Wilkshire heads back to Russia with love

Former Socceroos defender Luke Wilkshire has turned down the A-League for a second stint with Dynamo Moscow – the team which once made him Australia’s highest earning player with a $5 million salary.

Wilkshire

Wilkshire signing his new Dynamo contract Source: FC Dynamo Moscow twitter

Wilkshire, who turns 35 next month, joined the fallen-but-now-rising-again giants back in 2008 before moving on to Feyenoord six years later.

And now the right-back, who amassed 80 Socceroos caps before disappearing from the national set-up after being cruelly culled on the eve of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is back at a club he adores after spurning advances of at least four A-League teams.

A favourite of former Australia coach Guus Hiddink and with more caps to his name than either Harry Kewell or Mark Viduka, Wilkshire has signed a one-year deal with the side relegated from the Russian Premier League for the first time in their history last season.

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He has an option for a second season at Dynamo, who are sitting atop Russia's second tier with 23 points from 10 games and seem set for a quick return to the top division.

The Wollongong native, according to his Sydney-based agent Paddy Dominguez, is delighted to be back at a club where he has many fond recollections after 143 Russian Premier League appearances during his previous stint.

“He enjoyed one of the best periods of his career there previously ... they know him well and he is really happy to be going back," said Dominguez.

“There’s a familiarity there, and it’s a good opportunity for him at a big club."

Wilkshire, who went to two World Cups with Australia, was coming off a brief spell with fellow Russian outfit FC Terek Grozny, where he was able to terminate his contract after playing second fiddle to the club's captain Rizvan Utsiyev, a Grozny legend who could not displaced.


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2 min read
Published 1 September 2016 at 11:06am
By Dave Lewis