Ex-Sydney FC defender Luke Wilkshire admits the opportunity to broaden his coaching experience and ‘give back’ to the community were key factors in his decision to join NPL club Wollongong Wolves.
Wilkshire parted ways the Sky Blues at the end of the 2017/18 A-League season and has since linked up with the Wolves for the remainder of the 2018 season.
While keen to contribute in a playing capacity, starting with this weekend’s clash with Sydney Olympic, Wilkshire will become an assistant coach for the side under former Mariners midfielder Nick Montgomery.
You can watch a LIVE STREAM of Wilkshire's first appearance for the Wolves against Sydney Olympic on Sunday, May 13 on the NPL NSW Facebook page.
And aside from his playing and coaching commitments, the 35-year-old will also be heavily involved in community engagement programs to help develop football across the Illawarra and South Coast region.
After beginning his career with the Wolves back in 1995, Wilkshire feels the time is right to return home and give back to the region.
“Absolutely. That was the biggest part of my decision. It’s not just about this next 10-12 games in the NPL,” Wilkshire told the Daily Football Show.
“It’s about the coming months and coming years here in the region and football in general and being a part of that.
“[I want] to give back [with] my experiences and my knowledge of football around the world to the region and the up-and-coming kids.”
After a strong season with Sydney FC in which he made 26 appearances, Wilkshire admitted a settled family life was a key motivation for him to decide return home.
“For now, we’re settled. My young daughter is into pre-school. My family is enjoying living on the ocean," Wilkshire said.
“It’s a beautiful part of the world, closer to the family.
“Now I’ll start to look what I can do, help out, do things around the community.
“That’ll develop now that now that everything is done and dusted. I’m settled and now we can get going.”