Aussies Abroad: Luke Wilkshire (Dynamo Moscow)

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Date of Birth: Oct 2, 2021 (Age 31)

Place of Birth: Wollongong (Aus)

Nationality: Australia

Height: 178 cm

Weight: 72 Kg.

Position: Defender


Luke Wilkshire is probably – or used to be – one of the most under rated Australian footballers in our generation. Since his first appearance as a full team Socceroo member in 2006, he has captured the attention of many keen football pundits around Australia and around the globe, especially in England, Russia and the Netherlands.

Luke Wilkshire was raised in a small town called Albion Park, just 20 minutes south of Wollongong, and started off playing for his local team before joining the Wollongong Wolves as a junior. He then journeyed over to Canberra where he spent a year with the AIS Football program.

Resulting from that, he then departed to England where he was a part of Middlesbrough’s youth system. As he never established himself as a first team participant, he made the decision to move to Bristol City where he scored 17 goals in 114 appearances for the club.

His stay in England has said to have developed his game and increase Wilkshire’s versatility, enough so to grab Guus Hiddink’s consideration when choosing his Socceroos squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Guus Hiddink described Wilkshire as a highly advanced modern player who is one of the most skillful talents in the Socceroos squad.

He made a big leap in his career in 2006 where his diligent work from the World Cup that year was recognized by Dutch club FC Twente. Although he was sent off during his first game for the side, he continued playing there for 2 more years, scoring 5 goals in 59 games for the team. During his two seasons with the Dutch club, Wilkshire also got the chance to play in the UEFA Champions league which is tremendous honor for any Australian footballer.

Moving on from the Netherlands Wilkshire now resides in Russia with super giants Dynamo Moscow. This Russian team is the oldest team in the country and the only one to have never been relegated to a lower division in its history. Wilkshire made the big move in 2008 for a reported fee of 6 million euros. He made his first appearance against FC Moscow and scored his first goal from a penalty against Krylya Sovetov.

From 2008 to the present day, Wilkshire has only scored 3 goals and 10 assists in 114 appearances but has made an enormous impact in the club.


Written by Siobhan Pedroza

Follow her on Twitter @briefcase_wanka

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Aussies Abroad: Tim Cahill (New York Red Bulls)

Tim Cahill aka ‘Tiny Tim’ has made a meaningful impact in sporting culture in Australia and around the world. He was the first Australian to score in a World Cup Finals game and has made headlines all around the globe for his numerous feats. After leaving his footprint at English club Everton, Tiny Tim is now making a new name for himself for MLS side New York Red Bulls.

Tim Cahill raised the eyebrows of many when it was announced that he would be moving to American based club the New York Red Bulls for a reported fee of 1 million pounds. He was signed by the club as their third designated player after the team announced that they were chasing an attacking midfielder. With the Australian’s goal scoring tally diminishing every season with Everton, the Toffees were willing to sell their number 17 for an inexpensive deal.

As Cahill was signed on the 26th July 2012, he expressed his delight about the prospect of spending the next few seasons as a New York Red Bulls player.

“I am very happy to start a new chapter of my career with the New York Red Bulls,” Cahill said. “As we have seen over the past few years, MLS has developed into a very competitive league with many talented players. I am impressed with what the Red Bulls are trying to accomplish in MLS and within American soccer and I am looking forward to this new challenge. I will do everything I can to help bring New York its first MLS Cup.”

Tim made his first appearance for the Red Bulls just one month after he departed from his prior club of 8 years. He started his MLS career off against the Houston Dynamo and since then has scored one goal for the team, assisting in 3 others. He has played a further 1080 minutes for the Red Bulls and has recorded a total of 24 shots, 8 of those being on target.

His first goal was a controversial one against the Portland Timbers. The 32 year old seized the chance to score after the ball was deflected off a Timbers defender, in spite of the referee primarily awarding a penalty to New York.

“I’m not surprised at all by what he can bring to the team,” said Henry, who faced Cahill while with Arsenal. “You can see he’s a physical player. I think the referees are getting him wrong sometimes because they’re not used to the physicality of maybe the Premiership, the way he jumps and everything. But he’s a fair player. It’s more about a competitor.

“He’s a competitor, and he can help everybody going forward. I think that’s the most important thing. He’s bringing another dimension to this team. We can play long. He can hold the ball and stuff like that. I think that can be great for us.”

Former New York coach Hans Backe described Cahill as a passionate player with a phenomenal attitude who wears a ‘Never Say Die’ motto on his sleeve. Cahill quickly silenced fears that he didn’t share the same passion he once showed for his former club Everton.

“Of course, I love this team,” he told Sporting News. “This is my work. This is what I do. Why sign for a club when you’re not going to put everything into it. We’re here to play football, and that’s the one thing that I said from the start.

“I’m not going to take my foot off the gas. … This is my priority. This is my team. This is where I want to succeed.”


Written by Siobhan Pedroza

Follow her on Twitter @briefcase_wanka

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