Wilkshire 'excited' to join Dutch giants

Luke Wilkshire says he's 'excited' to join Dutch heavyweights Feyenoord but has revealed he's not ready to play games just yet after an extended lay-off.

Wilkshire, 32, has penned a one-year deal with the option for a further season with the Rotterdam outfit on a free transfer following his release at Dinamo Moscow.

The move sees Wilkshire link up with coach Fred Rutten, who he worked under from 2006 to 2008 at FC Twente, before his Russian switch.

Wilkshire, along with fellow new signing Bilal Basaçikoglu, were unveiled to the media on Thursday afternoon (Dutch time), with the Australian defender to wear the number two shirt vacated by Netherlands international Daryl Janmaat who has moved to Newcastle.

Feyenoord have also lost international defenders Stefan de Vrij and Bruno Martins Indi to Lazio and FC Porto respectively this off-season.

The club’s technical director Martin van Geel suggested Wilkshire’s addition was to help overcome their loss, hinting he may get regular game-time.

“We believe that talent can only develop on the basis of having experienced players around,” van Geel told the club’s website.

“We carefully monitor the balance in our team and do not want to bring in just anyone, nor rush our young talents, so in that respect Luke Wilkshire is a very welcome reinforcement.”

Wilkshire wasted no time upon his signing by joining his team-mates in training on Thursday afternoon.

The full-back was overlooked for Ange Postecoglou’s final 2014 World Cup squad and hasn’t played competitively since Australia's friendly against South Africa on May 26 when he was a second-half substitute.

"I'm fit, but I still have some work to do before I'm really ready to play games," Wilkshire said.

The former Middlesbrough man joins in the wake of Feyenoord’s 2-1 home loss to Besiktas in their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round first leg on Wednesday and just over a week out from the start of the Eredivisie season.

“It is an exciting time and I'm sure there are great things on the horizon," he said.

"Feyenoord is a great club with a fantastic stadium and great supporters. I am very excited to be here.”

He continued: “The trainer (Rutten) was an important reason for me to choose Feyenoord.

“Apart from that I have always had it in my head that I would someday return to the Netherlands.

“I hope to add something to this Feyenoord team, where I see a lot of potential.”

Despite missing the World Cup, Wilkshire hasn’t retired from the national team and regular football at Feyenoord would firmly press his case for Asian Cup selection.