Scott Thompson says he’d desperately love to play in a Crows premiership before the end of his career.
Thompson will celebrate his 250-game milestone against Greater Western Sydney on Sunday.
The 31-year-old has achieved almost everything in a decorated career spanning 14 years. He’s a two-time best-and-fairest winner, All Australian, leader and one of the most consistent players the Adelaide Football Club has ever seen.
However, the fact that he doesn’t have ‘premiership player’ next to his name remains his biggest discontent. Thompson has played in three losing Preliminary Finals, in 2005, 2006 and 2012. He still holds hope of making it to the big dance.
“It does annoy me quite a bit. I’d dearly love to play in a premiership before retirement comes along,” Thompson said.
“You get to my stage in a career … and it’s something you crave. It’s what to you play footy for. It’s a team sport and you want to enjoy that ultimate success with the group of guys you do all the hard training and work with.
“You’d love to get to that last week in September and hold that cup up with them.”
Thompson understands time to achieve the ultimate is running out.
The prolific midfielder is contracted until the end of 2015. He’s unsure whether his career will extend beyond that point, to the magical 300-game mark.
“I’m contracted for this year and next. Beyond that, I can’t answer that right now,” he said.
“The Club might not want me after that, and I’ll have to see how my body is feeling … there are a lot of factors you have to consider. We’ll see what happens.
“I’m definitely still enjoying my footy and would enjoy it even more if we can string a few wins together. I don’t think too far ahead to be honest.”
Selected with pick No.16 in the 2000 AFL National Draft, Thompson began his AFL career at Melbourne.
A frustrating run of injuries during his time at the Demons prompted the South Australian to seek a “fresh start” in his home state at the end of 2004.
In an ironic twist that must irritate Melbourne fans, Thompson has gone on to become of the most durable players in the game. He’s only missed four matches in 10 years with the Crows and has played the last 87 of his games without miss. Read more remarkable stats from Thommo’s career
Thompson said the key to his continuity was a good understanding of his body.
“I spent the first four years at Melbourne. I’m thankful they gave me the opportunity to play at this level. I enjoyed my time there, but had a few unlucky injuries which probably set me back a bit. After four years, I just wanted a fresh start and found that here with the Adelaide Footy Club. I’ve enjoyed my time here since – it’s been great,” he said.
“You get to a stage in your career where you understand your body. I’ve got to a stage where I know the training workload I have to get in before each game and throughout the summer, so I can get to the start of a season knowing I’ve done the work to get myself through.”
Thompson reminded the competition of his elite ball-winning ability last weekend.
After being subbed with a corked thigh the previous week, the strong-bodied onballer responded to collect a team-high 32 possessions, eight marks, seven tackles, six clearances and five inside 50ms in Adelaide’s big win over St Kilda.
“It’s been documented I had a slow start to the summer. I spent most of the first half indoors doing cross-training. I’ve fixed up a few niggles I had last season and my body is feeling good,” he said.
The busy week-to-week of the AFL season prevents players from reflecting on their milestones or achievements for long. Although proud of his 250-milestone, Thompson said his focus was helping the team to secure another win against GWS.
“There are so many things to focus on each week … you don’t have too much time to think about what else is going on. It’s come up quite quick and something I haven’t thought about too much,” Thompson said.
“It (the milestone) probably means a number of things. One, I’m getting older. Two, I’ve been lucky enough or good enough to get picked that many times, or the coach has been silly enough to pick me that many times. It’s definitely something that I’ll be proud of when I hang up the boots.
“It was definitely nice to get that first win on the board. It would be even better to get our first win on our new home deck this weekend against a side that has been in good form.”
Be at Adelaide Oval to help celebrate Thommo’s 250th game. Click here for ticketing and match day information