New Buccaneers recruit Ben Wilks in action.
New Buccaneers recruit Ben Wilks in action. Contributed

Wilks has high hopes for Buccaneers

FOOTBALL: New Wide Bay Buccaneers recruit Ben Wilks admits he is fearful of one thing as he starts his Australian adventure.

The 25-year-old English footballer will officially become the second visa international for the club next week when he arrives in the country on Wednesday.

He will make his debut, pending fitness, for the Buccaneers in their round three clash against Ipswich on Sunday February 18.

"I'm fearful of all your animals in the country, the sharks, kangaroos and spiders, I'm not looking forward to that," he revealed exclusively to the NewsMail from his current base in London.

"It's a really good opportunity for me to play at a top level for the Buccaneers."

But it almost didn't happen for Wilks.

The winger has been in contact with fellow international Ben Brookfield and Tim Lunnon for the past few weeks after being hunted down by Brookfield on Linkedin.

The issue for all three of them was getting the requirements for Wilks to move to Australia.

"I was pretty nervous, at one point two weeks ago we weren't sure it was going to happen," he said.

"I had other offers but my heart wasn't it, I wanted to play for Wide Bay Buccaneers.

"Then the confirmation came that I had the visa and Football Federation Australia confirmed it. I'm pretty excited."

Wilks joins after an extensive playing career.

He was a player at non-league English side Bromley FC until he was 18 before moving to the United States.

In America Wilks played and captained for semi-professional teams in Chicago and Tennessee while completing a university degree in exercise science and coaching at the same time.

He recently played football in Gibraltar for Europa Point, playing a handful of games for the side before the first half of their season finished in November.

Now, he is looking forward to the next chance to play in another country.

"I usually play on the wing but Tim (Lunnon the coach) wants me more centralised and used more as a striker," he said.

"I like to get the ball moving and provide good positive talk.

"Personally I want to play well and try to be one of the top players in the competition."

He also wants promotion and will be based in Bundaberg during his season-long deal.

Wilks can't wait to engage with the community and visit some of the sights. .

"I love my rum, so I can't wait to try the rum there," he said.

"I also can't wait to travel around.

"It will be a good experience."

Getting to know Ben:

BUNDABERG will get to see new Wide Bay Buccaneers recruit Ben Wilks next week when he arrives in the region.   But what makes the new international footballer tick?   We found out by asking him a few questions.   Name: Ben Wilks   Age: 25   Position: Winger but striker for the Buccaneers   Describe a usual day in your life: I usually go to the gym, do lots of football training and eat lots of food.   If you weren't a footballer, what would you be? I'd be a physiotherapist or a sports conditioning person.   What are you most looking forward to in Australia? Getting on that football pitch. It's been a long two and a half months without playing a game.   Away from the football pitch, what are you looking forward to? Travelling. Can't wait to see the sites of Australia.   What are you most looking forward to in Bundy? I'm a big rum drinker, so obviously the rum here.   How will you handle the heat and humidity of the region? Drink lots of water and running in my days off. I actually played in high humidity in Tennessee, so I should be fine.   What got you to the Buccaneers? Ben Brookfield and Tim Lunnon and also the interest of the game off the field from people with the local media involved as well.