Monday, December 11, 2017

Thompson to leave Melbourne Victory

Former Australia international Archie Thompson has called time on his Melbourne Victory career after discussing his future with head coach Kevin Muscat.

Thompson, a three-time A-League championship winner and the league’s all-time leading goalscorer with 90 goals, announced his departure on Saturday, ending an 11-year association with the club that stretches back to their inception in 2005.

He has enjoyed plenty of success at Victory, winning three championships, but at the age of 37 has called it a day and will leave the club at the conclusion of Victory’s Asian Champions League campaign, which could yet extend to the round of 16 with a win against Gamba Osaka on Tuesday.

“Melbourne Victory has been an amazing club to play for and I’ve loved every minute of my journey here,” Thompson said via Victory’s official website.

“It’s always hard to say goodbye to something that’s been such a big part of your life for such a long time.

“I’ve had some really honest discussions with Kevin Muscat over the last few weeks and I am at peace with the decision.

“I’ve had so many great experiences with Victory, made lifelong friends and will cherish the memories forever.

“I am determined to finish whatever time I have left as a Victory player on a high note in the next few weeks.”

The Victory star later told the media that the announcement was “definitely not” retirement, opening the door to a move to another A-League club.

Thompson has scored more finals goals than anyone else with 10, including five in the famous 2006-07 grand final against Adelaide United.

Also departing their club is Brisbane Roar defender and former Socceroo Shane Stefanutto, who announced his retirement on Saturday.

The left-back was a regular in the Roar side that dominated Australian football between 2010 and 2012 after a season with the now-defunct North Queenland Fury, following several years in Norway with Lillestrom and Lyn.

Stefanutto, 36, played three games for Australia between 2007 and 2009.

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