Dwayne Wilson (Sturt)
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 75 kg
Player comparison: Chris Yarran
Strengths: Speed, Evasion, Skills
Weaknesses: Purely outside, Consistency
Dwayne Wilson is often the forgotten man in the South Australian midfield. Alongside names such as James Aish, Trent Dumont, Matt Scharenberg and Luke Dunstan, Wilson is arguably the fifth in line. While he may not have the consistency of the others, Wilson has an incredible X-factor about him which would have many AFL clubs licking their lips at the prospect of drafting him.
While others may have had a greater impact at the Under 18s Championships, Dwayne Wilson showed enough in glimpses to say he has some good characteristics to hold him in good stead for the future. He is the kind of player that will receive a handball from a pack and take off using his extreme speed and acceleration to burn off opponents. While he primarily plays on a wing, don’t be surprised if he moves to half back to help break the zones at AFL level.
Wilson is purely an outside midfielder and given his slight build and strengths it’s hard to see him build too much of an inside game. Similar to Carlton’s Chris Yarran who turned his career around somewhat last year as a half back, Wilson could well play that offensive running half back that breaks the lines and spots targets up forward.
While he may be a complete outside player, Wilson is the type of player that fans would be happy to see the ball in his hands. When he has it there’s always a feeling that he’ll make something happen out of nothing. Against Vic Metro at Simmonds Stadium, Wilson would charge off the wing and receive the ball from Luke Dunstan or James Aish who were controlling the inside, then charge towards goal and deliver lace out to one of Darcy Hourigan, Mitch Harvey or Luke Reynolds.
He backed up that type of play against Western Australia at Etihad Stadium just five days later when he used his pace to dance around a few opponents and create more opportunities for the forwards. He won’t go top ten or possibly even first round, but somewhere between second and third round is about right. A good finish in the SANFL season could see him sneak into the top 20 but it is unlikely at this stage.
Another deficiency Wilson will need to overcome like most young players is consistency. While he has plenty of X-factor and game-changing ability, he is yet to do it across four quarters in a big match which is what separates him from the top players in this draft crop. Compared to another pure outside midfielder in Billy Hartung, Wilson doesn’t have the endurance, consistency or hurt power that Hartung possesses. He does have the speed and unpredictability that makes him an interesting prospect.
In the Bound For Glory News Rising Stars Phantom Draft, Wilson was selected by the Western Bulldogs to provide some outside run and some much needed class to complement their inside midfielders. Should they miss out on Tom Boyd with their first pick, the Bulldogs are likely to target a key forward at this pick whether it be Darcy Hourigan, Mitch Harvey or Michael Apeness.
So while Wilson still has a number of attributes to work on, his ability to run and take on opponents combined with his skills sees him as someone who should find a home inside the top 40 at a club craving outside run and class.