Melbourne Heart midfielder Matt Thompson is set to become the first player in Hyundai A-League history to record 200 appearances.
Melbourne Heart midfielder Matt Thompson is set to become the first player in Hyundai A-League history to record 200 appearances, assuming he features in Heart-s Round 24 match against Adelaide United at AAMI Park on Monday night.
Thompson has featured in all 23 of Heart-s matches this campaign and has currently made 199 overall appearances in an A-League career spanning two clubs and eight seasons.
While the 30-year-old admits he is proud of his achievement, the Heart vice captain says his focus is firmly on getting three points against Adelaide as the Heart battle for a finals berth.
“It-s obviously not a bad milestone for myself; I-ve been pretty lucky in terms of injuries… I-m sure there are players out there who have been unlucky with injuries and they would be up there as well,” Thompson said.
“More importantly, we need the three points and hopefully we can get that job done.”
After 121 matches for the Newcastle Jets and 78 for Heart, Thompson still believes he has plenty to offer the competition.
“I could go for another four to five years,” Thompson said.
“I look after myself and I-m always available for selection which is the most important thing, like I said before, [I've been] injury-free - touch wood - for the last couple of years which is a great thing.
“I always put my hand up to play and I don-t see that changing over the next four to five years.”
Thompson said he had evolved as as player since joining from Newcastle Jets, as he shifted from a versatile no.10 to a more defined leadership role in defensive midfield under former coach John Van't Schip.
“Ever since I-ve come to Melbourne here, that first year was a big jump for me with JVS being here and I took a lot from the first year obviously in that new position as well, I had to grow up a little bit quicker,” Thompson said.
“But that was the best thing that could have happened to me and it was a fantastic time for me in that first year - [it was] just a new challenge.
“I think we just have to worry about this week.
“If we get the points against Adelaide, which I really do think we can, it going to have to be a massive performance against Western Sydney who are no doubt one of the best - if not the best side - in the competition.
“So the next couple of weeks are vitally important.”