ELITE speed, elite skill.
Carlton welcomed Billy Wilson in the 2023 AFL Draft, selecting the Dandenong Stingrays best-and-fairest winner who starred across half-back and then through the midfield this campaign.
Capping off a season which also included Coates Talent League Team of the Year selection, Wilson is a high-production, maximum-impact player who doesn't waste a disposal.
This is what key draft watchers had to say.
Carlton Head of List Management, Nick Austin:
“We love how Billy conducts himself both on and off the field, so we’re delighted that we’ve been able to welcome him to our football club via the draft. He’s a really damaging user of the football who has already shown at such a young age that he’s more than capable in a number of positions around the ground, whether that’s as an inside or outside midfielder as well as across half-back.
“His football went from strength to strength in 2023 in both the national carnival and the Coates Talent League, where he got better each week playing against the best young talent in the country. With Billy, we’re welcoming someone who’s got elite disposal and leg speed, which is something we targeted this off-season. We’re delighted to welcome him to the Club and we can’t wait to see what he can bring to the fold.”
Cal Twomey on AFL Draft Night Live:
“The Dandenong dasher. He plays off half-back with real, genuine run and gun. They’ve gone with Billy Wilson who was consistently able to be the kick-out man as well as the run-and-gun defender for the Stingrays, as well as Vic Country.”
Riley Beveridge on AFL Draft Night Live:
“They’ve got a number of smaller, medium rebounding half-backs, but they’re at a stage of their development where those players are really experienced and a fair way into their career. Players like Nic Newman, Sam Docherty, Adam Saad and Zac Williams is another one coming off an ACL. They’re either really experienced players or beyond 30. They needed depth in that area, they brought in Lachie Cowan last year who’s another player in this type of mould. These types of players are clearly pivotal to how Carlton wanted to set up under Michael Voss.”
BILLY THE KID!— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) November 21, 2023
Welcome to the Old Dark Navy Blues, Billy Wilson 🥰
AFL Talent Ambassador, Kevin Sheehan:
“Medium defender who moved into the midfield for the Dandenong Stingrays during the year where he demonstrated his development and versatility. Uses his speed to open the play and has good vision and decision-making ability to create for his team. Played in defence in all four games for Victoria Country at the National Championships before continuing his dominant year for the Stingrays in the Coates Talent League, averaging 22.5 disposals across 12 matches to earn Team of the Year selection. Excelled in testing at the State Draft Combine, with his results of 2.94 seconds on the 20m sprint and 75cm for the vertical jump ranked fifth and third respectively across all State Draft Combine participants.”
Herald Sun Draft Dossier:
“A dashing defender from Dromana, Wilson only enhanced his reputation at the Victorian draft combine in October. He finished first in the 20m sprint and vertical jump tests, equal-first in the running vertical jump and fourth in the agility. The performance came after a big second half of the year for the rebounding half-back, who served as vice-captain of the Stingrays this season. He is generally reliable with ball in hand coming out of defence, regularly finds plenty of the footy and has improved his contest work. Wilson also featured in all four matches for Vic Country at the under-18 national championships in the middle of the year.”