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AFL 2017 Round 16 - Adelaide v Western Bulldogs

Adelaide veteran Scott Thompson will retire at the end of the season

I have realised how much I love the game and in particular helping and mentoring the younger players

RETIRING Adelaide champion Scott Thompson is dreaming of a fairytale premiership to end his glittering 17-year career.

The 34-year-old has played 308 games, but has made only one appearance this year for the Crows, who are on top of the ladder.

"I told the players, 'Don't slacken up, because I'm right up you’re a**e and I'll take your spot if you don't watch it," Thompson said on Tuesday.

"If fairytales happen, I'll certainly put my hand up for it, but I know exactly where I sit at the moment and worry about what I can control and who knows what happens from there.

"I spoke to the boys about doing whatever it takes to chase that ultimate success.

"I've played in three losing preliminary finals, 2005, 2006 and 2012, where I thought we had a team that I thought was capable of going all the way, and for whatever reason, it didn't happen.

"I'm chasing the grand final dream at the moment."

The Crows lost to West Coast by 16 points and 10 points in the 2005 and 2006 preliminary finals, before suffering a heart-breaking five-point loss to Hawthorn in 2012.

Thompson was taken by Melbourne with the 16th overall pick of the 2000 NAB AFL Draft.

He played 39 games over four seasons with the Demons before requesting a trade to the Crows at the end of 2004.

Thompson won back-to-back Malcolm Blight Medals in 2011 and 2012 and was also an All Australian in 2012.

He has also finished in the top-10 of the Crows' club champion award in nine of his past 11 seasons, and was third in the Brownlow Medal in 2012.

Thompson has collected more possessions (6752), clearances (1338) and laid more tackles (1313) than anyone in Crows' history.

His only game this season was against the Western Bulldogs in round 16, but he has continued to hold high standards as a mentor to younger players in the SANFL.

"I entered this season knowing it was most likely my last and it has turned out to be one of my most rewarding," Thompson said.

"While playing the majority of this season in the SANFL, I have realised how much I love the game and in particular helping and mentoring the younger players, and seeing them develop."

Crows coach Don Pyke paid tribute to the legacy Thompson will leave at the Crows.

"Scott has been a true champion of the Adelaide Football Club and his achievements as a player are thoroughly deserved,” Pyke said.

"From the day that he arrived at the club, he has been a fantastic leader both on and off the field who has helped those around him improve.

"To play at such a high standard for more than 300 games is a credit to him."