AFL near-misses drive Thompson

Being a blue-collar midfielder on the verge of his 300th AFL match, Scott Thompson would never dare talk publicly about that elusive premiership.

But the 33-year-old’s answer was instructive when asked what still drove him in the game.

“Three losing prelims isn’t a good track record, is it?,” the much-admired Adelaide veteran said.

The Crows have soared into third position on the back of a seven-game winning streak, raising legitimate hopes that they can contend this season.

Thompson is in the last season, or so, of his outstanding career and the contested-ball animal admits he is impressed by what he sees around him.

“It would be unfair to single out any side as better than another,” he said.

“But … as a club right now, we sit in a pretty good position.”

Thompson had played 39 games in four seasons at Melbourne when he was traded to the Crows at the end of 2004.

The following two seasons, he was part of Crows teams that lost preliminary finals and they did so again in 2012.

The third of those near-misses was also the season when Thompson earned his one All-Australian selection and won the club best-and-fairest award for the second time.

This Saturday, he will become the fifth Adelaide player to reach 300 games – and the first to do so after starting his career at a different club.

Thompson is joining Crows royalty, with Andrew McLeod, Tyson Edwards, Mark Ricciuto and Ben Hart the others to reach the milestone.

“I certainly held them in the highest regard when they played and, to be reaching that milestone myself, albeit over two clubs, certainly I will be proud of when I finish,” Thompson said.

One of football’s good blokes said the only downside to his longevity in the game was the lack of respect from teammates.

Wayne Milera was just three when Thompson made his senior debut in 2001.

“The only thing that keeps me reminded (about how long he has played) … is getting called fossil and ‘old such-and-such’ and maybe a couple of other words I can’t describe in here,” Thompson said.

A clear key to that longevity is how well Thompson takes care of himself.

Asked if he has the best “rig” at the Crows, the impressively built midfielder smiled and answered “probably”.

He joked about doing weights: “I stare at them and they lift themselves.”

Thompson continued the banter when asked how much pride he took in helping younger midfielders step up since Patrick Dangerfield’s departure to Geelong.

“That’s all my doing – seriously, it is,” he said.

More seriously, Thompson said the development of teammates such as the Crouch brothers and Jarryd Lyons was testament to the club’s coaching.

And he hopes his faultless workrate will remain an example long after he eventually retires.

“In this club, I would like to walk away leaving some form of legacy that I worked hard, got the best out of myself, taught other players good habits,” he said.

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