Wilkinson (front) in May 2012
|Full name||Joel Wilkinson|
|Date of birth||29 November 1991|
|Place of birth||Sydney Australia|
|Original team||Broadbeach (QAFL)|
|Draft||Zone Selection, Gold Coast|
|Height/Weight||186cm / 81kg|
|2011–2013||Gold Coast||26 (1)|
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 2013 season.
Joel Wilkinson (born 29 November 1991) is a professional Australian rules football player at the Gold Coast Football Club. He was one of the club's underage recruits, and played in the Gold Coast's first season, in 2011. He was born in Sydney, Australia.
Wilkinson was born into a family consisting of a Nigerian father and an Australian mother. His father, Richard, was a 100m Australian track and field championships finalist. At the age of four Wilkinson's family settled on the Gold Coast, Queensland and instantly began to pursue an interest in Athletics. Although excelling in Athletics, Wilkinson also represented the Gold Coast in Cricket, Soccer and Tennis. In 2008 he grew tired of the sports he had already tried and began playing Australian Rules Football for his school Palm Beach Currumbin High School, for the first time at 16 years of age. Although Palm Beach Currumbin High School was predominantly known for its Rugby League history, Wilkinson elected to play Australian Rules Football. Upon graduation from high school Joel was accepted into a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at Griffith University.
Wilkinson began playing for the Broadbeach Cats U18 team in 2009 and was chosen to represent the Gold Coast Stingrays in state competition later that year. He began playing senior football for the Broadbeach Cats in 2010 and in just his fourth game earned a nomination for the AFLQ Rising Star Award. He was also named as the captain of the U18 Queensland Scorpians squad that competed in the 2010 AFL National Under 18 Championships. At the conclusion of the 2010 season Wilkinson was drafted as a Queensland zone selection to the newly formed Gold Coast Suns and became one of four Gold Coasters drafted to the Suns, the others being Marc Lock, Jack Stanlake and Rory Thompson.
- On debut in 2011, in front a home crowd on the Gold Coast, Wilkinson was racially abused by Western Bulldogs player Justin Sherman.
- While competing against Collingwood at the MCG in 2012, Wilkinson was racially vilified by a Collingwood member in the stands.
- Black magic at the heart of brothers' story – smh.com.au. Published 17 July 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
- Smart, Nick (24 June 2011). "Wilkinson makes AFL debut with Suns". goldcoast.com.au.
- Smart, Nick (2 October 2010). "Shining young Cat attracts Suns eye". goldcoast.com.au.
- Suns rookie Joel Wilkinson shaken by Western Bulldog Justin Shermans racial slur – couriermail.com.au. Published 28 July 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2012.
- Suns rookie Racist comments cost Pie fan his membership – theage.com.au. Published 5 June 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2012.