Wilkshire's Wollongong Wolves end 31-year Premiership drought

Former Caltex Socceroos great Luke Wilkshire has led Wollongong Wolves to their first Premiership win since 1988.

The South Coast heavyweights were crowned NPL NSW Premiers on Sunday with one round remaining following a tense 2-1 win over Rockdale City Suns 2-1 at Ilinden Sports Centre.

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It caps a magnificent maiden year for 37-year-old Wilkshire, a Wollongong local who played 80 times for Australia, and for the likes of Bristol City, FC Twente, Dynamo Moscow, and Sydney FC, throughout a celebrated senior career spanning nearly two decades.

After re-joining his boyhood club to see out his playing days in May 2018, the two-time FIFA World Cup player took the reins of the club as coach in August.

“We’re a group of winners and we want to do the same next week and beyond," Wilkshire told Football NSW post-match.

“We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy game against a side that are fighting for a finals spot.”

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“We knew the situation but I think we defended fantastically, as we have all season, and we’ve got the rewards for that effort.

“We had some players playing their first full 90 minutes of the season and some younger guys who’ve got some time on the pitch and obviously we’re happy to have wrapped things up officially.

“At the end of the day we just want to win and that goes throughout the team but we won’t sit back and feel the job is done yet as we have a lot more we want to achieve.”

Wollongong Wolves Thomas James
Star striker Thomas James of Wollongong Wolves celebrates on Sunday. Image: Football NSW