FORMER Timboon Demons footballer Luke Thompson wants to cement his spot in Adelaide’s defence next season.
Thompson, 21, re-signed with the Crows on Wednesday, desperate to build on his 14-game AFL career with the South Australian-based club.
The key defender played three games for Adelaide this season, as the Crows rose from 14th in 2011 to a preliminary final berth.
Thompson said he was “stoked” to recommit to the club that took a chance on him as a rookie in 2009.
“I hope to have a good pre-season and be in the best 22 in round one,” he said.
Of Thompson’s three games last season, two were finals.
He came into the Crows’ line-up for its semi-final against Fremantle, replacing injured defender Daniel Talia, and held his spot for the preliminary final against Hawthorn.
“A couple of boys got injured towards the end of the year and I got a shot to play on the big stage,” Thompson said.
“I was happy with my own performances and played a role for the team.”
Thompson said he was quietly confident of re-signing with Adelaide.
“I played good footy in the SANFL most of the year and the Crows were going well, so it was hard to get a run,” he said.
“I put selection pressure on and hoped for the best.
“The club has shown faith in me and I love the club.”
Adelaide football operations general manager Phil Harper said the Crows were pleased Thompson saw his future at the club.
“He played some great SANFL football this year but had to be patient waiting for AFL opportunities,” he said. “His form in the last two finals was very good, which was no surprise as we know Luke’s capabilities.
“He had a frustrating year trying to break into the senior side and we are really pleased that, despite this, he has decided to stay with the club as he sees a bright future for this team.”
Thompson hopes to become a permanent fixture in the Crows’ back six, which boasts the experienced Ben Rutten and emerging star Talia.
“In juniors I played forward and when I was rookie-listed at the end of 2009, I played down back in the lead-up to getting drafted and I have been there ever since,” Thompson said.
Despite his ability to play forward, Thompson said he saw his future in defence and believed Shaun McKernan and Josh Jenkins would fill the void in attack next season following Kurt Tippett’s departure.
Thompson yesterday had surgery to rectify a left ankle problem.
“It’s a little surgery, nothing substantial,” he said.
“It’s just a clean out.”