Etheridge named in Philippines squad but doubtful starter
First-choice goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has been included in the Philippines’ preliminary squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup although it is likely he will miss at least the group matches.
Etheridge, whose loan deal to English League Two side Bristol Rovers has been extended until Christmas, is one of nine overseas-based players in the squad of 35.
"It's going to be really difficult for me to get out to the AFF Suzuki Cup. The odds are definitely against me," Etheridge told Philippine media.
"I have spoken to (Azkals team manager) Dan Palami and coach (Michael Weiss). They know that it's going to be difficult for me to travel.
"So it looks like Roland (Muller) will be taking the No. 1 spot for a few of the games, but one of the ideas is that I will fly out for maybe the semi-finals if we reach it."
Weiss knows that he will have to wait until the last minute to see whether other players based in Europe will be released.
Brothers Phil and James Younghusband, who were dropped from the squad for the Peace Cup that the Philippines went on to win, have been included in the preliminary list of players.
Philippines, surprise semi-finalists in 2010, will play co-hosts Thailand, 2008 champions Vietnam and Myanmar in Group A from November 24-December 1.
Philippines, preliminary squad:
Goalkeepers: Eduardo Sacapano (Philippine Army FC), Ref Cuaresma (Loyola Meralco Sparks FC), Neil Etheridge (Bristol Rovers FC – on loan from Fulham), Roland Muller (MSV Duisburg, Germany)
Defenders: Robert Gier (unattached), Demitrius Omphroy (Global FC), Jason Sabio (Kaya FC), Carlos Martinez de Murga (Global FC), Jeffrey Christiaens (Global FC), Dennis Cagara (Karlsrusher SC, Germany), Juan Guirado (Global FC), Paul Mulders (NV Ado Den Haag, Holland)
Midfielders: Nestorio Margarse (Philippine Army FC), Patrick Reichelt (Global FC), Jason De Jong (Stallion FC), Jose Porteria (Kaya FC), Misagh Bahadoran (Global FC), Marvin Angeles (Global FC), Marwin Angeles (Global FC), Andres Gonzalez (Loyola Meralco Sparks FC), Christoper Greatwich (unattached), Angel Guirado (Salgaocar FC, India), Mark Hartmann (Loyola Meralco Sparks FC), Ray Jonsson (FC Grindavik, Iceland), Jerry Lucena (Esbjerg, Denmark), Lexton Moy (Kaya FC), Manuel Ott (FC Ingolstadt 04, Germany), Stephan Schrock (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim, Germany), Matthew Uy (Global FC), James Younghusband (Loyola Meralco Sparks FC)
Forwards: Emelio Caligdong (Philippine Air Force), Denis Wolf (Global FC), Ian Araneta
(Philippine Air Force), Joshua Beloya (Ceres FC), Phil Younghusband (Loyola Meralco Sparks FC)