Mandurah football product Nathan Wilson was the crown jewel in the Fremantle Dockers’ off-season recruiting, and it’s easy to see why when you look at his first two games in purple.
The silky-smooth defender has enjoyed a great start to his time with the Dockers, showing why they valued him so much at the trade table in 2017.
Despite Fremantle being drubbed by Port Adelaide to the tune of 50 points in round one, Wilson was still able to muster an admirable performance.
He collected 15 disposals and booted his first goal for the club as a shining light in the back six.
But while the Mandurah Centrals junior was productive in round one, he truly gave Freo fans reason for optimism in the side’s emphatic upset win over Essendon in round two on Saturday night.
Wilson christened the Dockers’ first ever game at Optus Stadium with a prolific performance, giving the team everything you need out of a rebounding backman with 23 disposals (20 kicks) and 11 marks as he set up several passages of play for his new squad.
Playing in front of 49,000 fans was a different scene for Wilson, who was used to average crowds of just over 10,000 during his time at Greater Western Sydney.
Ahead of the game, Wilson said he was thrilled to be part of Fremantle’s first game at the new home.
“I’m really excited. I want to see as much purple as I can,” he told the Dockers’ website.
“We’ve had a good run around (on the new stadium) but this will be our first one where we have a good crack and we’ll see how the boys feel on the new deck.”
He certainly helped Fremantle live up to the hype.
Fellow Peel Thunder product Hayden Ballantyne also chipped in with a goal.