Ex Socceroo signs with club in Chechnya

Ex-Socceroo defender Luke Wilkshire is back in the Russian Premier League after signing a one-year deal with Terek Grozny.

The 34-year-old had been on the lookout for a new club for the last three months after he was released by Dutch club Feyenoord prior to the new season.

Wilkshire recently started training with Grozny, in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya, and put pen-to-paper on a one-year deal on Wednesday.

“He was keen to stay on in Europe,” father Mark Wilkshire told the Illawarra Mercury.

“There was never really any thought of coming back to Australia, he just wanted to pick up another contract and it has worked out well in Russia.

“He was training with them anyway after coming back from a hamstring strain. It would have been easy to find a lower level team, but he’s done a lot of work to stay at the elite level.” 

This is not the first time Wilkshire, who is from the south coast of NSW, has played in the Russian top flight, making 143 appearances at Dynamo Moscow between 2008 and 2014.

The deal, believed to have the option of a second season, appears to rule out any chance of Wilkshire returning to play in the Hyundai A-League.

Wilkshire, who appeared at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, hasn’t featured for the Socceroos since missing the cut for the 2014 tournament in Brazil.