Mark Schwarzer's injury provided a valuable opportunity for Neil Etheridge to prove his ability in a first senior appearance for The CottagersPhilippines international goalkeeper Neil Etheridge became the first-ever Filipino goalkeeper to play in European competition in his historic debut for Fulham in Europa League clash against Danish side Odense BK.
Etheridge was handed the first team duty after Fulham's first choice goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer suffered a neck injury in last weekend's Premier League match against Swansea and is expected to be out for four to six weeks.
The 21-year-old Etheridge started well for The Cottagers in his debut, keeping a clean sheet in the first half sheets as his team took a two-goal lead. However, Fulham settled for a draw and elimination from the competition after conceding a pair of goals to Odense in the second-half.
Since joining Fulham in three years ago, Etheridge has spent the majority of his time on loan to other clubs. Once rumoured to leave, his contract at Craven Cottage was extended until 2013 during the summer and he was promoted to backup goalkeeper after David Stockdale was sent out on loan to Ipswich Town.
Etheridge is also likely to be the first South-East Asian player to feel the atmosphere of Premier League when Fulham host Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
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