Wilkshire will be primed for South Africa

Dinamo Moscow midfielder Luke Wilkshire believes the timing of the Russian season is ideal for him ahead of South Africa 2010.

Dinamo Moscow midfielder Luke Wilkshire believes the timing of the Russian season is ideal for him ahead of South Africa 2010.

While the rest of his World Cup teammates will be slogging it out mid-season, Luke Wilkshire will be kicking the feet up and recharging the batteries for next year's FIFA World Cup.

With the ever increasing number of matches on the club calendar, more and more players are suffering from burnout by the time major tournaments come around - time which would otherwise be set aside for R & R.

While Wilkshire was a bolt from the blue at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, or a Guus Hiddink disciple if you like, he is one of only a handful of players who have hardly had a break in recent off seasons. Prior to arriving in Russia, it was 2005 when Wilkshire last had a proper off season - he featured in the 2004 Athens Olympics with the Olyroos, the 2006 World Cup, 2007 Asian Cup and the June World Cup qualifiers of the past two years.

“The Russian season runs from March until the end of November, so it-s perfect timing in regards to the World Cup,-- Wilkshire told footballaustralia.com.au.

“I-ll be having a holiday around Christmas, we start back up in the middle of January and I-ll be fit to go from March.

“I-ll be playing regularly leading up to the World Cup, so I don-t see a problem. It-s ideal timing, I-ll be three months into the season.--

Playing a key role for one of Holland-s top sides, FC Twente, Wilkshire knows more than a few eyebrows were raised when the Russian rumour surfaced.

Now, he wouldn-t be surprised if more Aussies follow in his footsteps, though he has a stark warning for anyone who may call Moscow or St Petersburg home anytime soon: do not step outside with wet hair.

“It came out of the blue a little bit, obviously no other Australian footballer had been there but I-ve definitely got no regrets,-- he said.

“The climate is ok, we play during the summer, so now the weather-s good. Obviously at the start of the season and towards the end is very cold, but when I went back in January to report for pre season, the snow and seeing the rivers frozen over, it-s quite beautiful.

“If you walk out of the house and your hair-s still wet, it-s going to freeze. But honestly I don-t mind it.--

Wilkshire-s Dinamo Moscow suffered a narrow 2-1 aggregate loss to Celtic in the Champions League qualifiers recently.

And while Socceroos teammate Scott McDonald prepares to line up against Arsenal in the final phase, Dinamo are determined to overcome Bulgarians CSKA Sofia to ensure they advance to the Europa League (formerly UEFA Cup) group stage.

“We just lost to Celtic, which was disappointing, but now we-re really focused on the game against Sofia and hoping we can do something in Europe,-- concluded the former Middlesbrough player, whose side is still in this season's Russian title hunt.