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Dockers dish out new numbers to WA recruits

Brandon Matera will take Zac Dawson's No.3 - AFL,Fremantle Dockers,Nathan Wilson,Brandon Matera
Brandon Matera will take Zac Dawson's No.3

FREMANTLE recruits Nathan Wilson and Brandon Matera have been handed their jumper numbers for season 2018. 

Former Dockers defender Antoni Grover, who played 202 games for the club from 1999-2012, presented Wilson with his old No.14, while Matera will wear No.3.

Wilson takes over the guernsey from Lachie Weller, who was traded to Gold Coast, and Matera's No.3 was vacated after Zac Dawson's retirement.

The pair of West Australians returned home during this year's NAB AFL Trade Period after Matera managed 101 games in seven seasons at Gold Coast, and Wilson played 77 games in six seasons for Greater Western Sydney. 

Both players were foundation members of the two expansion clubs.

Wilson said being presented with his jumper by Grover, the first Indigenous player to reach the 200-game mark with the Dockers, was a huge honour.

"When I got drafted, I was a natural forward and I went into the backline so, hopefully, Antoni can give me some good tips for the next couple years," he said.

"I grew up going for Freo and he was one of the stars, so I’m grateful to get the No.14."

Matera jumped at the opportunity to request his new number.

"I wore this number a couple of times in my juniors, so when I came back here and saw it was empty, I thought I might as well take No.3," he said.

Last week, Fremantle life members Shaun McManus (No.8) and Garrick Ibbotson (No.5) presented their old numbers to the club's top two picks at this year's NAB AFL Draft, Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra.

McManus, an original Docker, wore the No.8 in 228 games from 1995-2008, while Ibbotson played 177 games – 157 of them in No.5 – between 2006-2017.