Philippines goalkeeper Neil Etheridge insisted that he is ready to fight for his place in the team in the wake of competition from his compatriots.
The 25-year-old hasn’t played for the Azkals squad since the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup fixture against Afghanistan following his previous rift issue with coach Thomas Dooley.
However, Dooley and Etheridge admitted that they have resolved the issue, confirming that the England-born custodian will get the second chance to don the national team kit ahead of the join qualifiers of 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup.
“I’ll be fighting for the number one spot,” Etheridge told CNN Philippines. “I’ve always been quite a confident guy and I hope to be wearing that jersey, the number one jersey.
“My main focus is this World Cup qualifier, regaining the number one jersey is my main priority this coming summer. My aim is to keep fit, keep sharp and prove myself once I get into camp.”
The Azkals were drawn into Group H along with Uzbekistan, Yemen, North Korea and will hold a training camp on June 1, before hosting their opening fixture against Bahrain on June 11 at Philippine Sports Stadium.