The 22-year-old goalkeeper was thrust into the spotlight in last week’s win over Portsmouth as a late replacement for injured number one Marko Marosi - and performed well in a pressure situation.
Etheridge had been recalled from Town only a day earlier after making three appearances for the National League North outfit, earning positive reviews for his performances for the Reds.
And Ferguson says the former Accrington Stanley stopper - who is in line to play against Barnet this weekend - has returned to the Keepmoat Stadium with more of a spring in his step.
“He’s come back with a lot more confidence - and that was the reason to get him out,” said Ferguson.
“I spoke to Nicky Law [Alfreton manager] and he said he’s done great.
“He seems a lot more bubbly in himself, and Tyler Garratt’s the same.
“I think just getting games, and playing well in games, gives you confidence no matter what level it’s at.
“The boy did well when he came on because that’s not easy to go on in that sort of situation.
“If Marko’s injured we’ve got Ross and the young boy Louis [Jones] but we’re hopeful that Marko’s not too bad.”
Etheridge endured a mistake laden start to his career at Rovers but let no one down with his cameo against Pompey.
“He was outstanding,” said Ferguson.
“They put one straight on him from the corner as I thought they would and he’s collected that, and he’s punched one well, and he’s collected another.
“His concentration had to be spot on coming on at that part of the game and he did well.
“I’m delighted for the boy actually. I know he didn’t play long but what he did he did very well.”