Sydney FC have confirmed the signing of former Caltex Socceroos defender Luke Wilkshire for the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season.
NEED TO KNOW
►The two-time World Cup star has played 250 times in top flight European football and joins the Sky Blues from Russian giants Dynamo Moscow.
►Wilkshire arrived in Sydney earlier this week and has undergone a stringent four-day medical with the Sky Blues.
►Wilkshire, who was part of the Socceroos ‘Golden Generation’, played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, including Australia’s 2006 win over Japan and their controversial defeat to Italy in the round of 16.
►He has also played for Middlesbrough in the English Premier League, made more than 70 appearances for Feyenoord and FC Twente in the Dutch Eredivisie (first division) and amassed nearly 150 games for Dynamo Moscow in the Russian Premier League.
ARNOLD ON ASSESSING WILKSHIRE
Head Coach Graham Arnold said: “I’ve never put a player through the type of strenuous physical testing I’ve had our fitness team put Luke through this week.
“We needed him to prove his fitness and at 35, he has shown he is in top physical condition.
“He has 80 caps for Australia and I believe he is a great acquisition and will be a fantastic signing for us at right back.
“I had a great working relationship with Luke in the national team and I look forward to doing so again.”
WILKSHIRE ON RETURNING TO AUSTRALIA
“I’ve been playing overseas for a long time now and have never had the chance to play in the Hyundai A-League, so this is an extremely exciting opportunity for me,” Wilkshire said.
“It’s a great challenge to help Sydney FC go back to back and improve on their fantastic season last year.
“I’ve played UEFA Champions League football in Europe and the thought of competing with the biggest clubs in Asia in the AFC Champions League is another huge test.
“I can’t wait to get started.”
Wilkshire has returned to Russia and will join his new Sky Blues’ team-mates when they return from their Westfield FFA Cup match against Darwin Rovers next Wednesday night.