Archie commits for love

Prolific striker Archie Thompson has pledged his love for Melbourne Victory after signing a new two-year deal with the club which will take him through to the end of the 2010/11 season.

Prolific striker Archie Thompson has pledged his love for Melbourne Victory after signing a new two-year deal with the club which will take him through to the end of the 2010/11 season.

Thompson, the highest goalscorer in the short history of the Hyundai A-League, was out of contract at the end of this season and with the two new franchises looking for players, the club has acted quickly to renew his marquee contract.

"It's a new contract which will see Archie play until the end of the 2010-2011 season. It's a fantastic result for both Archie and Melbourne Victory and for our fans and supporters," Victory football manager Gary Cole said.

"It was a great coup for Melbourne Victory when we signed Archie to get him back from Europe and it's a great coup now. He's been a fantastic asset for our football club and for the A-League in general as well as the Socceroos," Cole said.

Thompson, whose A-League goalscoring record stands at 30 goals from 58 appearances, said he had everything he wanted in Melbourne and wanted to continue his work with the club.

"I just love the club. I've been here since day one. I enjoy Melbourne, my wife loves Melbourne. My kids are settled here. The team and the supporters, I just love. I think we've got a great side, and I just want to be a part of the future going forward," Thompson said.

Thompson will be 32 when the deal finishes, but said he wasn't interested in a longer-term deal.

"I'm sure I've got plenty of good years left in me," he said. "It's not always about the money. I'm just happy to be part of the set-up. I like to think it's one of the best clubs in Australia. I just want to win championships and I think this is a club that can do it."

Cole admitted that the prospect of the two new clubs, plus the possibility of a new club in Melbourne had prompted the club to act quickly.

"I think it's always good to get players signed away. The new regulations mean it's open slather as of the first of October. We've got a number of contracts to get to," he said.

"Everyone felt that two years was a good time frame. That puts it one year beyond what we expect to have a new franchise in Melbourne. Who knows what that will means for us? We all felt it was a good fit."

Coach Ernie Merrick said Thompson was a vital part of his on-field plans and it was very much a positive to have his three-man strike force secured beyond this year.

"It's just great to have signed up for the longer term, Dan Allsopp, Archie and Ney Fabiano. Dan and Archie are the two highest goalscorers of all time in the league. From a coach's perspective it's pretty much ideal," he said.