The Wollongong Wolves Football Club would like to announce that Luke Wilkshire will depart from the club at the completion of the 2022 season.
Luke has accepted a role with the Central Coast Mariners for A-League season 2022-2024. Luke will be in a full time role with the Mariners as Head of Youth Development Under 13s to Under 23s and will assist former wolf, Nick Montgomery, lead the Mariners A-League team.
Following an illustrious career in Europe, 80 games for the Socceroos and two world cups – Luke came home to the Illawarra in mid 2018. Since then, his influence on our club and the game generally in our region has been significant.
Luke has been heavily involved in all aspects of the club and led us to the 2019 NSW premiership, the national NPL title, the 2020 finals series and into the last 16 of the Australia Cup in 2021. He was also heavily involved in the club’s bid for an A-League licence. Over the past 4 years, Luke and his family have contributed significantly to our club and our sport in general.
Club chairman, Tory Lavalle said “Luke’s professionalism and positive influence on many people has been second to none. He has been a leader in every sense of the word. We are sad to lose him, but this is a great opportunity for Luke and we are proud to see him move forward. The Mariners will benefit from his influence.” Luke said “Becoming a coach and a manager wasn’t something I aspired to. However, the Wolves gave me an opportunity and it’s something I will always be grateful for. Tory Lavalle, and everyone of influence at the club have been fantastic. The club and its people will always be special to me. I hope to come back one day when the club is in the A-League. But at this moment, this opportunity with the Mariners is exciting and one I need at this stage of my career.”
Luke will see out NPL season 2022 and remains confident “results haven’t been as we would have liked so far. But we have the ability to beat anyone in our league – as we showed against Blacktown on Friday night. The tide will turn for us and if we keep working hard, we will make the finals series and be hard to beat.” The club will now embark on a process to identify its next coach. CEO Strebre Delovski said “Everyone at our club is grateful for the work and influence Luke and his family has had. We are certain he will go onto to achieve more success. We all sincerely thank Luke and wish him and his family success and happiness. From the club’s perspective, there is no doubt that there will be a lot of interest in the vacant role and we will go through a process to identify the best person to take us forward. The next couple of years of football in Australia will bring significant change. We will find the right person to guide us into the next era.”
For further information please contact Susan Gatt, Administration Manager, Wollongong Wolves Football Club on (02) 4272 2624 or email email@example.com