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Azkals Etheridge in doubt for AFF Suzuki Cup

With Neil Etheridge extending his loan contract with Bristol Rovers until Christmas, the highly rated goalkeeper could miss the Philippines campaign in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Bristol Rovers, currently sitting six points above the relegation zone in English League Two, have games on November 24 and 27 the same days as Philippines play Thailand and Vietnam respectively in Group A of the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Etheridge, third choice at English Premier League side Fulham before being loaned out, has been in great form for both the Philippines and Bristol Rovers.

The agile ‘keeper, a key player for the Azkals in their dream run to the semis of the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, saved a penalty and made several other outstanding stops in the Philippines 2-1 away loss to Kuwait last week after flying in from England for the game.

Coach Michael Weiss knows that he may have to do without several of his overseas-based stars, including Etheridge, for November’s AFF Suzuki Cup and is planning accordingly.

Roland Muller, the number two at MSV Duisburg, kept a clean sheet against Bahrain in a friendly played a few days before the Kuwait clash and Weiss is hopeful that he will be released for the Asean Football Championship.