Sydney FC link has Wilkshire pondering A-League stint

Former Socceroos defender Luke Wilkshire has declared himself open to an A-League stint, amid speculation he could be enlisted as an injury replacement by Sydney FC.

Luke Wilkshire

Luke Wilkshire scoring for Australia with Alex Brosque. Source: Getty Images

The 35 year-old right back, who in May ended his second spell with Dynamo Moscow, has been linked with filling the void at the Sky Blues left by the serious cruciate ligament injury to Rhyan Grant.

The 80-cap Socceroo, a native of Wollongong, has already rejected two offers from Russia's second tier as he eyes a possible homecoming.

Speaking from Moscow, his adopted home for seven of the last nine years, Wilkshire said: "If something interesting comes up that excites me, then I will certainly look at it."

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"Everything is possible for me ... it's been like that throughout my career.

"For me, it's about something that makes you excited to get out of bed each day.

"As of yet, I am still waiting to see what happens and I am enjoying being with my young family.

"If nothing pops up I might shoot to Miami and watch some baseball!"

The right-back, whose technical qualities were first harnessed by Guus Hiddink in the build up to the 2006 World Cup, was cut at the eleventh hour by Ange Postecoglou on the eve the 2014 World Cup.

He has quietly continued his career since, first with Feyenoord before returning to Russia for spells at Terek Grozny and then a Dynamo reunion.

"Since my omission from the 2014 World Cup I haven't heard anything from Australia, nor has anybody in Australia heard from me," added Wilkshire.

"A lot people maybe don't know it but I've still been working and doing my thing."

Referring to a potential swan song in the A-League, or elsewhere, Wilkshire reaffirmed: "It's got to be something that is good for my family, and good for me to enjoy playing football.

"I'm not talking financial because that's not going to be a factor.

"I'm talking about lifestyle and most importantly something that motivates me.

"Who knows what might happen, football is a strange old game and doors can always be open."

Wilkshire has been spared the injury ravages which afflict many players in the twilight of their careers.

"I feel great, I always have, nothing has changed over the years," he said.

"Just the age is changing, but nothing else. I am still feeling fresh."

Wilkshire is a strong proponent of ultimate A-League expansion embracing a team from the Illawarra.

"For me, expansion to Wollongong would be really interesting because it's my home town and my family are all still there," he said.

"Why not a team there? If you have the right people in place and the right backing I have no doubt they could sustain an A-League team.

"If you are looking to take the league in Australia to another level, of course you need expansion.

"You can't just be playing the same teams three or four times a year."


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3 min read
Published 27 July 2017 at 6:05pm
By Dave Lewis