With a stellar playing career across 11 seasons at Melbourne Victory and representing Australia on more than 50 occasions – scoring 28 international goals in the process – Thompson is regarded as an icon of his sport. He also holds the world record for most goals scored in an international match.
Now a community ambassador for Melbourne Victory, Thompson has transitioned seamlessly into a mentoring role at SEDA College.
He recently spoke about making the most of opportunities, the things that drive him and how he hopes to continue to inspire young people to work hard and follow their dreams.
Q: What were your life goals as a kid?
Thompson: I always wanted to be a footballer, ever since I was four years old and kicked my first football. I said to mum and dad, ‘This is what I want to do’ and I never lost sight of that dream.
I’m really happy and delighted that I’ve had the opportunity to live my dream, travel the world and get paid for doing something I love.
Q: If you could do anything differently regarding sport or education, what would it be?
Thompson: I left school in Year 10 and pinch myself that I didn’t put more effort in or put enough time into study. Now I urge kids to take all the opportunities they can and see where they lead.
Q: What is the most memorable goal of your career?
Thompson: Socceroos in Doha. It was an important game, we were sitting third or fourth in the group and it was a win that got us back on track to qualify for the World Cup in 2014 (Brazil).
Q: It is well-known for elite athletes to use visualisation to help them achieve on-field success. I read that The Secret was part of your prep for the 2007 Grand Final. Are you still into that book?
Thompson: I came across The Secret before the 2007 Grand Final. I liked the book because it taught me how to believe in what I was doing and believe it would happen. It made me see the positives and I feel that positivity guided me to where I needed to be. I still practice and believe in the principles now.
Q: What, outside of football, has given you that winning feeling?
Thompson: Family – my kids give me the drive to do well and to provide for them.
Q: You’ve become heavily involved with the Community Department at Melbourne Victory since your recent retirement, can you tell us a bit about your role?
Thompson: As an ambassador, I go out into the community and spread the word for Melbourne Victory. Football at the grassroots level is the most participated sport in Australia. People who play football come from all different backgrounds and the sport can really bring them together. That’s why I love the role - I get to give back to the community.
Q: You also find time to be an ambassador at the sports industry focused SEDA College. Can you tell us a bit about that role?
Thompson: I like working with the SEDA students because of their passion and the fact they love sport so much. They get to learn about a different side to the sporting industry that they wouldn’t otherwise. I like the fact that the program is so hands on and they get to see all the different roles people play and the hard work that is put into the industry.
Q: How do you think you can help students at SEDA achieve their goals?
Thompson: My mentoring career started when I was the oldest player at Melbourne Victory. I feel that it’s important that the older generation give advice and help the kids – help them learn from mistakes and guide them in the right direction.
I hope I can show SEDA students that what I did as a professional athlete - the discipline, listening, hard work (not cutting corners) – will not only work in sport but also in business.
SEDA students obtain their VCAL certificate in an industry focused, hands-on learning environment with access to industry professionals and mentors like Archie Thompson.
For more information on intakes and enrollments head to the SEDA website