Adelaide coach Don Pyke says his AFL players won’t be trying any harder than usual to win for stalwart Scott Thompson.
The midfielder will become the fifth Crow to play 300 AFL games when he fronts against Collingwood on Saturday night at Adelaide Oval.
“I’m not sure that players necessarily go out and play extra hard based on the fact that it’s Thommo’s 300th,” Pyke said.
“We will go about normal business in terms of how we want to play and prepare for the game. But we recognise it’s a unique night for the footy club and for Thommo.”
Pyke was the Crows’ midfield coach in 2005-06 when Adelaide-born Thompson returned after four seasons with Melbourne.
“I got to see him when he first arrived as aggressive, probably a little bit impatient, but clearly driven,” Pyke said.
“Returning down the track, to come across a slightly older, slightly wiser Thommo, he has just matured.”
Thompson will be the 75th AFL player to reach the 300 game milestone.
“It’s a massive achievement,” Pyke said.
“He has been a super player – you don’t play 300 games of AFL footy without having some real genuine quality, both as a person and as a player.
“His competitive spirit is probably the thing that stands out for me … he wills himself on and on.”