Suiting up for a Premier League club was a distinction in itself.
But playing through the entire season and being recognized for his individual effort made Neil Etheridge’s debut in the top-flight football competition more memorable.
“To play in the Premier league first is a massive achievement, honor for me,” the Cardiff City goalkeeper said in an interview on CNN Philippines Wednesday.
“To take responsibilities to be the first Filipino, first Southeast Asian to play in the Premier League is amazing.”
Etheridge played all 38 matches for the Bluebirds, registering 10 clean sheets and tallying 141 saves, the latter number the second most in the league.
He was named the club’s player of the year.
Etheridge said going into the season, it was hard to envision his campaign ending up favorably the way it has.
“I don't think I did (play impressively), to be honest,” said Etheridge, who is in the country with his fiancé for vacation.
“My first season, I didn't know (what to expect) in the start. To play a full season, 38 games is something I didn't expect. But now looking back, winning player of the year is a massive achievement as well.”
Now, the Azkals goalkeeper said he simply wants to savor some downtime.
“I'm not here as often as I like. This time is for vacation and see the beatiful wonders of the Philippines I haven’t seen before,” he said.
“We want to enjoy the beautiful scenery that we don't get in the UK or anywhere near it.”
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)