Wilkinson continues to deliver for Daggers

Dagenham & Redbridge defender Luke Wilkinson has turned in some solid performances in his first season in the Football League.

Before the start of this season Dagenham & Redbridge defender Luke Wilkinson was an unknown quantity with no Football League experience.

But after loan spells in Blue Square Bet South with Boreham Wood and Dartford over the last two seasons the 21-year-old hasn’t looked back.

Since his introduction to the Daggers first team in September, Wilkinson has not looked out of place and subsequently earned himself a new three-year deal at Victoria Road last Thursday.

Commanding a regular starting berth, the former Portsmouth man believes he hasn’t found the challenge that daunting.

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“I have had to work hard for it, it doesn’t come easy, but the gaffer has given me a chance and I seemed to have grabbed it with both hands so it’s been really good,” said Wilkinson after Daggers’ 1-0 win at Bristol Rovers.

“I’ve learnt massively from my time on loan at Boreham Wood and Dartford. I thought I did well at both clubs. I have learnt a lot but I am still young and they have made me the player I am today.

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“Every game has been tough, you have got to step up to the level but I thought it would be a bit more difficult than what it was.

“But there you go, you don’t know what to expect when you haven’t played the level before. I think I have settled in really well.

“It’s another safety net where I know what I’m doing for the next three years. I am really enjoying my football at the moment.

“The gaffer’s been saying I have been doing really well, giving me a lot of praise. That’s really helped my confidence for me to carry on doing what I am doing.”

Alongside him at the heart of Daggers’ defence has been Scott Doe and Wilkinson has a lot of praise for his fellow centre half. “Scott’s been brilliant,” he said.

“He’s obviously got more experience than me with it being my first season in the Football League so he’s been great for me and I think we are building a really good partnership.”

Saturday’s win saw Daggers rise up the table to 14th and with the league the way it is, Wilkinson predicts they can continue to climb.

“I think we can win every game,” he added. “There’s not much in this league. It’s just keeping clean sheets and working hard and you’ll see where you go.”

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