A defiant Archie Thompson says has no intention of hanging up his boots after the A-League grand final, whether or not he receives another Melbourne Victory contract.
Thompson, the A-League’s all-time leading scorer, comes off contract after Sunday’s season finale at AAMI Park.
The 36-year-old former Socceroos striker has impressed with 11 goals in his 10th campaign with Victory, despite spending plenty of time on the substitute’s bench.
He says he already knows substitute will be his role against Sydney FC in the decider and he’s not happy about it.
Aside from a starting position, what Thompson wants is for coach Kevin Muscat to extend his tenure at the club.
“Everyone knows I want to play on, whether it’ll be here, it’s still yet to be decided,” Thompson said on Tuesday.
“I spoke to Musky four months ago and I said ‘where does my future lie?’
“I’ve been treating every game like it could be my last for Melbourne Victory since I had that talk.
“I want to win something with this club because it could be my last game.”
In Victory’s charge to the premiership, Thompson has started just 16 of 28 matches, with Muscat preferring a front three of Kosta Barbarouses, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Besart Berisha.
He joked it could be Ben Khalfallah’s new contract that forces him out of the club.
“Obviously Benny’s taken all the money in the cap so that might make it hard, I might be playing for peanuts,” he said.
“I don’t warrant a big drop in pay because I’m still performing.
“Whether (I continue playing) here or whether it be somewhere else, we’ll have to wait and see.”
Muscat and Thompson have won two grand finals as players and have come to be synonymous with the club.
Together on the pitch, the lethal combination of defensive steel and attacking flair helped Victory become the biggest club in Australia.
But Thompson won’t even rule out the unthinkable – a move to cross-town rivals Melbourne City – as he looks to extend his career to an 11th A-League season.
“I’m open to anything,” he said.
“I’m a 36-year-old and I’m still running rings over 19-year-olds.”
“My main focus at the moment is doing a number on Sydney on Sunday.”