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Neil Leonard Dula Etheridge is an English–Filipino professional football player who plays as a goalkeeper for Fulham and the Philippine National Football team Azkals.
Etheridge was born in 7 February 1990, in Enfield Town, in the London Borough of Enfield to Englishman Martin Etheridge and Filipina Merlinda Dula. He took up football at age nine and 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 James and Phil Younghusband. He started out as a forward but eventually switched to playing as a goalkeeper at the suggestion of his coach.
After three years as a trainee at Chelsea, in 2006, he moved to local rivals Fulham, and signed professional forms for the club. Currently in the Reserve Squad, Etheridge has yet to make his debut in the Premier League or the Football League.
Etheridge was named on the substitute bench as cover for Mark Schwarzer on 11 September 2010, in a home game against Wolves due to an injury to regular second choice goalkeeper David Stockdale. This served as his first senior team call-up.
Etheridge later joined Charlton Athletic in March 2011 on loan, but was recalled six days later without playing for them. He then inked a contract extension in May 2011 that would extend his stay at Craven Cottage until the summer of 2013.
“It took me a long time to decide. Obviously every boy's dream is to play for England at the highest level. But I thought, why not play for the Philippines? It's mum's side of the family as well.” —Etheridge, on his decision to represent the Philippines.
Etheridge made his full international debut in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup qualifiers, playing for the Philippine National team 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.