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Matthew's raring to go

English Barclays Premiership

Matthew Etherington can barely wait for the big Premiership kick-off in August. The young winger, who will turn 19 just five days before the season's opening day, has swapped looking out for fixtures against Halifax, Rochdale and Hartlepool for Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

"I'm raring to go already," said Etherington, part of a combined L1.2m deal with Simon Davies from Peterborough United in January. "I've spent a week away with my girlfriend's family in Ireland but I've seen the fixtures and I'm really looking forward to it."

So which games stand out for the England youth international? "I'd love to be involved in the derby against Arsenal," he enthused. "They look massive games. Manchester United is obviously another one. Liverpool were my favourite team as a boy but I made my debut at Anfield last season. You could say I've already done that one!

"I'm certainly more excited by the prospect of this season. We've been given an few summer programmes to stick to as well. I feel as if I need to be a little fitter next season. The Premiership certainly asks a lot more of you as a footballer than Division Three."

Etherington believes the fixture computer has conjured a tricky start for the team which he hopes to involved in. "They look like tough games to me. Ipswich will want to show everyone what they can do in their first game after being promoted and the trips to the north-east will be hard as well."

ASK MATTHEW: After the success of our question and answer sessions with Gary Doherty and Les Ferdinand, Matthew Etherington has agreed to be next in the firing line.

email your questions to our young recruit from Peterborough

Photographs courtesy of Action Images Ltd.