Melbourne Victory's Danny Allsopp has hailed Archie Thompson as the A-League's deadliest striker who can 'make goals out of nothing'.
Allsopp is preparing for the eighth A-League season in which he hopes to re-establish the feared strike partnership with Thompson that played a major part in Victory's two championships in 2007 and 2009.
Allsopp is out to make amends for a poor season by his standards as Victory plunged from one crisis to another.
Victory, with Australia star Harry Kewell in its ranks, did not even make the finals last season but Allsopp believes the team is ripe to turn the corner and be among the serious challengers for the title.
The burly striker, whose selfless running off the ball to create space for others often goes unnoticed, is adamant that Thompson should play a key role in the team's revival.
"Archie is definitely the best striker in the competition," Allsopp, 33, said.
"He is the most exciting to watch and he has this ability to change games with goals out of nothing.
"Some of the goals he scored last season were all class.
"We've been playing together for quite a long time now so there is an understanding and a good relationship.
"I always feel that I know where Archie is going to be.
"I'm just impressed by how well he played last season.
"I always try to work hard for the team and if I get a goal or two that's a bonus.
"I love it when he scores and he's given me plenty of goals as well.
"It would be terrific to have another great season together."
Allsopp, a player who never gives anything less than 100 per cent, started only eight games last season and he is working extra hard in pre-season to earn the favours of new coach Ange Postecoglou, who has hinted that Victory might play in a basic 4-4-2 formation in season eight.
Postecoglou was Allsopp's first senior coach when the latter was a 17-year-old striker for South Melbourne in 1995.
"It's all very positive in pre-season at the moment," Allsopp said.
"We feel we owe it to our fans to play good football. Of course here in Melbourne there are always high expectations and this year we are working hard to deliver that.
"We still don't know how we'll be playing this season although we are getting some ideas.
"At this stage we don't know what formation we will be using.
"But whatever formation or line-up we use there will be as always hot competition for places.
"We are in a situation where a lot of good players are trying to get into the team.
"I want no favours. I don't want to be given anything on a plate and I want to earn my place in the team.
"We have big expectations and so does Ange. It's a long way off at this point but we will try to win as many games a possible and let the football do the talking for us.
"Hopefully we will be successful this year.
"As far as I'm concerned I will try to do my best and see what pans out down the track.
"Last year was disappointing for me."
Promising striker Tomi Juric has been lured to Western Sydney Wanderers on a two-year deal as coach Tony Popovic sets about tweaking his Premiers’ Plate winning side for next season.