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What's new this season? New nationalities

4 Aug 2018
Neil Etheridge, Cardiff City

Cardiff City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is not only making history for the Philippines but also the whole of Southeast Asia

As the days count down to the first match of the season, looks at things new to the competition for 2018/19.


If Neil Etheridge features for Cardiff City in their 2018/19 Premier League season opener at AFC Bournemouth on Saturday 11 August, it will not only be his debut in the competition, but a landmark for the whole of Southeast Asia.

Etheridge, the goalkeeper who helped Cardiff gain promotion last season, is a Philippines international, and should he make an appearance he will be the first-ever Filipino to play in the PL.

Not only that, he will also be the first PL player from any of the countries in the region of Southeast Asia, which has a total population of more than 650 million people.

The Philippines would become the 113th nation to have had a player represent them in the Premier League.

Eighteen other nations have had one player appear in the PL: Albania, Angola, Armenia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Faroe Islands, Gambia, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Kosovo, Malta, Montserrat, Oman, Pakistan and the Seychelles.

Next in line?

The next nation from Southeast Asia to produce a PL player may well be Singapore.

Ben Davis, a 17-year-old who has been called up by his national team, has a professional contract with Fulham.

But his PL debut may have to be put on hold for the time being, as he is set for two years of national service after he turns 18 in November.

Also in this series

Part 1: What's new this season? Nike Merlin ball
Part 2: What's new this season? The 59th stadium
Part 3: What's new this season? Match officials
Part 4: What's new this season? Earlier Deadline Day
Part 5: What's new this season? Maiden fixtures
Part 6: What's new this season? Nike referee kits
Part 7: What's new this season? Debutant managers
Part 8: What's new this season? Disciplinary sanctions

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