Thompson ready to start

Melbourne striker Archie Thompson says he is fully fit and ready to make his first start for the club since January in Saturday's Grand Final against Sydney at Etihad Stadium.

Melbourne striker Archie Thompson says he is fully fit and ready to make his first start for the club since January in Saturday's Grand Final against Sydney at Etihad Stadium.

Thompson broke his foot in a match against Wellington on Australia Day and only returned two weeks ago when he came on after an hour of the second leg of the major semi-final against Sydney.

He scored the crucial goal in that match which put Melbourne through to a home Grand Final then played just over 30 minutes in the AFC Champions League match against Seongnam Ilhwa which Melbourne lost 2-0.

Having had a week off training duties since that match, Thompson feels he is fresh and ready to start should coach Ernie Merrick give him the opportunity.

"We've had a full session today. That was my first full training session with the lads since the AFC Champions League game. It feels great. I'm just so excited out about walking out on Grand final day, the final decision is up to Ernie, but I'm feeling great, the guys are feeling. It will be great to re-unite that partnership with Krusey (strike partner Robbie Kruse)," Thompson said.

While 90 minutes of competitive football in the two months leading up to such a big match is not ideal, Thompson is feeling fresh and feels he has the conditioning required to get through the match.

"I'd like to have had those games under my belt going into a match like this, but I'm feeling fresh. The guys' workloads have been hectic, but they've really managed themselves well, looked after themselves well," he said.

"The reason why we are in good shape and are in a Grand Final is because we have been really professional this year and they guys have been dedicated to go back to back, which no team has done before."

Thompson has the experience of two previous Grand Final wins under his belt in 2007 and 2009. After last year's 1-0 win over Adelaide, Thompson said he felt mentally exhausting, but he expects Sydney to provide a more physical challenge this time around.

"I've been there twice before, I know what it's like. I enjoy big matches," Thompson said. "There's a lot of thoughts are racing through my head about this Grand Final and I'm sure that it is the same for everyone."

"It's going to be an exciting one. I'm sure that it will more a physical one than a mental one. We know we are mentally strong this year, we have been just due to the fact of the injuries we've had and players that have come in and done a job."

"I think we are mentally tough for this one. It's about being physical and making sure we make our presence felt out there and dominate that physical side of the game."

Having played Sydney three times in succession, Thompson doesn't expect there to be too many changes in the way the teams approach the Grand Final.

"They are not going to change their football, we are not going to change our football. That's the reason why we've made it this far. We just have to be wary of what their players are capable of, because we know they have got good players and good depth in the squad," he said.