North Melbourne veteran defender Scott Thompson is happy waiting until season’s end to discover if the Kangaroos will offer him a new contract.
The 32-year-old has wound back the clock in 2018 and is amongst All-Australian discussion as one of the competition’s best defenders.
Thompson’s resurgence in form has been linear with North Melbourne’s team rise this season, making fools of all those who had written them off.
The concern in North’s backline was the lack of experience for developing tall prospects Sam Durdin, Dan Nielson and Ben McKay, who are all into either their third or fourth seasons of AFL, but have only the 17 matches collectively under their belts.
Thompson is keen to play on, and his form more than warrants it – but he concedes it’s never that easy when you’re in your 30’s.
His re-signing for this season didn’t occur until October of last year, and he is very much preparing for a similar scenario, much like teammate Jarrad Waite.
“Sometimes it might not matter how well you’re playing. It all depends on the club’s future and what they want,” Thompson told AFL.com.au.
“We’ve got some really good young guys coming in, so they’re probably ready to play, so it all depends what the club wants to do.”
Coach Brad Scott was non-committal about the defender’s future last Sunday night, after Thompson collected 31 disposals against the Suns, his best effort in six years.
“Robbie Tarrant and Scotty Thompson are a huge reason why Majak (Daw)’s able to play the (defensive) role he does,” Scott told reporters.
“And Scotty Thompson’s a massive reason why Sam Durdin and Ben McKay are ready-made AFL key defenders, so they’ll get their opportunity at some point.
“But the ability to have the Tarrant, Thompson veterans there who can educate the young players is just enormous for us – and it helps that he’s playing well.”
Thompson, who shared the Roos’ Syd Barker medal with now-Magpie Daniel Wells in 2013, was All-Australian as a defender that same season.
He has contested with a large variety of opponent, namely Jesse Hogan, the Suns’ Tom Lynch, Jarryd Roughead, as well as smaller types such as Patrick Dangerfield and Chad Wingard.
Thompson’s opponents’ expected game rating is 9.4, which stands as the second-highest of any key defender in the league.