Wilkshire playing for Australia in 2010
|Full name||Luke Wilkshire|
|Date of birth||2 October 1981|
|Place of birth||Wollongong, Australia|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Right back|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 September 2015.
Born in Wollongong, Wilkshire played youth football for Albion Park, Wollongong Wolves and the Australian Institute of Sport before making his professional debut for English club Middlesbrough. In 2003, he moved to Bristol City, where he spent three seasons before moving to the Netherlands to play for Twente in 2006. Wilkshire next played in Russia for Dynamo Moscow, but later moved back to the Netherlands to play for Feyenoord in 2014. He was released from the club in August 2015 by mutual consent.
Wilkshire has played eighty times for the Australian national team. This includes matches at both the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups, as well as the 2007 and 2011 AFC Asian Cups. He was also a member of the squad at the 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup. Previously, with Australia's youth sides, Wilkshire took part in the 2001 FIFA U-20 World Cup and the 2004 Summer Olympics.
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.
Wilkshire has not been selected for the Socceroos since the appointment of Ange Postecoglou as Head Coach in October 2013, apart from two early friendlies against Ecuador in which he did not play and South Africa in which he played 36 minutes. He was not named in the Australian squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and was left off the longlist of 46 players for the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, despite him maintaining his regular first team place at Feyenoord.
Statistics accurate as of 23 September 2015
|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|
- As of 23 September 2015
|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|
- Wilkshire Signs For Dinamo Moscow Article from the Swiss web-site Goal.com published on 26 August 2008.
- 'Feyenoord pakt door en haalt oude bekende van FC Twente naar De Kuip' (Dutch)
- Kennedy, Rogic, Wilkshire cut from Australia's World Cup squad FourFourTwo Australia
- Postecoglou names 46-man provisional squad for Asian Cup FourFourTwo Australia