"I sold my house and I sold my cars and I was about a week away from going back to the Philippines", says Etheridge, who was born in Enfield to an English father and a Filipino mother.
His only appearance for Fulham came in a UEFA Europa League match against Danish side Odense Boldklub in December 2011. By 2015, he landed a contract with Charlton Athletic, but later got released. I don't know, it's just wonderful.
True to his words, it was indeed a remarkable year for Etheridge.
While a number of prominent East Asians, such as South Korea's Ki Sung-Yeung and Japan's Shinji Kagawa, have made their mark on the English Premier League, Etheridge will be the first Southeast Asian player to make an appearance when the new season begins in August.
Neil Warnock's side knew a home win over Reading would clinch second place behind champions Wolves, yet could only manage a 0-0 draw against their lowly opponents.
Despite working with modest means, the veteran manager signed resourcefully to assemble a group of players in whom he instilled a tireless work ethic and bloody-minded will to win.
Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: "All the times I have been in the Premier League prior, I felt a bit let down by the chairmen if I'm honest".
"Burnley went down the first year [they went up to the Premier League], but they used the money, the infrastructure of the club changed, they got everything done and then they came back up stronger. I'm still learning and I'm definitely not the finished article yet". Even if they lose the game they can be the promoted team.
The draw saw Cardiff return to the Premier League after a single season in the competition in 2013/14.
Last season, the clubs met twice in the Championship.
Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge (left) dives to stop the ball during the first round of the 2014 FIFA World Cup football qualifying match between Sri Lanka and Philippine in Colombo on June 29, 2011. "Qualifying to the Asian Cup, and obviously getting promoted to the Premier League, it's been wonderful".