Inked-up Fremantle defender Nathan Wilson has inked on with the Dockers for the 2023 season, putting speculation on where the 29-year-old would be playing his footy next year to rest.

In late July, Wilson had been linked with a trade to his third league club, with Gold Coast reportedly keen on the veteran's speedy services off half-back.

But having shifted back across the continent after six seasons as a Giant, the Western Australian has made himself at home in Cockburn, pulling on the Dockers' chevroned guernsey on 68 occasions since 2018.

Though Wilson's opportunities at seeing senior action under Justin Longmuir this season have evaporated, the Peel Thunder product claimed he was happy to be back serving the WAFL club, given the strength of Fremantle's defensive unit.

“I’ve enjoyed this year, it’s been great,” Wilson told

“Obviously, you’re here to play AFL but I’m taking my leadership down to Peel and it’s something different. It’s been good and I’m enjoying building on that.”

Although Wilson has managed just a pair of AFL appearances across the course of the 2022 season, he has found the Burley football at will in the reserves, even notching 32 disposals in his latest outing.

While Wilson remains impassioned for another crack at senior level, Fremantle's Head of Player Personnel David Walls claimed that it was bad luck rather than bad form that was keeping the 151-gamer out.

“Nathan hasn’t had much luck, and when he came back and forced his way into the side and played well, it was a tough call for him to come out,” Walls said.

“His attitude has been outstanding. He’s worked extremely hard and we know he’s got a lot of AFL footy left in him.”

Walls also stressed that Wilson's magnet remained in contention for a recall.

“We know Nathan can come in and play when needed, he’s a running defender and we don’t have a lot of them on our list,” Walls said.

“Nathan gives us pace, carry and overlap run and is damaging with his ball use.

“We definitely see him playing a fair bit of footy next year for us.”

Wilson's most recent AFL appearance came during Fremantle's Round 17 win over St Kilda in early July.

The Dockers will face off against the travelling Bulldogs in an elimination final date under Optus Stadium's lights on Saturday night.