Retiring North Melbourne defender Scott Thompson has spoken about his career and his initial belief that he wouldn’t play in the AFL.
The veteran of 223 games wasn’t drafted until he was 21 years old but has gone on to become a stalwart of the Kangaroos defence, a best and fairest winner and an All-Australian.
“I did play TAC Cup, didn’t really make any of the representative teams; just played local footy and then got a chance with Leigh Tudor at the VFL in Geelong,” Thompson told SEN Breakfast.
“I got cut twice from that in three years and then finally got to play some games and had a good finals series and got drafted in ’07.
“I didn’t think I was going to be playing AFL; I was just working at Macca’s.
“I’ve been so happy with my career, getting 12 years, I’m pretty happy with where I’ve got to.”
Initially brought in as a mid-sized defender, Thompson was taken under the wing of then-coach Dean Laidley and developed into the full-back he is today, with some assistance from the side’s main forward.
“I guess Dean Laidley after my first year sat me down and he told me just to hit the gym and bulk up because there could be a spot as a key defender,” he continued.
“He put me in that direction, and I bulked up that year, got a spot as a key defender and kept it.
“Drew Petrie was the best to me; he was the key forward and I played on him at training and he taught me a lot of things and taught me training ethics and how to train hard.”
Thompson’s final game is this weekend in Hobart where North will look to follow up their 86-point win over Port Adelaide with a strong performance against 17th placed Melbourne.
Listen to Scott Thompson on SEN Breakfast in the player below: