Historic century awaits Jets captain
Skipper Matt Thompson is set to become the first player in to record 100 Hyundai A-League appearances.
Tomorrow will be no ordinary day for Newcastle Jets skipper Matt Thompson.
The versatile 27-year-old will have his name forever etched in the Hyundai A-League history books when he becomes the first player to record 100 appearances in the competition.
The Jets will play host to Perth Glory tomorrow evening in what is shaping up as a fitting setting for the landmark occasion.
However, Thompson-s focus will be squarely on the team-s goals rather than his personal accomplishment.
“It-s obviously a nice milestone for myself and it makes it a bit more special the fact that it is at Newcastle,” he explained. “It-s nice but, at the end of the day, we-ve got more important things to worry about and that-s obviously coming up with three points tomorrow.”
Outside of the Jets- Hyundai A-League Grand Final victory in February 2008, what is Thompson-s favourite moment in his first 99 outings for the Hunter based club?
“To pick one, obviously scoring a hatty (hattrick) here against Melbourne last year, that was obviously a nice thing to do and I wouldn-t mind putting one away in my hundredth game, that would make it a bit more special.”
Making the achievement all the more impressive is that Thompson is a Jets foundation player, having been with the club since the competition-s inception in 2005. In that time, the utility has missed just one game through suspension in round 11 of the Hyundai A-League 2007/08 season.
On the eve of the historic moment, Head Coach Branko Culina took time out to praise his captain today, and believes that still greater highlights lie ahead of Thompson in his career.
“I think, to be honest with you, that he can go on, if he decides to stay in this country, for at least another hundred.”
“The length of his career is not in question because of the way he looks after himself, he can easily go for another five years, but it is the quality that matters and that is where the next hundred are going to get even better for him,” Culina said.
In further team news leading up to the Glory clash, the Jets have signed former Melbourne Victory defender Daniel Vasilevski on a 2-week deal as a replacement for Jason Hoffman, who is currently away with teammates Ben Kantarovski and Sean Rooney with the Qantas Young Socceroos.
Tickets for the Jets- EnergyAustralia Stadium encounter against Perth are available from www.proticket.com.au or by calling (02) 4915 2345.