Wilkshire playing for Australia in 2010
|Full name||Luke Wilkshire|
|Date of birth||2 October 1981|
|Place of birth||Wollongong, Australia|
|Height||176 cm (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
|Current club||Dynamo Moscow|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 March 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Wilkshire played his junior football with his home town club of Albion Park and attended Albion Park High School. He moved on to represent his region by joining the Wollongong Wolves youth setup and spending several seasons there. Wilkshire then travelled to Canberra to spend a year at the AIS football program, Australia's elite sports academy. He then moved overseas and was part of Middlesbrough's youth system. He made several senior appearances for them in the Premier League, including a sending off against Arsenal, and also started in an FA Cup semi-final, but ultimately never established himself in the first team. In search of regular football, Wilkshire decided on a move to Second Division club Bristol City.
His solid performances at the 2006 FIFA World Cup earned him a trial and subsequent three-year deal with Dutch top flight club FC Twente despite reported interest from other Dutch clubs, including Ajax and PSV Eindhoven. His league debut for FC Twente ended badly when he was sent off. However, Wilkshire would go on to play regularly in the 2006–07 campaign which saw FC Twente qualify for the UEFA Cup. Subsequently, in the 2007–08 campaign, FC Twente and Wilkshire accomplished an even bigger achievement: for the first time in the club history, FC Twente qualified for the preliminary round of the Champions League.
On 26 August 2008, Wilkshire moved to Russian side Dynamo Moscow for a reported €6 million transfer fee; while other sources suggested transfer fee was only €2 million. He made his Russian Premier League debut for Dynamo Moscow on 31 August 2008, playing the full 90 minutes against FC Moscow at the Dynamo Stadium in Moscow. He scored his first goal for Dynamo from a penalty on 27 September 2008, playing against Krylya Sovetov in Samara, Russia.
During three years of playing regular first-team football for Bristol City, Wilkshire's game and versatility improved; so much so that former Australia coach, Guus Hiddink, described him as a "modern player." Hiddink also claimed Wilkshire was one of the most technically gifted players in the Socceroo side. Wilkshire was selected in Australia's squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and started against Japan and Italy.
On 14 November 2009, Wilkshire scored his first goal for his country in a 2–1 win over Oman in an Asian Cup Qualifier, in Muscat, Oman. Despite Australia going down to 10-men and conceding a penalty to go down 1–0, Wilkshire scored the equaliser in the 43rd minute. He was then involved in the second goal in the 82nd minute putting a left-footed ball over the Omani defence to set David Carney free who then crossed to Brett Emerton who scored to win the game 2–1 for Australia.
In the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Wilkshire started in all three group games for Australia. Playing at right back, Wilkshire was vital in coming forward sending in a total of 18 crosses for the tournament. Late in Australia's last game versus Serbia, Wilkshire injured his groin and was subbed off – the severity of the injury has not been made public.
Wilkshire played in the 2011 Asian Cup Finals in Qatar, starting the first two games against India and South Korea respectively but missing Australia's final group-stage game against Bahrain due to injury. Wilkshire returned to play the full 120 minutes in Australia's extra-time quarter-final win over Iraq and he also played in the semi-final victory over Uzbekistan, and in the final against Japan, which Australia lost 1–0 in extra time.
On internet blogs and from reader comments on football websites, Wilkshire's nickname was "Long Ball Luke" because of his perceived predilection for kicking long balls, rather than passing.
Statistics accurate as of 12 June 2013
|Bristol City||League One||2003–04||39||2||6||1||0||0||45||3|
|Bristol City total||112||17||12||1||0||0||124||18|
|Dynamo Moscow||Russian Premier League||2008||11||2||3||0||0||0||14||2|
|Australia national team|
|1.||14 November 2009||Muscat, Oman||Oman||1–1||1–2||2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|2.||6 January 2010||Kuwait City, Kuwait||Kuwait||0–1||2–2||2011 AFC Asian Cup qualification|
|3.||7 September 2010||Krakow, Poland||Poland||1–2||1–2||Friendly|
|4.||29 March 2011||Monchengladbach, Germany||Germany||1–2||1–2||Friendly|
|5.||6 September 2011||Dammam, Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabia||1–3||1–3||2014 World Cup Qualifier|
|6.||7 October 2011||Canberra, Australia||Malaysia||1–0||5–0||Friendly|
|7.||12 June 2012||Brisbane, Australia||Japan||1–1||1–1||2014 World Cup Qualifier|
|8.||6 February 2013||Malaga, Spain||Romania||1–1||2–3||Friendly|
- As of 12 June 2013
- Wilkshire Signs For Dinamo Moscow Article from the Swiss web-site Goal.com published on 26 August 2008.