Yeovil Town have made their first signing of the summer under new first team manager Darren Sarll. They have brought in 28 year old defender Luke Wilkinson from Stevenage who has been on their books since January 2016 and so has worked under Sarll before. He is a former Portsmouth, Dagenham and Redbridge and Luton Town player who was born in Wells, Somerset and was originally on the books of Bristol City as an Academy player. He's been given a two year contract keeping him at the club until June 2021. He generally plays as a centre-back.
Born in Wells on September 29th 1990, he started his career with Bristol City and was with them up until Scholarship level. City released him at the age of 17 and he signed for Portsmouth for the 2009-10 season, playing for their Reserve Team. He was also loaned out to Northampton Town but failed to make an appearance - a later loan deal with Eastleigh saw him make six appearances, scoring one goal.
Wilkinson moved on in 2010 for a four year spell with Dagenham and Redbridge, who at that time were in League One. He enjoyed two loan spells with Boreham Wood during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 season, making 53 appearances across both spells. Then he headed to Dartford for another loan spell when he was part of their side that won the Conference South Play-Off Final, making 18 appearances and scoring four goals for the Kent side.
In between those loans, Wilkinson was gradually clocking up appearances for the Daggers, and he made 71 appearances, scoring six times, picking up their Player Of The Season award for the 2012-13 campaign. In the summer of 2014 his former Dagenham boss John Still took him to Luton Town for an undisclosed fee, playing at League Two level for the Hatters.
On January 22nd 2016, Wilkinson was sold to Stevenage, initially on a short term contract, but his form was good enough to give him a new deal at Broadhall Way. He was brought in by Teddy Sheringham, but played almost all of his football under Sarll, due to Sheringham's sacking a week later. Under the new boss he played three and a half seasons at League Two level, making 119 appearances, scoring eight goals. He was released at the end of the 2018-19 season, allowing Sarll the chance to snap him up again. Yeovil's new boss said of his first signing:
"I'm delighted to be reacquainted with Luke, a player and person I know very well. He brings defensive qualities, experience and a physicality I feel we were lacking. Even better, Luke is a Somerset lad and he and his family want to return home and live in this part of the world. He’s bought into being part of this football club and will be a great addition to the squad."
Overall Wilkinson has made 339 first team appearances, scoring 30 goals with all bar 79 of those appearances coming at League One or League Two level. Our friends at the Stevenage fans site @Boro FC Central say of him:
"Very good signing. He's an old fashioned centre-back. Does those basics so well and he gives every bone in his body to the cause. Dominant in the air. No one and I mean no one is better than him at man marking. Goalscoring too. I'm suprised he's still not in League Two. Some wouldn't have released him."
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