Daggers defender happy to stay if move away fails

13:57 06 June 2014

Luke Wilkinson celebrates scoring against Morecambe on January 26. 2013 at Victoria Road. The defender has now handed in a transfer request. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Luke Wilkinson celebrates scoring against Morecambe on January 26. 2013 at Victoria Road. The defender has now handed in a transfer request. Pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO

Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu

Daggenham & Redbridge defender Luke Wilkinson is happy to stay and fight for his place, but only if he cannot secure a move away.

The 23-year-old felt ‘squeezed out’ at stages last season after falling behind Scott Doe, Brian Saah and Ian Gayle in the centre half pecking order.

That prompted the former Player of the Year to hand in a transfer request at the club, which was accepted.

His availability has now been circulated, but if a move doesn’t materialise for the former Portsmouth youngster, then he is more than happy to give Doe, Saah and Gayle, assuming the latter signs a new contract, a run for their money.

“I didn’t play as much as I wanted to last season,” said Wilkinson. “Brian Saah and Scott Doe were playing well and then Ian Gayle came in as well and I was dropped.

“I felt squeezed out a little bit, but that’s not a problem and I’ll fight for my place if nothing comes along. I just feel I need a fresh start elsewhere.”

A groin injury picked up before pre-season hardly helped his cause.

That made him miss the whole pre-season campaign and from then on, he admits he was always playing catch up.

“Having been player of the year the season before I was looking forward to the new campaign,” he added.

“Injuries didn’t help me and I missed the whole pre-season. That was difficult.”

Wilkinson sat down with manager Wayne Burnett to discuss his future and the Victoria Road boss had no problem whatsoever with the defender’s desire for a move away.

“He was fine with it,” he remarked. “He didn’t have a problem with me requesting the move. If nothing comes up I’ve said to him I’ll fight for my place, but I want a new challenge and a fresh start elsewhere.”

It is early days, but Wilkinson was unaware of any early interest, and wouldn’t be adverse to a loan spell if it helped him earn a contract elsewhere – with the defender entering the final year of his contract.

“I haven’t heard of anything yet, but everyone is away on holiday at the moment,” he added.

“I’ll just have to wait and see. If nothing does come up and I am not in the frame I guess a loan would be okay. It would give me a chance to earn a contract elsewhere.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ilford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ilford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ilford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Sport Stories

39 minutes ago
Eoin McCallister, Sean Costelloe and Padraic Ryan (l-r) hold the McCullough Cup after their final win

Goodmayes club beat Fr Murphys to secure McCullough Cup success

Leyton Orient's John Marquis in action against Plymouth Argyle (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Millwall man reflects on events last week and Orient’s two new signings

Tony Cottee

Our West Ham Columnist Tony Cottee wants the team to bounce back from Tottenham defeat against West Brom

Darren Currie of Dagenham & Redbridge (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Daggers coach believes stand-in skipper has been setting example with displays

Most read sport


Tesco - Every little helps

Would you like to have the opportunity to win a huge £2,500 to spend at Tesco? Well with this amazing prize you can do exactly that! MyOffers are giving you the chance to get your hands on £2,500 to spend on anything you desire may it be free weekly groceries for the foreseeable future, a new TV, home decoration or even a new sofa!

You could get your hands on the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge!

Here’s your chance to win one of the most feature-packed smartphones on the planet, from tech giants Samsung, The Samsung S6 Edge!

Digital Edition

Read the Ilford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder