Philippines goalkeeper Etheridge joins Crewe on loan

The Fulham shot-stopper has joined the League One side in a temporary move until January, with manager Martin Jol keen to let him experience regular playing time
Fulham have loaned out goalkeeper Neil Etheridge to League One side Crewe Alexandra, with manager Martin Jol keen for him to gain experience.

The deal will see the Philippines first-choice custodian move to Alexandra Stadium until January 1 next year, pending clearance from the Football Association, Premier League and Football League.

The English-Filipino former Chelsea academy graduate has not made a single Premier League apppearance since joining the Cottagers in 2006, although he made his debut in the 2011/12 Europa League campaign against Odense Boldklub.

It is not surprising then that Dutchman Jol wants Etheridge to seek more regular playing time, with first-choice Marten Stekelenburg and deputy David Stockdale ahead of him in the pecking order.

"Neil is one of the keepers who I think should go on loan and get 50-75 games under his belt because he's talented," Jol told Fulham's official website.

"Etheridge hasn't got the experience yet. He's played one match for us. He has never played in the Premier League and I think goalkeepers are living by experience."

This will be the 23-year-old's fourth such transfer, having joined Leatherhead, Charlton Athletic and Bristol Rovers temporarily before.

Etheridge revealed in an interview with his new club that he hopes to "put a smile" on his Philippines countrymen in light of the recent typhoon disaster, and is also looking forward to their next match.

Crewe, who are 22nd out of 24 teams, host Port Vale in a derby game on Saturday and Etheridge is expected to make his debut.

"First game this weekend is a massive one and I hope I can be a part of us turning things around," he tweeted on Friday.

Etheridge turned out for the England Under-16s at youth level before going on to make his senior debut for Philippines in 2008. He earned his 40th cap against Hong Kong earlier this year and has established himself as the Azkals' number one.