Mark Heenan 8 June 2006

By Mark Heenan Besieged Geelong Football Club Coach Mark 'Bomber' Thompson has denied recent newspaper speculation he is about to resign at season’s end. Desperate to register a win over cellar dwellers Essendon at Telstra Dome on Friday night, Thompson contracted til 2007 at Skilled Stadium says he is confident he will coach on next year. Jump to Match Preview and Team List including VFL team

Geelong president Frank Costa said Thompson’s contract would be reviewed at the end of 2006, despite reports Thompson had told friends he would leave on his own terms if the club had not improved.

Geelong has only one win from its last six matches. Thompson, 42, is Geelong’s second longest serving coach behind club great Reg Hickey’s record of 304 VFL games and is in his seventh year with the Cats.

“I’m pretty sure I will be here next year,” Thompson said. "The board has got to sit down at the end of the year, but I think I'm likely to be here. I think more than likely I’ll be here (next year). Of course I like to be here.”

Meanwhile, Thompson conceded Geelong is capable of making the eight despite its dismal 3-7 record and away trips to Adelaide and Fremantle in round 12 and 13. “Yeah it’s a big important game, it just keeps us alive basically, (this match) gives us a better chance to make the finals,” Thompson said. "After playing last week, the good form for a half you would like to carry on and eventually go the next week and win the game.”

Skipper Steven King will be sidelined with a calf, while Tom Harley (shoulder) won’t be available after the mid-season break as the versatile Cameron Mooney is likely to carry extra responsibility.

Thompson confirmed Brad Ottens would start in the Ruck on Friday night, while flamboyant midfielder David Wojcinski and Matt McCarthy are pushing hard for selection after strong performances in the VFL.

Struggling forward Kent Kingsley is not likely to play this week.

“You get fooled a bit by the form in the VFL, at times, guys go back and kick six goals (Matt McCarthy did) there and are put back (to the AFL) and come out and don’t get a kick,” he said. “You’ve got to be careful about that, the gap is getting bigger.”

Geelong has won three of its last four encounters against Essendon by an average margin of 29 points.

Thompson said he had been impressed with the player’s attitude despite the recent form slump. “We’re going all right (and mentally coping),” he said. “We had huge expectations (at the start of the year), the players are fired up and I think are coaches certainly are. “Everybody is working just as hard and just as well as we’ve ever worked and that’s the big challenge we’re (trying to) achieve at the moment.”