I’ve been a sports fan since I don’t know when.. oh yeah.. when I was kid, I’ve tried different sports, learned some but never mastered any. =) I never grew tired of watching any sports event, whatever kind or type may it be. Football is one of the many sports that I’ve liked to watch since then. Who could ever deny the fact that football has never been hotter with David Beckham around? Plus the deadly striking force of the 3R’s for the Brazilian team.
Football is just known for the Europeans and for those countries who are part of FIFA, but for the Filipinos, we are rarely inclined to this sport since we are more hooked to basketball, in which every street may have a self-made basketball court. And then lately to boxing, thanks to the ‘Pacman’ for putting a spot for the country on the international ring.
About few months ago, Philippine football is starting to make waves brought about the uniquely named Azkals team. Made up of good-looking Fil-foreigners and equally talented and skilled pure-Filipino guys from the army.
It was a game at the AFC Suzuki Cup, that I started to show some support for the Philippines’ pride, but never did I thought that I would lay my eyes on a particular player. I’ve always had an eye for a striker or the goalkeeper maybe because they are the most prominent ones in this field (don’t get wrong, each member on the pitch is as important as anyone else). The first time I saw a glimpse of that tall and handsome goalee, I got glued on watching the TV. Looking sharp indeed.
Then I learned his name is Neil Etheridge, wearing jersey #1. I got curious with Neil Leonard Dula Etheridge, Fil-British lad playing for Fulham Football Club in England and I described him as a “smart, athletic and good-looking goalie” :) since the first time I saw him.
Upon learning that he’d go here in Manila last January, I felt really restless and excited. I know that no matter what, I have to see this guy. And yes I did, the first time I saw him was when he arrived on the 5th of February. Crazy as it may seem, but the fan-girl in me just let it all out. I followed twitter calculations which led me to go to the airport that night with my 2 ever supportive friends.
The arrival area of NAIA Terminal 1 is not a conducive place for the situation since the one you are waiting for doesn’t know you and won’t look for you. No one was waiting for him as I may say. We haven’t seen any other fan-girls or any other Azkal fans that might be waiting for Neil’s arrival as well. The chances are getting slimmer though we know that the plane has landed. Good thing, my senses worked. A tall, handsome guy has been spotted and we ran over to where his car is parked. It’s now or never! We all shouted for his name “NEEIILL!!!” I never expected what happened next. He heard us call his name and even if he was seating comfortably inside the car, he went out and walked over to us like we knew each other. That moment was undeniably unbelievable and magical. Like my prince charming is finally here, walking towards me. We welcomed him, shook hands and I handed over my welcome & birthday gift for him. During the whole time, he was just smiling and I was melting! I still manage to say some things but thanks to a friend for remembering to ask for his photo. She was thinking of taking a solo shot of him but he was thinking otherwise. He was maneuvering already to have his photo taken with us. Luckily, the Azkals staff member was kind enough to take the photo for us but when you look at the picture, it seems that Neil was the one who did the shot. Well, I’d leave it for others to think whatever they perceive. After the photo op, we bid our goodbyes and it was a nice parting moment since it started and ended with him showing his flashy smile. =)
After the car has passed by us, we were left spazzing and enjoying the moment that we got to welcome Neil Etheridge in Manila! It was just the first of many Neil-moments! I knew there’s more to come. I just can’t let this lad come and go to Manila without me seeing him. :)) Thanks to Neil! I’ve never been keen in fulfilling may fan-girling adventure and for his tweet “Looking Sharp:”! :D
submitted by jane-baller071415