|2011||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||0||(0)|
|2012||→ Bristol Rovers (loan)||12||(0)|
|2013–2014||→ Crewe Alexandra (loan)||4||(0)|
|2014||→ Charlton Athletic (loan)||2||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:10, 8 August 2016 (UTC).
Neil Leonard Dula Etheridge (born 7 February 1990) is a professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for League One club Walsall and the Philippines national team. He joined the Fulham Academy after three years as a trainee at Chelsea and made his debut for Fulham in UEFA Europa League against the Danish club Odense BK. He made his debut in the Football League while on loan to Bristol Rovers. A former England Schoolboys international, he now represents the Philippines at senior international level.
Etheridge was born in Enfield, London to Englishman Martin Etheridge and Filipina Merlinda Dula, a native of Tarlac. He took up the sport of football at the age of nine initially playing at the striker position before switching to being a goalkeeper. He attended Court Moor School in Fleet, Hampshire where he also represented Hampshire Schools and the Aldershot & Farnborough district teams.
Etheridge began attending the Chelsea Academy in 2003, where he was also teammates with eventual Philippine internationals James and Phil Younghusband. He started out as a forward but eventually switched to playing as a goalkeeper at the suggestion of his coach.
In September 2008, Etheridge signed for Isthmian League Division One South club Leatherhead on loan for the entire 2008–09 season and made his debut on 20 September in the 2–1 home defeat to Metropolitan Police. In September 2009, Etheridge underwent surgery on both knees. He was expected to be out for the entire 2009–10 season but returned in January 2010, eventually making nine appearances for the reserves. By the end of the season he signed a new one-year deal, keeping him at Fulham until the summer of 2011, attributing his contract extension to his quick recovery. Etheridge received his first senior team call-up on 11 September 2010, when he was named on the substitute bench as cover for Mark Schwarzer in a home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers due to an injury to regular second choice goalkeeper David Stockdale. In March 2011 Etheridge joined League One side Charlton Athletic on loan, but was recalled six days later without playing for them. Etheridge signed a contract extension in May that would extend his stay at Craven Cottage until the summer of 2013.
He made his first senior appearance for Fulham against Odense Boldklub in the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League on 14 December. On 23 March 2012 upon his return to Fulham after completing his international duties, it was announced that Etheridge will be out for the rest of the season due to a wrist injury that was obtained in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup. He recovered quickly and on 9 May he has been able to play in the Development squad's last game of the season against the reserves of West Bromwich Albion.
He joined League Two side Bristol Rovers on an initial one-month loan on 20 September 2012. He made his first Football League appearance for the Rovers against Fleetwood Town on 22 September, in which was his and Rovers first clean sheet of 2012–13 season. On 21 November, Fulham confirmed that Etheridge had been recalled from his loan at Bristol Rovers.
Etheridge signed a one-year extension to his Fulham contract on 8 May 2013, with the option of a further year extension.
At the end of 2013–14 season, he was released by Fulham.
On 27 November 2014, Etheridge rejoined Charlton Athletic on a one-month loan deal. He made his league debut, for Charlton on 26 December 2014, in a 1–1 draw against Cardiff City. Manager Bob Peeters had opted to play Etheridge, Charlton's third choice goalkeeper, ahead of second choice Nick Pope whose performances in previous games Peeters had described as "a bit unlucky".
On 12 May 2015, Etheridge was released at the end of his contract.
Etheridge is a former England under-16 international, having played in the 2005 Victory Shield, in which England and Wales eventually shared the trophy. Despite having represented England at youth level, he remained eligible to represent the Philippines through his mother.
In 2007, Etheridge received an invitation to play for the Philippines but declined the offer, citing unfamiliarity with the language and the players. He was again invited in early 2008, this time by the new Philippine Football Federation president Jose Mari Martinez. He eventually accepted the invitation after speaking to the new manager and learning about the set up, and after encouragement from Phil Younghusband.
Etheridge made his full international debut in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers, playing in all three matches. He kept three clean sheets but the Philippines still failed to qualify due to an inferior goal difference to group winners Tajikistan.
He was called up again later that year for the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup qualification matches. In their opening match, Etheridge got his fourth successive clean sheet, as the Philippines defeated Timor-Leste 1–0. However, in their remaining three fixtures, Etheridge conceded five goals as the Philippines won another match, drew one and lost one, before being eliminated on the basis of goals scored record after finishing tied for second.
His next call up that came was for the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup. The Philippines came in second in their group, with one win and two draws, and conceding only one goal. But both legs of the semi-finals ended in 1–0 defeats for the Philippines against Indonesia. Etheridge was then called up for his country for the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers where he conceded only a single goal-enabling the Philippines to qualify for the group stage. Etheridge announced his interest of participation in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup but needing to seek Martin Jol's Approval. He got his clearance from his club and was included in the final 23-man squad.
On 9 March 2012 against DPR Korea, he saved a penalty taken by Pak Song-Chol in the 16th minute and kept the scoreline respectable as the match ended 2–0 He was sent off in the closing minutes of semi-final game against Turkmenistan, which the Philippines lost by a score of 1–2. Due to the red card he was not able to play in the battle for third, but still Philippines bounced back to claim the 3rd place, defeating Palestine 4–3.
In a friendly against Hong Kong in 2013, Etheridge earned his 40th cap at the age of 23. He put up a wonderful performance by saving a penalty and keeping out clear cut chances from the opponent especially in the dying minutes of the game to preserve the historic 1–0 win.
Etheridge earned two more international caps as he played for the Unified Russia World Cup 2018 and AFC Qualifier wherein the Philippines won a home match against favorites Bahrain 2-1 on 11 June 2015, and a 0-2 win against Yemen held in Qatar Sports Club on 17 June 2015.
In October 2016 it was announced that Etheridge would not be included in the 2016 AFF Championship squad, because of club commitments with Walsall. Etheridge expressed disappointment of yet again missing out on the regional championship, but added that he was committed to playing for his club.
- As of match played 6 August 2016
|Club||Season||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Charlton Athletic (loan)||2010–11||League One||0||0||—||—||—||0||0|
|Bristol Rovers (loan)||2012–13||League Two||12||0||—||—||—||12||0|
|Crewe Alexandra (loan)||2013–14||League One||4||0||—||—||—||4||0|
|Oldham Athletic||2014–15||League One||0||0||0||0||0||0||1[b]||0||1||0|
- As of match played 29 March 2016
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