Leigh Broxham and Mark Milligan are backing Archie Thompson to defy the odds and play on next season after the veteran striker helped to fire Melbourne Victory into the Hyundai A-League Grand Final.
Thompson came on in the 78th minute of the semi-final at a packed Etihad Stadium on Friday night, scoring with three minutes to go in normal time to seal a 3-0 win over local rivals Melbourne City.
The forward, who still possesses plenty of pace and remains deadly in front of goal, now has a chance to lift a third championship when Victory host the season's decider against Sydney FC or
Adelaide United at AAMI Park next Sunday.
"He's a very good player still, he's coming on and scoring goals," Broxham said of his fellow Big V stalwart.
"I think it's his 11th goal this year. He's doing a great job for us. He's been a great team player as well, he's coming off the bench. Obviously he wants to start but his attitude's been first class. I take my hat off to him."
Thompson was downgraded from his long-held status as Victory's domestic marquee player at the end of last season to accommodate a new contract for club captain Mark Milligan, while the last of his 54 Socceroos caps came in September 2013.
Out of contract at the end of the campaign and tipped in some quarters to hang up his boots or - unthinkably - seek a different A-League club, Milligan has cautioned against writing the 36-year-old's Victory obituary just yet.
"I think it'd take a brave man to say it'd be Archie's last game," the skipper said.
"He came on tonight and did a wonderful job for us, as he has when he's started or when he's come off the bench. He's fit and I wouldn't bet against him (staying and playing on next season)."
Victory's attention now turns to the matter of hosting the biggest match in the Australian domestic football calendar next weekend, something Broxham knows all about, although not since 2010 has the long-serving utility player sampled the big occasion.
Asked what the week ahead will have in store, the two-time title winner joked: "Not sure, I can't remember the last time we played (a Grand Final)."