July 10, 2015 09:57:47 UK
A-League record scorer Archie Thompson is staying with Melbourne Victory for the 2015-16 season.
The striker has signed a one-year contract extension, allowing him to add to his tally of 89 goals in the competition.
Victory are 3.75 to win the A-League Grand Final.
Thompson has been in limbo since the end of last season, during negotiations between Football Federation Australia and Professional Footballers Australia.
“I always wanted to stay and now that it has all worked out that way, I couldn’t be happier.
Victory have been hoping a new Collective Bargaining Agreement would allow salaries of long-serving players to be discounted from the salary cap.
The CBA hasn’t been resolved yet but the club are reported to be confident it will happen, so Thompson’s contract has been ratified.
It means the 36-year-old, one of only nine players to make 200 or more A-League appearances, will take part in his 11th season in the league.
He netted 11 goals in 26 appearances last season, helping Victory win the Premiership and Championship.
Victory CEO Ian Robson said “We are all thrilled to have Archie wear the Melbourne Victory strip for an incredible 11th consecutive season and for him to play his part in contributing to our title defence.”
Thompson said: “I always wanted to stay and now that it has all worked out that way, I couldn’t be happier.
“To be a one-club player is very important to me and I feel like I can give something back to the club and the fans that have been so supportive of me over 10 great years.”
Ernie Merrick, who coached Thompson to championship success with Victory, had wanted to bring the veteran striker to Wellington Phoenix during the off-season. But he ended his pursuit after Thompson failed to sign by the Phoenix’s deadline, saying he believed the player would remain with Victory.
Melbourne Victory are 4.00 to win the FFA Cup.
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