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Busman's holiday for Walsall keeper Neil Etheridge

Sport | Published:

Walsall's Neil Etheridge will spend part of his summer in the Philippines after launching his own goalkeeping academy.

The 26-year-old, who represents the Azkals at international level, enjoyed a hugely impressive debut campaign with the Saddlers after being snapped up on a free transfer following his release by Charlton.

But despite featuring 50 times in a gruelling campaign, there is no rest for the glovesman who is now off to Manila to try and pass on his skills to aspiring young keepers.

The former Chelsea man launched the Neil Etheridge Goalkeeping School last year and is now heading back out to the Philippines after attracting more youngsters to take part. And Etheridge admits he is thoroughly looking forward to being able to give something back to the game he loves.

"The goalkeeping school is something very close to me," he said. "It's great to be able to support the younger generation and I'm extremely happy to be able to do everything I can. It's my time off after a long season but this, in a sense, is my way of relaxing.

"I really do enjoy being able to give something back and to teach students the things I've learned over the years.

"There aren't many goalkeeping schools in the Philippines. There are some but I feel very blessed and very fortunate to have been through what I've been through.

"This year at Walsall has been fantastic for me on a personal note and also from a club perspective.

"I've played a lot of games and have gained more experience which I can now pass on to my students."

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As well as helping youngsters develop, Etheridge also believes his school will help him become a better goalkeeper for Walsall.

"It's a good learning experience for me," he added.

"When you step on the other side to coaching, you really do understand what the coaches are trying to say and what you want from your student. It was a massive eye opener for me last year, as I'm sure it will be this year."

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