Stoke move was a 'turning point' in my life, says Etherington

The midfielder, who joined the Potters from West Ham for £2 million in 2009, has expressed gratitude to the Staffordshire club for helping him change for the better
Stoke City midfielder Matthew Etherington has expressed gratitude to the club for providing him with a turning point in his career and personal life.

The 31-year-old joined the Potters in 2009 following six years at West Ham and made an instant impact at the Britannia Stadium, winning the Player of the Year award in his debut season.

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And Etherington also credits the Staffordshire club with helping him change his life off the pitch, having overcome an addiction to gambling in recent years.

"Moving to Stoke was a massive turning point for me, both on and off the field,” he told reporters.

“It has been a great move for me personally and I am grateful for being given the chance to move to the Britannia and turning things around again."

Etherington has been used sparingly by Tony Pulis so far this term, but believes he still has more to give at the top level of English football.

"I still feel I have a good couple of years in me in the Premier League,” he continued.

"Hopefully those years will be at Stoke. I feel I can still do well at Stoke and put in good performances in the Premier League.

“I just want to get back in the side on a regular basis and get back to performing at the levels I know I am capable of.

"It has been frustrating not being in the side. I am not going to lie about that. I just have to do enough to show I am worthy of staying in the side. It is hard sitting on the bench. That is the manager's decision and I respect that."