ESSENDON caretaker coach Mark Thompson has raised the possibility of him stepping away from Essendon, but insists he has not spoken to any rival clubs about a coaching job. 

It marks a distinct change in mindset from the two-time premiership coach, who just a fortnight ago said he was keen to stay at the Bombers in a yet-to-be-defined coaching and player development role.

Thompson led Essendon to the finals in 2014 while James Hird served an AFL-imposed suspension.

Hird has returned to the club and is contracted to coach Essendon in 2015, although uncertainty surrounds the Bombers’ coaching position after Hird and Essendon recently lost a Federal Court challenge to the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's investigation of the club.
"It's an option, a real option," Thompson told Fox Footy when asked if he was staying at Essendon.  
"But I'm also thinking about not doing anything [at Essendon].

"It's just reflection time - that's an option."

Thompson added he hadn’t been contacted by rival clubs chasing his services. 
"No I have not. Definitely not," Thompson said. 
"I've heard lots of rumours. But I have not spoken to any club.

"I actually didn't answer the phone today at all.”