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The Philippine Azkals will once again miss the services of ace goalkeeper Neil Etheridge for the AFF Suzuki Cup this November to concentrate on his club duties with English third division club Walsall.
Etheridge made the announcement late Tuesday, saying that he was forced to set aside his national team duties for Southeast Asia’s biggest football competition since it does not fall on the FIFA international window.
Had the Suzuki Cup set during the international break, it would have paved the way for Etheridge to don the Azkals uniform.
It will be the third straight time that Etheridge will miss the Suzuki Cup, thus leaving the door open for Roland Muller and Patrick Deyto to fight for the top goalkeeping spot.
“It’s frustrating that the Suzuki Cup doesn’t fall within international dates, but for the past years now I guess I have been used to not being involved,” says Etheridge.